Exploring Gujarat, India on a school trip

If you would want to go to any new place, then naturally you would want your trip to be a time of self-discovery and exploration. When I went to Gujarat on a school trip, I wasn’t that optimistic about the exploration part as when it comes to me as a traveler, I want to experience  the culture, walk around, try new foods and even learn some local lingo! But when you are with a group with OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE, it is definitely hard to do things your way. Plus on a school trip you have to listen to everything the teachers tell us and yes it is for safety but in the case of a nutty traveler like me – You can only think of what you can’t do.

But fortunately it was much better than I expected even though there were some things we were not allowed to do like having that refreshing sip of coke after walking around and instead drinking bottled water with like 20 other people from the same bottle!

Overall it was an amazing trip and below is the itinerary we followed and also tips when travelling in the West Indian state of Gujarat!

Day 1 – Touchdown in Ahmedabad, Modhera Sun Temple and Night stop in Bajana

After touchdown in the capital of Gujarat, we headed to the Sabarmati Ashram and Riverfront (about a 10 minute drive from each other). Afterwards we headed to Bajana with a stopover at the famous Modhera Sun Temple built during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya Dynasty, known for its sculptures and iconography.The complex itself consists of two temples and a large step well with many intricate sculptures of gods and goddesses. Afterwards, we headed for Bajana and reached at about 6 and relaxed in resort complex for the remainder of the day.

Day 2 – Exploring the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary(That’s actually what its called) and heading to Sasan Gir for the night!

Headed for the Sanctuary early in the morning in jeeps (recommend being there by 5:45 am for the perfect early morning experience!). We spent maybe 2 or 3 hours there but I would recommend that to get a feel for the atmosphere, spend a good amount of time just walking around, but do it with a guide to make are you aren’t doing anything illegal like swimming in the lake or feeding the animals:). Afterwards we headed to Gir.  It is a good idea to leave from Bajana before noon to avoid driving in the night.

Day 3 – Heading to Sasan Gir to see the Asiatic Lions and head to Rajkot for the night stay

Luckily for this one there is no need for 5 AM wakeup alarms but suggested to finish the safari before lunch (don’t forget to take the window seat😉). Also a camera with good zoom is definitely recommended for this place since it is a fixed route so you cannot get down or go off road at all! After the Safari we had lunch and headed to Rajkot. We stayed at the Khirasara Palace in Rajkot which is highly recommended for groups and families as the rooms are large and the morning walks around the complex and the views from the complex of the surrounding are spectacular!

Day 4 – Visit Kaba Gandhi in Rajkot and Lothal (Indus Valley Dockyard)

After Breakfast, We headed into the city and went to Kaba Gandhi (a house turned museum). Highly recommended as a stop especially for adults and teenagers. Afterwards, we headed to Lothal later, the famous Indus Valley Dockyard (Being a History lover, personally Lothal was a major disappointment for me:().For me at least, Lothal looked and felt artificial and it didn’t feel like it represented the true Indus Valley ( FYI This is just a personal opinion). Later we headed to Ahmedabad and stayed there for the night. We also went to one of those local markets selling all the hats and textiles. Street shopping is definitely a must do in Ahmedabad and the sidewalks are also nice and wide so walking around wouldn’t be problem.

Day 5 – Head to the Industrial City of Surat, Famous for diamonds and Textiles

Headed for Surat and reached by lunch time. We got the chance to see the textile factories up close as we got special permission! If possible try to visit as it is a very educating experience from the academic perspective as well the humanitarian perspective. If not possible then check out some of the textile markets in Surat (The markets are huge and in a large number so finding one shouldn’t be much of a problem:)).

On the last day we went to the diamond industry place (extremely hard to get permission) and later left for the airport.

Reflections

At the end of the trip I can look back and say it was one trip to remember and it is also recommended to hire a personal car as the roads are fabulous in Gujarat and the locals definitely know the best!

I hope to visit Gujarat again but this time with more freedom when it comes to locations and I will also be uploading a more in depth analysis of all the places visited by me during this trip!

The Older Son of the Blogger – Wandering Tales Travel Dreams

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