Deccan Odyssey - Hidden Treasures of Gujarat

(9 days)

Mumbai, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Sasan Gir, Little Rann of Kutch, Modhera, Ahmedabad, Delhi

Not only is the colorful Gujarat popular for the abundant wealth possessed by the locals, but also for the hearty and fun people along with the understated beauty of the natural location. With a number of places with historical importance, scenic routes that can shame other towns and amenities to match with the expectations of international tourists, Gujarat makes for a beautiful destination to visit. Besides the World Heritage sites and such destinations, the area is also known for the religious spots such as Palitana and their famous forest reserve where you can chase a lion if you muster the courage to. Hop on aboard and let the experiences begin.

This tour is recommended for

Culture & Heritage
Family

At a Glance

Mumbai (1 night), Vadodra (1 night), Sasan Gir National Park (1 night), Sasan Gir National Park (1 night), Little Rann of Kutch National Park (1 night), Ahmedabad (1 night), Ahmedabad (1 night), Delhi (1 night), Delhi (0 night)


Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy the Scenic Sights in Mumbai such as the Gateway of India.
  • Discover the opulent Champaner Pavagadh Area, a prized World Heritage site.
  • Find some peace and spirituality at the tranquil Palitana and Modhera.
  • Chase the Asiatic Lions around in some friendly banter at the Sasan Gir Reserves.
  • Walk around the quintessential Old Delhi with an experienced guide or enjoy a local rickshaw ride through the meandering old lanes here.
  • Experience the lifestyle of the locals and take a moment to view the simpler time.

Detailed Itinerary


Mumbai (1 night)

Days  ( 1 - 2 )

Mumbai

Mumbai

The Island city of Mumbai was originally an archipelago of Bombay Island, Colaba, Worli, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, and Old Woman's Island. The west coast based city capital of Maharashtra has a cosmopolitan way of life and hosts a number of beaches that attract tourists.

Apart from being known as the nucleus of Bollywood; Mumbai showcases distinctive architectural styles. Old buildings in the city are a merge of Gothic Revival and Indo-Saracenic styles making them an intriguing highlight for tourists.

Activities

Trip to India representative will meet you at the Mumbai airport and transfer to the pre-booked hotel.
Overnight at hotel. Following day proceed for a guided tour of Mumbai city.
Late afternoon board the train at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and begin your enchanting journey to the royal city of the Gaekwads, Vadodara.

Welcome aboard the Deccan Odyssey.

Early this evening, assemble at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at approximately 1530 hours to complete the registration process and check in formalities for your Hidden Treasures of Gujarat journey, as you receive a traditional Indian welcome and enjoy a refreshing welcome drink.

After completion of all formalities, you will be shown to your delightful cabins. As you settle in, the Deccan Odyssey shall depart Mumbai for Vadodara.

Dinner on board & Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Vadodra (1 night)

Days  ( 2 - 3 )

Vadodra

Vadodra

Vadodra is the state of Gujarat and is located right beside the River Vishwamitri. As per popular legend, the river was named after the famous saint Vishwamitra.

Activities

As you enjoy breakfast this morning the Deccan Odyssey arrives at the capital of the Gaekwads, Vadodara, located along the seasonal river Vishwamitri.

Breakfast over, you will disembark and proceed to visit Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only complete and unchanged pre-Mughal Islamic city in India.

This concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties is cradled in an impressive landscape. Marvel at the Jami Masjid (Great Mosque) built in 1513 representing a perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture which was a model for later mosque architecture in India.

Drive back to Vadodara for a leisurely lunch on board the Deccan Odyssey.

After lunch, you will visit the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, originally constructed as a school for the Maharaja's children. Today, art lovers can view a large number of works of art displayed in the museum including a collection of the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and other renowned European Masters as well as a collection of sculptures in marble and bronze.

Enjoy high tea at the resplendent Laxmi Vilas Palace, built in 1890, and the residence of the Royal family even today. Reputedly four times the size of Buckingham Palace, its overwhelming Durbar Hall boasts a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgian stained glass windows and walls with intricate mosaic decorations. The palace also houses a remarkable collection of old armoury and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta by Fellici. Witness a folk performance typical of the region as you savour some of the special delicacies from the Royal kitchens.

Return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as it departs for Palitana.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board, High tea at Laxmi Vilas Palace

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Sasan Gir National Park (1 night)

Days  ( 3 - 4 )

Sasan Gir National Park

Sasan Gir National Park

Sasan Gir National Park is also known as the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a prominent bio-reserve based in Gujarat that houses the endangered Asiatic lion. The sprawling premises of the park extend over 1,400 square kilometers and house animals including reptiles and various bird species. The park is packed with tourists for most months of the year who travel to view the lion population in addition to the indigenous fauna resident in Gir.

