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Gujarat Tour Packages

Gujarat, on the Western coast of India, is a delightful place to visit in the country. The vibrancy of this state heavily contributes to India’s title of “the Land of Colours”, and visitors who witness the celebrations in Gujarat are awestruck at the festivities. Gujarat tour packages are expansive, allowing tourists to take their pick of what they want to experience.

OVERVIEW

GUJARAT TOUR PACKAGES

“There is something for everyone” is justifiably how Gujarat tour package itineraries are described best. The long coastline along the Arabian Sea has incredible beaches, while the ancient sites of Lothal and Dholavira take one back to the Indus Valley Civilization.

The bustling modern city of Surat with its flourishing diamond industry is as charming as Gandhinagar, the Greenest City in India. The flora and fauna of the state are rare, and the experiences in the national parks are unmatched. The many temples also draw a lot of believers.

Beaches

Gujarat has one of the longest coastlines in India, and the scenic beaches offer enchanting views of the Arabian Sea. Head to Mandvi Beach, which is regularly ranked the best in the state. The beach is intimate and the golden-yellow sands juxtaposed against the bright, blue waters are a stunning sight.

The peace and quiet of the beach is not disturbed by crowds, making it ideal for couples. Fun activities like parasailing, skiing, surfing and speed boating are also conducted here, so be sure to give them a shot. Dwarka Beach is visited by countless people every year because of its religious significance (more on this later!).

However, the beach in itself is also a delight. The abundant aquatic life that can be found in Dwarka attracts a large number of tourists every year, who flock the beaches to catch a glimpse of sea urchins, octopuses, dolphins, jellyfishes and sea turtles. Moreover, scuba diving is a popular activity in Dwarka tourism. Dumas Beach is a fascinating place to add to your Gujarat tour package.

The black coloured sands of the beach are picturesque, and replete with their share of horror stories- the beach is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country, with accounts of paranormal sightings and events.

However, most locals dismiss these claims as mere fabrications. In any case, the black sandy beaches of Dumas are exquisite and continue to remain popular with visitors.

The beaches in Gujarat are mostly known for their quietness and intimacy, and are great for spending a relaxed time. Visitors love to lay back and watch the sunset over the mighty sea from the comfort of the beach, while enjoying delicious local snacks. The beaches also come alive with shops selling traditional handicrafts. Make sure to include them in your Gujarat Tour Package.

Historical Sites

Gujarat’s history has many chapters. It has been a part of the Indus Valley Civilization, and has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties, from the Mauryas, to the Chalukyas, the Gurjaras, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, the Marathas, and finally, to the British. Each of these chapters in its history can be traced in its many monuments.

Lothal and Dholavira are ancient ruins of the Harappan civilization, and history lovers should not miss out on these excavation sites. Lohal is close to Ahmedabad and more conveniently accessible, and is popular for its shipping port and underground warehouse. Dholavira requires a drive through the Rann of Kutch, and has an open-air fossil museum.

The world’s first signboard, written in an ancient undeciphered script is found here. Both the sites show remnants of the well-planned cities of the Harappan civilisation, and visitors can visit the museums that display old jewellery, pottery, coins and tools from these approximately 6000s-year-old cities.

Rani ki Vav, a huge stepwell in Patan, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its beautiful engravings, which depict both religious and secular themes. Built as a memoir by Queen Udaymati on the death of her husband King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty in the 11th Century, it was considered to be a temple for worshipping water.

The usefulness of the stepwell as well as the beautiful artwork makes it one of the best stepwells to visit in the country.

Vijay Vilas Palace, near the Mandvi Beach, is one of the most stunning palaces in Gujarat. Built as a summer resort for the Maharajas of Kutch, the staggering red sandstone edifice has many Rajput elements, including Jharoka windows and Chhatris.

It is said that artisans from all over India have helped make this stunning palace. Featured in the Bollywood movie Lagaan, many tourists are drawn to Vijay Vilas ever year.

No list of palaces in India is complete without including the Laxmi Vilas Palace, the living accommodation for the Royal family of Vadodara. Spread over 500 acres of lush well-maintained gardens, the palace is four times as big as Buckingham Palace.

It is one of the largest private residences in the world, and is open to visitors. It also houses a museum and a zoo. This grand palace is a must-visit attraction in Gujarat.

The state of Gujarat is filled with many such attractions of immense historical value, and appeals to both lovers and non-lovers of history. The grand palaces and the old ruins draw countless visitors every year, and are an important part of Gujarat Tour Places.

Wildlife

The state of Gujarat has a diverse range of ecosystems, and a host of flora and fauna thrive in each of them. A number of national parks and sanctuaries have been set up to protect and conserve the many rare species.

