At first glance Mahatma Gandhi and lions seem to have no apparent relation with each other. But there is one, Gujarat
. The home of the Mahatma and the world’s only remaining Asiatic Lions have many more of such contrasts that give a distinctive flavour to your holidays. It is a land of bewitching natural beauty, idyllic beaches, stunning architectural feats, historical monuments and ancient civilizations. A Gujarat tour will take you on an exciting adventure that encompasses all these delights and much more. There are sights to see, food to savour and shopping to do. All you have to do is pick your holiday from a list of Gujarat tour packages.
The catalogue of Gujarat tourism packages is comprehensive, offering you a wide range of choices. A holiday in Gujarat is not too costly either! Thomas Cook’s range of Gujarat holiday packages starts at a very reasonable Rs 5,490/- for a quick outing of 1 night and 2 days, going up to Rs 32,999/- for a leisurely vacation of 5 nights and 6 days. Booking a Gujarat tour with Thomas Cook is easy, your only dilemma will be choosing a holiday. Every one of our Gujarat packages offers an extraordinary holiday experience. But our holiday experts are always at hand to guide you through your options for Gujarat holidays.
Gujarat welcomes everyone with open arms and fulfils their holiday wishes. It offers thrills by the bucketload for adventure seekers. It enchants history enthusiasts with stories of love, power, corruption and wars. Honeymooners are treated to a glorious honeymoon experience with the plushest of accommodations. Gujarat packages offer an amazing array of vacation delights to families that they can enjoy together and create memories of a lifetime. Animal lovers will love the teeming Gir forest with its multitude of wild inhabitants. Gujarat holidays do not disappoint anybody but delights its visitors with thoughtful touches that makes their holidays extra special.
Thomas Cook’s Gujarat holiday packages are tailor-made by a team of well-travelled experts who understand and appreciate the ingredients of a memorable holiday. These Gujarat tour packages will make you a perfect brew of experiences to excite your holiday palate. The well-thought-out itinerary lets you explore the delights of a Gujarat tour at leisure without rushing you through a hurried holiday. You leave the planning to us and concentrate on enjoying your holidays. Thomas Cook lets you start your Gujarat tour from most of the major cities around the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, choose from a range of Gujarat tourism packages.
With Gujarat holiday packages available from all major cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Delhi and Ahmedabad getting to Gujarat with Thomas Cook India is convenient and comfortable.
Most Popular Gujarat Tour Packages
An exciting adventure awaits you with our Gujarat tour packages. But before you can enjoy everything that they have to offer, it is crucial to learn about some travel guidelines. These have been put in place to safeguard you from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gujarat is now allowing visitors with a few precautionary measures that are designed to ensure your good health. While thermal scanning will be mandatory for all, there is no quarantine for domestic travellers. Additionally, local administrations will have their own rules that you must follow to ensure safety. Most attractions will be open, but not all of them will be fully operational. Here’s the complete list of guidelines and travel documents for travelling to Gujarat.
Gujarat COVID 19 Travel Advisory
All tourists on their Gujarat holidays are required to adhere to social distancing protocols and wear masks at all times during their Gujarat tourism. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed by the residents and tourists who plan on spending their holidays in Gujarat. For more information please visit the COVID Travel Advisory
The Best Time to Visit Gujarat
The winter season is the best time to enjoy Gujarat tour packages
. While it is hot through most of the year, the mercury dips appreciably during winter. The days are cool, evenings are cold, and nights are colder. Average temperatures hover between 12°C to 29°C and humidity is at its lowest. The period between November to February showcases the best that Gujarat tourism packages have to offer. All the attractions are open and wildlife sanctuaries are teeming at this time.
Summers can get really hot, and temperatures hover between 28°C to 41°C. Sightseeing becomes difficult as stepping out in the heat is not enjoyable. Similarly, the rainy season may not be to everyone’s taste for a holiday. Temperatures range between 27°C to 35°C and are made bearable by the rains. But humidity can be as high as 62%. Gujarat looks refreshed and beautiful as the rains wash away the summer dust and heat. Just pick a time, pack your bags and go!
