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Old 9th August 2013, 01:02   #1
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Default Bangalore to Gujarat : Route Queries

Hi,
I am planning for visiting state of Gujarat during this Dashara Holidays. This will be in a Honda Civic along with my wife and two daughters (both in primary).
I have been through lot of threads here and come up with following tentative plan.
I plan to start early on all days so that I can make maximum use of day time and reach destination before it is too late (all day destinations marked in bold).

Please share your advices on feasibility of this plan...

2nd Oct, Wed –Bangalore to Mumbai (1000km, 15 hrs drive) – I have done 1000km in a day earlier, though on a different route
3rd – 8th Oct – In Mumbai with relatives

9th Oct, Wed - Mumbai to Ahmedabad (530km, 7 hours)
Visit Akshardham Temple

10th Oct, Thu – around Ahmedabad
Visit - Rudabai ne vav @ Patan (step well), Sahastra linga Lake, a Patola Family, Sun Temple @ Mudhera, Rudabai ne vav @ Adalaj (Step well)

11th Oct, Fri – In Ahmedabad
Visit - Sabarmati Ashram, Kankaria Lake

12th Oct, Sat – Ahmedabad - Velavadar (Black Buck) National park - Diu – Somnath (470km, 9.5hrs drive)
Visit Blackbuck National park (1 hr), Diu (2 hrs, incl lunch break), Somnath temple

13th Oct, Sun – Somnath - Dwarka (230km, 4.5 hrs)
Visit Dwarkadheesh Mandir, Nageshwar Temple, Mul Dwarka, Bet Dwarka

14th Oct, Mon – Dwarka – Narera NP – Bhuj (640km, 12.5 hrs)
Visit Marine Narera National Park (2hrs?)

15th Oct, Tue – Bhuj to Dhorodo (80km, 1.5 hrs)
Visit Shree Swaminarayan Temple (Bhuj), Great Rann of Kutch, Kalo Dunger
Full moon in on 18th October, so I am 3 days ahead :(

16th Oct, Wed – Dhorodo to Vadodra (510km, 9 hours)

17th Oct, Thu – Vadodra to Mumbai (420km, 7 hours)
Visit Laxmi Vilas Palace (4 hrs) and then continue to Mumbai

18th Oct, Fri – Rest in Mumbai

19th Oct, Sat– Mumbai to Bangalore (1000km, 15 hrs)


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Few Specific questions:
1. Is October good time to visit GRK? It has rained heavily this year, and most of the area might be under water...
2. If I am visiting GRK, is a separate LRK visit worth? If yes, do I stay one more day in Ahmedabad and do Little Runn from there with Ahmadabad as night base?
3. I may not be doing a second trip to Gujarat, so have I covered all important tourist destinations?
4. Is Lothal worth a visit to see Harrappa valley civilization excavations, while returning from Dhorodo to Vadodra?
5. Is Sardar Sarovar Dam worth a visit on way back from Vadodra to Mumbai?
6. Navaratra is starting from 5th Oct, what possible issues I may face due to that? Too much crowd at any of the temples, change in temple closure timings, etc.
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Old 9th August 2013, 01:42   #2
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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12th Oct, Sat – Ahmedabad - Velavadar (Black Buck) National park - Diu – Somnath (470km, 9.5hrs drive)
Visit Blackbuck National park (1 hr), Diu (2 hrs, incl lunch break), Somnath temple

13th Oct, Sun – Somnath - Dwarka (230km, 4.5 hrs)
Visit Dwarkadheesh Mandir, Nageshwar Temple, Mul Dwarka, Bet Dwarka
You might want to cut down on the time that you plan to spend in Ahmedabad and increase the number of hours planned for Diu. Diu is a beautiful place and there's a lot to see. Especially the fort, Naida caves and Gangeshwar Temple. Of-course the beaches are also there. Kankaria is a man-made excessively crowded lake so, not sure how much you will enjoy it.

