With a 1600 km long coastline in the western part of India, Gujarat is one of the most colorful and vibrant Indian states. From the pristine stretches of white desert to architectural wonders. From abundant natural beauty to rich culture and tradition. Gujarat has something for everyone.
Rann of Kutch was always a dream for me. But my recent visit to Gujarat, made me realize that the state has much more to offer. This trip left me spellbound.
In this article, I am sharing an 8-day detailed itinerary to Gujarat. It’s the same itinerary we followed during our trip. However, this itinerary focuses on the northwestern part of Gujarat, including the Rann Utsav. It provides insights into the routes and places you should include in your itinerary.
How to spend 8 days in Gujarat
• This itinerary is suitable for solo travelers and those seeking to travel in a group (friend & family).
• Perfect season for a trip to Gujarat is perfect from October to March. During this time, the marshy salt land turns into a White salt dessert, known as White Rann. Apart from Kutch, the rest of the destinations in this itinerary can be planned any time of the year.
• This itinerary will work best if you hire a self-drive car or taxi. If you choose to opt for public transport, plan your stay and timings accordingly.
Explore kutch and Beyond in 8 days
Day 1 – Ahmedabad
Day 2 – Ahmedabad
Day 3 – Vadnagar, Patan, Modhera
Day 4 – Wild Ass Sanctuary, Dasada, Bhujodi
Day 5 – Bhuj City
Day 6 – Nirona, Tent City Dhordo, White Rann
Day 7 – Dholavira, Gandhi nu Gam, Kalo Dungar
Day 8 – Tent City, Bhuj
8 days in Gujarat – A detailed itinerary to Kutch & beyond
So, let’s get started. Here is how to spend 8 days in the most vibrant and mystic part of Gujarat.
Day 1- Arrive at Ahmedabad (Sabarmati Ashram, Sabarmati Riverfront, Manek Chowk night market)
Also known as the Manchester of India, Ahmedabad is the commercial hub of Gujarat. Ahmedabad is well connected to all the major cities of India. Read more about the must-visit places in Ahmedabad here.
Check-in at the Hotel: Once you land in Ahmedabad, check in at your hotel. You can opt for hotels near the Airport (we stayed at The Ummed Ahmedabad, which is within walking distance from the Airport). Depending on the time you reach Ahmedabad, you can visit popular places. If you reach during the morning or Noon, these are the places you can visit on the first day.
When in Ahmedabad, visiting Mahatma Gandhi’s residence is a must. Situated on the bank of the Sabarmati River, the Sabarmati Ashram was one of the many residences of Mahatma Gandhi and his disciples. Surrounded by a lush green garden, the ashram houses a residential block and a museum. The residential block showcases the humble abode of Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, and their disciples. You can feel the tranquility and positive vibes the moment you step here.
Time required: 1 hour
Ashram opening time: 10 am to 5 pm
The next destination in your itinerary is the Sabarmati Riverfront. A unique project to beautify and improve the environment around the river. Sabarmati Riverfront offers many attractions and activities for people of all age groups. Take a long stroll along the river, visit one of the many gardens, or indulge in thrilling watersports activities.
Time required: 2 hours (depends on the activities you want to experience)
Timings: 9 am -9 pm
Manek Chowk food street
After the fun time at Riverfront, it’s time to treat your tastebuds with mind-blowing flavors. The Manek Chowk is an old city square that transforms into a buzzing food market every night. Satisfy your cravings with a variety of sweets, traditional savories, and much more.
Time Required: 2 hours
Timings: 8.30 pm to 2 am
Day 2 – Ahmedabad Heritage walk & Science City
Start early as you get to experience both, the rich past and futuristic side of Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad Heritage walk
An early morning heritage walk is the best way to explore and understand the rich history of the city. Conducted by Ahmedabad Municipal corporation, this 2-3 hour guided tour takes you through 22 different spots in the old city. The heritage walk takes you through the narrow lanes of Manek Chowk showcasing the centuries-old buildings, temples, and Mansions. Also known as ‘Mandir to Masjid’ the tour starts from Swaminarayan Temple and ends at Jama Masjid. Heritage walk is the best way to appreciate the past at a reasonable cost.
Timing: 7:45 A.M. to 10:30 A.M
Length: 2 Km
Indian Citizen Rs.200 Per Person (Inclusive Taxes)
Foreign Citizen Rs.300 Per Person (Inclusive Taxes)
Lunch at Gordhan Thal
You can have lunch at Manek Chowk or stop by at Gordhan Thal to relish the traditional Gujarati thali. The ornately decorated restaurant serves a variety of dishes in a traditional thali. The best part is they serve unlimited food for just INR 350 (approx.)
Although the place is super crowded during lunchtime, you may have to wait to find a place to sit.
