Architectural wonders of India


Gujarat is perhaps one of the richest states when it comes to architecture. It is home to some of the most ancient and prominent architectural wonders of our country. The architectural contribution of this state is unique and wholesome from the viewpoint of genesis as well as cross-cultural influences. It has largely remained hidden from the rest of the world.

Journey Highlights

Lothal - Perfect place for an insight of the Indus Valley civilization
Sun Temple - Splendid example of Solanki style architecture
Rani Ki Vav – Historic architectural beauty
Mandvi – Visit to the Still-active Ship building Yard

  Arrive Delhi

Arrive at Delhi airport where you will be met by Holiday Freakers representative who will assist you and escort you to the hotel. Upon arrival you will check in at the hotel.

  Delhi / Ahmedabad

Proceed to the airport for your flight to Ahmedabad. Upon arrival at Ahmedabad airport proceed to the hotel.

In the morning visit Swaminarayna Temple - a religious cult followedby Swami-Narayan followers. It is one of the sects of Hinduism & the devotee's worship Lord Krishna by the name of Swaminarayan. This temple is built by Swaminarayan followers. It stands as a good example of exquisite wood carving.
This is followed by a walk through Pols in old city (typical Gujarati adjoining house colonies). A Pol is a smallresidential unit consisting of a single street with a group of houses, which is usually protected by a massive gate at the entrance. When the gate is closed, the entire street becomes one big house often inhabited by people of the same trade. A compact housing cluster with dead-end streets forms adistinctive residential pattern within a Pol.In earlier days, the Pols were self-sustaining for a certain period of time since each house had its ownunderground storage for water, and food grains were stored in the safest part of the house.
Thereafter visit Jumma Masjid built in 1423 A.D and is the most beautiful mosque in the east. Built in yellow sandstone, this Friday Mosque, is a combination of Muslim & Hindu architectural style at its best. It stands on 260 pillarsthat support 15 domes at varying elevations.After this visit the Siddi Saiyed Mosque built in 1572 A.D. A part of the wall in the old citadel of the mosque isrenowned the world over for its exquisite stone window tracery -a superb & peerless example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree.
Later on visit ATMA House (LE CORBUISER) - The present office building of ATMA is a modernmonument and a landmark in architectural history. The building is symbolic of the patronageandmodernistic aspirations of the Ahmedabad textile community as well as a refined example of the work of its Swiss-French architect-Charles Eduoard Jeanneret (1887-1965), better known as Le Corbusier.

Indian Institute of Management (LOUIS KAHN):  In 1962 Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi invited Louis Kahn, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century to design the building for the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. It was to comprise of a main building with teaching areas, a library and faculty offices around the main courtyard, separate dormitory units for the students that were to be interconnected with a series of arched passages, and houses for the faculty and staff. Kahn's presence in the 1960s signals a turning point in contemporary architecture in post-independent India. Built between 1962 and 1964, the IIMA complex now sits on a 60-acre campus.

Sanskar Kendra- Ahmedabad city museum (Le Corbuiser, 1951-59): It is the city museum of Ahmedabad which preserves and exhibits various artefacts related to the city, its culture and heritage. It is one of the buildings designed by the World-famous architect Le Corbuiser who also designed the city of Chandigarh. The four-story structure resembles a cuboid which rises above the ground on a bed of columns (Pilotis). The design showcases the architect’s classic modern approach of architecture and design, through the use of pilotis, wide spiral circulation & provision for terrace garden. Today it also houses the famous Patang- the kite Museum.

  Ahmedabad Lothal / Ahmedabad (Approx. 80 Kms / 2 hrs – one way)

After an early breakfast, proceed towards an excursion to Lothal & Sarkhej Roza.
Lothal is a perfect place to get an insight of the Indus Valley civilization. The most dominating site at Lothal is the massive dockyard spanning an area of 37 meters by 22 meters perhaps the greatest work of Maritime Architecture. Lothal was also famous for its arterial streets, microbeads of gold, ivory and coppersmith’s workshops, potteries and underground sanitary drainage. (Closed on Fridays).

Sarkhej Roza – It is about eight kilometres away from the city, Sarkhej Roza comprises one of the most elegantarchitectural complexes of Ahmedabad. Grouped around a great stepped tank is the tomb of the saint,Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh, the mosque, the tombs of Muhammad Shah Begada and hisqueen, the palace and pavilions.