Gir National Park is arguably the most famous park in the entire country, and is the only home to the magnificent Asiatic Lion. The park also houses a host of other mammals and insects, and sightings of nilgai, chinkara, chital, crocodile, python and porcupine are common.

The avifauna, which includes vulture, hawk-eagle, bush quail and bonelli’s eagle, attract a lot of bird watchers. Trees such as Jamun, teak and Dhak make up the dense deciduous forests of Gir.

The Marine National Park, in the Gulf of Kutch, is the first conservatory for aquatic species in India. Spread over a group of 42 islands, the flora and fauna of the park is diverse, and attracts nature lovers from all over. The dense mangrove forests provide shelter to a host of avian species, and guards the coastal regions against erosion.

The park houses hard and soft coral reefs, sponges and colourful algae. Visitors can walk to the edge of the shore and see the coral right next to them, and this is a memorable experience. The park has a good population of Bottlenose dolphins, humpback dolphins, finless porpoises, starfish and sting-rays. Endangered species like whale sharks, Olive Ridley turtles and green sea turtles are also found here.

A trip to Gujarat is incomplete without visiting these two national parks.

The Velavadar Black Buck National Park, located near Gir, is home to the largest number of blackbucks and is popular with tourists. The Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary conserves the bustard, which is the heaviest bird of flight. Three species of the ‘flying fortress’ are found here- the Great Indian Bustard, the Bengal Florican and the Lesser Florican.

The Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary is a thriving breeding ground for rare birds. Bird watchers flock to Thol for sightings of pelicans, spoonbills, teals, flamingoes, mallards and geese and the Sarus Crane.

The state is replete with diverse flora and fauna, and tourists delight in visiting and exploring them.

Cuisine

Gujarat is a haven for vegetarians, with most of the dishes of the state being vegetarian and even Jain friendly. The gastronomy here can be divided into four distinct styles- Kathiyawadi, Surti, Amdavadi and Kutchi. Kathiyawad region, comprising places like Rajkot, Porbandar and Jamnagar, are in close proximity to Rajasthan, and its cuisine is influenced by its neighbour. The food here is spicier than the cuisines of the rest of the state.

The roasted eggplant is a particularly famous dish in this part, with roasted eggplants being mashed and seasoned with spices. Undiyu is a well-loved dish from the Surti cuisine, which is a slow-cooked mixed vegetable dish, traditionally made in earthen pots. Undiyu is available only in winters, and the smoky, earthy flavour and aroma is a favourite of locals and travellers alike.

Amdavadi or Ahmedavadi cuisine is probably the most popular cuisine from the state. Crowd favourite dishes like the sweet, syrupy jalebi, spicy, spongy dhokla, and delicious khandvi are so popular that they are attempted all over the country.

The Amdavadi Biryani is a slightly sweet take on the rice dish, and it must be tried. Dabeli is one of the most loved snacks from Kutchi Cuisine. A filing of mixed vegetables is seasoned spicily, and stuffed between pao bread flavoured with hot garlic chutney. Bajra-na-rotla is another favourite from this cuisine.

The food of the state is primarily vegetarian, but a few non-vegetarian options are available. However, none of these items is traditional and the recipes are borrowed from other states.

HIGHLIGHTS OF GUJARAT

PLACES TO VISIT

Gandhi Ashram

Also called the Sabarmati Ashram after the River Sabarmati that flows near it, Gandhi Ashram is an important historical site. The place where India’s nonviolent struggle for freedom was conceived attracts thousands of people every year. The ashram houses a lot of personal belongings of the freedom fighters. Take a tour around the premises to see where landmark occurrences, like the start of the Salt March, the spinning of the charkha and planning of revolts took place.

Rann of Kutch

The Rann of Kutch is a massive, enthralling area of white salt sand. The endless desert is surreal, and the way the land blends with the sky at the horizon is sure to leave you mesmerised. The winter months witness the vibrant Rann Utsav, a fete celebrating the culture of the state. Stalls of traditional handicrafts, folk dance and music performances and scrumptious food are set up, and countless travellers visit it to soak in the culture. Another enjoyable thing to do here is paragliding as the sun sets- the birds-eye views of the vast expanse of the glowing white sand illuminated by the palette of the setting sun is too beautiful for words.

Somnath Temple

The first of the holy jyotirlingas of the worshippers of Lord Shiva, the Somnath temple is a stunning, beautifully carved edifice. Legends say that it was the first cast in gold by the Moon God, then in silver by Ravana, followed by in wood by Lord Krishna, and then in stone by Bhimdev. It currently holds a large shivling, which is one of the holiest of the religion. A light and sound show is held every evening, and is a good way to understand the temple.

