Colourful Textiles of Gujarat
Friday 03 – Sunday 19 February 2023
A small group tour led by Polly Woolstone & Julia Oxlade
Colourful Textiles of Gujarat
Friday 03 – Sunday 19 February 2023
Polly Woolstone & Julia Oxlade lead the textile tour of Gujarat - India’s westernmost state with a long coastline open to the Arabian Sea. From time immemorial it has been a centre of trade and commerce, with an influx of migrants and invaders from different lands who brought with them their distinctive crafts, textiles and tradition. The prosperous princely states and mercantile families of Gujarat patronised artisans who made for them rich fabrics for clothing and furnishings. Kutch forms the northwest border of India with Pakistan to the north, the vast saline and marshy desert of the Great Rann of Kutch covering most of its northern and eastern area, the Gulf of Kutch to its southwest, and vast areas of semi-arid grasslands dotted with pastoral villages. This is one of the most rural and pastoral areas of western India, with the number of livestock heads exceeding the human population. South of the Gulf of Kutch and west of the Gulf of Khambat (Cambay), Saurashtra is the largest region of Gujarat comprising the entire Kathiawad Peninsula. Saurashtra was once divided into more than 200 princely states and fiefdoms, and their forts, palaces and mansions hold interesting repositories of textiles and crafts.
The vast plains of mainland Gujarat are flanked by the Aravalli hills to the north, the Satpura and Vindhya hills to the east, the Sahyadri’s to the southeast and the Gulf of Khambat to the west. This part of Gujarat, often referred to as Mainland Gujarat, is largely urbanized. The city of Ahmedabad in the heart of the plains has a long textile history which can be explored in its superb museums.
During this tour we will explore a wide range of textiles from coarse cotton and wool rugs woven in Kutch at villages near the Pakistan border to elaborate double ikat sarees woven for rich business families, from colourful embroideries of the village women of Kutch to sophisticated tapestries of the royal palaces. We will also get to see rare weaves like the Patola and the Tangolio, crafts like Rogan that are now practised by only a few families, and heirloom pieces of embroidery made for women's trousseau.
Day 1 : To Mumbai
Fly from London Heathrow to Mumbai direct on British Airways flight BA135 at 16:10
Day 2 : To Ahmedabad
Arrive Mumbai at 06:50.
After you have cleared immigration and collected your baggage please check into the docmestic departures on same terminal building for your flight to Ahmedabad. Meeting, assistance on arrival and check-in at The House of MG for 3 nights.
After a sumptuous lunch, start with the heritage walk of the old quarter of Ahmedabad recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage City, founded in 1411AD by Sultan Ahmed Shah. This is a guided walk which lasts two to two and half hours. The walk begins from the picturesque Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur and ends in the most glorious architectural legacies the Jumma Masjid, covering in between the numerous poles, havelis, ornamental facades workplaces of artisans and number of magnificent Hindu and Jain temples, ornate bird-feeding structures, and traditional markets. B, D
Day 3 : Ahmedabad
After breakfast visit Calico Museum of Textiles – here we will see Indian Textiles influenced by the Mughal and Provincial Courts 17th-19th Century Textile Trade of India with the outside world – 15th-19th Century Indian Co Regional Embroideries of India 19th Century Costumes in the Calico Collection – 18th to mid-20th Century (Sindh, Kutch, Kathiawad, Tamilnadu, Orissa, Mithila (Bihar), Bengal, Punjab, Chamba (Himachal Pradesh), Indian Tie-Dyed Fabrics, Techniques of Weaving and Dyeing Wooden Blocks for Printing on cloth.
After lunch at a heritage house in the old city proceed to Shreyas Folk Museum. Near the museum, visit the Chitaras, traditional artists known for their hand-painted kalamkari work.
