Road Trip across Vibrant Gujarat - Temples, Wildlife, Beaches & the Rann

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Day 11 - Continued - Little Rann of Kutch

After spending some time at the wetlands, the driver drove us from some inside roads and entered the Little Rann of Kutch. Nowhere did we either stop for getting the permit nor were there any checkposts for checking the permit. Within a few minutes of entering LRK, we came across a group of Gudkhurs (Asiatic Wild Ass).

The driver circled around them and stopped at a distance, as these are very shy animals and run away if you come near them. We got down, and spent some time taking pictures.

Asiatic Wild Ass or Gudkhurs
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Then we drove deeper in the Rann, and explored an area where there was some dry grass and a patch of thick vegetation. We saw a female Nilgai who on seeing us quickly ran in to the thick cover, plenty of birds including common cranes. By the time it was getting closer to sunset, and the driver told us that we will go to the point from where we can see the sunset.

Common Cranes
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The dry and parched Rann
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So we drove even deeper in the Rann, and could see that it was parched dry. Soon we reached a small salt pan and the driver stopped the vehicle. Other than the salt pan and a hut where the salt pan workers lived, the Rann was stretched for miles in all directions.

Approaching the salt pan inside LRK
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The hut where the salt pan workers live
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And the Salt
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While my son ran around is the vast open expanse and played with my wife, I took some pictures.

The Sun setting over the salt pan
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The vast expanse of the Rann
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Sunset in LRK
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The jeep in which we were taken for Safari
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Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Day 11 - Continued - Little Rann of Kutch

After the sunset, we started driving back to the camp and saw a few more Gudkhurs. It was quite cold by the time we reached back at 1900. It was only because of the bonfire that had been lit within the campus that we ventured out for dinner later that night. Many of the guests at Desert Coursers were having their dinner around the bonfire and engaged in conversation, sharing notes of their experience in Gujarat so far. There was a group from Bangalore who were on a road trip as well, and we had a good time interacting with like minded people.

We only had to travel till Ahmedabad the next day, but the check out time at Desert Coursers was 9AM. So after enjoying the warmth of the bonfire and the company to go with it for some time, we retired for the day.

End of Day 11.

Last picture of sunset at LRK taken using mobile
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Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Day 12 - Zainabad - Dasada - Vasna - Sanand - Ahmedabad - Gandhinagar - Akshardham temple - Ahmedabad - 163 Kms

We had breakfast at Desert Coursers in the morning, thanked Moulik and left for Ahmedabad.

09:25 - Started from Desert Coursers, Zainabad. Total distance covered on the trip so far 2606 Kms.

09:40 - Reached Dasada and took a right to join SH-18. Good roads.

Saw some lambs on the way and could not help but stop and pick them up.
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10:30 - Touched NH947. Excellent road.

10:50 - Vasna toll plaza. Paid toll worth INR 50.

Soon we reached Sanand and the heavy traffic started. The traffic was with us right up to Ahmedabad.

One thing we noted in Ahmedabad was that no one really followed any traffic rules, and we saw many 2 wheelers breaking suddenly and banging in to one another without really causing any damage. What we loved though is that people were very calm about it as if this was expected and with mutual understanding they just went their way without any arguments.

11:40 - Reached Four Points Sheraton hotel in Ahmedabad where we were booked. Easily one of the best hotels we stayed on this trip.

Route map from Zainabad to Ahmedabad
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We had our lunch in the hotel itself, took a nap in the afternoon, watched some TV (my son was overjoyed as he had endured 3 days without TV in Hodka and Zainabad). The plan was to visit Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in the evening.

17:00 - We left for Akshardham temple which is about 30 Kms from Hotel Four Points Sheraton, Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad has some huge round abouts, with as many as 4-5 exits, but we had mastered the GPS navigation system by then and took all the correct exits.

We were amazed by the roads in Gandhinagar and how green the city is. Impressive. Only if the roads in Mumbai were as wide.

17:40 - Reached Akshardham.

