Handicrafts in Gujarat: Rich Craft Heritage of Gujarat
Handicrafts in Gujarat – Craft Heritage of Gujarat explores the craft villages, workshops, textile museum and NGOs promoting the art and crafts of Gujarat.
Craft Heritage of Gujarat takes you to the heart of Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat regions, renowned for their wide-ranging textile crafts such as screen printing, block printing, hand weaving, embroidery, Tie and Dye (Bandhani), Rogan Painting, etc.
Handicrafts in Gujarat – Craft Heritage of Gujarat Highlights
- Visit Calico Museum of Textiles, one of India’s leading specialized textile museums
- Experience the 1748 AD Naulakha Palace at Gondal which houses the erstwhile ruling family’s private collection
- Visit Jetpur for screen and block printing workshops and a yarn-dyeing center
- Stopover at Rajkot for Watson Museum and Rashtriya Shala, the hand-weaving community
- Explore craft villages around Bhuj for distinctive styles of embroidery and other handiwork like weaving, block-printing, Rogan Painting, etc
- Visit tie-and-dye center at Mandvi, a 400-year old shipyard and an exquisite Jain Temple complex
- Get amazed at Bhungas and Rabari embroidery at Mandvi
- En-route visit Wadhwan for tie-and-dye, weaving and metal crafts
- Explore villages around Little Rann of Kutch for Tribal craft and culture
- Day trip to Patan to watch the Salvis at work on the Patola, one of the richest silk textiles in the world
- Accommodation in a double / twin room with Breakfast (Except in Bhuj, Mandvi, and Dasada)
- Monument Entry Fees
- 1 Safari in Little Rann of Kutch
- A car with experienced driver on disposal for 11 days – AC Toyota Innova
- Packaged water in the car
- All currently applicable taxes
- Any airfare or train fare
- Any meals other than those specified in ‘Cost Includes’
- Expenses of personal nature such as gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, liquor, etc.
- India visa charges
- Travel insurance
Expert Travel Opinion
House of MG in Old City area of Ahmedabad is renowned for its two ethnic cuisine restaurants. “Green House” serves local Gujarati snacks and ice creams and “Agashiye” is an iconic restaurant serving wholesome Gujarati set meal (popularly known as a “Thali”). Both these restaurants are very popular with travellers.
Vishala, a village themed ethnic cuisine restaurant is a popular outdoor dining option in Ahmedabad for travellers for winter evenings. The Utensil Museum is situated within the Vishala premises and therefore, it is popular for travellers interested in Handicrafts in Gujarat to spend the evenings at Vishala after visiting the Utensil Museum.
Ahmedabad Old City has a popular ethnic cuisine restaurant “Pol Kholi” which is a popular breakfast option after a morning heritage walk.
Rajkot is one of the hubs for Kathiawari Cuisine, the ethnic cuisine of the Saurashtra region. At Rajkot, you may opt for the renowned Vegetarian Thali Lunch at Hotel Grand Thakar for an authentic taste of ethnic cuisine of the region.
Kutch region around Bhuj has its own unique ethnic cuisine. At Bhuj you may opt for the renowned Vegetarian Kutchi Thali Lunch at Hotel Prince for an authentic taste of ethnic cuisine of the region, while absorbing the intricacies of the handicrafts in Gujarat.
Day 01 - Ahmedabad
Arrive at Ahmedabad
Arrive at Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad is a major center of traditional and contemporary textiles, and many crafts thrive here such as Mata ni Pachedi paintings and block-printing. Here you are met by our representative and introduced to your private driver who will accompany you for the rest of your trip.
Spend the rest of your day at leisure or just relax at the hotel to recover from the international flight.
Day 02 - Ahmedabad
Visit the Calico Museum of Textiles and Utensil Museum
Today, you visit the Calico Museum of Textiles, one of India’s leading specialised textile museums. There are several galleries here that extensively demonstrate the craft heritage of Gujarat and other parts of India. The items here date back to as much as 300 years. The galleries here include Textiles for the Mughal and Regional Courts, Export Textiles, Indian Costumes, Regional Embroideries, Techniques of Weaving and Dyeing, Tie-Dyed Fabrics, Embroidery Techniques and Technique of Blocks Making and Printing.
In the afternoon, (after lunch) you visit the Utensil Museum "Vechaar" that demonstrates wide ranging utensils with extensive use of exquisite metalcraft, pottery and hand painting. You return by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore Ahmedabad on your own.
- Ahmedabad Old City has been recently recognised by UNESCO as a heritage site. You may opt for a 2-hour morning heritage walk (before the Calico Museum visit) to explore unique cultural and architectural elements of the area. As part of the walk, you visit local embroidery craft centre.
- Law Garden area in Ahmedabad is renowned for its night market where street vendors sell textile craft items. The market is vibrant and is excellent for local interactions. You may visit Law Garden area in the evening, if time permits.
- Ahmedabad is home to many heritage areas such as Stepwells (popularly known as a "Vaav"), Mughal era Mosque and these can be visited in the afternoon instead of the Utensil Museum.