Evening visit to Vishalla for a visit to the Utensils Museum and dinner. Vishalla serves traditional Gujarati food in village surroundings. It has Vichar. A walk around the hut-like museum makes one's heart skip a beat, marvelling at the inimitable beauty of these utensils of old age. These utensils have been handed down through the changing seasons and times, over the years. They speak of the unmatched art and genius of humankind during the days of old when people did not have the modern facilities of our times. The designer could not let our rich heritage pass with these vessels being lost in the fire kilns! He was determined to preserve them, and today, his dream is a reality in the form of Vechaar (Utensils & Vessels Museum). B, L, D
Day 4 : Excursion to Gandhinagar
Today, take a trip to Gandhinagar after breakfast (approximately ½ hr driving time). Visit a workshop where elaborate kinkhab or brocades are woven on shuttle looms. From here, we will continue for lunch at Gandhinagar which is Gujarat’s capital city, before proceeding to Pethapur which is one of India’s leading centres for the making of woodblocks used for textile printing. B, L, D
Day 5 : To Bhavnagar en-route visit Lothal
After breakfast, depart for Bhavnagar en-route visit the archaeological site of Lothal (approximately 3½ hrs driving time) where you will see the remains of the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilisation that thrived here from 2400 to 1900BC. The Lothal museum exhibits ceramics, jewellery and metal work from the Harappan period. Continue the drive to Bhavnagar, on arrival, check in at Nilambag Palace Hotel for 01 night.
After lunch, later in the noon, visit the Barton Museum built in the late-1880s to see the folk arts and antiques in their collection.
Day 6 : To Gondal visiting Palitana enroute
In the morning, drive to Gondal, en-route visiting Palitana (approximately 4 ½ hrs driving time) to bask in its picturesque beauty and enjoy the unobtrusive blend amalgam of human endeavour, architectural skills and zealous religiosity.
On arrival in Gondal, check in at The Riverside Palace for 2 nights. B, D
Day 7 : Visit Junagadh & Afternoon Gondal Textile
Depart after breakfast for a visit to Junagadh. This city has an ancient hill fort with 2000-year-old Buddhist caves and 1000-year-old wells inside, old palaces and flamboyant 19th century royal Mausoleums. The Durbar Hall is a palace museum with beautiful tapestries and carpets.
Return to Gondal for lunch, and then visit the old palace of Gondal where the owners have exhibited their collections of textiles, beadwork, utensils, costumes, turbans, furnishings, crockery and wooden toys. Continue to the Khadi Plaza, a factory and watch women at work on hand-spinning and handloom-weaving. B, D
Day 8 : To Jamnagar via Rajkot
After breakfast, drive to Jamnagar (approximately 3 & ½ hrs driving time), en-route visiting the princely city of Rajkot. On arrival in Jamnagar, check in at your Hotel Fortune Palace for 01 night.
In the afternoon we will attend a hands on workshop where you will Learn the magical, centuries-old technique of tie and dye using simple kitchen ingredients that are 100% safe, skin-friendly, Eco-friendly, and economical. Make your own textile, colour your own cloth with natural dyes, and amazing designs to carry home. B, D
Day 9 : To Bhuj en-route Khamir
After breakfast, drive to Bhuj (approximately 6 hrs driving time), en-route visit Khamir (Kachchh Heritage Arts Music information and Resources centre) where Mr Harish Hurmade will give you an insight into the fascinating rural crafts of Kutch including a demonstration. Home-made lunch will be served at Khamir. Continue drive to Bhuj, check in to your Kutch Safari Lodge for 03 night.
In the evening, visit the Wazir family to see their outstanding collection of textiles. B, L, D
Day 10 : Bhuj
Amidst the Desert land of infinite dimensions, are quaint little villages of Nirona, Dhordo, Ludia, Kala Raksha (Sumrasar), Rabari embroidery (Sumrasar) and Hodka. These are the last villages on the India-Pakistan border. Here you will come across master craft people' exposing their traditional art, turning out master pieces every day including a hands-on session on Embroidery.
