History – BHAVNATH FAIR =
The Bhavnath Mahadev temple is a shrine ensconced in myths and legends of the Puranic era. The Shiva linga here is said to have emerged of its own divine intention. Reportedly, when Shiva and Parvati were traveling over the Girnar Hills their divine garment fell over the present Mrigi Kund, making this place an auspicious site for Shiva worshippers. Even today, the naga bavas are known to bathe in the holy Mrigi Kund before joining the Mahashivaratri procession.
When = The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days commencing from the Hindu calendar date of Magh Vad 11, during the Gregorian months of February-March
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI: BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Arrive Delhi by International Flight.
Today you will arrive at Delhi’s International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you at the arrival terminal building and transfer to Hotel.
Delhi – India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds – the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 02: DELHI
After breakfast you will proceed for visit of Old & New Delhi.
Enjoy unique yet fascinating experience of Old Delhi – Happily Chaotic.
You will visit Jama Masjid – the largest mosque of Asia, followed by a private tricycle rickshaw ride through the lanes of Chandni Chowk, also known as Silver Street. Next we shall drive past the mighty Red Fort, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan – the builder of Taj Mahal. Conclude the tour of Old Delhi with visit to Gandhi Memorial where Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead.
Later visit New Delhi: The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, which is the tallest stone tower in India.
Our drive back to the hotel will be through one of the most colonial part of New Delhi called Raisina Hill. Drive past the Presidential House and India Gate – a war memorial arch. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 03: DELHI- AHMEDABAD: BY: FLIGHT
After breakfast transfer to Airport to board flight to Ahmedabad. Flight TBA
Assistance on arrival at Ahmedabad Airport and transfer to Hotel.
Ahmedabad, the city of Ahmed Shah (Medieval ruler of Gujarat), is known for its rich past and its association with the Mahatma (Great Soul), also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Afternoon visit Adalaj Vav, one of the finest of the Gujarati step-wells, with carvings depicting intricate motifs of flowers and birds. It was built by Queen Rudabai in 1499 and it provided a cool and secluded retreat during the hot summer months
Visit Jama Masjid and Sidi mosque, famous for it’s shaking minarets. Sidi mosque was built by Sidi Sayid, Ahmad Shah/’s slave, in AD 1573. Later visit the Sabarmati Ashram, home to Gandhi from 1917 to 1930, the Indian Institute of Management designed by Louis Khan in 1962. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 04: AHMEDABAD – GONDAL: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast drive to Gondal (250 Kms, 05 Hrs Drive). Gondal – The capital of the former princely State of Gondal, was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, till the independence of India. It is a fortified town located on the river Gondali. Present day 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.
On arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure or personal activity. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 05: GONDAL – JUNAGARH: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast visit Gondal – Gondal has much to offer by way of sightseeing to the visitors. Built in 1875 AD by Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji for his son Yuvraj Bhojraji, the Riverside Palace is set in lawns and gardens beside the river Gondali.
Later drive to Junagarh (65 Kms, 01 Hr Drive). Junagadh was the capital of the Junagadh State under the Muslim rulers of Babi Nawabs. In Gujarati, `Junagadh’ literally means an ancient fort.
Later visit Mela ground and Akhadas, Bhavnath Mahadev Mela …
The celebrations for traditional religious festivals are probably the highest in India. This festival is to honour Lord Shiva- the third God of Hindu Triad (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv) and destroyer of all evil. With over 1008 names, he is represented as a ‘Linga’ a symbol of regeneration. The Bhavnath Mahadev Temple here is a shrine ensconced in myths and legends of the Puranic era. The Shiva Linga here is said to have emerged of its own divine intention. Reportedly, when Shiva and his consort, Parvati were cruising over the Girnar Hills, their divine garments flew away and fell into the present Mrigi Kund, making this place an auspicious site for Shiva worshippers. The fair itself is so ancient that its precise origins are unknown. Like any other Indian Mela, you will see the people in their traditional colorful dresses enjoying themselves. Another novelty is Naga bavas / Sadhus…as one sees them in Kumbh Mela.
The ‘naga bavas’ bathe in the holy Mrigi Kund before joining the Mahashivaratri procession which starts around 9 pm leading to The Temple situated at the foot of Mount Girnar about 8km away from the city of Junagadh. Girnar is a holy abode of the 9 nathas or gods who are considered to be eternal and 84 siddhas or religiously uplifted souls. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 06: JUNAGARH (MAHAPUJA)
The Mahapuja of Lord Shiva will be taking place at mid night on Maha Shivratri.
