Arrive Ahmedabad and drive to Bhuj, on arrival check in to the pre booked hotel. The historic city of Bhuj derives its name from the Bhujiyo Dungar, a hill, overlooking the present day Bhuj town. Bhuj is a typical example of a desert town located between two geographical features - Bhujiyo Dungar on the east & Hamirsar Lake on the west. Bhuj, the major town of Kutch, is an old city established in 1510. With its surrounding wall, the atmospheric bazaar area, crenelated gateways, old palaces and striking temples the town still retains a medieval character. Every Feb/Mar it hosts the annual Rann Utsav festival. Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast visit the villages of Bhuj. Amidst the desert land of infinite dimensions, are suspended, quaint little villages. These are the last villages on the India-Pakistan border. Here you will come across master craft people' exposing their traditional art, turning our master pieces every day. Their ornaments, clothes, utensils, everything they use - will make you feel as if you have stepped into lifestyle museum leaving you spellbound.
Visit the villages of Bhirandiyara: Bhirandiyara is a favourite Tea stop for locals and visitors alike on the road to Khavda. The village boasts of a delicious sweet – fresh Maavo. This milk-based sweet is best when eaten hot. Most of the roadside stalls sell Maavo. The local Meghwal Community has exquisite embroideries and skilfully decorated, colourful Mud Bhungas. Mud-Mirror work - Lippan kam is a decorative art done by common people mainly women. Lippan kam is done inside Bhungas / mud huts in villages of Kutch; sometimes you can find it on outer walls too. Generally, women make birds, trees, animals, and peacock, human figures etc in Lippan kam. It is done with a mixture of clay and camel dung. Then gum is used to stick mirrors. Originality of lippan kam lies in adding no colour or only whites. Small round, diamond-shaped or triangle mirror pieces are essential to lippan kam.
Nirona: The village of Nirona is the only place in the world where the tradition of Rogan art is still practiced (a method of producing dyes from natural resources and castor oil and creating intricate and long-lasting designs on silk and cotton). Nirona also offers the chance to see artisans making copper bells and practicing wood lacquering.
Khavda (90 Km. Approx.) – a town of Pachcham Region. One can find a tiny market and a few stalls serving up Kutchi snacks & tea. One can visit to Khatrivas to see artisans printing & selling Ajrakh. The town also has skilled Leather Craftsmen and there are some shops retailing local crafts, including Leather Slippers. Off the main road is a clinic run by Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), Federation of Kutchi Women's groups. KMVS has trained local midwives in modern and locally suitable healthcare practices. The KMVS Office in Khavda is run almost entirely by local women and has a small retail outlet selling wonderfully intricate embroideries under the producer group's brand name “QASAB” which means “Craft Skill”.
Ludiya: Ludiya Village is comprised of several hamlets belonging to the Meghwal & Samma Communities. The latter community, primarily herdsmen, is more conservative when it comes to tourists. Gandhi nu Gam, populated by the Meghwal community, features beautifully Painted Bhungas. The Kanjari (Blouses) of the women and the Bhunga decoration of this village are especially colourful. To curb exploitation & experiment with community marketing, the hamlet has set up an “Otlo” or a roofed platform next to the Temple, where each household brings out their embroidered goods for selling.
Later visit the Rann of Kutch is a salt marshy land in the Thar Desert in the Kutch district of western Gujarat. The Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. ‘Rann’ means desert in Hindi which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Irina’ which also means desert. The inhabitants of Kutch are called Kutchi and have a language of their own with the same name. Most of the population in Rann of Kutch comprises of Hindus, Muslims, Jains and Sikhs. Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast drive to Mandvi; arrive and transfer to your hotel. Mandvi is located on the banks of the Rukmavati River, barely one km from the Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Kutch. The town has a very pleasant climate throughout the year and it was a summer retreat of the Kutch Maharaos. The centre of attraction at Mandvi is the Vijay Vilas Palace, a royal abode set in the middle of well-laid gardens with water channels and marble fountains. The architect and craftsmen from Jaipur designed and constructed the palace in 1920 AD. The palace has all the elements of Rajput architecture and draws largely on the plan of palaces of Orchha and Datia.
The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes on sides, the windows with colored glass, carved stone Jaalis, domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone carved elements, make the palace worth visiting. It owns a private beach, maintained in an eco-friendly manner to preserve its pristine beauty. It is an example of the traditional skill of craftsmen of early 20th century.
Visit Ship building yard. On the banks of the Rukmavati River, just south of the bridge, you can visit the still-active shipbuilding yard. Craftsmen still assemble ships out of wood, for local or international guests, and you can feel free to watch them work. It gives us an opportunity to watch handmade ship being built which will make one truly appreciate craftsmanship. The process is long and elaborate and shoddy workmanship means risking sailors' lives. Overnight at hotel.
Morning drive to Rajkot; transfer to your hotel. Rajkot is a very pleasant provincial town. Mahatma Gandhi spent a few years of his life in this town. His father was the Dewan (Chief Minister) of Rajkot, once a small princely State.
Later Karba Gandhi No Delo / Mahatma Gandhi House – The Karba Gandhi No Delo is the house of the Mahatma Gandhi where he lived from the age of six. The Mahatma Gandhi House has a good collection of things related to the Mahatma Gandhi's life. The Mahatma's Passion for the handloom is preserved in the form of a small weaving school.
Watson Museum – The Watson Museum and Library commemorates the work of Colonel John Watson, political agent from 1886 to 1889. It is a jumbled attic of the collection with the 3rd century inscriptions and a delicate ivory work overseen by a marble statue of Queen Victoria.
The Watson Museum has collection of precious objects of colonial period, human history and culture, and History of Rajkot.
Rajkumar College – The world famous Rajkumar College is in the city. This college dates to the 19th century and is regarded as one of the India's best private colleges. It was set up by the British for the education of the princes of the Indian state. Also, visit Swami Narayan Temple. Return to hotel for a pleasing overnight stay.
Drive to Diu; arrive Diu and transfer to your hotel. Diu is a tiny island in the Arabian Sea which is situated near the port of Veraval in Gujarat and is separated from the southern extremity of the Saurashtra peninsula by a narrow channel running through the swamp.
Later visit – St.Paul's church: The Church adorned with curiously treated volutes & shell-like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portuguese churches in India.
St.Thomas Church Museum: A huge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598 A.D. A part of it has been converted into a museum, an Archaeological treasure house.
Diu Fort: This majestic structure stands on the coast of Diu sentinel. Nagoa beach: The Nagoa beach is exceptionally beautiful & secluded. The horse-shoe (semicircular) shaped, palm-fringed beach is twenty minutes invigorating drive from Diu.
Diu Museum: Earlier there was no building in Diu to house the antique statues and various stone inscriptions, so the old St. Thomas Church was converted into Diu museum. Diu Museum houses wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other important artifacts collected from various sites. Evening at leisure to enjoy at Nagoa beach. The beach is exceptionally beautiful & quiet and is in the shape of a horse-shoe (semi circular). Overnight at hotel.
Day is at leisure to enjoy beach. Overnight at hotel.
In time transfer to Diu Airport to board flight for your next destination.
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