Vibrant Gujarat & Rural Rajasthan
Vibrant Gujarat and Rural Rajasthan…
Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar-Gondal-Wankaner-Hodka-Bhuj-Dasada-Danta-Dungarpur-Sardargarh-Bijaipur-Bhainsrorgarh – Bundi- Ramathra-Delhi
Arrive Ahmedabad. Met & transferred to The House of MG .. An Indo-European style mansion owned by a former textile industrialist family .
PM : Guided tour of the Sarkhej mausoleum complex and the Vishala Village complex with its superb utensils museum. Visit the nearby mosques
AM Guided visit of the Calico Museum of Textiles, one of India’s leading specialized museums. The collections include textile swatches of Indian origin found at archaeological sites of Egypt, silk sarees from across India, double-ikat silk sarongs made in Patan for the Indonesian market, chintz and curtains made from Dutch, British and Portuguese colonial powers in Gujarat, floral embroidery from Punjab, shawls from Kashmir, 18th century tie-and-dye, richly embroidered Mughal tent of Shah Jahan whose palace is nearby, royal wardrobes of Rajasthan, cloth paintings and manuscripts, religious narrative cloth paintings like Pichwais and Kalamkaris, etc.)
PM: Afternoon visit to the exquisitely carved 15th century Adalaj stepwell & The Mahatma Gandhi Ashram.
Stay a second night at The House of MG.
Today, you will be driven 60kms/1hour 30mins to Lothal to see the museum and archaeological site offering an insight into the town planning of the Indus Valley Civilisation (Harappa) . Onto Bhavnagar (170kms-3hours). Stay at Nilambagh Palace…1895 palace, now a heritage hotel, set in vast gardens with large luxurious, old fashioned rooms.
Driven 160kms to Gondal. Visit the 1748AD Naulakha Palace which houses the erstwhile ruling family’s private collection of beadwork, textiles, brassware, hand-painted toys and silver crafts, the centre promoting weaving at Gondal, and the historic buildings of Gondal. Evening visit to Khadi Plaza, one of Gujarat’s major handloom weaving units. (Veteran car museum).
Stay at Orchard Palace .. A palace hotel decorated with textiles from the former Maharanis’ collection)
Driven 99 kms to Wankaner (Ranjit Vilas Palace) to stay at the family’s nearby summer home The Royal Oasis and the Residency.
Driven 6 hours to Hodka Village (via Bhuj) . Stay at Shaam-e-Sarhad (Sunset at the Border) Village Resort, a Village Resort, owned and operated by the Village Tourism Committee of the indigenous people from Hodka village.
Day visit to Hodka Artists Village : You will explore its typical village houses, meet different artisan families and admire the finest embroidery styles and leather crafts. You will explore the artisans families to see their nicely decorated and painted traditional houses, learn about their livelihoods and customs and admire their fine Embroideries and Leather work which you can also buy directly from artisans. You will also explore Virda or Well where you learn about the ancient process of water harvesting in the Banni dry-lands, a flat and dry extension of land similar to Rann of Kachchh, to enjoy the particular landscape.
Stay a second night at Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort.
Drive 80kms/1 hour 30mins to Bhuj. Stay at Hotel Prince.
Driven 300kms/6-7 hours to Dasada in the Little Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary , famous for Asiatic Wild Ass, Lesser & Greater Flamingos, Desert Cat, Chinkara & Nilgai. Stay at Rann Riders .. an ethnically designed eco-resort with country type cottages, set among wetlands and agriculture fields. Offers jeep, horse and camel safaris in the Little Rann of Kutch, habitat of Asiatic Wild Ass and a bird watching paradise.)
Explore wild life in the Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary.
Stay a second night at Rann Riders.
Driven 250 kms/7 hours to Danta (via Modhera, Patan and Sidhapur). Stay at Bhavani Villa ..Home of Maharana of Danta.
Jeep Safari to farm & tribal village.
Stay a second night at Bhavani Villa ..
Today we drive 270kms/5hours to Dungarpur (Rajasthan) to stay at Udai Bilas Palace …Nestled in idyllic splendour, with the blue waters of Gaibsagar lake on one side and a cove of private reserve forest on the other, Udai Bilas Palace with an infinite swimming pool is the embodiment of the old world charm of princely India. It offers a scenic location for rest and recreation. Buffet Breakfasts and Dinners will be served in the partially open to sky dining area – Zenana Chowk . For lunches Guests usually prefer the quiet of the pool side. An exquisite table in marble with inlay work along the edges is the central attraction of the Zenana chowk while pebble work walls add a dash of extravagance to this unusual dining space.. The indoors of the Zenana is air-conditioned and has individual tables.)
Visit to the Old Palace or Juna Mahal as it is locally known, is no longer occupied. It is still owned by the family and can be visited only on invitation. You can view the erotic painting in this Palace.
Stay a second night at Udai Bilas Palace.
Those who want to return home, take a flight to Delhi from Udaipur to connect onward flight home.
For those who want to explore rural Rajasthan.. please continue….Drive 94kms to Sardargarh (via Udaipur). Stay at Sardargarh Heritage Hotel.. a formidable fort restored to it’s past glory. Well looked after by the charming hostess, Dharitri Singh.
The management organizes very good activities like jeep safari, camp fire and some local folk dance. It also has a museum in it where we can see ancient ornaments, royal costumes, armaments and other antiques.
Stay a second night at Sardargarh Heritage Hotel.
Driven to Chittaurgarh (109 kms) to see the magnificent Fort. Drive Onto Bijaipur (1 hour). Stay at Castle Bijaipur … The 16th century Castle, situated in fortified walls, located in the Vindhyanchal Hills at 600 meters above sea level, surrounded by graceful forests of Flame of the Forest & Jaracanda overlooking the farmlands in the valley.The owner is a keen horseman who can arrange riding and horse safari.
Activities: Yoga classes, Horse safari etc.
Stay a second night at Castle Bijaipur.
Driven 2 hours to stay at Bhainsrorgarh Fort ..The famous British historian Col. James Tod after seeing the splendid and mesmerizing beauty of Bhainsrorgarh said that if he was offered a Jagir (fiefdom) and given an option to choose it anywhere in Rajasthan, he would have chosen Bhainsrorgat.. Bhainsrorgarh Fort Hotel offers 5 unique suites each with a different character and personality. A few rooms overlook the Chambal river and the hill This Hotel offers magnificent views.
Stay a second night at Bhainsrorgarh Fort.
Drive 1 hour to Bundi. Stay at Bundi Haveli …. Recently restored heritage property in the heart of the old city, it’s backdrop, the Garh Palace and the Taragarh Fort., offering stunning views of the old town, palace, fort and lake.
Alternatively stay at Bundi Vilas….. a charming, new boutique property which opened in September 2008. Built against the rampart walls of Bundi Garh Palace, which rise majestically above the town.
Visit Taragar Fort & old city.
Stay a second night at your chosen hotel.
Driven to Ramathra (your car/driver departs) . Stay at Ramathra Fort…a magnificent Fort converted to a hotel well run by a Royal family couple.
Boating in the lake to see the beautiful surrounding , bird watching etc.
Stay a second night at Ramathra Fort
Day train from Gangapur City to Delhi. Over night at a Delhi hotel .
Departs to London. END OF TOUR