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Tours

India-Gujarat

Gujarat

December 28, 2016 – January 13, 2017

$6,450 (exc. international airfare)
Single supp: $980

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Tour Description

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the ancient Indus cities of Lothal, Dholavira and Shikarpur.
  • See Palitana’s 863 elaborately ornate white marble Jain temples.
  • Visit the cultural centre of Vadodora where we will find the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh.

  • Spend a relaxing day at Sasan-Gir Sanctuary where you might catch a glimpse of the rare Asiatic lion.
  • Explore the walled city of Bhuj with its narrow alleys, carved balconies, old palaces and royal mausoleum.
  • Experience the colourful villages of the Rann of Kutch seeing the unique nature of each villages’ craft specialization.

ITINERARY

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Departure from our home cities.

Thursday, December 29, 2016: MUMBAI
We arrive into Mumbai late Thursday evening, and transfer to the Taj Lands End Airport Hotel.

Friday, December 30: VADODARA
We transfer back to the airport for our flight to Vadodara, the capital of the princely Gaekwad state prior to Independence. This afternoon we will visit the prehistoric collection at the University Museum. This evening we will gather for our opening lecture with Professor Kenoyer, followed by dinner.
Hotel: Gateway Vadodora Hotel

Saturday, December 31: VADODARA
We will spend the day visiting Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Palace Museum.
Hotel: Gateway Vadodora Hotel

Sunday, January 1, 2017: AHMEDABAD
We drive west through India’s famous cotton-growing region to the port of Khambhat (Cambay), from which this precious commodity was traded in antiquity to ports as remote as Babylon. We will visit the Jumma Masjid, one of the earliest mosques in Gujarat, and the bead-makers quarter. We then continue to Ahmedabad, the new capital of Gujarat with a rich tradition of textile manufacturing and trade.
Hotel: Lemon Tree Ahmedabad Hotel

Monday, January 2: AHMEDABAD
Our tour of Ahmedabad includes the 15th-century Bhadra fortress, Rani Sipri Mausoleum and Mosque, where we find extraordinarily delicate pierced-stone windows and the Great Masjid Mosque, housing Ahmed Shah’s mausoleum. We will also visit the Calico Textile Museum and Gandhi’s Ashram.
Hotel: Lemon Tree Ahmedabad Hotel

Tuesday, January 3: AHMEDABAD
Today’s excursion brings us to Modhera. The shrines and chapels of the 11th-century Surya Sun Temple form an impressive complex. The nearby ancient Hindu capital, Anahilvad, has been replaced largely by the 16th-century Jain city of Patan. We will see the older district’s beautifully carved wooden houses as well as some of its 108 Jain temples. Time permitting, we will find examples of the legendary patola weaves produced by Patan’s master weavers.
Lemon Tree Ahmedabad Hotel

Wednesday, January 4: AHMEDABAD
We visit India’s most beautiful step-well at Adalaj, a few kilometers out of the city. These elaborate constructions not only supply water but also serve as resting places with pavilions, galleries and richly decorated rooms. We complete today’s touring at the Shreyas Folk Museum, which houses traditional mirror work as well as tribal clothes and decorations.

Thursday, January 5: BHAVNAGAR
Today we travel southwest to Lothal, one of the four most important Indus culture cities. Excavations have revealed large-scale public and private buildings, a well-ordered grid of paved streets and granaries, testifying to the city’s high level of organization. After visiting the excellent on-site museum, we continue to the port city of Bhavnagar.
Hotel: Nilambagh Palace Hotel

Friday, January 6: BHAVNAGAR
An early departure for Palitana, from which we will climb the more than 3,000 steps to Shatrunjaya, one of Jainism’s holiest pilgrimage places. Over a period of 900 years, 863 white marble temples have been built here, giving their benefactors great merit. This fabulous experience will be enhanced by white-clad pilgrims circumambulating the mountain in solemn processions.

Saturday, Sunday, January 7 & 8: SASAN-GIR
We drive south, turning inland we continue to the Fern Sasan Gir in the Sasan-Gir Lion Sanctuary. We will have several safaris, in hopes of seeing some of the nearly extinct Asiatic lions and leopards as well as the four-horned Indian antelope and many bird species unique to India.

Monday, January 9: RAJKOT
We will spend the day in Junagadh, where archaeological finds have established its early history to pre-Indus times. We will see edicts inscribed on a boulder by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, as well as ancient Buddhist caves with the image of Buddha from at least 1,500 years ago. At the end of this very full day we continue to Rajkot, where Mahatma Gandi lived and worked for a short time.
Hotel: Imperial Palace Rajkot

Tuesday, January 10: BHUJ
After a brief visit to the old city to view the lovely Gujarati wooden-fronted houses, we begin our fascinating drive to Bhuj, a walled city that until recently locked its gates at night. On route we will stop at the largely unexcavated Harappan site of Shikarpur. During our stay here we will have ample time to explore Bhuj’s maze-like streets as well as the Kutch Museum. We will spend the next three nights at the Prince Residency Hotel, a very simple hotel and the best available in the region.
Hotel: Prince Residency Hotel

Wednesday, January 11: BHUJ
Traveling into the Rann of Kutch, we will stop at the newly excavated Harappan site of Kanmer and the much larger city of Dholavira (Kotada), one of the major cities of the Indus civilization. Excavations, still in progress, have revealed the city’s fine stone architecture, monumental gateways and broad streets and its extensive drainage system.
Hotel: Prince Residency Hotel

Thursday, January 12: BHUJ
Today we travel into the countryside to visit villages, each specializing in a unique craft. Our farewell dinner of Kutchi specialties will be accompanied by Kutchi music.
Hotel: Prince Residency Hotel

Friday, January 13:
This morning we fly back to Mumbai. We will relax in our day rooms at the Taj Lands End Hotel as our flights home depart Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Hotel: Taj Lands End Hotel

Additional Information

Scholar

JONATHAN MARK KENOYER is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin where he teaches archaeology and ancient technology. Raised in India, he completed his PhD in South Asian Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Calendar Year

2016

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