Textile Tour of India

12 Days / 11 Nights

Itinerary at a Glance
Day 01: Arrive Ahmedabad
Day 02: Ahmedabad
Day 03: Ahmedabad - Gondal
Day 04: Gondal - Jetpur - Junagadh - Gondal
Day 05: Gondal - Rajkot - Jamnagar
Day 06: Jamnagar - Bhuj
Day 07: Bhuj
Day 08: Bhuj
Day 09: Bhuj
Day 10: Bhuj - Dasada
Day 11: Dasada - Patan - Ahmedabad
Day 12: Departure

Day 01: Arrive Ahmedabad by G8 701 at 1015 Hrs.
You arrive at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport, Ahmedabad. After clearing Indian Immigration and Customs, you step into the receiving area where you will be met by our representative.

Ahmedabad, the city of Ahmed Shah (the medieval ruler of Gujarat), is known for its rich past and its association with Mahatma Gandhi. The city offers the traveler a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles (Indo-Saracenic style of architecture). The monuments of Ahmedabad mainly date back to the 15th century. Ahmedabad has been known for its industry since medieval times. Presently it is famous for its textile mills and is often referred to as the 'Manchester of the East'.

Later transfer to your hotel and relax. Later in the evening enjoy welcome dinner at the hotel and meet the other members of the group along with the tour leader.

Overnight at the Fortune Landmark (D)

Day 02: Ahmedabad

In the morning, visit the Calico museum of textile - The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad, India, is the premier textile museum of the country. Its outstanding collection of Indian fabrics exemplifies handicraft textiles spanning five centuries and attracts large numbers of visitors from the general public, as well as increasing numbers of Indian and international research scholars. The museum is housed in two buildings, one displaying textiles of religious significance and the other traditional court fabrics, tents, carpets and costumes.

Later in the afternoon, visit Sabarmati Ashram - This ashram was Gandhi’s headquarters during the long struggle for Indian Independence. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still makes handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheel. Gandhi’s Spartan living quarters are preserved as a small museum and there is a pictorial record of the major events in his life.

Return to the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon visit Shreyas Folk Museum. Exhibiting the finest arts and crafts of Gujarat, Shreyas Folk Museum is situated 2.5km west of Sabarmati. Set in suburbs of Ambavadi in Ahmedabad, the museum has a huge display of textiles and clothing in Gujarat. One of the major attractions of the museum is a complete skeleton of an elephant with a height of about 3.19m. Old coins, weapons, toys, costumes, masks, puppets, musical fountains and animal caparisons also lure foreign tourists.

Later explore the market visit at Law Garden which displays beautiful textile handicrafts. Later in the evening enjoy traditional Gujarati dinner at Vishala Restaurant (pure veg.).

Overnight at the Fortune Landmark (B, L, D)

Day 03: Ahmedabad – Gondal by road: Approx. 260 Km / 162 Miles / 5 Hrs

After breakfast, check out and drive to Gondal.

Gondal was ruled by a family of car enthusiasts whose royal passion resulted in a fine collection of automobiles which are now part of a museum in the palace premises. Such was the royal passion that Gondal had the best planned and well-designed road system in pre-independent Gujarat. Gondal like its neighbours has some visually exciting palaces and living spaces; some like the Riverside Palace commissioned in 1875 by Bhagwatsinghji is now a Heritage Hotel.

On arrival, check-in to your hotel and have lunch.

Later visit Navlakha Palace, a building worth visiting is the old Darbargadh a seventeenth century structure which reputedly cost Rupees Nine Lakhs thus earning the sobriquet ‘Navlakha Palace’.

Evening is free at leisure. Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Orchard Palace (B, L, D)

Day 04: Gondal - Jetpur – Junagadh – Gondal by road: Approx. 66 Km / 41 Miles / 1.5 Hrs. (Oneway)

After breakfast, leave for an excursion to Jetpur followed by Junagadh.

Jetpur is a town renowned in history as a centre for Block printing and dyeing. The very air is laden with the smells f dye stuffs spiralling out of large copper vats with translucent layers of coloured fabrics drying to the percussion beat of wooden printing blocks. Jetpur is a pleasure for textile enthusiasts who can visit and experience the process of printing and dyeing.

Junagadh, the main centre of the city, the fort known as Uparkot, was built by Chandragupta of the Mauryan Empire around 320 BC, and archaeological evidence confirms this, showing that Uparkot has been inhabited continuously since the 3rd century BC. Hence, the name Junagadh which means “ancient fort.”  Under the Mauryans, Junagadh was a regional capital, and Emperor Ashoka had stone edicts placed there, still visible today.

Have lunch at Junagadh.

Return back to Gondal by evening.

Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Orchard Palace (B, L, D)

Day 05: Gondal – Rajkot – Jamnagar by road: Approx. 135 Kms / 84 Miles /3 Hrs.

Have breakfast at the hotel. Later check-out and drive to Jamnagar. En route visit the Watson Museum at Rajkot. ommemorating Colonel John Watson, the museum is good introduction to Saurashtra’s cultural heritage. Important exhibits are copies of artefacts from Mohenjodaro, 13th century carvings, silverware, natural history exhibits and textiles.

