Small Group Tour

Max 10 guests

Duration

24 Days,
16 & 14 Days

When

February &
October

Package Price

From NZ$7135

Tour Director

Joji Jacob

A farm to fashion textiles tour which goes off the beaten track to meet master artisans at work and showcase the best in the traditional textiles industry covering the West, Central and Eastern regions of India.

Gujarat – Western India

Delhi/Agra – North India

Lucknow – Central India

Kolkata – Eastern India

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artists has expressed”
Leo Tolstoy

Witness the hearts and souls, traditions and beliefs that are woven and embellished into the textiles of India. Meet master artisans and watch them at work.

Farm to fashion

Farm

Spinning

Dyeing

Indigo Dyeing

Ikat Weaving

Jamdhani Weaving

Tangalia Weaving

Tangail Saree Weaving

Brocade Weaving

Carpet Weaving

Ajrak Block Printing

Bhandhani (Tie & dye)

Shibori

Kalamkari Workshop

Rogan Art

Zardozi Embroidery

Aari Embroidery

Kantha Embroidery

Suf Embroidery

Chikankari Embroidery

Meet Master Artisans

Meet Designers

Visit Textiles Museums

Visit Boutiques

This tour has been designed not only to showcase Indian textiles but also to experience the local culture, tradition and lifestyles of these regions of India.

Other Highlights

Taj Mahal Visit

Arts & Crafts

Culinary Treats

Shopping

Village Walks

Folk Music & Dance

Attend Festivals

Market Visits

UNESCO Heritage Sites

Private Home Visits

Pottery Making

Community Initiatives

River Safari

Jeep Safari

Bird Watching

Serendipity

Colourful Memories

WE Got You Covered

Something for everyone

Whether you are a first-timer or experienced traveller, our tours meet the expectations, needs and interests of each individual on the tour. Our guests continuously tell us that it surpasses all their expectations.

Well-paced itinerary

While our travels are experience rich, we ensure it is well-paced, so you have time to rest, relax, reflect and be energised for even more. We ensure that in most instances, we stay at least 2 to 3 nights in each destination. 

boutique accommodation

Boutique accommodation, handpicked by us, for you to rest and rejuvenate in beautiful settings such as palaces, homestay, mansions, farm stay, business hotels and glamping is part of the travel experience we curate for you.

Travel in comfort

We provide airport to airport service, for your comfort and safety. Your private vehicle and the English speaking driver will accompany you throughout the journey. Check out the feedback we have received from our guests.

Title:
Threads of Tradition

Duration:
Full tour, Ahmedabad to Kolkata – 24 Days
Be with the tour until Chambal – 16 Days 
Join the tour in Delhi – 14 Days

When:
2020 – 15th Feb to 8th Mar
2020 – 8th to 30th Oct

Tour Type:
Personally escorted by Joji Jacob

Max Guests:
10

Group discounts available. Contact us for details.

Our colourful ‘Threads of Tradition’ tour treks the geography of textiles as it has been since ancient times. This Farm to Fashion tour starts from India’s ancient and current centre of textiles in the west, Gujarat, and concludes in Kolkata, a port and yarn and textile hub of the pre-British era.

Along the way, we visit New Delhi in the north-west, a stopover in Agra to feast our eyes on the Taj Mahal e route to Lucknow. Throughout this tour, we will witness for ourselves the hearts and souls, traditions and beliefs that are woven and embellished into the textiles of India.

We embark on this amazing and colourful textiles adventure from the heart and centre of Indian textiles from ancient times, Gujarat. The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat is renowned for its indigo dyeing, handloom weaving, embroidery, handicrafts, mouthwatering vegetarian cuisine, natural beauty and colourful lifestyle. We will venture off the beaten track and visit villages where indigo dyeing, intricate embroidery (Rabari, Bavalia & Sindhi), double ikat patola saree weaving, wooden block making, Ajrakh block printing etc. are undertaken in a very traditional way. Along the way, we will stop and marvel at architectural splendours of bygone eras, eat where the locals eat, meet and mingle with tribals and villagers in their natural surroundings and even visit some in their homes.

