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Old 2nd January 2013, 13:55   #1
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Default Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

Happy New Year to All. I just finished a trip to Gujarat and wanted to share the experience. Gujarat is an amazing state with lots of places to visit. One must plan to visit Gujarat in life time.

For the year end shut down we wanted to drive through the coast and reach Gir to spot the Asiatic Lion at their last home. It was unplanned drive with ON the go planning. Though we enjoyed, I would not suggest people to do that. We had to skip lot of places due to poor planning.


The best route to Gir National park from Bangalore is.

Bangalore-Hubli-Pune-Thane-Vapi-Surat-Vadodara-Borsad-Tarapur-Rajkot-Junagad-Gir.

We deviated at Belgaum towards Ratnagiri to stay at coast. This is a wrong thing to do
as per our experience. You can try Murud instead, which is 30+ km detour from Pune Highway after Satara.

Ratnagiri to Mumbai is the Goa - Mumbai Highway and is poorly maintained, heavy traffic road. So avoid this path if your destination is not among these route.

Mumbai-Ahmedabad is an Express Highway. From Thane you can connect to this road and is ok with few traffic signals. You will be avoiding Mumbai traffic.

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Express Highway is 6 lane highway and is very good. You can avg out to 90-100kmph.

Note: Just before Baruch, there is a bridge which is under construction. This will eat lot of your time. Hence add 1 hr to your avg speed. It took us 1 hour to cross the bridge due to traffic and poor management at the toll.

We stayed one night at Vadodara(Baroda). There is a beautiful palace to see in Vadodara in case you have time. To reach Gir, you need to reach Borsad-Tarapur and catch the Rajkot highway. From vadodara it is around 60-70Km away. This route is also good and will avoid touching Ahmedabad city.

Once you hit Rajkot Highway the road is 4 lane and smooth. The road will not enter any town/city. You need to take deviation at jetpur towards Junagad. From jetpur the road is 2lane and is also descent. From Junagad, Sassan Gir is 55Km.

We stayed in a beautiful farm house which is located inside the forest. DineshBhai owns it. The food was very good. Since we had not booked safari in advance, we were among the unlucky to not get safari. However, we did feel the jungle while going to the
farm house. Experienced Lion calls on the way to farm.

There is a bordered safari open for all at Gir where few animals are left free. Its similar to Bannerghatta national park safari. We saw Asiatic lion in that safari.

From Gir we went to Somnath Temple, which is just 45 Km from Gir.

Our next Destination was Rann of Kutch. There is Little Rann and Greater Rann.
Little Rann is the Wild *** Sanctuary, which is black desert. This place is between Bhuj and Ahmedabad. Devjibhai provides accommodation and Safari. You can stay either at Dhrangadhra or at Kobo. Dhrangadhra accommodation is in the town Dhrangadhra. The feel is like a stay in an old apartment. Food was Ok and the rooms are average. Devjibhai son Vijay took us to the Wild *** Safari.

Wild *** Safari is very nice. Vijay made us forget the bad stay experience. Its a beautiful place. You get to see, neel Gai, Pelicans, common crane, wild ***, and flemingos. We also saw how salt is made.

Suggestion: This place is very close to Ahmedabad. Around 120 Km from Ahmedabad towards Bhuj. So Plan your tour well. If you are coming from Gir/Somnath, this should not be your first place to visit. Plan while return. Make use of Google maps and decide the places before you decide on your next destination. There are lot places in and around to visit. Check with local people or friends for routes and directions and optimize your route here. Our stay at Dhrangadhra after somnath was a bad move. We came back towards Ahmedabad around 100+ with a plan to visit Greater Rann which is away from Ahmedabad. So plan well.

Greater Rann or Rann of Kutch:
We left Dhrangadhra at 3pm after having lunch at Devjibhai's house. We had booked night stay at Devpur Homestay very close to Bhuj. Bhuj is the capital of Kutch. Rann Utsav and white desert is close to this place. You need to reach here for these places. The connectivity is very good and we reached Bhuj at 6pm, which was around 250+ km from Dhrangadhra. We detoured to Devpur Homestay. Mr KrutharthSinh owns the place and trust me, you should plan to stay in this place if you visit Bhuj. A warm welcome with thilak and Garland makes you feel great. Food is very good and hospitality cannot be questioned.