You might also want to increase the time allocated for the drive from Somnath to Dwarka. 50KMs before Porbandar, you will reach a place called Madhavpur. It's difficult to pass through that road without stopping and appreciating the beauty of Madhavpur beach.

I recently went to Diu and Somanth. You can read about my experience here (Did the Diu! Delhi-Ahmedabad-Diu in a Punto).
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Old 9th August 2013, 07:38   #3
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

1. On the "Somnath to Dwarka" day, you can include Porbunder and see Kirti Mandir (Gandhiji's birthplace).

2. No Gir Lion safari in the plan?

3. On the "around Ahmedabad" day, if you start early, you can cover Siddhpur as well.

4. After first 3 hectic days, the "In Ahmedabad" day would provide some relaxation. After that the next 3 days seem quite hectic from driving perspective. e.g. you would most likely be reaching Somnath quite late in the afternoon and then would have to start decently early towards Dwarka the next day.

5. Lothal is OKish. See if you can tweak your Ahmedabad-Somnath route a bit to include Lothal. Dholavira in supposed to be a better place for Harappan civilization. But not sure if you can include that in your Kutchh plan.

6. Including Laxmi Vilas palace and Sardar sarovar on the same day would delay your arrival in Mumbai that night. Not sure by how much, but my guess is - significantly.

Not commenting about other things that you have asked as I have no first-hand experience about those.

All the best! Have fun.

Last edited by SDP : 9th August 2013 at 07:47.
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Old 9th August 2013, 09:40   #4
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

1. Roads are great in Gujarat. Only issue will be between Somnath to Dwarka. This is the stretch that breakdown. Navrata is the best time to be in Gujarat.
Check out my TL http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...1-3500kms.html (Discovering Gujarat - Land of the Legends. (Saurastra) - 1 - 8th Oct 2011 - 3500kms)

2. I would suggest do Saurastra in one trip and Kutch in other. Even Kutch has tons to see. This would become overdose. I would suggest to LRK instead of GRK for this trip.
Link to our Kutch trip : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...land-bhuj.html (Discover Gujarat : Great Rann of Kutch, Bani Grass Land & Bhuj)

3. Lothal is worth visiting. Even we have kept this for this year along with LRK.

Narara - You will need permit and need to sync timing with Tide. Do checkout that too.


Quote:
Few Specific questions:
1. Is October good time to visit GRK? It has rained heavily this year, and most of the area might be under water...
2. If I am visiting GRK, is a separate LRK visit worth? If yes, do I stay one more day in Ahmedabad and do Little Runn from there with Ahmadabad as night base?
3. I may not be doing a second trip to Gujarat, so have I covered all important tourist destinations?
4. Is Lothal worth a visit to see Harrappa valley civilization excavations, while returning from Dhorodo to Vadodra?
5. Is Sardar Sarovar Dam worth a visit on way back from Vadodra to Mumbai?
6. Navaratra is starting from 5th Oct, what possible issues I may face due to that? Too much crowd at any of the temples, change in temple closure timings, etc.
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Old 9th August 2013, 11:08   #5
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
You might want to cut down on the time that you plan to spend in Ahmedabad and increase the number of hours planned for Diu. Diu is a beautiful place and there's a lot to see. Especially the fort, Naida caves and Gangeshwar Temple. Of-course the beaches are also there. Kankaria is a man-made excessively crowded lake so, not sure how much you will enjoy it.

You might also want to increase the time allocated for the drive from Somnath to Dwarka. 50KMs before Porbandar, you will reach a place called Madhavpur. It's difficult to pass through that road without stopping and appreciating the beauty of Madhavpur beach.

I recently went to Diu and Somanth. You can read about my experience here (Did the Diu! Delhi-Ahmedabad-Diu in a Punto).
Thanks Biraj. I will go through you your travelogue and consider these inputs.
The reason for including Kankaria lake was that kids will enjoy it. It's a family vacation and temples and forts don;t interest kids too much

How much absolutely min time do your recommend at Diu.

