Textile Tour of India

Introduction

Popularly known as a textile hub, India has one of the most flourishing textile industries, with rich heritage of arts and crafts. Far Horizon takes you on a special journey to explore the famous textiles and handicrafts of India. The major destinations en route are Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Patan, Ahmedabad, Bhuj, and Bajana. The journey begins with Delhi, the city of landmarks and ends at Ahmedabad, the city of rich handicrafts. The major highlights of this journey are visit to the local markets, textile museums, the monumental city of Agra along with an excursion to Kacchpura village. A visit to Bagru for attending a hand block printing workshop and a demonstration on miniature paintings in Udaipur along with exploring the rich heritage and crafts of Gujarat exploring the intricate crafts and artwork of its various cities and villages.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit of Crafts Museum in Delhi
  • Workshop on the Hand Block Printing at Bagru Village near Jaipur
  • Learn about the different weaving processes of Textiles in Gujarat i.e. Bandhani (knot dyeing), Patola, Ajrakh Block Printing, Traditional Embroidery, Pitloom Weaving etc.
  • Visit the Tribal Villages
  • Meeting and interaction with the Weaving artisans
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Iconic Taj Mahal
  • Demonstration of the Miniature painting in Udaipur

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Mumbai

    Mumbai

    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel.

    Overnight stay at the hotel (No Meals)

  2. Day 2 Mumbai

    Mumbai

    India’s largest port, its commercial and industrial centre, as well as fashion capital and heart of Bollywood (India’s thriving movie industry), Mumbai is an endlessly fascinating hive of activity. A jumble of captivating contradictions, grand colonial architecture rubs shoulders with chaotic bazaars, trendy restaurants, exclusive boutiques, slums and shanty towns, all interspersed with beautiful, tropical palm trees. A shopper’s haven, this bustling cosmopolitan metropolis offers anything from pavement stalls and ancient markets to glitzy malls and designer outlets. A melting pot for cultures from every corner of the country, Mumbai embodies a little bit of all India’s diverse traditions rolled into one.

    After early lunch (On own), proceed for sightseeing of Mumbai. Visit Mani Bhawan located on leafy Laburnum Road, a quiet lane named after its shady trees, Mani Bhavan is the old Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. It's a pretty, two-storied structure that now houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo exhibition of the Mahatma's life, and well preserved memorabilia, including an old charkha or spinning wheel that Gandhiji used to use. Today, its only a symbolic exhibit that lies unused, but many old Gandhians still visit the place to pay homage to their hero and demonstrate the noble art of spinning your own yarn!

    A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. All for a pittance. The "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles.

    After that ,drive past the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Originally built in 1850’s, and then known as Bori Bander Station, it was eventually rebuilt as ‘Victoria Terminus’ in 1887. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historic railway station, designed in Italian Gothic style. In 1853 it operated the first passenger train in India, formally heralding the birth of the Indian Railways. It was renamed in 1996 in honor of the Great Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji.

    At the end of the day visit The Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Mumbai – Bhuj

    Bhuj

    Fly Mumbai – Bhuj 

    Check out from the hotel with packed breakfast and proceed to airport to board your flight to Bhuj.

    On arrival at Bhuj, will visit Aaina Mahal and Parag Mahal.

    Aaina Mahal - which now serves as museum. The Aaina 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 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 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.

    Parag Mahal - next door to the Aaina 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 Aaina 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.

    After the visit, check into the hotel. (Check in time: after 12 Noon)

    Afternoon at leisure.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (Packed Breakfast)

  4. Day 4 Bhuj

    Bhuj

    Today morning after breakfast, proceed to visit the Banni villages along with your guide.

    Approximate time & distance: Bhuj - Sumrasar: approx. 30 km & 1.5 hour drive Sumrasar - Bhirandiara: approx. 32 km & 25 min drive Bhirandiara - Khavda: approx. 20 km & 20 min drive Khavda - Ludiya: approx. 10 min drive Ludiya - Hodka: approx. 32 km & 25 min drive Hodka - Bhuj: approx. 65 km & 2 Hrs 

    Start visit Bhirindiara: This village is extreme corner of the Kutch and close to the site of “Rann Mahotsav”. Here guest can meet Mr. Laxman or Mr. Narayan who lives in traditional Bunga houses (dome shaped kutchi art decorated). They also run a small unit for manufacturing quilts and bed sheets.

