What we're about

“Job fills your pocket but travel fills your soul”, believing in these lines The Great Escape was established in 2016 by our founders who have a mountaineering experience of 6+ years. It is one of the rare adventure and travel company owned wholly by Women who left their comfortable jobs, defying the cliché of society, to embark on a journey that adds meaning to their lives each day, more and more, little by little.

WHO ARE WE?

We are people working extensively to add experience to your excursion and travels. We wish to promote a healthier life by bringing people closer to nature and away from gadgets, in short, we are the Escape key that you have always been wanting to press from a long time. We are a partnership firm and our motto is “Adventure.Travel.Experience...Together”.

WHAT DO WE DO?

We organise range of events including extreme Himalayan expedition, backpacking trips, customised travels, short duration outdoor adventure activities and Family travel. We are not a company or a group that plans events for profits, we plan events for everlasting memories and satisfaction of each participant. Our mission is to promote outdoor activities among Women and children to ensure a healthier lives for all the generations to come.

WHY SHOULD YOU ASSOCIATE WITH US?

Our agenda of operation is not customer acquisition but it is to make friends. We work with values and your safety is our priority. Our target is to create a big family of adventurers who have a passion for outdoors, adventure and travel. Our events/travel plans are carved keeping in mind our target audience which varies from 1-70 years old, beginner to experienced. Moreover, to make your travel really experiential, we collaborate culture, tradition and regional food with travel. We are nature lovers and that is why we do not take hoards of people to our events, instead we keep our batch size really restricted in order to keep the integrity of nature intact.

If you are adventurous at soul then we are the people with perfect recipe to keep the wanderlust inside you seeking more each time. Do not believe us? Well then why not try and see if we keep to our words. Check out our events and we hope that you will be a part of TGE family with a smile on your face.

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Upcoming events (5+)