Later continue to Jamnagar. On arrival in Jamnagar check-in to your hotel and have lunch.

Known to the world as the Jewel of Kathiawar, Jamnagar is an offbeat tourist holiday destination in Gujarat brimming with the ornate building, pristine coastal region and picturesque lakes. Located on the coast of Gulf of Kutch, Jamnagar is the largest city on the western region of India. Making brass utensils, and tie-dye fabrics were the main occupations of Jamnagar people until there was emergence in the refinery sector. Earlier, Jamnagar was also called 'pearl city' as many as it was a pearl fishing centre with one of the biggest pearl fisheries in the world.

Thereafter, visit the community known for renowned Bandhani (tie & dye) Sarees of Jamnagar and witness the demonstration of art. Bandhani is considered the most important of crafts in Jamnagar in terms of employment. The process is believed to have originated in the area some 5000 years ago and seems to have remained in production ever since. The intricacy of the pattern depends on the skill of the craftsperson, the number of knots and the fineness of the cloth.

Evening is free at leisure. Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Fortune Palace (B, L, D)

Day 06: Jamnagar – Bhuj by road: Approx. 255 Km / 159 Miles / 5 Hrs.

In the morning, have breakfast at the hotel. Later check-out and drive to Bhuj, en route stop at Dhamadka and Dhaneti. Dhamadka, where you will see traditional ajrakh block printing using natural dyes. See the traditional embroidery work of the Ahir community in Dhaneti.

Have lunch in Bhachau.

On arrival in Bhuj, check-in to your hotel.

Most important town of the Kutch region, Bhuj is a fascinating tourist attraction with amazing handicrafts and gigantic palaces that possess an eerie beauty. Moreover, Bhuj is an ideal textile tourism destination and attracts millions of people from across the world. The city is a paradise for those who love to shop a lot as the bazaars of Bhuj are known for its beautiful handicrafts and jewelry work.

In the evening, visit some local markets in Bhuj. The craftsmen in and around Bhuj have good hands on Khadi work, block print, tie and dye, colourful thread work and embroidery work. Also the handloom products of Bhuj are famous all over because of its finished intricate mirror work and brilliant colour combinations.

Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Regenta Resort (B, L, D)

Day 07: Bhuj

After breakfast, proceed for the sightseeing of Bhuj visiting the Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal and Kutch Museum.

Aaina Mahal – Now serves as a museum. The Aina Mahal palace or “Hall of Mirrors” was built during the flamboyant rule of Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. Master craftsman,  Ramsinh Malam, who had trained as an artisan for 17 years in Europe, felt unappreciated by lesser rulers in the area so he went to the royal court at Bhuj and appealed to the king for work, who then commissioned this palace. Malam designed it in a mixed Indo-European style and set about creating the materials for the palace locally. He established a glass factory at Mandvi, forged cannons in an iron foundry and manufactured china tiles in a factory in Bhuj. It seems Gandhiji's ideal of swadeshi had an early proponent in Ramsinh Malam. He personally crafted the fountains, mirrors and glasswork, as well as many other wonders of artisanship—a pendulum clock in sync with the Hindu calendar, doors inlaid with gold and ivory.

Prag Mahal – next door to the Aina Mahal, in the same walled compound, is the giant Prag Mahal, which may at first seem slightly out of place at the far western edge of India, looking more appropriate in France. But then again, globalization is not a new phenomenon. This is a palace commissioned by King Pragmalji in the 1860s, designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the Italian Gothic style and built in the middle of Bhuj next to the Aina Mahal. While little about it may seem Indian, there are elements; see if you can find them. In the courtyard behind the palace, there is a small Hindu temple with very nicely carved stonework; the caretaker is sometimes available for more information.  Inside the palace, you can visit the main palace halls as well as climb stairs of the 45m bell tower for an exhilarating view of the city. After coming down (not before, for your own peace of mind!), check out the cracks between the stones in the wall, visible from the courtyard, caused by various earthquakes over the years. Then stop for a glass of fresh sugarcane juice on your way out of the compound.

Kutch Museum - The oldest museum in Gujarat, founded in 1877 by Maharao Khengarji, it has the largest existing collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions, dating to the 1st century AD, as well as examples of the extinct Kutchi script (now the language is mostly written in the Gujarati alphabets) and an interesting collection of coins (including the kori, Kutch's local currency.) A section of the museum is devoted to tribal cultures, with many examples of ancient artefacts, folk arts and crafts and information about tribal people. The museum also has exhibits of embroidery, paintings, arms, musical instruments, sculpture and precious metalwork.

Later visit A.A. Wazir’s (National Award Winner Artist) Textiles Museum Shop.

Have lunch and dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Regenta Resort (B, L, D)

Day 08: Bhuj

Today morning post breakfast; proceed to visit the Banni villages along with your guide.

