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Exclusive Gujarat Textile India Trip

October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014

Mumbai – Udaipur – Ahmedabad – Patan – Dasada –Bhuj – Mumbai


This is a Geringer Global Travel exclusive custom India itinerary for those who want to immerse themselves into the textiles of Gujarat. You will explore the different forms of embroidery, block printing, weaving, tie and dye, batik work, painting of textiles, spun and printed textiles.  Visit villages, NGOs, organizations and people involved in producing textiles. This is a fascinating India trip for those passionate about India and textiles.

Gujarati woman (photo courtesy of SITA, India).

Gujarati woman (photo courtesy of SITA, India).

Day 1: Arrive Mumbai

Namaste!
Welcome to India!
Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and customs formalities. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.

Day 2: Mumbai – Udaipur
Today morning assisted transfer to the Mumbai airport on time to board your flight for Udaipur.

On arrival at Udaipur airport, met and transfer to the hotel.

Dotted with marble palaces, hibiscus – laden gardens and fountain pavilions, Udaipur appeals to the imagination of poets and painters, travelers and writers like no other city in the country. The city’s inherent romance and beauty and its remarkable past redolent with episodes of heroism and splendor, continue to enthrall the visitor even today. Udaipur, the City of Dawn, looms up like a vision in white.

Surrounded by hills and mountains and set on the edge of three lakes that lead on to a fertile plain, this is a truly enchanting city. Narrow streets lined with vividly colored stalls, gardens, temples and palaces mirrored in the placid blue waters of Lake Pichola, add to the magic of Udaipur.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 3: Udaipur
Post breakfast visit Udaipur city starting at Jagdish Temple built in 1651. Notice the many heritage mansions that line the city boulevards, the art shops and boutiques that lead to the old bathing ghats that fringe the banks of Lake Pichola. Visit the famous City Palace, (part of which has been converted into a museum housing the largest collection of crystal in the world) and see the gorgeous peacock mosaics, striking blue and white ceramics and Dutch inlaid tile work, glass and porcelain figures and miniature paintings are just two of Udaipur’s main attractions.

Later afternoon take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, covering the City Palace and Jag Mandir, a refuge of the rebel Mughal prince Shah Jahan, soon to be the creator of the incomparable Taj Mahal.

Evening – Discuss Contemporary Art with an Artist Over a Glass of Wine
Your one-to-one discussion with a contemporary artist of Udaipur over a glass of beer/wine allows you to gain firsthand knowledge of the contemporary art scene of Udaipur. Visit the studio and get to know what elevates and inspires the artist. Listen to stories of the struggle whilst he searched for meaning and the awe-inspiring variety of materials, techniques, methods, style and theme in his quest for the universal that transcends all man made boundaries.

Day 4: Udaipur – Ahmedabad
Post breakfast depart by surface for Ahmedabad. (approx. 4 hours)

Ahmedabad, founded in the year 1411 AD is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River and has been named after Sultan Ahmed Shah who was primarily responsible for building it. Today, this city is known as the ‘Manchester of the East’, one of the highly industrialized cities in India and is also India’s Textile City. The old city of Ahmedabad is dotted with labyrinths of by lanes called ‘polls’. The exquisite carved wooden mansions and havelis are in no manner less than their stone counterparts in Rajasthan.

On arrival at Ahmedabad, you will be met and transferred to the hotel.

Afternoon you will visit the Mata Ni Pacheadi followed by a visit to the night market law garden to get a glimpse of the textiles of the region.

Mata-ni-Pachedi is a temple hanging from Gujarat. The historical evidence of this craft goes back almost three hundred years. These are narrative hangings of the epics of Mata done by the nomadic community of Waghari. The unique feature of these hangings was that instead of being hung behind an icon, four to five hangings were used to form a shrine for the goddess.

Day 5: Ahmedabad
After breakfast take a tour of the Calico Museum of Textiles and handicrafts of Gujarat (closed on Wednesday and public holidays). Ahmedabad is the most important commercial city of India that is visited by a large number of people for business activities. The Calico Museum of Gujarat is famous for their collection of regional embroidery from the 19th century. The museum consists of woven, spun, printed and painted fabrics in India.

Visit the Shreyas Folk Art Museum. This museum has and exclusive collection of colorful and traditional folk arts of Gujarat from textile and clothing to the decorative collectibles. The Shreyas Folk Museum brings out the traditional rustic flavor and cultural heritage of Gujarat.