We will also visit various artisan campuses set up by NGOs to encourage and teach the next generation of artisans in an effort to revive and retain these ancient skills. A trip to Gujarat, with the longest coastline (1290 km) in India, will not be complete without a stay in a beach resort where we get to rest, relax, rejuvenate and reminisce.

After a restful day, we will fly north-west to Delhi, the capital city of India. A fascinating city made up of Old Delhi (a historic walled capital city built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal) with its narrow,crowded, colourful and fascinating bazaars and New Delhi (a garden city designed by Lutyens during the British era) with its landscaped parks, boulevards, mini palaces and Government buildings. Being the capital city, it proudly hosts a craft village spread over 6 acres of reclaimed land, where all the various arts, crafts and textiles from all parts of India are on display and for sale. Here we will get to visually treat ourselves to beautifully woven and embroidered textiles (cotton & silk) and meet and talk to the artisans. A visit to Delhi will not be complete without visiting Qutub Minar (a historically significant monument), doing a cycle rickshaw ride through the crowded streets of Old Delhi, visiting State Emporiums, enjoying culinary delights and commuting with the locals on the Metro.

Out next leg of the journey takes us to one of the world’s most celebrated structures and an icon of India’s rich history – the Taj Mahal. A symbol of love, that is not only beautiful and romantic but is also so graceful, majestic and deeply memorable. With wonderment in our eyes, we embark on a three-hour train journey to Lucknow, the city of the Oudh Nawabs. The Nawabs were great patrons of the culinary and other arts, particularly dance and music. Away from the tourist route, Lucknow is, to this day, a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine. It is the home of Chikan, a delicate and artful hand embroidery that embellishes a variety of textile fabrics like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net, etc. Historically of royal significance, it is now a fashion-centric form of needlecraft recognised world over and sought after by the international fashion houses. Lucknow is also famous for its zardozi (gold or silver metal thread) and Ari (stitching using finest threads, beads and pearls) embroidery. Our culinary walk will entreat us to the famous and rich Lucknow cuisine.

We also get to witness metal craft, artificial jewellery and edible silver foil being created by artisans in the bazaars. Staying in a beautiful Taj hotel, we roundup our stay with a taste of the lifestyle of the princely Nawabs of Lucknow.

We fly over to Kolkata, the final leg of the “Threads of Tradition” tour, to marvel at her rich textile traditions. Fine muslins with superior designs, jamdanis, are their speciality here and so it is only apt that we pay a visit to a jamdani master weaver’s workshop in a nearby village. Here, we get to visit a cotton weaver in his home, a cooperative society of weavers and get a real taste of village life. Returning to Kolkata, we will not only visit Mother Theresa’s home but also observe clay statue making and visit Indian fashion designers who are working to revive the traditional textile arts. No visit to Kolkata will be complete without a tram ride, tasting the famous Bengali cuisine (street stalls visited by Rick Stein) and enjoying the majestic colonial architecture.

We bid our farewells, but only after we have had time to chill out, unwind and weave our rich and colourful experiences into yarns that we can take with us to share with family and friends.

Day 1 – Welcome to your Threads of Tradition tour!

We will receive you personally at the Ahmedabad International Airport and take you to your hotel.

Day 2 – Ahmedabad (Commercial centre of Gujarat)

The best time to travel in India is in the mornings, so after a hearty breakfast, we will head off for sightseeing in Ahmedabad. Key highlights include visits to the famous Calico Museum; National Institute of Design and a commercial scale organic dyeing & printing business.

Day 3 – Ahmedabad to Patan

On our way to Patan, we will drive through scenic Gujarat and along the way we will visit an organic cotton farm; visit the Modhera Sun Temple (an ancient & beautiful architectural marvel built in 1026AD); watch artisans carving wooden blocks for block printing. On reaching Patan, we visit weavers undertaking the complex double IKAT weaving.

