Tribes and Pastoral Groups of Gujarat

  • Itinerary

The rise of a sophisticated and affluent urban population in Gujarat has done nothing to dull the charm of its diverse rural communities, historic cities and traditional arts and crafts.In spite of being one of India’s most modern and affluent states, Gujarat’s rural areas are is known for the colorful attires of its people from the pastoral groups that roam the desert and semi-desert region of Kutch in the northwest to the tribal groups of the hills along its eastern boundary.

Learn about the people of Gujarat’s rural regions with visits to pastoral communities who roam the desert and semi-desert regions of Kutch in the northwest, and also meet the tribal groups of the hills along Gujarat’s eastern boundary.In addition to getting a sense of the living culture of Gujarat’s tribes and pastoral groups, you’ll gain an appreciation of the traditional art and craft techniques that allow these rural communities to produce such visually stunning costumes and decorative items.

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Ahmedabad is a major centre of traditional and contemporary textiles, and many crafts thrive here like Mata-ni-pachedi narrative cloth paintings and block-printing.Stay at House of Mangaldas Girdhardas, a heritage hotel owned by a former textile industrialist family.

On the 2nd day of your tribal tour, travel 250 kms to Gondal. This afternoon visit Naulakha Palace, the oldest extant palace in Gondal, dating back to the 17th century; it houses the ruling family’s private collection of beadwork, textiles, brassware, hand-painted toys and silver crafts. In the evening take a tour of Bharwad and Rabari villages around Gondal.Stay at Riverside Palace/Orchard Palace, both of which are decorated with textiles from the former Maharanis’ collections.

On the day 3, drive to Junagadh where you can see gem-encrusted carpets, wardrobes and tapestery of the Nawab at the museums. A historic city, Junagadh has 3rd century BC Buddhist relics, medieval fort, mausoleum complexes, palaces, etc. Return to Gondal.

Drive 260 kms to Bhuj on the day 4, stopping off at Rajkot to visit the richly endowed Watson Museum; its collections include textiles and jewelry depicting Bharwads, Ahirs, Darbars and other indigenous people of the province. Also visit Rashtriya Shala, where Mahatma Gandhi went to school and which now promotes one of his ideals, working to revive hand-weaving. Overnight we stay at Hotel Prince.

Visit villages of Hindu pastoral groups like the Ahirs and Rabaris, Islamic pastoral groups like the Muthwas and Jaths, artisans like the Meghwals,  and Sodha Rajput immigrants from Thar Parker area now in Pakistan at their respective villages on the 5th and 6th day, and see their beautiful embroidery techniques.Stay as on day-4 or at Shaam-e-Sarhad, a rural retreat.

Drive to Mandvi, which is a tie-and-dye centre, and stay in a/c tented comfort of the royal resort by the private beach in the palace estate. Spend your 7th and 8th day, exploring Rabari villages around Mandvi, including some of the most picturesque in Gujarat. Traditionally Rabaris are camel herders and wanderers, and were once nomadic people. These days they are said to be semi-nomadic; some live in small hamlets of round huts with mud walls and thatched roofs. Visit the dhow-building yard to see ocean-worthy vessels being hand-built. Stay at the palace estate.Also visit a Samma village at Pragsar.


On the Day9, drive from Mandvi to Dasada passing picturesque old towns and villages. Visit Vadiara and Kharapat Rabaris, Jaths, Bajanias, Mirs and other semi-nomadic communities in and around the Rann. Stay at Rann Riders, an eco-resort designed using local materials and handicrafts to resemble a village.

The 10th day will start with a drive to Danta via Patan, where you can watch the Salvis at work on the Patola, one of the richest silk textiles in the world, woven using the rare double-ikat technique.  You will also see 11thcentury monuments at Modhera’s Sun Temple complex and in Patan, and the 12thcentury Jain temples of Taranga. Stay at Bhavani Villa at Danta surrounded by Bhil tribal villages or at the Balaram Palace Resort near Palanpur.

Your 11th day, will be a 70 Kms drive to Poshina, where we will visit the Garasia tribal villages around Poshina and a tribal shrine where Bhils and Garasias from about 90 villages visit. Stay will be at Darbargadh Poshina.

Back to Ahmedabad on the Day 12; visit the Gujarat Vidhyapith’s tribal research institute museum, Shreyas Folk Museum, and other museums. Stay at House of MG heritage hotel.

On the 13th Day, drive to the world heritage site of Champaner, to see the majestic 16thcentury monuments, and proceed to Jambugodha. Stay at a heritage house near Bhilala and Nayaka villages.

Drive to Chhota Udaipur on the fourteenth day and visit the tribal museum. See the Rathwa tribal villages around the town to see their picturesque houses with painted walls and terra cotta horses. Stay at Kali Niketan, a heritage house.

The fifteenth day will start with a 100 Kms drive to Vadodara and spend your day visitng the museums of Vadodara.  Overnight stay will be at Vadodara.

On day 16, drive to Silvassa. Visit the tribal villages of the Gamits, Warlis, Kunbis, Kukmas and other groups. Stay at Treat Resort or similar stays.

The 17th day will have a visit to the tribal museum at Silvassa. Stay will be as like day 16. And on the 18th day, you can proceed to Vadodara, Surat or Mumbai.

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