Hutheesing Jain Temple

The elegant temple is an important pilgrim spot of the Jains, and is dedicated to the 15th tirthankar Dharamnath. Created wholly of white marble, the temple is made by the artisans of the Salat community, who are responsible for restoring the Dilwara Jain temple, and for fashioning the Somnath Temple. Hutheesing has a massive stambha, or tower dedicated to Lord Mahavir, based on a holy tower of the community in Chittor. The marvellously constructed temple must be visited!

THINGS TO DO

Visit the Great Rann of Kutch and soak in the culture of Gujarat

Pay respect to the many holy sites

Go on a wildlife safari to spot rare fauna and flora

Visit the historical landmarks and marvel at the glory of the past

TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Akshardham Temple

The Akshardham temple is a splendid construction, made only of pink sandstone and no steel. Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the temple promotes universal peace and brotherhood. The Hall of Harmony displays all the religions of the world together, and the Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social Harmony furthers its vision. Surrounded by lush, blossoming gardens, a visit to this temple is memorable.

Kirti Mandir

A museum dedicated to the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the Kirti Mandir is situated next to his ancestral house. Rare photographs and paintings of Gandhi are displayed here, along with books written by him. The museum also holds books related to his philosophy. Frequented by world leaders and followers of the Gandhian philosophy, Kirti Mandir is a significant tourist destination in Porbandar, Gujarat.

Dwarka Temple

A fourth of the holy Hindu circuit of Char Dham, Dwarka Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Evidence suggests it is between 2000 and 2200 years old. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the main temple is called the Jagat Mandir and it houses a huge, black statue of Krishna. Dwarka tourism usually includes visiting Dwarka Beach, which is home to a number of sea creatures.

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    ITINERARY

    (Please note that the following are sample itineraries. Flying Squirrel Holidays works with your requirements to tailor make your dream Gujarat Tour Package itinerary for you)

    Unforgettable Gujarat: 5 Nights, 4 Days

    The Wonders of Gujarat: 7 Nights 6 Days

    Weekend in Gujarat: 3 Nights, 2 Days

    Unforgettable Gujarat (this is only a sample itinerary)

    Day 1

    Arrive in Ahmedabad and check in to your hotel. Head to Sabarmati Ashram, and explore the life of Gandhi. After lunch, head to the Calico Museum of Textile, which holds textiles dated back to the 15th Century. Visit the serene Jama Masjid (remember to dress appropriately). Head back to your hotel for dinner.

    Day 2

    After breakfast, we head to the Great Rann of Kutch, which remains underwater during the month of monsoon. Enjoy some shopping after lunch and then head to white Rann to catch a stunning sunset. Head back to the hotel for the night.

    Day 3

    Wake up early to see the sunrise over the white sand. After breakfast, head to Bhuj. Explore the Aina Mahal and the Prag Mahal and spend a few hours at the Kutch Museum. Head back to the hotel for dinner.

    Day 4

    Day 4 is for visiting Gir National Park. After breakfast, head to the national park and hop on to a wildlife safari to spot jackals, hyenas, leopards, vultures, crocodiles, and of course, the Asiatic Lion. Spend the afternoon at Woods at Sasan resort, and catch the overnight bus to Vadodara.

    Day 5

    You will reach Vadodara early in the morning. Visit the Laxmi Vilas Palace, the staggering palace of the Maharaja. After lunch, head to the airport to catch your flight back home.

    Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary

    COST

    Cost of a trip depends on places you plan to visit, the duration of the stay, the class of travel and accommodation and the inclusions you seek. We have years of experience in conducting the tours. Let us at Flying Squirrel Holidays get the best deal for you.

    FAQ

    What is famous in Gujarat?

    Gujarat is famous for numerous attractions like the Asiatic Lions, the white desert of Rann of Kutch, colorful handicrafts, festivals, Gujarati food, unique culture, and its many religious sites.

    What is special in Gujarat?

    Gujarat is known for its folk festivals, cultural landmarks, nature and wildlife, and delicious cuisine.

    What can I shop from Gujarat?

    From Gujarat, you can buy wood-carved furniture, antique jewelry, Patola Silk, and Gujarati snacks.

    There are not many places as unforgettable as Gujarat. The state offers something for every taste- there are varied and incredibly rare flora and fauna for nature lovers, for history lovers there are edifices as old as human civilisation itself; the pilgrims who flock to the state-run out of time, but not destinations. The culture here is so vibrant and fun, and witnessing it with the great expanse of the Kutch in the background will stay with you forever. A visit to Gujarat will leave you with memories that will never end or become dull.

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