Day 4 – Patan to Bhuj

On our way to Bhuj, we will visit the 11th-century stepwell, a UNESCO world heritage site and a must-see for its engineering and architectural brilliance. Monuments, temples, havelis, forts and palaces are all key sources for artisans to draw inspiration for developing their own floral or geometric designs. We stay the night in Bhuj – the heart of textiles and embroidery in Gujarat.

Day 5 – Bhuj (South)

We will visit communities and NGOs located in the south of Bhuj. Here we get to feast our eyes on ‘Ajarakh’ (resist dye) printing; ‘Bandhani’ – the tie and dye process; block printing and ‘Bhujodi’ pit-loom weaving.

Day 6 – Bhuj (West)

This day we get to enjoy various types of embroideries such as Ahir & Soof (very fine and detailed designs), leather embroidery and Rogan art (hand painted textiles) being undertaken in the villages.

Day 7 – Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch, north of Bhuj, is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar desert. On a full moon night, the salt marsh apparently looks like the moon. The Rann Utsav arts and crafts festival (3 months long) will be in full swing. We get to meet artisans and enjoy the local culture, textiles, arts and crafts and cuisine. Being in a desert, we will stay in glamorous tents to really enjoy the ambience.

Day 8 – Mandvi Beach

We head off south to Mandvi Beach – a pristine beach along the Gulf of Kutch. Staying in a deluxe camp with handcrafted tents provides the opportunity to just relax, soak up the sunshine and rejuvenate.

Day 9 – Mandvi to Ahmedabad

We head back to Ahmedabad through scenic central Gujarat. Time to just rest and relax or just explore.

Day 10 – Ahmedabad to Delhi

We take a morning flight to Delhi. This is a fabulous opportunity to check Dili Hart, an open-air food and crafts market in the city centre. Here you can meet artisans from many parts of India selling regional handicrafts and textiles. A fantastic place to get a taste of the amazing regional cuisines and to buy gifts for friends and family.

Day 11 – Delhi

On this day we get to see the old and new faces of Delhi. A cycle rickshaw ride through the congested streets of Old Delhi is an amazing experience. On reaching the bazaars, we will walk along streets filled with tiny but specialists shops – bridal wear, festive clothing; costume jewellery, Indian delicacies and much much more. The riots of colour, the crowd and the sights and sounds are a visual and sensory treat. We will visit the Qutub Minar – a very important historical landmark. We will drive through New Delhi, the garden city, enjoy the colonial architecture, parks and gardens and visit State Emporiums.

Day 12 – Delhi – Taj Mahal – Chambal

We bid Delhi farewell and head towards one of the wonders of the world – Taj Mahal. You get to enjoy this breathtaking symbol of love for a couple of hours before we head off to our accommodation in the heart of Chambal Valley. Located in a sprawling reclaimed woodland, you get to immerse yourself in its tranquil green surroundings.

Day 13 – Chambal

A quiet day to explore the village, meet and mingle with the villagers, enjoy bird watching, cycling around or just relax under the shade of beautiful mature trees.

Day 14 – Chambal – Lucknow

Today, we get to experience Indian Railway’s hospitality as we embark on a three-hour train ride to princely Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs of Oudh. In the evening, we will go on a culinary walk through areas where the locals go to eat. We get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage haveli.

Day 15 – Lucknow

We will wander around narrow streets in the old part of Lucknow to view artisans undertaking different types of embroideries (Chikan, Zardozi and Aari); block printing; metal crafts, perfumeries (using local rose petals) and costume jewellery making. Walking around, we will stop as the fancy takes us to taste the local delicacies.

Day 16 – Lucknow – Kolkata

With the flight to Kolkata not until in the early evening, there is time to further explore Lucknow or just enjoy the lap of luxury that the haveli has to offer.

Day 17 – Kolkata – Kalna – Itachuna

After breakfast, we check out and head out to Itachuna. Enjoy the scenic drive towards rural Bengal where we will visit a master jamdani weaver’s workshop. Once again we get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage mansion.

Day 18 – Itachuna – Phulia – Itachuna

We venture to rural Phulia where we will visit a cotton weaver’s home and the cooperative societies.

