Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary & White Rann of Kutch Tour
Package price per person sharing twin
Product Code : AGORA567
Four days private tour will begin with pick up from Bhuj airport. Visit grand palaces, museum & step-well in Bhuj then proceed to explore Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary a home to a wide array of wildlife, including many species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. 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. Accompanied tour guide and transport will remain on disposal at your service.
Day 1: Bhuj
On arrival at Bhuj airport assistance and transfer to 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 2: Bhuj - Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary - Hodka (125kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to visit Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary. Narayan Sarovar is home to a wide array of wildlife, including many species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. The principle species here is the chinkara, an Indian gazelle. In this harsh landscape, only animals well-adapted to the desert climate can thrive, with extreme heat, high winds, and frequent storms. For this reason, many species can be seen here that are not easy to find elsewhere. Most of Narayan Sarovar is desert thorn forest and scrub forest, with some seasonal wetlands and dry savannah-type vegetation as well. Gorad and babul are the prevailing plant species; gorad in the east and babul in the west. Also found among the 252 species of flowering plants in the sanctuary are hermo, ber, pilu, thor, gugal, salai, ingorio, kerdo, carissa, and the invasive “gando baawal” (prosopsis juliflora), though less so than in other nearby areas.
The endangered chinkara is the only gazelle in the world with horns on both males and females. Of the roughly 7000 chinkaras known to exist, 80% of them live in Kutch, and since their primary habitat is the scrub and thorn forests so common here, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary is crucial to their well-being. The sanctuary also houses many other mammals, from wildcats like the caracal (African or Persian Lynx) to desert foxes and the endangered Indian wolf, from spotted deer to wild boar. The ratel, or honey badger, renowned for its snake-killing ability and fierce self-defense against leopards, lions, poisonous snakes, and swarms of bees, earning it the title of “most fearless animal” in the Guinness Book of World Records, also lives here. Birds abound in the sanctuary, with no less than 184 distinct species to be found here. All three species of bustards (the Great Indian Bustard, the Houbara Bustard, and the Lesser Florican) live here, as well as the Black Partridge, 19 different birds of prey, and many species of waterfowl.
Also visit Koteshwar an ancient Shiv temple standing next to a marsh. It is believed the Lord visited this place, created the Lake and made it his home. The lake is considered just as scared as Mansarovar and it is one of the Panch Sarovar for pilgrimages in India. Mythology states that Ravana was granted a boon by Shiva and received a magical lingam that bestows immortality provided it was not dropped on the way to Lanka. However, Ravana was fooled into leaving the lingam at Koteshwar and it dispersed into tiny pieces.
After sightseeing drive to Hodka check in at resort. Dinner and overnight at resort.
Day 3: 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. Return Hodka for breakfast and later visit a small Pathan community hamlet engaged in Embroidery. Visit Banni region of Kutch 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. You will also visit Dhordo village, this area which has White Rann. You can see Mutwa Muslim Community here in Dhordo. Continue to Khavda to see Potters and Samma tribe. Later leave for Kala Dungar to view the beautiful sunset. Dinner and overnight at resort.
Day 4: 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.
3 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.