White Desert:
There are two places where you can see the white desert. The rann of Kutch, Khavda is the place where Rann utsav happens. Its north of Bhuj. The white desert is nice but we heard that Dolavira white desert is the best. If you plan to plan to spend few days at Kutch, then there are beautiful places to see.

Pakistan border, Harappa, Mandvi beach, Hodka village are some of the places that should not be missed. Since we were almost done with the time, we could only make it to Rann Utsav and White desert(not the Dolavira).


Return to Bangalore from Kutch
: After the full moon experience on the white desert we headed back to bangalore. We started Khavda at 8Pm. Ahmedabad is around 350Km from Bhuj. We reached Ahmedabad at 3 am. We refreshed ourselves in friends house. And started our journey back to bangalore at 6am. We reached Mumbai at 3 pm.
Like I said, the bridge construction at Baruch is a pain to cross. Find out if there is an alternative to avoid this.

One of our friend had not seen Mumbai and we thought will drive through Mumbai and halt at Pune. Got stuck in Mumbai traffic, we managed to see Gateway of India, Taj Hotel, Marine Drive and Sea link. Horrible drive inside the city. We were lucky to reach pune before Night.

Worst thing to happen at Mumbai is the Traffic police, they just block you everywhere seeing KA registration vehicle. Though I carried all the documents I ended up paying 300Rs. We were stopped 5 times in 2 hours for no reason. Its really a shame.

Carry Originals. I dont see a point why, but I was fined for not having original document. I had clear photo copy of all the documents and was not accepted. I'm
sure it was just a reason to fine. We dint wanted to argue and waste time, hence paid
and moved on.


We reached Pune through Express Highway. Express highway becomes bottleneck at uphill. Heavy trucks block three lanes and cant move beyond 20km. You will loose lot of time there but we managed to reach Pune in 2 hours.

From Pune there was nothing but to drive on highway to reach Bangalore. We halted for snacks, breakfast and lunch in between places and reached bangalore in 16 hours.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:26   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

Quote:
Originally Posted by abacusv View Post

Note: Just before Baruch, there is a bridge which is under construction. This will eat lot of your time. Hence add 1 hr to your avg speed. It took us 1 hour to cross the bridge due to traffic and poor management at the toll.
Its best to go through Ankleshwar town and cross the Narmada river through the Golden Bridge and again get into the highway through Baruch. Less traffic and a wonderful experience driving through the Golden bridge. This bridge was built by the British in 1881.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Bridge
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:41   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

People consider this seriously. The express way is really painful in this section.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:50   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Originally Posted by abacusv View Post
People consider this seriously. The express way is really painful in this section.
abacusv

Can you share contact details alongwith more details of accommodations at Gir, Bhuj, Kutch etc. as I'm also planning to visit these places in near future and the information will become handy for me.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:50   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Originally Posted by abacusv View Post
People consider this seriously. The express way is really painful in this section.
Hope you are referring to the Ankaleshwar stretch. A minor correction - Mumbai Ahmedabad is NH8 national highway. Between Vadodara and Ahmedabad, there is a Expressway.

BTW, the first post has very good detailed information about the trip. BUT, where are the pics?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 17:07   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Hope you are referring to the Ankaleshwar stretch. A minor correction - Mumbai Ahmedabad is NH8 national highway. Between Vadodara and Ahmedabad, there is a Expressway.
Yes I was voting on Ramblers suggestion. NH8 is 6 lane from Mumbai and yes from Vadodara its even more maintained.

Will share pics soon.

Micrographics, will share the details too soon.

Thanks,
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Old 2nd January 2013, 23:13   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Originally Posted by abacusv View Post
Like I said, the bridge construction at Baruch is a pain to cross. Find out if there is an alternative to avoid this.
The old Golden bridge through Baruch town is an alternate. Details are discussed in Mumbai-Delhi thread.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 13:03   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

Here are the pics. In the following order

GanapathiPule->Ratnagiri
Alibhag beach
Asiatic Lion->Sassan Gir
Wild *** -> Wild *** Sanctuary, Dhrangadhra Little Rann
Little Rann -> Dhrangadhra
Little Rann -> Dhrangadhra
Little Rann -> Dhrangadhra
Salt plant -> Pits drying the water to form salt crystals. Little Rann, Dhrangadhra
The white Eagles, Devpur Homestay. Devpur, Bhuj Greater Rann, Kutch.
The white Eagles, Devpur Homestay. Devpur, Bhuj Greater Rann, Kutch.
Contact: Mr KrutarthSinh Jadeja, ks.devpur@gmail.com

Road towards RannUtsav,
Shaam - E - Sarahad resort. Hokdo Village, Greater Rann. If you plan to halt at
white desert, this is the place you need to be. Sorry, I dont have contact details
of this place.