I plan to spend about an hour at Madhavpur beach on route to Dwarka, hope that should be fine.

Is the road between Diu towards Ahmedabad really bad? or is just painful to drive. A loaded Civic has Ground clearance issues, so I get worried...
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Old 9th August 2013, 11:24   #6
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

My few cents ::

1. If you plan to visit Akshardham temple, then please time your trips well as the temple has closing timings.

2. Gir national park can be included in your schedule. This opens sometime in 3rd week of October

3. Please try and keep at least 1 day in Diu, it is a very beautiful town. i think you can break your ADI- Somnath drive in 2 parts. ADI - Diu (take a night stop at Diu) and then Diu to Somnath.

4. If possible try and break your trip in 2 parts. The 'Kutch' part deserves a full credit.

5. Plan your trip between MUM-ADI to cross Bharuch properly, the bridge across the Narmada is infamous for traffic jams. You can find info on alternative route to bypass this jam on HVK sir's post. There is a small town road through the towns of Ankleshwar and Bharuch.

6. Think of including the 'little rann of kutch'. though this alone deserves a separate tour.

7. On the Kankaria lake in ADI, try and take the toy train. It is really good (especially for kids) and circumnavigates the lake.

8. The road between somnath and Diu is also pretty bad, especially near the factory at Kodinar. This is one place where you might face GC issues. Another spot is Porbandar where the roads were equally bad. We took this road last year, not sure of the latest status on this road.

9. Sardar sarovar dam, is quite a de-tour from NH8, is suppose approx 100 kms one way.

10. crowds at all tourist destinations are expected as most schools / colleges in Gujarat have a 9 day holiday for Navratri. On a positive note, you could enjoy a Navratri night out in Ahmedabad or Vadodara.

11. Boat services to 'Bet Dwarka' is pretty poor, we had to wait 2 hours so that the boat man could collect enough people to go there. Some thing like a 'share a rickshaw'. In my personal opinion this is the worst maintained temple in Gujarat. I was deeply saddened by the state of affairs on the island. Total lack of Hygiene, we prefered staying hungry rather than eating on the island.

Last edited by Dieseltuned : 9th August 2013 at 11:43. Reason: added more points after re-reading the opening post
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Old 9th August 2013, 11:28   #7
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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Originally Posted by ST7677 View Post
...
I plan to spend about an hour at Madhavpur beach on route to Dwarka, hope that should be fine.
...
Its not really a commercial beach. So there might not be anything specific to do over there besides taking a stroll and enjoying the scene. But, its definitely beautiful.
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Old 9th August 2013, 11:33   #8
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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1. On the "Somnath to Dwarka" day, you can include Porbunder and see Kirti Mandir (Gandhiji's birthplace).

2. No Gir Lion safari in the plan?

3. On the "around Ahmedabad" day, if you start early, you can cover Siddhpur as well.

4. After first 3 hectic days, the "In Ahmedabad" day would provide some relaxation. After that the next 3 days seem quite hectic from driving perspective. e.g. you would most likely be reaching Somnath quite late in the afternoon and then would have to start decently early towards Dwarka the next day.

5. Lothal is OKish. See if you can tweak your Ahmedabad-Somnath route a bit to include Lothal. Dholavira in supposed to be a better place for Harappan civilization. But not sure if you can include that in your Kutchh plan.

6. Including Laxmi Vilas palace and Sardar sarovar on the same day would delay your arrival in Mumbai that night. Not sure by how much, but my guess is - significantly.

Not commenting about other things that you have asked as I have no first-hand experience about those.

All the best! Have fun.
Thanks for your inputs SDP. As you would have realized my route is very heavily inspired from your Travelogue, I have simply added Kutch to it

1. Kirti Mandir will slow me down, so I have kept it optional
2. Again Gir Safari, will take more than a day and with no surety of seeing lions, limits on safari audience, dust, etc. Also it opens only in second half of Oct. I decided to give it a pass
3. Ok, will consider your suggestion on Siddpur
5. Yes, Dholavira may be little difficult to accomodate
6. I am looking to hear from someone who has done this, to see if it is feasible.

