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Gujarat - Images that tell story...

Day 01. You are met outside the Arrivals Hall by our Driver or Representative, who will be holding a signboard with your name. He will escort you to your vehicle and assist with the transfer and check-in formalities at your hotel.

The rest of the time is kept free. Evening walk through the market area near State Transport Bus Stand where you might be able to photograph the nomadic communities going back to their native villages after their work in over in the city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

​Day 02.  Post breakfast drive to the Banni region of Kutch where you will be visiting Nirona Village is where you can find three very unique local art forms — one of which even made its way to The White House. The popular Rogan art, a legacy art form that has been taken forward, for the past 300 years, by the Khatri family of Nirona. Resembling the characteristics of embroidery, Rogan art is painted on fabric using a thick brightly coloured castor seed oil (castor is commonly grown in the Kutch region of Gujarat). To prepare the paint, castor oil is heated for more than 12 hours until it catches fire. It is then mixed with cold water and vibrant colour to give a thick residue called Rogan. The artist then uses a six-inch thick-metal needle to paint with a fine thread of Rogan on a piece of cloth. Even the simplest design takes days to complete.

The Khatri family, in Nirona village, will give you a free demo, before showcasing a variety of different Rogan fabrics. Next, you will be visiting is The Luhars of Nirona and their popular Copper Bell art. Preserving it for the last 10 or so generations, many families in Nirona get their livelihood totally out of this. Copper Bell art has mainly originated from Sindh, and even today many villages around the border area inside India and Pakistan make it. Just like the Khatri family of Rogan art, if you visit any Copper Bell artist in Nirona, he will show you how it was done. Visit Lohar Haji Saddiq’s shop in Nirona and who will give you a small demo of making a bell. Ali the artisan – Once done with Copper Bell, meet the artisan of Lacquer. Practised by a semi-nomadic tribe called Wada, in the Banni area in and around the villages of Nirona and Bhrindiyara, Lacquer art turned out to be yet another distinction. This art is being practised and it is the by the original migrants from beyond Sindh, before partition. Obtained from the sap of the Rhus Tree which changes colour from white to brown upon exposure to air, Lacquer is a simple reflection of Zigzag patterns creating waves of colours mixing and adorning the simplest of the products like wooden spoons, bread rolling pins, containers, toys, utensils, etc.

Continue to Hodka village. Lunch at Hodka – Later visit Hodka Village which has a majority of Halepotra community engaged in leather crafts. Evening at a community-driven resort – you can enjoy this evening by listening to Meghwal Musicians in the resort – Dinner and overnight at Community-Driven Resort.

​Day 03. After early breakfast, today, visit the tribal village of Jat Tribes, Where the women can be seen with big nose rings. – This can be visited in the early morning at about 7.30 am for 2 hours. This community is mainly engaged in cattle breeding and the milk business. A village walk will be arranged here. {Please take a note – Women here charge Rs.500/- - Rs.1000/- per picture here}.
Later visit Pathan community village nested in small Hamlet which has its own story to tell. Post early lunch you will be visiting the other tribal villages of the Banni region of Kutch. Visit Mutwa Muslim Community - which is one of several communities of Maldhari pastoral nomads at Dhordo Village near White Rann. Later drive to Khavda to visit Sodha Rajput community engaged in Pottery. Later visit Karo Dungar – Black Hill. Return to Hodka – Dinner, and overnight at community-driven resort.

​Day 04. Post breakfast, continue to Bhuj visiting Sumarasar Shaikh village for embroidery skills by the Khatri community. Continue to Gondal en-route stopping at Bhujodi to see the “Vankars” or weavers of Bhujodi who make hand-spun blankets for the herdsmen, known as ‘Rabaris’ (the original customers of the artisans), to sheath and protect them out in the open. Later you will be visiting Ajrakhpur to visit LLDC Museum – Living and Learning Design {Closed on every Monday and Public Holiday} - LLDC is a place for preserving, promoting, and celebrating the crafts. It is also a place where the skill and potential of practising and aspiring kaarigars (craftsperson) are enhanced To enable them to earn a dignified and prosperous livelihood. The museum complex celebrates not only past glories but also the master and creativity demonstrated by the living legends of the crafts. You can have lunch here and continue to Gondal. Dinner and overnight at Gondal.

