Temples and textiles of Odisha, with Delhi and Hyderabad
A small group tour led by Rosemary Crill
Friday 26 October to Friday 09 November 2018
Odisha (formerly Orissa) in Eastern India is one of India’s most fascinating yet little-known regions, combining ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples with rich traditions of village craft production and tribal culture. This unique, specially-created tour will explore the extraordinary range of textiles still being made today, and will introduce you to ikat-weaving, natural dyeing, tussar silk production, silk weaving, and block-printing. The tour finishes in Hyderabad, where the fabled wealth of the Nizams built splendid monuments and nurtured local crafts.
This tour is led by Rosemary Crill, former Senior Curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and a leading authority on India’s textile traditions and history. She has travelled extensively in India and has published widely on both subjects. Her textile books include Indian Embroidery; Indian ikat Textiles; Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West, and most recently The Fabric of India, which accompanied a major exhibition of the same name at the V&A. She first travelled to Odisha for research into the region's ikat textiles, and has returned to the region several times. In Odisha we will visit remote villages and markets as well as the most important and beautiful historic monuments of the area, so this tour is best suited to those with a taste for adventure.
London • Delhi • Bhubaneshwar • Puri • Dhenkanal • Sambalpur • Hyderabad • London
(Meals: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Departure from London onboard British airways flight 257 at 18:55.
Arrive Delhi at 08:50 and transfer to Hotel Shangrila Eros to check-in. After freshening up you’ll have an orientation tour of the city, followed by a visit to some important historic monuments, or to Dastkar. Dastkar is a Delhi-based NGO, a society for traditional crafts and craftspeople. (L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel you will visit the museums of the Sanskriti Foundation. The museums have three different foci: everyday art; Indian terracotta; and textiles. The foundation and the museums serve as a conduit for the preservation and presentation of indigenous heritage, craftsmanship, aesthetic functionality, and cultural practices.
Later in the day you will also visit the workshops and galleries of makers and designers. (B,L,D)
You will fly from Delhi to Bhubaneshwar, then begin a city tour. Bhubaneshwar’s history dates back some 2,000 years, and the city's temples span the entire period of Kalinga architecture, from the 8th to the 12th centuries.
You will stay for two nights in Bhubaneshwar at the Trident hotel. (B,L,D)
Today you will have a full day excursion. Stops will include the Ashokan edict at Dhauli, the Buddhist rock-cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri, and the 64 Yogini Temple. This is a tantric temple, built around the 9th century, and every alcove includes the image of a goddess. (B,L,D)
In the morning, visit Gopalpur village to see tussar silk-weaving. After lunch, leaving Bhubaneswar, you will drive the 70 km to Puri in a comfortable air conditioned vehicle. En route you will visit Pipili, a town of artisans famed for their appliqué work, and Raghurajpur. Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village known for its master Pattachitra painters. Here it is also possible to see wood and stone carving, papier mâché making, and palm leaf engraving.
You will stay for the next two nights at Mayfair Waves hotel in Puri. (B,L,D)
Day 7 begins with a visit to the Sun Temple of Konark, an extraordinary temple complex built in the shape of a chariot. It dates from the 13th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch at a waterside restaurant near the site, you will visit a potters’ village. On returning to Puri, view the famous Jagannath temple from a nearby vantage point and explore the temple’s pilgrim street. (B,L,D)
It is a 195 km drive to Dhenkanal, and the journey should take four hours. You will break the journey at Nuapatna, a village famed for its silk ikat saris. These fabulous textiles are made on hand looms, and you will meet the weavers as well as visiting their workshops. After checking into the hotel, enjoy a guided evening walk in the town to view the decorations of the Gaja Lakshmi festival.
Your hotel tonight is Dhenkanal Palacen in Dhenkanal. [On the way, lakeside packed lunch from Puri hotel]. (B,L,D)
Today you will spend most of the day on the road: it is a 230 km drive from Dhenkanal to Sambalpur, and we anticipate the journey will take in the region of five hours. You will visit some rural villages along the way, and have the chance to watch many scenes of rural life from the window of your comfortable air conditioned vehicle.
You will stay for three nights at Siba Grand Hotel in Sambalpur. [Lunch at a local restaurant on the way]. (B,L,D)
On Day 10 you will explore some of the villages and small towns around Sambalpur, including Bargarh and Barpali, known for their ikat-weaving, and others specializing in bell-metal casting and terracotta-making. You will also visit the lovely Ganteshwari temple, where the Goddess is offered thousands of small bells which festoon the surrounding trees.
[Lunch Ganapati hotel Bargarh]. (B,L,D)
Today you will visit the small weaving town of Sonepur, south of Sambalpur, stopping at the riverside temple at Huma on the way. Villages such as Sagarpali and Baidhyanathpur will also be visited to see the weaving of Bomkai silk saris with extra weft brocading.
[Lunch in Sonepur]. (B,L,D)
The drive to Raipur is 278 km, and we estimate it will take around five hours. You will stop en route to see the remarkable and recently discovered Buddhist and Hindu temples at the ancient capital of Sirpur, and when you reach Raipur you will board the evening Indigo flight to Hyderabad. You flight will arrive in Hyderabad at 21.00, and you will then check-in at the Taj Krishna for three nights.
[Lunch at Sirpur]. (B,L,D)
On a full day sightseeing tour you will first visit Golconda Fort.and the imposing Qutb Shahi tombs of the former rulers.
Your tour programme continues to the Chowmahalla Palace, the royal residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Dating from the 18th century, it is within the Old City and has been exquisitely restored. (B,D)
Touring outside Hyderabad, you will spend the day at the rural workshops of a local textile artist and see natural dyeing and block printing.
You will depart from Hyderabad to London on British Airways flight 276 at 7:20 arrive london Heathrow at 12:40
- How to Book this Tour
- Travel Insurance
*The US Dollar price is based on the exchange rate in April 2017. Contact us for the most up-to-date price for this tour.
- International air fare in economy class on scheduled British airways flights inclusive all taxes.
- Internal flights between Delhi –Bhubaneshwar and Raipur –Hyderabd in economy class inclusive all taxes.
- Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Meal Plan: All meals in Puri, Denkenal and Sambalpur. Breakfast and dinner in Delhi and Hyderabad. Farmhouse lunch in Hyderabad.
- All transport services for transfers and sightseeing arrangements.
- Services of trip scholar Rosemary Crill.
- Complimentary mineral water while driving and on sightseeing.
- Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
Cost does not include:
- Visa fee for India. We will send relevant information how to obtain an electronic E-Toursit visa.
- Travel Insurance. You can obtain a comprehensive travel insurance from Travel & General click here
- Any expense of a personal nature
- Tips and Gratuities
- To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
- If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
- It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
- It provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
- It covers you for all activities.
- Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
- If you are making multiple trips we recommend that you take a yearly travel insurance policy.
If you have any question about your cover, please check with your insurer.
For a comprehensive travel insurance quote - please click here