Bali Pass - Ruinsara Tal Trek

Bali Pass

Connecting Yamunotri and Har Ki Dun Valley Bali Pass trek at an altitude of 16240 ft. is a moderate - difficult level trek. Bali Pass trek starts from Sankri village in Uttarakhand and ends at Janki Chatti. This trek offers splendid panoramic views of Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, and Swargarohini peaks. The alpine meadows of Dev Thach in the middle of the Ruinsara forest is something to look out for. The Ruinsara lake has unmatched beauty and grandeur. Bali Pass trek should be in the list of trekkers who wish to experience the nature at its best and push their limits. SUMMARY: Day 1, Sunday, 29th September: Dehradun to Sankri (6400ft) Day 2, Monday, 30th September: Sankri (6400ft) to Taluka (6270ft), Trek to Osla (8745 ft) Day 3, Tuesday, 1st October: Trek to Mora Thatch/Rain Besra via Debsu Bugyal Day 4, Wednesday, 2nd October:Trek to Unti Gad – 5 Km – 3 hours. Hike and explore Ruinsara Tal after lunch. Return to Unti Gad Day 5, Thursday, 3rd October: Trek to Odari 6 Km, 5 hrs Day 6, Friday, 4th October: Trek to Bali pass base Day 7, Saturday, 5th October: Cross Bali pass and trek down to lower Dhamni – 12 Km – 7/8 hours Day 8, Sunday, 6th October: Trek to Yamunotri and further down to Janki Chatti – 7 Km – 4 hours . Drive to Dehradun 8/9 hours Day 9, Monday, 7th October: Buffer day Cost: Rs 14999/- (Confirm your spot by paying Rs 5000/-) NAME: TGE TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE LLP ACCOUNT NO:[masked] IFSC CODE:ICIC[masked] BRANCH-DIAMOND POINT CURRENT ACCOUNT UPI ID: tge@icici Cost Includes All expenses from Sankri to Janki Chatti which include: - Stay in tents/Homestay/Hotel on sharing basis - Breakfast + lunch + dinner - Evening snacks + Tea - Expert Guides - Sleeping bags + Mat Cost Excludes - Transportation cost to Sankri and from Yamunotri - Food expenses while on commute and on extra day at Sankri (meals are available at 70 Rs in dhaba in Sankri) - Personal expenses of any kind - Individual mule + Porter charges. Additional Information NOTE - we have added 1 extra day at Sankri , its optional . trekkers can reach Sankri by 29th September. Trek starts on 30th September. Cost of Extra day at Sankri is not included in package, we will make all the arrangements and share the cost. CANCELLATION POLICY 20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 45 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 45 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C https://drive.google.com/file/d/12ZJansareLbkc5fVGMOFBnU-6X_Gx0eS/view?usp=sharing CALL US: Reetu Yadav [masked] Email: [masked] DETAILED ITINERARY: Day 1 Dehradun to Sankri A 200 km drive from Dehradun take us to the quaint town of Sankri. It is advisable to start as early as 6:00 am to warrant enough buffer time to reach Sankri by late evening. The route is picturesque with the Yamuna Valley on one side and the blue Pine forest on the other. Passing through towns such as Mori and Purola we eventually reach Netwar, from where necessary forest permits need to be acquired to enter the Govind National Park. From here follow the course of the Supin river through conifer forest, apple orchards and farming fields to Sankri. With around 200 houses, Sankri is a start point for multiple treks in that region. Most of the people are either trekkers or support staff, gearing up for their respective treks. Famous for the beautiful sunset over the Swargarohini Peak, our evening will be spent exploring this beautiful town, interacting with the locals and acquainting with your fellow trekkers. Day 2 Sankri (6400ft) to Taluka (6270ft), Trek to Osla (8745 ft) Trail from Sankri to Taluka is a leveled trail with 10- 11 mountain bends going through a forest of pine, deodar, bamboo and wild roses. We may have to cross some landslide prone areas as well as drive through a couple of streams en route. Today's trekking from Taluka to Osla alternates between uphills and leveled walks. With some sharp turns and steep climbs, the trail passes through the villages of Datmir, Gangaad and the incomplete cemented structures in Puani Garaat. We finally cross the river and take a steep climb to the village of Osla. Here, we will stay with the locals Day 3 Trek to Mora Thatch/Rain Besra via Debsu Bugyal Today also, the trek is along the Supin river. First milestone is Debshu Bugyal, from where we will get a magnificent view of Kala Nag or Black Peak. After