GUJ - 06
This tour is completely dedicated to the ones who are interested in art, handicrafts and textile industry of the local places. The trip begins at Ahmedabad and for the next 7 nights and 8 days,Gujarat Textile Tourtakes you to local villages and textile museums to let you explore the said industry of Gujarat villages. The tourists will be amused to see how few of these handicrafts are practiced over thousands of years as traditional family practice.
Arrive at Ahmedabad. You will be received by the chauffer who would transfer you to the assigned hotel. Check-in at the hotel, get refreshed and get ready for city sightseeing in the afternoon.
Ahmedabad is the largest city of Gujarat and is located at the banks of the Sabarmati River. The modern city has been selected as one of the hundred smart cities under Government of India's flagship Smart Cities Mission. On the other hand, the Historic City of Ahmadabad is declared as India's first UNESCO World Heritage City.
You will be taken for a day city tour of Ahmedabad. The first destination is Gandhi Ashram, also known as the Sabarmati Ashram. The place was the home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 to 1930 and was one of the main centers of the Indian freedom struggle. Sabarmati Ashram named for the river on which it sits River Sabarmati. The Bhagavad Gita was recited here daily, as part of the Ashram schedule. The Ashram was built as recognition of Gandhi’s Dandi March (Salt Satyagraha) on 12th March 1930.
The Jama Masjid ofAhmedabadwas probably the largest mosque in the subcontinent built in this period. Designed as part of a major plan desired by the Emperor Sultan Ahmed Shah, it is a must visit before heading towards the Mosque of SidiSaiyyed.
SidiSaiyyed Mosque is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad and was built by SidiSaiyyid in the retinue of Bilal Jhajar Khan.The mosque is entirely arcaded and is known for its ten intricately carved stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Have your break before visiting the Calico Museum in the morning. Please note that the place is closed on Wednesday and public holidays, and is strictly subject to permission in advance. This is one of the finest textile museums of India and was founded in 1949 by the industrialist Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai.
The textiles on display include court textiles used by the Mughal and provincial rulers of 15th to 19th centuries. Also on display are regional embroideries of the 19th century, tie-dyed textiles and religious textiles. The galleries also have exhibits on ritual art and sculpture, temple hangings, miniature paintings, South Indian bronzes, Jain art and sculpture, and furniture and crafts. There are also textile techniques galleries and a library.
The museum has played an important role in determining the curriculum taught in the textile designing courses at the prestigious National Institute of Design also located in Ahmedabad.
The items on display are well protected by the museum authorities. The textiles are protected from dust, air pollution and fluctuations in temperatures by the trees around the museum complex. The relative humidity inside the museum is also controlled and lights are dimmed between visiting hours to extend the life of the textiles.
Post lunch, you will be taken to visit Shreyas Folk Museum (closed on Mondays). The museum was formed to salute the spirit of the women who have done a lot for their contribution for improvement of Gujarat handicrafts with their unbound imagination.
Collection in the museum includes items that exude a vintage charm like weapons, coins, musical fountains, animal caparison, masks, and toys. Also on display are the folk arts from various communities of Gujarat such as Charan, Kanbi, Koli, Bhansali, Vania, Meman, Miana, Vania, Brahmin, amongst several others.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, depart for Little Rann of Kutch. Visit Modhera and Patan on the way. Modhera is famous for its spectacular Sun Temple, built in the early 11th century by the Solanki dynasty. The Sun Temple is unique in that it has three separate but integrated elements, all aligned to a central axis – the Surya Kund, the Sabha Mandap and the Garbha Griha.
Patan is older than Modhera and was founded in 746 AD. Patan was an ancient Hind capital before Mahmud of Ghazni sacked it in 1024. Today, it is famous for the beautifully designed patola silk saris. You will be taken to visit the Museum of National awardwinner Salvi family to see the weaving of Patolasarees. There is also the renovated Rani-ki-Vav,a step well which boasts of some of Gujarat’s finest carvings and is also a World Heritage Site. Reach Little Rann of Kutch which is a salt marsh part of Rann of Kutch. It is famous as the world's last refuge of the Indian wild ass (khur) for the conservation of which it has been declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary.
Overnight stay at Little Rann of Kutch.