Science city Ahmedabad
Time to explore the futuristic side of Ahmedabad. Science city is not a monotonous museum, but a completely immersive experience. Some exhibits at science city make you feel you are in Singapore. Keep aside as much time as possible, if you are traveling with children, to leisurely enjoy each exhibit. Special attractions at science city include the Aquatic world, Robotics, VR Gaming zone,3 D Movies, Planetarium, and much more. Don’t miss the light and sound show in the evening.
Time required: 3-4 hours
Timings: 10 am to 7.30 pm
Entry Fee: General entry Fee is INR 50; you need to pay separately for different activities and exhibits.
Day 3 – Vadnagar, Patan, Modhera
Explore Vadnagar – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Birthplace
After breakfast, checkout from the hotel and head to Vadnagar. Vadnagar is a historical town situated in the Mehsana district. Apart from its architectural wonders, this town is famous for another reason. Vadnagar is the birthplace of our Prime minister Narendra Modi. As a child, he used to help his father sell tea at Vadnagar Railway station. An inspirational place indeed. Some of the main attractions at Vadnagar are the 12th Century ornately carved Kirti Toran, Sarmistha Talav, 17th Century Hatkeshver Mahadev temple, ornately carved Sitala Mata temple.
Distance for Ahmedabad: 100 km
Travel time: 2-2.30 hours
Time required: 2 -3 hours
Patan: Rani Ki Vav, Patan Patola Heritage Museum
The next stop is another iconic destination. Patan was the capital of Gujarat’s Chavda and Chalukya dynasties in medieval times. Today place is known for its UNESCO world heritage site “Rani Ki Vav”. This astoundingly beautiful stepwell was built in 1063 by Rani Udayamati of the Chaulukya dynasty to commemorate her husband Bhimdev. The stepwell was buried in the stilt till the 1940s and was restored in the 1980s. A Picture of this place is also printed on a 100 Rs. Indian currency. Patan Patola museum is another attraction in Patan, where you can witness the process of Patola silk weaving.
Distance from Vadnagar: 62 km
Travel Time: 1.30 hours
Time required: 2 hours
Modhera: Sun Temple
Modhera is famous for its magnificently carved Sun temple complex. There are only a few Sun temples in India, Modhera is one of them. This 11th-century temple is built on the tropic of Cancer by the Solanki Rulers. The Temple complex is flanked by green grass and tall trees. The complex also has a splendid stepwell known as Ramakund. The lighting at the temple during the evening makes this whole place even more spectacular.
Distance from Patan: 34 km
Travel time: 30-45 mins
Time required: 1 hour
Check-in at Dasada
After Modhera, head straight to Dasada for the night’s stay. You can choose one of the below Resorts for your stay.
1. Rann Riders
2. The Royal Safari Camp
3. Desert Coursers
4. Bhavna Resort and farms
5. Little Rann Resort
Distance from Modhera: 50 km
Travel time: 1-1.30 hours
Day 4 – Wild Ass Safari, Little Rann of Kutch, Bhuj
Desert Safari at Wild Ass Sanctuary, Dasada
Get ready for an exciting early morning desert safari. Little Rann of Kutch is known for its salty marshland and rich biodiversity. The Wild Ass Sanctuary is the only place on earth where you can find Indian Wild Ass (Khur) in their natural habitat. This place is also a paradise for bird lovers. You can spot a variety of birds including the flamingoes here. This safari is a one-of-a-kind experience. The morning Safari starts at 7 a.m. The evening safari is at 2.30 p.m. It is advisable to go for a morning safari, as the weather is pleasant and the chances of spotting the animals in their natural habitat are more.
Read more about the safari by clicking this link.
After the Safari, return to your hotel and checkout after breakfast. Head to Bhuj.
Bhuj is around 270 km from Dasada and it takes around 6 hours via NH947.
Time required for Desert Safari: 2-3 hours
Shop at Bhujodi
Just about 10 km before Bhuj, stop at Bhujodi. This small town is the major textile and handicraft hub of the Kutch region. You can shop for unique articles with embroidery, tie, dye, mirror work, etc. There are many small shops in and around the city. But you can visit the Ashapura Crafts Park, Shrujan, and Hiralaxmi Craft Park for shopping for handicraft products.
Distance from Dasada: 269 km
Time required at Bhujodi: 1-2 hour
After shopping at Bhujodi, head to Bhuj. Take an accommodation near the Harmisar lake, as most of the attractions in Bhuj are in this area.
Shree Swaminarayan temple
If you reach early, you can visit the magnificent Shree Swaminarayan Temple. Built with white marble, the temple is an architectural wonder. It was constructed in 1822, but a part of it was destroyed in the 2001 Earthquake. Later in 2010, the temple was constructed again.
