"From the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, to the peace and tranquillity of Ghandi's story, this trip truly explores rural India"
Discover the fascinating history and rich cultural heritage of one of India’s least explored regions. Gujarat, the country’s westernmost state, is home to beautiful temples, sacred sites, varied landscapes and rare wildlife. This 13-day tour provides a comprehensive introduction some of the region’s highlights including national parks, stunning beaches, world-class museums and ancient Buddhist caves. You’ll also gain a fascinating glimpse into the life of the revered Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, who lived here for many years.
Your journey begins in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital and the home of Bollywood. Here, visit the former residence of Gujarat’s most famous son, Mahatma Gandhi, and enjoy an exciting taste of modern India. Continue into the state’s biggest city, Ahmedabad, where you’ll visit one of the world’s best textile museums – its collection of rare textiles dates back to the 17th century! Delve deep into Gujarati life as you travel through the narrow streets of Bhavnagar’s old city, relax on exquisite beaches on the island of Diu and enjoy a jungle adventure in search of majestic Asiatic lions at the Sasan Gir National Park. Admire cultural treasures including the ancient fort at Junagarh, extraordinary Buddhist caves and the fantastic palaces at Gondal. Finally, barter in the bazaar at Ahmedabad before returning to Mumbai.
Active India Holidays are local operators and, as such, have seen first-hand the benefits that tourism can bring to some of India’s most remote regions. They understand that tourism often helps to alleviate poverty and develop communities and, as part of the global tourism industry, acknowledge that they too have a crucial role to play in providing commercial benefits and financial impetus in local communities. The company is conscious of both the negative and positive impacts its operations potentially have within sensitive environments and communities, particularly in the Himalayas where most of Active India’s trekking and adventure operations are conducted.
To ensure that they operate in as responsible a way as possible, Active India trains all of its tour leaders and support staff on sustainability practices. One example is their ‘Leave no Trace’ policy, which ensures that campsites and trails are left free from any waste. The company even extends this policy to include the waste left by travellers who have come before them, collecting and disposing of any extra rubbish in a safe manner. Active India hopes to contribute towards building a tourism industry that brings pleasure to travellers whilst also constructing a future for the local people and places that the industry depends on.
Arrival in Mumbai: Arrive at Mumbai’s international airport, and transfer to your hotel. Formerly known as Bombay, the bustling metropolis that is Mumbai is India’s largest city, and its commercial capital. Home to Bollywood, the country’s great film industry, Mumbai is a hub for film and TV. Surprisingly, the city also has India’s biggest slum population.
Mumbai – Ahmedabad: Begin your sightseeing programme with a visit to the Gateway of India, one of Mumbai’s most iconic landmarks. Next, visit the Prince of Wales Museum, which was used as a hospital during World War I. The museum houses a rich collection of artefacts and is considered to be one of India’s best. Continue past the University of Bombay, the High Court and Crawford Market as you journey to the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, a welcome oasis of green in the concrete metropolis. Drive through Malabar Hill, home to Mumbai’s rich and famous, before visiting the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Victoria Terminus. Finally, transfer to the railway station to board the overnight train to Ahmedabad.
Arrival in Ahmedabad: Upon your arrival in Ahmedabad, transfer to your hotel. The sixth-largest city in India, Ahmedabad has several ornately carved historic monuments including the Rani Mosques and a step-well at Adalaj. It is also home to many interesting museums and art galleries. Visit one of the world’s best textile museums, the Calico Textile Museum, and admire its excellent collection of rare textiles dating back to the 17th century. Next, pay a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram near Vadaj. The former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, who founded it in 1915, it is now the biggest tourist attraction in the city.
Ahmedabad – Bhavnagar: Continue your tour into Bhavnagar, the ‘cultural capital’ of the Saurashtra region. Visit the Takteshwar Temple and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its location in the centre. Admire the library of Gandhian books and photographs at Gandhi Smriti, a memorial that provides fascinating glimpses into his life. It also has a wonderful collection of art objects representing the culture of the Saurashtra Region. Later in the evening, visit the bustling local market.
Bhavnagar – Palitana – Diu: Drive to Diu after breakfast, stopping en route at the famous Palitana Jain Temples. Palitana is an important pilgrimage centre for Jains, known for their non-violent way of life. There are more than 3,000 temples on the Shatrunjaya hills, making it the world’s largest temple complex. Make the two-hour ascent to the top, passing devotees dressed in white, to admire the exquisitely carved marble temples. Once your visit is over, continue on to Diu where you’ll check in to your hotel for the night.
Diu: Diu Island, a former Portuguese colony, is connected to the mainland by bridges and a ferry. The city has numerous beaches to explore, such as Nagoa Beach offering water-sport activities and plenty of seafood restaurants. Alternatively, discover the quiet and isolated Jalandhar Beach and indulge in some swimming and sunbathing. Enjoy a free day to relax and explore the island.
Diu – Somnath – Sasangir: Leave Diu Island and continue your tour with a drive to Sasangir National Park. En route, visit Somnath Temple, or ‘the Shrine Eternal’, which has been destroyed and rebuilt six times. Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Journey on to Sasangir, checking in to your hotel upon arrival.
Morning and Evening Game Drives: Get up-close and personal with wildlife with two adventurous game drives into the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. This park is the sole home of pure Asiatic Lions, and is one of Asia’s most important protected areas. Gir has around 2,375 distinct fauna species including approximately 38 mammals, 300 birds, 37 reptiles and more than 2,000 insects. The park’s carnivores include: Asiatic Lions, Indian Leopards, Bengal Tigers, Sloth bears, King Cobras, Jungle Cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, Indian Palm Civets and Ratels.
Sasangir – Junagadh: After breakfast at your hotel you’ll drive to Junagadh. Nestled in the foothills of the Girnar Hills, Junagarh translates as ‘an ancient fort’. A historic city, Junagarh is famed for its monuments, temples and rich culture. Upon your arrival in the city you’ll visit the fort, before enjoying a free evening to relax or explore the locality.
Junagadh – Gondal – Rajkot: Visit some ancient double-story Buddhist caves in the morning, thought to be at least 1,700 years old. The soft rock on which Junagadh is built encouraged the construction of caves and wells. Later, drive to Rajkot, visiting Naulakha Palace in Gondal en route. Upon your arrival in Rajkot, check in to your hotel.
Rajkot: A famous commercial and industrial city of Saurashtra, Rajkot was founded in 1612. You’ll visit Kaba Gandhi’s Gate, Watson Museum and Library, Lal Pari Lake and Randerda. Here, indulge in some fantastic exotic bird-watching; the lake is a roosting place for numerous species including rare migratory birds. Keep a lookout for black-tailed godwits, purple moorhens, common teals, pelicans and spoonbills.
Rajkot – Ahmedabad – Mumbai: After breakfast, drive to Ahmedabad where you’ll have some time to explore the city’s bazaar. Later, transfer to the railway station to board the overnight train to Mumbai.
Tour Concludes: Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person (on a double sharing basis)
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- Refunds: 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund.
- 2 x wildlife safaris at Sasan Gir by Jeep (including Park entrance, forest guard and vehicle charges)
- English speaking monument sightseeing guides at cities
- All land transport
- Government service tax as applicable
- Travel insurance
- Indian visa fees
- Any monument entrance fees
- Flights (domestic/international)
- Any optional activities or services not mentioned in inclusions
- Services of any professional English speaking tour leader/escort during the tour
- Miscellaneous expenses for tips, laundry, drinks, any medical emergencies and souvenirs etc.