​Day 05. Post breakfast you can visit the Naulakha Palace was erected around 1748 AD in the Darbargadh or walled palace complex of the rulers, and since then has been extended by successive rulers. The façade is a festival of stone carving with splendid sculpture, relief, carved columns, and ornate Jarokha balconies. The former living quarters of the palace have been converted into a private museum exhibiting textiles, brassware, royal wardrobes, library, silver caskets that carried gifts and messages for Maharaja Bhagwat Sinhji on special occasions like his golden jubilee as ruler of Gondal, the weighing scales on which he was measured against gold on his golden jubilee with proceeds going to charity, trophies won by the Gondal princes at motorsports events, and a collection of toys including 1800s wooden pieces hand-painted with natural colours. You can also visit the private vintage and classic car collection of the Maharaja Saheb of Gondal which has a marvellous collection of 1935 Packard two-door convertible coupe, the 1930s Buick convertible, and the 1935 Ford convertible. Imposing American cars of the 1940s and '50s include a 1941 Cadillac saloon, a 1947 Cadillac convertible, a 1947 Buick convertible, a 1947 Oldsmobile, the 1940s Studebaker convertible, the 1947 Lincoln V12, and the 1950s Cadillac Eldorado limousine. The Gondal collection also has post-WW2 jeeps, station wagons, and pick-ups that have seen many a Shikar in the 1940s and '50s.

Drive to Gir National Park en route visiting some beautiful monuments in Junagadh. Dinner and overnight in Gir

​Day 06. Early morning safari in Gir National Park to spot the Asiatic Lions and Leopards. Post breakfast visiting the surrounding areas of Gir to see the Siddi and Maldhari Tribes. Continue to Diu en route to visiting Somnath Temple. Day free near the Beach. Stay at Beach Resort in Diu.


​Day 07. Today visit Vanakbara Village - Vanakbara is a fascinating little fishing village to see the Kharwa Community with colourful fishing boats and bustling activity – best from 7.00 Am to 8.30 Am when the fishing fleet returns and sells off its catch. Day free on your own or you can explore the Fisher man’s town of Diu Fort.

​Day 08. After breakfast, you will have a long drive today to the Little Rann of Kutch By the evening arrive at The Little Rann of Kutch and Stay at Eco-Friendly Wildlife Resort.

​Day 09. Morning Safari in the little Rann of Kutch here you will be visiting the Agayari Community engaged in Salt Farming, Post lunch see some of the villages of Vadiara Rabari and Bharwad tribes. Evening visit Bajana village where you can meet the local villagers who sell the cow/ buffalo milk to the cooperative societies. Dinner and overnight at Eco-Friendly Wildlife Resort.

​Day 10. Post breakfast drive to Poshina North of Gujarat visiting Modhera Sun temple constructed in 1026-27 AD, the complex has shrine hall, assembly hall, and the reservoir. The pillars and exteriors of the halls are intricately carved, there are many beautiful small shrines in & around the reservoir and has numerous steps to go down the bottom. Drive further to visit Patan, Where you can see Patola weavers and Rani Ki Vav ‘Patan-Stepwell’ – one of the nicest monuments of Gujarat. Intricately built Step Well of Patan called Rani Ki Vav was built by Queen Udayamati in the 11th century in memory of her husband Kind Bhimdev. This stepped monument has marvellous sculptures of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Continue to Poshina. Stay at Darbargadh.

​Day 11.  Post breakfast visit the main street of Poshina in front of the hotel to see the Garcia girls carrying the woods from the jungle to sell them in the market. Later visit the Garcia villages as well as the Adivasi (ancient inhabitants) hamlets. Garcia’s reside both in Rajasthan and Gujarat in mountains and are quite colourful, whereas Adivasi are simpler ones but both of these tribes depend on farming and animal husbandry. Visit the terracotta temple dedicated to a local village deity – you can here see the thousands of terracotta horses. The locals believe that the Goddess fulfils their wishes and they offer terracotta horses in return to please her with rituals. Post Lunch trip to Ambaji Temple - Ambaji Temple is Temple Goddess of Power - You will find some good tribal women and girls here selling fruits and vegetables. Return to Hotel. The day at Leisure.

