8 day Gujarat Road Trip – Octopuses, Lions, Monuments & Rann.
I did this awesome Gujarat road trip two years back in 2016 with my Mom and Dad. Since then I have suggested this trip to a lot of friends. I thought its time I should write it down for everybody out there, so that they can also plan one for themselves.
Duration: 8 days.
Distance Covered: 2100 kms.
Cost: 12k (car rent)+ 10k(fuel) + 25k(stay and food) + flight tickets to Ahmedabad.
Places Covered: Junagarh, Gir, Somnath, Narara Marine Sanctuary, Ekal ka Rann, Dholavira, Wild Ass Sanctuary, Modhera Sun Temple.
Time of the year: February[caption id="attachment_765" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Route[/caption]
Day1: Landing at Ahmedabad and driving to Junagarh
Our plan was to fly to Ahmedabad and then to drive through almost all of Gujarat. I had booked a sedan with a car rental service in Ahmedabad. We landed at around 11, took our car and drove to Junagarh. The city of Junagarh is famous for its Mahabat ka Maqbara. You can actually climb its minarets (on your own risk)[caption id="attachment_748" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Mahabat ka Maqbara with me on its right minaret[/caption]
Day2: Junagarh to Gir and a ride in Devaliya Park
Gir is not far from Junagarh, so we started in the morning, checked into our hotel in Gir and then took a ride in Devaliya Safari Park. It’s like a jungle safari only, but with a smaller enclosed Jungle. Hence you will definitely see lions. I didnt want to take chances with lion sighting in the main safari as I have had so many unsuccessful past experiences with jungle safaris.[caption id="attachment_744" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Time for some rest[/caption] [caption id="attachment_759" align="aligncenter" width="697"] Wild cats of Devaliya[/caption]
Day3: Day trip to Somnath
Just like you take your kids to DisneyLand, you take your parents to a famous temple.
To act like the “Shravan Kumar” of 21st century, I included Somnath into my itinerary as well. It is just 70kms from Gir. We visited the temple and came back to Gir again for the night. The temple has a nice beach as well.[caption id="attachment_755" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Somnath[/caption]
Day4: Morning Safari in Gir and drive to Jamnagar
As usual I did not see any lions in the safari, but as I had seen them in Devaliya Park, it was not that disappointing this time.[caption id="attachment_745" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Gir Safari[/caption]
After the safari we left for Jamnagar. It was around 6 hrs of drive. Again, this was more of a pitstop; as straight drive to Bhachau could have been very long. We had planned a visit to Narara Marine Park the next day, which was nearby.
The best thing about Jamnagar was the ice cream at this shop called Ram Dairy. Too many flavours and very nominal prices. I would strongly recommend it.[caption id="attachment_747" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Ice Cream Porn[/caption]
Day5: Visit to Narara Marine National Park and drive to Bhachau.
We were in Jamnagar not for the ice cream, but for Narara Marine National Park. There are no stay options near the park, so you have to stay in Jamnagar. You have to check the low tide timings to plan your visit to this park. Because in low tide you can walk for a kilometre into the sea and see the marine life up close. I will recommend taking a guide, otherwise you wont see anything. I held a crab, puffer fish, octopus in my hand(got bitten by it too). In October you can see sting rays as well.[caption id="attachment_752" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Narara[/caption] [caption id="attachment_753" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Puffer Fish[/caption] [caption id="attachment_738" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Crab[/caption]
Checkout the octopus crawling on my hand in this video
[caption id="attachment_750" align="aligncenter" width="432"] I dont know what creature is this, but that’s the octopus bite on my finger.[/caption]
We then drove to Bhachau, where we had a planned stay for the next 2 days. We had a bful mud cottage to stay in.[caption id="attachment_746" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Our Stay in Bhachau[/caption] [caption id="attachment_739" align="aligncenter" width="663"] Demoiselle Cranes near our cottage.[/caption]
Our cottage was very near to Ekal ka Rann which has a landscape similar to Rann of Kutchh and doesn’t even has the border issues. You can roam freely in the salt plains and can even camp there. (In case you don’t know, in Rann of Kutchh you can only visit the salt plains for an hour or so under tight security of BSF and then you have to return back to your hotel)
Day6: Visit to Dholavira and Fossil Park.
We drove to the ancient Harappan city of Dholavira. The road to Dholavira has a stretch where there are salt plains on both sides of the road, it is very pleasing to the eye.[caption id="attachment_741" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Road To Dholavira[/caption]
This was my first visit to a Harappan city and I was just in awe seeing the prowess of our ancestors.[caption id="attachment_742" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Dholavira[/caption]
There is a fossil park nearby as well. Good place for clicking photographs I must say. :)
Day7: Visit to Wild Ass Sanctuary and evening in White Rann.
This was a very interesting day. I got to see the wild ass. :P
Magnificent animal !
This place is around 3 hrs from Bhachau. We did a day trip and returned back to Bhachau by evening.
In the evening we went to Ekal ka Rann to see the sunset. It is a half an hour drive from Bhachau.[caption id="attachment_754" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Ekal ka Rann[/caption]
Day8: Drive back to Ahmedabad and visit to Modhera Sun Temple on the way.
The last day of the trip, which had only a monotonous drive to Ahmedabad and a flight in the evening. But we made it interesting by including a visit to Modhera Sun Temple on the way. It was just an hour of detour.[caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Modhera Sun Temple[/caption]
This was a short account of my Gujarat road trip. Do let me know your views in the comments. Checkout my another family roadtrip to Rajasthan.
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Thanks for reading the whole blog. In case you need more ideas for your next trip, have a look at this aerial Himachal video.