I wonder how many of us tend to explore the country we are in! In the last few trips, I have consciously decided to make sure that I start exploring more locally than keep checking which international destination to head to. With that, I decided to visit Rann of Kutch or the White Desert in Gujarat.
How Gujarat? Well this state was never in my scheme of travel places to go but once I made up my mind to see more places in India, the first destination was Rann of Kutch. Though the desire was to bike all the way from home to the Rann, the possible and best outcome was to fly to Ahmedabad and reach Bhuj.
Chose the Christmas weekend which gave me five days to travel (2 days off from work and the long weekend). Then came the most important part of the planning stage – to decide and map destinations in Gujarat and make the most of those five days. The places to visit in Gujarat was zeroed in this way after a lots of omissions and additions and doing that was the toughest. Every place is Gujarat seems to be treasured – right from Rajkot to Junagadh, Vadodara to Surat, Dwarka to Diu etc. My paati (grandmom) and uncle stay in Ahmedabad and a visit to their place was long over due, Somnath Temple, to visit the largest home of asiatic lions which is the Gir Forest and Kutch was the rough itinerary.
Day One: Ahmedabad – Sarkhej Roza, Sabarmati Ashram and River, Adalej Stepwell, Law Garden and Kankaria Lake.
Day Two: Somnath and Sasan Gir
Day Three: Jeep Safari in Gir, Bhuj
Day Four: Bhuj & Kutch
Day Five Bhuj, Ahmedabad – Manek Chowk.
The plan was almost finalised and what was supposed to be a solo trip quickly became a group adventure of 4 wander-lusters. When it comes to my kind of travel, budget is always on a shoe string and many places will be mapped to visit in short duration. This worries me always in group travels as not every one will be okay with this.
Now that more people were involved, booked my flights a day ahead to spend as much time as possible at my relatives place before getting set to explore this western most part of India.
Flight: Chennai to Ahmedabad
Car: Rented for a day to explore Ahmedabad
Train: Ahmedabad to Veraval – to reach Somnath
Auto: Somnath to Sasan Gir
Car: Rented for a day to pick up and drop from Sasan Gir to Bhuj
Car: Rented for a day to explore Kutch.
Total Cost of the trip: Approx Rs. 25000 per person.
To summarise, this trip was one of my best group trips because all of us had the same mindset and attitude, the places we visited were so exquisite and beautiful, the food was kickass and nothing went wrong but for a few glitches here and there – which in all made the experience memorable.
Read here on how we spent our two days in Ahmedabad, Somnath and Sasan Gir.