Arrive Ahmedabad in Morning and drive to Bhuj. The historic city of Bhuj derives its name from the Bhujiyo Dungar, a hill, overlooking the present day Bhuj town. Bhuj is a typical example of a desert town located between two geographical features - Bujiyo Dungar on the east & Hamirsar lake on the west. Overnight Bhuj.
After breakfast proceed for a day excursion to Banni Villages. Explore BANNI VILLAGES
Also visit Karo Dungar (Black Hill) – drive to the “Datary Temple” at the top of the karo dungar, from where you will have the best top views of the Great Rann.
Amidst the Desert land of infinite dimensions, are suspended, quaint little villages. These are the last villages on the India-Pakistan border. Here you will come across master craft people' exposing their traditional art, turning out master pieces every day. Their ornaments, clothes, utensils, everything they use - will make you feel as if you have stepped into lifestyle museum leaving you spellbound. Banni Embroidery of Kutch This needle work derived its name from the semi-desert areas called Banni in the Kutch district. It is a long tract of 2,144 Sq. Km. where 44 villages form hamlets (Vandhs) People in this area are engaged in tertiary occupations like embroidery, leather work, dairy and other cottage industries. Banni embroidery is locally known as "Kutch Bharat" Khambira, Kharek, Kodi, Kacho Bharat Fako, Bharat etc are main stitches used in this area. The work is known for minute designs Gorgeous colors embroidered articles are closely associated with their day to day needs.
The grasslands of Banni are scattered with villages of pastoral groups. As the women of these groups do embroidery for their personal use and a supplementary income, this is one of the highest concentration areas of craftswomen in the world.
Khavda– a Small village, One can visit to Khatrivas to see artisans printing & selling Ajrakh. The town also has skilled Leather Craftsmen and there are some shops retailing local crafts, including Leather Slippers. Off the main road is a clinic run by Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), Federation of Kutchi Women's groups.
Ludia Village is comprised of several hamlets belonging to the Meghwal & Samma Communities. The latter community, primarily herdsmen, is more conservative when it comes to tourists. Gandhi nu Gam, populated by the Meghwal community, features beautifully Painted Bhungas .The Kanjari (Blouses) of the women and the Bhunga decoration of this village are especially colorful.
To curb exploitation & experiment with community marketing, the hamlet has set up an “Otlo” or a roofed platform next to the Temple, where each household brings out their embroidered goods for selling.
Drive to Hodka. Hodka – a cultural village is located in the Banni Grassland, right on the edge of the great Salt Desert – the Rann. The name Hodka is derived from the Gujarati word “Hodi” meaning Boat, as the shape of the Jheel is believed to be in the shape of a Boat. It is believed to have been set up by the Halepotra clan. 'Halepotra' literally means the 'Son or the descendant of Halaji', who is believed to have immigrated from Sindh. The village is now a part of National project. The village is famous for its craft like Decorative Mirrors, Lamps, Hand Fans, Letter Boxes, Wall Hanging, Lather, Clay, Wood, Metal, Mud Work and especially the exquisite Silver Jewellery. The artisans sell their goods directly from their artistic Huts.
Visit the Bhirandiyara – is a favorite Tea stop for locals and visitors alike on the road to Khavda. The village boasts of a delicious sweet – fresh Maavo. This milk-based sweet is best when eaten hot. Most of the roadside stalls sell Maavo. The local Meghwal Community has exquisite embroideries and skillfully decorated, colorful Mud Bhungas.
Mud-Mirror work - Lippan kam is a decorative art done by common people mainly women. Lippan kam is done inside bhungas / mud huts in villages of Kutch; sometimes you can find it on outer walls too. Generally women make birds, trees, animals, and peacock, human figures etc in lippan kam.It is done with a mixture of clay and camel dung. Then gum is used to stick mirrors. Originality of lippan kam lies in adding no color or only whites. Small round, diamond-shaped or triangle mirror pieces are essential to lippan kam.
NOTE : This is to bring your kind notice that all the tourists visiting Bhuj / Kutch area are required to Obtain the permit from the Police Office for the interior Kutch visit the villages north of Kutch, including Khavda, Bhirandiara and Dumaro,
Overnight stay at Bhuj
Drive to Jamnagar. Visit Bala Hanuman Temple Bala Hanuman Temple : Bala Hanuman Temple is a pilgrim place venerated by the devotees of Lord Rama. It is a world famous temple, known for the continous chanting of Jai Ram, Shri Ram. The chanting is going on since 1964 and has found a place for it in the Guinness Book of World Records. People chant the name of the Lord in shifts, 24hours a day
Overnight at Jamnagar.
Today after breakfast proceed to Dwarka.
DWARKA : One of the principal piligrimages of Hinduism is at Dwarka. Legend is that Lord Krishna moved to this coastal town to set up a capital. Marine excavations off the Dwarka coast have revealed important evidences of tour ancient cities, which probably includes the Dwarawati of the Krishna Lila. Today, it is not only a major pilgrimage site but a pleasant spot for a beach holiday. The multi pillared sabha mandapa leads to a 60 pillared sanctum sanctorum that dates back 2500 years according to the scriptures.
Afternoon proceed to visit Nageshwar and Bet Dwarka .
Rukmani Temple The visit of Dwarka is not complete without a visit to Bet Dwarka, an island at a distance of 30 Kms.