How to Reach Gujarat
Gujarat enjoys good connectivity with its neighbours and other major cities of India. It is internationally well-connected too. Here are the options that you get to start your Gujarat tour
from different parts of the country.
Reaching Gujarat By Air
Flying is the fastest way to reach Gujarat from other major cities. It has 17 airports, which includes the highest number of domestic airports anywhere in India. The ones in Vadodara, Rajkot, Junagarh, Bhuj, Surat, Porbandar and Bhavnagar are some of the prominent ones. Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the only international airport in the state. They receive flights from all major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata.
Reaching Gujarat By Rail
Gujarat’s rail network is managed by Western Railways and is one of the busiest rail networks in the country. Vadodara Junction is Gujarat’s biggest and the busiest railway station. Since it falls on the Mumbai-Delhi main line, it receives many trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto that pass through to the rest of the cities. Ahmedabad Junction, Rajkot, Surat and Junagarh are a few of Gujarat’s major rail stations.
Reaching Gujarat By Road
The roads in Gujarat are some of the best-maintained in the country, especially the highways connecting cities. Most of them have two-lane and four-lane carriageways. If you choose to drive yourself, taking a road trip into Gujarat is fun. The road network criss-crosses the state and provides excellent point-to-point connectivity. Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) runs a good bus service connecting major cities and states around.
There are two ways to travel between cities, within the state; buses and taxis. Buses are the cheapest means of public transport, but a taxi is more comfortable, although more expensive. An autorickshaw is the most convenient way of travelling within a city. Local buses also make city travel easier if you’re on a tight budget.
Where to Go in Gujarat
Gujarat is a vast canvas with a veritable rainbow of hues to colour your holiday in different shades. From the remains of an ancient civilisation to a teeming wildlife sanctuary, and everything in between, Gujarat is a joy to explore. Here are our picks of places to go during your Gujarat tour
Dholavira - A must visit on your Gujarat tour package
Dholavira is a slice of one of the most advanced ancient civilisations in the world. A part of the Indus Valley Civilisation, it was a prosperous Harappan city that existed between 2650 and 1450 BCE. Walk among the excavated ruins and listen to the echoes of a developed civilisation as its people went about their daily business almost 4500 years ago. The locals have their own name for the site, Kotada Timba.
One of excavation’s most remarkable features is its extraordinary water conservation system. Mansar and Manhar were two of its most crucial water channels that carried water all across the city. You can spend hours here, admiring the architecture and getting a feel of how life must have been all those thousands of years ago.
Gir National Park – Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat
You don’t have to travel to Africa to see wild lions. The Gir National Park
holds the distinction of being the last habitat of Asiatic Lions in the wild. Here you can observe these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat and enjoy face-to-face encounters with the king of the jungle. It is wholeheartedly dedicated to the preservation of these lions. The project was started by the Nawab of Junagarh to prevent Asiatic Lions from going extinct.
Though the lions are the star residents of the national park, they are not the only ones. It is home to an impressive 2000 different insect species, 38 mammal species, 300 bird species and 37 species of reptiles. Some of the other animals you can see here include chinkara, sambar deer, chausinga, spotted deer, hyenas and leopards. Gir takes a place of pride on most Gujarat tour packages.
Rann of Kutch – Visit this White Desert on Your Gujarat Tour
The wide-open space at the Rann of Kutch
is an impressive sight. The vast salty plains are flat as far as the eye can see. During the day, the salt shines and dances with the heat. The White Desert of India is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Especially on a moon-lit night when it shines like a diamond.
The moonlight gives it an ethereal and serene quality that soothes the senses. The best time to visit the Rann is during the ‘Rann Mahotsav
’ which is held every year between December and February. It is a highlight of Gujarat packages. The silent plains come alive with dance, music and cultural performances. Enjoy a camel safari and shop for souvenirs to take back home. When you get tired, fefuel your enthusiasm with a taste of the local fare.