Day 19 – Itachuna – Kolkata

We drive back to Kolkata and after some rest and refreshments, we will visit modern Indian designer showrooms promoting fashion shaped from traditional designs, fabrics and styles. Before retiring for the evening, we will visit Mother Theresa’s home – ‘Mother House’.

Day 20 – Kolkata

After breakfast, we visit an artists’ colony where they create clay idols for festivals. We get to enjoy a home-cooked lunch before we visit Kolkata’s ‘Tant’ textile showroom where traditional Bengali sarees are displayed. Enjoy a relaxing evening in very luxurious accommodation.

Day 21 – Departure

Sadly, this is the day to bid our farewells and head our separate ways. It has been our pleasure to show you the textiles traditions of old and new India.

Cost per person, based on double occupancy
Package Price
Full tour – 24 days: NZ$9885 (US$6810)
Ahmedabad to Chambal – 16 Days – NZ$7950 (US$5485)
Delhi to Kolkata – 14 Days – NZ$7335 (US$5055)

Group DiscountUp to NZ$350 (US$236) One person on twin share
Single Supplement: From NZ$2195 (US$1513)Per Person

The package cost includes:

  • 3 Domestic airfares, land transport in private air-conditioned van
  • All breakfast, 2 lunch & 6 dinner
  • All entrance fees
  • Contact us for  the whole list of inclusions & exclusions
Tour Details

Title:
Threads of Tradition

Duration:
22 Days

When:
2019 – 8th to 29th Oct
2020 – 8th to 30th Oct (23 days)

Tour Type:
Personally escorted by Joji Jacob

Max Guests:
10

Group discounts available. Contact us for details.

Tour Description

Our colourful ‘Threads of Tradition’ tour treks the geography of textiles as it has been since ancient times. This Farm to Fashion tour starts from India’s ancient and current centre of textiles in the west, Gujarat, and concludes in Kolkata, a port and yarn and textile hub of the pre-British era.

Along the way, we visit New Delhi in the north-west, a stopover in Agra to feast our eyes on the Taj Mahal e route to Lucknow. Throughout this tour, we will witness for ourselves the hearts and souls, traditions and beliefs that are woven and embellished into the textiles of India.

We embark on this amazing and colourful textiles adventure from the heart and centre of Indian textiles from ancient times, Gujarat. The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat is renowned for its indigo dyeing, handloom weaving, embroidery, handicrafts, mouthwatering vegetarian cuisine, natural beauty and colourful lifestyle. We will venture off the beaten track and visit villages where indigo dyeing, intricate embroidery (Rabari, Bavalia & Sindhi), double ikat patola saree weaving, wooden block making, Ajrakh block printing etc. are undertaken in a very traditional way. Along the way, we will stop and marvel at architectural splendours of bygone eras, eat where the locals eat, meet and mingle with tribals and villagers in their natural surroundings and even visit some in their homes.

We will also visit various artisan campuses set up by NGOs to encourage and teach the next generation of artisans in an effort to revive and retain these ancient skills. A trip to Gujarat, with the longest coastline (1290 km) in India, will not be complete without a stay in a beach resort where we get to rest, relax, rejuvenate and reminisce.

After a restful day, we will fly north-west to Delhi, the capital city of India. A fascinating city made up of Old Delhi (a historic walled capital city built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal) with its narrow,crowded, colourful and fascinating bazaars and New Delhi (a garden city designed by Lutyens during the British era) with its landscaped parks, boulevards, mini palaces and Government buildings. Being the capital city, it proudly hosts a craft village spread over 6 acres of reclaimed land, where all the various arts, crafts and textiles from all parts of India are on display and for sale. Here we will get to visually treat ourselves to beautifully woven and embroidered textiles (cotton & silk) and meet and talk to the artisans. A visit to Delhi will not be complete without visiting Qutub Minar (a historically significant monument), doing a cycle rickshaw ride through the crowded streets of Old Delhi, visiting State Emporiums, enjoying culinary delights and commuting with the locals on the Metro.

