Textiles & Culture Of India (22n/23d)

The Wind Palace in Jaipur

The Wind Palace in Jaipur

This tour is designed to focus on the traditional textiles of India and this tour will take you to some small and remote places where you will get the change to meet the small scale industry/ families carry on the textile business for generations. Tour mainly focuses on Rajasthan and Gujarat and both are culturally rich states and colorful states of India. On the tour we will have ample opportunities to visit the cultural sights and interact with the locals.

The archaeological surveys and studies have found that the people of Harappan civilization knew weaving and the spinning of cotton four thousand years ago. Reference to weaving and spinning material is found in the Vedic Literature also.

There was textile trade in India during the early centuries. A block printed and resist-dyed fabrics, whose origin is from Gujarat is found in tombs of Fostat, Egypt. This proves that Indian export of cotton textiles to the Egypt or the Nile Civilization in medieval times were to a large extent. Large quantity of north Indian silk were traded through the silk route in China to the western countries. The Indian silk were often exchanged with the western countries for their spices in the barter system. During the late 17th and 18th century there were large export of the Indian cotton to the western countries to meet the need of the European industries during industrial revolution.

There was also export of Indian silk, Muslin cloth of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to other countries by the East Indian company.

India is the second largest producer of fiber in the world and the major fibre produced is cotton. Other fibers produced in India include silk, jute, wool, and man-made fibers. 60% of the Indian textile Industry is cotton based.

India – Land of colors and contrast offers a wide range of experience to textile and culture seekers. This journey will cover some of the most culturally rich areas of India and with some of the most traditional age old textile weaving styles like the tie and dye, block printing, mashroo weaving, Ikat weaving and other wide range.

Day 01 – Arrival Transfer from  International airport to hotel.
Upon arrival at Delhi airport our office staff will receive you and take you to your re-booked hotel in the city. Overnight stay at the hotel in Delhi…..most international flight arrives at night in Delhi.

Day 02 –  In Delhi
After breakfast meet your tour escort and followed by tour brief at breakfast. Later start the city tour and visit the Government buildings followed by visit to the interesting “Arts and Craft museum” and National Museum or Museum of Modern Arts.

Day 03 – Delhi to Agra
After breakfast leave for Agra and upon arrival in Agra transfer to the hotel. Agra holds the pride to host a renowned artist by the name of “Shams” who received various awards for his three dimensional needle paintings.  Shams is not alive but his family still does the needle work and we will visit the workers colony and see the fine artwork. Also visit the famous monument of Taj Mahal and the Agra fort. Overnight at Agra hotel.

Day 04  –  Agra to Jaipur
After breakfast drive to Jaipur. Upon arrival at Jaipur transfer to the hotel. Today after lunch visit the city Palace and Hawa Mahal Palace of Winds)  and also visit the local bazaar where dresses for bride and grooms are sold…..riots of colors will be seen in narrow streets of these whose sale markets.

Day 05 –  In Jaipur
A full day visit to the villages of Bagru and Sanganer. After breakfast we will visit the Nokhi museum at Amber near the Amber fort on the outskirts of Jaipur and later we will visit Bagru and Sanganer. Jaipur has become an important textile producing centre on the world map as leading designer brands get their clothes manufactured here. In Bagru and Sanganer we will see the block printing and handmade paper producing units and visit a family producing traditional textile.

Day 06 –  Jaipur to Jodhpur
In the morning visit the famous Amber fort and on the way stop to see the Hawa mahal or the Palace Of Winds. Later continue to Jodhpur and upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 07 –  Jodhpur
After breakfast visit the mighty mehrangadh fort with our local guide and see the various palace sections including the royal textile gallery. Later visit the old town and walk therough the textile and general merchant street…….here you will come across all possible colors.

Day 08 – Jodhpur Visit Bishnoi Villages as Jeep Safari
Surrounding Jodhpur there are several Bishnoi community villages who worship nature and wildlife. We will visit these villages in Jeeps and they also produce a local rug called “Durry” which we can see them at work. Often you can see flocks of Deer and Black Bucks around Bishnoi villages for safety. Also today we will visit a fabulous heritage fort hotel called “Fort Chanwa” at Luni for a mouth watering lunch.

Day 09 – Jodhpur to Jaisalmer
After breakfast leave for the golden fort city of Rajasthan called “Jaisalmer”…..which was a very prominent trade center during the silk trade route days. Jaisalmer is often described as open museum and has some beautiful heritage buildings. A city with a lot of character, beautiful hotels, fabulous sunsets, camels, turban clad men, colorful dressed ladies and the narrow street of old fort walls are full of inviting spice smells and eateries. On the way to Jaisalmer we will stop at Dechu for Lunch and enjoy some local music. Upon arrival at Jaisalmer transfer to the hotel.

