Messing this up - please help me build my itinerary!

#16 May 8th, 2017, 10:14
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  • Earthian is offline
#16
Quote:
- fly in Rajkot so we can do the villages and Virpur, and then head to Ahmedabad/Ghandinagar. Are there any beaches/resorts worth visiting in Gujarat in mid-August? I looked online and the wildlife sanctuaries are either closed or not worth visiting at that time. I think there is a smaller Akshardan temple in Gujarat as well, but not sure where it's in relation to.
Rajkot is about 2.5 hours from A'Bad which is well connected (with many flights) to Mumbai and Delhi. And Rajkot is not. And the road to Rajkot is very good.As most Gujarat roads are.
Would suggest making A'Bad as base, hire a car from here and make a round trip to your roots, Jalaram Bapa and return back here. The beaches of Gujarat are not so great and offer very little to teenagers. Akhshardham at Gandhinagar is about 45 minutes drive from A'Bad and a typical circuit would take you at least 3.5 hours including travel time.

Quote:
...we will still have exactly two weeks in India from mid to end of August.
..which puts you bang in the middle of the monsoon. Which could be used to your advantage if you pick the places which are best during the monsoon.
Last edited by Earthian; May 10th, 2017 at 10:11.. Reason: house keeping
#17 May 9th, 2017, 03:04
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  • Nipa is offline
#17
Thank you all for the continued advice.

RahulDeva - I had not considered that but will add it to my list of research

ViShVa - that sounds like a nice tour, would I return to Rajkot in between or change hotels? How long would you suggest in Rajkot given that I'd also want to include Virpur and the 2 little villages between Rajkot and Jamnagar?

nycank - Paris would be lovely but we have some relatives in London that we are long overdue in visiting. My kids are very close to their cousins and are quite excited about hanging out with them again for a couple of days. I was concerned about altu faltu airlines, but Air Italia (which is an Ethiad partner) flies out of both Mumbai and Delhi to Rome. A little more expensive, but I've been saving points for a few years now!

Earthian - so are you suggesting I book Ahmedabad and do all the outings as day trips? I was thinking if I did a couple of days in Rajkot, I could cut down on driving time? Would Virpur be a long day trip from Ahmedabad? Although everyone seems to tell me we'll enjoy Ahmedabad the most. As for the monsoon, I keep getting conflicting info - some tell me it will be on the way out, others say it's right in the thick of it and we'll be up to our knees in water. I'm hoping we luck into some dry days. In Ahmedabad, can you recommend a central (obviously safe) area to stay? I was looking at a map, and there are hotels all over the place.

A million thanks everyone!!!
#18 May 9th, 2017, 04:52
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  • ananda2193 is offline
#18
I would take Eartian's advice since he's a local and seems to have traveled a lot in Gujarat as well as internationally.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#19 May 9th, 2017, 07:17
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#19
What i would do in your place is:
  • Fly into Ahmedabad*. Ethihad, Emirates, Qatar, Air India all fly into A'Bad. (From the USA)
  • Spend a day or two here. Hire a car for 3 days-Virpur (~3 hrs)- Rajkot-Roots- Ahmedabad. Days trips, though doable would be exhausting and you did want to spend some time at your village.
  • You can spend 2 nights and three days if you plan to visit kin-else one night and two days would be enough for you to satisfy your "where was i from"? urge You could dump all the excess luggage at the bell desk and just take an overnighter.
  • I take it that Somnath, Dwaraka are not on the radar. If they are, then it would take atleast 2 nights and three days to do it comfortably- with Porbandar thrown in- Mahatma Gandhi's birth place.
  • Come back to Ahmedabad, do some local site seeing, shopping and off you go.
So about 4-5 days in Gujarat.
There are plenty of hotels in Ahmedabad. If you are looking for a Old city experience then a comfortable, yet in place would be The house of MG. Lots of foreigners prefer it since you can walk around the old city-pols.
I do not know your budget, but there are good hotels in the western part of the city (new city) at about US$ 75-80 per night- and i am taking about the likes of Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, and such. There would be quite a few- in fact many- at lower rates.
Ahmedabad is a safe place for women and foreigners, but one should be careful in crowded places for the common nuisances of society such as pick-pockets and such.

