Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gujarat tour: the plan and the itinerary

For a long time, I wanted to visit Gujarat. It beckoned the vegetarian in me. I made an impulsive decision and bought my air tickets with the cheapest to and fro fares available, which incidentally left me with just two weeks' time to plan the itinerary, the hotels and the travel agents...

First things first. Find a place to stay. Two days of research and calls resulted in short-listing of a hotel.
My major advantage of traveling in the third week of July was that monsoons are considered an off-season for tourism in India...what with the irksome showers. Therefore, there weren't major hassles of tickets, rooms or check-in and check-out timings.

Next was to plan an itinerary and see how to go about it. Just some ideas from the different forums and websites made me start with a 3-day Ahmedabad visit first. After that I allowed myself to go with the flow.

I found that there were mainly four regions to cover: Ahmedabad and around, the Kutch region, the west (Dwarka), the South (Diu, Somnath, Junagadh, Gir) I could also do Vadodara, Surat and Anand (as I really was keen on visiting the milk factory ( in the areas lying south of Ahmedabad.)

For my planning, I found this website very useful as it gives you a detailed plan of places to visit and also a fair idea of what can be covered in the number of planned days. ( .
My areas of interest were to visit the tribal villages to watch and buy the various handicrafts that they produce & history and architecture of those times. What I knew for sure was I didn't want to cover any wild life and also wasn't too keen on temples unless they happen to hold some historical/architectural value.
What I also was sure of was that I wanted to relax and not rush through a hectic schedule. Only after I happened to wake up, I'd plan to cover places close by. Of course, to visit places far off, I had to get up sooner but then they were interspersed with the lazy days. I ended up doing fewer places and definitely missed on some which I wish I could/should have but then overall it was a very relaxed tour.

This is how I went about my 12 days' travel


  1. 26 July 2014:  Landed in Ahmedabad at 8 am. Slept after breakfast till 3 pm as I had woken up at 3 am to catch the flight. Evening, met an old classmate and had early supper. Went to Law Garden to have a dekho at the clothes. Went to the Alpha mall (the biggest in Ahmedabad) for a quick tour and evening snack.
  2. 27th July: Booked a cab for 7 am to go to Palitana, 250 kms away. Came back to hotel on Law Garden road.
  3. 28th July: Morning checked out from hotel. Booked cab and started for Patan, Sarkhej Roza, Adalaj ki Vav, covering Modhera and on the way back Rani ki Vav, and Patola. Night train to Bhuj.
Based at BHUJ:
  1. 29th  July morning: Reached Bhuj: Covered Amba Mata temple, Vaishno devi, Vijay Palace, Mandvi Beach, Ship Building Yard,
  2. 30th  July:  Kala Dungar, Banni Villages. Hodka, The White Desert
  3. 31st July: Check out from hotel and visit to Bhujodi, Ajrakpur, Local sight seeing.
  1. 1st August:  5 am, back to Ahmedabad and a BREAK. Did nothing but relax.
  2. 2nd  August : Check out from hotel and Start for Mt. Abu by cab. Reached at around 7 pm. Rowing on the lake and shopping for trinkets
  3. 3rd August Morning. Check out from hotel at Mt. Abu and go to Dilwara and Dattatreya (at Guru Shikhar) temples.
  4. 3rd August night: Board train to Veraval from Ahmedabad at 10 pm.
  5. 4th August morning: Reach Veravael. Take cab to Diu. Back at 5.30 pm to Somnath
  6. 4th August night: Board train to Ahmedabad.
  7. 5th August morning: Arrive Ahmedabad. Check in at hotel, sleep and then Ahmedabad local sight seeing: HatheeSingh temple, Shaking minarets, Old city, Lakshminarayan temple, Siddi Syed Mosque, Kangaria lake.
  8. 6th August morning: Check out and local sight seeing and shopping, Dada hari ni vav, Dutch tombs, Shopping,
  9. 6th Evening: Board flight back.

Sights missed: Lothal, Adalaj ki vav, Shreyas Folk museum , Bhuj local sight seeing.

The entire itinerary was built on-the-go. I had plenty of time to do so and second, it being an off-season period, tickets were easily available. What I also tried to do was spend night time on train to minimize spending on hotel accommodations. Second, by not traveling by cabs, I not only saved time, as cabs do day travel, but also traveled the distance for one-third the cost (train vs. cab).
All in all, a very relaxed tour with no hurrying, waking up early or packing the day with loads of activities.