Gujarat Textile and Handicraft Tour

Duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Destination Covered : Ahemedabad – Patan – Ahmedabad– Bhuj – Mandvi – Nakhatrana – Sumrasar – Hodko – Khavda – Bhuj – Ahmedabad

Day 01 : Ahemedabad
Arrive in Ahmedabad. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your pre-booked hotel. Check into the hotel and refresh. After leisurely lunch, we proceed to Shreyash Folk Museum and in evening free time at Manek chowk.

Shreyash Folk Museum:
This museum displays the colorful and traditional folk arts of Gujarat. From textile and clothing to decorative collectibles, the Shreyas Folk Museum brings out the traditional rustic flavor and cultural heritage of Gujarat.

Manek Chowk:
Manek Chowk is a prominent old city square that is surrounded by historical structures and monuments and souks. This bustling open square near the center of the city functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a gold jewelry market in the afternoon, the second biggest in India. It is famous for its food stalls that start to emerge around 7:30 in the evening and continue till after midnight, with various local street food. Overnight stay and dinner at the hotel.
Overnight and Dinner at the hotel.

Day 02: Ahmedabad – Patan – Ahmedabad (150 Km One way)
Early morning after breakfast proceeds for the world-famous Calico museum as we have a booking for you. It is one of its kind museums in the world, showcasing the versatile collection of several handicrafts and textiles from dating centuries back. After the museum visit, we will depart for Patan city, which is an ancient fort field town that was founded in 745 AD. Patan is famous for the Patola weaving technique. It is a form of dying art and is kept alive by a few families who have been following the ancestral profession for many centuries. We will visit one such family called the Salvi family at Patan, and have kept alive the tradition of double ikkat and witness their hospitality. It is the sheer poetry of the intermingling warp and weft of silken music that is the Patola of covetous desire. Also, visit the Queen’s stepwell and Modhera Sun temple and return to Ahmedabad.

Day 03: Ahmedabad – Bhuj (380 Kms)
Early morning after heavy breakfast, we will depart for Kutch. Kutch has rich and diverse creative traditions that are living at the intersection of cultures and communities. Visit Ajrakhpur for Ajrakh Block printing the word AJRAKH means Keep Today. After the visit to Ajrakhpur, reach Bhuj. Check in to the hotel, freshen up, and in the evening free time in Bhuj Market.

Gujarat dominated the seaborne cotton trade for ages and is still a major producer of block prints. The combination of printing with mordant dyeing is typical of the technique in many parts of Gujarat with hand-carved woven blocks and prints on fabric. The Ajarakh resist printing Ajarakhpur in Kutch is well known. The process of Ajrakh is time-honored. The cloth is made in a sixteen step process of washing, dyeing, printing, and drying, which requires a high level of skill and concentration to keep colors fast and even. Pomegranate seeds, gum, Harde powder, wood, flour of Kachika, the flower of Dhavadi, alizarin, and locally cultivated Indigo are just some of the natural resources that printers in this craft. The ‘Matani-Pachhedi’ used religious purpose made by the ‘Devi Pujak’ community uses a combination of block printing for the outline of the pattern and the painting of the mordents. It is mostly made in Ahmadabad. Overnight and Dinner at the hotel.

Day 04: (Bhuj – Mandvi – Bhuj)
Early morning after breakfast depart for Mandvi for Mashru weaving - ‘The meaning of Mashroo is “allowed or permissible” in Arabic. The port town of Mandvi is at the center of Mashroo's legacy in Kachchh, historically creating luxurious bolts of the fabric that Muslims and Hindus enjoyed.’ it has a unique interweaved pattern that has cotton at the base but the upper surface has a rich sheen of silk. As the base of cotton gives a cooling effect in the hot region of Kutch, the usually bright and vibrant colors of silk reflect with visible contrast in the white barrens of Kutch and can be seen from distance. And then depart for Batik Printing – ‘Local legends share stories of the Batik practice of block printing being carried to Kachchh during the time of the Ramayana by seasoned, master craftsmen. In the evening, visit Vijay Vilas Palace in Mandvi and free time on Mandvi Beach. After Depart for Bhuj.

The weaving of Mashru fabric is an old tradition in India, and it was a popular trading textile to the Ottoman Empire and Gulf countries. The word Mashru is said to have come from the Muslim community, where Silk fabric was banned since it was made by killing the cocoons and silkworms. It led to the production of Mashru fabric as it had a Silk exterior. But the inner fabric that stays in direct contact with the skin was made of Cotton. Mashru became very popular in Turkey, Persia, and many Mediterranean countries as it gave them the freedom of wearing Silk clothing without breaking their religious laws.