edit: * Most of these airlines allow you to fly-in and fly-out from different cities at no extra cost. So fly in to Ahmedabad and fly out from Delhi or Mumbai.
edit 2: Official monsoon season is fro May end till September middle. In Mumbai it would be concentrated from 2nd week of June till 2nd week of August. In Gujarat, it is relatively sporadic.
Last edited by Earthian; May 9th, 2017 at 07:25.. Reason: added edit
#20 May 10th, 2017, 07:33
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#20
Thanks again Earthian, this is really helpful. I was also thinking the 4-5 day range so am glad an expert thinks that is reasonable! Somnath was very much on my list, but I was not sure if I would have the time to get that far, I imagine I would add it in with the Virpur loop and add the extra time as you suggest. I also wanted to visit Ghandinagar as there is an orphanage there that we have been supporting for a number of years. I will take your advice that day trips will be exhausting. With about 5 days in Gujarat, and 4 days in Mumbai, I will have 5 days left, so perhaps will add Udaipur.

I am happy to see House of MG on your list, I was considering that or the Four Points Sheraton which a friend recommended. House of MG looks like it has more character, but perhaps being in the new city is closer for shopping and restaurants? Was also hoping to eat at Rajwadu and Agashi while we are there as special treats.

If you could indulge another question - we will likely be in Gujarat during Ganesh Chaturthi. Do you have any suggestions where we could celebrate and partake in prayers?

Thanks very much again!
#21 May 10th, 2017, 09:56
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  • Earthian is offline
#21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nipa View Post ... so am glad an expert thinks that is reasonable
Hey! i am no expert and everyone has his/her own preferences as far as sightseeing and travelling is concerned.
Quote:
Somnath was very much on my list...
You could start early by car from A'Bad, go to Virpur and then carry on to Somnath. There is a good VIP guest house attached to the temple. Rooms are clean and food, though clean & hygienic, is passable. stay the night there. Next morning you could leave for your native place, if required via Porbandar and spend the night at your place if you have kin there. The next morning leave for A'Bad.
Quote:
... so perhaps will add Udaipur.
Udaipur is 3.5 hours by car from A'Bad. Do not know whether you plan to go to Nathdwara which is about an hour's drive from Udaipur.
Quote:
House of MG looks like it has more character, but perhaps being in the new city is closer for shopping and restaurants?
House of MG is on the Eastern part of Ahmedabad, just beyond the river and is technically "old city". But yes, it has character and Abhay takes a lot of pride in maintaining it just so.
Quote:
Was also hoping to eat at Rajwadu and Agashi while we are there as special treats.
Agashiye (i presume you meant this) is in the House of MG and is a good place. I would suggest Vishala for a good experience for the kids.
Quote:
...Ganesh Chaturthi... Do you have any suggestions where we could celebrate and partake in prayers?
There are mandals erected pretty much all over the city, and on the road side. Karnavati club ( a prominent club in the western side) has one too every year.
Let me know if you require anything else.
#22 May 12th, 2017, 22:40
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#22
Thanks Earthian, that sounds great. I looked up Vishala and we will check that out for sure, looks like it would be a fun experience and I can't wait to try all the different types of farsan that I never have time to make myself.

I had not even heard of Nathdwara - so many things I am learning with all this research. I will see if that works.

I never thought we would spend so much time in Gujarat but there is so much to see and do that I think the kids will enjoy as well.

Thanks again to you and the India Mike community for all your great suggestions and advice! I am sure I will have more questions as i go along, but promise to write about our adventures once we are back!
#23 May 13th, 2017, 13:39
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#23
Ahmedabad in itself deserves at least 2 full days (Modhera Sun Temple, Rani ni Vav, Kankaria Lake, Sabarmati Ashram etc). For more information read my trip report in the signature.

In Udaipur I would recommend Devraj Villa. Outside the city limits however has excellent surroundings. No point in including Varanasi.
#24 May 14th, 2017, 02:49
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#24
Thanks for the advice, Aarosh. I read your trip reports, thanks for posting such a detailed report, it was very helpful (and Junior sounds so adorable!). I may just follow a similar itinerary. Some of the more well known places you visited were already on my list, but quite a few were new to me. I think we will do Udaipur instead of Varanasi this time.

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