Off the coast of Okha port, At Bet, there are temples of Vishnu (in the form of 'matsya'), Radha, Lakshmi, Satyabhama, Jambuvanti and Devaki. A ferry ride from Dwarka to the island of Bet near Okha makes a pleasant outing.
NageshwarMandir is a temple situated towards Okha dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in an underground chamber. We will then visit Gomati Village, Gomati Talav and Gomati Mandir.
Overnight stay at Dwarka .
Today after breakfast proceed to Somnath enroute visiting Porbandar. Porbandar - En route leave for Porbandar . Visit the Sudamapuri Temple associated with a popular tale of Krishna and his dear friend Sudama, KirtiMandir the three storey house where Gandhiji was born in 1869. Also visit Bharat Mandir .
Somnath - Somnath Temple for followers of both Shiva and Vishnu. The most important temple and main highlight in Somnath is the Kailash temple with its imposing architecture, a 50-meter high tower, intricate carvings and a number of holy idols and images.
After performing the evening Aarti and after witnessing the Sound & Light Show we will then visit the beach of Somnath which is very beautiful & a captivating sight to behold. The fresh blue waters, humming waves and the cool sands give you a feeling of having landed in a paradise. The beach has pleasant sands, great sea views, camel and pony rides, coconut stalls and snack places.
We will then give free time to the tourists for relaxation or moving around Veraval town on their own. Late in the evening return to the hotel.
Overnight stay at Somnath.
Today After breakfast proceed to diu afternoon sightseeing of the city. St.Paul's church : The Church adorned with curiously treated volutes & shell-like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India.
St.Thomas Church Museum : A hunge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598. A part of it has been converted into a museum an Archeological treasure house.
Diu Fort : This majestic structure stands on the coast of Diu sentinel. Once inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.
Nagoa beach : The Nagoa beach is exceptionally beautiful & quiet. In the exceptionally beautiful horse-shoe(semicircular) shaped beach. Overnight Diu.
Today after breakfast day at leisure for independent activities.
After breakfast proceed to Sasangir. Overnight Sasangir. ( 60 K.M.) GIR - Is the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can beseen in his natural habitat. The forest also harbours a variety of smaller animals & birds. Other predators. are Panther & the Hyena. The Indian Deer,Sambar, Spotted deer, Blue bull, Chinkara & the Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, along with the bear & the long tailed langur. Overnight Sasangir.
Today after breakfast proceed to Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad, founded in the year 1411 AD is located on the banks of river Sabarmati and has been named after Sultan Ahmed Shah, who was primarily responsible for building it. Today, this city is known as the 'Manchester of the East', one of the highly industrialized cities in India and is also India's Textile City. Though the capital of Gujarat was shifted from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar it is still the second largest industrial city in western India. The old city of Ahmedabad is dotted with labyrinthine by lanes called 'polls'. The exquisite carved wooden mansions and havelis are in no manner less than their stone counterparts in Rajasthan. The city also offers a rich architectural legacy that blends Hindu and Muslim schools of architecture, stone and brick with arches, domes and vaults, carved pillars, trefoil designs besides the modern buildings designed by the famous French architect, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn.
Today after breakfast proceed for Sightseeing of the city.
Gandhi Ashram : On a quiet peaceful stretch of the Sabarmati river, Mahatma Gandhi set up a simple retreat in 1915. This was his Satyagrah Ashram and for many years it was the nerve centre of India’s freedom movement. It was from here, in 1930, that Mahatma began his famous Dandi March to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. Hridaya Kunj, the simple cottage where he lived, is now a national monument and preserved as it was during the Mahatma’s life-time.
Sidi Sayed Mosque : One part of the wall in the old citadel of the mosque built by Ahmed Shah’s slave, Sidi Sayed, is celebrated the world over for its exquisite stone window tracery – a superb & peerless example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree.
Jumma Masjid : The Friday mosque was built by the city’s founder, Sultan Ahmed Shah, in 1423. Built of yellow sandstone in an architectural style that combines the best of Muslim & Hindu traditions. It stands on 260 pillars that support 15 domes at varying elevations.
Teen Darwaja : The triple-arched gateway was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the royal entrance to the Maidan Shahi or the Royal Square. It is in an imposing monument of perfect proportions & highly ornate buttresses.
Hutheesing Jain Temple : Built outside the Delhi Gate in 1850 by a rich Jain merchant, the Hutheesing Temple is the best known of Ahmedabad’s many ornate Jain temples.
Adalaj Step-well : It is situated 17kms north of Ahmedabad. The step well at the village of Adalaj is another fine example of this magnificent architectural form. Adalaj Vav is richly carved, every pillar and wall surface covered with leaves and flowers, birds and fishes and friezes of ornamental designs.
Akshardham : Lord Swaminarayan, born in Chapaya in Uttar Pradesh, took a seven year pilgrimage in Gujarat to preach his religion. He built six temples, the first being at Kalupur in Ahmedabad. Akshardham, the Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar, is a modern complex, built in traditional Indian architectural style from 6,000 metric tons of pink Rajasthan sandstone, carved by expert artisans from Bansipahadpur. The temple is set in a multi-acre garden called Sahajanand Van, with intricate sculptures of Hindu Gods. There is a gold leaf copper sculpture of Lord Swaminarayan that faces similar sculptures of Gunatinand Swami. The interiors have beautiful columns in rosewood, that rise up to a high dome.
Today after breakfast proceed to Airport to catch the flight for your onward journey. Tour Ends. Tour Ends with unforgettable memories of the Awesome Gujarat .