Day 10 – In Jaisalmer
Sightseeing of Jaisalmer visiting the Gadisar Lake, Jain temples and the palace inside the fort walls. Later in the day we will visit a family who are making camel girths for centuries from camel wool. Free time t explore the old part of the city.

Day 11 – Jaisalmer to Khuri –  Afternoon camel safari in the desert.
After breakfast we will visit a nearby farm house for lunch with local family and later continue in the desert for a camel ride for couple of hours over the sand dunes and later we will witness the sunset disappearing behind the sand dunes. In the evening we will witness the local music and dance followed by dinner and overnight in the camp in the desert.

Day 12 – Khuri to Barmer.
After breakfast we will depart for Barmer…..a small town on the Pakistan border and houses several families producing local traditional textile for generations. We will visit a couple of families and see and understand their textile art.

Day 13 – Barmer to Patan.
After breakfast leave for Patan. Patan houses one of the largest step wekks in the country and in an important centre for the production of double Ikat weaving fabrics called “Patola Sarees”. Patan is also a centre for Mashru weaving…..a popular fabric amongst Muslims where one side of the fabric is silk and the other is cotton.

Day 14 – Patan to Ahmedabad.
After breakfast leave for Ahmedbad. The capital city of Gujarat state and an important trade and commerce centre for the state. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 15 –  In Ahmedabad.
After breakfast we will visit the most important textile museum in the country “The Calico Textile Museum” and the Shreyas folk museum. Calico Museum has the rich collection of textile swatches of Indian origins which are found at famous sites of archaeological in Egypt, Sarees of silk from the throughout India, the silk sarongs of double-ikat prepared at Patan especially for the markets of Indonesian, curtains & chintz completed during the Dutch, Portuguese & British colonial reign at Gujarat, Punjab’s floral embroidery, famous Kashmiri shawls, tie-and-dye work of 18th of century, opulently embroidered tent of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan that palace is located very close, Rajasthan’s royal attires, manuscripts & paintings on the cloths,  spiritual description in the paintings of cloths known as Kalamkari & Pichwai.

Day 16 – In Ahmedabad
In Ahmedabad we will visit the famous filigree work screen in a mosque “Sidi Sayids Mosque” later visit the old part of town and explore the textile shop vendors. Also visit the beautiful swami narayan temple. In the evening visit a unique restaurant “Vishala” servine local delicacies and houses a museum with collection of traditional locks, nut crackers and utensils. Also witness the local musicians performing and dance.

Day 17 –  Ahmedabad to Bhuj.
After breakfast leave for Bhuj. Bhuj connects you to a range of civilizations and important events in South Asian history through prehistoric archaeological finds, remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappans), places associated with the Mahabharata and Alexander the Great’s march into India and tombs, palaces and other buildings from the rule of the Naga chiefs, the Jadeja Rajputs, the Gujarat Sultans and the British Raj. Over the 4000-year inhabitation of Kutch it developed trading and migratory relationships with ancient civilizations as far abroad as Zanzibar, the Middle East and Greece, fostering a unique ethnic mix of peoples and traditions in the region. In a walk around Bhuj, you can see the Hall of Mirrors at the Aina Mahal; climb the bell tower of the Prag Mahal next door; stroll through the produce market; have a famous Kutchi pau bhaji for lunch; examine the 2000-year-old Kshatrapa inscriptions in the Kutch Museum; admire the sculptures of Ramayana characters at the Ramakund stepwell; walk around Hamirsar Lake and watch children jumping into it from the lake walls as the hot afternoon sun subsides; and catch the sunset among the chhatris of the Kutchi royal family in a peaceful field outside the center of town.

Day 18 – In Bhuj.
After breakfast first visit a government office to apply for the permit to visit the interesting Banni area village where we will be visit tover the new few days to see their traditional arts and crafts. Later walk in the old town and visit some tie and dye artists.

Day 19 to Day 21 – Banni Excursions
Over the next three days we will visit the Banni area villages to see various communities like Jat, Harijan,  Meghawal, Mutva etc in villages of  Hodka, Ludiya, and Dhordo etc. Also visit Bhujodi village then drive to Mandvi to visit Rabari village after Tunda Wandh near Mandvi. Also visit the of Beach & Palace at Mandvi. We will have a local expert guide who will be with us on these excursions where we will see a range of arts and crafts practiced by the locals for generations. A lot of Muslim communities have come across from Pakistan and settles here for many years and practice their traditional arts and crafts.

Day 22 – Bhuj to Mumbai
Trabnsfer to the Bhuj airport for flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai transfer to the hot6el,. Rest of the day free at the hotel.

Day 23 – In Mumbai Sightseeing
Morning organized sightseeing tour of the metro city with local guide to visit the highlights and later after lunch visit the local textile bazaars.

Day 23  – Leave Mumbai
Departure transfer to the international airport in Mumbai

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