Have you always wanted to watch the Sunset at the White Rann of Kutch? Wished to spend some time chilling in the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat?
If the answer is yes, then I would advise you to not miss out on this opportunity and head over to Gujarat asap. In December 2017, I decided to visit Gujarat for 10 days so that I could experience their culture. I visited the historical monuments, and watch a beautiful sunset at the Great Rann of Kutch.
While my dream to observe the moon’s rays on the white desert still remains a dream, I was able to do everything else and so much more.
As a hardcore non-vegetarian, I wasn’t too sure about the food over here in Gujarat. But the experience was surprisingly good for me. Now, I am absolutely in love with the Gujarati Thali. You know what the best part was? I was able to complete the entire trip in just 13k. Yes, you got that right! 10 days in Gujarat for 13k where I enjoyed myself thoroughly in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhuj, and Kutch.
Tip for Traveling in Gujarat
So, I have prepared this concise article on basic tips so that you can also enjoy this beautiful place in an economical and affordable way.
What and Where to Eat in Gujarat
I am a big foodie and I am a non-vegetarian which is why I wasn’t sure if I would particularly like the food in Gujarat. However, after Gujarat, I have become a huge fan of all the vegetarian dishes and especially the Gujarati Unlimited Thali which is a dream come true for a foodie like me.
You will find restaurants in all budget ranges over here which would serve delicious Gujarati food. While you might find it easier to just head to a fast food corner and satisfy your food cravings, I assure you eating a Gujarati meal would be much more delicious and be filling. You will find some delicacies like Thepla, Bajra Ka Rotolo, Baingan Bharta, etc. and a decent meal in a nice restaurant will cost you about 160 INR.
If you wish to eat some other cuisine over here, then be ready to shell additional money because the prices would almost get double in comparison to Gujarati cuisine.
Note: Do try the Gujarati Thali here which often includes Daal, Roti, Aalo Sabji, Baingan Sabji, Mixed Vegetables, Sweet Dish, and Butter Milk. It will cost you anywhere from 60 – 100 INR depending on the city.
Here you will find many amazing Gujarati food items that will leave you craving for more and which you should absolutely try when visiting this state. Dhabeli, Khandva, Bhajjiyas, Jalebi, Vada Pav, and Cone Dabeli are a few must-try items in Gujarat which will be available in almost all the cities and towns. These would cost barely 20 – 40 INR per item and will not only be great for your budget but will taste delicious too.
Note: Avoid eating in high-end places as these will be costly and try to explore local dhabas or eateries. They will serve you really delicious and cheap food.
Where to Stay
While traveling in Gujarat, I tried Couchsurfing and Hostels which helped me in greatly reducing the daily accommodation cost for 10 days.
Although Ahmedabad does have hosts than other cities, I couldn’t find a host during December due to understandable reasons. Everyone was busy celebrating Christmas with their family or traveling someplace else. However, I was able to find a host in Vadodara with a simple room who was gracious enough to let me stay at his place. As a result, I was able to save 2-days worth of accomodation cost and was also able to meet a great new person.
If you find no luck with Couchsurfing then worry not because most major cities in Gujarat has hostels to stay in. There is In & Out Dormitory which is particularly famous in Ahmedabad and Vadodara which will cost you 350 INR and 500 INR per night, respectively. You can either book these hostels beforehand via online websites, Booking.com gives nice offers so do check it out. If not, then you can simply reach the place and then get a bed for yourself. They have huge dormitories with decent beddings and clean washrooms so you will be comfortable here.
In Bhuj, you will find guesthouses in abundance as this place is close to the Rann of Kutch. I stayed in the Royal Guest House which cost about 250 INR per night and the place was close to all the essential facilities. The bus stand was 5 minutes by walk and the main market was nearby too. The washrooms were clean and plentiful and the rooms were nearly spotless.
If you don’t find the mentioned places available, then you can always try Booking.com or Airbnb.
What to Wear
Well, there is no hard and fast rule on what to wear in Gujarat, especially for women as it is a safer city. However, if you traveling by shared autos, local buses, etc. then it would be wise to wear something comfortable.
Jeans and Leggings
I, personally, roamed around in leggings and jeans as it was comfortable. And I didn’t face many issues due to the weather as well. I particularly enjoyed wearing my Zelocity leggings which were fit and extremely comfortable and made up of sweat-resistant material so it was nice to wear in the afternoon as well.