The history of Indian batik can be traced as far back as 2000 years. Indians knew to resist the method of printing designs on cotton fabrics long before any other country had even tried it. Indian cotton and dyes were very popular. The indigo blue was one of the earliest dyes to be used. The elaborate process of dyeing and waxing was one of the hitches that caused the art to decline. Batik tapestries were elaborate illustrations of the art, culture, and traditions of the days of the yore. Batik is a process of decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed areas gives the pattern. One of the significant features of this art is that it is very simple and can be done by anyone. Colorful batik prints grace the home furnishings with elegance and style. Beautiful bags, household linens, murals, and wall paintings with striking batik works enjoy a great demand in the domestic and international market. The art of batik is a three-stage process of waxing, dyeing, and dewaxing (removing the wax). There are also several sub-processes like preparing the cloth, tracing the designs, stretching the cloth on the frame, waxing the area of the cloth that does not need dyeing, preparing the dye, dipping the cloth in dye, boiling the cloth to remove wax, and washing the cloth in soap. The characteristic effects of the batik are the fine cracks that appear in the wax, which allow small amounts of the dye to seep in. Batik wax exercises is an important function in the process of batik printing. Proper usage of wax results in an impeccable batik work. The 30 percent beeswax and 70 percent paraffin wax are generally applied. During application, wax should not be overheated or it will catch fire. The common batik fabrics that make for excellent batik prints are cambric, poplin, voiles, and pure silk are used. Natural colors derived from barks of trees, leaves, flowers, and minerals were used. Overnight and dinner at the hotel.

Day 05: Bhuj – Nakhatrana (50 Kms)
Early morning after breakfast, depart for Nakhatrana where we will be going to see Lacquer Work. The word lacquer originates from the Sanskrit word Laksha meaning wax, which was used for both the LAC insect, and the scarlet resinous secretion that produces. It was used as a wood finish in ancient India. Metal Bells – The Smith Man community from Sindh, (now in Pakistan) saw the potential for their craft and brought the craft to the land of Kutch. Rogan Painting, which is the art of painting is an ancient art over three hundred years old. In the evening, reach to Resort check-in and leisure time in Resort.

Lacquer Work:
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. 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 colors 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. Lacquer's work of Kutch is a simple reflection of Zigzag patterns creating waves of colors mixing and adorning the simplest of the products with vigor and exquisiteness. Even though the craft forms and techniques are the same the design motifs differ while the Sindh artists use bold patterns and thick shades generation of exposure to different communities and designs in India led the Kutchi Wadha to leave the traditional patterns behind and move on to new abstract patterns. Earlier communities in Kutch used to cater only to the local market, but exposure through government schemes and tourism has widely increased their repertoire. Multihued vibrant wooden kitchen cutlery, which includes mortar and pestle to the rolling pins for rolling the dough, furniture elements to cabinets and chests, window panels to thread wrapper, the paraphernalia, and creativity of Lacquer craftsmen of Nirona consists it all.

Metal Work:
The Gujarat state has a long history of metalware harking back to the Indus Valley Civilization almost 3000 years ago. The influence of topography and the variety of different communities inspired the craft of the local metallurgist. The delicate filigree in patterned vessels to the mixed metal casting of cowbells, the magical mystery of intricate jewelry to the crudity of totems all adds to the varied design spectrum of Gujarat. Metal has been a powerful element in shaping the ingenuity of man. The ability to use fire to tame metal and cast it into various shapes define the territorial boundaries of the metalsmith. Ore and its fusion have been the mainstay of specialized artisans in Gujarat. Even though metal ore is not naturally prevalent in the state, metalware developed to a fine art suffusing every stratum of society. Varieties of different techniques are perfected to work in metal and its various alloys yielding a range of quality products. Different qualities inherent in each metal are lovingly coaxed out of the ore by the metalsmith and rot into objects of splendorous beauty, aesthetic appeal, and utility. The metalsmith in Gujarat forms an integral part of community life serving, on one hand, urban demand for intricacy in patterns to a pastoral need for ritual and clan identification. Over time, the metalware artisan of Gujarat has evolved into the flexibility of style and need fulfilling demands ranging from vessels to exquisite jewelry and the malleability of geometrical patterns tabling modern furniture and design accessories for interiors.

Rogan painting:
Rogan printing involves using a thick bright paste to paint on plain cloth. The paste is prepared by boiling the oil of safflower, castor, or linseed and pouring it into water. This paste is mixed with chalk, colored pigment, and a binding agent to form a thick dye. The painting on the cloth is done using a stick, a rod, or a metal block. Yellow, blue, and red are the most frequently used colors. Geometric and floral designs are the most common. Stylish results can be achieved using the most ordinary cloth. The Rogan-printed cloth is used for saris, wall-hangings, and curtains, among other uses.