Out next leg of the journey takes us to one of the world’s most celebrated structures and an icon of India’s rich history – the Taj Mahal. A symbol of love, that is not only beautiful and romantic but is also so graceful, majestic and deeply memorable. With wonderment in our eyes, we embark on a three-hour train journey to Lucknow, the city of the Oudh Nawabs. The Nawabs were great patrons of the culinary and other arts, particularly dance and music. Away from the tourist route, Lucknow is, to this day, a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine. It is the home of Chikan, a delicate and artful hand embroidery that embellishes a variety of textile fabrics like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net, etc. Historically of royal significance, it is now a fashion-centric form of needlecraft recognised world over and sought after by the international fashion houses. Lucknow is also famous for its zardozi (gold or silver metal thread) and Ari (stitching using finest threads, beads and pearls) embroidery. Our culinary walk will entreat us to the famous and rich Lucknow cuisine.

We also get to witness metal craft, artificial jewellery and edible silver foil being created by artisans in the bazaars. Staying in a beautiful Taj hotel, we roundup our stay with a taste of the lifestyle of the princely Nawabs of Lucknow.

We fly over to Kolkata, the final leg of the “Threads of Tradition” tour, to marvel at her rich textile traditions. Fine muslins with superior designs, jamdanis, are their speciality here and so it is only apt that we pay a visit to a jamdani master weaver’s workshop in a nearby village. Here, we get to visit a cotton weaver in his home, a cooperative society of weavers and get a real taste of village life. Returning to Kolkata, we will not only visit Mother Theresa’s home but also observe clay statue making and visit Indian fashion designers who are working to revive the traditional textile arts. No visit to Kolkata will be complete without a tram ride, tasting the famous Bengali cuisine (street stalls visited by Rick Stein) and enjoying the majestic colonial architecture.

We bid our farewells, but only after we have had time to chill out, unwind and weave our rich and colourful experiences into yarns that we can take with us to share with family and friends.

Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – Welcome to your Threads of Tradition tour!

We will receive you personally at the Ahmedabad International Airport and take you to your hotel.

Day 2 – Ahmedabad (Commercial centre of Gujarat)

The best time to travel in India is in the mornings, so after a hearty breakfast, we will head off for sightseeing in Ahmedabad. Key highlights include visits to the famous Calico Museum; National Institute of Design and a commercial scale organic dyeing & printing business.

Day 3 – Ahmedabad to Patan

On our way to Patan, we will drive through scenic Gujarat and along the way we will visit an organic cotton farm; visit the Modhera Sun Temple (an ancient & beautiful architectural marvel built in 1026AD); watch artisans carving wooden blocks for block printing. On reaching Patan, we visit weavers undertaking the complex double IKAT weaving.

Day 4 – Patan to Bhuj

On our way to Bhuj, we will visit the 11th-century stepwell, a UNESCO world heritage site and a must-see for its engineering and architectural brilliance. Monuments, temples, havelis, forts and palaces are all key sources for artisans to draw inspiration for developing their own floral or geometric designs. We stay the night in Bhuj – the heart of textiles and embroidery in Gujarat.

Day 5 – Bhuj (South)

We will visit communities and NGOs located in the south of Bhuj. Here we get to feast our eyes on ‘Ajarakh’ (resist dye) printing; ‘Bandhani’ – the tie and dye process; block printing and ‘Bhujodi’ pit-loom weaving.

Day 6 – Bhuj (West)

This day we get to enjoy various types of embroideries such as Ahir & Soof (very fine and detailed designs), leather embroidery and Rogan art (hand painted textiles) being undertaken in the villages.

Day 7 – Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch, north of Bhuj, is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar desert. On a full moon night, the salt marsh apparently looks like the moon. The Rann Utsav arts and crafts festival (3 months long) will be in full swing. We get to meet artisans and enjoy the local culture, textiles, arts and crafts and cuisine. Being in a desert, we will stay in glamorous tents to really enjoy the ambience.

Day 8 – Mandvi Beach

We head off south to Mandvi Beach – a pristine beach along the Gulf of Kutch. Staying in a deluxe camp with handcrafted tents provides the opportunity to just relax, soak up the sunshine and rejuvenate.