In the afternoon visit Pethapur to see how wooden block printing is made by the Gajjar community of block makers. They were closely involved with the Saudagiri fabric trade with the kingdom of Siam (modern day Thailand). They interpreted Thai patterns on to wooden blocks that were then sent to Ahmedabad to be printed. This trade continued vigorously until the advent of World War II. The axis blockade was a blow to the Saudagiri trade route. At its peak the village of Pethapur had more than three thousand artisans working in its workshops artistically crafting wooden blocks for a host of hand printed textile crafts.

If time permits, visit the Gandhi Ashram and Dada Hari step well.

Day 6: Ahmedabad – Patan – Modhera – Dasada
Today, you will be driven to Dasada. Dasada is a perfect base for exploring the Rann of Kutch, the last refuge in India for the Asiatic Wild Ass, an elegant member of the horse family. In winter it is also home to migratory birds such as flamingos, Macqueen’s Bustard, pelicans and cranes.

En-route, you will visit Patan to see the master weaver Salvis working on Patola, excellent silk textiles. The technique used to weave the Patola is the rare double ikkat style that involves dyeing both the wrap threads in the pattern of the final fabrics before setting them on the loom. Patan is also known as one of the centers for Mushroo, fabrics woven as a combination of silk and cotton with the latter forming the backing. Also visit the Patan step well also called as Rani-ki-Vav. It is the most magnificent stepwell in Gujarat. A stepped corridor compartmented at regular intervals with pillared multi-storeyed pavilions is a unique feature

Visit the Sun Temple at Modhera built during the 11th century. It is one of the finest examples of Hindu architecture. The sanctum was designed to allow the sunlight to illuminate the main statue, no longer in the temple.

On arrival, you will check into the resort.

Surrounded by wetlands, Rann Riders is an eco-friendly resort imaginatively designed using local materials to recreate the appearance of a village. Accommodations are in cottages, resembling the kooba houses of the Bajania community of Dasada and the bhunga houses of the Rabaris of Kutch, decorated with mirrors, mud-plaster work and embroideries.

Day 7: Dasada
After breakfast, you will head towards the Rann of Kutch, the marshy region in the Thar Desert. Spot variety of birds like Flamingo, Duck, Crane, etc. here. In the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, you can see Asiatic Wild Ass, Blue Bull, Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, etc.

Dasada and its nearby villages are inhabited by a number of interesting communities including pastoral tribes such as the Mirs, Rabaris, Bharwads, Jats and Kolis. In the evening, move around the village by jeep and enjoy the culture of the tribals, Bharwad and Rabari. Here you will have the opportunity of visiting a weaver who is engaged in weaving of shawls called Tangalieayiea weaving.

Day 8: Dasada – Dhamadka – Dhaneti – Bhuj
Today drive you will first drive to Dhamadka to see the Ajrakh printing and then check into the hotel.

After lunch proceed to visit Dhaneti to see Ahir embroidery.

The word Ajrakh can be interpreted as the twinkling positions of the stars in an evening sky. The sheer fluid complexity of mathematical configurations exemplifying the garment as a quantum fold in space belies its roots in the Persian ‘Mizan’ or the single unifying theory of time a space linking the very elements of the cosmos. To achieve the high art on fabric, the Ajrakh dyer uses the deepest blue of indigo and the molten red of madder eulogizing the divinity of the twin opposing forces of creation. It is the sheer beauty of form and feel that makes Ajrakh a prized fabric for any collection.

The artisan works lovingly on the fabric with a sensibility enmeshed in years of tradition to produce finished products of cutting edge design with innumerable variations. Using resist and mordanting techniques on natural dyes coupled with the rhythmic placements of the blocks, the karigar (craftsman) presents a work of art, enmeshed in beauty and skill. The resist block printed designs on an Ajrakh draw the viewer in to a complex world of design juxtapositions in a sheer flow of mathematical poetry.

On arrival at Bhuj, you will check into the hotel.

Post lunch visit Dhaneti to see the Ahir embroidery of Gujarat, an exuberant dexterity of ornately endowed circles following one another in a rhythmic row of embroidered patterns, enhances character and verve of contemporary textile pieces. Little circular mirrors encircled with chain stitch forming geometrical and abstract patterns, enriches any garment or home furnishing with the flavor and fervor of natural simplicity.
Vividly colored repertoire of limited stitches amid glittering pieces of mirrors embellishing cotton, silk and wool fabrics appeal every soul and heart! Sankli or chain stitch used for outlining and vana or herringbone stitch utilized for filling along with bakhiya and dana serving the purpose of detailing or filling, encompasses the gamut of stitches which enriches the identity of Ahir embroidery.
The needled embellished technique practiced by the pastoral Ahir community women reflects minimalism and is highly inspired by flora and fauna surrounding them. Flowers created by repetitive usage of circles, peacocks and parrots blending accordingly, Kanta stitch inspired by the local babool tree thorn and other nature inspired motifs mirror their alliance with nature.