Activities

Rise early this morning and after breakfast head out to explore one of the world's largest temple complexes, Palitana, famed for its spectacular cluster of Jain temples exquisitely carved in marble.

Spend the day exploring the most significant of the over 900 temples located on a hilltop at Palitana - considered to be the most sacred pilgrimage spot of the Jains.

After a full morning with the Jain Tirthankars, return to the Deccan Odyssey for a sumptuous lunch as it makes its way to Sasan Gir, the sole home of the Asiatic Lion.

The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax and enjoy some of the activities available on board. Watch a movie, learn the rules of 'carrom', a popular Indian board game, from a Deccan Odyssey team member or book yourself a relaxing massage in our spa on board.

Relax and watch the tapestry of rural India unfold as you sip a sun downer before dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Sasan Gir National Park (1 night)

Days  ( 4 - 5 )

Sasan Gir National Park

Sasan Gir National Park

Sasan Gir National Park is also known as the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a prominent bio-reserve based in Gujarat that houses the endangered Asiatic lion. The sprawling premises of the park extend over 1,400 square kilometers and house animals including reptiles and various bird species. The park is packed with tourists for most months of the year who travel to view the lion population in addition to the indigenous fauna resident in Gir.

Activities

Wake up to a golden dawn and after an early breakfast, disembark for your drive to Sasan Gir - The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. A guide will accompany you for your morning game drive into the Gir forest; keep your fingers crossed for a sighting of the majestic and extremely rare Asiatic lion! Experience the magic of the wild all around you as you venture deep into this natural habitat, with everything from tiny wild birds, not easily seen, but heard, singing in the forest canopy, to crocodiles sunning themselves in marshy waters.

After the excitement of the morning, enjoy a relaxed lunch at the Gateway hotel before proceeding to the Somnath temple.

Watch the vibrant village panorama unfold as you drive to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (manifestations of Lord Shiva) of India, housed in the beautiful Somnath temple. Located on the shores of Arabian Sea, Somnath, first said to be built in AD 4, is positioned such that there is no land mass between it and the Antarctic. The temple has been destroyed, looted and rebuilt several times.

As the afternoon melts into evening, soak in the view of Somnath temple bathed in the hues of the setting sun. Return to the Deccan Odyssey and unwind with a drink before dinner on board, as you set off for the Little Rann of Kutch.
Breakfast on board, Lunch at the Gateway hotel, Gir forest, Dinner on board

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Little Rann of Kutch National Park (1 night)

Days  ( 5 - 6 )

Little Rann of Kutch National Park

Little Rann of Kutch National Park

Gujarat’s Little Rann of Kutch National Park is a quaint salt marsh known to attract and protect a wide range of endangered wildlife. Situated in close proximity to the Great Rann of Kutch, the sanctuary is rich in biodiversity. Soon to be declared a biosphere under UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) program; it is a charming destination where travelers can get up close to nature and fauna.

Activities

Breakfast at the first blush of dawn today as the Deccan Odyssey pulls into the Viramgam station where you will disembark to drive to a stop over point and transfer to jeeps for a safari into the deceptively named Little Rann of Kutch.

The Rann is a seasonal salt marsh, the largest in the world at over 7500 sq. km, a saline desert where the dry air whips your face, mirages abound and parched earth unfolds as far as the eye can see. During the monsoons, these arid flatlands fill with water creating a still, salty sea.

Explore the Rann on your jeep safari; the Wild Ass Sanctuary here is one of the few places to spot the ghudkar, or Indian wild ass. Other species here include the desert fox, jungle cat, jackal and several birds. Since there is virtually no vegetation for animals to hide behind, they are easy to spot while driving around.

After your visit to the sanctuary, lunch will be at the Rann Riders Resort with time to relax and refresh yourselves. Enjoy the regional specialties of the Maliks of Rann, and delicious Gujarati fare in this charming resort surrounded by the desert.

Spend some time walking around and meeting the other species of the lodge which include the unique to the region Marwari and Kathiawari horses.

Later, drive out on a village safari to meet the varied communities that call the Rann their home. You will find the Agarias, salt-panners, hard at work drying out the salt. Visit the homes of the Rabari community and watch them create their exquisite embroidery using herringbone stitches interspersed with small mirrors. The Tangalia style of weaving is also popular, where an extra thread is introduced into the design, making the weave look like embroidery and the same design appears on both sides of the cloth. A Tangalia shawl takes a weaver about 7-8 days of work, a fading art as just a handful of these weavers are left in the region. Another interesting creation to look out for are the beaded bangles made by the Mirs of Dasada.