Their ornaments, clothes, utensils, everything they use - will make you feel as if you have stepped into lifestyle museum leaving you spellbound. They are centres preserving some of the rarest forms of art, craft and embroidery of Gujarat. Late lunch at Hodka.
In the evening, visit to the White desert of Kutch for a dazzling view of sunset. B, L, D
Day 11 : Bhuj
Visit LLDC (Living and Learning Design Centre), Ajrakh and Bhujodi for the day. Home cooked lunch or lunch at the local restaurant. After lunch visit local markets and textile warehouses. B, D
Day 12 : To Dasada
Morning after early breakfast drive to Dasada (approximately 5 & ½ hrs driving time). On arrival, check in at Rann Riders for 3 nights. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 13 : Kutch Desert Safari & Radhanpur Visit
Morning desert safari across the Little Rann of Kutch, to visit this amazing eco system. The area is a birdwatchers paradise. The marshes in the Rann and nearby lakes attract huge flocks including - flamingos, pelicans, cranes and storks. Eagles and harriers soar overhead looking for prey. Also look out for brown Asiatic wild ass living in the sanctuary.
In the afternoon, visit Radhanpur that has an interesting museum of communities showcasing their attires and handicrafts. Owned and managed exclusively by the rural women artisans themselves, the museum displays more than 200 pieces from the collection of the artisans and has about 1700 pieces in its archives. B, D
Day 14 : Day trip to Pattan & Modhera
Today, make a day trip visiting Pattan to see the double ikat Patola silk weaving, Mashru weaving, Modhera Sun Temple and the Rani-ki-Vav Stepwell. Return to Dasada and spend the evening exploring the nearby villages to watch Tangalio weaving in which the fabric is decorated by adding extra weft knots to make dotted patterns, a technique has come to be known as tangalio or knotted. B, D
Day 15 : To Mumbai
Departure transfer to Ahmedabad airport (approximately 3 hrs driving time) to board your flight to Mumbai.
Depart Ahmedabad Indigo Airline 6E 486 at 14:10, arrive Mumbai 15:20.
Meeting, assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Check-in at Hotel Gordon for 2 nights. B
Day 16 : Mumbai
Morning sightseeing of Mumbai includes major sites of Mumbai City including the Prince of Wales Museum, Dhobi Talao and Crawford Market. Also see the busy Mumbai VT Railway Station (now renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure or for any last-minute shopping. B
Day 17 : To London
Morning transfer to the Mumbai airport to board British Airways flight BA198 to London. Depart Mumbai 13:15, arrive London Heathrow 18:00.
Looking to extend your holiday? Contact our consultants today for your options. B
|Price per person
|Single room supplement|
- International & internal flights in economy class.
- Internal flights in Economy Class with 23kg checked in baggage + 7Kg cabin baggage
- Accommodation with en-suite facilities.
- Daily Breakfast & Dinner. Mumbai breakfast basis only. (Lunch on day 3, 4, 9 & 10).
- Services of our English-speaking representative for all arrival and departure transfers to assist you at the airports.
- Services of English-speaking guide-escourt during sightseeing in Gujarat and a guide for Mumbai sightseeing as specified in the itinerary.
- Services of Julia Woolstone & Julia Oxlade as tour leaders.
- All transfers and sightseeing by a chauffeur driven private Vehicle (Air-Conditioned Mini Coach).
- Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
- Hands on Tye & Dye and Embroidery workshops.
- Complimentary mineral water whilst driving.
- Airline failure insurance.
- Full ATOL & ABTA Bonding.
- Visa Fee.
- Any optional Excursions.
- Any expenses of a personal nature.
- Travel Insurance*
We plan to follow this detailed itinerary, but events beyond our control – unpredictable weather, blocked roads, cancelled flights, mechanical breakdown – or unscheduled closure of any monument / museum may require last minute changes to the itinerary at the last minute. We will ensure that these changes are kept to a minimum if required.
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.
• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure 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 have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/