Day 03 - Gondal
Travel to Gondal. Visit Naulakha Palace
Drive to Gondal (250 kms - 5 hours), a princely town in heart of Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Here you visit the 1748 AD Naulakha Palace which houses the erstwhile royal family’s private collection of beadwork, textiles, brassware, hand-painted toys and silver crafts.
In the evening, you visit Khadi Plaza, one of Gujarat’s major handloom weaving units. You stay at Riverside Palace/Orchard Palace, both of which are decorated with textiles from the former royal family collections.
Day 04 - Gondal
Excursion to Jetpur and Junagadh
Today, you take a day excursion to Jetpur (31 kms), known for its screen and block printing workshops, and a yarn-dyeing centre. After spending some time at Jetpur, you proceed to Junagadh (37 kms) where you can see gem-encrusted carpets, wardrobes and tapestry.
You return to Gondal by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore Gondal on your own.
Day 05 - Bhuj
Travel to Bhuj, enroute visit Watson Museum and Rashtriya Shala
Today, you travel to Bhuj (272 kms - 5.5 hours) via Rajkot (40 kms). At Rajkot, you visit the Watson Museum, which has good examples of Gujarat’s craftsmanship skills.
Thereafter, you visit Rashtriya Shala, an organization promoting indigenous crafts and the erstwhile home of Mahatma Gandhi, where you can try your hand at hand-weaving. Reach Bhuj by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore Bhuj on your own.
Day 06 - Bhuj
Visit craft villages around Bhuj
Visit the villages around Bhuj known for their distinctive styles of embroidery and other handiwork. Every village here has its own distinctive style of craft.
There are over 30 villages that specialize in different embroidery such as Dhorodo (80 km north, Mutua embroidery), Sumrasar (25 km northeast, Ahir embroidery and Soof embroidery), Loria (60 km, Wood Crafts), Zura (30 kms, embroidered footwear and leather crafts), Nirona (40 kms northwest - embroidery, lacquered wood crafts, wood carving and Rogan painting), Nakhatrana (50 kms - Tie-dye), Bhujodi (10 kms southeast - Pitloom weaving), Dhamanka (50 kms east of Bhuj - block printed fabrics), Anjar (22 kms Southeast - Metalcrafts).
You may choose to visit a few villages based on your specific interest. Return to Bhuj by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore Bhuj on your own.
Day 07 - Mandvi
Travel to Mandvi to Visit craft villages and a 400-year old Shipyard
Today, you drive to Mandvi (60 kms), an idyllic beachfront overlooking the Arabian Sea. You first visit villages near Mandvi known for their picturesque houses called bhungas and Rabari embroidery. Later in the day you visit a tie-and-dye centre en-route and visit the 400-year old shipyard where traditional boats (dhow) are hand-built.
Hereafter, you visit 72 Jinalaya, a renowned Jain Temple with intricately carved 72 temples within one temple, an example of ancient temple architecture and craftsmanship. You arrive at your hotel by the evening.
Rest of the evening is for you to explore the beachside character of Mandvi.
Day 08 - Sayla
Travel to Sayla. En-route visit Wadhwan
Today you drive to Sayla (320 kms - 5.5 hours). Sayla lies in the heart of the craft heritage areas of Gujarat and is an excellent overnight stopover. En-route you visit Wadhwan (37 kms before Sayla), a historic walled town and centre for bandhani tie-and-dye, weaving and metal crafts.
Crafts to explore at Sayla comprise Beadwork, Ikat Weaving, Tangaliya Weaving (Vasatari near Sayla), Handloom and Khadi clusters (Surendranagar) and Terracotta (Botad - 50 kms from Sayla).
You have lunch en-route and arrive at your hotel by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore the rural character of Sayla.
Day 09 - Dasada
Travel to Dasada (Little Rann of Kutch). Visit Craft Villages around Dasada
Drive to Dasada (110 kms - 2 hours), a desert area that is a part of Little Rann of Kutch area and a prime bird watching site. Dasada is home to many nomadic communities and villages where you watch Rabari women at work on their distinct embroideries.
After arriving at the hotel, take the evening safari to the lakes around Dasada for birds (300+ species) and wildlife (only habitat of Wild Ass in India). Return to your hotel by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to relax and enjoy the jungle lodge character of the hotel.
Day 10 - Patan
Travel to Patan and return to Ahmedabad by the evening
Travel to Patan (80 kms - 2 hours), home to Stepwells that are a UNESCO World heritage site. En-route you visit the 11th-century Modhera’s Sun Temple complex. Patan is renowned for its Patola, one of the richest silk textiles in the world, woven using the rare double-ikat technique.
You visit the Patol centres and after spending some time, proceed to Ahmedabad (120 kms - 2 hours). Reach Ahmedabad by the evening. Rest of the evening is for you to explore Ahmedabad on own.
Day 11 - Ahmedabad
Depart from Ahmedabad for your onward destination.
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