Weekend destinations from Ahmedabad

When you are a world traveler, you often forget or are too oblivious to the places near your own city. Even if I visit places near my home, it doesn’t strike me to write about it. I get tagged in a lot of facebook posts asking suggestions for things to do and see around Ahmedabad (my current city) and Gujarat, the state. This led to me to write about Weekend destinations from Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad, honored as India’s first World Heritage city by UNESCO in July 2017 is a unique blend of centuries old architecture, contemporary culture, industrial hub and a foodie paradise. Overwhelming at times due to its ever growing traffic, there are places which transform you into historical serenity and vibrant festivals to mesmerize. Being the largest city of Gujarat, it is strategically located and is accessible by train, bus and flight from all metro cities within India and has many direct international flight connections. It is also one of the destinations to look out for in 2018 says Lakshmi Sharath.

Though there is a lot to see in Ahmedabad itself, I may write about it later and for now just focus on the awesome destinations around it for a weekend.

For the wildlife enthusiast:

1) Little Rann of Kutch

Situated about 120 kms from Ahmedabad it is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Inspite of being a desert ecosystem, there are options of bird watching as well as mammals that can be spotted here – Wild ass, Indian fox, Hyenas, Jackal, etc. For more details check here.

How to reach: By car – Take SH 18 through Sanand – Viramgam

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Eco Camp

Little rann of kutch, weekend destination from ahmedabad

2) Gir National Park

About 350 kms away, one can easily reach Gir National park famous for the Asiatic lions. Start early morning to reach for the afternoon safari. Get blown away with the diversity of jungles in terms of plant and animal biodiversity. Fore more details check here. You may combine this trip by visit to Somnath temple which is 70kms away.

How to reach: By car – Take SH 17: Rajkot – Junagadh – Sasan Gir

Recommended stay duration: Atleast 1 night

Accommodation: Saavaj Resort 

gir national park, weekend trip near ahmedabad

3) Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Situated near Vadodara it is 210 kms from Ahmedabad. Though you need to be super lucky to spot sloth bears and flying squirrels, this is an amazing deciduous jungle to be in.

How to reach: By car – Take NE1 till Vadodara and then Halol – Ratanmahal

Recommended stay duration: Atleast 1 night

Accommodation: Jambughoda Palace 

Ratanmahal sanctuary, weekend trip near ahmedabad

4) Khadir bet

Known as the pink island the road to Khadir from Lodrani is every wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Pink because it is the breeding ground of flamingoes which you will see on both sides of the roads. Combine it with Harappan civilization site Dholavira and you have set yourself an amazing weekend.

How to reach: Overnight car journey – NH947 through Viramgam – Dhrangadhra – Khadir

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: In Rapar – Suvidha Guest house (they take bookings on phone)

Flamingos at khadir, weekend trip near ahmedabad

For the Architectural/Heritage enthusiast

1) Modhera – Patan

Famous for the sun temple, Modhera is architecturally mind blowing and is only 100 kms from Ahmedabad. Read up about the history or book yourself a guide there – it will enrich your knowledge about the temple.

Patan is further 43kms and can be easily combined to see the intricate work on 7 story step well below the ground.

How to reach: By car – Through palanpur highway

Recommended stay duration: Not required. Day trip possible.

Accommodation: In Ahmedabad

Modhera sun temple, weekend trip near ahmedabad

2) Vadodara – Pavagadh – Champaner

A weekend in Vadodara which is only 100 kms away should not be brushed away. The city itself has a lot to do, see and eat which includes the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and Raja Ravi Verma paintings museum. The next day go to Pavagadh and pay respect to the goddess Kali on top of the mountain either by climbing the 250 steps or by taking the rope-way to enjoy the view. On the way back visit Champaner Archeological Park, a UNESCO World heritage site.

How to reach: By car – NE1

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Hotel Express Residency

Champaner, weekend destinations near ahmedabad


3) Bhuj

350 kms away, Bhuj offers best of all worlds – palaces, heritage sites, museums, shopping and it is the starting point for White Desert tour known as Rann Utsav. You cannot miss going to Bhuj if you are in Gujarat and fall in love with its colours against the white desert. For more details about Rann Utsav check blog by Mayuri Patel.

How to reach: By train – BDTS-BHUJ express runs every night between Mumbai and Bhuj and is an overnight journey 7 hours journey from Ahmedabad.

Recommended stay duration: Atleast 1 night

Accommodation: Click Hotel

4) Dholavira

Known as one of the five largest sites of Harappan civilization, the site contains ruins of Indus Valley civilization. Get awed by the rain water harvesting systems used in those times in the dry areas of Kutch and many other excavated items. Combine this visit with Khadir bet to get the best of both worlds.

How to reach: Overnight car journey – NH947 to Viramgam – Dhrangadhra – Khadir

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: In Rapar – Suvidha guest house (they take bookings on phone)

Dholavira, weekend trip from ahmedabad

For the Beach enthusiast

1) Diu

Diu is one of the favorite weekend getaways for many people of Gujarat. Located about 400kms from Ahmedabad, not only does it offer a dose of vitamin sea but also a respite to have some booze officially (Gujarat is a dry state and you do not get alcohol, yes, for a fact). So let the hair loose and get some sand in it.

