Now that since we have strongly surpassed the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the travel bug in all of us is quite impatient to move out, and explore the world. Indeed, our home, our abode was a haven during these trying times, but now we want to step out of the threshold, and go out under the open sky, feel the natural breeze, soak in the sun, be around greenery.
Though this feeling is quite palpable, we are still a little skeptical to head out. Well, we can still go ahead and fulfill our dream, our desire to travel. We can easily do so by taking all necessary precautions and maintaining safety protocols at all times. Once we have decided, and are all geared up to follow safety rules to travel, we may wonder where to go? Since most of the international flights are closed, most of the domestic destinations too have many changing protocols to allow travelers; why not explore those destinations where we do not have to wait for the particular airline carrier or the destination to open their borders. To satisfy our travel cravings, let’s just pack our bags, take our car keys (or may hire a vehicle), and get set to explore all the beautiful travel places that can be reached easily by road. To know more about this, get in touch with our destination experts at Flamingo Transworld.
Talking about the best driveable tourist spots in and around Gujarat, there are numerous options that you can explore.
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One of the popular tourist spots close to our city is the Polo Forest, also known as Vijaynagar forest. It is located near the village of Abhapur in Vijaynagar, in the district of Sabarkantha. The driving distance from Ahmedabad is around 160 km. It is easily accessible by NH48. This forest is situated at the River Harnav and is surrounded by the grand Aravalli mountain ranges. Polo forest covers around 400 square kilometers of land. The name of the forest – Polo is derived from the Marwari / Gujarati word – pol – which means gate. The name Polo represents the entryway between Gujarat and Rajasthan. You can easily reach this forest from Udaipur in Rajasthan as well. It is quite conveniently located at the border of these two states.
Polo forest is also commonly known as the mini Kashmir of the state of Gujarat. It has around 335 species of fauna and around 450 species of flora. The entire forest has lush greenery after the monsoon months especially during September till December. The beautiful Aravalli Mountains, a glittering river, and the remnants of ancient temples make Polo Forest, one of the must-visit travel spots. Apart from the scenic natural beauty, you can also explore other attractions here such as Trekking, Shiv Temple at Sarneshwar, Harnav Dam, Jain Derasar, Bhim Hill, Lakhena Temple, and many more. The best option is to stay overnight at this place to explore and enjoy the entire forest and its activities. One of the best accommodation options at Polo Forest is The Fern Sattva, Polo Forest. The thrill of walking in the dense greenery, along with exploring the ancient temples is going to be quite an experience to discover Polo Forest.
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Another quite popular touristic spot which you can drive to from Ahmedabad is Daman. The driving distance from Ahmedabad to Daman is around 300kms and the duration is around 6 to 7 hours, depending on the travel speed and the halts in between these two places. Daman is located between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, surrounded by the Arabian Sea. It is a coastal town in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, on the western coast of India. In the past, Daman was known as Kalana Pavri – lotus of marshland or Damao, for 5 centuries, this place was a Portuguese settlement. They left when they ended their rule in the year 1961. You would be able to see numerous remnants of Portuguese architecture all across the town.
Apart from the leniency and availability of liquor, Daman holds immense potential for travel enthusiasts. It has rich culture and heritage, heavenly beaches, temples, churches, forts, and many more. The places not-to-be-missed during your stay in Daman are the Lighthouse, Jampore Beach, Moti Daman Fort, Devka Beach, Somnath Mahadev Temple, Mirasol Lake Garden, Church of Our Lady of Sea. Along with the tourist experience, you can also enjoy shopping for leather goods and other handcrafted products. One of the best accommodation resorts during your stay in Daman is The Deltin, Daman. Take a break and travel to Daman, to enjoy the unique charm of this city.
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A 7-hour drive from Ahmedabad will take you to the culturally rich place of northwestern Gujarat, Mandvi. Pack your bags, and lead your car for a 382 km drive and reach Mandvi. Mandvi is a small town, 64 km from the popular city of Bhuj. Mandvi is located in the Kutch district on the Arabian Sea coast. Mandvi was once a flourishing port of our country. It was a crucial trading port before the Mumbai port came into the picture. The town was protected and secured by a fort with huge walls and bastions. In today’s times, the wall has been destroyed, but one of the bastions now serves as a lighthouse. Apart from the historical significance of Mandvi, you can also explore rich cultural heritage at each hook and corner of the town. Mandvi is also quite well-known for its beach, shipbuilding, and batik handwork.
Stay at Serena Beach Resort Mandvi or if you wish to have a historical experience, stay at Vijay Vilas Heritage Resort. Apart from enjoying the mesmerizing views of Mandvi Beach, do explore other places such as Topansar Lake, Vijay Vilas Palace, Lighthouse, Swaminarayan Mandir, Rukmavati River, and Bridge. Do visit The Wind Farms Beach; it is the first Wind Mill project on the beach in Asia, started in the year 1983.
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Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary, popularly known as the Black Buck Sanctuary, is one of the options that you can easily cover by road. Kick start your car, drive towards Bhavnagar, covering a distance of around 175 km in about 4 hours, drive down further towards south covering a distance of more than 47 km from Bhavnagar, you will reach the Black Buck Sanctuary. In 1976, this sanctuary had been established to save the Blackbucks. The area of the entire park is around 34.08 square kilometers. The park is situated between Alang and Parvalia Rivers.