Approximate time & distances
Bhuj - Ludiya: approx. 80km / 2 hours’ drive
Ludiya - Hodka: approx. 30km/45 min drive
Hodka - Bhirandiara: approx. 15 km/30 min. drive
Bhirandiara - Sumrasar: approx. 35 km / 45 min drive

Ludiya is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in your Kutch tour. The total area of the village is about 5 square kilometres and the population is about 2000 people predominantly Muslims and a few Harijan families. (Harijan, literally ‘child of God’ was a term coined by Gandhiji to refer to the lowest caste people in the Hindu religion hierarchy). Gandhi nu Gam, inhabited by the Meghwal Community, flaunts beautifully painted circular huts organized around the temple. Between the vibrant Kanjari Blouse of the women & the men hunched over the various corners carving wood. The village is an aesthetic delight. The main occupation of the women folk in the village is making beautiful embroidery work and traditional crafts while the men make decorative furniture. The village has no streets. The space between two houses is used as a pathway. The houses of the village have a typical structure called bhunga with intricate decorations both inside and outside. While the outside is decorated with vibrant motifs, the inside has clay designs with mirror work. These houses are really an architecture marvel. The thick walls keep the house cool even when the temperature reaches close to 50 degrees centigrade in summer.

Hodka Village: Famous for community of the Meghwals- also known as Marwada Meghwals- believe their ancestors came from Marwar, Rajasthan. They are traditionally leather craftsmen and settled in Banni which was rich in livestock. Today there are 8 nokhs (sub castes) of the Meghwal community residing in Hodka.

Have lunch at Hodka.

Next is beautiful Kutch Village of Bhirandiyara - It was a cluster of about 20 houses and every member of the village is an artisan in some way. The town is most famous for its fresh MAAVO, milk reduced to a thick fudge-like consistency & sweetened with suger – best when eated hot. The local meghwal community is known for its fine embroidery & colourful mud bhungas which is major tourist attraction.

Sumraser Village:At Sumrasar, visit Kala Raksha, non- profit organization that works with a number of communities, aims to preserve and promote Kutch arts, and specialises in Suf, Rabari and Garasian Jat embroidery. The trust has a small museum, works with nearly 600 artisans from seven different communities and can arrange visits to villages to meet artisans and see them at work.

Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Regenta Resort (B, L, D)

Day 09: Bhuj

Have breakfast at the hotel. Later visit the village of Bhujodi (nomadic Rabari who weave camel wool), a village skilled in traditional Bandhani (tie & dye), block printing and weaving. Here you can view live demonstrations and buy anything from shawls to blankets from the artisans directly. Bhujodi is also a centre for Piltoom weaving, Mewada Embroidery & Wood Carving.

Have lunch at the Hotel Prince.

Later return back to Bhuj and visit Shrujan (meaning Creativity in Sanskrit), is a not-for-profit organization working with craftswomen in Kutch to revitalize the ancient craft of hand embroidery. Shrujan craftswomen create a range of beautiful hand embroidered items. Over the years, Shrujan’s work has expanded to include research into and documentation of the diverse embroideries of Kutch, and the communities that practise these embroideries.

Evening is free at leisure.

Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Regenta Resort (B, L, D)

Day 10: Bhuj – Dasada by road: Approx. 255 Km / 158 Miles / 5 Hrs.

After breakfast drive to Dasada. On arrival, check-in to the hotel. Later drive to visit Rabari & Bhairwad tribal villages around Dasada. While returning, if you wish can also see agrarian and nearby villages to see salt workers and Kharaghoda for salt fields.

Later return back to Dasada and relax.

Have lunch and dinner at the hotel.

Overnight stay at the Rann Riders (B, L, D)

Day 11: Dasada – Patan - Ahmedabad

Dasada to Ahmedabad via Patan by road: Approx. 210 Kms & 5 Hrs. drive

Start early at 0600 hrs to go for safari across Little Rann. Visit Bets Island on ancient sea bed that supports pink lamingos, great white pelicans, common cranes, water birds (bharami duck, grey leg goose, home duck, bar headed goose, black buck, blue bull, hyenas, gudkhur - Asiatic wild ass, only found here).

Return for breakfast at the hotel. Later, check-out and drive to Ahmedabad, en route visit Patan Patola Museum. India has a rich and ancient heritage in fine textiles. Patola from the area of Patan in the North Gujarat region of western India glorifies this heritage, with its unique gem like qualities-gorgeous colours, designs and durability. Its very appearance lures the connoisseur of fine textiles. It has no reverse side. Both the sides have equal intensity of colour and design. The peculiar quality has its origins in a very intricate and difficult technique of Tie dyeing or Knot dyeing known as "Bandhani Process" on the wrap & weft separately before weaving.

Have lunch at Patan – Foodzone Restaurant.

Later continue your drive to Ahmedabad & check-in at the hotel.

Have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight stay at the Fortune Landmark (B, L, D)

Day 12: Ahmedabad – Departure by AI 614 at 0720 hrs.

Morning after breakfast, drive to Ahmedabad airport to board your international flight to your onward destination.