​Day 12.  Early breakfast and drive to Santrampur through the tribal route of North Gujarat. Upon arrival in Santrampur – Enjoy your lunch and day free at Lake Facing Heritage Home Stay – One of the most beautiful heritage hotels of Gujarat.

​Day 13. After breakfast walk through the market area of Santrampur. Later drive to Ahmedabad en-route stopover can be done visiting the Diansor fossil park. Evening visits the Night Market at Law Garden. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 14 Today early morning post breakfast reach Swami Narayan Temple by 7.30 Am to enjoy a Guided Morning heritage walk in Ahmedabad. This walking tour offers an opportunity to see the old quarters of Ahmedabad lined with the beautifully carved wooden facades of Havelis. This walk ends at Jumma Mosque by 10.00 am…. Walkthrough the old walled city via the Teen Darwaja area and Bhadrakali Temple. Arrive at GreenHouse for Tea / Coffee and Snacks. Later visit Siddi Sayed Mosque. Hutheesingh Jain Temple, Gandhi Ashram, and Adalaj Stepwell. Return to your hotel for Rest. Today late evening visit Manek Chowk - This bustling open square near the centre of the city functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a jewellery market in the Afternoon, the second biggest in India, at an apparently 3 million rupees of annual turnover. It is most famous, however, for its food stalls that start to emerge around 8 in the evening, with various local street snacks and goodies. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Ahmedabad.

​Day 15.  Today is Holi – Drive to Central Gujarat to visit The World Heritage Site of Champaner – Pavagadh archaeological park, which has magnificent works of Indo-Saracenic architecture, Drive to Jambugodha – Lunch at A Home for Nature Lovers. Evening Enjoy Holka Dahan - Holka was a demoness in Hindu Vedic scriptures, who was burnt to death with the help of God Vishnu. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahlad. The story of Holka Dahan signifies the triumph of good over evil. Later visit Chool Ka Mela in Chotta Udepur where people walk on burning charcoal. Evening return to Jambugodha – Stay at Home for Nature Lovers.

​Day 16. Today is Duleti – Festival of Colors - {Festival of throwing colours on each other} - The fair is celebrated just after Holi wherein people apply 'gulal' to each other and tap their feet dancing and singing to their traditional tribal tunes at Jambugodha itself. Day free to explore surrounding colourful tribal villages.

​Day 17. Today you will be visiting the tribal homes of Rathwa and Bhil Tribes where you can see the Pithora paintings which are highly enriched folk art culture. Pithora paintings are more of a ritual than an art form. These rituals are performed either to thank God or for a wish or a boon to be granted. A Pithora is always located at the threshold, or the Osari, outside the first front wall or inside on the walls of the first room as one enters a house. The painting usually floods the entire wall with figures. Three walls are prepared for the painting, the front wall, and the two on either side of it. The front or central wall is very large, twice the size of each of the sidewalls. These walls are treated with two layers of cow dung paste and one layer of white chalk powder. Unmarried girls bring in these materials. This procedure is called Lipna. The main wall of the verandah that divides it from the kitchen is considered sacred to the Pithoro. The wall paintings related to the legends of creation and Pithoro are done on this wall. The two sidewalls of the veranda are also painted with figures of minor deities, ghosts, and ancestors.
Rathwa community of Central Gujarat’s art tradition also seems prehistorical. The very crudity of the nature of Pithora paintings forms the basis of its beauty and appeal. The fact that only men are allowed to paint these Pithora murals is a historical anachronism. Return to Jambugodha for Lunch. The day is kept free to visit the tribal villages in and around Chotta Udepur & Jambugodha

​Day 18. Today after breakfast drive to Kawant Village to enjoy - Gher no Melo". Kawant Fair, "Gher no Melo," is unique due to the presence of "Ghers." Ghers wear colourful headgear made of Peafowl feathers, further decked with a mirror or family photographs. They paint their faces & bodies with animal prints with white ink & wear a belt having bells. There are a few Ghers who are women's wear & quite a few slicked with oil & grease. They dance to an unfamiliar beat, but always in perfect sync, with the musicians on drums & flutes.

Return to Jambugodha in the evening. Dinner and overnight at A Home for Nature Lovers.

​Day 19. Post leisurely breakfast you will be driven to Vadodara / Ahmedabad Airport / Railway Station for your onward journey.

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