crossing Debshu Bugyal, we will descend through the forest with loose stones and sandy path to the river. We will cross the Supin river through a bridge. After crossing the bridge, we will again ascend with the Supin river flowing now on our right. There are a couple of tricky sections with slippery path where we might have to take a diversion. Trek along the river until we reach our campsite, which is by the side of the river. Overnight stay in Camps. Day 4 Trek to Unti Gad – 5 Km – 3 hours. Hike and explore Ruinsara Tal after lunch. Return to Unti Gad This will be our last day when we walk along the Supin river. The condition of the trail deteriorates rapidly from here forth as you trek towards the interiors of the valley. Pass through three mountain bends, after which you’ll pass through a series of landslide zones. After trek of approx 3 hrs, we’ll come across a vast meadow with birch forests forming a background. The Untigad campsite is another 30 minutes’ walk from here. There is a small river-crossing over a tributary of Ruinsara. We pitch our camps at Unti Gad for today. After having hot lunch, head for a small hike to Ruinsara lake. Ruinsara is a lovely lake surrounded by meadows and rhododendron bushes. It is considered sacred by the locals. after spending some time at lake, we head back to our campsite and call it a day. Day 5 Trek to Odari 6 Km, 5 hrs Today is a short and easy trek of about 4 km. Initially we descend down to Supin river through the dense vegetation. Crossing the river through a bridge, we will then ascend to a small meadow and then head south east along the river. After a trek of 3 kms or so the trail meanders towards south west. Walking for a kilometre from here brings us to our campsite Odari. Odari means a naturally made rock cave. According to folklore, it is believed that Bali (Hanuman's brother) stayed in this cave for one night. The views from the campsite are spectacular. In the North East we will have the crystal clear view of mighty peaks of Swargarohini 1 & 2. Day 6 Trek to Bali pass base The day starts with a short hike south west to the base camp, but this hike would not be an easy one. We will have to walk on a mountain ridge with a 60 degree incline full of loose stones. This day is critical as we will be camping at a height of 4678 Metre. It is important to keep yourself active & hydrated to avoid chances of getting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). The temperature will drop to subzero levels increasing the difficulty many folds. Acclimatisation also takes longer at such heights. Overnight stay in camps Day 7 Cross Bali pass and trek down to lower Dhamni – 12 Km – 7/8 hours Today we will cross the Bali Pass (4950 m) and reach our next and also the last campsite, Lower Dhamni. We head south east towards the pass. Today's trek will be longer and the most challenging one. We will break camps and start trekking early in the morning at around 6 AM. The trail upto the pass remains full of snow which will require using the techniques learnt earlier. It will take around 2-3 hours to reach the pass from the base camp. Once we reach the pass, enjoy the 360 degree view of peaks such as Swargarohini, Banderpooch, Garhwal ranges and the Yamnotri valley. The most interesting as well as the difficult part of the trek starts after crossing the Bali Pass. We will descend down through a nearly vertical path full of scree and big stones. After crossing this leg, we will come across the goat route. To cross this leg, one needs to be mentally prepared because we will walk on an irregular path which is 6 inches or less wide in some places. After this extremely challenging part, we will rest for a while at a site called Upper Dhamni. After taking rest, we will resume our trek to Lower Dhamni. Day 8 Trek to Yamunotri and further down to Janki Chatti – 7 Km – 4 hours . Drive to Dehradun 8/9 hours This will be our last day of trek. Initial trail is through forest which then merges into a cemented path. The trail is 4.5 km long with mild ascent upto Yamunotri. It will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Yamunotri. After reaching Yamunotri, you may take a dip in the Sulphur hot water springs of Yamnotri. Bathing in the hot water springs will take away the pain in your legs. From the shrine of Yamunotri we will take the regular pilgrims route to Jaan Ki Chatti which is around 5 km. We start for Dehradun by afternoon and reach by 9pm.