Towards White Desert after crossing BSF(Border Security Force).
White Desert, Kutch.
White Desert, Kutch
Moon light shot, Could not get the starts better than this, as it was full moon.
White Desert, Kutch.
Attached Thumbnails
Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121222dsc_4285.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121223dsc_4293.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121226_mg_4766.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227_mg_4853.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227_mg_4911.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227_mg_4893.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227_mg_4887.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227_mg_4923.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227dsc_4599.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227dsc_4603.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121227dsc_4619.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121228dsc_4638.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121228dsc_4651.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121228_mg_5002.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121228_mg_4992.jpg  

Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch-20121228_mg_5022.jpg  

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Old 4th January 2013, 00:58   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

Nice , it reminded me of my impromptu trip from H yderabad to Gir and the Saurashtra region ina Zen D in 2003(my friends called it a stupid ZEn D!tillI made the 3500 km trip) . From Somnath if you take the coastal road round the Saurashtra coast, you get to see some interesting places. There's Diu, where yoou cross a causeway and enter a totally different world altogether from the rest of Gujaratwith the portugese ambience still percievable. Very intersting branched palms lining the roadside. Went on to Palitana a very arduous climb of 3500+ steps with no water available, but the temples ( A full thousand of them) were beautiful. Coming down my friend Mahendra, a surgeon at that does a hands up leaving me to drive the rest of the way back via Bhavnagar to Vadodara 450 km at one go! a lovely 40 km of straight road in between salt flats in the gulf of Khambat and then a left turn towards the expressway. a guy aat the petrol bunk in Bhavnagar just wouldn't believe the Zen D was company fitted, saying I must have modded it with a diesel engine!
Gujarat is well connecterd and the signages are also decent. Just before rajkot saw a sign saying Lothal, and remembering it from my school days we took a chance (despite my friends scepticism) and it turned out to be THE lothal with it's ancient shipyard and museum of artefacts from the Harappan era. Thanksbuddy, you brought back a rush of memories!
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Old 14th November 2015, 13:55   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Originally Posted by abacusv View Post
Happy New Year to All. I just finished a trip to Gujarat and wanted to share the experience. Gujarat is an amazing state with lots of places to visit. One must plan to visit Gujarat in life time.

I plan to travel to Gujrat during Dec. with my family of four. Places which I would want to cover is Gir, Somnath, Diu/beach and any other enroute city worthwhile visiting during a stayover. I plan to drive down from Pune. The total number of days I expect to have is about 7 days max. I have gone through some posts on this topic but have a couple of questions

1. Travel from Pune - Which city is better to stay over and also do some local site seeing? Prefer to cover at least 600+ kms on day one so that I cover the 2nd leg in about half a day

2. Does it make sense to reach one shot in gir and stay over there itself. I could see some tour packages at Gir National forest. OR Stay in Junagadh ?

3. Somnath and Diu - How much time would it take to cover these at leisure.

Being a "Holiday", I would prefer the trip not to be too cramped with activities and travel. Kindly suggest
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Old 7th December 2015, 15:02   #11
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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1. Travel from Pune - Which city is better to stay over and also do some local site seeing? Prefer to cover at least 600+ kms on day one so that I cover the 2nd leg in about half a day

2. Does it make sense to reach one shot in gir and stay over there itself. I could see some tour packages at Gir National forest. OR Stay in Junagadh ?
You can do a straight to Vadodara and stay there. Its really nice and calm place to stay and actually there is a enroute to Gir from there. You can skip Ahmedabad completely.

However the express way from Mumbai is a mess, your avg speed will be 40kmph. Check the distance, but its doable in one stretch.

Its a full day travel from Vadodara to Gir, plan accordingly. Accommodation is fine I guess not very difficult, but if you are particular about safari, you should do an advance booking for the safari by giving all the necessary document copy up front. If you do not get a safari booking, I would say its like eating half cooked rice. Think twice before going there and nothing will you loose if you skip it. Advance reservation for safari is must for Gir.

We did not got to Diu so have no suggestion there. Intra state highways were very very good when we visited, and you get lot of hotel on the way.