Last edited by ST7677 : 9th August 2013 at 11:36.
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Old 9th August 2013, 11:38   #9
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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Originally Posted by ST7677 View Post
Hi,
I am planning for visiting state of Gujarat during this Dashara Holidays. This will be in a Honda Civic
Hey ST7677,

I would suggest to break trip in 2-3 parts & Do it one at a time.
A'bad + GRK (Bhuj, Dholavira, Koteshwar) Add Vadodara, Narmada Dam in retun lag.
A'bad + LRK (Lothal, Rajkot, Dwarka) Include Modhera, Patan in this trip
A'bad + GIR (Junagadh, Lions, Diu & Somnath)

In my opinion current plan is more on hectic side. Road condition in A'bad-Rajkot has took hit due to current rain. Just add one more hour in the planning.

Do PM me in case of any local assistance. I'll be available in A'bad for most of the time.
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Old 9th August 2013, 12:11   #10
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

I know that whole of Gujarat is going to be a stretch in one trip. But considering that I am located at Bangalore, the distance to Ahmedabad and back itself is >3000km, So I am not sure if I would be able to do another trip there (there are many more regions on card)...

So I need help in packing as much in this trip, may be by further adding a day or two.

Dieseltuned, thanks for your inputs. I did take a note of HVK's suggestion.
I will surely include the toy train ride for kids.
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Old 9th August 2013, 12:21   #11
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

Hello,

I know, many will not agree, especially on an automobile forum. but still, here goes ::

I suggest take a flight from BLR-ADI and then rent a good vehicle which will take you to all these places. These will save you 2-3 days of driving time from BLR to ADI and then use these 2-3 extra days to accomodate more places as you intend to cover the whole of Gujarat in one trip.
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Old 9th August 2013, 14:03   #12
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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How much absolutely min time do your recommend at Diu.

I plan to spend about an hour at Madhavpur beach on route to Dwarka, hope that should be fine.

Is the road between Diu towards Ahmedabad really bad? or is just painful to drive. A loaded Civic has Ground clearance issues, so I get worried...
Issue with Kankaria is the crowd. I guess there are some good options for kids inside. I just went once. Saw the queue and returned.

Ideally, you should first go to Somnath then to Diu. The road from Ahmedabad to Diu via Somnath despite being longer is the route I will recommend. The route via Bhavnagar is desolate and the last 40-50 KMs is terrible. My Punto with 185 mm GC got 3-4 under-body hits. The route from Somnath to Diu is much better than the approach from UNA.

You can start from Ahmedabad in the morning, go to Lothal, spend 1 hour at Lothal (I doubt you will spend more) and then head towards Somnath via Rajkot and Junagadh. Stay at Somnath and start the next day early. The main temple is beautiful but the real one is situated outside the main temple. There's another temple about 2 KMs from main temple, it's the spot where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow (or perhaps he was hit somewhere else but took his last breath here). Once done, leave for Diu and spend at least one day there. Go to the Kodidhar beach, your kids will love collecting all the shells. Just be careful, the shells there are complete shells not broken so, might have live creatures inside. Don't go to the Kodidhar beach after dark as I had seen crabs there. If you reach there during high-tide, don't miss Gangeshwar temple. Moreover, if you love sea-food, Diu will be an ideal place for dinner.

Next day take the route towards Dwarka via Somnath. One hour is more than enough for Madhavpur. One usually loses track of time because of the sheer raw beauty of that place. If the traffic on the road is less, your family will have an entire beach to themselves.

I am unable to recollect the name but there's a small national park about 30 KMs from Gir where they guarantee Lion sightings. It's just a 45 minutes safari and all the animals are in their natural surroundings. You might want to check that.