Backpacking Trip to Bhutan

Bhutan

For centuries, Bhutan has attracted people from all over the world for its sustainable living, authentic cuisine, unique culture, divine spirituality and most importantly - responsible tourism. The only nation with negative carbon footprint is majorly covered in diversified flora and fauna. This November, let us take you on an amazing adventure to Bhutan. You will be backpacking through the most jaw dropping landscapes and tranquil locations. You will experience the hospitality of bhutanese people, learn of their rich historical culture, share a delicious meal and have once a lifetime opportunity to experience the rich flora of Bhutan around spring time. Get ready to be lost in the enchanting beauty of the valley and be surprised with what you experience along the way of your true escape to nature. SUMMARY: Day 1, Monday, 25th November: Team arrives in Phuentsholing by 10 am. Proceed for necessary entry permits. Drive from Paro/Phuentsholing to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu. Note: You have to reach Phuentsholing before 10 am. We advise the team to fly to Bagdogra/NJP on 17th November and take an overnight train to the border. We will advice the team on transportation to the border. Day 2, Tuesday, 26th November: Thimphu sightseeing. Visit the Buddha statue, Museum, Tashichho Dzong and many other historically significant places in Thimphu. Spend the night at Thimphu market. Overnight in Thimphu. Day 3, Wednesday, 27th November: After breakfast, leave for Punakha via Dochula Pass. After Lunch vist Punkaha Dzong and suspension bridge. Overnight stay at Punakha Day 4, Thursday, 28th November: Post breakfast, visit Chimi Lakhang temple and explore Lobesa village and head to Phobjikha valley. Day 5, Friday, 29th November: Spend the day exploring the valley on foot. Overnight at Phobjikha. Day 6, Saturday, 30th November: After breakfast, drive to Paro. Overnight at Paro. Day 7, Sunday, 1st December: Day trek to the Tiger Nest monastery. Free time at Paro town in the evening. Overnight stay in Paro. Day 8, Monday, 2nd December: Drop to Phuentsholing post breakfast. Note: You will reach Bagdogra/NJP around 8pm - 10pm in the night. Plan your return itinerary accordingly Early Bird offer Rs 25999/- valid till 31st August, 2019 Price rises to Rs 27999/- after it. Book you slot by paying Rs 8000 only! ( We create customized trips to Bhutan. Get in touch with us @[masked]/[masked] for an exclusive customized itinerary for you and your friends/family) NAME: TGE TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE LLP ACCOUNT NO:[masked] IFSC CODE:ICIC[masked] BRANCH-DIAMOND POINT CURRENT ACCOUNT UPI ID: tge@icici COST INCLUDES - Pick up and drop from Phuentsholing. - Accommodation at Thimphu and Paro on double/tripple sharing basis with breakfast - Homestay at Lobesa and Phobjikha with breakfast and dinner - All local transportation - Experienced guide - First Aid COST EXCLUDES - Airfare till Kolkata/Bagdogra - All transportation till Phuentsholing - Meals not mentioned above - Entry charges -Personal expenses of any kind CANCELLATION POLICY 20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 50 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 50 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mx48FojCKPir1AUfVwBFGLxytk-cbeO3/view?usp=sharing DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY PERMIT: 1- Valid Passport or Voters ID ( For Indian Nationals) 2- Photocopy of the above documents 3- Passport size photograph ( 2 nos) 4- necessary hotel bookings.(We will keep it ready for you) FOR ANY DOUBT AND QUERIES: CONTACT US: Reetu Yadav [masked] Jamila Kapasi [masked] Email: [masked]

