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Gujarat - India's West and Beyond

Gujarat is the quintessential Indian destination. It has a wealth of everything the sub continent has to offer. Here we see many of the great religions and tribal cultures living side by side and sharing a culture that is diverse as India itself

Few travellers head out to the far west and they miss an untouched region that combines beautiful natural landscapes and cultures that are rarely experienced. Wildlife here is unique and more plentiful than most parts and we get up close and personal (inshallah) with the rare Asiatic lion, the unique wild donkeys of the Rann of Kachch and the birdlife that are frequent visitors to the peninsula. We also experience one of the most significant and beautiful Jain temples at Shatrunjaya.

A fascinating combination of remote desert life and bustling cities is waiting for us. Gandhi is ever present and the quirky utensil museum in Ahmedabad is an experience not to be missed.

Gujarati’s are renowned for their industry and drive, providing many of the countries business leaders, politicians and medicos. They are fiercely proud and share Hindu and Muslim lives far better than many regions further to the east.

For us it is the most Indian destination on our tour program.  Yet so few even know of its wonders...

13 Day Itinerary
Day 1 - arr Mumbai - depart Mumbai on train
We meet this evening and make our way to the bustling Mumbai train station. Our overnight train is a fun way to settle into the lifestyles of many who travel this vast network. The trains are comfortable and alive with travellers sharing tales and chai en route to our remote destination of Bhuj
Day 2 - arrive Bhuj
We arrive in the morning and after a shower and freshen up we are in exploration mode. This remote outpost serves as a terminus and market for many tribal communities. Rocked by an earthquake in 2001 it has rebuilt itself once again into a worthy starting point for our journey through Gujarat. Back alley ways are still the order of the day and the Aina Mahal museum is a perfect way to get a feel for the history of the region and its peoples
Day 3 - Bhuj
The Rann of Kachchh is home to a multitude of tribal villages and remote settlements. Their way of life is quite unchanged with customs holding form for centuries. We visit many small villages and get to know some of the local traditions. The colours of Gujarat today will mesmerise you
Day 4 - Bhuj to Dasada
Leaving Bhuj we head east to the Little Rann where we intend to chase the rare and unique “Wild Ass”. The waters here are host to some interesting species of bird life and our "luxury" desert camp is a great location to soak it all in
Day 5 - Dasada to Junagadh
We turn southward now heading into the heart of Gujarat. Our destination is Junagadh home to the Sakkarbaug zoo where you can meet the rare Asiatic Lion. Uperkot Fort is worth a stop as is the ornate Bahauddin Makbara built as a mausoleum for the Wazir of Junagadh
Day 6 - Junagadh to Sasan Gir
Continuing south we are in the Gir Forest National Park. The sanctuary here is home to a multitude of animal species including the remnants of the prides of the Asiatic lion. We have time to visit the enclosure containing the lions and can also enjoy the open sanctuary and its variety of wildlife if desirable on a jeep safari
Day 7 - Sasan Gir to Diu
Our next stop is the Old Portuguese island settlement of Diu. History abounds from a time when colonial powers captured, held, fought for and ultimately lost their strongholds on the trade routes through the Indian Ocean. Diu town is a testament to a fusion of Portuguese and Indian architecture and still contains the tiny alleyways where pirates and traders snuck into and often quickly out of town
Day 8 - Diu
We kick back a gear either exploring the small fishing villages around the island, getting lost in the maze of tiny streets or gorging on the plentiful seafood that is on offer. You can also partake in duty free alcohol here still a bastion for consumption in the 'dry' state of Gujarat
Day 9 - Diu to Bhavnagar
Our journey moves through some of the most remote landscapes and back roads of India. We stop and take tea en route and plan an afternoon arrival in the town of Bhavnagar. History and culture are thriving here and we are way off the tourist trail. Bhavnagar serves as the gateway to one of India most truly inspiring temples
Day 10 - Bhavnagar to Ahmedabad
We begin our long climb to the hill top Jain temple of Shatrunjaya near Palitana. The walk is worth it as you will surround yourselves with some of the most stunning carvings in India. Jain temples are typically ornate and some say this is the finest example of their work. We are in a living and breathing place of worship and we feel welcomed by the devotees who rarely see a foreign face in these parts. We move on to Ahmedabad in the afternoon
Day 11 - Ahmedabad on train
We make the most of our day here in the largest city of Gujarat. We visit the Gandhi Ashram where the great soul resided and began his salt march. Sidi Sayed Mosque is unique for its carvings and the Calico Textile Museum has interesting collections of tribal workings. For the quirky a stop at the bizarre Utensil Museum is a treat. Late in the day we board our final overnight train heading to Mumbai
Day 12 - arrive Mumbai
A morning arrival gives us ample opportunity to enjoy the most vibrant city in India. A final meal together in one of our favourite local restaurants
Day 13 - depart Mumbai
Your adventure ends today

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