Gujarat has a long history of small-scale textile production and artisanal work. This itinerary focuses on the various small communities that are maintaining those customs and art. Cottage industry – especially textile production – was a cornerstone of Mahatma Gandhi's drive to develop economic independence from Britain. Gujarat also has a diverse ethnic and semi-nomadic tribal population, each with its craft traditions. Gujarat is thus home to some of India's most exquisite hand-embellished crafts, which, along with cottage textile production, form the base of the rural economy.
Kutch is renowned for its exquisite embroideries, Wadhwan for its tie-dye bandhani, and Jetpur for its block printing. The double Ikat Patola weaving of Patan and the Rogan painting on the cloth of Nirona village are two techniques that are peculiar to Gujarat. This tour will provide you with an appreciation of these customs as well as insight into the cultures that uphold them.
You will be welcomed at Ahmedabad international airport and transferred straightway to your hotel to check in. Remaining time is at leisure till next morning.
Morning proceed to visit the Calico Museum of Textiles- one of India's best specialized museums. Here one can see an excellent collection of textile swatches of Indian origin, collected from the archaeological sites of Egypt, silk sarees from different Indian states, Pasmina/shawls from Kashmir, double-ikat silk sarongs made in Patan, chintz and curtains made from Dutch, British and Portuguese colonial powers in Gujarat, 18th century tie-and-dye, floral embroidery from Punjab, embroidered Mughal tent of Shah Jahan (the great Mughal king), royal wardrobes from Rajasthan, narrative cloth paintings like Pichwais and Kalamkaris etc. Later proceed to visit the beautifully carved 15th century Adalaj stepwell.
Ahmedabad – Gondal
Morning drive towards Gondal. On arrival, check in at your hotel. After brief leisure, proceed to visit Naulakha Palace where you will see the wonderful carvings and collections of 17th century. Later visit the Car Museum. Later visit Khadi Plaza, one of Gujarat's major handloom weaving units. Stay overnight at your hotel.
Excursion to Jetpur and Junagadh
Morning proceed to Jetpur, a yarn-dyeing centre and also known for its screen and block printing workshops.
Later driver further to Junagadh, the city has many archaeological sites and historical monuments. During the day visit the ancient Uperkot Fort, Mahabat Maqbara & Durbar Hall Museum. Later drive back to Gondal, en-route visiting the 4th century Buddhist caves at Khambalida. Stay overnight in your heritage hotel at Gondal.
Gondal – Bhuj
Morning after breakfast drive further to Bhuj, en-route visiting the Watson Museum in Rajkot and Rashtriya Shala. Later check-in at your hotel in Bhuj. Day the day visit the very interesting lanes & bazaars of the city. The embroidered shawls and durries (coarse rugs) of Bhuj are very popular. You may also find an amazing variety of earthen pottery being sold on the streets.
Morning proceed to explore Bhuj. Visit the Bhuj Palace, Swami Narayan temple. Later visit the villages around Bhuj where you will get to see typical styles of embroidery and other handwork viz. block-printing, weaving, rogan-painting etc. Stay overnight in Bhuj.
Morning drive to Mandvi, which is a very popular tie-and-dye centre. On arrival, check in at your hotel. After brief leisure, proceed to visit the villages near Mandvi which are known for their picturesque houses called Bhungas and Rabari. Stay overnight at your hotel.
Mandvi – Wadhwan
Morning proceed towards Wadhwan which is the centre for bandhani tie-and-dye, metal crafts and weaving. On arrival at Wadhwan, check in at your heritage hotel. Remaining time is at leisure till next morning.
Wadhwan – Dasada
Morning proceed towards Dasada to see the great embroidery work of Rabari women. On arrival, check in at your hotel. Afternoon you may enjoy the safari in the Little Rann of Kutch. Stay overnight at your hotel.
Excursion to Patan
Have another safari in the morning into Little Rann of Kutch to see the Wild Ass.
Later enjoy an excursion to ‘Patan’. Patan bazaar is great place to be explored. You will get to see Patola, one of the richest silk textiles in the world. The ‘Rani Ki Vav’ - the best step-well of Gujarat is also located here. Later drive to visit the 11th centaury Sun Temple in ‘Modhera’. Return back to Dasada by the evening and overnight stay in your hotel.
Departure to Ahmedabad
Morning you will be transferred to Ahmedabad airport to board a flight back to Mumbai. The tour ends here.