Weekend Getaways from Ahmedabad
Some of the best places to pick for weekend getaways from Ahmedabad are not towns or cities, but sites with unhindered natural surroundings. Such places have a range of exciting things for you to bring your week to a perfect culmination. You can easily go to such destinations and come back within a couple of days, for they are not too far from Ahmedabad. The state of Gujarat has a good network of railways and highways, which further make commuting easy. Blackbuck National Park, Gir Forest and the mesmerising Rann of Kutch are three prime destinations to spend the last two of the seven days of the week in.
1. Blackbuck National Park: You can seek accommodation at a number of hotels near Blackbuck National Park to make your weekend getaways from Ahmedabad perfect.
• Location: Blackbuck National Park is situated in the district of Bhavnagar, in the southwest of Gujarat.
• History: The Indian Government established the territory in 1976 with the sole mission to protect the critically endangered blackbucks, which are a species of deer. It was initially allocated an area of around 17.88 sq. km, and in 1980, its area was increased by approximately 16.22 sq. km.
• Terrain: Most of the area here consists of a flat land, with a number of rivers irrigating it.
• Flora: A major part of the territory contains expansive grasslands, typical of the savannah ecological zone. Trees like Chilean mesquite are also found here, though in sparse numbers and thin strands.
• Fauna: Apart from blackbucks, which are superstars of the region, hyenas, foxes, wolves, jungle cats, jackals, boars, hares, bustards and several species of birds live here.
2. Gir Forest: To see kings of jungles during weekend getaways near Ahmedabad, you will have to come to Gir Forest, for it is the lion country.
• Location: Gir Forest National Park is spread across the districts of Amreli, Somnath and Junagadh.
• History: An area of approximately 1422 sq. km in the south-western region of Gujarat was protected in 1965 for the formation of Gir Forest.
• Terrain: Hills with moderate altitudes and dense forest cover dominate the region, and a number of rivers make their way through here. The reservoir of the dam on the Hiran River, called Kamleshwar, is an important source of water for the animals of the region.
• Flora: Dry deciduous forests cover the major chunk of the territory, and the rest of the area is covered by shrubs and savannah vegetation. Teak, khair and gooseberries are the main trees of the jungle.
• Fauna: Asiatic lions, chitals, chausinghas, blackbucks, chinkaras, leopards, hedgehogs, pangolins, shrews, mongooses, jungle cats and hares live here. There have even been reports of tigers being sighted in the area.
3. Rann of Kutch: To make your weekend getaways from Ahmedabad colourful, march towards the Rann of Kutch, also called the flamingo city.
• Location: Rann of Kutch is situated in the extreme western part in the state of Gujarat.
• History: The history of human settlement in the region is over 5000 years old as it was part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation.
• Terrain: Most of the land here is flat, consisting of glowing white and grainy salt marshes. West Banas, Luini and Rupen are three of the most important rivers to flow through here.
• Flora: As the Rann of Kutch is technically a part of the Thar Desert, the vegetation here is typical of it, and contains scrubs and thorny plants.
• Fauna: Lesser flamingoes, greater flamingoes, wild asses, pelicans, ducks, foxes, wolves, hyenas, jackals, seagulls and black-necked storks are the prominent creatures of the region.
The best activities to avail in all these three aforementioned places are wildlife safaris, on which a naturalist may accompany you. You can take excursions to various tribal villages in the Rann of Kutch, and see beautiful handicrafts produced there. While exploring Gir Forest, you should definitely take an excursion to Dholavira to witness architectural and scientific masterpieces.
Best Time to Go
• Blackbuck National Park: This is among the few protected areas in India to be open for tourists all around the year. The period between December and February is said to be perfect to come here, owing to the pleasant weather and many migratory birds coming here.
• Gir Forest: You have the best chances to see lions, if you come here between the months of March and May.
• Rann of Kutch: Summers here are hot and humid, so winters are perfect for coming here.
The following are the rough distances of the above-mentioned weekend getaways near Ahmedabad.
• Blackbuck National Park: 139 km
• Gir Forest: 328 km
• Rann of Kutch: 393 km