Full Moon at Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

Stretching for 10,000 sq kms, the white salt desert at Kutch region or the Rann of Kutch is a geographical wonder. Situated in the northwestern part of the vibrant state of Gujarat, the Kutch area attracts tourist during the months of November, December and January where the Rann is formed and at its best. Not only that, the Kutch region is home to rare wildlife, is full of culture and history and is the site of the Harappan civilization. Probably this is why Mr. Amitabh Bachchan has correctly said “Kutch Nahi dekha toh Kya Dekha” (If you have not seen kutch, then you have not seen anything). We, at The Great Escape, invite you to be a part of our elaborate Kutch festival this December as we take you to the untouched white salt desert and showcase the rich art and culture of the Kutchi region. Our 4 day itinerary is jam packed with activities as we cover the length and breadth of the entire Kutch region and indulge is some delicious local Kutchi cuisine. From visiting the site of the Indus valley civilization at Dholavira, an island in the middle of the Rann, to visiting local artisans at Bhuj to camping in luxurious swiss tents, to celebrating the Rann Utsav at Dhordo to visiting the most beautiful and secluded beach at Mandvi, our 4 day itinerary will leave you nothing less than satisfied. So, go on and pack those bags, afterall “Kuch din toh gujaro Gujarat mein” SUMMARY: DAY 1, 12TH DEC, THURS 12:00 am: Pick up from Ahmedabad airport 6: 00 am: Enjoy the first view of the Rann. We will stop over at the Rann to witness sunrise and take a lot of pictures 7:00 am: Reach our Resort at Dholavira. Freshen up. Have breakfast. 9:00 am: Introduction. Followed by a short tour of the area. 10:00 am: Rest 12:30 pm: Lunch 1:30 pm: Drive to the site of the Indus Valley Civilization. 2:30 pm: A guided tour of the Indus valley civilization. Our guide has more than 25 years of experience at the site and was a part of the team that did the initial excavation at the site. 4:00 pm: Visit the museum. 4:30 pm: Drive to the fossil park. A guided tour of the fossil park Fun fact: You will find a 1000 year old fossilized tree trunk at the park :) 5:30 pm: Explore the Rann. Enjoy sunset at the Rann 6:30 pm: Drive back to our resort 7:30 pm: Reach the resort. 8:00 pm: Dinner. Note: We will visit the Rann in the night to see it under the full moon :) Get good cameras DAY 2, 13TH DEC, FRI 6:00 am: Wake up Call 7:00 am: Breakfast 8:00 am: Drive to Bhujodi 1:00 pm: Lunch 2:30 pm: An interactive session with the Vankars (weavers) of Bhujodi as they talk about their age old tradition of weaving fabric 4:30 pm: Head off to Bhuj fort. 5:30 pm: Climb to the top of the fort. Enjoy sunset from the fort 6:30 pm: Start to our campsite at Mankuwa 7:30 pm: Reach our campsite. Allot tents. Followed by dinner 9:00 pm: Bonfire and singing DAY 3, 14TH DEC, SAT 7:00 am: Wake up call 8:00 am: Breakfast 9:00 am: Leave for Nirona village to visit the Khatri family that performs the legacy artform of Rogan painting. 12:00 pm: Lunch at the house of a local Kutchi family 1:30 pm: Leave for Kala Dungar 3:00 pm: Reach Kala Dungar. Climg to the top 4:00 pm: Start to Dhordo 5:30 pm: Visit the Rann Utsav. 8:00 pm: Start back to the campsite. DAY 4, 15th DEC, SUN 7:00 am: Wake up call 8:00 am: Breakfast 9:00 am: Free time. We will be arranging some activities for the team. Those who want to go for Bhuj sightseeing can head off to visit the Swaminarayan Temple, Aina Mahal and Parag Mahal. Others can stay at the camp 12:30 pm: Lunch at campsite 1:30 pm: Start towards Mandvi 3:00 pm: Visit the Vijay Villas palace 4:00 pm: Head off to a secret beach. Not many people are aware of this beach at Mandvi. This beach is one of the most pristine and isolated beach in that area. 5:00 pm: Reach the beach. Enjoy sunset at the beach 7:00 pm: Head off for dinner at Mandvi. If time permits, we will visit the ship building yards. 8:30 pm: Start for Ahmedabad. DAY 5, 16TH DEC, MON 5:30 am: Drop at Ahmedanad Hatchling Offer Valid till 31st August: Rs 14500/- Early Bird Officer Valid from 1st Sept to 31st Oct: Rs 15000/- Bye Bye Birdie Valid from 1st Nov: Rs 15500/- (Confirm your spot by paying Rs 5000/-) NAME: TGE TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE LLP ACCOUNT NO:[masked] IFSC CODE:ICIC[masked] BANK : ICICI BRANCH:DIAMOND POINT CURRENT ACCOUNT UPI ID: tge@icici COST INCLUDES - Private transportation from Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad. (A/C Tempo Traveler) - Stay at a resort in Dholavira on double sharing basis - Stay in swiss tents on double sharing basis at Mankuwa Campsite - All meals except dinner at Dhordo - Rann Utsav Permits - Activities at Campsite such as bonfire, music, local Kutchi dress to wear and take pictures in - Experienced team coordinator - Experienced guide at Dholavira - First Aid COST EXCLUDES - Airfare - Dinner at Dhordo - Personal expenses of any kind - Tips CANCELLATION POLICY 20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 45 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 45 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C https://drive.google.com/file/d/12ZJansareLbkc5fVGMOFBnU-6X_Gx0eS/view?usp=sharing CONTACT US: Jamila Kapasi [masked] Reetu Yadav [masked] Email: [masked] website: www.thegreatesc.in HOW TO REACH: 11th Dec, Wed: Reach Ahmedabad. We will pick you up from Ahmedabad airport at midnight followed by a pick up from Ahmedabad Railway Station 15th Dec, Mon: Depart from Ahmedabad We will drop you at Ahmedabad station at 5:30 am followed by a drop to the Admedabad Airport by 6:00 am DETAILED ITINERARY: Day 1 Ahmedabad - Dholavira Once everyone is picked up, we will start our journey from Ahmedabad to Dholavira. Dholavira is around 360 kms from Ahmedabad and is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus valley Civilization of the Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago, while the other site, Lothal is more exhaustively known and easier to reach. Dholavira, also locally known as Kotada (which means large fort), sprawls over 100 hectares of semi arid land and is one of the islands in the Great Rann of Kutch that remain above the flood plains in months when the rest of the desert is submerged in monsoon. It has 2 seasonal streams, Mansar in north and Manhar in South. Visit to Dholavira offers us a memorable experience