Gandhinagar – The Capital City of Gujarat
The understated capital city of Gujarat is one of the only few planned cities in India. It is included in most Gujarat packages. Sitting on the western banks of the iconic Sabarmati River, Gandhinagar is an enchanting city. It is home to the revered Akshardham temple, one of India’s most beautiful places of worship. Unlike the bustle of other major cities, Gandhinagar has a calm aura.
The Adalaj Stepwell is an explorer’s delight. The Dinosaur and Fossil Park entertains children and adults alike. Check out the Khadi Gram and watch artisans weave their magic. You can even try your hand at weaving cloth out of Khadi. Gandhinagar is a green city with 54% tree cover. The city has numerous parks and gardens all over if you need a break from sightseeing.
Bhuj – Explore this Historical City
Bhuj has a history that goes as far back as the 16th century. It is home to many historical sites associated with the Mahabharata and Alexander’s march into India. Some of the most well-known attractions of Bhuj include the Cenotaphs Complex which holds the royal family’s tombs. The Prag Mahal, Aina Mahal, Sharadbaug Palace and Bhujia Fort are beautiful palaces and forts with stories to tell. A significant addition to many Gujarat packages.
The Hamirsar Lake and Deshadsar Lakes are popular hangout spots that offer beautiful vistas of the greenery around. The Kutch Museum chronicles all the region’s history and lays it all out beautifully for you. If shopping is your idea of fun, you can shop to your heart’s content for meenakari jewellery, local handicrafts, spices and vibrant colourful clothes. Be sure to try the local cuisine for a taste of Bhuj.
Mandvi - Golden-Brown Sprawl of Sand
Mandvi is a bit off Gujarat’s usual tourist circuit. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. It has a tranquil quality that makes it a pleasant city to explore. Named after the sage Mandavya, it is mentioned in several Indian scriptures. The city has a great religious significance and has several religious sites, some of them quite ancient. But the city’s main attractions are its beach and a fort.
The Mandvi Beach is a firm favourite of adventure seekers with its water sports facilities. It is also a great spot for lounging or spending some fun time with your family. The marvellous views of the Arabian Sea will hold you back with their vibrant hues. Save some energy for exploring the Vijay Vilas Palace. If wildlife fascinates you, head to Topansar Lake for birdwatching. With so much to offer, Madvi surely deserves to be part of your Kerala trip.
Junagarh – Prominent Cities of Gujarat
Junagarh sits at the foothills of the Girnar range. Located close to the Gir National Park, the former princely state is now a popular tourism destination. Apart from the national park, it has a number of attractions such as beaches, forts and amusement parks to liven up your holiday. The 150-year-old Sakkarbaug Zoo is a treat for children. It features a thriving population of animals including panthers, deer, antelopes, spotted deer and black bucks.
The Uperkot Fort is an old guard that still stands tall. The Girnar hills are great for trekking. You can camp amidst the mountains if you feel adventurous enough. The Buddhist Caves offer a peaceful retreat, so take a break from your sightseeing and relax for a bit. The beaches of Junagarh also offer adventure in the form of thrilling water sports.
Statue of Unity
Standing peacefully on the banks of the Narmada River, the Statue of Unity commemorates the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his vision of an independent India. The 790-foot-tall bronze sculpture is currently the tallest statue in the world. It is an awe-inspiring sight as the statue comes into view from afar and grows in stature as you draw nearer. You can buy a ticket and go up to the statue’s viewing gallery.
The viewing gallery sits at 500 feet and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. The museum at the base depicts Sardar Patel’s life in more than 2000 photographs. Do not miss the laser and light show which takes place every evening at 7:00pm. Pay a visit to the nearby Valley of Flowers for a spectacular display of natural beauty.
