India: Gujarat & Rann of Kutch

India: Gujarat & Rann of Kutch

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16 Days
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$4269

$4056

India: Gujarat & Rann of Kutch

16 Days Starting and ending in AHMEDABAD

Visiting: Ahmedabad, Poshina, Dasada, Kutch, Bhuj, Mandvi, Gondal, Palitana, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Champaner

Tour operator:

Wild Frontiers

Tour code:

GUJ

Recommended For:

Couples, Singles

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Wild Frontiers with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Private Available:

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From:
$4269
$4056 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$213

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Gujarat is a dazzlingly diverse state that shakes up even the experienced Indophile and reveals treasures hidden from the tourist hordes. With a 1600km coastline and an easily traversable landscape, it is both highly advanced and medievally tribal. The highly visible Jain community are largely responsible for Gujarat’s industrious reputation, stunning white marble temples and exquisite, ever-so-slightly sweet vegetarian fare. In the northwest, the seasonal marshlands of Kutch turn into hardened salt plains come summer and, in the Little Rann – habitat of the wild ass and flocks of flamingos – local artisans weave the finest textiles in India.On this Village India tour, we see the very best of this undiscovered state, from the surreal Rann of Kutch and the ancient town of Bhuj to tribal Poshina, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Champaner and we climb Shatrunjaya, to a mountain-top marvel of Jain architecture. And of course, we spend time in the capital city of Ahmedabad, home to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram and the world’s finest textile museum.For anyone with a love of 'off-the-beaten-track’ travel, textiles, shopping and rural India, this trip is a must.

Highlights

  • Explore the unique marshlands of the Rann of Kutch, famous for wildlife and tribal villages

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Champaner, often compared to the great ruins of Hampi

  • Be transported to the times of the Maharajas as you stay in Heritage properties and palaces

  • Admire the impressive Jain Temples of Kumbharia and Palitana

  • Discover how local handicraft experts create and pattern their textiles and watch an Ikat textile dyeing demonstration

  • Participate in an evening aarti ceremony at Gondal temple and see Gondal palaces vintage car collection

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Tour Starts In Ahmedabad
Location: Ahmedabad
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Lemon Tree Premier or similar
Meals Included: No Meals

For anyone arriving early rooms will be ready from early afternoon and you may like to take a stroll around town. Those on the group flight will arrive in the early hours of Day 2

Day 2 : Ahmedabad
Location: Ahmedabad
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Lemon Tree Premier or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

After breakfast, we will do our best, for those that want to, visit the textile museum with its Calico collection and Gandhi Ashram. Please note that places are limited, and therefore we will apply for tickets well in advance on request (please see further information in the additional comments section). In the afternoon we will have time to explore the city at our own leisure before an early dinner. After dinner we take a guided night walk of the historic old city taking us through some of the most ancient parts of the city. Our tour will take us through narrow streets, past old havelis and monuments.

Day 3 : Ahmedabad - Poshina
Location: Ahmedabad, Poshina
Accommodation: Homestay
Accommodation Name: Darbargarh Heritage Home or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

After breakfast we leave Ahmedabad behind us and head to the north of the state and the tribal region of Poshina. Once there we check into the palace home of the former ruling royal family where we will be staying for the next 2 nights. It’s from here that we can visit the nearby villages of the Garacia, Adivasi & Bharavad tribes if time allows in the late afternoon.

Day 4 : Poshina
Location: Poshina
Accommodation: Homestay
Accommodation Name: Darbargarh Heritage Home or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

We have a full day out in jeeps to the surrounding area visiting the Bhil and Garasia tribes. We take a picnic lunch, which we will eat in a suitably idyllic place – probably by the lake and return to the palace for dinner. Staying in the wonderful family-run heritage home we are able to eat delicious home-cooked food.

Day 5 : Poshina - Dasada
Location: Poshina, Dasada
Accommodation: Resort
Accommodation Name: Rann Riders Eco-Resort or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Before leaving Poshina this morning, we will visit the nearby Kumbharia Jain Temples built in the 11th century. Afterwards we drive west taking in the staggering step-well at Patan followed by a demonstration of Ikat textile weaving and visit the ancient temple at Modhera. Situated on the banks of the Pushpavati River, Modhera is famous for its millennium-old Sun temple. This temple, built in 1026 AD by Bhimadeva of the Solanki Rajput clan, is dedicated to Lord Surya, the sun god. It was destroyed by Muhammad Ghaznavi and rebuilt later. The temple was designed so that at the time of the equinoxes, the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya. The temple is partially in ruins now but, despite the passage of time, it is still considered an architectural wonder. After lunch we drive on to Dasada where we stay for the next two nights.

Day 6 : Little Rann Of Kutch
Location: Kutch
Accommodation: Resort
Accommodation Name: Rann Riders Eco-resort or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Today we take a full day excursion into the Little Rann of Kutch. An extraordinary and unique landscape, this vast desiccated, unbroken surface of dark silt, encrusted with salt, transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after it rains. Here we witness the indigenous wild ass and other wild animals, as well as watching the women of the Mihir and Rabari tribes creating some of the most remarkable textiles in the country.