that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch. It is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient indus script.Journey to Dholavira itself is beautiful, taking you through the saline desert plains, where you can spot wildlife such as Gazelle. Nilgai (blue bull) and various types of birds. After Dholavira, we will move to the Fossil Park to check out some ancient fossils. By evening we will return to campsite. Day 2 Dholavira - Bhujodi - Munkuwa We start early today. After some delicious breakfast, we drive to Bhujodi village which is just 8 kms before Bhuj. What makes Bhujodi special is that the vast majority of the 1200 inhabitants are involved in the art of weaving. The weavers, also known as Vankars, have been passing down the tradition of weaving for generation. We will visit none other than Vankar Vishram Vajli, a multigenerational weaving and dyeing business run by Shamji. Shamji has transformed the venture into a prosperous business with clients all over India and abroad. Not only that, he is the recepient of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence award. Shamji and his family will walk us through the entire process of weaving and show us how wool sourced from the Rabaris(shepherds) is spun, starched and dyed into beautiful shawls, sarees and fabric. If we are lucky, we might get to see Indigo dying as well Did You Know? A fabric from Kutch is different from a straight weave. The highlight of their weave is an extra weft, woven by a technique typical of this place. You won’t find it anywhere else. After the session at Bhujodi, we will head off to witness a beautiful sunset and a view of the Bhuj city from the Bhuj fort. After that we head off to our campsite at Mankuwa. Located amidst fields of dates and pomegranates, our campsite is a treat for the nature lovers. Decorated beautifully in Kutchi style, this campsite will be more than your home for the next few days. You will be staying in comfortable canvas tents on double sharing basis with each tent having its own attached bathroom. Day 3 Munkuwa - Nirona - Kala Dungar - Dhordo - Munkuwan Kutch has always been known for its wealth of culture and handicrafts. And one thing that we really do not want to miss is exploring a few local art forms. So, after breakfast we will head to “Nirona” village. Located around 40 kms north of Bhuj, Nirona village is where we can find three very unique local art forms — one of which even made its way to The White House. Yes, we are talking about the popular Rogan art, a legacy art form that has been taken forward, for the past 300 years, by the Khatri family of Nirona. What is Rogan Art? The word Rogan comes from Persian and means ‘oil-based’. The process of making the natural colours used in the art gives it such a name. Castor oil is heated on fire for about 12 hours and then cast into cold water to give a thick residue called the rogan. This is then mixed with stone pigments to lend it different hues. Next, the artisan uses a six-inch metal stick to paint with a fine thread of rogan on cloth. Seeing it live makes us realize how delicately the rogan thread has to be led with precision to give shape to one’s imagination. Next in the list is The Luhars of Nirona, and their popular Copper Bell art. Preserving it for the last 10 or so generations, many families in Nirona get their livelihood totally out of this. Copper Bell art has mainly originated from Sindh, and even today many villages, around the border area inside India and Pakistan make it. Once done with Copper Bell, we move to the art of Lacquer, practiced by a semi nomadic tribe called Wada, in the Banni area in and around the villages of Nirona and Bhirandiayara. Obtained from the sap of the Rhus Tree which changes colour from white to brown upon exposure to air, Lacquer is a simple reflection of zigzag patterns creating waves of colors mixing with one another and adorning simplest of the products like wooden spoons, bread rolling pins, containers, toys, utensils etc. Our lunch is arranged at the house of a local. Served with lots of love and warmth, this can be counted as one of your best meals in the Kutch region. After lunch, we will head off to Kala Dungar. Kala Dungar or the Black hill is the highest point in Kutch, at 462 m. From here, the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, the desert and sky often becoming indistinguishable. It is one of the few non-coastal locations where you feel like you are at the edge of the earth, on the brink of incomprehensible vastness that fades off towards infinity. Looking out from the Black Hills, you can understand the tremendous effort that those who undertake the crossing of the Great Rann have to make. Since this is one of the places where a civilian can get closest to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed. The hill is also the site of a 400-year-old temple to Dattatreya, the three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the same body. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti. After enjoying the view from Kala Dungar, we head off to Dhordo to be a part of the Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav is a fest. Locals from all over the Kutch region set up stalls selling their wares. The "mela" is colorful. There is musical performance, acitivites and lots of food. Our evening is for merriment. With our bags full and our wallets lighther, we head back to our campsite by the night. Day 4 Munkuwa - Mandvi - Ahmedabad The morning is free. Relax at the campsite or go touring the Bhuj town, we have left it on you. After lunch, pack your bags and get ready to leave for Mandvi, our last destination in Kutch region. Once a famous port and now an important tourist attraction in Kutch, Mandvi is one such place where one can expect sea, sand and sun. Mandvi is an old port town and served as an important trading center until Mumbai came into the picture. We will visit the bank of Rukmavati River, where we can see handmade wooden ships. We will stand at the Tower of Wagers, where once wealthy shipowner used to gather, awaiting the return of the trading fleet from East Africa, and bet on whose would arrive first and a little away from the Mandvi beach we will visit the Vijay Vilas Palace, which is now a resort and is known for its fantastic architecture. We will spend the evening at our secret beach followed by some delicious dinner. Overnight journey to Ahmedabad in Tempo Traveler post dinner.

