Vibrant West
A visit to the vibrant states on India’s west coast takes you from Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, to the cities of Gujarat: Ahmedabad, the hub of India’s textile industry; Palitana, known for the Patola saree created by its weavers; Vadodara, like Mysore, a former princely state known for its patronage of education and Lothal, a port and trading post of the Harappan age. You also visit the Gir Forest, home to the Asiatic lion and leopard, and Goa, famous for its beaches, architecture, night life and cuisine.

  • Code: Promotion (A Concierge Small Group Experience)
  • Duration: 15 Nights
  • Destinations: Mumbai (2), Ahmedabad (2), Dasada (2), Bhuj (2), Gondal (1), Sasangir (1), Bhavnagar (1), Vadodara (1) & Goa (3)
  • Theme: Perfect Blend
  • Experience Highlights:
    1. Immerse yourself in a Kite Flying experience.
    2. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, forts and palaces, temples and mosques.
    3. Enjoy a boat ride in Mumbai.
    4. Select activities from the pinkEscapes menu on your free day.
    5. Savor Indian Cuisine.
    6. Go on a heritage walk in Ahmedabad.
    7. Enjoy jeep safaris across the Rann of Kutch and the Gir Forest National Park.
    8. Meet the tribes from Gujarat.
    9. Pay a visit to Kala Raksha Trust, a grass-root social enterprise.
    10. Enjoy folklore, dance and music.
    11. Visit Lothal, a 4500-year-old Harappa (Indus Valley) archaeological site.
    12. Get an introduction to yoga.
    13. Visit the Portuguese quarters and beaches of Goa.
    14. Enjoy the nightlife of Goa.
  • Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
Day 1: January 6, 2013, Arrive Mumbai, India 
Arrive at Mumbai International Airport.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the commercial capital of India. Mumbai is a lively city, its people constantly on the move. It is home to millions of people from the country and the world, who come here as tourists, workers, students, businesspersons or actors. It has been heavily influenced by the liberalization of the economy.

Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, a pinkEscapes representative will meet, greet and welcome you, with a welcome pack and the necessary documents for the journey. The representative will also assist you with checking into the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals :: B
 
 
Day 2: January 7, 2013, Mumbai 
Enjoy the day at leisure or explore the city. You are welcome to pick additional services from the pinkEscapes Bespoke Pink Menu. In the evening, enjoy a gastronomic experience at one of the city’s fine restaurants.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 3: January 8, 2013Mumbai - Ahmedabad 
After breakfast, go sightseeing in Mumbai with your guide. Visit the Gateway of India, located on the waterfront in the Apollo Bunder area of South Mumbai, which was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Delhi Durbar, in December 1911. Later, take a short ferry ride to the island of Elephanta, famous for its rock-cut caves which display remarkable craftsmanship by artists of the late 5th to the late 8th century. Enjoy lunch at a city café / restaurant to experience the pulsating street life of Mumbai.

Continue your tour with the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world, where sheets and garments from Mumbai's hotels, hospitals and other establishments are hand-washed. Visit Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi often stayed on his visits to Mumbai and initiated the Non-Cooperation Movement, maintained as a memorial since 1955. Drive to the Fort area to view colonial architecture. Spend a leisurely evening at the hotel and enjoy dinner at one of its restaurants. In the evening, fly to Ahmedabad.

Arrive at Ahmedabad Airport.

Gujarat offers breathtaking landscapes, a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. It is known for its textile industry and its contribution to the diamond trade, as well as its beautiful temples and mosques, and its abundant wildlife.

A pink>Escapes representative meets you and helps you check into your hotel. Spend the rest of the evening at leisure and dine at the hotel.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 4: January 9, 2013, Ahmedabad 
Go on an early morning heritage walk in the old quarters of Ahmedabad. Return to the hotel for breakfast, after which you spend the day sightseeing in Ahmedabad, which was an important textile production center in the early 20th century. Visit Sabarmati Ashram, where Gandhiji spent twelve years of his life. Then visit the Siddi Sayed Mosque, built in the last years of the Sultanate of Gujarat and known for its splendid arches and its beautifully carved latticework windows on the side and rear arches. At the Calico Museum, take note of the rare collection of tapestries. Conclude with a drive through the Law Market.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 5: January 10, 2013 Ahmedabad - Sidhpur - Patan - Modera – Dadasa 
After breakfast, head north to Sidhpur (114 kms, 2 hr) to see the homes of the Bohra Muslim community and the controversial Rudramaal temples. A short drive away is Patan (31 kms, 35 min), famous for its step-well Rani Ka Vav, as well as the Patola sarees, which are woven here.