Traditional Dresses and Long Skirts
In Gujarat, you will find many people wearing traditional dresses and skirts which will add a little color. This can make your surroundings look and feel very lively. Well, you can join them too. I bought traditional long skirts to roam around in Gujarat and trust me, it was really freeing and I felt amazing too.
One thing to keep in mind would be that if you are planning to travel to Bhuj on a two-wheeler, then you would need to have multiple layers. It is not as cold in the morning but during the evening, a cold breeze starts flowing around. This feels even worse if you are on a bike. So, make sure you have a jacket for the ride. I wore my Zelocity (by Zivame) jacket which was soft and thin but protected me from the cool breeze in the morning and the Zelocity (by Zivame) leggings which helped protect my legs from cold underneath my skirt. The best thing was that both of these items were flexible and had a great design. So, I didn’t have to worry about my attire sticking out like a sore thumb.
Tops and Tees
Apart from that, I took a few normal tops which would absorb the sweat and not leave me hot in the blistering afternoon. I was particularly glad that I wore my grey tee from Zelocity (Zivame) while exploring Mandvi because it looked great but saved me from unnecessary sweating spots as well.
Note: If you are a fitness enthusiast then do check out the clothing line from Zelocity Activewear collection by Zivame.
I am glad that Stay on Skill helped me by exposing me to the Zelocity brand so that I could be comfortable during my trip in Gujarat with their flexible and activity-friendly clothes.
How to Reach Gujarat
How to Travel Locally
The best thing about Gujarat is that they have cheap local transport which makes it quite easy to travel around. So, you can easily explore places without breaking your bank.
Buses – The first thing to know about Gujarat is that their State Road Transport Corporation connects almost all the cities and towns in Gujarat so you can just take a local bus to travel around here. You will get a bus from Ahmedabad to most of the other cities like Vadodara, Bhuj, Gandhinagar, Porbandar, etc. And the prices of these tickets would be really nominal. It would take barely 6 hours to reach Bhuj and 4 hours to reach Vadodara from Ahmedabad. A bus ticket to Vadodara from Ahmedabad costs 200 INR and a bus to Bhuj from Vadodara costs 278 INR.
You can reach Champaner from Vadodara and it will barely cost you 32 INR for a 1.5 hour journey. Bhuj to Ahmedabad bus will cost somewhere around 307 INR and will take you 6-7 hours to reach.
Note: The cost mentioned for buses is for Ordinary buses and not Volvo.
Trains – Apart from buses, you also have the option of taking trains to various places in Gujarat and you can check the IRCTC website for the train schedule. Since Vadodara is nearby, you’ll find around many trains going to the city. They will barely take 2 hours to reach. Also, around 8-10 trains for Bhuj which is 8 hours away from Ahmedabad.
Road – Of course, if you have your own vehicle then the best thing to do would be to take a road trip. The roads of Gujarat are quite smooth and you are sure to enjoy your road trip here.
Ahmedabad – Traveling locally in the Ahmedabad state is quite cheap and easy. You have dedicated buses to take you to different locations. Traveling in buses will cost you around 100 INR per day and will also be quite convenient. Apart from buses, there are shared autos at many places which you can use for exploration. If you have the Uber app, then you can always book an Uber here too.
Vadodara – In Vadodara, you won’t find frequent local buses but you can easily walk to nearby places or take an Auto.
Bhuj – In Bhuj, you can take a shared auto or you can hire a scooty for 600 INR per day. There aren’t many buses for the local exploration as the city is small. But, since most of the places are at walking distance, you won’t need buses anyway.
Champaner – Again, this would be a somewhat secluded place but the Champaner fort is easily walkable. You won’t really need a transport to explore this place. To reach the Pavagadh hilltop, you can take shared autos from the base of the hill. It will take around 20 minutes to reach and will cost you barely 30 – 40 INR. After that, you will need to climb some 3,000 steps to reach the Pavagadh temple and the top.
Mandvi – In Mandvi, you majorly have autos which will cost you a lot unless you bargain well. There aren’t many places in Mandvi to visit. So, hiring an auto for the journey won’t turn out to be a big deal.
Kutch – For Kutch, you will need to book a package or rent a scooty or a bike from Bhuj market. You also have cab services which will cost 2000 – 3000 INR. On the other hand, renting bikes would cost you just 1200 INR for a day.
Gujarat is a paradise for budget travelers and backpackers. So, you can easily experience its amazing culture and food without spending too much!
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