    Later with Sumrasar Village: At Sumrasar Sheikh 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 Garasia 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.

    Khavda: A lone family in Kutch region who is working on pottery art working and even awarded by President, her name is “Sara Ben”

    Enjoy packed lunch on the tour.

    After lunch visit Ludiya (Gandhi nu Gram) is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful village 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.

    After that, visit the 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.

    Return back to your hotel by evening.

    (Lunch – Packed) Overnight stay at the hotel (B,L)

  5. Day 5 Bhuj

    Bhuj

    Today, morning is at leisure.

    In the afternoon, drive to LLDC (Shrujan) and enjoy lunch. Post lunch visits the complex and museum and return back to the city. Later visit A.A. Wazir’s (National Award Winner Artiest) Textiles Museum Shop.

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

    (Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B,L)

  6. Day 6 Bhuj – Bajana

    Bajana

    Bhuj – Bajana (250 kms , approx 5 hrs drive)

    Post breakfast check-out and drive to Bajana.

    En-route visiting Bhujodi, Ajrakhpur Village and Dhaneti. Visit to 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 CarvingVillages of Ajrakhpur where you will see traditional ajrakh block printing using natural dyes. See the traditional embroidery work of the Ahir community in Dhaneti.

    Later, continue drive to Bajana with packed lunch. On arrival check into your hotel and relax.

    (Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B, Packed Lunch)

  7. Day 7 Bajana – Ahmedabad

    Ahmedabad

    Bajana - Ahmedabad (96 kms, approx. 2hrs and 30 min)

    In the morning, visit to the Wild Ass Sanctuary at little Rann of Kutch. The Sanctuary is known for Wild Ass which is found only in the region in India, it is also known for the marshy area where you will see a variety of birds such as flamingo pink, duck, crane, etc.

    Return to the hotel for breakfast.

    After breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive to Ahmedabad. On arrival check into your hotel.

    Later, will visit Kalam Khush paper factory followed by Sabarmati Ashram - this ashram was Gandhi's headquarters during the long struggle for Indian independence. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still makes handicraft, handmade paper and spinning wheels. Gandhi's spartan living quarters are preserved as a small museum and there is a pictorial record of the major events in his life. The beautiful ashram complex of Ahmedabad, with its shady trees populated by thousands of parakeets, bee-eaters, sunbirds and squirrels, offers a refuge from the loud streets of the city, and is one the foremost tourist attractions of Ahmedabad.

    Thereafter, meet one of only a handful couple of Chitara families that still practice Mata-ni Pachedi, or custom fabric painting. That is keeping in close touch with its history, existing as a traditional handicraft in a fast modernising city of big industry. Post visit in evening; explore the market visit at Law Garden which displays beautiful textile handicraft.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B)

  8. Day 8 Ahmedabad

    Ahmedabad

    We will divide the group into two parts, (group one) will go for Calico Museum and (group two) will go for Shreya Folk Museum with Swami Narayan temple and Siddi Sayyad Mosque.

    Morning visit 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.

    Reporting time is latest by 1015 AM

    After lunch Museum arrives at the restaurant and meets rest of the group members.

    All group members will continue to Pethapur village in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is a hub of wood block makers, who supply customized blocks to the centres of block printing. Wooden block making has been a popular profession among the inhabitants of Pethapur for about 300 years.

    The craftsmen use only teak wood (locally known as Sagwan) sourced from Valsad (near Gujarat-Maharashtra border). Teak is the perfect base for carving as it is strong and doesn’t absorb water or distort in shape or size. The craftsmen cut pieces according to the required block size, careful to cut away from any knots in the wood. The wood is painted white and then the design traced on to it, to increase contrast and visibility. The craftsmen use a hand drill arrangement that involves a bow (Kamthi) and a driller (Saarardi) to drill out larger portions from the block; and for the finer shapes, they use a variety of chisels in different shapes and sizes. They make their tools themselves according to their requirement.