  Ahmedabad / Modhera (Approx. 100 Kms / 02 hrs )
Modhera / Patan (Approx. 40 Kms / 01 hrs )
Patan / Adalaj Step well (Approx. 108 Kms / 02 ½ hrs )
Adalaj Step well / Ahmedabad (Approx. 35 Kms / ½ hrs )

After breakfastdrive for an excursion visit to view the architectural beauty of the Sun temple at Modhera(102 km from Ahmedabad), Rani-ki-Vav at Patan(127km from Ahmedabad) and abeautiful step well at Adalaj.

Modhera - The Sun temple of Modhera is one of the finest examples of Indian architecture of its period.
Built in 1026 A.D. the temple is dedicated to the Sun-God, Surya and stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone-steeped tank. Every inch of the edifice, both inside and outside is magnificently carved with Gods and Goddesses, birds, beasts and flowers. The Sun Temple of Modhera was built by King Bhimdev I (1026-27) and bears some resemblance to the later and far better known, Sun Temple of Konark in the state of Orissa, which it predates by some 200 years. Like that temple, it was designed so that the dawn sun shone on the image of Surya, the sun God, at the time of the equinoxes. The main hall and shrine are reached through a pillared porch and the temple exterior is intricately and delicately carved. As with the temple of Somnath, this fine temple was ruined by Mahmud of Ghazni.

Patan - Home of the famous patola silk saris, Patan is a beautiful old town with Jain temples and carved wooden houses. Rani ki Vav (step well) is an excellent example of subterranean architecture of Gujarat. The exclusively carved side walls, pillars, beams, series of steps & platforms lead to the elaborately carved water well. Every surface is adorned with finelychiselled sculptures of maidens & Hindu deities, religious motifs & geometrical patterns. Rani ki Vav represents the finest of Indian sculptures and architecture.

Adalaj Step-well - This step well at the village of Adalaj is another fine example of magnificent architectural form. 'Adalaj Vav' is richly carved. Every pillar and wall surface is covered with leaves, flowers, birds, fish and friezes of ornamental designs.

  Ahmedabad/Bhuj (Approx. 330 Kms / 06 Hrs)

After breakfast this morning, check out and drive to Bhuj.

Bhuj - 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 Bujiyo Dungar on the East and Hamirsar Lake on the West.

Visit Aaina Mahal - It was constructed in 1750 A.D. and is a unique example of an Indian palace built in the mid-eighteenth century with European influence.

Prag Mahal - Rao Pragmalji II (1838-76 A.D.) undertook the construction of Prag Mahal and appointed thefamous architect- Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins to design it. Constructed in the Italian Gothic style, it has alarge Durbar Hall, big rooms, wide verandas& a 45 meter high lofty bell tower. It was built using thevarious types of stones available in Kutch region. This is a fine example of Indian craftsmanship combinedwith European architectural design.

Kutch Museum - Formerly known as the Fergusson Museum, it was founded by Maharao Khengarji IIIin 1877 AD and is the oldest museum in Gujarat. Constructed in the Italian style, the museum is located in picturesque surroundings on the bank of Hamirsar Lake. The museum has been a centre of attraction for scholars due to its large collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions, unique archaeological objects, and fine collection of arms & specimens of various crafts of Kutch region.

  Bhuj / Dholavira / Bhuj (Approx. 210 Kms / 04 Hrs – one way)

After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Dholavira.

Dholavira - Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago. While the other site, Lothal, is more exhaustivelyeducated and easier to reach, a visit to Lothalonly complements, rather than replaces, a visit to Dholavira. It is surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch and is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind with one of the world's earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world's first signboards, written in ancient Indus script.

  Bhuj / Mandvi / Bhuj (Approx. 60 Kms / 01 Hrs – one way)

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and drive to Mandvi.

Mandvi - 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-laidgardens 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 the sides, the windows with coloured 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 excellent 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 are free to watch them work. It gives one anopportunity to watch a handmade ship being built which will make one truly appreciate craftsmanship.

  Bhuj / Mumbai / Departure

After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport to board your flight to Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and connect with your onward flight back home.

End of the Tour