Time Required: 1 hour
Timings: 5 am -12 pm, 3 pm -9 pm
Day 5 – Explore Bhuj
Start your day with a visit to Aaina Mahal, An opulent 18th-century palace. This exquisite two-storied palace was designed by the talented engineer Ram Singh Malam, who lived in England for 18 years. The palace showcases a blend of local as well as the European style of architecture and interiors.
• Prag Mahal: Situated next to the Aaina Mahal is the Prag Mahal. Built in the 19th century with Italian marble and sandstone, the palace has an impressive Darbar hall. The palace is filmed in the blockbuster Bollywood movie “Lagaan”.
• Harmisar Lake: A 450-year-old man-made lake situated in the center of the city.
• Kutch Museum: One of the oldest museums in Gujarat, Kutch Museum was founded in 1877. The museum has the largest collections existing collection. The museum has 11 sections and shows cases of Kshatrapa inscriptions, dating to the 1st century.
• Chattedi: One of the lesser-known destinations in Bhuj, Chattedi’s are the resting places of the rulers of the region. The Chattedi has umbrella-shaped roofs.
Day 6 – Nirona village, Bhirandiara, Tent city, White Rann
Nirona – Rogan art & other art forms
After breakfast head to Nirona. A small village around 40 kilometers from Bhuj city. The village is home to artisan families practicing unique art forms. Nirona is especially known for its Rogan art, a unique art form practiced only by one family in this village. One of the Rogan art paintings was gifted to US President Barak Obama by our Prime minister, Narendra Modi. Other art forms practiced in Nirona include Lacquer art and copper bells. Read More about Nirona.
Distance from Bhuj: 40 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Bhirandiyara- Milk cakes
The next pitstop is Bhirandiyara, another Kutch village that falls en route to Dhordo. Stop here for some fresh and delicious milk cake. You can also shop for articles with fine embroidery work here.
Distance from Nirona: 43 km
Time Required: 30 Minutes
Tent City, Rann Utsav, Dhordo
A grand welcome awaits you at the Tent City, Dhordo. The tent city is a place where Rann Utsav takes place. With 400 luxurious tents and all the other amenities, this temporary township is the epitome of luxury. It’s hard to believe that the entire setup is raised every year for Rann Utsav. After check-in at Tent City, enjoy the luxury of your tent.
Distance from Bhirandiyara: 29 km
Sunset at White Rann
Get ready to witness the most spectacular sunsets of your life at The White Rann. Since the sun sets early in the west, make sure to reach the white Rann at 5 o’clock. Buses are provided from Tent City to White Rann. Apart from witnessing the astounding sunset against the all-white backdrop, you can enjoy activities like paramotoring, ATV, etc.
Cultural Activities at Tent City
Enjoy the cultural activities at Rann Utsav. You can also witness the star gazing show here.
Day 7 – Dholavira, Gandhi Nu Gam, Kalo Dungar
Dholavira – A Harrapan site
One of the most prominent archeological sites belonging to Indus valley civilizations. Dholavira is considered one of the grandest Harrapan cities of its time. Dholavira ruins should be a part of your itinerary if the ancient civilizations and ruins interest you. Since it takes around 5 hours to reach the site, it’s better to skip it if you are not fascinated by early civilizations. However, if you plan to visit Dholavira, make sure to start early to be back on time.
Distance from Tent city: 86 km
Time required: 1 hour
Gandhi nu Gam – A handicraft village
A handicraft village situated 28 km from the tent city, Gandhi Nu Gam is a living example of resilience and determination. This village was destroyed by the 2001 earthquake. But was rebuilt through the collective efforts by Government, Local communities, Ngo, etc. Today the village houses Kutch artisans who create vibrant and colorful Handicrafts. Gandhi nu Gam is a representation of traditional Kutch village. You can shop for some beautiful articles here. Know more about Gandhi Nu Gam.
Distance from Tent City: 28 km
Time required: 1 hour
Kalo Dungar or black hill is the highest peak in Kutch. At 462 m, Kalo Dungar is the only peak from where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch. Apart from the breathtaking vista, Kalo Dungar is also known for a 400-year-old Dattatray Temple and Magnetic hill.
Distance from Tent city: 46 km
Time required: 1.30 -2 hours
Enjoy the cultural activities at Tent City
Return to the tent city and enjoy the assortment of delicious meals. You can also participate in cultural activities.
Day 8 – Adventure activities at Tent City, Return to Bhuj
Go for Adventure activities at The Tent City
The tent city has a vast adventure zone. You can enjoy thrilling activities like zipline, rock climbing, cycling, etc. The tent city also has gazebos selling the traditional Kutch handicrafts.
Checkout & Return to Bhuj
Check out from Tent City and return to Bhuj city or the departure destination.
With this, your trip to the Northwestern part of Gujarat comes to an end. I hope this itinerary was helpful and, you can plan a hassle-free trip to Gujarat.
This trip was a part of All India Influencers meet 2021 organised by Gujarat tourism and Ministry of tourism, India
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