Hope I am I not confusing you in your plans. Have a nice and safe trip.
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Old 9th August 2013, 14:43   #13
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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Originally Posted by DieselTuned
I suggest take a flight from BLR-ADI and then rent a good vehicle which will take you to all these places. These will save you 2-3 days of driving time from BLR to ADI and then use these 2-3 extra days to accomodate more places as you intend to cover the whole of Gujarat in one trip.
Part of the plan is to meet relatives at Mumbai


Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj
Ideally, you should first go to Somnath then to Diu. The road from Ahmedabad to Diu via Somnath despite being longer is the route I will recommend. The route via Bhavnagar is desolate and the last 40-50 KMs is terrible. My Punto with 185 mm GC got 3-4 under-body hits. The route from Somnath to Diu is much better than the approach from UNA.

You can start from Ahmedabad in the morning, go to Lothal, spend 1 hour at Lothal (I doubt you will spend more) and then head towards Somnath via Rajkot and Junagadh. Stay at Somnath and start the next day early. The main temple is beautiful but the real one is situated outside the main temple. There's another temple about 2 KMs from main temple, it's the spot where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow (or perhaps he was hit somewhere else but took his last breath here). Once done, leave for Diu and spend at least one day there. Go to the Kodidhar beach, your kids will love collecting all the shells. Just be careful, the shells there are complete shells not broken so, might have live creatures inside. Don't go to the Kodidhar beach after dark as I had seen crabs there. If you reach there during high-tide, don't miss Gangeshwar temple. Moreover, if you love sea-food, Diu will be an ideal place for dinner.
After hearing your experience I am really thinking about going to Somnath via Rajkot. I will miss Black buck National park though :(
Read about other Krishna temples - Bhalka Teerth and Geeta Mandir around Somnath, will go there if I get time.
And no you are not confusing me, your advice is quiet helpful.

If the road is so bad, then is there any hope of road repair happening around DIU by October?
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Old 9th August 2013, 15:13   #14
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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Read about other Krishna temples - Bhalka Teerth and Geeta Mandir around Somnath, will go there if I get time.
And no you are not confusing me, your advice is quiet helpful.

If the road is so bad, then is there any hope of road repair happening around DIU by October?
Bhalka teerth and Geeta Mandir are in the same complex. The local guides will tell you 5 different places (Dau's gufa, Geeta Mandir, Bhalka teerth and two other temples that I can't remember) but they are all inside the same temple complex.

The roads inside Diu are amazing. It's only the approach (especially from UNA) that's bad. That particular district is not known to be in good books of the current Gujarat administration thus, the conditions there are completely different from rest of Gujarat. I don't expect it to be repaired anytime soon. It has been like that for ages. Moreover, the road from Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar sees very less traffic. It's an arrow straight road passing through a forest and then salt-fields. With no civilisation and emergency services around, it's better to avoid that stretch when traveling with family.
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Old 9th August 2013, 16:54   #15
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Default Re: Gujarat tour in October (from BLR)

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....I am unable to recollect the name but there's a small national park about 30 KMs from Gir where they guarantee Lion sightings. It's just a 45 minutes safari and all the animals are in their natural surroundings. You might want to check that.
...
Devaliya!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
Bhalka teerth and Geeta Mandir are in the same complex. The local guides will tell you 5 different places (Dau's gufa, Geeta Mandir, Bhalka teerth and two other temples that I can't remember) but they are all inside the same temple complex.
....
Sorry, I think there is a confusion. Geeta Mandir and Bhalka Tirth are in two different places. For Geeta Mandir, drive towards the Somnath mandir and at the barricade tell the policeman that you need to go to Geeta Mandir. Geeta Mandir is on the left. About a KM from Somnath mandir.

Bhalka Tirth is somewhere between Somnath and Veraval. About 5-6 kms from Somnath mandir.

IIRC, Bhalka tirth is the place where ShriKrishna was hit by the stray arrow and Geeta Mandir is the place where he eventually passed away.
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