Gujarat: Traditional Crafts and Tribal Communities
2 Nov — 18 Nov 2019 | Tour Director: Annie Owen
• Admire traditional crafts, particularly intricate tribal textiles and embroidery
• Visit the astonishing cluster of 863 Jain temples reaching up to the sky on Shatrunjaya Hill
• Step into Modhera’s famous Sun Temple, dating from 1026 and one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in Gujarat
photographer, illustrator and printmaker
Depart Heathrow 2105 on Jet Airways.
Arrive Mumbai 1125. Internal flight to Bhuj and transfer to Serena Beach Resort, Mandvi for two nights. Evening stroll along the beach.
Morning: walk in Mandvi town including local market. Afternoon: Indo-Edwardian Vijay Vilas Palace. Optional camel ride along the beach.
Transfer to the small tribal village of Hodka (Hindu village of traditional quiltmakers) for two nights at desert hotel of Shaam e Sarhad, staying in comfortable tents or beautiful bhunga (mud huts).
Morning: visits to local crafts villages. Afternoon: Dhordo (Muslim village where we will see detailed embroidery of Mutwa tribe). Sunset over White Desert.
Transfer to Bhuj for two nights at Hotel Prince. Visits to local Bandhani workers and antique fabric sellers.
Visits in Bhuj: Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal (19th century bell tower with an exhilarating view of the city), local museums, fascinating bazaars. Optional visit to Swaminarayan temple at dusk.
Visits to a local indigo dyer and new museum of traditional crafts. Long drive to city of Gondal for two nights at historical Riverside Palace Heritage Hotel, complete with vintage car collection.
Visit to the 18th century Naulakha Palace and museum, including option to visit to the Maharaja’s vintage car collection. Free afternoon.
Transfer to Palitana for two nights at Vijay Vilas Palace Hotel. Free afternoon.
Early morning departure for climb up Shatrunjaya Hill to see the Jain temples. There are dholis (porters) with canvas hammocks or plastic chairs who can carry the more daunted pilgrims up 3800 steps to the top.
Transfer to Dasada via Lothal (4000 year old Indus site with museum). Two nights in desert resort Rann Riders, in local styled bhunga (mud huts) decorated with mirrorwork, carpets, painted walls.
Optional morning bird safari. Afternoon: endangered Asiatic wild ass sanctuary and excursion to see salt flats, wildlife, tribespeople (we hope to see the Rabhari tribes people if their travels bring them near Dasada).
Whole day excursion to Sun Temple in Modhera; Patan to see Rani-ki-Vav (stepwell) and Patola weaving museum (double ikat fabrics which only one family now weaves here) followed by Adalaj stepwell. Two nights at The House of MG, Ahmedabad.
Morning: Calico Museum of Textiles. Free afternoon followed by farewell dinner.
Morning ‘heritage walk’ around the palls (alleys) and havelis (private mansions) of old Ahmedabad. Free time to explore bazaars. Depart Ahmedabad 2130 via Mumbai.
Arrive Heathrow 0700.
2 Nov — 18 Nov 2019
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The tour lived fully up to expectations with an outstandingly interesting, privileged and in-depth access to the tribal communities and their varied but predominantly textile-focused cultures. The tour content was broadened through access to sites of significant religious, historic, archaeological and natural world interest, ensuring that there was a rounded content for the more generally interested traveller but avoiding locations crowded out with other tourists.
ACE customer on Gujarat 2017
Cost of £3395 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, full board with water, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: visa, travel insurance, single room supplement £645.