If you like adventure, then here is a trip to the tribes and wilds of Gujarat.
Day 1: Ahmedabad to Balasinor
To begin, you need to arrive at Ahmedabad. Check in at a hotel in Ahmedabad, freshen up, relax and in the noon, depart for Raiyoli Dinosaur Fossil Excavation Site & Balasinor Town Walk Through the Market Place – A prehistoric 65 million years old Dinosaur excavation site considered to be one of the third largest sites in the world. It is a unique experience with fossilized bones and eggs. This place was a hatchery as well as a graveyard – a one of its kind site. Raiyoli is being developed as a Jurassic Park having an interpretation center.
Day 2: Balasinor to Chhota Udaipur
Early morning after breakfast depart for Chhota Udaipur via Champaner – The transition between Hindu and Muslim culture and architecture in the late 15th to early 16th century is documented in the park, particularly the early Islamic and pre-Mughal city that has remained without any change. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2004. After Champaner you reach Kali Niketan Palace. You can check into a hotel and freshen up to visit the tribal area with local forests, mountains, and rivers. The main tribes are the Rathwas, Bhils, Kolis and Naiks. The Rathwas being a martial race and are the major tribe in the area. Feel the culture of local tribes. The main occupation of these tribes is farming, while the Rathwas have created an art form called the Pithora paintings, which they paint using special vegetable dyes and examples of it are evident in different villages. Their pottery work is unique to this area and worth seeing. There are colorful “HAATS” (Tribal fairs), held every day in nearby villages which are the market days for the tribal’s. In the evening visit Kusum Vilas palace and Prem Bhavan palace in Chhota Udaipur, return to palace and night halt in Chhota Udaipur.
Day 3: Chhota Udaipur
Early morning after breakfast depart for Chhota Udaipur via Ratan Mahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary spread across 56 sqr km. Ratan mahal on the Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border is the only exclusive sloth bear sanctuary in Gujarat. And sloth bears are just part of the attraction: nature fulfills herself in many other ways; the River Panam crisscrosses beautiful small hamlets on the foothills of this sanctuary covered with lush green and thick woods full of natural goodness. Some of the animals found are sloth bears, panthers, large-size monkeys, jackals, antelopes, and hyenas, besides other numerous jungle cats, foxes, honey badgers, hare, porcupines, and reptiles. Over 120 different varieties of birds can also be spotted. Depart for Chhota Udaipur and Night halt in Kali Niketan palace.
Day 4: Chhota Udaipur to Saputara
Early morning after breakfast depart for Saputara. Check into the hotel, freshen up and visit GANDHI SHIKHAR, Saputara Tribal Museum, Honey Bee center and in the evening free time for boating in Lake and Boating Club. Return to hotel and night halt in Saputara.
Day 5: Saputara – Dang – Saputara
Early morning after breakfast depart for Dang, Engage into any of these routine activities: Milking cattle, Breaking shell of the paddy by traditional way, making floor using chakki (a pair of cylindrical stone), Dung Flooring, Bamboo artwork, Chopping wood, etc. See the tools of traditional hunting (the tribes have stopped hunting now since they have started realizing the importance of showcasing wildlife in natural habitat as a tool for generating income. Participate in preparation of authentic organic dinner with tribes (learn insights of making food in a traditional way). Return to Saputara and Night halt in Saputara.
Day 6: Saputara – Dang – Vadodara
Early morning after breakfast depart for Baroda via Dang. In Dang, take a walk to Forest Trek – Tribes will showcase forest resources used for their living. Plant a Tree or Water to the plantation done for conserving the forest and get a chance to see the wildlife into the natural habitat. Realize the importance of Sustainable living by going through the living habits of tribes – Use of Fish Tank (to avoid mosquitoes), The Organic way of Preserving Grains, Organic Farming Techniques, Conditions in Wedding, etc. In the noon depart for Baroda (288km driving), Night halt in Vadodara
Day 7: Vadodara – Lothal – Velavadar
Early morning after breakfast depart for Velavadar, via Lothal – it is one of the most important sites of the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilisation excavated in India. The site and the museum offers an interesting insight into the town planning, industries and trade of Lothal when it was at its peak from 2400-1600 BC. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm except for Fridays. After Lothal sightseeing depart for Velavadar, check in to hotel freshen up and after dinner night halt in Velavadar
Day 8: Velavadar – Gir Forest
Early morning after breakfast visit Velavadar National Park for blackbuck safari, which has India’s largest population of Blackbuck, the elegant Indian antelope. One of the fastest mammals in the world, the Blackbuck is capable of achieving high speeds when leaping over the plains of Velavadar. India’s largest antelope, the Nilgai or Blue Bull, is easily seen in this national park. You may also hope to spot the endangered Indian Grey Wolf, the nocturnal Striped Hyena, Indian Fox, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat and many small mammals like the hare, gerbil, field mice, mongoose, and hedgehog. After the safari, depart for Sasan Gir (235km Driving), Check into the hotel, freshen up and night halt in Gir.
Day 9: Gir Forest
Early morning after breakfast depart for LION SAFARI in Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary which is famous for Asiatic lions and it comprises 1412 sqr km of deciduous forest interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, shrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills. Fed by perennial and seasonal rivers and streams, the sanctuary has large water bodies like the Kamleshwar Dam that are good for crocodiles and birds. In the evening return to the resort and free time for bird watching in Resort. Night halt in Gir.
Day 10: Sasan Gir – Jamnagar
Early morning after breakfast depart for Jamnagar, Check into the hotel and refresh after lunch by 3: 30 in the noon, depart for the Khijadiya bird sanctuary where you can find storks, ducks, and many migratory birds till sunset, return to hotel and night halt in Jamnagar.
To be continued…Tribes and wilds in Gujarat- Part 2
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