Departure from Udaipur (Rajasthan) - Poshina (Gujarat)
Namaste. We pick you up at your hotel and leave for Gujarat, a neighbouring state. We will check up in Poshina in an old palace held by the descendants of the Chalukyas kings whose empire spread to a large part of Gujarat and central India in the 12th century. Night in the Poshina Palace.
The day will be dedicated to the visit of the villages around Poshina, meeting Garasias and indigenous people with the Maharaja of Poshina as a guide. Night in the Poshina Palace.
Poshina - Modhera via Siddhpur and Patan
We will leave the elegant Poshina Palace and drive a little further south to the Modhera Sun Temple. On the way, we will visit Siddhpur with its special mansions and Patan and its ancient stepwell as well as weaving workshops of the saris 'patola', among the most expensive in India. We will finally unpack our bags at Mehsana near the temple of Modhera. Overnight in Mehsana.
Modhera - Ahmedabad
On the morning, we will visit the famous Modhera sun temple built in 1026 during the reign of Bhima Deva 1st (Solanki dynasty). The Solankis considered themselves descendants of the Suryavamsha, the solar line, so they naturally dedicated the temple to Surya, the sun god. After lunch, we will leave for Ahmedabad. Overnight in Ahmedabad in an heritage hotel.
Ahmedabad (“Ahmed’s City”), boasts a rich heritage from its past as a merchant city. The old town and its many pols or districts with their finely carved mansions (havelis) bear witness to its former wealth. Adding to the city’s aura are its memories of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived here when striving for India’s independence. We will first visit the old city: the Pols (housing cluster), the havelis and chabutros, the Jumma Masjid mosque, the Kala temple Ramji, Swaminarayan Kalupur Temple, Siddi Saiyyed Mosque and Hatheesingh Jain Temple and Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram. Overnight in Ahmedabad in an heritage hotel.
We leave for Dasada, our first stop in the Kutch region. En route, we will stop at Dada Harir Vav, a splendid five-storey stepwell built in 1485 by the Muslim king Bai Harir. 'Vav' (well) were once an integral part of the semi-arid regions of Gujarat. They allowed commercial caravans and locals to enjoy a cool place while being also places of festivities. Arrival in Dasada in the afternoon. Check in at the hotel, free time. Overnight in Dasada.
After breakfast, we will visit the sanctuary of the 'Little Rann of Kutch', the last refuge of the asian wild donkeys. We will also visit the salinas of Agaria. In the afternoon, we will stroll through a few villages to meet Rabari, Bharwad and Banjara communities. Overnight in Dasada.
After breakfast, we will head to Bhuj, the capital of the Kutch region stopping at the blockprinting workshops, a specialty of Khatri communities. On the road, it is very likely that we meet some typical characters, caravans of nomads, Rabari shepherds or men of the Ahir community who are always happy to pose for you. Overnight in Bhuj.
We will start the day visiting Bhuj: Swaminarayan Temple and Aina Palace and we will spend a long time in the bazars of the city where many several communities come to do shopping; Rabaris, Ahirs and Fakranis among others. We will then leave for Dhaneti to observe the embroidery work of the Ahir community and Bhujodi for its weavers. Overnight in Bhuj.
Banni - Rann of kutch - Banni
Departure for Banni, an area of Kutch including several typical Adivasi villages. En route, we will stop at Nirona to admire the 'rogan' style paintings made by Khatri communities. Installation in a resort in traditional huts in Hokda. In the afternoon, visit the village of Bhirandhia to admire the beautiful brightly painted houses of the Meghwar community. Meghwar women wear finely embroidered colourful dresses and stunning nose rings. The interior of the Meghwar houses is simply unique, painted all in white with raised patterns and inlaid mirrors, they are like fairytale houses. In the late evening, we will leave for the Rann of Kutch, the great salt desert of Gujarat to watch the sunset. Overnight at the resort.
Departure for Mandvi via some typical villages of the Banni region. Arrival in the afternoon. We will then stroll on the Mandvi page at sunset. Overnight in Mandvi.
This day will begin with a visit to the Mandvi harbour where huge boats are still hand-built in a traditional way. Then we will visit the beautiful palace of the Maharaja Rao Vijayrajji, which has often been the scene of filming for Bollywood film productions. We will return to the hotel where an Ayurvedic treatment awaits you, then you may laze on the private beach of the hotel. Overnight in Mandvi.
Back to Bhuj, from there you can continue to the west coast or we drop you off in Ahmedabad. End of the trip. Looking forward to meeting you again. Namaste.