How to reach: Overnight car/bus journey – Amreli highway

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Kostamar Beach Resort

2) Mandvi Beach

If you extend your Bhuj trip to 1 more day, you can visit the amazing Vijay Vilas palace and the beautiful and less crowded Mandvi beach. You can do a stand alone trip here as well which is almost 400kms from Ahmedabad. If you get bored with the beach, head over to Naliya, the coldest place in Gujarat (in winters) to spot the elusive Great Indian Bustard in the sanctuary.

How to reach: Overnight train to Bhuj and then car to Mandvi beach

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Serena Beach Resort 

Mandvi beach, weekend trip from ahmedabad

3) Okha

Okha is a port situated over 500kms from Ahmedabad. Well known among marine lovers, there are hundreds of small islands and natural coral reefs near Okha. Dolphins can be easily spotted in their natural habitat. It is ideal to book through nature camps to feel the real deal. This trip can be combined by visiting Dwarka temple which is 30km from Okha.

How to reach: Overnight train to Okha and then boat to the islands

Recommended stay duration: Atleast 1 night

Accommodation: In nature camps. Check Sundarvan 

Corals at okha, weekend trip near ahmedabad

For the Nature enthusiast

1) Saputara

It is the only hill station of Gujarat and is located in the Western Ghats, about 400 kms from Ahmedabad. It is a place to throng once the monsoon sets its foot to see the green jungles and overflowing waterfalls for trekking.

How to reach: Train to Navsari/Valsad and then car to Saputara

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Patang Lords

2) Dang forest – Gira waterfalls

There is a never ending list of things to see in Dang – wildlife, biodiversity, waterfalls, it is a perfect blend of nature for the nature enthusiast in you. However the ideal season to visit is monsoon. It is very near to Saputara and can be combined together for a 2N3D trip. Do not miss the firefly festivl which happens in July.

How to reach: Train to Bilimora and then car to Dang

Recommended stay duration: 1 night

Accommodation: Rural Pleasure Homestay

Gira falls in dang, weekend destination near ahmedabad

Sustainable Thoughts:

  • Travelling local using train or road by public transport is the best way to explore the places near where you live
  • Blend in the culture by wearing the right clothes and eating the local food. This will keep you healthy and give you the feeling of being local.
  • Do not litter the places where you go for picnic. Always use a dustbin.
  • Practice ecotourism in national parks or jungles.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. It means it adds no extra cost to you if you book through the link but I get a referral bonus which helps me earn a little to keep this website up and running.

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21 thoughts on “Weekend destinations from Ahmedabad

  1. thank you ketaki for linking my blog post
    Its really great to know about different destinations in this post for weekend destinations near Ahmedabad
    Nicely written covering all things

  2. Love how comprehensive this post is 🙂 I would love to visit Gujarat. Judging by your list, I think I’d particularly enjoy the bear sanctuary!

  3. Wow, Saputara looks absolutely amazing! I would love to visit one day! And I agree, there’s so much to explore with places near by your city!

  4. Woaaah there are so many amazing places to visit near Ahmedabad. I especially love that you included so many animal-related things.

    Having said that, your definition of “near” is pretty massive to me! I’d have to hire a car to visit some of the more distant sights!!

  5. Wow i didn’t know this existed! Also.. first World Heritage city by UNESCO that late?! India has so much history!! That surprises me. The national park looks incredible.

    1. Haha yes. Unfortunately cities are not that well maintained and probably the authorities are not much interested also in these tags.

  6. I live in Los Angeles, California and people always want to know what they should do when coming here but I never explore my own city, I need to start doing things in my own backyard, I would love to visit India one day, it is on my list of places to visit. From this list, I would love to visit Khadir Bet because I would enjoy seeing the flamingos.

    1. You didn’t know there were asiatic lions in India? You’ve to visit lion and tiger sanctuaries here.

  7. Such a beautiful place. Usually I’m drawn to the architecture and history, but the animals and natural beauty are wonderful, too!

  8. Awesome, it’s so true about forgetting to visit the amazing sites near our own home cities too! I would definitely want to explore Gir National Park and the sloth bear park as I love animals! I can’t wait to visit India one day!!

  9. These all look like incredible places to visit! We absolutely love finding wonderful destinations so close to home – it’s amazing what you can find on your doorstep!

  10. I think its incredible that the first city in India to be recognized as a World Heritage city only occurred in 2017! I would have thought with its rich history that would have happened a long time ago. I love how you segment your post but the different type of interests…. although they all appealed to me really! Great post!

  11. Looks like there’s lots of wildlife and nature in your part of the world, which makes it absolutely amazing and interesting to visit for a vacation! Well, I totally agree that we become so accustomed to our home environment that we find it dull and uninteresting, unworthy of being written and posted about. Nevertheless, it actually has that charm which we shouldn’t overlook.

  12. I love weekend trips and staycations, they offer the excitement of exploring somewhere new without too much planning and usually at low costs 🙂 With all the nature and wildlife, these all look like great options and I think I’d enjoy all of them!

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