Food in Gujarat
Gujarat is known for its warm hospitality that involves a lot of food that’s rich in taste as well as calories. Gujarati cuisine has an unbelievable variety of vegetarian food that tantalises the tastebuds with sweet, savoury and tangy flavours. In addition to its scrumptious tastes, it offers a range of textures that vary from satisfyingly crunchy to melt-in-the-mouth soft. From the famous duo of jalebi-phaphda to the quintessential khaman-dhokla, the list of Gujarati delicacies seems endless. Here are five members of the Gujarati cuisine that will give you a glimpse into its diversity.
Khandvi is nothing but soft delicate strip of gram flour soaked in buttermilk rolled up and tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds. It may sound simple but has a great flavour that, together with the fluffy texture, makes it a tasty any-time snack. A must try dish on your Gujarat trip.
The Gujarati-style samosa is a crunchier version of its Punjabi cousin. Wrapped in a thin flour strip or ‘Patti’, it takes on a crunchy texture that satisfies the senses with each bite. The filling may differ from city to city, but it mostly uses a mixture of cooked potatoes, cabbage, onions and green peas. Enjoy it with a variety of chutneys that enhance its taste by just the right amount.
Undhiyu is a winter delicacy that warms your soul with its sweet and savoury flavour profile. There is no fixed recipe, and each region of Gujarat has its own version. Cooked to perfection in an inverted clay pot, it uses the freshest produce that’s available during winter. It combines several tastes and textures to create a unique culinary masterpiece that’s best enjoyed with piping hot puris. Try this delicacy on your next Gujarat trip.
If ever there’s a universally recognisable representative of the Gujarati cuisine, it has to be Dhokla. The spongy fluffiness is a flavour bomb which explodes as soon as you bite into one. You will find many variations of this humble snack that make it more interesting. It is tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds that give a great kick between mouthfuls.
Handvo is basically a savoury cake that’s made out of fermented rice and lentil batter. The traditional version is baked over coals, while the more modern method uses a pressure cooker to cook it. There’s also a pan-fried version which has a crispy golden cover. This is a very popular snack that’s usually served with a tangy green chutney and a piping hot cup of tea.
Things to Do in Gujarat
A Gujarat tour is rarely a quiet experience. With so much to see and do, your holiday is a procession of experiences. Here are some of our recommended things to do on Gujarat tour
Visit Sabarmati Ashram
This is one of the must-visit places in our Gujarat packages. Sitting on the banks of the Sabarmati River, the Sabarmati Ashram
is an island of tranquillity amidst Ahmedabad’s hustle and bustle. The museum on the premises is a treasure trove of historic memorabilia. Here you will walk through historic corridors that were once graced by some of the greatest freedom fighters of India.
Step into a stepwell
The ‘Rani ki Vav’ is a classic stepwell that features an astonishingly intricate design. Almost every wall, pillar and ceiling of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is covered with a carving or a sculpture. In fact, it has about 1500 sculptures spread throughout the structure! They all follow a mythological theme centred around the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It was constructed by Rani Udaymati of the Solanki dynasty. One of the highlights recommended place on your Gujarat holidays.
Explore the ancient ruins at Lothal
The ruins at Lothal date back to 2450 BCE and offer a glimpse into the life that existed back then. Lothal was an important part of the Harappa Civilisation and played an important role in connecting the region with western civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia. It offers a fascinating experience as you walk amidst structures that were built more than 4000 years ago.
Visit the Milk Capital of India
Anand is the home of the popular milk cooperative, Amul. This is the place where India’s white revolution began and transformed the lives of the people around. You can visit the Amul plant and see some of your favourite products being made. The museum inside documents the journey of Amul and offers an interesting insight into the project.
Watch Flamingos at Kutch Sanctuary
The mud flats at the Kutch Sanctuary turn pink every winter when the flamingos flock in for breeding every year. It is a fascinating sight to see ripples of contrasting colours run across a sea of pink plumages. It is one of the biggest attractions of the Kutch Rann Utsav. It is a spectacle that’s not to be missed.