Expert-Led Group Tour

India group tour - Textiles and Artisans of India

Travel from Gujarat to Hyderabad

13 days

from £4,495pp
  • Escorted by textiles expert, Rosemary Crill, co-curator of the V&A's Fabric of India exhibition
  • Guided tour of the Calico Museum of Textiles, a world renowned treasure trove of textiles
  • Special permits for access to Banni villages where the mirror work is unparalleled
  • Stay at India's most ornate hotel - the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad

Travel from India's north-west region of Gujarat to Hyderabad. Discover the fascinating textiles of these regions and learn more about its influences on the V&A Fabric of India exhibition through the eyes of the exhibition curator Rosemary Crill.

The history of India's remarkable textile traditions date back at least six thousand years to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Fragments of woven cotton have been found, and some traces of dye, which speak of a highly developed cotton industry, while recent discoveries suggest that the cultivation of wild silk was also well understood in ancient India.

Throughout India today, skilled textile artists continue to contribute to these truly splendid and enduring traditions, producing textiles that not only reflect the past but also cater for modern tastes and global markets today.

WHERE DOES THIS GROUP TOUR VISIT?

Travel through the semi-arid regions of Gujarat in India's north- west, meet the people of Bhuj with their instinctive eye for colour and design. These artisans have produced some of India's most creative folk embroidery and gorgeous bandhini or tie dye work.

Visit Dasada to learn the origins of Ajrakh prints, among the oldest textiles in the world, dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation; travel to Ahmedabad and discover the intricate techniques used to produce Patola cloth, used to make the finest hand woven saris in the world; and take a guided tour of the Calico Museum - a pilgrimage site for textile lovers.

The tour finishes in Hyderabad with a stay at the former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad - Falaknuma Palace, now leased by the hotel group Taj. One of India's most ornate and exquisite hotels, Falaknuma is more a museum than a hotel and is a fitting end to this exceptional tour.

WHY TRAVEL WITH ROSEMARY CRILL?

Rosemary Crill is the internationally respected former senior curator for South and Southeast Asian textiles and dress, Middle Eastern Carpets, and South Asian painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She curated ‘The Fabric of India’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This tour will give a privileged insight into her in-depth understanding of Indian textiles.

She has published many books and articles on these subjects and has travelled widely in India.

Rosemary will join the group as a tour expert, she will work with a local tour guide throughout, allowing priveledged access into certain sites and museums as well as giving an insight through organised talks. Please note Rosemary is not a tour lecturer or tour leader, however her experience and knowledge of the Fabrics of India make an incredible addition to this tour.

IS THIS GROUP TOUR SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Expert.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

DO I NEED A VISA FOR INDIA?

All visitors need a visa for India. There is now provision for an online e-visa for citizens of certain countries, including the UK. The visa has to be obtained before arrival in all circumstances. Tourist visas issued in the UK have six months’ validity from date of issue.

WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE IN INDIA?

During this tour you will stay in a carefully selected range of small hotels in Gujarat and world leading five-star properties in Hyderabad and Mumbai. All hotels are at least a three-star standard and all offer restaurants on site, some offer pools and leisure facilities. These hotels have been chosen for their vantage points, and good access to city sightseeing.

Gujarat hotel standards are generally lower than other more visited areas of India and availability and choice are limited. We believe we have confirmed the best available in each location.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE IN GUJARAT AND HYDERABAD?

Both regions have distinctive cuisine.

Gujarat cuisine offers a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, and more often than not served on a lovely silver platter. A combination of different spices is used in cooking and this is what makes Gujarati food truly exotic with sweet notes dominating many dishes such as Gujarati Kadhi (curry). Another traditional dish is the Gujarati thali, consisting of roti, dal, rice and shaak (a dish made up of several different combinations of vegetable and spices).

Hyderabad is famous for its ridiculously good Biryani, a traditional celebration of lamb and rice. Do not leave the city without a tasting.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE IN INDIA IN NOVEMBER?

Warm sunny days with cooler nights. November is the end of the monsoon rains. The average temperatures sit around 30 degrees, dropping to 17 – 18 degrees at night.

HOW FIT SHOULD I BE TO ENJOY THIS TOUR?

General overall fitness is required. There is a lot of walking however, at a leisurely pace with some stairs. We would suggest that you bring a comfortable pair if walking shoes, that are easy to take on and off as you will be required to remove your shoes when visiting mosques and temples.

CAN I EXTEND MY STAY IN INDIA?

Yes, this can easily be arranged at the end of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided and a private guide arranged for sightseeing.

We have arranged an extention at the Falaknuma Palace for those feeling they would like an extra night stay independant of the group. The price starts from £400 per person including private airport transfers.

From Mumbai you can easily reach the beaches of South India.  If Rajasthan is on the wishlist then there is daily connectivity by air, easily enabling a short extension to visit the Taj Mahal and Jaipur.



Departing on:
  • 4th November 2017

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

DEPART UKARRIVE UKPrice Excluding Flights (£)Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
4th Nov 2017 16th Nov 2017 £ 4,495 £ 685 £ 1,795 Rosemary Crill Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 Dinners
  • Accompanied by an English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Accompanied by textile expert Rosemary Crill throughout
  • All transportation by comfortable AC Mini coach
  • Comfortable Hotel accommodation (at least 4*)
  • Domestic internal flights
  • Entrance to all sites mentioned
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and porters
  • Local experts in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gujarat.
  • Meet and greet service at the airports

what is excluded

  • Additional meals not mentioned
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • India visa
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Mumbai

Day 2

Lunch not included. Dinner is included at Masala Restaurant


Welcome Dinner at Masala Kraft
Before dinner this evening there will be a presentation from Rosemary Crill. This will take place within the Taj Mahal Palace.Following the presentation adjourn to the Masala Kraft restaurant for a welcome dinner.

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is a city teeming with culture, architecture and people. Famous for its diversity, this vast metropolis has suffered from religious tensions during recent years, but this has done little to limit the surprisingly liberal attitudes of many 'Mumbaikars'.

Having boomed as a port during the 18th and 19th century, Mumbai is rich with colonial architecture, whilst towering contemporary structures underline the city's recent prosperity. Contrasting strongly with these are the city's slums, which make up large parts of this modern city and serve as a reminder of the mixed fortunes of its residents.


You will be staying at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

A Full Day of Sightseeing
A full day of sightseeing is arranged today including lunch at a local restaurant. At around 11:15 am, arrive at Churchgate station to watch a typical Mumbai trade - the Dabbawallahs. These men deliver over 200,000 home- cooked meals to office workers throughout Mumbai (as shown in the wonderful film The Lunchbox). Then visit Mahalaxmi to visit the Dhobi Ghat, the largest and most unique laundry qaurters.

After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Khotachi Wadi, Mumbai's oldest preserved settlement. It is a collection of vernacular-style houses, a unique example of 19th century architecture. There used to be 65 of these houses, which has now been reduced to 28, due to the influx of modern buildings. Meet Mr James Ferreira, an Indian fashion designer and founder of the 'James Ferreira' designer label and also a resident of this heritage village.


Lunch included at a local restaurant. Dinner under own arrangements


You will be staying at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Fly Mumbai to Bhuj


Your baggage allowance of 25 kg has been prepaid for each domestic flight


Bhuj - An orientation Evening
After time to freshen up, visit Mr Wazir in his home to see his textile collection. He has a stunning collection of more than 3000 pieces, about half of which are for sale, and he is happy to talk about his abiding passion. His pieces are mostly from Kutch, but also from other parts of India and even Pakistan. Return to the hotel for dinner.


Breakfast and Dinner at the hotel


You will be staying at Prince Hotel, As specified

Day 5

A Full Day of Sightseeing
After breakfast visit Aina Mahal, the old royal palace, now a museum. Proceed to visit the Kala Raksha Trust (40 minutes driving time), While here visit their textile museum and learn about the many styles of Kutch embroidery. In 1991, Kala Raksha became a new model for development through handicrafts, the preservation of traditions, combined with income generation through contemporary work. Comprising of artisans, community members and experts in the fields of art, design, rural management and museums, the organisation works hand in hand with embroidery artisans. Lunch will be taken at Hodka before travelling on to visit a Banni village. The Banni are renowned for the most exquisite mirror work, the results are extravagant covers, tunics and scarves emblazoned with mirrors. Return to Bhuj later today to the hotel for dinner, a drive of one and a half hours.


Breakfast, lunch (at Hodka) and dinner at hotel


You will be staying at Prince Hotel, As specified

Day 6

Visit to Mandvi Port
An early start today to reach the coast via the Jain Temple (a driving time of 90 minutes). Traditional wooden dhows are constructed at the port and lunch will be provided at Mandvi Resort. Return to Bhuj to see exquisite tie-dying on silk at the workshop of Jabbar and Abdullah Khatri. On returning to Bhuj take a pre-dinner stroll through Bhuj Bazaar, a great place for souvenirs, followed by dinner at the city The Village restaurant..


Breakfast and dinner at hotel. Lunch at Mandvi


You will be staying at Prince Hotel, As specified

Day 7

Drive to Dasada stopping at Ajrakpur Village


The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the monsoon. Safaris across the Little Rann visit the 'bets' islands, on an ancient seabed that are now higher grounds covered with grass and scrub. These 'bets' support a variety of wildlife including the Gudkhur (Asiatic wild ass) that is not found elsewhere.


Bhuj to Dasada
Visit Bhujodi village to explore Vankar Vishram Shamji weaver's workshop. Later driven to Shrujan Museum, displaying local embroidery styles. We will also visit Ajrakh printers, close to the Shrujan Museum. Printing is the other quintessential craft of Kutch, along with tie-dying and embroidery. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. Continue to Dasada later this afternoon.


This evening Rosemary Crill will host a pre dinner presenation


Breakfast, local lunch and dinner at hotel


You will be staying at Rann Riders, Full board

Day 8

Visit the Little Rann of Kutch and tribal villages
This morning take an open jeep ride to the little Rann of Kutch.

Dasada village is near the Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary. Once an arm of the Arabian Sea the Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape. Today, take a safari across the Little Rann and visit the bets; islands on the ancient seabed that now form higher ground covered with grass and scrub. Witness the sea salt making process. The hardship of the Rann and climate has a deep impact and influence on the textile and embroidery styles of the local people and tribes of the area.


Camel Cart Ride through Village
After lunch at the hotel, take a camel cart ride to the local villages around Dasada.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel


You will be staying at Rann Riders, Full board

Day 9

Modhera
On departing Dasada this morning stop at the Sun Temple. The 11th century Sun temple of Modhera was built by the Solanki Rajpur kings. The temple features carved torana arches mounted on kirti stambhas (pillars of victory) as the entrances, an exquisite 52 pillared portico, a beautiful domed central portion and a sanctum sanctorum designed so that the sun light falls on the bejewlled statue of the Sun God.


Sightseeing - Dasada to Ahmedabad
Driven to Ahmedabad (approximately six and a half hours), stopping off at Patan, the ancient capital of Gujarat. Patan is famous for its complex, double ikat patola weaving. Both warp and weft threads are bound and dyed according to the desired pattern before the cloth is woven, we will also see satin-weave ikat mashru weaving. Visit Rani ki Vav, an intricately decorated stepwell dating from the 11th century, and one of the highlights of a visit to Patan. Lunch will be hosted by a local family before arriving at Ahmedabad.


Lunch with a family and dinner at the hotel


You will be staying at The House of MG, As specified

Day 10

The Calico Museum and Gandhi Ashram
After breakfast visit the Gandhi Ashram before being taken on a hosted tour of the Calico Museum. Founded in 1959, it is regarded as one of the leading textile museums in the world. The museum houses a collection of fabrics, which show Indian textile design and production, from over five centuries. The collection includes textile swatches of Indian origin found at archaeological sites in Egypt, silk saris from across India, royal wardrobes from Rajasthan and much more.


Afternoon in Ahmedabad
Returning to Ahmedabad after lunch there will be ample time to explore the bazaars. Dinner will be taken at the House of MG this evening. Pre dinner Rosemary will lead the group through the small in house museum.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat's major city was founded in the 15th century and its stunning Islamic architecture includes some of India's finest monuments. It is home to fascinating old quarters, which are worthy of exploration.


Breakfast, lunch at local restaurant and dinner at hotel


You will be staying at The House of MG, As specified

Day 11

Fly Ahmedabad to Hyderabad


This evening there is a private tour arranged of Falaknuma Palace


Breakfast at the hotel. Dinner and lunch under own arrangements


You will be staying at Taj Falaknuma Palace, As specified

Day 12

Walking Tour
After breakfast take a walk around the street market of Charminar and Mecca Masjid. During the walk, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the master craftsmen working in their shops. Along the way, there will be chances to see lac bangle making, fine Bidri work on metal and a visit will be made to the jewellers that learnt the art of replicating the Nizam's jewellery. A lunch stop will be made at a local restaurant.

Situated on the banks of the Musi River, the 500 year old city is a major IT hub, second to Bangalore. In contrast, it is steeped in a past of refined courtly life played out in elaborate palaces, and none grander than the Taj Falaknuma Palace. These days the city is a blend of old and new with burkha-clad women scouring the markets for traditional bangles, rubbing shoulders with local businessmen. Explore the city's streets, the grand palaces and monuments to uncover it's fascinating history. The city is also famed for its aromatic biryani and double-ka-meetha, a bread pudding.


There is the opportunity to take a formal sightseeing tour of the city this afternoon


Half Day Sightseeing Tour of the City
Spend time exploring the Old City of Hyderabad. Visit the iconic minaret-dominated Charminar, the Mughal-designed Mecca Masjid, the opulent Chowmahalla Palace, the vast Golkonda Fort and the pearly white Qutb Shahi Tombs.


India Textiles Tour 2017 Farewell dinner at Falaknuma Palace:
In the evening there will be a farewell dinner arranged at the Palace. Enjoy drinks at the terrace with a wonderful Qawwali performance (an ancient form of Sufi music) followed by a meal to savour the traditional delicacies of the Nizam's.


Breakfast, lunch at local restaurant, and farewell dinner including soft drinks and Indian wine


You will be staying at Taj Falaknuma Palace, As specified

Day 13

Fly Hyderabad to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Taj Falaknuma Palace

The former residence of the royal family of Hyderbad, The Falaknuma Palace has been leased to the Taj Group of Hotels and refurbished into a truly remarkable palace hotel....

View Accommodation

Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

More than a hotel, the lavish Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic landmark of Mumbai....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

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"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Expert

Rosemary Crill

Rosemary Crill
Rosemary Crill has spent her career as a curator of the V&A Museum’s Indian collections, specialising in textiles and paintings. She has published many books and articles on these subjects and has travelled widely in India. She was co-curator of the exhibitions Colours of the Indus (1997), The Indian Portrait (2010) and The Fabric of India (2015-16).
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Rosemary Crill

Departure Date (S):

  • 4th November 2017

  1. Active – The tour may involve daily walks and will have a faster pace in certain areas. Walks will be no longer than 6 hours. The pace of this tour will be quite busy, expect long travel days and very little time at leisure.

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