Begin your day 2 expedition towards Diu Island, you can get direct shared transport as well as hired taxi from Somnath. Diu is the popular coastal town of Daman and Diu union territory and particularly famous for its serene beaches and beautiful Portuguese architecture. This island is perfect getaway for those looking to spend pleasant holidays on pristine beaches basking in sun and enjoying water-sports.
You can check-In at any hotel near Fort road which faces Arabian sea. Considering its proximity with Diu Bus stand, this area is full of ample hotels suiting all budgets and amenities. Best way to explore the town is on rented wheels, be it two or four; depends on choice. But make sure to book it in advance as you might land into problem of unavailability, like us! And then you have to rely on other shared transports such as auto-rickshaws.
Now first satiate your hunger with a sumptuous authentic Gujrati Meal and then start your expedition with underground Naida Caves passing through remains of Old Diu Fort. A coastal trail surrounding Jalandhar Beach from Naida caves will lead you to INS Khukri Memorial. Situated atop a hillock, this memorial overlooks adjoining Chakratirth Beach is dedicated to Indian frigate of Indo-Pak 1971 war holding various war artefacts and mini-replica of INS Khukri.
On the way, you’ll find a vantage point for sunset known as South Pole Point. From here you can head to visit ancient Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple located midst of the rocks on seashore built during Mahabharata times by Pandava Brothers, here the Five Shivalingas of Lord Shiva are often washed by the high tidal waves of clear sea-water.
Relish yourself with fresh coconut water and slice of fresh fruits in the tranquillity of this place soaked in utter peace. Sea Shell Museum with a rare collection of diverse sea-shells should be next stop and from there directly head to last stop of the day, that is, Nagoa Beach.
Nagoa Beach is the most popular sand beach of Diu with ample of activities to do including water sports, parasailing and paramotoring etc. Plunge yourselves in sea-waves and have unlimited fun at beachside shacks till dark to conclude our first day at Diu.
Start your day 3 with a ride to Baroque architectural style St. Paul Church which is near Diu Museum. And then to the Most popular destination of Diu, The Diu Fort. Located at sea-coast, Diu Fort was built by Portuguese in 1535. Fort is spread over a vast area, with brass canons on walls and Church/temples inside. A huge Light house is situated across gardens inside the fort and is a good place for a panoramic view of entire Fortification
Fort Diu was listed as New Seven Wonders of Portugal built during their colonial rule by Portuguese government in 2009
Fort Diu is perfect vantage point for a former prison and fortress Pani Kotha or Alfiston jail. During night colourful lighting of Pani Kotha adds to the beauty of Diu island. Diu Fort is bustling area with lot of shopping kiosks and eateries. Enjoy some refreshments before heading to Ghoghla Beach, the most serene and beautiful beach in entire island. Spent your entire day enjoying rides on the sea and booze on the beach.
Ghoghla beach much more peaceful and is very less crowded compared to Nagoa Beach. And hence very less options of Beach shacks and other activities. But, it is a must go place if you’re looking to spend some time in serenity, sprawling in sun, enjoying your potion of drink and sea-rides such as Banana-ride, Bumper-ride and Parasailing.
After a day-long fiesta and mesmerizing sunset at Ghoghla beach, Conclude your trail of Diu. Hence simply check-out from Diu and catch a bus or taxi to Ahmedabad which is the heart of Gujarat bestowed with rich cultural heritage and exceptional medieval architecture. This politico-cultural city of Indian independence movement has been honoured with India’s first heritage city by UNESCO in 2017.
Click here Read our Full Trail to Diu
After an overnight journey from Diu, Make an early morning check-in to your hotel at Ahmedabad to begin your Day 4. We had our flight back to home from Ahmedabad on the same night, so we had a full day to explore the heritage of this city. In case you’re on your super-long trip, then stay overnight at Ahmedabad to explore night flea markets for food and shopping. Then visit some nearby destinations on your additional day suggested later in this blog.
Autorickshaws are a good way to explore Ahmedabad city, as they are economical, and can take to narrowest of the streets. You can hire the same to drive you to all places of Itinerary.
