COLOURS OF GUJARAT


12 Days / 11 Nights

AHMEDABAD

Set on the banks of the Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad combines old world wonders with new world metropolis. Founded in the 15th century, the city served as the capital of the Gujarat sultanate before evolving into the centre of India’s textile industry. The Calico Museum of Textiles, a main attraction, houses some of the world’s finest collections of antique and modern Indian textiles. Visit the city in January, when crowds throng the riverfront to witness the colourful Uttarayan kite festival.
En route between Ahmedabad and the Little Rann of Kutch is Patan and its beautiful Rani-ki-Vav stepwell, the oldest and finest of its kind in Gujarat. Also visit the 11th-century sun temple at Modhera. During the equinox, the sun's rays illuminate the sanctum at dawn.

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LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH

The Little Rann of Kutch, a remarkably expansive saline wilderness that transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the monsoon, offers exciting cross-desert safaris and superb wildlife viewing opportunities. In winter the birdlife is abundant and the area is home to almost 300 species including waterfowl, flamingoes, spoonbills and demoiselle cranes. In 1973, the Little Rann of Kutch was designated as a wildlife sanctuary, as it is home to the endangered Indian wild ass. The Little Rann of Kutch, a remarkably expansive saline wilderness that transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the monsoon, offers exciting cross-desert safaris and superb wildlife viewing opportunities. In winter the birdlife is abundant and the area is home to almost 300 species including waterfowl, flamingoes, spoonbills and demoiselle cranes. In 1973, the Little Rann of Kutch was designated as a wildlife sanctuary, as it is home to the endangered Indian wild ass.

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BHUJ

Set within the heart of the Kutch province, Bhuj is the gateway to colourful Banni tribal villages and the salt flats of the Kutch. The old part of the town is a maze of narrow, winding streets where horse-drawn tongas and camel carts continue to transport the wares of the local traders. The legendary Kutchi-embroidered handicrafts are the city’s main industry. In 2001, an earthquake destroyed many of the old walls surrounding the city. Despite this, some historic buildings such as the Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal remain and house some intriguing 18th-century antiques. Saffron recommends a 3-night stay at the Shaam-e-Sarhad, a simple but charming property owned and managed by the local community.

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BHAVNAGAR

Founded in 1723, the port city of Bhavnagar lies on the west side of the Gulf of Khambhat. Still retaining some of its old charm, with vibrant bazaars and rustic wooden houses, it acts as the gateway to the magnificent Palitana temple complex in the hills of Shatrunjaya. Regarded as one of the most sacred Jain sites, it consists of 863 intricately carved marble shrines. The act of ascending a path to reach a holy place is central to the Jain consciousness and the climb of 3,500 steps (a total distance of 3.5km each way) rewards visitors with breathtaking views across the Saurashtra plains. Saffron recommends a minimum stay of 2 nights at the simple but characterful Nilambagh Palace.

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SASAN GIR NATIONAL PARK

Sasan Gir, in south-west Gujarat, is a beautifully forested national park and the last natural home of endangered Asiatic lions. Characterised by rocky hills and deep valleys, the vegetation is typically semi-deciduous with lots of dry forest teak. The park was established in 1965, when there were thought to be only twelve wild lions left in India. Fortunately, the park’s conservation efforts mean there are now more than 300. The park is also home to healthy populations of leopards, hyenas, wild boar, jackals, crocodiles and more than 250 bird species. Added attractions include the Kankai Mata temple and the Tulsi Shyam hot springs. Saffron recommends a minimum 2-night stay at the Lion Safari Camp.

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AHMEDABAD

Set on the banks of the Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad combines old world wonders with new world metropolis. Founded in the 15th century, the city served as the capital of the Gujarat sultanate before evolving into the centre of India’s textile industry. The Calico Museum of Textiles, a main attraction, houses some of the world’s finest collections of antique and modern Indian textiles. Visit the city in January, when crowds throng the riverfront to witness the colourful Uttarayan kite festival.

En route between Ahmedabad and the Little Rann of Kutch is Patan and its beautiful Rani-ki-Vav stepwell, the oldest and finest of its kind in Gujarat. Also visit the 11th-century sun temple at Modhera. During the equinox, the sun's rays illuminate the sanctum at dawn.


LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH

The Little Rann of Kutch, a remarkably expansive saline wilderness that transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the monsoon, offers exciting cross-desert safaris and superb wildlife viewing opportunities. In winter the birdlife is abundant and the area is home to almost 300 species including waterfowl, flamingoes, spoonbills and demoiselle cranes. In 1973, the Little Rann of Kutch was designated as a wildlife sanctuary, as it is home to the endangered Indian wild ass. The Little Rann of Kutch, a remarkably expansive saline wilderness that transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the monsoon, offers exciting cross-desert safaris and superb wildlife viewing opportunities. In winter the birdlife is abundant and the area is home to almost 300 species including waterfowl, flamingoes, spoonbills and demoiselle cranes. In 1973, the Little Rann of Kutch was designated as a wildlife sanctuary, as it is home to the endangered Indian wild ass.


BHUJ

Set within the heart of the Kutch province, Bhuj is the gateway to colourful Banni tribal villages and the salt flats of the Kutch. The old part of the town is a maze of narrow, winding streets where horse-drawn tongas and camel carts continue to transport the wares of the local traders. The legendary Kutchi-embroidered handicrafts are the city’s main industry. In 2001, an earthquake destroyed many of the old walls surrounding the city. Despite this, some historic buildings such as the Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal remain and house some intriguing 18th-century antiques. Saffron recommends a 3-night stay at the Shaam-e-Sarhad, a simple but charming property owned and managed by the local community.


BHAVNAGAR

Founded in 1723, the port city of Bhavnagar lies on the west side of the Gulf of Khambhat. Still retaining some of its old charm, with vibrant bazaars and rustic wooden houses, it acts as the gateway to the magnificent Palitana temple complex in the hills of Shatrunjaya. Regarded as one of the most sacred Jain sites, it consists of 863 intricately carved marble shrines. The act of ascending a path to reach a holy place is central to the Jain consciousness and the climb of 3,500 steps (a total distance of 3.5km each way) rewards visitors with breathtaking views across the Saurashtra plains. Saffron recommends a minimum stay of 2 nights at the simple but characterful Nilambagh Palace.


SASAN GIR NATIONAL PARK

Sasan Gir, in south-west Gujarat, is a beautifully forested national park and the last natural home of endangered Asiatic lions. Characterised by rocky hills and deep valleys, the vegetation is typically semi-deciduous with lots of dry forest teak. The park was established in 1965, when there were thought to be only twelve wild lions left in India. Fortunately, the park’s conservation efforts mean there are now more than 300. The park is also home to healthy populations of leopards, hyenas, wild boar, jackals, crocodiles and more than 250 bird species. Added attractions include the Kankai Mata temple and the Tulsi Shyam hot springs. Saffron recommends a minimum 2-night stay at the Lion Safari Camp.

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Day 1 : Fly to Bhuj via Mumbai (Bombay) (N)

Day 2 : Bhuj
Arrive and transfer to Hotel Prince for 3 nights. (D)

Day 3 : Bhuj
Visit the walled city of Bhuj. (B, L, D)

Day 4 : Banni villages
Full-day visit to the Banni villages and the salt flats. (B, L, D)

Day 5 : Gondal
Drive to the small royal town of Gondal. Stay at the Orchard Palace Hotel for 2 nights. (B, L, D)

Day 6 : Junagadh
Full-day tour of the magnificent Junagadh fort, lying at the foot of the Girnar Hill. (B, L, D)

Day 7 : Sasan Gir National Park
Spend 2 nights at the Lion Safari Camp. (B, L, D)

Day 8 : Sasan Gir National Park
Full-day wildlife viewing. (B, L, D)

Day 9 : Bhavnagar
Drive to Bhavnagar and stay at Nilambagh Palace Hotel for 2 nights. (B, L, D)

Day 10 : Shatrunjaya temple complex
Visit to the Jain temple city of Shatrunjaya. (B, L, D)
Day 11 : Ahmedabad
Drive to Ahmedabad. Stay 2 nights at The House of MG. Evening walk around the historic city. (B)

Day 12: Modhera
Visit the sun temple at Modhera. (B)

Day 13: Fly home via Mumbai (N)

GUIDE PRICE $3,985 PER PERSON

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