Happy traveling.
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Old 22nd December 2015, 07:03   #12
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Thanks, that's useful. I have changed plans considering the longer time needed to cover Gujarat. Planning to travel to Goa this time. Looking for the best route there..
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Old 21st November 2016, 14:54   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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The best route to Gir National park from Bangalore is.

[b]Bangalore-Hubli-Pune-Thane-Vapi-Surat-Vadodara-Borsad-Tarapur-Rajkot-Junagad-Gir.
In a few days planning a similar trip. We are going to Rann of Kutch ( Dhordo ) first, then Gir National Park, then Saputara before heading home.

My questions are mainly about the route outward :

1. Is Mumbai-Pune expressway till Thane followed by Mumbai-Ahmedabad road the fastest way to go ?
2. It normally takes me about 15 hours to get to Mumbai from Bangalore. Should I attempt to drive all the way to Ahmedabad in the 1st leg ? My wife and I both drive well and can do 100-120 on 4-6 lane highways. If so, will I be able to do it in about 20 hours ?
3. How is the road from Ahmedabad to Bhuj ? Should I take the Sanand,Viramgam, Dhrangadhra, route to Bhuj which seems the shortest. How long would it take ? I need to reach Tent City Dhordo by around noon.

4. While returning from Saputara ( Club Mahindra Hatgad ), I want to first drive towards Ahmednagar, then cut across South-East to Satara or head South towards Karad. Has anyone used these routes and if so how are the state highways ? If Nagar-Pune-Satara is the faster route, then wanted to know if I could skirt around the city on the east side or would I have to go into the city ?

I understand that my questions are covering a lot of geography in 2 states. So answer which ever questions you are most sure of.

Many thanks.

RCD

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th April 2017 at 15:27. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 23rd November 2016, 19:00   #14
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Originally Posted by RCD View Post
My questions are mainly about the route outward :

1. Is Mumbai-Pune expressway till Thane followed by Mumbai-Ahmedabad road the fastest way to go ?
2. It normally takes me about 15 hours to get to Mumbai from Bangalore. Should I attempt to drive all the way to Ahmedabad in the 1st leg ? My wife and I both drive well and can do 100-120 on 4-6 lane highways. If so, will I be able to do it in about 20 hours ?


I understand that my questions are covering a lot of geography in 2 states. So answer which ever questions you are most sure of.

Many thanks.

RCD
Answering (my view point) question 2

Am also doing Bengaluru-Gujarat in December 2nd week.

Am Driving to Pune on Day 1, planning to stay at Ginger (Tata Group) in Wakad, Pune, which is just before the Express way.
Personally feel, more than 900km may be overkill or monotonous, plus it involves night drive/evening drive which is a choice you have to make.

My Highway plans are always Daylight, I do start early morning may be an hour or more before Sunrise to cover more than 600kms. Followed the same rule for Mumbai, Rajahmundry, Kanyakumari, and Western Ghats trips done before.

Am planning to start around 4am from Bengaluru.

In 2014, I started at 4:30 am in Bengaluru and was at Kolhapur by 1pm (included a 1hr breakfast break), Temple stop in Kolhapur was more then 3hrs, then drove to Satara and stayed overnight.

Now, I plan to shoot down to Wakad, Pune on Day 1, then to Ahmedabad on Day 2 spend the evening there (personally, Parents will Fly-down to Ahmedabad, will join us in our Car from them, to save them the long road journey fatigue).

Am also looking forward to route options to GRoK.

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th April 2017 at 15:27. Reason: Fixing quote tag
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Old 20th December 2016, 10:27   #15
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Default Re: Bangalore to Gir National Park & Rann of Kutch

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Answering (my view point) question 2

Am also doing Bengaluru-Gujarat in December 2nd week.

Am also looking forward to route options to GRoK.
Now that I am back from my trip to Rann of Kutch and Gir, thought I would share what I did.

As my holiday package at the Rann Utsav began at noon, I wanted to reach as close as possible before making a stop. Decided to play it by ear, and just see how far we could go.

Finally managed to set a new record for ourselves. We drove from Bangalore to Bhuj ( 1839 km in 30 hours) before taking a halt. Left Bangalore at about 8 : 30 am, passed Pune around 9 pm, Mumbai around midnight, Ahmedabad around 7 am and reached Bhuj in time for lunch. This gave us sufficient time to explore Bhuj in the evening, for my wife to do some shopping the next morning and still reach the Tent City by 12:30 pm.

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th April 2017 at 15:27. Reason: Fixing quote tag
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