    Post visiting the city returns back to the hotel and relax.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B)

  9. Day 9 Ahmedabad

    Ahmedabad

    We will divide the group into two parts, (group one) will go for Calico Museum and (group two) will go for Shreya Folk Museum with Swami Narayan temple and Siddi Sayyad Mosque.

    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 attraction 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.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B)

  10. Day 10 Ahmedabad – Udaipur

    Udaipur

    Ahmedabad to Udaipur by road: Approx. 340 Kms/211 Mi. & 6-7 Hrs. drive

    Morning breakfast in the hotel. Drive to Udaipur.

    Udaipur: Watermarked by whimsy and splendour, the Venice of the East holds stage as one of India’s truly seductive cities. Udaipur is an international destination unto itself, with splendid Lake Pichola lapping against shimmering white buildings, and the Aravalli hills closing in to savour the view. Packed with princeliness and passion, Udaipur is raw Rajput dreaming, with palaces, havelis and temples at every turn.

    On arrival check into your hotel.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight stay at the hotel (B)

  11. Day 11 Udaipur

    Udaipur

    Morning, after breakfast proceed for guided sightseeing visiting Udaipur. City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. It boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavor of heritage site. It is a marvellous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble. Rare murals on the walls and ceilings, glass inlay work, original paintings, artifacts, weaponry, armaments and personal belongings of the rulers are on display in their original places.

    After that visit a demonstration on the famous art of miniature painting. Miniatures paintings are beautiful handmade paintings, which are quite colorful but small in size. The highlight of these paintings is the intricate and delicate brushwork, which lends them a unique identity. The colors are handmade, from minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver. The most common theme of the Miniature painting of India comprises of the Ragas i.e., the musical codes of Indian classical music.

    Evening enjoy the boat ride on the placid water of Lake Pichola.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B)

  12. Day 12 Udaipur – Jaipur

    Jaipur

    Udaipur to Jaipur by road: Approx. 400 Kms/248 Mi. & 6 Hrs. drive

    Morning after breakfast check out and drive to Jaipur.

    Jaipur the largest city of Rajasthan is an epitome of magnificence and vibrancy. This city was established in 1727, and is India's first planned city. It is also known as the ‘Pink City’. This royal place is rich in heritage, culture and architecture. With splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, tranquil temples and beautiful havelis; Other than these captivating attractions, Jaipur displays exquisite handicrafts and spectacular jewelry. These intricate works of art add life and colour to this Pink City's uniqueness. On arrival, check into your hotel.

    Visit the Jantar Mantar which has a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built between 1727 and 1734. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes. An excursion through the Jantar Mantar is a unique experience of walking through solid geometry and encountering a collective astronomical system designed to probe the heavens.

    Arrive and check-in to the hotel.

    Evening, enjoy the dinner at local Rajput family in their home.

    (Lunch - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B,D)

  13. Day 13 Jaipur

    Jaipur

    Morning after breakfast, drive to Bagru for a workshop on hand Block Printing. It is one of the most famous traditional arts of Rajasthan. Workshops are held for those who want to learn this beautiful traditional art. During these workshops, one gets to develop their skills in block printing and also gain experience by learning and working alongside skilled craft person. It is very interesting to see how the prints are hand made with small wooden blocks, usually with different colours extracted from nature.

    At the end of workshop, you will learn:

    • Chance to see some of the plants and bushes, part of which is used for printing & dyeing.
    • How vegetable dyes works
    • How to do Bagru printing (using natural dyes)
    • How to make color fast naturally

    Later, visit Amber Fort, built in 1592, the fort may and does look old on the outside but is quite beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence. The aesthetic ambience of this formidable fort is seen within its walls on a four level layout plan (each with a courtyard) in a well turned out opulent palace complex built with red sandstone and marble.

