Lions and Textiles of Gujarat
Ahmedabad – Modhera – Patan – Bajana – Muli – Gondal – Sasangir – Jetpur – Junagadh – Dhaneti – Bhuj – Banni Villages – Bhuj – Mandvi – Bhuj – Ajrakhpur – Ahmedabad
Day – 1 Ahmedabad
Arrive at Ahmedabad Airport/Railway Station late morning; meet guide and driver and drive to hotel, check in at Hotel. After Lunch proceed to see Mata Ni Pachedi also known as Kalamkari Work: The holy cloth used as an offering to the goddess; the community that is making the painting is known as Vaghari. Evening at leisure for independent activities, and exploring the city on your own.
Day – 2 Ahmedabad
Today proceed for Heritage Walk of Old City of Ahmedabad which is declared India’s only world heritage city: These small neighborhoods are both the backbone and heartbeat of the old city of Ahmedabad. In recent years, families have started moving out to live in more modern houses further from the city center, but many of them still feel a strong attachment to the close-knit communities of the pols that shaped their lives while growing up. Many of them have their own temple at the center of the neighborhood, one or more small shrines for whatever faiths are present.
Later visit Block Maker in a village nearby. Drive back to the Hotel.
Day – 3 Ahmedabad
After B/fast proceed to visit Calico Museum of Textile. (NOTE: The Calico Museum is closed on Wednesdays and public holidays. Visit is subject to availability, as only 20 guests are allowed inside at once on prior permission). The museum was founded 1949 by the industrialist Gautam Sarabhai and His sister Gita Sarabhai. In Calico Museum you can see remarkable collection of fabrics spanning varied and remote regions of India exemplifies handicrafts textiles across five centuries.
After lunch proceed to visit Dada Hari Step Well: Built around 500 years ago by Sultan Bai Harir, this stepwell is like others around Gujarat, with elaborate craftsmanship and construction built underground to provide access to a permanent source of water. For many years stepwell like this one provided most of the water for the city during the long dry seasons.
Hutheesingh Jain Temple: This beautiful Jain temple built in 1848 by one of the influential families of Ahmedabad. Its presence is heralded by the “Victory Tower” standing in front of it.
Sabarmati Ashram: On a quiet peaceful stretch of the Sabarmati River, Mahatma Gandhi set up a simple retreat in 1915. This was his Satyagrah Ashram and for many years it was the nerve center of India’s freedom movement. It was from here, in 1930, that Mahatma began his famous Dandi March to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. Hridaya Kunj, the simple cottage where he lived, is now a national monument and preserved as it was during the Mahatma’s life-time.
Day – 4 Ahmedabad – Modhera – Patan – Bajana
Today morning drive to Bajana en-route visit Sun Temple at Modhera: Sun Temple of Modhera was built by King Bhimdev I (1026-27) and bears some resemblance to the later and far better known, Sun Temple of Konark in the state of Orissa, which it predates by some 200 years. Like that temple, it was designed so that the dawn sun shone on the image of Surya, the sun God, at the time of the equinoxes.
Patola Weaver: Patan was an ancient Hindu Capital before it was attacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024. Now a pale shadow of it remains, Patan is also famous for its beautifully designed Patola silk saris.
Rani Ki Vav (UNESCO listed monument) at Patan: it is a beautiful and painstakingly restored seven-storied step well. Built in 1050 for the Solanki queen Udaymati, it is the oldest and finest stepwell in Gujarat. It boasts some 800 individual, elaborately carved sculptures.
Continue drive to Bajana.
Day – 5 Bajana
Morning proceed for Jeep Safari in the Little Rann of Kutch: A jeep safari will take you to the Little Rann of Kutch to see the rare species of the ‘Indian Wild Ass’.
After lunch proceed for Village Safari to see community like Kharapati Rabari & Bharwad, will organize a cup of tea with one of the family of the community and also visit their house from inside to see their life style.
Little Rann of Kutch, a sanctuary for the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass. The mammals of the Rann other than the wild ass, there are chances of seeing nilgai, chinkara gazelle, white-footed desert and Indian foxes, the wolf, jungle cat (occasionally also desert cat), pale and long-eared hedgehogs and hare.
Crested and Sykes larks, Oriental skylark, greater short-toed lark, singing and Indian bush larks, ashy-crowned and black-crowned sparrow-larks, are likely sightings and greater hoopoe lark is possible. Desert and variable wheatears, southern grey, long-tailed, rufous-tailed and bay-back shrike, common wood shrike are also likely sightings and the desert warbler is among the many winter visiting warblers. We will also look for chestnut-bellied and spotted sand grouse, Indian courser (cream-coloured visits occasionally), quails, yellow-legged and barred buttonquails, grey francolin, wryneck, brown-rock chat, pied bush cat, rufous-tailed scrub robin, blue-headed rock thrush, black redstart and buntings in the scrubby areas. At sunset, it is possible to watch marsh, Montagu and pallid harriers, Aquila eagles, falcons and buzzards heading for their roosting sites.
Day – 6 Bajana – Muli
Morning after breakfast drive to Muli and see Single Ikkat Patola weaving and another weaving called Tangaliya Weaving
Later in the afternoon at leisure for independent activities.
Day – 7 Muli – Gondal – Sasan Gir
Morning after Breakfast Drive to Sasan Gir en-route visit Gondal to see Khadi Plaza: It is one of the main centers in Gujarat of handloom weaving where more than 2000 women work in this industry. Continue drive to Sasan Gir. Arrive Hotel and at leisure, you can enjoy a swim in the Hotel swimming pool or time for independent activities.
