Day 1: Baroda - Champaner - Jambugoda - Chhota Udepur
The tour begins from Baroda, one of the major cities in Gujarat that is popular for its art galleries and museums. Visit these places to get introduced to the history of the state and its legacies, before you actually start touring through the historical sites in reality.Post Baroda, visit the historical city of Champaner; located just about 50 km from here. The city once served as a brief capital to the state and today houses the world heritage site of Champaner - Pavagadh archaeological park. The beauty of the 16th century monumental wonders housed here will simply take your breath away!Subsequently you could visit the tribal areas of Gujarat to take a glimpse of their traditional ways of life. Tribal tours in India are very popular and Gujarat tops the list of places where these tours are organized to. Therefore, while here do not miss to visit the tribal hamlets of Chhota Udepur and the exotic paintings that adorn the walls of their houses.
Ahmedabad is one of the most popular cities in the state; both for the business guests as well as the leisure tourists. With its business institutions and age-old monumental wonders; Ahmedabad is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the country. The mausoleums and the mosques housed here offer an impressive insight into the art and architecture of the 16th century. Fine illustrations of Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture, the monuments of Ahmedabad are a treat to every onlooker. While touring through the city, you could also visit the Gandhi Ashram and the several museums housed here.
Ahmedabad is also known for its splendid mansions, locally called as 'havelis'. Residences of the rich traders, these havelis are no less than palaces in their magnitude and magnificence. Nothing could be better than taking a stroll through these havelis and appreciating their beauty.Later, proceed towards Lothal, another historically significant town of India. The archeological ruins of Lothal date back to the Indus Valley Civilization and directly hint towards the fact that it was then a very important center. The designing, planning, and architecture of the era are simply mind blowing.
On the 4th day of the tour, proceed towards Palitana, renowned for its temple complex. Mostly visited by Jain pilgrims, the complex with exquisite designing is also frequented by people belonging to other faiths as well. Situated on top of the Shatrunjaya hill, the temple complex houses more than 1300 temples in its midst, all carved out of pure marble. Legends maintain that the main temple dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first 'tirthankar' of the Jains, is believed to have breathed 7 times when the idol was first placed here. No wonder devotees still believe in the magical powers that fill the air here.After you have visited the Jain religious site, it is now time to move on to visit the Portuguese sites housed in Gujarat. To do this, you will have to move ahead to Diu where the 16th and 17th century churches also attract devotees in large numbers, throughout the year. Besides the churches, the Portuguese forts also housed here are also fondly frequented sites for all tourists coming here.
Early morning on the 5th day of the tour, begin your sojourn by traveling to Somnath, a place of great religious significance for the Hindus. The temple complex houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of lord Shiva and on special occasions this place is thronged by thousands of devotees throughout the day. A visit to the Somnath temple is believed to relieve one of sins!
The name of Gujarat and wildlife sanctuaries almost go hand in hand; so much so that a trip to this state cannot be imagined without including the Gir National Park in ones' itinerary. Fondly frequented for its exotic collection of Lion, travelers from all over the world definitely make it a point to visit this place while touring through the country. After your tryst with wildlife, proceed towards the historically rich Junagadh.Junagadh is home to a number of forts and palaces that were once residences of the members of the royal family, ruling over the area. Fortified ruins of the erstwhile palaces still stand tall to tell tales of valor and chivalry of the rulers of the era. A number of Buddhist caves are housed here and the museums of Junagadh give one a detailed insight of the history and legacies of the place.The next destination, Gondal is famous for the Naulakha Palace housed there. The fine carvings of the palace make the destination a must visit place in the circuit. One of the princely states of the Kathiawar Agency, Gondal still takes pride in the old-world charm that was once very evident here.
A historic trip to Gujarat will remain incomplete unless you visit its deserts and the ways of life of the people staying there. Therefore on the 7th day of the tour, embark on a short excursion to the Rann of Kutch. Noted for its distinct wildlife, this area is also fondly frequented for the vibrant villages that surround it. Enroute also visit the artisans of Dasada before you arrive in Jhijhwada. History of this place can be traced back to the 11th and 12th century A.D when this place was also thriving with life and activity. Overnight stay for you is arranged in Dasada itself.
The Sun temple in Modhera is one of the most exotic Hindu temples in western India. Locals hold the temple in very high esteem and so do the tourists as it is believed that a prayer here never goes unanswered. After Mohera, the next destination that your tour will halt at is Patan, noted for its ancient and massive step-well. This 11th century site is one of the most celebrated monuments of the country. Balaram is known for its exquisite palace, Balaram Palace that offers great accommodation option to the weary travelers. While here, visit the stately mansions housed in its bosom, besides the erstwhile princely state of Palanpur.
The historical heritage of Taranga and Vadnagar attract guests from all over the country to come and relish a wonderful experience here. Renowned for its Jain temples, Taranga is also visited by people of other faiths. Vadnagar on the other hand is most visited for its exotic collection of ancient buildings and monuments. Once you have visited these medieval Indian cities, proceed towards Ahmedabad, your final destination of the circuit.