Then visit Modhera’s (34.3 kms, 45 min) Sun Temple, designed so that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at each equinox. In the late afternoon, you will reach Dasada (47 kms, 1 hr), a small village, home to farmers, nomadic cattle herders and artisans, situated on the outskirts of the Rann of Kutch, a vast salt marsh that spans 30,000 square kilometres. Dasada and villages nearby are inhabited by pastoral tribes, such as the Mirs, Rabaris, Bharwads, Jats and Kolis. Check-in at the hotel.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 6: January 11, 2013, Dasada 
Dasada is perfect as a base to explore the Rann of Kutch, the last refuge of the Asiatic Wild Ass, an elegant member of the horse family, in India. In winter, it is also home to many migratory birds, such as flamingos, Macqueen’s Bustards, pelicans and cranes. Go on safaris in the morning and evening across the Little Rann to observe desert wildlife and magnificent birds at the lakes. Visit the Kolis at the salt works or take an optional village safari.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 7: January 12, 2013, Dasada - Bhuj 
This morning, drive to Bhuj (312 kms, 5 hrs) in Kutch after breakfast. Bhuj is home to one of the first Swaminarayan Sampraday temples, built in 1822. Go on an afternoon tour of the walled city of Bhuj with a visit to the Prag Mahal, a 19th-century palace located next to the Aina Mahal, which was designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the Italian Gothic style, and many Italian artisans were involved in its construction. Aina Mahal, an 18th-century palace located next to the Prag Mahal, was built by Rao Lakhpatji in the mid-18th century and designed by. Ram Singh Malam. It was totally destroyed in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, but a portion of the palace that was not so badly affected, has been restored and now houses a museum. It displays a bed room, the music room, the court room and examples of old paintings, armor and palanquins. Proceed to the Kutch museum and end the day with a visit to the colorful markets.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 8: January 13, 2013, Bhuj - Hodka – Kala Dunger – Banni Villages – Kutch Safari Lodge 
In the morning, drive north from the city of Bhuj into the Banni grass and desert lands, circumscribed by the Rann of Kutch and the Arabian Sea. Visit Kala Raksha Trust, a grass-roots social enterprise, dedicated to the preservation of traditional arts, at Sumrasar Sheikh village, 25 km north of Bhuj. Visit Nirona, home to the only family that practices the centuries-old art of Rogan painting, bell and wood crafts (63 kms, 1.5 hrs). Then drive to Kala Dunger (45 kms, 1hr), the highest point in Kutch, which provides breathtaking views of the volcanic wastelands, India Bridge and a 400-year-old temple. Drive to the traditional Banni villages of the grassland, to view their traditional arts and crafts and then to the Kutch Safari Lodge, to spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 9: January 14, 2013, Kutch Safari Lodge – Morbi – Gondal 
After breakfast, drive to Gondal via Morbi (188 kms, 3.2 hrs). Enjoy lunch at the 19th century neo-classical Darbargarh Palace, which features wooden stairways, marble galleries, spacious public areas and vast suites with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a palm-fringed garden and a fountain in one of the courts.

Continue the journey to Gondal (102 kms, 2 hrs) where the mid-18th-century Naulakha Palace, housing a rare collection of antiques and princely relics of the Jadeja Rajput rulers and the Vintage and Classic Car museum, are a must-see.

Celebrate Makar Sankranti in Gondal. This festival marks the transition of the Sun into Capricorn on its celestial path. En-route and on arrival at the hotel, observe the skies thronged with kites, may be participate by flying kites.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 10: January 15, 2013, Gondal – Junagadh – Sasangir 
After breakfast, drive to Sasangir, visiting Junagadh (65 kms, 1.5 hrs), en route. Junagadh lies in the foothills of Girnar and takes its name from the Old Fort that encircles the medieval town. You can see Emperor Asoka’s rock edicts, all 14 of them, carved into a great rock outside the city. The fort itself is an amalgamation of the architectural styles favored by the Hindu Chudasma rulers and the Muslim Mahmud Begada. The majestic Mahabat Khan Maqbara, a memorial to Junagadh's Babi ruler and the Durbar Hall museum illustrate Junagadh’s role in modern Indian history.

Later, continue the drive to Sasangir (52 kms, 1 hr), which functions as a forest reserve for the endangered Asiatic lion. Gir is also home to one of the largest leopard populations in India, and includes a wide variety of wildlife. On arrival, check in to the hotel and go for a wildlife safari in the early evening. Later, enjoy folk dances before dinner.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 11: January 16, 2013, Gir – Bhavnagar 
Early morning, go on a wildlife safari to view the Asiatic lion. Return to the hotel for breakfast at leisure.

After breakfast, drive to Bhavnagar (217 kms, 3.5 hrs) and check into Nilambagh Palace Hotel, built in 1859 AD, and home to the ruling Gohil dynasty of Bhavnagar. Enjoy the rest of the day at the beautiful palace at leisure.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 12: January 17, 2013, Bhavnagar - Palitana – Lothal - Vadodara 
Drive to Palitana (54.4 kms, 1.1 hr) after breakfast and visit the exquisitely carved, marble Jain temples located atop Mount Shatrunjaya. The peak is a 3.5 km climb of over 3,500 steps from the town. The main temple, on top of the hill, is dedicated to the first Tirthankara (Prophet) of the Jains, Rishabha Dev.

