For aficionados of traditional (and tribal) crafts and textiles, this wonderful 10 day tour of Gujarat, showcases the very best this region has to offer. It includes visits to remote Kutchi villages to view demonstrations of ancient weaving, block printing and embroidery techniques.
Duration : 10 Days
Route : Ahmedabad → Adalaj → Patan → Modhera → Bajana → Wadhwan → Bhuj → Banni → Mandvi → Dhaneti → Dhamadka → Gondal → Jethpur → Ahmedabad
Day 1 Ahmedabad
The Crafts tour starts at Ahmedabad with a visit to the fabulous Calico Museum of Textiles. Post lunch, visit a couple of the city’s popular crafts museums – the Kite museum, City museum, Museum for miniature paintings and Museum of Indology.
Day 2 Banjana (via Adalaj, Patan & Modhera)
Visit the 15th century step well in Adalaj, drive down to Patan to meet the friendly Salvi family who have been engaged in the art of Patola weaving (double Ikkat work) for generations, visit the Mushroo weaving family for another demonstration of the local craft, and later stop at the fabulous Sun Temple in Modhera, which dates back to the 11th century.
End your day at Bajana near Little Rann of Kutch.
Day 3 Bajana
Tour the neighboring Kutchi villages, visit the Khara Pati Rabari community and see traditional embroidery hand-sewn by the village women, interact with weavers engaged in a special kind of shawal-weaving technique called ‘Tangalieya’, go off on an open jeep safari at the Wild Ass sanctuary within Little Rann of Kutch.
Day 4 Bhuj (via Wadhwan)
Drive down to Bhuj with an enroute stop at the village of Wadhwan to see the tie and dye work of this region.
Day 5 Bhuj
Meet Katchari Rabari tribals and weaver families engaged in weaving beautiful Kutchi shawls, visit SHRUJAN Shrof foundation in Bhuj which showcases (and sells!) the handicrafts produced by the local women – a fantastic shopping opportunity!
After lunch visit an Ikkatt artisan in Bhuj, learn the art of tie and dye and in the evening visit the house of AA Wazir, a collector of and connoisseur of local textiles.
Day 6 Bhuj (Banni Region Day Trip)
Explore the villages in the remote Banni region, attend demonstrations of Rogan Painting, cow bell making and lacquered artwork on wood. Later visit the round-shaped homes of the Meghwal community called Bhungas and see a demonstration of beautiful Meghwal embroidery and mud & mirror work.
After lunch at Hodko, visit Sofie Muthwa’s home in Dhordo to look at beautiful Muthwa embroidery. At Sumrasar, visit Kalaraksha an organization run by an American, Ms. Judy Frater, who has lived in the region for almost 18 years helping local women showcase their work.
Day 7 Bhuj (Day trip to Mandavi)
Proceed to Mandavi with an enroute stop at a Jain temple, to the see a demonstration of Batik work. At the Dhow building yard, watch how wood and nails are used to make ‘Dhows’, traditional ocean worthy vessels. Have lunch at a beach resort, which is ensconced on the private beach of the erstwhile Maharaja of Bhuj. After lunch, proceed to see the art of Aari embroidery, which is also known as Cobbler embroidery. Later return to Bhuj for a free evening of shopping in the local markets.
Day 8 Gonadal (via Dhaneti & Dhamadka)
Attend a demonstration of intricate Ahir embroidery at Dhaneti, admire the ancient art of Ajrak block printing in Dhamadka. A workshop can be organised here along with a demonstration.
Visit Nav Lakha Palace to view Gondal’s royal family’s carefully preserved vintage car collection.
Day 9 Gondal (Day trip Jethpur)
Visit local handicraft and textile showrooms (Udyog Bharti and Khadi Plaza), an Ayurvedic medicine factory and a Swaminarayan temple. Head to Jethpur which is a center for screen printing.
Day 10 Ahmedabad
Drive to Ahmedabad for your connections.