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India: Gujarat & Rann of Kutch

Group Tour

16 Days From C$4,891

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 ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

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

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act 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

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip will be in good city hotels, heritage palaces and guesthouses. Gujarat, as a region, has very few tourists in comparison to neighbouring Rajasthan and therefore although the properties are heritage homes the standard and service should be not compared to Rajasthan. That said, the accommodation is a highlight on this trip. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

India: Gujarat & Rann of Kutch
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN AHMEDABAD

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN AHMEDABAD

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

Lemon Tree Premier Hotel or similar

DAY 2: AHMEDABAD

DAY 2: AHMEDABAD

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.

Lemon Tree Premier Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: AHMEDABAD - POSHINA

DAY 3: AHMEDABAD - POSHINA

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.

Darbargarh Heritage Home or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: POSHINA

DAY 4: POSHINA

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.

Darbargarh Heritage Home or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: POSHINA - DASADA

DAY 5: POSHINA - DASADA

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.

Rann Riders Eco-Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH

DAY 6: LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH

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.

Rann Riders Eco-resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: DASADA - BHUJ

DAY 7: DASADA - BHUJ

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.

Kutch Safari Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: RANN OF KUTCH

DAY 8: RANN OF KUTCH

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”.

Kutch Safari Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: BHUJ - MANDVI

DAY 9: BHUJ - MANDVI

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!

Serena Beach Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: MANDVI - GONDAL

DAY 10: MANDVI - GONDAL

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.

Riverside Palace or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: GONDAL

DAY 11: GONDAL

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.

Riverside Palace or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: GONDAL - PALITANA

DAY 12: GONDAL - PALITANA

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.

Vijay Vilas Heritage Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: PALITANA - BHAVNAGAR

DAY 13: PALITANA - BHAVNAGAR

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.

Nilambagh Palace Heritage Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: BHAVNAGAR - VADODARA

DAY 14: BHAVNAGAR - VADODARA

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.

Vivanta Vadodara Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: VADODARA - CHAMPANER - AHMEDABAD

DAY 15: VADODARA - CHAMPANER - AHMEDABAD

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.

Lemon Tree Premier Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16: TOUR ENDS IN AHMEDABAD

DAY 16: TOUR ENDS IN AHMEDABAD

The tour finshes this morning in Ahmedabad.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Shrujan

On this tour you will visit a a not-for-profit organisation near Bhuj.  Shrujan, meaning 'creativity' in Sanskrit, enables craftswomen from rural communities to earn a sustainable livelihood through embroidery.   

 

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
EY 288 Abu Dhabi International (AUH) 22:50 Ahmedabad Airport (AMD) 03:20
EY 012 London Heathrow (LHR) 09:00 Abu Dhabi International (AUH) 20:05
EY 025 Abu Dhabi International (AUH) 10:45 London Heathrow (LHR) 14:50
EY 253 Ahmedabad Airport (AMD) 06:45 Abu Dhabi International (AUH) 08:30

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.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Rajasthan

Spend time in Rajasthan before the trip and then take the train to Ahmedabad to meet the group. Allow 3 - 10 days

Goa Beach Extension

Head down to Goa for a few days on the beach at the end of the tour. Allow 3 - 5 days

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Gujarat weather shows two distinctive traits. In the northern region, Gujarat weather is marked by a dry and arid climate; whereas in the south, one can find a moist weather owing to the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Cambay. Winters in Gujarat (November – February) are mild, pleasant and dry. The day temperature in winter is around 30C and at night is 15C. Summers (March – May) are extremely hot, with the day time temperature being in the region of 45C, and the night temperature being 30C. In Gujarat, monsoon is generally hot and utterly humid with daytime temperatures reaching 35C at this time. Sometimes severe flood also occurs in some parts of the region during monsoon.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

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.

 

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except Palitana.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 8516 Wild Miles

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 mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport 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

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION