Day 1 Arrival to Ahmedabad
Today you will take a flight to Ahmedabad. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, the city is the administrative centre of Ahmedabad District and was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970, after which the capital was moved to Gandhinagar. The city is sometimes called Karnavati, a name for an older town that existed in the same location; in colloquial Gujarati, it is commonly called Amdavad. The city was founded in 1411 to serve as the capital of the Sultanate of Gujarat, by its namesake, Sultan Ahmed Shah. Under British rule, a military cantonment was established & the city infrastructure was modernized & expanded.
Later you will take a guided tour visiting Mosques. Jumma Masjid, described by some as the most beautiful mosque in India, is a congregational mosque and was built by the city’s founder, Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423. Built in yellow sandstone, it combines the best of Hindu & Muslim styles of architecture. It stands on 260 pillars supporting 15 domes at varying elevations. The mosque is located in the centre of the old city.
Sidi Syed Mosque, built by Ahmed Shah’s slave, Sidi Sayed, is celebrated all over the world for its exquisite stone window tracery – a superb example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree.
Two shaking minarets are located at the Siddhi Bashir mosque. They are uniquely designed in a way that when one minaret is shaken the other one shakes too. An overnight Hotel in Ahmedabad.
Day 2 Half day sightseeing in Ahmedabad and drive to Jamnagar (300 Km / 6 Hrs)
Today after breakfast, you will visit the Hatheesing Jain Temple, Built outside Delhi Gate in 1850 by a rich Jain merchant, the Hatheesing Temple is the best known of Ahmedabad’s many ornate Jain temples. Built of pure white marble & profusely decorated with rich carvings, the Hatheesing Temple is dedicated to Dharamnath. Within the city there are many other Jain temples with remarkable carvings in stone & wood. Also visit the Sabarmati Ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi a simple retreat in 1915. This was his first Satyagraha Ashram & for many it was the nerve centre of India’s freedom movement. Hridaya Kunj, the cottage where he lived is preserved as it was in the Mahatma’s lifetime. The Gandhi Ashram has a memorial centre, library & a sound & light spectacle to offer its visitors.An overnight in Jamnagar.
Day 3 Half day sightseeing of Jamnagar and Excursion Dwarka (145 Km / 2 Hrs / One Way)
Today after breakfast, you will drive to Jamnagar , built by Maharaja Kumar Shri Ranjit Singhji in the 1920s, when the district was known as Nawanagar. It is well-known for its four marble Jain temples: Vardhman Shah’s Temple, Raisi Shah’s Temple, Sheth’s Temple, & Vasupujya Swami’s Temple. All were built between 1574 & 1622. Also known as the Jewel of Kathiawar.
Today we take same day excursion to Dwarka, The city derives its name from word “Dwar” meaning door in Sanskrit. Dwarka is one of the holiest cities in Hinduism & one of the 4 main dhams. The legendary city of Dwarka in Hindu mythology was the dwelling place of Krishna. It is believed that, due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dwarka has submerged six times and modern Dwarka is the 7th city to be built in the area.
Excursion to Dwarka: Here we visit Dwarkadheesh, also known as Jagat Mandir, is built on the north bank of the Gomti Creek. The temple dates back to 2,500 years & architecturally constructed on the same plan & system as most of the Hindu sacred edifices of antiquity.
Jagat Mandir or Nij Mandir forms the sanctum of Dwarkadish temple & dates back to 2500 years. Jagat Mandir has its own hall of audience & a conical spire. Main attraction of the Temple is spectacular evening prayers (Aarti). Another temple in Dwarka is temple of Rukmini Devi Temple, small temple is an architectural masterpiece. Rukmini is the most important of Krishna’s many wives. The temple walls are decorated with beautiful paintings depicting her pastimes with Krishna. This temple is said to date back to the 12th century. An overnight stay in Jamnagar.
Day 4 Jamnagar – Junagarh- Sasangir (295 Km / 5-6 Hrs)
In the morning after breakfast, you will drive to Junagarh, which literally means an ancient fort. The Junagadh town is located at the foothills of the sacred hill of Girnar & occupies a special place in the history of Gujarat. The history of Junagarh is chequered by the rulers of the Mauryans, Kshatrapas, Guptas, Vallabhis, Chudasamas & others. Both political powers & religious influences enriched the culture & created fantastic edifices leaving architectural mark.
Later we visit Uparkot Fort, famous for its virtual inaccessibility. Inside the fort, 14 Rock Edicts of the Emperor Ashoka can be seen inscribed on a great boulder. The inscriptions carry Brahmi script in Pali language and date back to 250 BC. On the same rock are inscriptions in Sanskrit. Damodar Kund, named after Krishna, whose water is said to be sacred due to its property of dissolving bones of dead brought for the immersion. Nearby there is Shri Mahaprabhuji’s Baithak.An overnight stay in Sasangir.
Day 5 Safari at Sasangir and drive to Diu (153 Km / 3-4 Hrs) Via Somnath Temple
In the morning after the breakfast, you will visit Sasangir, best known as being the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo persica). The Sanctuary, the area is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species.
Established in the year 1965, Today is the sustaining ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora & fauna. The forest area of Gir & its lions were declared as “protected” in the early 1900’s by the then Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative resulted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.
Early in the morning, you will take a Jeep safari to the National Park. It has the distinction of being the only refuge to the last surviving majestic Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo). Apart from the Asiatic Lions, the Park is also home to large number of Panthers, Hyenas, Deer, the world’s only 4-horned Antelope, Blue Bull, Wild Boar & the dangerous Marsh Crocodile.
Several machaans (watch towers) & hideaways have been raised near waterholes to allow visitors a closer look at the lions.
Later, you will drive to Somnath Temple, located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat; India is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (golden lingas) symbols of the God Shiva. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda. Somnath means ‘The Protector of Moon God’. The Somnath Temple is known as ‘The Shrine Eternal’, as although the temple has been destroyed six times it has been rebuilt every single time.
In evening, you will drive from Somnath to Diu. An overnight stay at Diu.
Day 6 Diu
Today after breakfast you will continue to drive to Diu, an island lying off the south coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula, separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. It is famous for its fortress & Old Portuguese Cathedral. The village of Ghoghla, which lies on the mainland opposite the eastern end of the island, is also part of the union territory. Later we take a guided tour of Diu, visiting the Battlement of Diu Fort, an expansive & imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 -1541 AD after a defense alliance, concluded by the Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujarat. The fort is skirted by the sea on the three sides. On the Fort stands a giant structure now housing a Lighthouse. A strange mist shrouds the entire fort. It is more conspicuous during winter nights when fog spreads all around, & the lighthouse gives off a misty light. Later we visit the Wood Panelled St.Paul’s & St.Thomas’ Churches. An overnight stay in Diu.
Day 7 Diu – Bhavnagar via Palitana (220 Km / 5 Hrs)
In the morning after the breakfast, you will drive to Bhavnagar via Palitana, a city and former princely state is a major pilgrimage centre for Jains. The Palitana temples are considered the most sacred pilgrimage place (tirtha) by the Jain community. There are a total of 1250 temples located on the Shetrunjaya hills, exquisitely carved in marble. The main temple on top of the hill is dedicated to 1st Tirthankara lord Adinath (Rishabdeva). No one is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods.
Later continue drive to Bhavnagar, Known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra, the city was named after its ruler & founder Bhav Singhji Gohil. It was a carefully chosen strategic location having potential of maritime trade. It remained a major port, for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore & the Persian Gulf. An overnight stay in Bhavnagar.
Day 8 Bhavnagar and drive to Ahmedabad (170 km, 4-5 hours)
Today you will visit Khodiyar Mata, Situated 4 Km from Sihor, is a famous shrine commemorating the family Goddess of the rulers of the former Bhavnagar State. The deity is held in great reverence and the shrine with 36 pillars and a vast mandap presents a serene sight.Later, you will visit Takhteshwar Temple.It is made of pure marble and constructed in the late 19th century, the temple is situated on a hillock near the Takhteshwar railway station between Bhavnagar and Mahuva. The picturesque view from the temple adds to the serenity of the place.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey.