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Textiles & Crafts Of India - 8 Nights / 9 Days


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Duration :8 Nights / 9 Days
Places : Delhi->Jaipur->Ahemadabad->Bhuj->Bombay
Travel Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive DELHI


You are met outside the International Arrivals Hall and transferred to the hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing of Old Delhi includes a visit to the Red Fort, built in 1648 during the reign of Shah Jehan in red sandstone, which gave the fort its name. Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque, built of red sandstone and white marble in the middle of the 17th century. Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), once the imperial avenue down which Shah Jehan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades, is today bustling with shops, stalls and silversmiths' ateliers. Also visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.

Day 2: In DELHI


After breakfast take a tour of New Delhi. Visit India Gate, built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy is today the official residence of the President of India and Parliament House, an unique circular building with huge colonnades, houses the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament. Connaught Circus is the commercial hub of New Delhi. Lakshmi Narayan Temple was built in 1938 in a pleasantly laid out garden and is named after the goddess of wealth and the god Narayan, though other deities are also housed here. Humayun's Tomb is the first Mughal garden tomb. Visitors are immediately struck by the tomb's resemblance to its more famous cousin - the Taj Mahal - with its four grand gateways, octagonal base-plan, soaring niche-shaped arches, lofty double domes and the symmetrical garden with its central canal. One of Delhi’s most striking monuments is the 70-meter high Qutb Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi.
In the afternoon visit the Crafts Museum, an essential stop if you are interested in India's culture and village life. It is located in the Pragati Maidan complex, a show-ground that comes to life throughout the year with fairs and exhibitions. The museum displays an excellent collection of rare icons, tribal folk deities, temple lamps, wood carvings, intriguing masks and Indian textiles. The adjoining courtyard houses beautiful antique vessels. Close by, an all-India village of 15 traditional hut dwellings has been painstakingly recreated, each hut typical of an area in India and authentically decorated inside and out. Some are smothered in the pleasantly-textured "protective" wall covering of mixed dried cow dung and urine - an ancient practice to ward off snakes and harness the "generative energy" of the cow, a creature sacred to the Hindus. This base is ornamented with rice-powder design, life-style fresco paintings or studded mirrors. In another courtyard, rotating shifts of craftsmen and artists create traditional fabrics, terra-cotta pots, brass deities, miniature paintings and block and dye printing throughout the year except the months of July to September. Items are available for sale or can be made or order. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Drive DELHI-JAIPUR


After an early breakfast depart on the 6-hour drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at the hotel. In the afternoon explore Jaipur, one of the best planned cities in India, built of rose- pink sandstone by the great astronomer-king Jai Singh II in 1727.
The City Palace stands in the centre of the city. Part of it is still the Maharaja's residence, while most of the complex has been developed into a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine specimens of Rajput and Mughal paintings, royal apparel and an armoury. Jantar Mantar observatory was built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The huge stone instruments were devised to study the movements of the sun, moon and planets and are incredibly accurate.
Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is the landmark of Jaipur. It stands on one of the main streets, a curious building, elaborate and fanciful, built of pink sandstone with a delicate honeycomb design. Rising five storeys high, it is composed of semi-octagonal overhanging windows, each with its perforated screen, which allowed the ladies of the court to look onto the main street without being seen. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: In JAIPUR


After breakfast visit Amber, the capital for 6 centuries before Jaipur was built, which lies 11 km north of Jaipur. Rising majestically on the slopes of a hill, this 11th century fort and palace complex is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles - the earlier constructions in the inner apartments designed by the Hindu founder are austere, while later constructions abound in the rich flourishes characteristic of Muslim influence. The Diwani-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) affords a view of the strategic location of Amber.
The Jai Mandir (Hall of Victory) is the finest example of the artistic exuberance of the day - panels of alabaster, fine inlay work, a shimmering Hall of Mirrors, renowned for its fine mirrorwork. The Sukh Nivas (Hall of Pleasure) has 17th century air conditioning. Elephants carry you up the ramparts of the fort.
The afternoon is at leisure to relax or wander through the colourful bazaars, a veritable collector's paradise where you can watch ancient craft forms: Meenakari or enameling delicate patterns of birds and flowers fired in glowing red, deep green, peacock blue and white; the gold jewel is then given further sparkle with emeralds, rubies, white sapphires and dangling pearls. In tiny ateliers you can see the age-old tie-dye methods of cloth printing, with yard upon yard of vivid turquoise, ochre and crimson cloth unfolding. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Fly JAIPUR/AHMEDABAD