In the past, the Maharajas of Bhavnagar used this location to hunt blackbucks. This unique sanctuary has saline plains, shrublands, mudflats, and grassland habitats. The park has around 1000 blackbucks, 14 mammals species, 140 bird species, and numerous reptiles. The best time to visit this park is during the winter season from October to March. In summers, the heat is quite unbearable, and due to the park’s proximity to the gulf waters, it generally gets flooded during monsoon season.
You can choose to stay at Black Buck Lodge or the Black Buck Safari Lodge. You will also be liable to pay the park entrance fee which is around INR 20 per adult. If you wish to hire a vehicle inside the park, the cost is around INR 200 per vehicle, get to know more details on it from our consultants at Flamingo Transworld.
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One of the popular travel destinations or major landmarks in Gujarat is the Statue of Unity. Have you been to this landmark place yet? If not, get set go and drive for around 200 km and reach Kevadia village in around 4 to 5 hours. The Statue of Unity is around 7 km from Kevadia village. It would be great fun and a thrill to experience the world’s tallest statue. This statue was erected in respect and memory of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Iron Man of our country.
The size of the Statue of Unity is around twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. It would be an interesting fact to know that the height of the statue is 182 meters that is equivalent to the number of assembly constituencies of Gujarat. Another interesting fact is that the base of the statue is built using tonnes of Scrap iron donated by millions of farmers across India. The Statue of Unity took around 5 years with over 3400 workers and 250 engineers to create this historic monument. This statue was inaugurated on 31st October 2018. You will be able to seek more information about the history and construction of this place in the in-house museum. Enjoy the monument in a completely different perspective during the Light and Sound Show.
Do note that you can book your tickets online on the official website of the Statue of Unity. Apart from being in awe of the statue and its statistics, there are many more places to explore. Do not miss the Valley of Flowers, Sardar Sarovar Dam, Nauka Vihar, Cactus Garden, Children Nutrition Park, Dino Trail, Viswa Van, Jungle Safari, Ekta Mall, Butterfly Garden, and Arogya Van.
An overnight stay is recommended to explore the complete area. You can choose to stay at Narmada Tent City or can prefer to stay at Ramada Encore or Fern Sardar Sarovar. The best time to visit is during the winter months from October to February. The timings are from morning 0800 hours till evening 1800 hours. Open all days of the week from Tuesday to Sunday, except Mondays.
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A drive of around 7 hours covering a distance of around 320 km from Ahmedabad city, explore the culturally rich tourist spot – Kumbhalgarh Fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the UNESCO-listed heritage sites. The fort is situated approximately 82 km from the famous city of Udaipur, in the Rajsamand district in the state of Rajasthan. It is at the foothills of the popular mountain ranges of Aravalli Mountain. Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second-most-important fort of the Mewar.
The royal fort was built in the 15th century, by Rana Kumbha. The fort thus received the name after the name of King Kumbha. The fort holds numerous historical significances. It is the birthplace of the powerful king of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. The wall surrounding the Kumbhalgarh Fort is the longest and is popularly known as the Great Wall of India, as it stands second to the Great Wall of China. Some of the important monuments at this fort are Vedi Temple, Ganesh Temple, Parsvanatha Temple, Kumbha Palace, Bawan Devi Temple, and Badal Mahal. Badal Mahal is at the top of the fort, from here you will get a bird’s eye view of the entire area. One of the not-to-be-missed activities at Kumbhalgarh fort is the famous sound and light show. Kumbhalgarh and its surroundings take more than a day to explore the region, an overnight stay at Fateh Safari Suites, or Raajsa Kumbhalgarh, will be a delightful experience.
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One more alternative option, the outskirts of Gujarat, is Jawai. The driving distance from Ahmedabad city to Jawai is around 320 km, which takes roughly around 7 hours. Jawai is popular due to its dam and is known as Jawai Bandh. It is situated in the town of Sumerpur, in Pali district in Rajasthan. Jawai Bandh is one of the biggest reservoirs in Rajasthan. It was built in the year 1956-1957, by the King Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. It got its name based on the Jawai River, on which the Jawai Dam is situated. The dam has a height of around 61 feet and covers a base area of around 500 square kilometers. The dam was created to provide water supply to Pali village and its surrounding region.
Some important features of this place are it is a treasure trove for wildlife and nature lovers, with a quite enchanting topography. Bird-watching and leopard safaris are the main activities that should not be missed at all. The probability of spotting a leopard is quite high compared to other places in India. Here you will also get to see the unique Sarus cranes. Explore the Jawai villages, Bera River, Granite hills and temples, and many luxury resorts such as Amritara Jawai Sagar, Leopard’s Lair Resort, Bera Safari Lodge, and many more. Jawai Bandh is also one of the best options for camping.
A road trip to any of the above-mentioned tourist spots will be a delight after spending months inside the periphery of your home, on top of it, the mounting stress of the current pandemic. Even though you may have been to these places earlier, but a road trip after a long pause in life is going to be a discovery in itself. So don’t think much, and consult one of our travel experts at Flamingo Transworld Private Limited, read the various options on our website and finalize the one spot where you wish to travel to have a refreshing change.
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