Discover the chequered history of ancient Uparkot Fort
Includes return economy airfares
12 days priced at £3125pp flight and hotel inclusive
Step off the beaten track and explore the undiscovered state of Gujarat, bursting with historic forts, ...
... mountaintop temples, pilgrimage sites and unspoiled national parks. From fascinating cultures to absorbing histories, with a wealth of wildlife in between, you’ll find it all on this awe-inspiring journey.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Enjoy a typical Gujarati Thali dinner in Ahmedabad
- Discover the chequered history of ancient Uparkot Fort
- Set off on a jeep safari in search of the majestic Asiatic lion
- Soak up the gorgeous views from Palitana’s hill temple
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- International flights
- 10 nights in 4–4.5* hotels & hand-picked local gems
- 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- City tour of Ahmedabad
- Tour of Gondal
- 2 jeep safaris in Gir National Park
- Takhteshwar Mahadev Temple in Bhavnagar
- Excursion to Palitana
- Services of a tour manager throughout your Journey, with airport greet & meets
- All transfers
- Journeys Exclusive: Famous Gujarati Thali dinner at local restaurant
Need to know+
- Arrives: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (AMD)
- Time difference: GMT+5:30
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require a tourist visa; please ask your travel consultant for more information
- Language: Hindi, English
- Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
- Flying time from UK: Around 11 hours
- Plug type: 3 large round pins
- Voltage: 230 volts/50 cycles
- Please note this Journey does not operate from 15 JUN to 15 OCT, as the national park is closed during this period
Tour the historic city of Ahmedabad, founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmad Shah. Take in the double-storey temple of Hathee Singh Jain, whose detailed shrines have been carved into white marble. Check out the peaceful Gandhi Ashra, the former home of Mahatma Gandhi, and gaze in wonder at the unusual Adalaj Step Well, an intricately-carved, five-storey ‘water building’. After all that sight-seeing, indulge in a delicious Gujarati Thali dinner, a selection of local dishes classically served on a round tray, and an experience exclusive to Flight Centre.
Admire the pretty riverside palace of Navlakha, famed for its intricate balconies, delicate arches and a unique spiral staircase. Continue in the same vein at the Riverside Palace, set in pretty lawns and green gardens overlooking the Gondali River, and showing a mishmash of styles. Later, visit the royal garages with their extensive collection of vintage cars, including a 1920s Daimler and a 1941 Cadillac, many with original Gondal number plates.
Explore the historic citadel of Uparkot, raised up on a rocky outcrop and offering fabulous views across to Girnar Hill. This 330-year-old fort is surrounded by 20-metre-high walls, and is said to have been unsuccessfully besieged 16 times throughout its history. Nearby, the slightly spooky Buddhist Caves are filled with detailed carvings and ornamental pillars. There are also two rock-hewn step wells here, one with over 120 steps leading down to the water, and the other over a thousand years old with a magnificent spiral staircase. Tour the city of Junagadh and discover the chequered history of this region, where centuries of influences from four religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam– has shaped the local culture.
Continue on to Sasangir and enter Gir National Park, carpeted with deciduous forests and criss-crossed by perennial rivers. This pristine park is home to a flourishing panther population, as well as various antelope and a wide variety of birds, including the crested serpent eagle and the white-throated kingfisher. But the biggest draw is the 300-strong pride of Asiatic lions, the last surviving of their species in the world. Take off on a thrilling jeep safari in search of this magnificent animal.
Drop by the pilgrimage site of Somnath, which, as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of the god Shiva, is considered a sacred place. Its name means ‘the protector of the Moon God’ because legend has it that the Moon God created the temple in gold. Learn more about the shrine’s fascinating history, then head onwards to the island of Diu, a former Portuguese colony. Diu is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and offers a smattering of churches and a fort. The island makes a refreshing change from the craziness of India’s larger cities, and offers a handful of sandy beaches, bays and salt pans to explore.
Your next stop is the cosmopolitan city of Bhavnagar. Spend the afternoon observing the wildlife in the bird-watching paradise of Victoria Park and admiring the Takhteshwar Mahadev Temple, raised up on a plinth. The next day, soak up the out-of-this-world views from Palitana’s hill temple, Shatrunjaya. The entire summit of this majestic mountain is dotted with over 900 temples, fortresses, spires and marble carvings, all exquisitely beautiful and quite a sight to behold.
Stop off at Lothal, the ruins of a 4500-year-old village with an advanced drainage system. The site boasts the world’s earliest-known dock, which connected the town to the Sabarmati River when it flowed through the area in ancient times. Visit the archaeological museum to see the various artefacts discovered there, many relating to Lothal’s history as a trade centre. Finally, return to the city of Ahmedabad for your last night.
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