Day 9: Bhuj – Banni – Bhuj
Today explore the Banni villages and visit villages like Nirona famous for Rogan Painting, where a workshop can be organized so that you can try your hand on Rogan Painting,

Lacquer in Kutch is prevalent in the Banni area in and around the villages of Nirona and Bhirandiayara. The lacquer craftsmen belong to the Wada community of carpenters who are mostly semi-nomadic and make a variety of fascinating items lacquering them in a multitude speed of color on their unique mobile lathe machine, manually operated and easily carryable. This art of lacquer and the tribe practicing it are original migrants from beyond Sindh where this craft form is still practiced in the areas around Hala.
Traditionally lac used to be sourced from insects that were found in abundance in forest areas. Later when that source dwindled lacquer resin began to be collected and prepared from certain species of local trees. Today’s artisan buys or purchases his raw material requirement directly from the market.

Visit the Village Dhordo for Muthwa embroidery and village Sumraser to see an Organization called Kala Raksha run by an American, Judy Freater. You will also have the opportunity to visit Bhrindeyera village to see Meghwal embroidery.

Mutwa Bharat is one of the most intricate and meticulous form of embellishment that intensifies the elegance and flamboyance of any textile product. Inlaid with tiny round shaped mirrors and adorned with minuscule stitches, Mutwa bharat is like a verse dedicated to skill and creation. This beautiful and exquisite form of embroidery that takes months to be created portrays chic spirit and is like a jewel in collector’s reserve

Mutwas are a small group of Muslim herders inhabiting in the Banni areas of Gujarat. It is alleged that almost 500 years ago their ancestors migrated from Saudi Arabia to Sindh and then moved to Kutch about 150 years back. This Arbistani origin community still follows Bedouin faith and is culturally quite dissimilar from the other communities belonging to Thar Parkar origin.
The art of Mutwa embroidery is part of the wedding trousseaus, along with other goods like jewelry, utensils etc. Mutwa girls begin learning and preparing these magnificent work of art from the young age of 7-8. The fine gamut of stitches and aesthetic appeal of colors and composition, though an inherent quality is also handed down generations from mother to daughter.

Post this visit Kala Raksha Organization run by an American, Judy Freater.  Artisan initiative and participation continues to be the pillars of Kala Raksha’s work. Artisan Design Committees create exquisite contemporary work based on their traditions. Artisans participate in sale of their work, linking them directly to their market.

Kala Raksha produces some of the most exquisitely hand embroidered and patch worked products made in Kutch. Using only natural fibers and wherever possible natural dyes, the Trust makes a wide range of garments, accessories and home furnishings.

Visit Brindeyera village to see Meghwal embroidery.

Megwal embroidery has bright yellow, red and green yarns of embroidery placed against the neutral and natural background of leather creates the most striking contrast. Bags, wallets, belts and variety of footwear embroidered and bedecked with mirrors create a symphony of aesthetics and efficacy. Artisans of Gujarat are known for creating a range of utilitarian products enhanced and adorned with multicolor stitches enriching the natural character of leather.

In Kutch district of Gujarat, the indigenous community of Meghwals is involved in this craft form. Men folk of this community fashion the product pattern while women embellish and adorn them with multihued embroideries, mirror work and beadwork. The art of leather – work has been passed down through generations and even though today, it reflects traditional design ethos it has blended in contemporary functional values and necessities. Historically the area was well known for creating animal saddles, shields and armors, sword sheaths and various other accessories. With time and changing needs and requirements of the consumers, the leather craftsmen of Gujarat have adapted to modern-day functionality.

Day 10: Bhuj
Today post breakfast visit the house of Ali Mohamaed Isha who is a tie and dye artisan to see his work. Here you can take a workshop at an additional cost. Post lunch proceed to visit Bhujodi to see Rabari embroidery and shawl weaving.

Later visit the house of Mr. A A Wazir who is a collector of textiles and also has a small outlet that functions from his home.

Day 11: Bhuj
Today post breakfast drive to Mandavi to visit 72 Jain Temple complexes, you will also see the DHOW making, here a demonstration can be organized for Batik work. Later continue your drive to Mandavi Beach Resort for lunch. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 12: Bhuj
Full day is at leisure.

Today a demonstration can be organized to see Ari embroidery that is also known as Cobbler embroidery.

Day 13: Bhuj
Today post breakfast visit Shrujan and Khamir Organizations.

