Gujarat Archaeological & Natural Wonders
Package price per person sharing twin
Product Code : AGORA561
Gujarat Archaeological & Natural Wonders will begin with pick up from Ahmedabad. Explore Ahmedabad monuments & museums then proceed to visit the magnificent Modhera Sun Temple, Rani ki Vav step well & Panchasara Jain Temple complex. Explore Dholavira best-kept archaeological sites dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Enjoy safari in Little Rann of Kutch a unique place on earth of its kind in the entire world. Next drive to Bhuj to visit grand palaces & museum. Continue to explore the Great Rann of Kutch a salt marsh in the Thar Desert reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. This area inhabited by the Kutchi people is rich center of traditional art and craft.
Day 1: Arrive Ahmedabad
On arrival at Ahmedabad airport assistance and transfer to hotel check in. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Ahmedabad
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Ahmedabad. Visit Hatheesing Jain Temple established in 1850 by Seth Hatheesing, who was a rich Jain merchant. This temple is dedicated to the 15th 'Jain Tirthankar', known as Dharamnath. Bhadra fort a beautiful monument that is famous for its intricate carvings, pattern works and beautiful frescos suits. Arches at the entry gate, has some inscriptions that represents the history of the fort. Jama Mosque there are different entrances to the mosque. Near the eastern entrance, stands the tomb of the Sultan Ahmed Shah, which houses the graveyard of three great rulers, namely Ahmed Shah, his son, Mohammed Shah and his grandson, Qutub-Ud-Din Ahmed Shah. Kite Museum the city of Ahmedabad is popular for the Kite Festival so it doesn’t come as a surprise if you find an entire museum dedicated to kites. The popular Kite Museum that houses some of the rarest kites in the world is a first of its kind in India and second in the world. Sabarmati Ashram on his return from South Africa, Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915. The Ashram was then shifted on 17 June 1917 to a piece of open land on the banks of the river Sabarmati. Reasons for this shift included: he wanted to do some experiments in living eg farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi and related constructive activities. Shaking Minarets one of the most unique monuments in Ahmedabad, located in Siddi Bashir's Mosque near the Sarangpur gate. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Ahmedabad - Modhera - Patan - Dholavira (385kms/ 8hrs approx)
Morning pick up from your hotel in Ahmedabad and drive to Dholavira with stop to visit Modhera Sun Temple & Rani ki Vav & Panchasara Jain Temple at Patan.
Modhera Sun Temple a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty. No worship is offered now and is protected monument maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. The temple complex has three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall; Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach the bottom and numerous small shrines.
Rani ki Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the banks of the Saraswati River. The world famous 11th century Solanki era step well was built by the Queen in memory of her husband. Designed as an inverted temple, it is highlighting the sanctity of water and is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. Panchasara Jain Temple was built by king Vanraj Chavada around VS 802. There are 51 mini temples around the temple. It was said that main idol of lord parshwanath much older than Vikram Samvat 802- hindu calendar(around 8th century). There are around 10 parashwanath temples among 108 are situated in the patan city in different pole. All this temples are century old and marvelous example of carving in marbles.
Continue drive to Dholavira check in at resort. Dinner & overnight at resort.
Day 4: Dholavira - Little Rann Of Kutch (255kms/ 5hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, Explore Dholavira a real treat for historians, and one of Gujarat’s best-kept archaeological and historical sites dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization 4500 years ago. It is full of historic treasures, including seals with animal figures, funerary structures, letters of the Indus script, stone sculptures, pottery with painted motifs, terracotta ornaments, sign boards, and several other structures and objects. The ancient water reservoirs are certainly a highlight and excite visitors with their well-preserved state. What this site offers you, in the intense environment that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch, is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient Indus script. The excavation also tells the story of the 7 stages of the civilization, from development to maturity to decay, the last of which hints at a strange piece of history, with more questions than answers. After the peak of the civilization Dholavira was temporarily abandoned, after which it seems that the settlers returned with a markedly de-urbanized culture. There are hints that they willingly chose to simplify their lives, rather than try to ride the collapse of their once glorified civilization. Here, on the ruins, you will have a chance to contemplate what progress and civilization mean and what, if anything, is truly permanent.
After sightseeing drive back to Little Rann Of Kutch and check in at resort. Dinner & overnight at resort.