In the morning drive to the small town of Sanganer, which lies 16 km south of Jaipur and is renowned for its handmade paper and block printing. Wander around this quaint little town, dominated by the ruins of two trilpolias (triple gateways), a palace and a group of Jain temples.
You can visit the several craftsmen’s ateliers and workshops and watch the ancient art of hand block printing. Late afternoon transfer to the airport for the flight to Ahmedabad. You are met on arrival and transferred to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 6: In AHMEDABAD


Spend the day exploring Ahmedabad, founded by Ahmed Shah I on the site if the ancient city of Karavati in 1411. Today it is the textile and commercial city of western India. Omnipresent is the Sabarmati River over which four bridges connect the old city with the new.
On one side are the crowded streets leading to Manek Chowk, where rows of traders dealing in silver jewelry or printed fabrics lean against spotless white bolster-pillows, waiting for customers. The upper floors of the old havelis (family homes) have exquisitely carved wooden balconies, windows and doorways.
The Calico Museum has a rich collection of fabrics and garments from all over India. The exhibits include antique and modern textiles, rare tapestries, wall hangings and costumes. Also on display are old weaving machines. The interesting little museum shop sells cards, books and reproductions of some of the pieces.
The Vechaar Utensil Museum, a 15-minute drive out of Ahmedabad, houses a remarkable collection of metalware: utensils of every imaginable shape and size in bronze, brass and other alloys have been collected from every corner of Gujarat. A traditional Gujarati meal at the Vishalla Restaurant appropriately rounds off the visit to the museum. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Drive AHMEDABAD-ZAINABAD


After breakfast depart on the 5 to 6-hour drive through rural country to Zainabad. En route visit the Sun Temple at Modhera which is a rare edifice of the Solanki era when the art of temple building in Gujarat had reached its height.
Also visit Anahil Patan, the capital of Gujarat at that time, known for gorgeous temples, imposing palaces and fine buildings of the kind seen at Modhera.
The Little Rann of Kutchh is a breeding ground for flamingoes and pelicans. The Indian wild ass lives in the Little Rann and part of the area is a sanctuary to preserve this rare animal. On arrival check in at the Desert Coursers Camp. There may be time to take a jeep safari into the sanctuary. Overnight at Desert Coursers Camp.

Day 8: Drive ZAINABAD-BHUJ


After an early breakfast depart for the long 8-hour drive to Bhuj. En route visit the 16th century Halvad Palace, renowned for its fine wood and stonework. The journey is through interesting villages such as Dhanety, Dharnadka and Bhujodi, giving you a glimpse of tribal life. On arrival drive to the District Collector's office to obtain the special permit required to visit this restricted area, before checking in at Hotel Prince for overnight stay.

Day 9: In BHUJ


Spend the day exploring villages north of Bhuj. The capital of the former Kutchh state, Bhuj is an arid land, having a predominant population of accultured tribal communities. The region is renowned for its silverware, tie-and-dye fabrics and particularly its fine needlework. Banni is the Arabic name for needlework and legend has it that the inhabitants came from Saudi Arabia in the 10th-11th century to settle in this region. Overnight at Hotel Prince.

Day 10: In BHUJ


Today you explore the villages to the south to get a glimpse of various pastoral nomads, their lifestyle, arts and crafts. You get an insight into traditional wool and cotton weaving, Ahir embroidery, block printing and tie-and-dye. Overnight at Hotel Prince.

Day 11: Fly BHUJ/MUMBAI (BOMBAY)


Transfer to the airport for the flight to Bombay (now called Mumbai). You are met at the domestic airport and transferred to the international airport for the onward flight.

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