Begin your trail started with a visit to the beautiful Sidi Saiyyed Mosque popularly called as Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jaali due to its grandeur latticework with the designs of interweave trees and foliage carved in ten stone latticework windows. Then head to Bhadra Fort passing through the crowded streets of famous Lal Darwaza market. Bhadra now converted to Government offices doesn’t take much time to be explored and provides a serene atmosphere amidst lush greenery.
Make Jama Masjid as your next stop which is one of the largest mosques in India built by founder of Ahmedabad, Emperor Sultan Ahmed Shah. The road to Jama Masjid goes via Teen Darwaza, which was once the gateway into the Maidan Shahi, where royal processions and games were organized.
Jami mosque also houses the tombs of multiple royal families of that period, including Ahmed Shah, his queens and sons. The intricate stonework embracing Hindu and Jain style architecture adorned with 260 evenly spaced Arabic style columns supporting roof with huge domes carved like lotus flowers will leave you spellbound.
Before moving to another architecture wonder, called as Jhulta Minar you’d love to spend some time in serenity of this divine place illuminated with sunlight falling on dazzling white marble courtyard. Jhulta Minar or swinging minaret are part of a small mosque named Sidi Bashir Mosque and holds a mystery that if one of minarets is shaken then the other minaret shakes automatically.
Ahmedabad visit is incomplete without a step well hence now proceed towards Dada Harir Vav, an octagonal five storeys deep stairwell. Each floor carved with beautiful motifs, huge vents and pillars. As you’ll step down in it, a deep network of stairs and pillars plunging down multiple storeys will start appearing with rays of sunlight illuminating its beautiful carvings.
Next stop will be Hutheesing Jain Temple, built with white marble, adorned with beautiful domes, with a unique Manastambha (Pillar of honour) inspired by Chittore’s Kirtistambha. In the vicinity is Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the first temple Swaminarayan Sampraday established by the Founder Lord Swaminarayan Sahajanand himself. It is headquartering the NarNarayan Dev Gadi and particularly famous for its amazing wood work hosting well managed guest house along with medical clinic facility.
Okay so now head to the most popular destination of Amdavad, the residence of Gandhiji named as Hridaykunj or popularly known as Sabarmati Ashram. Located on bank Sabarmati river and now converted to a museum, this huge place not only depicts the entire timeline of Gandhiji, but also displays various photographs, paintings, books and other belongings including his true relics like world famous charkha or spinning wheel.
To satiate your hunger, try the delicious food served at Sabarmati Restaurant operated by same organisation simply opposite to Ashram. By this time, sun will be settling down making it a perfect time to visit Sabarmati Riverfront. Recently emerged as a major tourist attraction this place encourages environmental sustainability and cleanliness among people.
Spend some time relaxing in soothing ambience of various parks and boulevard built along Sabarmati riverfront and then visit the biggest lake in Ahmadabad, Kankaria Lake for some entertainment packed flea markets and authentic food stalls. Mark this place as your last stop of the day.
In case you’re long-weekend is over, then left to airport to fly back to home! And In case you’re staying another day in Ahmedabad, then plan on visiting following places: –
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Museum dedicated to Iron Man of India, exhibits many objects related to Indian National Movement surrounded in beautiful gardens.
- Vechaar-Utensils Museum with an extensive collection of utensils dating back to 100s of years in time till now.
- Kite Museum housed in Sanskar Kendra in Paldi displays of a plenty of uniquely carved kites consisting mirror-work and block print kites etc. Whereas Sanskar Kendra itself exhibits Ahmedabad from its cultural, historical and architecture point of view.
- Calico Textile Museum and L.D. Museum of Indology are too among this list which deserve a visit when in Ahmedabad.
- ISKCON Temple or Hare Krishna Temple by world famous ISKCON group to experience spirituality
- Adalaj Stepwell another magnificent architecture and bigger version of Dada Harir Vav situated close the capital city of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.
- Lothal(around 80 kms) is 4500 years old popular Indus Valley Site civilised on the banks of the mystical extinct Saraswati river. Wonder of its ruins reveals to tales ancient civilisation discovered in excavations here.
Click here Read our Full Trail to Ahmedabad
So, did you like this itinerary and now planning to experience the same? Tell us in comments!