Gujarat has been a nucleus of evolution for more than four millennia. From 2700-1600 BC, the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization flourished at places like Lothal and Dholavira. The Harappan cities were known for their stylish town planning. From the 3rd century BC to the 7th century BC, Gujarat was a thriving centre of Buddhism. The golden era of Gujarat’s structural design was during the time in power of the Solanki Rajputs in the 11th and 12th centuries when superb Hindu and Jain temples were constructed. A remarkable characteristic of the Solanki era was the development of water-retaining formations like the step wells, stepped tanks and superficial lakes which were garlanded like subterranean palaces with truly excellent designs. Another unique feature of Gujarat is its Jain temple composite sites on peaks like those of Shatrunjaya Hill near Palitana and Mt Girnar near Junagadh.
The 15th century saw the expansion of a provincial Indo-Saracenic style of architecture during the sovereign of Sultan Ahmed Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad, with mosques and mausoleum complexes which blend Hindu and Islamic architectural designs.
The 17th to 19th century period saw much trade out of Gujarat’s ports and the state merchant’s specially made notable havelis with beautiful woodcarvings. This journey has been planned to include a cross-section of these amazing architectural styles attribute of the state. The itinerary can also be customized to include imposing European works like the huge Portuguese fort of Diu, the wonderful churches of Daman, and the Dutch and British mausoleum complexes of Surat.
Day 1: Mumbai
Welcome to the commercial capital of India and on arrival at Mumbai, you will be acknowledged and shifted to your hotel for overnight stay. Overnight haul in Mumbai.
Days 2 – 3: Mumbai
Mumbai or Bombay, as it was previously known as India’s land of dreams. We take pleasure in a entire day city tour covering the Gateway of India monument, the Prince of Wales museum, Marine Drive, Mani Bhawan Jain temple and the Elephanta Caves. On day 3, early in the morning we go for a guided Heritage Walk prior to visit the Afghani Church and divine Banganga Temple and water-tank in the noon. At night take pleasure on a picturesque horse and buggy ride besides Marine drive towards Chowpatty Beach. Overnight stay in Mumbai.
Day 4: Ahmadabad
Early in the morning board your flight to Ahmadabad. At noon, visit the Sarkhej mausoleum complex and the Vishala Village compound with its outstanding utensils museum. Stay in the house of Mangaldas Girdhardas, a heritage hotel possessed by an ex- textile industrialist family unit. Visit the nearby mosques.
Day 5: Ahmadabad
Watch out the Calico Museum of Textiles, India’s leading specialized museums. In the afternoon visit to the elegantly engraved 15th century Adalaj step well.
Day 6: Ahmadabad – Palitana
In morning, go for a heritage walk in Ahmadabad. This walking tour provides an opportunity to look the old quarters of Ahmedabad lined with the wonderfully carved wooden front elevations of havelis. Continue to Lothal to observe the site museum and archaeological site presenting an insight into the town planning of the Indus Valley Civlisation. Move to Palitana/Bhavnagar. Reside either at Vijay Vilas heritage hotel at Adpur village of Palitana or at Nilambag Palace Hotel in Bhavnagar.
Day 7: Palitana – Gondal
Climb the Shatrunjaya Hill near Palitana town to watch out the massive compound of about 863 temples crowning two points of the apex. Come down and proceed to Gondal. Observe the outstanding carvings and collections of the 1740s Naulakha Palace at Gondal. Reside at the Riverside Palace/Orchard Palace heritage hotel.
Day 8: Gondal – Junagadh – Gondal
VA full-day outing to Junagadh to look at the prehistoric Uparkot Fort, impressive Gothic palaces of the Nawabs and the flashy 19th century mausoleum compound. Back to Gondal, calling in en route to observe the 4th century Buddhist caves of Khambalida.
Day 9: Gondal – Dasada
Proceed from Gondal to Dasada via the museum at Rajkot. Reside at Rann Riders resort in Dasada.
Day 10: Dasada – Modhera – Patan – Balaram
Proceed to the 11th century Sun Temple of Modhera, one of the supreme examples of Hindu temple architecture in western part of India. Subsequent to seeing the temple, prolong to Patan to watch the brilliantly carved 11th century step-well. Drive to Balaram via Sidhapur famous for its mansions and princely Palanpur. Reside at Balaram Palace Resort.
Day 11: Balaram – Taranga – Vadnagar – Ahmadabad
Travel to see the 12th century Taranga Jain Temples and to historic Vadnagar with many remarkable buildings. Remain in Ahmadabad and stay overnight.
Day 12: Ahmadabad – Champaner
Journey from Ahmadabad to Champaner – Pavagadh archaeological park, which has outstanding works of Indo-Saracenic architecture. On the way look-out the palaces of Vadodara. Reside at the heritage home in Jambugodha.
Day 13: Champaner/Jambugodha – Ahmadabad – Mumbai
Back to Ahmadabad airport to board your flight back to Mumbai. On arrival at Mumbai, catch your connecting flight back home.