This early morning is dedicated for a morning safari. Visit the Wild Ass Sanctuary at Little Rann of Kutch. The sanctuary is known for wild ass which is found only in this region in India. It is also known for the marshy area where you will see a variety of birds such as pink flamingo, duck, crane, etc.
Though a bleak landscape, it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife and many local and migratory waterbirds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sand grouse, francolins and the Indian bustards.
Have your breakfast and then get driven to Bhuj. Reach Bhuj and post lunch, gear up for the local sightseeing of palaces, museum and market areas.The first spot to visit is the Aina Mahal which was built by Rao Lakhpat ji in 1761. The chief architect and designer of Aina Mahal was Ram Singh Malam, who was assisted by local builder community (Mistris of Kutch) in construction. It was constructed with marble walls adorned with bronze lace and glass. The walls of the palace are of white marble and are covered with mirrors separated by gilded ornaments with shades of Venetian glass.
Prag Mahal is designed in the Italian Gothic style and built next to the Aina Mahal, Kutch Museum and local market. This is a palace commissioned by King Pragmal ji in 1860’s designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, and it might seem like a construction based in France and not India!
Stay overnight at Bhuj.
Have your breakfast at the hotel and you will be taken for a full-day excursion to explore the beautiful Banni Village known for its culture, handicrafts and textiles. Each of the villages has a distinct style of community that resides in the village - Rabari, Meghwal, Harijans, Mutwa Community. These different communities are known for different types of handicrafts like embroidery, rogan art, mirror work, wood work etc.
You will visit villages like Sumrasar Village, which has Kala Raksha, a famous Textile NGO with focus on different art work with use of embroidery. The emphasis has been on empowering women in the region by developing their skills with focus on textile handicrafts.
Have your lunch and then visit Nirona Village to see Rogan Art work which is practiced only here in India. Rogan printing is an art of cloth printing practiced in the Kutch District of Gujarat. In this craft, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is laid down on fabric using either a metal block (printing) or a stylus (painting). The craft nearly died out in the late 20th century, with Rogan painting being practiced by only one family.
Experience firsthand the Bell Making and Lacquer Work done in the village. The most fascinating aspect of the bell making is the hammering of the bell to change its sound! In Lacquer Work, the artisans use lacquer to decorate wooden pieces.
After a full day visit amid art, color and almost-extinct artisans, come back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Have your breakfast at the hotel before heading off to visit Banni Vilage which is an exceptionally unique place for the art lovers. You will be delighted to see the artisans and their beautiful work of art of different materials ranging from clothes to wood to paper and textile products.
Visit Northern Banni Villages like Bhirindiyara, Hodka, Dhordo each displaying skills of their artisans that make beautiful embroideries, colorful, inlaid mirrors and leather work. The different villages have people belonging to Rabari, Meghwal, Harijans, Mutwa Community.
Come back to the hotel and stay overnight at Bhuj.
Have breakfast at the hotel before starting your journey to Bhuj, covering Akrakhpur and Bhujodi on the way.
A visit to Ajrakhpur village will mesmerize you with their traditional astonishing art of Ajrakh, block printing uses colors derived from nature, such as indigo, henna, turmeric, pomegranate, iron and mud, and even camel dung. The art has been preserved by the Khatri community of block-printers who have been practicing the art of Ajrakh since 3000 years traditionally in their family. The process is complex and involves 16 different processes. In some cases, the fabrics are washed up to 20 times.
Living and Learning Design Centre (LLDC) at Ajrakhpur is a pioneering new effort of the Shrujan Trust to preserve, revitalize and promote the glorious craft heritage of Kutch. Dedicated to the craftspeople of Kutch, LLDC aims to train, educate and support crafts persons to practice their traditional crafts for contemporary markets so that they can earn a dignified and prosperous living.
Up next is Bhujodi village where you will meet the National Award winning weavers known for their shawls and weaving. Located as a small town 8 km southeast of Bhuj, Bhujodiis a major textile center of Kutch, with the vast majority of the 1200 inhabitants involved in textile handicraft production. Here you can meet weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of who belong to the Vankar community.
Return to Bhuj for overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast, you will be dropped at the airport for your flight to Mumbai.