Day 7 : Dasada - Bhuj
Location: Dasada, Bhuj
Accommodation: Lodge
Accommodation Name: Kutch Safari Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Today we head to the capital of the Kutch region, Bhuj. On our way, we will visit The Living and Learning Design Centre, an initiative by the Shrujan trust to promote and preserve the beautiful craft heritage of Kutch. After lunch we head north to where we will be staying and from where we will access the tribal villages.

Day 8 : Rann Of Kutch
Location: Kutch
Accommodation: Lodge
Accommodation Name: Kutch Safari Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

After breakfast we spend all day visiting the northern villages of this remote area. Though the Rann of Kutch is famed for its wildlife, there is much more to experience in this dry arid place. We will visit a Jat community that are again famed for their handiwork and embroidery. We head further north towards the edge of the Great Rann to see the mirage of the salt flats on the horizon which is known as “White Sands”.

Day 9 : Bhuj - Mandvi
Location: Bhuj, Mandvi
Accommodation: Resort
Accommodation Name: Serena Beach Resort or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Today we leave early to head back to the capital of the Kutch region, Bhuj. Sadly much of Bhuj was destroyed during the earthquake of 2001, but the Aina Mahal is still well worth visiting as is the amazing Kachchh Museum, with its exceptional collection of embroideries and the local textiles; having done this we head on to the coast and the Arabian Sea. Arriving early afternoon we check into our hotel and spend the rest of the day enjoying this relaxing setting. We can visit the palace, and the town where there are more handicraft shops. Evening on the beach!

Day 10 : Mandvi - Gondal
Location: Mandvi, Gondal
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: River Side Palace Heritage hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

After breakfast there will be a chance to visit the incredible wooden dhow building industry before driving on to Gondal. The drive today will be long, about 8 hours dependent on the road conditions and the number of stops along the way. Gondal is a testimony to the great visionary ruler Sir Bhagwatsinhiji, who introduced social reforms, planned the development of Gondal town and created a model state of Saurashtra in late 19th and early 20th century. Gondal, the capital of the former princely State of Gondal, was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, until the independence of India. It is a fortified town located on the river Gondali and is home to three fabulous palaces – one of which we stay in – and the Maharaja’s classic car collection. Here we see many of the amazing forts and palaces and the rather lovely old town: quiet and pretty, it puts one in mind of Bundi or Udaipur 20 years ago.

Day 11 : Gondal
Location: Gondal
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: River Side Palace Heritage hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

After breakfast we visit the famous city palace, with its owner’s classic & vintage car collection. We can also see some spinning and weaving of khadhi cloth. In the late afternoon will visit the local market and famous temple to participate in the evening aarti.

Day 12 : Gondal - Palitana
Location: Gondal, Palitana
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Vijay Vilas Heritage or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Today we head on to another heritage property and home to the royal family of Palitana. Arriving in the late afternoon we have a leisurely evening and dinner.

Day 13 : Palitana - Bhavnagar
Location: Palitana, Bhavnagar
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Nilambagh Palace Heritage or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Early wake-up today to visit the amazing Jain temples: 3500 steps up Mount Shertunjaya. This extraordinary temple city is one of the highlights of any trip to India. After lunch we drive on to Bhavnagar, where we’ll have the afternoon to relax and recover from our morning’s exertions.

Day 14 : Bhavnagar - Vadodara
Location: Bhavnagar, Vadodara
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Vivanta Vadodara or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

This morning we will drive to Vadodara. Along with Kashmir, Hyderabad, Gwalior and Mysore, in British time Vadodara was a ‘21 gun salute’ state. As such, it is fabulously wealthy with an exquisite palace. We arrive into Vadodara late morning and after a late lunch we visit the totally over the top Laxmi Vilas Palace and the Fatehsingh Museum.

Day 15 : Vadodara - Champaner - Ahmedabad
Location: Vadodara, Champaner, Ahmedabad
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Lemon Tree Premier
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Today we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Champaner. Champaner is an ancient fort located at the foothills of Pavagadh. Muhammad Begada decided to establish the new capital of Gujarat at this place in 1484 AD and changed the name of the town to Muhammadabad. It took 23 years to build the town and it had a meteoric rise to fame, attaining glory as a great town of western India. Many edifices were constructed during these years: bazaars, town squares, Royal Gardens and water structures, as well as mosques. It also became a major trading centre producing fine silk, woven and dyed textiles and sword manufacturing. The entire landscape for miles around is scattered with remains of fort walls, ruined tombs, gardens, arches, pillars and wells and reminds one of other such great deserted towns of India: Mandu, Hampi, Orchha and Fatehpur Sikri. We will return to Vadodara for a late lunch before a transfer back to Ahmedabad where we have our farewell dinner.

Day 16 : Tour Ends In Ahmedabad
Location: Ahmedabad
Meals Included: Breakfast

The tour finshes this morning in Ahmedabad.