Day 9 – Mandvi to Ahmedabad

We head back to Ahmedabad through scenic central Gujarat. Time to just rest and relax or just explore.

Day 10 – Ahmedabad to Delhi

We take a morning flight to Delhi. This is a fabulous opportunity to check Dili Hart, an open-air food and crafts market in the city centre. Here you can meet artisans from many parts of India selling regional handicrafts and textiles. A fantastic place to get a taste of the amazing regional cuisines and to buy gifts for friends and family.

Day 11 – Delhi

On this day we get to see the old and new faces of Delhi. A cycle rickshaw ride through the congested streets of Old Delhi is an amazing experience. On reaching the bazaars, we will walk along streets filled with tiny but specialists shops – bridal wear, festive clothing; costume jewellery, Indian delicacies and much much more. The riots of colour, the crowd and the sights and sounds are a visual and sensory treat. We will visit the Qutub Minar – a very important historical landmark. We will drive through New Delhi, the garden city, enjoy the colonial architecture, parks and gardens and visit State Emporiums.

Day 12 – Delhi – Taj Mahal – Chambal

We bid Delhi farewell and head towards one of the wonders of the world – Taj Mahal. You get to enjoy this breathtaking symbol of love for a couple of hours before we head off to our accommodation in the heart of Chambal Valley. Located in a sprawling reclaimed woodland, you get to immerse yourself in its tranquil green surroundings.

Day 13 – Chambal

A quiet day to explore the village, meet and mingle with the villagers, enjoy bird watching, cycling around or just relax under the shade of beautiful mature trees.

Day 14 – Chambal – Lucknow

Today, we get to experience Indian Railway’s hospitality as we embark on a three-hour train ride to princely Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs of Oudh. In the evening, we will go on a culinary walk through areas where the locals go to eat. We get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage haveli.

Day 15 – Lucknow

We will wander around narrow streets in the old part of Lucknow to view artisans undertaking different types of embroideries (Chikan, Zardozi and Aari); block printing; metal crafts, perfumeries (using local rose petals) and costume jewellery making. Walking around, we will stop as the fancy takes us to taste the local delicacies.

Day 16 – Lucknow – Kolkata

With the flight to Kolkata not until in the early evening, there is time to further explore Lucknow or just enjoy the lap of luxury that the haveli has to offer.

Day 17 – Kolkata – Kalna – Itachuna

After breakfast, we check out and head out to Itachuna. Enjoy the scenic drive towards rural Bengal where we will visit a master jamdani weaver’s workshop. Once again we get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage mansion.

Day 18 – Itachuna – Phulia – Itachuna

We venture to rural Phulia where we will visit a cotton weaver’s home and the cooperative societies.

Day 19 – Itachuna – Kolkata

We drive back to Kolkata and after some rest and refreshments, we will visit modern Indian designer showrooms promoting fashion shaped from traditional designs, fabrics and styles. Before retiring for the evening, we will visit Mother Theresa’s home – ‘Mother House’.

Day 20 – Kolkata

After breakfast, we visit an artists’ colony where they create clay idols for festivals. We get to enjoy a home-cooked lunch before we visit Kolkata’s ‘Tant’ textile showroom where traditional Bengali sarees are displayed. Enjoy a relaxing evening in very luxurious accommodation.

Day 21 – Departure

Sadly, this is the day to bid our farewells and head our separate ways. It has been our pleasure to show you the textiles traditions of old and new India.

Tour Prices & Offers
Costs are in NZ$ per person, based on double occupancy
Package Price (for 22 days): NZ$9585 (US$6710)
Group DiscountUp to NZ$350 (US$236) One person on twin share
Single Supplement: NZ$3450 (US$2330)Per Person

The package cost includes:

  • 3 Domestic airfares, land transport in private air-conditioned van
  • All breakfast, 2 lunch & 6 dinner
  • All entrance fees
  • Contact us for  the whole list of inclusions & exclusions

Enquire About ‘Threads of Tradition’ Tour

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