Enjoy lunch at the Vijay Vilas Palace at Adipur and en-route visit Lothal (120 kms, 2 hrs), a 4500 year old Harappa (Indus Valley) archaeological site. View the major attractions--the museum, the dockyard, the acropolis, the lower town, the bead factory, the warehouses and the drainage system. Continue the drive to Vadodara and on arrival, check in at your hotel.

Meals :: B L
 
 
Day 13: January 18, 2013, Vadodara – Mumbai - Goa 
In the morning, visit the Fateh Singh Museum, which houses paintings by European and Indian artists including a collection of Raja Ravi Varma’s work, who was specially commissioned by the then Maharaja of Baroda. Proceed to the spectacular Laxmi Vilas Palace, an extravagant building of the Indo-Saracenic school built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890. Note its ornate Durbar Hall, an Italianate courtyard of water fountains, a remarkable collection of old armor and sculptures in bronze, marble and terracotta by Fellici. The grounds were landscaped by William Goldring, a specialist from Kew Gardens, and are now a nine-hole golf course. Enjoy a small lunch on your brief flight to Goa via Mumbai.

Arrive at the Goa airport. Goa, at one time a Portuguese colony, is known for its splendid beaches, beautiful rivers and lakes, rich architectural heritage, a vibrant night-life and a cuisine that blends the best of the Konkan coast with Portuguese influences.

A pinkEscapes representative meets you and drives you to your resort. Spend the day at leisure in the resort and savor a sea food dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 14: January 19, 2013, Goa 
After breakfast, proceed with your guide to tour the churches and beaches in Panjim. Begin with the palm-fringed beach of Dona Paula, named after Dona Paula de Menezes, the daughter of a Portuguese viceroy, frequently featured in Bollywood movies and a popular water sports hub. Then visit Miramar Beach, close to Panaji, popular with locals and tourists, and a good viewing spot for Aguada Fort, located across the Mondovi.

Take a drive around Fountainhas, the oldest and the most interesting district of Panjim, and savor lunch at the Balcony Restaurant in Panjim Inn, a quaint Indo-Portuguese specialty cuisine restaurant. After lunch, pay a visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, an epitome of Baroque architecture dedicated to the baby Jesus and a World Heritage monument that houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa.

Later visit the Se Cathedral of Santa Catherina, one of the largest churches in Asia, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria that contains the Golden Bell used during the Goa Inquisition. The Archaeological Museum in the abandoned Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, which houses and displays portraits and sculptures from the prehistoric to the medieval period, is worth a visit. Return at sunset to your hotel, to spend the evening at leisure or pick additional services from the pinkEscapes Bespoke Pink Menu.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 15: January 20, 2013, Goa 
Enjoy an early-morning yoga class with a master, providing deep insight into its ancient science and traditions. Spend the afternoon beach-hopping and lunch at a local restaurant. In the evening, savor authentic Greek delicacies, at a specialty restaurant where dancing on tables and breaking plates is a ritual, Go bar-hopping late into the night.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 16: January 21, 2013, Goa - Mumbai 
In the morning, go for a walk on the beach. In the afternoon, you will go to the airport, to take a flight to Mumbai, during which you are given lunch. On arrival in Mumbai, you can wash and change in a room at an airport hotel for a few hours. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant followed by departure to the airport to connect with your flight back home.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
Day City Hotels
1MumbaiHilton / Courtyard by Marriott
2MumbaiHilton / Courtyard by Marriott
3AhmedabadCourtyard By Marriott
4AhmedabadCourtyard By Marriott
5DadasaRann Riders
6DadasaRann Riders
7BhujKutch Safari Lodge
8BhujKutch Safari Lodge
9GondalGondal Palace
10SasangirLion Safari Camp
11BhavnagarNilambagh Palace
12BarodaThe Gateway Hotel
13GoaResort Rio
14GoaResort Rio
15GoaResort Rio
Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
:: Mesmerizing Triangle

Delhi—home to several empires—Turkish, Mughal and British; Agra—seat of Mughal power well into the 17th century and Jaipur—the Pink City, built by Maharajah Jai Singh, designer of several observatories. These three cities provide a vivid illustration of the culture that developed under Delhi’s Turkish sultans, Agra’s Mughal emperors and Jaipur’s Rajput kings, who finally made peace with the Mughals.

Duration: 5 Nights

Destinations: 2 Nights Delhi, 1 Night Agra & 2 Nights Jaipur

Theme: Heritage, Culture & Cuisine

:: Magnificent Ajanta & Ellora

Enjoy a visit to these magnificent caves, which provide fine examples of the Indian muralists’ art in the ancient period and inspired the Bengal School of art in the early 20th century.

Duration: 3 Nights

Destinations: 3 Nights Aurangabad

Theme: Heritage

Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
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