Note - Security at Akshardham is very strict. Please do not carry bags, luggage, mobile phones, cameras, radios or other electronic items. Even outside food is not allowed inside. You will be sent back otherwise.

Note - The Akshardham complex is huge and they have refreshment at very reasonable rates.

Note - There is a huge parking lot about 200 mts from the entrance to the temple where you can park your vehicle. We kept our mobiles etc in our car itself.

Note - The complex also has many rides for children.

After spending some time inside the Akshardham temple, we enjoyed some rides before leaving to go back to Ahmedabad.

19:00 - Left from Akshardham

20:00 - Reached Hotel Four Points Sheraton, Ahmedabad.

We ordered dinner in our room. The food in the hotel is very tasty and well presented. Try the desserts too.

End of Day 12
 

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Day 13 - Ahmedabad - Vadodara - Bharuch - Surat - Mumbai - 519 Kms

We woke up early as we had to cover a lot of distance on that day. Had breakfast which was complimentary with the room at Hotel Four Points Sheraton. It was a lavish spread.

08:40 - Started from Four Points Sheraton, Ahmedabad. Total distance covered so far 2769 Kms.

09:15 - After going around in circles a little, we touched the Ahmedabad - Vadodara expressway. Excellent 4 lane road. Paid toll of INR 90.

Note - There are no petrol pumps on the Ahmedabad-Vadodara expressway. We saw people crossing the road at many places which can be very dangerous as vehicles zoom at high speeds. Dangerous both for people as well as vehicles.

10:10 - Completed the expressway and reached Vadodara.

10:20 - Filled diesel worth INR 1550 & took a bio break.

11:00 - Bharuch toll plaza. Paid toll of INR 85.

Excellent roads.

11:20 - After crossing Bharuch, we came across some traffic and had to take an old bridge over the Narmada. The bridge was actually shaking, and it was a bit scary. We breathed a sigh of relief after crossing the bridge and the traffic eased too.

12:17 - Choriyasi toll plaza on NH-8. Paid toll of INR 70.

12:20 - Stopped for Lunch at a food plaza where we had lunch at Sugar & Spice restaurant. There were a few other restaurants in the food plaza as well. Avoid Sugar & Spice as the food is very average, but the restaurant was neat and clean.

13:05 - Started back after lunch.

13:55 - Boriyach toll plaza. Paid toll of INR 56.

14:40 - Bhagwad toll plaza. Paid toll of INR 64.

15:15 - Entered Maharashtra

15:30 - Filled INR 1000 worth diesel at Amboli village.

15:42 - Charoti toll plaza. Paid toll worth INR 58.

16:20 - Virar toll plaza. Paid toll worth INR 64. Some traffic at the toll plaza.

There was heavy traffic after Virar due to road diversion on NH-8. It cost us about 20-30 mins due to the traffic.

17:15 - Dahisar toll plaza. Paid toll of INR 35.

Traffic before and after Dahisar.

18:00 - Home Sweet Home.

Route map from Ahmedabad to Mumbai
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ankitsr

Active Member
Loved those updates along with nice clicks Sachin.
I would be covering up roughly the same route next week, however droping couple of those places as I have only 1 week of time. Appreciate your advise on my query in the itinerary section.
Also is the parched and dry landscape also present in GRK or is it found only in LRK?
 

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Loved those updates along with nice clicks Sachin.
I would be covering up roughly the same route next week, however droping couple of those places as I have only 1 week of time. Appreciate your advise on my query in the itinerary section.
Also is the parched and dry landscape also present in GRK or is it found only in LRK?
Thanks Ankit for your kind comments. If your question on the landscape is with regards to driving in LRK or GRK, then I don't think you'll be able to drive in GRK unlike LRK. You can access GRK from Dhordo or while driving to Dholavira. You can only see it from Lakhpat or Kalo Dungar. From my experience in Dhordo, the landscape is salt flats and not mud flats like LRK. It's slushy in many places, so driving is not advisable. There maybe some places on the way to Dholavira where you can walk in GRK but I don't think the landscape in GRK is like LRK which has vast expanses of dry and parched mud flats.
 
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