What's Included

  • MEALS

    15 x Breakfasts, 14 x Lunches, 14 x Dinners

  • TRANSPORT

    On this tour we will use minibuses and jeeps. There are some days where there will be some long drives, which are needed to see the best that Gujarat can offer.

  • GROUP SIZE

    Maximum: 12

  • CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

    Contributions to carbon offset & tree planting projects for all bookings

  • EXPERT TEAM

    The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

  • ACCOMMODATION

    All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

  • ENTRANCE FEES

    All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

  • FITNESS RATING

    Low

What's Not Included

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational .Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UKAirport .Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights.Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com  For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for India. Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements. Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Key Aspects to Consider

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. However, please note that to cover the distance required to do this trip, there will be some long journeys in the bus. Please be advised that on this trip that most, if not all, meals will be vegetarian. If you would like to visit the Calico Museum in Ahmedabad we will need to know in advance of the tour in order that we can reserve a place for you. In order to secure you place you will need to tell us your profession. Please note that viewings are restricted to 10 places and therefore it is very much on a first come first served basis. Gujarat is a dry state and it is very hard to buy alcohol and therefore if you would like to have a drink in the evening we would suggest that you buy your preferred tipple in duty free and put the bottle in your main luggage in Delhi before dropping your bags off for the flight to Ahmedabad.  

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    12

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for India. Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We have a complete Covid-19 hub here: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/covid-hub

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 70% of passengers on our group tours are solo adventurers. Unlike many tour operators, we don’t believe in charging solo travellers a premium, so if you are happy to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex, you will pay exactly the same as a couple..Occasionally you may even end up with your own room. You can travel as a single traveller on any of our holidays, from our escorte

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2002

  • Do I need to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with you?

    In most cases, yes. Not only are many destinations making double-vaccination a requirement of entry to the country and/or access to restaurants, museums etc., but additionally on all our group tours for the foreseeable future, for everyone’s peace of mind, we are asking that all clients be double vaccinated.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Henry & Penelope Hopper  

Henry & Penelope Hopper

Each day brought new adventure, and we hardly saw another tourist....Our group of ten worked well, it was a privilege to share our wonderful experiences with them all.....

Ken Norman  

Ken Norman

A visit to Gujarat is a must for lovers of real Indian food,wild landscapes and spectacular Palaces. The temples are amazing and the people are so genuinely friendly and welcoming.

Deidre Wells  

Deidre Wells

This was our first holiday with Wild Frontiers and it lived up to expectations.

Gillian Russell  

Gillian Russell

The Gujarat trip was excellently led, a highlight being to see the rural, remote villages "close up".

Bob Maysmor  

Bob Maysmor

Virtually everything in itinerary was achieved, fantastic knowledgeable and helpful guide, very diverse experiences from salt farming, textiles, palaces, temples, wildlife, bazaars, crafts and museums. A great way to experience this less visited part of India.

Trisha Roberts  

Trisha Roberts

This was a wonderful trip for anyone interested in India off the beaten track and Indian textiles....

Sue Bicknell  

Sue Bicknell

Our very competant driver, navigator, comfortable bus and guide enabled us to visit a huge area and a multitude of fascinating and very varied sites

Read all 7 reviews

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Wild Frontiers allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 90 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Wild Frontiers requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of wild frontiers charges.

    Up to 71 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 51 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • Wild Frontiers' COVID Promise

    You will have the right to transfer without any transfer fee, from any of our trips at ANY time if your trip is not Covid Viable (see below).*
    We will not ask you to pay your final balance if your trip is not yet Covid Viable.
    If your trip is not Covid Viable, by 30 days prior to departure at the latest, we will cancel your holiday and you can either transfer your funds to another departure or have a refund.**


    We will only consider a trip Covid Viable*** if pre-departure it meets all of the following criteria:

    There is no national lockdown or ban on foreign travel for the period when your trip is due to depart.
    Destinations on the tour must not be on the UK’s Red List. ****
    No destinations visited on the tour have in place any significant COVID-19 restrictions for travellers.
    Tourist visas (if required) are available.
    There is reliable airline access to/from the start/end of the trip.
    Following an assessment by both Wild Frontiers and our local partners we are confident that your trip is able to run in both a safe and enjoyable manner.*****




    ** If you were originally booked to travel before 30 April 2020 and transferred to a later date, or if you have a tailor-made booking, there may be some irrecoverable costs which we cannot refund. Please speak to us and we will be able to advise you if this is the case for your booking.
    ***Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
    **** This relates to bookings from UK clients only. We may operate trips to destinations which the British FCDO advise against travel for Covid reasons. If this is the case, anyone wishing to will have the option to cancel with a refund or transfer to another trip. In some cases we may choose to offer a tour to a Red destination but these will be at both clients’ and Wild Frontiers’ discretion and will be subject to alternative conditions to be discussed on an ad hoc basis.
    *****If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you will have the right under our Covid Promise to transfer without any fees.

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