    Thereafter, visit City Palace & museum, lies in the heart of Jaipur city. This sprawling complex, with its vast array of courtyards, gardens, gorgeous buildings and marvellous collection of art and artefacts, textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts and paintings is without parallel in Rajasthan. A major part of the 'City Palace' now consists of the 'Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum'. It is also the residence of the Jaipur Royal Family.

    Time permitting, explore the local markets. Jaipur is known as a shopper’s paradise famous for jewellery, handicraft, carpet, blue pottery and textiles.

    The hotel offers cultural dance show every evening which can be enjoyed by you.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B)

  14. Day 14 Jaipur – Agra

    Agra

    Jaipur to Agra by road: Approx. 235 Kms/146 Mi. & 5 Hrs. drives

    Morning drive to Agra. Though Agra's history is largely recognized with Mughal Empire, the place was established much before it and has linkages since Mahabharata, the Mythological history. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. Akbar made it the center of art, culture, commerce and learning. During the peaceful reign of Shah Jahan, his passion for architecture came to the fore and the world-famous architectural masterpieces were constructed including the Taj Mahal. On arrival, check into your hotel.

    On arrival in Agra, check into the hotel.

    After lunch (on own), visit Agra Fort, few forts in the world have a more fascinating story to tell than the Great Fort of Agra. Originally planned as an impregnable military structure by Akbar, the Agra Fort, over a period of time, acquired all the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an imperial palace. Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, from which he had a view of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony and view of the Taj Mahal.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B)

  15. Day 15 Agra – Delhi

    Delhi

    Agra to Delhi by road: Approx. 205 Kms/127 Mi. & 4.5 Hrs. drive

    Early Morning visit Taj Mahal at sunrise (subject to weather conditions), Surely the greatest monument of love and one of the seven wonders of the modern world, Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage"

    Return to the hotel for breakfast and relax as you have started early morning.

    Later, check out from the hotel visit the marble factory where you can actually see the inlay work on marble as it was done for the construction of Taj. Thereafter drive to Delhi.

    Delhi is a dynamic city where the past coexists with the present. While historic evidence shows that the area around Delhi was first occupied around 2,500 years ago, Hindu mythology predates that by another 500 years. The British captured the city in 1803 and when they decided to make it the capital of India in 1911, they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result is slightly surprising with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture which is among the most striking in the world.

    On arrival check into the hotel.

    We will go to the local restaurant “Sana di ge” for a nice dinner experience.

    (Lunch & Dinner - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B, D)

  16. Day 16 Delhi

    Delhi

    Morning, after breakfast, proceed for full day city tour of Delhi. The city beautifully encloses magnificent landmarks and monuments that narrate the story of their glorious past. Delhi is known to have been continuously inhabited since 6th century BC. Through most period of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of kingdoms and empires.

    Drive past the Red Fort also stop for some time to see Lahore gate followed by visit the Chandani Chowk on cycle rickshaw. The main street of 'Old' Delhi is a magnificent bazaar and as fine a monument to congestion, color and chaos as you'll find in India today. In Shah Jahan's day, it was endowed with fine mansions, had a tree-lined canal flowing down its center and was renowned throughout Asia; today it's jam-packed with artisans, traders and auto-rickshaws and comprises a fantastic cocktail of stench, movement, uproar and fumes. Visit the old Delhi market and discover the traditional artwork on the streets of Delhi.

    After that, visit The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, popularly known as the Crafts Museum, celebrates the rich, diverse, and practising craft traditions of India. The museum was designed by the renowned architect Charles Correa. At present the Museum collection consists of over 33,000 specimens in various crafts, acquired over a period of 60 years collected from various states of India The collection reflects the continuing traditions of handicrafts and handlooms.

    Afternoon, visit New Delhi and drive past the Iconic India Gate, a 42-metre archway built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War, the India Gate is also known as ‘Bharat Gate’. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is the national monument of India. Also, drive past various government buildings like President’s house, Parliament etc.

    (Lunch - Own arrangement) Overnight at the hotel (B)

  17. Day 17 Delhi - departure

    Delhi

    Delhi & departure

    Today, check out at hotel and transfer to Delhi airport to board your international flight to onward destination.

    (B)

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