GUJARAT WITH LION & SEA
Day 1: Arrive Ahmedabad:
Arrive Ahmedabad by Air or Train.
On arrival in Ahmedabad, you will check into your 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. The city offers the traveler a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles (Indo-Saracenic style of architecture). The monuments of Ahmedabad mainly date back to the 15th century. Ahmedabad has been known for its industry since medieval times. Presently it is famous for its textile mills and is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of the East’.
Later, enjoy a guided tour of Hathi Singhji Temple Built in 1848, this two-storeyed structure in pure white marble is dedicated to Dharmanath, the fifteenth Jina or Jain apostle. The temple has 52 shrines, each with an image of a Jain Tirthankara. Located outside the Delhi Gate, the temple is named after its builder Sheth Hathi Singh.
You will also visit Sabarmati Ashram – Seven kilometers to the north of the city on a quiet stretch of the river Sabarmati lies the ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1915. The Sabarmati Ashram, as it is popularly called, was the first Satyagraha Ashram set up by Gandhi. The ashram still makes handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheels. Hridaya Kunj, the cottage where Mahatma Gandhi lived, is preserved as it was during his lifetime. The Gandhi Ashram also houses a small memorial. Followed by visit to Jama Masjid – the Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad is one of the most beautiful mosques in the country. Located to the east of the Teen Darwaja besides Mahatma Gandhi road, the mosque was built in AD 1423 by Ahmad Shah. Built in the Indo-Saracenic style, the mosque has 260 columns supporting the roof. The dome is illuminated by the natural light which is reflected into it by the external roofs.
You will also visit The mosque was built by Sidi Sayid, Ahmad Shah/’s slave, in AD 1573. The mosque is famous for its stone tracery and the motifs of the banyan tree on its windows. It is located near the Lal Darwaza (Red Gateway) and is very close to the river end of the Relief Road Last but not the least visit ”Adalaj Step-Well” Adalaj is a village 18 km. to the north of Ahmedabad. The Vav (step-well) at Adalaj derives its name from the lady patron, Ruda, wife of the Vaghela chief, Virsinh; who built it in the 15th or 16th century A.D. The Vav, laid out in the north-south direction, the well in the north and in the south, have a total length of 75.3 metres. It is the only major monument of its kind, which has three entrance stairs leading to the stepped corridor. These three entrances meet in the first storey, underground, in a huge square platform, which has, to the top, an octagonal opening. The platform rests on 16 pillars, on the corners, and two in front of each side. The four corners of the platform are marked by four built-in shrines, with doors, windows, balconies. The stepped corridor begins from this square platform. The corridor is entirely surrounded by a one-meter high parapet with a rounded topping. It descends with four pavilion towers for five storeys. String-courses running along the side walls embellish all parts of the structure, sometimes dividing the wall into horizontal sections. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Ahmedabad – Bhavnagar:
Following a leisurely breakfast, you will proceed on drive to Bhavnagar (210 Kms,05 Hrs Drive). Upon arrival check-in at hotel.
Bhavnagar, in the Indian state of Gujarat, is a port city on the coastal region of the Saurashtra peninsula abutting the picturesque Gulf of Cambay. Once the capital of the princely state of that name, Bhavnagar was founded in 1743 by a Rajput prince, Bhav Sinhji and was lucky enough to have successive rulers who contributed to the development of their kingdom in a major way, to the extent that it became a highly progressive society. Bhav Sinhji, the founder of the city established educational and judicial institutions. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Bhavnagar – Palitana – Bhavnagar:
This morning you will proceed on a full day excursion to Palitana. Palitana is located about 50 kms from the Bhavnagar. Palitana is the gateway to the Shatrunjaya hill and one of the Jainism’s holiest pilgrimage sites. There are about 863 temples on the top of the hill, exquisitely carved in marble and built over a span of 900 years. To visit the temples on the Shatrunjaya hill one has to climb 600 m up the hill. After reaching the top of the hill we will visit the Jain temple. The temple which is dedicated to Shri Adishwara, the first Jain Tirthankara (apostle) is one of the most magnificent temples and the most sacred temple on Shatrunjaya hill. After visiting the temple we will visit the Chaumukha or the four faced temple. It has an image of Adinath facing out in the four cardinal directions. Overnight at hotel
Day 4: Bhavnagar – Sasan Gir:
After breakfast you will proceed on drive to Sasan Gir (230 Kms, 05 Hrs Drive).
Situated 64 kms. from Junagarh town, Gir Forest is today the only place in the world outside Africa, where the Lion can be seen in his natural habitat. Park is located among the low, undulating and excellently irrigated hills in the Junagadh district of Gujrat. The Gir forest covers an area of 1150 square kilometers with 300 square kilometers forming the core area of the national park. The sanctuary was established in 1884 and is the only remaining natural habitat of the Asiatic Lion. The forest harbours a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other wildlife include Panthers, Hyenas, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chawsingha, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Langur, Jackals, Wild Cats, Hare, Marsh Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Pythons and a large variety of snakes.
Some of the common birds found in this park are Paradise Flycatchers, Black headed Cuckoo Shrike, Gray Drongo, Pied Woodpeckers, Coppersmiths, Indian Rollers, Crested Swifts, Fish Owls, Black Vultures, Shaheen Falcons, Bonelli’s Eagles, Crested Serpent Eagles, Painted Sandgrouse, Rock Bush Quail, Gray Partridge, Painted Storks and White Necked Storks. Overnight at hotel
Day 5: Gir National Park:
In the early morning we have jungle safari in the Gir National Park and watch the various wildlife animals and birds like Leopard, Sambar, Chital (spotted deer), Nilgai and Wild boar.
Afternoon enjoy of jungle safari. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Sasan Gir – Somnath – Diu:
After breakfast, you will proceed on drive to Diu (150 Kms, 04 Hrs Drive) en-route visit Somnath Temple. Facing the wide-open Arabian Sea, the temple at Somnath is an imposing structure offering a spectacular sight to the beholders. The temple of Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The legend says, Somnath was built by none other than the Moon God himself at the time of creation. Soma is the name for the moon, the son in-law of Daksha. Once Soma disregarded certain directions of his father-in-law Daksha. As a result Daksha became angry and cursed him, saying, “Thou shalt wane!” The moon, who used to shine in full splendour every night till then, started to shrink. It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev.
Continue driving to Diu, on arrival check in at hotel. Diu – This laid-back beach town was the first landing point for the Parsis when fled from Persia, although they stayed only three years. Like Daman and Goa, Diu was Portuguese colony until it was taken over by India in 1961. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 – Diu:
Morning half day city tour of Diu, you will proceed for the city tour of St. Paul’s Church is dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The construction of the church was started in 1601 and was completed in the year 1610. The main facade of the church is perhaps the most elaborate of all Portuguese churches in India. The façade has been illuminated by floodlights. The church adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell – like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Continue visit to FORT among the places of tourist interest, the Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD.
Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy Sun & Sand on the beautiful beaches of Diu. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Diu – Mumbai – Back Home:
After breakfast transfer to Airport to board flight to Mumbai.
On arrival at Mumbai Airport, board to home bound flight to back home.
End of the Program