Celebrate Christmas at Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

Stretching for 10,000 sq kms, the white salt desert at Kutch region or the Rann of Kutch is a geographical wonder. Situated in the northwestern part of the vibrant state of Gujarat, the Kutch area attracts tourist during the months of November, December and January where the Rann is formed and at its best. Not only that, the Kutch region is home to rare wildlife, is full of culture and history and is the site of the Harappan civilization. Probably this is why Mr. Amitabh Bachchan has correctly said “Kutch Nahi dekha toh Kya Dekha” (If you have not seen kutch, then you have not seen anything). We, at The Great Escape, invite you to be a part of our elaborate Kutch festival this December as we take you to the untouched white salt desert and showcase the rich art and culture of the Kutchi region. Our 4 day itinerary is jam packed with activities as we cover the length and breadth of the entire Kutch region and indulge is some delicious local Kutchi cuisine. From visiting the site of the Indus valley civilization at Dholavira, an island in the middle of the Rann, to visiting local artisans at Bhuj to camping in luxurious swiss tents, to celebrating the Rann Utsav at Dhordo to visiting the most beautiful and secluded beach at Mandvi, our 4 day itinerary will leave you nothing less than satisfied. So, go on and pack those bags, afterall “Kuch din toh gujaro Gujarat mein” SUMMARY: DAY 1, 22ND DEC, SUN 12:00 am: Pick up from Ahmedabad airport 6: 00 am: Enjoy the first view of the Rann. We will stop over at the Rann to witness sunrise and take a lot of pictures 7:00 am: Reach our Resort at Dholavira. Freshen up. Have breakfast. 9:00 am: Introduction. Followed by a short tour of the area. 10:00 am: Rest 12:30 pm: Lunch 1:30 pm: Drive to the site of the Indus Valley Civilization. 2:30 pm: A guided tour of the Indus valley civilization. Our guide has more than 25 years of experience at the site and was a part of the team that did the initial excavation at the site. 4:00 pm: Visit the museum. 4:30 pm: Drive to the fossil park. A guided tour of the fossil park Fun fact: You will find a 1000 year old fossilized tree trunk at the park :) 5:30 pm: Explore the Rann. Enjoy sunset at the Rann 6:30 pm: Drive back to our resort 7:30 pm: Reach the resort. 8:00 pm: Dinner. DAY 2, 23RD DEC, MON 6:00 am: Wake up Call 7:00 am: Breakfast 8:00 am: Drive to Bhujodi 1:00 pm: Lunch 2:30 pm: An interactive session with the Vankars (weavers) of Bhujodi as they talk about their age old tradition of weaving fabric 4:30 pm: Head off to Bhuj fort. 5:30 pm: Climb to the top of the fort. Enjoy sunset from the fort 6:30 pm: Start to our campsite at Mankuwa 7:30 pm: Reach our campsite. Allot tents. Followed by dinner 9:00 pm: Bonfire and singing DAY 3, 24TH DEC, TUE 7:00 am: Wake up call 8:00 am: Breakfast 9:00 am: Leave for Nirona village to visit the Khatri family that performs the legacy artform of Rogan painting. 12:00 pm: Lunch at the house of a local Kutchi family 1:30 pm: Leave for Kala Dungar 3:00 pm: Reach Kala Dungar. Climg to the top 4:00 pm: Start to Dhordo 5:30 pm: Visit the Rann Utsav. 8:00 pm: Start back to the campsite. DAY 4, 25th DEC, WED 7:00 am: Wake up call 8:00 am: Breakfast 9:00 am: Free time. We will be arranging some activities for the team. Those who want to go for Bhuj sightseeing can head off to visit the Swaminarayan Temple, Aina Mahal and Parag Mahal. Others can stay at the camp 12:30 pm: Lunch at campsite 1:30 pm: Start towards Mandvi 3:00 pm: Visit the Vijay Villas palace 4:00 pm: Head off to a secret beach. Not many people are aware of this beach at Mandvi. This beach is one of the most pristine and isolated beach in that area. 5:00 pm: Reach the beach. Enjoy sunset at the beach 7:00 pm: Head off for dinner at Mandvi. If time permits, we will visit the ship building yards. 8:30 pm: Start for Ahmedabad. DAY 5, 26TH DEC, THURS 5:30 am: Drop at Ahmedanad Hatchling Offer Valid till 31st August: Rs 14500/- Early Bird Officer Valid from 1st Sept to 31st Oct: Rs 15000/- Bye Bye Birdie Valid from 1st Nov: Rs 15500/- (Confirm your spot by paying Rs 5000/-) NAME: TGE TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE LLP ACCOUNT NO:[masked] IFSC CODE:ICIC[masked] BANK : ICICI BRANCH:DIAMOND POINT CURRENT ACCOUNT UPI ID: tge@icici COST INCLUDES - Private transportation from Ahmedabad to Ahmedabad. (A/C Tempo Traveler) - Stay at a resort in Dholavira on double sharing basis - Stay in swiss tents on double sharing basis at Mankuwa Campsite - All meals except dinner at Dhordo - Rann Utsav Permits - Activities at Campsite such as bonfire, music, local Kutchi dress to wear and take pictures in - Experienced team coordinator - Experienced guide at Dholavira - First Aid COST EXCLUDES - Airfare - Dinner at Dhordo - Personal expenses of any kind - Tips CANCELLATION POLICY 20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 45 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 45 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C https://drive.google.com/file/d/12ZJansareLbkc5fVGMOFBnU-6X_Gx0eS/view?usp=sharing CONTACT US: Jamila Kapasi [masked] Reetu Yadav [masked] Email: [masked] website: www.thegreatesc.in HOW TO REACH: 21st Dec, Sat: Reach Ahmedabad. We will pick you up from Ahmedabad airport at midnight followed by a pick up from Ahmedabad Railway Station 26th Dec, Thurs: Depart from Ahmedabad We will drop you at Ahmedabad station at 5:30 am followed by a drop to the Admedabad Airport by 6:00 am DETAILED ITINERARY: Day 1 Ahmedabad - Dholavira Once everyone is picked up, we will start our journey from Ahmedabad to Dholavira. Dholavira is around 360 kms from Ahmedabad and is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus valley Civilization of the Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago, while the other site, Lothal is more exhaustively known and easier to reach. Dholavira, also locally known as Kotada (which means large fort), sprawls over 100 hectares of semi arid land and is one of the islands in the Great Rann of Kutch that remain above the flood plains in months when the rest of the desert is submerged in monsoon. It has 2 seasonal streams, Mansar in north and Manhar in South. Visit to Dholavira offers us a memorable experience that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch. It is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient indus script.Journey