Gujarat Tribals + Textiles 30 January - 11 February 2018

A 13-day Exotic Odyssey through Gujarat in Western India-

for photographers, adventurers, collectors

Expressions of Interest are now being taken for this tour in 2018. Email Us for more Information.

This Tour has been designed by Art of Living for adventurers who will enjoy an imaginative itinerary, wish to share my enthusiasm for roads less travelled, are willing to explore a region not much visited by Western tourists, who will feel enriched by experiencing tribal communities whose ways of life are fast disappearing.

This trip is not going to be for anyone who cannot live without 5* luxury, but for whom the human element, the thrill of the journey, the curiosity for interaction with remote cultures, traditions, customs, markets and their arts and crafts will be more than compensated for by any absence of super luxury  that might be endured because some days may be long and some of the regions we travel through have only simple basic infrastructure. But then much of the allure is that you will escape the more frustrating aspects of modernity.

This tour will appeal to travellers with a penchant for the anthropological, collectors with a love of decoration, whether it be in the clothing, the jewellery, the houses or the accoutrements for animals that are stitched, woven or embroidered by indigenous people, and to photography enthusiasts challenged to capture timeless backgrounds, and timeless beauty. Accommodation will be in a mix of heritage hotels, erstwhile palaces and lodges that are the best available and reflect the local lifestyle and aesthetics: always clean, comfortable and safe.

5 March 2011

Marieke:  First of all, what a wonderful trip.  Absolutely my best to
India:  the India that goes back hundreds of years.  Thanks for such a happy and exciting time.

K Krauss, (USA)

1 March 2010

It was a truly remarkable trip, and I cannot say enough how much I admire your attention to detail, logistical prowess, standards, energy and ability to make a group cohere (inspired cocktails!) . You paced it all perfectly, calibrating the experience like a theatre director. I have made a list of eleven people I am going to write to about the trip and about the experience of traveling with you, we'll see who nibbles and says they want to know more...

I know that many things will stay with me for life about this trip, and have inspired me on so many levels about day to day living.  Namaste!
 C xx (NSW)

2 March 2011
 As my Ikat parrots fluttered in the breeze today I again felt lucky to have spent time in gorgeous Gujarat.
 Thank you for more wonderful memories of India and for making the past two weeks so memorable.
 Your thoughtful professionalism is deeply appreciated.
 Gandhi is so right. The world has much to learn from India and I'm very grateful to have been fortunate enough to be able to be delighted by the spirit and people of it in your capable hands.
 With my love, Victoria Alexander. x (Sydney)



The tour focuses on Gujarat, and begins and ends in Ahmedabad (best reached from Singapore with Singapore Airlines (only on limited days) or from Delhi or Mumbai). Guests continuing from the Jaipur Literature Festival will join from Jaipur on 30th.
Guests travelling from USA (Etihad, Qatar, Emirates, Air India and United all have connecting flights with one stop).

Known as the 'Melting Pot of Tribes', the Rann of Kutch region is home to many unique tribes (communities), known for their fascinating and colourful culture and traditions. The major tribes of the region are the Megwar, Samma, Jat, Mutwa, Ahir and Rabari.
Enjoy excursions to the wonderful tribal regions of the barren and inhospitable Rann of Kutch that separates the state of Gujarat from Sind in Pakistan, and catch the various facets of tribal life with your camera. The circuit is completed returning via the Little Rann, the wondrous Sun Temple and famous step wells near Patan famed for its rare highly skilled double ikat silk weaving. All along the route you will interact with exceptional craftsmen and women, still living traditional lives.

David Yeadon aptly puts it when he says:
 "Gujarat has been a "land apart" on the Indian subcontinent. Ruled for centuries by powerful and fierce Maharaos, the "Lkutchis" have long had an outward-looking attitude to the world. Their fame as seafarers, merchants, traders, and even pirates has made them a major presence in East Africa, Arabia, and the Persian Gulf. Recent development here by the Indian government of the new port of Kandla is beginning to increase Gujarat's links with the rest of the country, but the Kutchis still value their own history, traditions and independence.
The ruined castles of feudal chieftains, set high on the crags of Gujarat's Black Hills, are still revered places. So too are the remote shrines of local saints, whose pious meditations and fierce penances (tapasia) were said to give them power over gods and the local warrior-kings.

You can see that power here in the bleakness and broken ridges of the hills. Fragments of ancient fiefdoms still dot the sun-bleached desert and Bhuj suddenly appears — a gray, solemn bastion of towers and high tone defense walls."
Gujarat is the centre for some of India’s most exquisite handiwork.
Kutch is known for its fabulous embroideries done in a variety of techniques developed by different communities including Hindu and Muslim pastoral groups whose women do embroidery for their trousseau or a second income as well as migrants from Sindh. Bandhani tie-and-dye is almost synonymous with Gujarat, which also produces fine handloom woven textiles and block-printed fabrics. Rare crafts that make their last stand in Gujarat include the double ikat Patola weaving of Patan and the Rogan painting on fabric done in Nirona village.

While hand-embellished textiles are bedrock of the rural economy of Kutch and Surendranagar districts of Gujarat, these regions have equally fine terra cotta, metal and wood crafts.

There will be opportunities to meet directly with artisans in their homes and workshops, and to meet experts who will illuminate your appreciation of historic and contemporary textiles, mirror embroidery, tie-dye, woodblock printing and natural vegetables dyes and ikat, including the rare double ikat still being produced by the Patan Patola of Gujarat, the most extraordinary woven saree woven anywhere in the word. It is only in Bali, Indonesia in the ancient village of Tengganan that this type of weave is also created.

For a Tour Overview Go To>

For Pre and Post Tour Options Go To>

For Notes on Indian Textiles Go To>

To Contact Us About this Tour Go To>

For Contemporary Indian Textiles Go To>


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