Day 06: Nakhatrana – Sumrasar – Hodko (130 Kms)
This morning after breakfast departs for Dhordo. On the way to visit Sumrasar Village for Weaving of Shawl and Stole – Weaving in Kutch is a traditional profession, and skills are passed on from father to son. After having an experience of weaving, we will depart for Dhordo check in to the hotel, and after rest, in the evening, we will visit the White desert during sunset and return to the resort.

Shawl and Stole Weaving:
This Textile legacy in the state has a chequered history dating back three thousand years to the Indus Valley Civilization. Years of migrations, conquests, and trade coupled with the ingenuity of the Gujarati craftsmen resulted in a vast variety of weaving, printing, painting, and dyeing techniques. The craftsmen of Gujarat have a close affinity with nature and eulogize nature’s bounties in the design perception of their craft form. Textile traditions in Gujarat follow a variety of different styles, colors, patterns, and themes. Overnight and dinner at Resort. Bhungas – Mud Huts)

Day 07: Hodko – Khavda – Hodko (130 Kms)
Early morning after breakfast, we will depart to Khavda for Clay Art - Clay craft is ingrained deeply into Gujarat’s ancient tradition and since then has continued to enchant the world. Then Wooden Craft - Wood carving is a famous and traditional craft of Gujarat. And leather Work - Leather artisans of Gujarat are adept at sculpting and stamping the material into a variety of products that are finding favor in today’s contemporary market. We shall also visit certain villages for traditional Kutch embroidery.

Clay Art:
Gujarat is known for its Terracotta, mud mirror work, which has both scared as well as aesthetic appeal. The wet clay molded in different shapes and sizes is an artistic expression of the vision and correlation of society. Clay craft is also known in Gujarat as Contemporary Mud work in which, attractive wall pieces with small mirrors are made in Kutch. Traditional clay utensils like pots, Tawadi, Plates, Bowls, etc., with hand paintings, are made in the Kutch district. Since pottery is made out of clay, which is an environmentally friendly and recyclable material, it is an art that will survive the ravages of time.

Wooden Craft:
Temples and old houses provide the best example of the richness of this craft, with projecting balconies and floors of the mansions deeply carved. Wooden boxes and chests were once major dowry items.

Leather Work:
Leather, the word itself evokes a feeling of style, elegance, and a sense of sophistication. The supple, natural feel, and texture of leather make it the ideal raw material in the making of design accessories. The intrinsic qualities of the material, such as tensile strength, feel, durability, and its positioning as a high-end niche product makes the leather and the artisans working on it a class in them. The curing and tanning of animal hide by the earliest hunter-gatherers and circumnavigating it into garments is the earliest example of design. Leather and its applications also find a mention in ancient scriptures and the Vedas. The style of curing hides determines the hardness or softness of the leather produced, thus influencing the product made. This naturally individualistic material takes minimum care and is renowned for its longevity, thus assuring a strong and durable product. Other craft techniques such as appliqué and embroidery dovetail into leather crafting to create products having a unique identity of their own. Sculpted figurines, filigreed ornamental boxes, stitched bags, and purses combs, and toilette delights are some of the design innovations born out of leather. This material lends itself brilliantly to functionality in the form of belts, footwear, stationery material, mirror frames, and upholstery. The ability of leather to be tanned and dyed in any shade makes it a viable design icon.

Kutchhi embroidery:
Just like many other varieties of handicrafts, the embroidery in kutch is also very distinct. Every stitch tells a story, and every tribe belonging to several villages has a special kind of embroidery pattern that they follow. It becomes their identity through specific colors pattern, and designs. There are more than 17 various kinds of embroidery that are made all across kutch. These can be seen in some special handicraft centers where the artisan perfume lives demonstrations of the same. Overnight and dinner at Resort. (Bhungas – Mud Huts)

Day 08: Hodko – Bhuj – Ahmedabad (425 Kms)
Early morning after breakfast, we will depart for Ahmedabad. Check in to the hotel and refresh after freshen up this evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is planned to give you a 'feel' and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and homemade Indian food. Overnight and Dinner at the hotel.

Day 09: Local Ahmedabad city visit and Drop.
Today early morning we will visit the Ahmedabad City heritage walk, which is run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

Heritage Walk:
Ahmedabad Heritage walk is a guided walk that starts at 7:45 in the morning with a slideshow. A special feature of Ahmedabad is the plan of the old city comprising numerous pols, self-contained neighborhoods, sheltering large numbers of peoples. Some of these virtually small villages, traversed by narrow streets, usually terminating in a square with community wells and chabutaras for feeding birds, gates, Cul-de-sacs, and secret passages. To experience the glory of Ahmedabad, it is necessary to walk through an old quarter and truly observe the nature of its architecture, its art, religious places, its culture, and traditions. The walk will end up at Jamma Mosque. After the walk, we will proceed to the Hotel. Check out and Transfer to the International airport to board your flight back home.

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