Shrujan is a charitable organization that helps train village women to have self – employment opportunities and to be recognized for their art. Shrujan embroidery is a result of centuries of migration from Central Asia. Each tribe has their own style, range of stitches and designs.

Khamir is a community – based nonprofit organization. It has a workshop that has 6 looms and 3 artisans. The craft facility was set up to focus on the sustainable development of the region. It is involved in revitalizing Kutch handloom weaving as well as other crafts of the region like block printing, tie-dye, lacquer, bell making, silver, and leather work. The craft is unique for its ability to weave fine, stylized motifs from coarse yarns like wool.

In the afternoon visit the KMVS Organization  (Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan). This is an organization involved in working with rural women of Kutch to revive the art of embroidery.

Day 14: Bhuj – Mumbai
In the morning transfer to the airport on time to board the flight for Mumbai.

On arrival at Mumbai airport, you will be met and transferred to the airport hotel, where a room will be reserved until time to be transferred to the international airport for your flight home.

Late night assisted departure transfer to the International airport on time to board the flight for your onward destination.

Tour Quote

Dates: October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014

Cost of 2 people traveling together:

$3,479/person if paying by check

$3,599/person if paying by credit card

Cost of 1 person traveling alone:

$6,240/person if paying by check

$6,455/person if paying by credit card

Airfare Supplement:

Current Economy class airfare (subject to change until booked): $215/person

Sectors:  Mumbai-Udaipur and Bhuj-Mumbai

Accommodation for 14 nights at the hotels envisaged or similar, as follows:

 

City Hotels Proposed Room Category Nights
Mumbai The Leela Kempinski Premier city view 02
Udaipur Fateh Prakash Palace Dovecote Room 02
Ahmedabad House of Mangaldas Grand Deluxe 02
Dasada Rann Riders AC Kooba 02
Bhuj Kutch Safari Lodge AC Cottage 06

 

TERMS & CONDITION

I. Quote Includes:

  • Breakfast on all days except in Bhuj where on half board basis (Breakfast + Dinner) & in Dasada where on full board basis (All Meals)
  • Lunch at Mandavi Beach Resort
  • Transfers and meeting services right through the program at each destination provided by our office staff
  • All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be in very comfortable air-conditioned Toyota Innova (MUV)
  • Entrance fees at all monuments listed in the itinerary for one visit only, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes, and porter age during all airport transfers
  • All sightseeing and visits to places of interest, and sites in Udaipur as given in the itinerary, conducted by well qualified, good English speaking local guide whereas in Gujarat portion will provide accompanied English speaking escort cum guide from day 4 until day 14.
  • Private boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur.(subject to water level)
  • Meet with contemporary artist with a glass of wine
  • 2 Jeep safaris in Dasada
  • All taxes, tolls, parking fees and service tax

II.  Quote does not Include:

  • International airfare, Airport Tax, Passport and Visa fees for India
  • Any meals OR options mentioned as a supplement
  • Any Insurance
  • All personal expenses such as gratuities, meals, medical expenses, laundry, drinks, telephone and fax services, video or camera fee at the monuments and all other services not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Christmas and New Year Gala Dinner Charges if levied by the hotels in future.

III. Important

  • Check-in and check-out time is 1400 hrs
  • Calico Museum closed entire day on Wednesday whereas in the afternoon on Tuesday & Friday + all public holidays in Ahmedabad.
  • Shreyas Museum closed on Monday & all public holidays in Ahmedabad.

IV. How do we make the clients feel special:

  • On arrival: Mouli Knot on arrival at airport
  • Pre check-in facility at hotels. We send the passport details in advance to all the hotels to ensure pre check in to avoid guests taking out passport each time they reach a new hotel
  • Our travel professional keeps in touch, 24×7 contact on tour
  • Packaged drinking water bottle will be provided

V. Special Notes:

  • The airfare quoted is on current basis, and will be revalidated when tickets are issued. This is subject to fluctuations at the time of ticketing
  • Rates include only those items specified in your itinerary
  • Geringer Global Travel reserves the right to modify itineraries and/or substitute hotels of a reasonably similar quality, when available, should circumstances beyond our control deem it necessary
  • Deposits imposed by suppliers (e.g. hotels, motor coach companies etc.) will be charged when they occur. Full payment of deposits is due as per deposit invoice. Non-compliance with the deposit requirements can result in change or loss of services. All deposits are non-transferable.

Fully Customized Travel

The tours described here are just suggestions. Geringer Global Travel works with each traveler to customize a unique itinerary to fit individual needs, interests, pace and budget.

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