to Dholavira itself is beautiful, taking you through the saline desert plains, where you can spot wildlife such as Gazelle. Nilgai (blue bull) and various types of birds. After Dholavira, we will move to the Fossil Park to check out some ancient fossils. By evening we will return to campsite. Day 2 Dholavira - Bhujodi - Munkuwa We start early today. After some delicious breakfast, we drive to Bhujodi village which is just 8 kms before Bhuj. What makes Bhujodi special is that the vast majority of the 1200 inhabitants are involved in the art of weaving. The weavers, also known as Vankars, have been passing down the tradition of weaving for generation. We will visit none other than Vankar Vishram Vajli, a multigenerational weaving and dyeing business run by Shamji. Shamji has transformed the venture into a prosperous business with clients all over India and abroad. Not only that, he is the recepient of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence award. Shamji and his family will walk us through the entire process of weaving and show us how wool sourced from the Rabaris(shepherds) is spun, starched and dyed into beautiful shawls, sarees and fabric. If we are lucky, we might get to see Indigo dying as well Did You Know? A fabric from Kutch is different from a straight weave. The highlight of their weave is an extra weft, woven by a technique typical of this place. You won’t find it anywhere else. After the session at Bhujodi, we will head off to witness a beautiful sunset and a view of the Bhuj city from the Bhuj fort. After that we head off to our campsite at Mankuwa. Located amidst fields of dates and pomegranates, our campsite is a treat for the nature lovers. Decorated beautifully in Kutchi style, this campsite will be more than your home for the next few days. You will be staying in comfortable canvas tents on double sharing basis with each tent having its own attached bathroom. Day 3 Munkuwa - Nirona - Kala Dungar - Dhordo - Munkuwan Kutch has always been known for its wealth of culture and handicrafts. And one thing that we really do not want to miss is exploring a few local art forms. So, after breakfast we will head to “Nirona” village. Located around 40 kms north of Bhuj, Nirona village is where we can find three very unique local art forms — one of which even made its way to The White House. Yes, we are talking about the popular Rogan art, a legacy art form that has been taken forward, for the past 300 years, by the Khatri family of Nirona. What is Rogan Art? The word Rogan comes from Persian and means ‘oil-based’. The process of making the natural colours used in the art gives it such a name. Castor oil is heated on fire for about 12 hours and then cast into cold water to give a thick residue called the rogan. This is then mixed with stone pigments to lend it different hues. Next, the artisan uses a six-inch metal stick to paint with a fine thread of rogan on cloth. Seeing it live makes us realize how delicately the rogan thread has to be led with precision to give shape to one’s imagination. Next in the list is The Luhars of Nirona, and their popular Copper Bell art. Preserving it for the last 10 or so generations, many families in Nirona get their livelihood totally out of this. Copper Bell art has mainly originated from Sindh, and even today many villages, around the border area inside India and Pakistan make it. Once done with Copper Bell, we move to the art of Lacquer, practiced by a semi nomadic tribe called Wada, in the Banni area in and around the villages of Nirona and Bhirandiayara. Obtained from the sap of the Rhus Tree which changes colour from white to brown upon exposure to air, Lacquer is a simple reflection of zigzag patterns creating waves of colors mixing with one another and adorning simplest of the products like wooden spoons, bread rolling pins, containers, toys, utensils etc. Our lunch is arranged at the house of a local. Served with lots of love and warmth, this can be counted as one of your best meals in the Kutch region. After lunch, we will head off to Kala Dungar. Kala Dungar or the Black hill is the highest point in Kutch, at 462 m. From here, the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, the desert and sky often becoming indistinguishable. It is one of the few non-coastal locations where you feel like you are at the edge of the earth, on the brink of incomprehensible vastness that fades off towards infinity. Looking out from the Black Hills, you can understand the tremendous effort that those who undertake the crossing of the Great Rann have to make. Since this is one of the places where a civilian can get closest to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed. The hill is also the site of a 400-year-old temple to Dattatreya, the three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the same body. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti. After enjoying the view from Kala Dungar, we head off to Dhordo to be a part of the Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav is a fest. Locals from all over the Kutch region set up stalls selling their wares. The "mela" is colorful. There is musical performance, acitivites and lots of food. Our evening is for merriment. With our bags full and our wallets lighther, we head back to our campsite by the night. Day 4 Munkuwa - Mandvi - Ahmedabad The morning is free. Relax at the campsite or go touring the Bhuj town, we have left it on you. After lunch, pack your bags and get ready to leave for Mandvi, our last destination in Kutch region. Once a famous port and now an important tourist attraction in Kutch, Mandvi is one such place where one can expect sea, sand and sun. Mandvi is an old port town and served as an important trading center until Mumbai came into the picture. We will visit the bank of Rukmavati River, where we can see handmade wooden ships. We will stand at the Tower of Wagers, where once wealthy shipowner used to gather, awaiting the return of the trading fleet from East Africa, and bet on whose would arrive first and a little away from the Mandvi beach we will visit the Vijay Vilas Palace, which is now a resort and is known for its fantastic architecture. We will spend the evening at our secret beach followed by some delicious dinner. Overnight journey to Ahmedabad in Tempo Traveler post dinner. Expect to reach Ahmedabad between 4:30 am to 5:30 am the next day

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