Day 5: Little Rann Of Kutch - Bhuj (230kms/ 5hrs approx)
Early morning Safari in Little Rann of Kutch a unique place on earth with an unending possibility of exploration, numerous sites for unbelievable sights and unforgettable experiences. Covering an area of 4954 Km2, Little Rann of Kutch is one of the most remarkable and unique landscapes of its kind in the entire world. It is a vast desiccated, unbroken bare surface of dark silt, encrusted with salts which transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the rains. The present saline desert of the Little Rann of Kutch is believed to have been shallow sea. The variety of the geomorphic facets of Kutch such as the present surface configuration, its landforms, drainage characteristics and relief pattern clearly reveals a complex interplay of tectonics, sea-level changes and lithology as also erosion and deposition.
Little Rann of Kutch is the only haven on earth for endemic Asiatic Wild Ass. It is also a charismatic birding paradise and a declared Ramsar Site. The marshes in the Rann, and nearby lakes like Nawa Talao and Savada Wetlands, attract huge flocks of water birds. Flamingos, pelicans, cranes, storks, ducks, waders etc can be seen in large numbers. Some very unique dry habitat species like Variable, Isabelline & Desert Wheatears, Isabelline Shrike, Macqueen's Bustard, Lesser White-throat, Greater Short-toed Lark, Long-billed Pipit, Graceful Prinia, Merlin, Short-eared Owl etc. You can also do a village safari to see communities like Mir, Bharwad, Rabari, and Bajanias.
After safari and sightseeing tour drive back to Bhuj check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Bhuj
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Bhuj check in at hotel.
Later city tour visit The Aaina Mahal Palace built during the flamboyant rule of Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. However, what once stood proudly with glittering glasses, antique clocks and exotic tile works was shaken and dishevelled in the 2001 earthquake that hit Bhuj. The loss was tragic, but it has now been recovered and renovated for people to visit safely again. Be sure to explore the rest of the compound outside the palace, with its beautiful carved doorways, elaborate window boxes and balconies. Prag Mahal one of the architectural wonders in India, built-in the 19th century next to the popular Aina Mahal. The grand palace boasts of Gothic-style windows and Corinthian pillars around it. The opulent Mahal has the second tallest clock tower in the country which offers an amazing view from the top. A part of the palace has been converted into a museum with archives and personal items of the royal family on display. Imposing and beautiful in itself, the resplendent palace is made mostly out of red sandstone. There are intricate carvings done on the walls with beautiful art, and the most amazing thing is the jaali work on the jharokhas, those are exquisite in appearance. Shri Swaminarayan Temple initially built in the year 1822, it was the first of many Sampraday Swaminarayan temples. Located near the Hamirsar Lake completely white structure is an architectural masterpiece built of marble and is a stunning place to visit. Ramkund is a square stepwell, about 56 ft on one side, whose walls have carved miniature idols depicting the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and sculptures of Lord Rama, Devi Sita, Lord Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman. The architecture of the stepwell is geometrical and leaves one in awe of the skill of that time. As you descend down the steps to reach the water, you are engulfed by a sudden coolness that is not to be found above the stepwell. While going deeper into the well, one can almost be transported to the ancient times when it was a place of water storage. Ramkund is located across the Kutch Museum and behind the Ram Dhun Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Bhuj - Hodka (65kms/ 1.3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Banni Region of Kutch visiting Nirona Village for Rogan arts on a piece of cloth. The word Rogan comes from Persian and means oil-based. The process of making the natural colors used in art gives it such a name. Castor oil is heated on a fire for about 12 hours and then cast into cold water to give a thick residue called the Rogan. This is then mixed with stone pigments to lend it different hues. Next, the artisan uses a six-inch metal stick to paint with a fine thread of Rogan on cloth. Seeing it live made us realize how delicately the Rogan thread has to be led with precision to give shape to one’s imagination. The Luhars in Nirona have been preserving the Copper Crafts making over seven generations. As a result you can see some heart-shaped wind chimes, a xylophone made of bells and even a few fauna inspired bell pieces. And Lacquer Works on wooden utensils. Continue to Hodka check in at resort and lunch. Evening drive short distance to enjoy the breathtaking views of the White Rann. Dinner and overnight at Hodka.
Day 8: Hodka - White Rann of Kutch
Today very early in the morning drive to White Rann of Kutch to see the sunrise. The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh in the Thar Desert. It is about 7500 km2 (2900 sq miles) in the area and is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. Later you will be visiting Dhordo village this area which has White Rann. You can see Mutwa Muslim Community here in Dhordo. Return Hodka for breakfast and later visit a small Pathan community hamlet engaged in Embroidery. Continue to Khavda to see Potters and Samma tribe. Later leave for Kala Dungar to view the beautiful sunset. Dinner and overnight at Hodka.
Day 9: Hodka - Bhuj (65kms/ 1.3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel transfer to Bhuj airport to board flight for onward destination.
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
8 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.