The Naga Bavas (Sages in Nudity) march in procession when the Puja ceremony begins around 9pm. A palanquin carrying a decorated idol of Lord Dattatreya precedes them. Seated on Elephants, they hold flags and blow conch shells. On the way, they perform dances and exhibit sword sports and other interesting activities. They reach the temple at midnight and take a bathing plunge in the Mrigi Kund (tank) at midnight. Unlike Kumbh Mela, only three akhadas (three groups of Sadhus) take part.
It is firmly believed that Lord Shiva himself visits the shrine on this occasion. Folk music and dances are performed on the occasion. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 07: JUNAGARH – BHUJ: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast drive to Bhuj (330 Kms, 06 Hrs Drive). Later visit DSP/ Collectrate Office of Bhuj **.
** NOTE: Permit is must for the interior villages with personal presence, will assist for the procedure. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 08: BHUJ
After breakfast visit Aina mahal-Mirror palace, wonderful collection and mirror walls and roof. Bit of Bhuj Market and some heritage buildings of Bhuj (which survived the earthquake) After lunch visiting Mr. Alimohmad (tie & dye) and Aari Embroiders. Later afternoon we’ll move to Bhujodi village to see some weaving, meet Vankabhai Rabari and Block printers if you’re interested. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 09: BHUJ – HODKA: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast drive up north to Banni via visiting Kala Raksha Museum & Nirona village (rogan art, lacquer work and bell making depending on time and your interest) Lunch at Hodka resort, afternoon break, before go to Dhordo village to learn about Mutva embroidery and see the White Rann of Kutch (Salt plains)
Leaving Bhuj for Banni, we visit KALA RAKSHA, just 25 km away- a museum of Kutch arts and a centre for promoting Kutch embroidery, as also training centre for the local people. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 10: HODKA
After breakfast leave for Dhordo village, and on to the White Rann of Kutch. (when the marshy salt flats become snow white after the shallow water dries up each season before the monsoon rains set in) Watch a demonstration on Mutva Embroidery by the grand daughter of Gulbeg, and also see Mud & mirror work…
Afternoon leave for Ludiya village, see painted huts, mud work and embroidery work, spending an hour there before going to Khavda. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 11: HODKA – DASADA: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast drive to Dasada (335 Kms, 07 Hrs Drive), on the way you will be coming across Rabaris on the move. Rabaris nomadic or semi-nomadic families in Kutch number up to about 2500 to 3000 White dress is common to all Rabari men while their women wear black Ahirs numbering about three lacks, they worship Ramdev pir and used to sell milk or ghee; Jats were herders who migrated from Iran to Kutch in search of new grazing areas. All of them are Muslims and have similar marriage and dowry customs.
On arrival at Dasada, check in at Hotel. Dasada is very famous for game drive in the little Rann of Kutch to see the Asiatic wild Ass. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 12: DASADA – PATAN- DASADA: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast enjoy a Jeep safari through the rann of Kutch to see the rare species of the “Indian Wild Ass”.
Later start visiting the tribals in the nearby villages and in their homes. Then leave for the historic city of Patan, (70 km) known for its Patola silk weavers, who practise an intricate weaving technique called double ikkat which involves dyeing both the warp and weft threads according to the final design before setting them on the loom for weaving, resulting in an extremely rich fabric.
Nearby areas are known for their rich array of handicrafts including embroideries of Rabaris, Bharwads, Jaths, Muthwas, Sodhas, Lohanas, etc, besides bandhini tie-and-dye, block printing, woodcarving, metal crafts and pottery. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 13: DASADA – MODHERA – AHMEDABAD: BY: SURFACE
After breakfast drive to Ahmedabad en-route visit Modhera (145 Kms, 03 Hrs Drive); The 11th century Sun temple is easily one of the finest examples of devotional temples in western India.
The exterior of temple is carved with traditional erotic scenes, rivalling at Konark and Khajuraho, and depictions of various Gods and, while inside are friezes of the Mahabharata and portrayed on the pillars.
Then, visit Bahucharaji Mataji’s Temple, an abode of Rajrajeshwari Maa Bahuchara whose blessing cures any physical disability and impotency. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 14: AHMEDABAD – DELHI: BY: FLIGHT
After breakfast transfer to Airport to board flight to Delhi.
Assistance on arrival at Delhi Airport and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the day free to explore the local market. Overnight at Hotel
DAY 15: DELHI – BACK HOME: BY: FLIGHT
Early morning transfer to Airport to board flight to back home.
***** Return For Another Memorable Trip With Us ****