O/N Sasan Gir
Day – 8 Sasan Gir
Today early morning proceed for Jeep Safari return back to hotel and at leisure or time for independent activity. After lunch proceed for Evening Jeep Safari and return back to hotel. Sasangir Lion Sanctuary: Gir is the only place in the world outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in his natural habitat. Sasangir bio-diversity rivals any National Park in India. The forest harbors a variety of smaller animals & birds. The Indian Deer, Sambar, Spotted deer, Blue bull, the Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, along with the long tailed langur.
Sasan Gir: A tapestry of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub and grassland, fed by rivers and reservoirs, Gir is the last abode of the Asiatic lion and has a thriving population of panther (leopard), Sambar, chital (spotted deer), nilgai (blue bull antelope) and wild boar. Gir is also one of the major habitats of chousingha (the world’s only four-horned antelope) and chinkara (Indian gazelle) that are hard to spot in the teak forests along the game drive trails. Among the many birds of Gir, changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, Bonneli’s eagle, shaheen peregrine falcon, laggar falcon, shikra, painted sand grouse, quails, black-hooded and golden oriels, marshall’s and common iora, Asian paradise flycatcher, tickell’s blue, red-throated, verditer and Asian brown flycatchers, yellow-crowned, brown-capped pygmy, black-romped flame back woodpeckers, green and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, coppersmith barbet, common, lesser pied and white-throated kingfisher, blossom-headed parakeet, hoopoe, black, ashy and white-bellied drongos, rufous treepie, large cuckoo shrike, small minivet, red-vented and white-eared bulbul, tawny-bellied, yellow-eyed, jungle and large grey babblers, grey-breasted, ashy, rufous-fronted, plain, jungle and graceful prinias, zitting cisticola, clamorous reed-warbler, booted warbler, greenish warbler, lesser and Hume’s warbler, orphean warbler and blyth’s reed warbler, are among the many birds that could be seen here.
O/N Sasan Gir
Day – 9 Sasan Gir – Jetpur – Junagadh
Morning drive to Junagadh en-route visit Jetpur to see Screen Printing Work: Jetpur is one of the largest centers for screen printing. We visit the factory to see how screen printing is done. Later drive to Junagadh and visit Mohabbat Khan Maqbara: The yellow mausoleum, Mohabbat Maqbara, is a masterpiece of its kind with finely designed arches, vertical columns and elaborate stone carvings on the walls and windows. Its silver-decorated portals, the winding staircases encircling its four tall minarets, the old step-well in the grounds, and its onion-shaped dome contribute to its splendor.
Upperkot Fort at Junagadh: Upperkot is a remarkable fort situated in the middle of the town. It was originally built in 319 BC and was rediscovered in 976 AD. The fort was attacked a number of times. The citadel has a huge gate and it is enclosed within fort walls that are around 20 m high. One can also see the mammoth Jama Masjid inside the complex.
Day – 10 Junagadh – Dhaneti – Bhuj
Morning after breakfast drive to Bhuj en-route visit Dhaneti Village to see Ahir Embroidery: Ahir community from Dhaneti is famous for their embroidery & they use mirrors in various shapes: round, lozenge, rectangular, square, triangular, and beak shaped. Little mirrors encircled with chain stitch forming geometrical and abstract patterns, enriches any garment or home furnishing with of natural simplicity.
Continue drive to Bhuj. Explore Bhuj market in the evening.
Day – 11 Bhuj – Banni Villages – Bhuj
Departure from Hotel in the morning and drive to Banni Villages.
Zura village to see Leather Work and Copper Bell Making: See the musical crescendo signals a phoenix like birth of a new bell emerging from mud and fire. Iron bells enameled in copper and bronze, so many shapes and size emitting melodies which are soft yet carry sonorously through the desert air.
Visit Nirona village to see Rogan Painting: A traditional textile art form involving painting on fabric. The art of Rogan originated in Syria and is practiced through Peshawar, Lahore, Sindh and Kutch. The colour making process itself is time consuming and involves great skill.
Bhirandiyara village to see Meghwal Embroidery: Meghwal people are known for their fine embroidery and colourful mud bhungas.
Later visit Hodko Village and lunch at Shaam-E-Sharhad.
Visit Dhordo village to see Muthwa Embroidery: One of the most intricate and meticulous form of embellishment which intensifies the elegance and flamboyance of any textile product. The varied collection of motifs used in Mutwa embroidery almost compliments the diverse stitches used in this art form.
If time permits also visit White Rann.
Day – 12 Bhuj – Mandvi – Bhuj
Morning drive to Mandvi to see Dhow Making and Batik Work: Batik is produced by applying wax onto cloth which resists the dye that the cloth is then dipped in and so reveals the contrasting design. The wax is applied using a Kalam (pen) or tjanting tool which allows for a more precise application, or using an engraved block. They produce fabrics for bed linens and coordinating suits (salwar, khamiz and dupatta). Later drive back to Bhuj and visit Bhujodi village to see Shawl Weaving. Explore Bhuj market/ Museum in the evening and time for independent activities. Later drive back to hotel and see Ari embroidery demonstration at the hotel.
Day – 13 Bhuj – Ajrakhpur – Ahmedabad
Today morning after breakfast drive to Ahmedabad en-route visit Ajrakhpur Village to see Block Printing: Ajrakh Block printing by the use of natural Dyes. The Khatri community, whose ancestors have been printing with Ajrakh blocks for centuries, migrated to Dhamadka, Kachchh from Sindh.
Later visit LLDC Museum (Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays).
Arrive at Ahmedabad and free time for independent activities.
Day – 14 Ahmedabad
At an appropriate time drive to the Airport/Railway Station to board Flight/Train.