The Vibrant Gujarat (10 Days and 9 Nights)

Vadodara - Ahmedabad - Rajkot - Dwarka - Somnath - Sasan Gir - Rajkot
You will be welcomed at Vadodara Airport by our tour leader. Drive to a hotel for check-in. There will not be any excursions during the day, so that you can recover from travel fatigue.
The day’s excursion will begin with a visit to the grand Laxmi Vilas Palace. Commissioned by the king of Vadodara in 1890 AD, the gorgeous palace is built in Indo-Saracenic architectural style. Sprawling over 500 acres, the palace complex houses a number of important monuments, including the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Moti Bagh Palace, a cricket ground, and an ancient stepwell – the Navlakhi Vav. The Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum has an impressive collection of weaponry, chandeliers, art, and paintings. The palace complex continues to be the residence of the royal family of Vadodara.

You will then explore the Vadodara Museum & Picture Gallery. The museum is situated in the heart of a centuries-old garden, Kamati Baug. The museum was built in 1894 AD by the king of Vadodara and it puts on display a collection of sculptures, inscriptions, ethnography, ethnology, and artifacts from prehistoric times. A skeleton of a blue whale and an Egyptian mummy are the major crowd-pullers of the museum. The Picture Gallery was built later in 1910. It showcases various art forms and paintings of famous artists of the past era. Return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
After breakfast, you will proceed to Ahmedabad (125 km, 2.5 hours) where you will check in at a hotel. Ahmedabad, the third-largest city in Gujarat, has a rich historical background. From ancient monuments, museums, and religious shrines to bustling markets, Ahmedabad offers quite diverse choices to travelers. After lunch, you will explore the fascinating Akshardham Temple. Spread over an area of 23 acres, the lofty temple is 108 feet tall and is supported by 210 beautifully crafted pillars. The entire temple is made of pink sandstone, and it took 13 years to construct it. The temple’s architecture is a fine example of ancient Hindu architecture. Overnight stay at the hotel.
The day’s excursion will begin with a visit to the majestic Hutheesing Jain Temple. The temple is dedicated to the 15th Jain Guru, Shri Dharmantha. An affluent Jain trader, Seth Hutheesing Kesarisinh, got this temple constructed in 1848 AD. Made of white marble, the temple has intricate carvings. There are 52 smaller shrines dedicated to various Jain Gurus. A 78 feet tower in the courtyard is a recent addition to the temple complex.

You will then visit the historical Sabarmati Ashram. The ashram was the dwelling place of Shri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, India’s most prominent historical figure, who was the epitome of India’s non-violent freedom struggle. The ashram was founded in 1917 on the banks of the river Sabarmati, thus acquiring the name Sabarmati Ashram. Shri Gandhi conceptualized his ideas of non-violent movements at this place; each of those movements made a substantial impact on the struggle for independence. The ashram houses a museum, a library, a prayer ground, the living quarters of Shri Gandhi, and a training centre for cottage industry. Drive back to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
After breakfast, visit Adalaj Ki Vav or the Adalaj Step-well. The step-well is located in Adalaj village, which is 25 km north of Ahmedabad. During the 14th – 15th century AD, many step-wells were constructed in the semi-arid regions of Gujarat, which faced a shortage of water. Adalaj Ki Vav is the most prominent among all the step-wells in the area. The colossal sandstone monument is a five-storey building supported by 16 pillars. The pillars and walls of the step-well are adorned with intricate carvings of Hindu and Jain deities. It represents a fusion of Indo-Islamic architectural style. It was built by Queen Rudadevi in memory of her late husband in 1499 AD. You will then check out from the hotel and proceed to Rajkot (215 km, 4 hrs). Once in Rajkot, check in at a hotel for an overnight stay.
After breakfast, drive to the revered town of Dwarka (225 km, 4 hrs), where you will check in at a hotel. Situated on the coastline of the Arabian Sea, the town of Dwarka is quite special for the Hindus. It finds mention in the epic of Mahabharata as the kingdom of Lord Krishna. Quite understandably, there is a grand temple dedicated to Lord Krishna called the Dwarkadhish Temple. It is one of the four major shrines of the Hindu religion in the entire of India, and is visited by millions of the Hindu devotees throughout the year. Made of soft limestone, the Dwarkadhish Temple is believed to be 2500 years old. Post lunch, you will visit the Dwarkadhish Temple. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
In the morning, you will head for Bet Dwarka, a small island located 25 km north of Dwarka. It is considered to be part of ancient Dwarka – the erstwhile kingdom of Lord Krishna. The beautiful island is home to several Hindu temples and exotic beaches. The sea surrounding the island is rich with marine life. Post lunch, you will proceed to another coastal town, Somnath (235 km, 4 hours). On arrival, you will check in at a hotel for an overnight stay.
Somnath is popular for the revered temple of Lord Shiva called the Somnath Temple. Built-in Chalukyan style of architecture, the imposing Somnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas - the sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was vandalized several times by Islamic invaders from different parts of Asia; each time, it was rebuilt by persevering Hindus at the same site. The construction of the present-day temple took five years to complete, and the temple opened for the devotees in 1951. In the morning, you will visit the Somnath Temple to pay obeisance.

You will then be driven to Sasan Gir (45 km, 1 hour), home to the renowned Gir National Park. On arrival, you will check in at a hotel. There will not be any excursion during the rest of the day. Established in 1965, Gir National Park is a protected area for the Asiatic lions. Apart from the forests of Africa, Sasan Gir is the only place in the entire world where lions are found. In addition to Asiatic lions, other animals that reside in the national park include deer, four-horned antelopes, Indian foxes, blue bulls, jackals, leopards, hyenas, and more. There are more than 200 species of birds, 40 species of reptiles and amphibians living inside the national park as well.
Enjoy a jungle safari in the morning and afternoon. There will not be any other sightseeing activity during the day.
After breakfast, drive to Rajkot (155 km, 3.5 hours), where you will be dropped at the airport for your onward journey, bringing an end to the adventurous Gujarat trip.
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