Having taken in your share of this great white vastness, return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner and head for Patan.

Breakfast & Dinner on board, Lunch at the Rann Riders Safari Resort.

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Ahmedabad (1 night)

Days  ( 6 - 7 )

Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad

The former capital city of Gujarat, the city of Ahmedabad is best known for its associations with the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. This charming city is home to some great medieval Islamic architecture and is also a critical business hub in West India.

Activities

This morning the Deccan Odyssey rolls into Patan, the 8th century fortified town, the capital of Gujarat in medieval times.

Breakfast over, disembark and drive to Patan to visit the lovely 11th century step well called Rani ki Vav, a fine example of subterranean well architecture. Walk down into the depths of this extravagant step well, one of the biggest in Gujarat, passing hundreds of delicate carvings and statues of Parvati, Shiva, Vishnu and other gods etched into its side walls. It is evident that this well was constructed not just to store water but was also a site for worship and community gatherings.

After your visit continue your drive, heading to the sun temple at Modhera. This grand, awe-inspiring 11th century sandstone monument was built by the Solanki dynasty and dedicated to the sun god. The complex is full of elaborate carvings and the resident priest enjoys explaining the legends they depict. A step tank in front of the temple has 108 shrines that lead down to the water.

Having visited the sun temple, drive back to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch on board. The afternoon is at leisure as Deccan Odyssey proceeds to Ahmedabad.

Early in the evening, the Deccan Odyssey pulls into Gandhinagar station, the city famous as the starting point of Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi march in protest of the taxes imposed on salt by the British.

Disembark and drive to Ahmedabad city to tour the lovely Veechar utensils museum.

After the utensils museum, it is time for your lovely themed dinner at the Vishalla Village restaurant. With no closed rooms or halls, lanterns used instead of artificial lighting, fresh open air replacing air-conditioners, folk songs being sung, muddy lanes and homely food served on a tree leaf, your servers welcome you dressed in dhotis and topis. Sit legs crossed Indian style and allow the servers to overwhelm you with the endless rounds of mouth watering Gujarati cuisine.

After dinner return to Deccan Odyssey which will be stationed at Ahmedabad for the night.

Breakfast & Lunch on board; Themed Dinner at the Vishalla Village restaurant

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey.

 

Ahmedabad (1 night)

Days  ( 7 - 8 )

Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad

The former capital city of Gujarat, the city of Ahmedabad is best known for its associations with the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. This charming city is home to some great medieval Islamic architecture and is also a critical business hub in West India.

Activities

Rise early this morning and after breakfast disembark to explore some more of the beautifully planned city of old Ahmedabad or Amdavad, as it was called.

Later visit the serene Sabarmati Ashram, built by Mahatma Gandhi, which played a pivotal role in India's fight for freedom.

Return to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch as it pulls out for the last leg of your journey.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board

Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

 

Delhi (1 night)

Days  ( 8 - 9 )

Delhi

Delhi

Formally known as the National Capital Territory; Delhi has been consistently colonized after the 6th century BC and is the country capital today. Legend states that the city was once the location of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandava clan. Delhi is home to 1,200 heritage structures, over 175 historical monuments and is a major travel hub.

Activities

Early this morning, after breakfast, you will disembark at Delhi Cantt Railway Station, New Delhi.

Bid farewell to the Deccan Odyssey as your royal passage through the grand vistas of India comes to an end.

Breakfast on board

Arrive in the imperial capital of Delhi, On arrival Trip to India Representative will meet you and transfer to the pre-booked hotel.

Later proceed for a guided tour of Old Delhi including rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandini Chowk area. Overnight at hotel.

 

Delhi (0 night)

Days  ( 9 - 9 )

Delhi

Delhi

Formally known as the National Capital Territory; Delhi has been consistently colonized after the 6th century BC and is the country capital today. Legend states that the city was once the location of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandava clan. Delhi is home to 1,200 heritage structures, over 175 historical monuments and is a major travel hub.

Activities

In time transfer to airport to board flight for your onward journey.

When to Travel

when to travel

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Dec

Best time to travel

Average time to travel

Not applicable

Locations & Directions

Mumbai, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Sasan Gir, Little Rann of Kutch, Modhera, Ahmedabad, Delhi

location



"Dear Mr. Dhir, I wish to thank you for coordinating all the arrangements to make our trip to Rajasthan a memorable one. Thank you again for your time and efforts."

-Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz

(Riyadh)