A trip to Gujarat was in my bucket list for a long time and it had got amplified with Amitabh Bachhan's Kuch din bitaye Gujarat mein promos. But my actual visit didn't get materialized for a long time and main blocker was exorbitantly high flight ticket prices during holiday seasons and multiple secondary reasons such as small kid at home, taking long leaves, etc.
Finally, in Nov 2019, when a flash airline ticket sale was happening for Go-Air and I applied my contrarian theory looked for prices of competitor airlines and there was a sweet deal in Spicejet in 1st week of December which synced with the basic motto of my travel - don't travel when others are traveling. Within matters of hours, I finalized the date of travel with Ramya, discussed my leave plan at the office, and booked the tickets Bangalore-Ahmadabad return without any concrete itinerary in mind.
Here a couple of points from my retrospect.
- Gujarat is a very large state and the signature locations on all corners. Plan your itinerary meticulously and have some buffer to make-up for unavoidable delays.
- Initially, we didn't have White Rann on our travel list. But later we figured out that the week when we had planned the trip coinciding with the full moon day. This changed planning equations dramatically and later we had to give up on the newly unveiled Statue of Unity and Baroda city tour thinking it can be covered future visits to the state.
- Food is never a compromise in Gujarat. Wherever you go, you will be served with nice Gujarati delicacies with Sev Tamatar, Bhaigan masala, etc. icing on the cake is complimentary/unlimited buttermilk they serve along with Thalis. I am sure it will keep your bowels going for the entire trip !
- Got to appreciate the professionalism of A to Z travel. Initially, I was discussing to book an entire tour package tour with them. Then later due to certain preferences w.r.t accommodation, I opted for only rented vehicle and as my per requirement they helped me with Seven Seater Innova with a carrier.
- Hats off to our driver Sunilbhai. He managed with us for a week and always spot on with the choice of his restaurants
- Full moon day at Kutch is a good experience. But the crowd on a full moon day was a big let down. Plus authorities switching off of mobile signals on that particular day created a lot of issues syncing with family members in a crowded place.
- Please ensure that you stay close to White Rann at Dhordo village. The Rann Utsav package with 12K per person per night tariff for a large group was out of budget for us. Instead, we opted to adjacent places - Toran Rann Resort and Gateway To Rann Resort. Gateway to Rann is way better than Torann with respect to experience, food, etc.
- Staying at Toran Ahmadabad was a prudent decision. We could cover Sabarmati Ashram during our early morning walk. esp. during Golden hours. Not to mention it saved us a couple of hours on a packed trip.
More details about the itinerary in a separate post.