Pastoral Groups of Gujarat
Trip Code: AITPGG
Price: from AU$7,140 per person twin share
Prices are valid until 30 September 2016, excluding the Christmas / New Year period.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices.
- Accommodation in a double or twin room with breakfast
- Air-conditioned Toyota Innova vehicle with English speaking driver for all transfers, touring and sightseeing as per the itinerary
- All expenses related to the vehicle and driver such as fuel, tolls, parking charges, inter-state tax, driver accommodation and meals, etc
- Services of accompanying English speaking guide throughout
- Entry fees to monuments for sightseeing
- Assistance on arrival and departure at airports
- 24 hour support through our local representative offices
- Complimentary mineral water in the vehicles
- Camera fees at sightseeing places
- Activities other than those specifically mentioned as included
- Meals other than those mentioned as included
- Tips, porterage and personal expenses
- Visa Fees
- Ahmedabad: House of MG
- Gondal: Orchard Palace
- Bhuj: Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort
- Mandavi: The Beach at Mandavi Palace
- Dasada: The Royal Safari Camp
- Danta: Bhavani Villa
- Poshina: Darbargadh
- Jambughoda: A Home for Nature Lovers
- Chhota Udepur: Kali Niketan
- Baroda: The Gateway Hotel
- Silvassa: Lords Resort
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.
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.
Day 1 Ahmedabad
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Located on the banks of the river Sabarmati, Ahmedabad was founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmad Shah, who attracted traders and skilled artisans, and established a formidable merchant class. Today it is Gujarat’s largest city (with a population of around six million) and is an immense repository of tradition, history and culture.
Day 2 Gondal
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.
Day 3 Gondal
Take an excursion to the small city of Junagadh. Visit the ancient fort of Uparkot; built in the 4th century, it contains mausoleum complexes, palaces, Hindu temples, a mosque, two fine 11th century step-wells, and a nearby cluster of 2nd century Buddhist caves. Also visit Junagardh’s main attraction – Girnar Hill, a holy site for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus since the 3rd century, and an Ashokan Rock Edict dating back to 250 BC.
Day 4 Bhuj
Drive 260 kms to Bhuj, stopping off at Rajkot to visit the richly endowed Watson Museum; its collections include textiles and jewellery 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.
Day 5 Bhuj
The arid grasslands to the north, south and west of Bhuj are home to several pastoral tribes. Spend today visiting villages of Hindu pastoral groups such as the Ahirs and Rabaris, Islamic pastoral groups including the Muthwas and Jaths and Meghwal artisans.
Day 6 Bhuj
Spend today visiting the Sodha Rajput immigrants from the Thar Parker area (now in Pakistan) at their respective villages; meet artisan families, learn about their livelihoods and customs and admire their unique and beautiful embroideries.
Day 7 Mandvi
Travel 60 kms to Mandvi, known for its 400 year old ship building centre; ships constructed here roamed the Indian Ocean and made Kutch a maritime power. Local carpenters still make ocean going dhows in much the same way that their ancestors did. Observe them at work, shaping the great vessels (their carrying capacity ranges from 250 to 1000 tons) with hand tools and coaxing the seasoned timber into shape.
Day 8 Mandvi
Spend today 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. Also visit a Samma village at Pragsar.
Day 9 Dasada
Drive 320 kms from Mandvi to Dasada passing through picturesque old towns and villages. Visit Vadiara and Kharapat Rabaris, Jaths, Bajanias, Mirs and other semi-nomadic communities in and around the Rann. Though a bleak landscape, it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife; it is most well known as the world’s last refuge of the Indian Wild Ass (khur).
Day 10 Danta
Travel 200 kms to Danta with a stop en route at Patan where you can observe the Salvis at work on the Patola, one of the richest silk textiles in the world, woven using the rare double-ikat technique. Also visit 11th century monuments at Modhera’s Sun Temple complex, and the 12th century Jain temples of Taranga.
Day 11 Poshina
Depart Danta for the 70 km drive to Poshina. Visit the tribal villages of the colourful Garasias located around Poshina – where you can observe artisans at work. There is a wonderful collection of terracotta horses here (up to 2000). Also stop at a tribal shrine visited by Bhils and Garasias from about ninety villages.
Day 12 Ahmedabad
Drive 180 kms to Ahmedabad. Visit the Tribal Research Institute Museum, which houses collections of weapons, implements, wall art, terracotta figurines and textiles – as well as recreations of tribal hamlets. Also visit the Shreyas Museum, which has a comprehensive collection of contemporary rural textiles from all over Gujarat and various folk art items.
Day 13 Jambughoda
Travel 190 kms to the World Heritage Site of Champaner to visit the majestic 15th and 16th century mosques and palaces with their unique blend of Islamic and Jain traditions. Afterwards proceed to Jambugodha, located at the foothills of the Vindhyas. This is the site of a sanctuary, home to large populations of many kinds of wildlife and plants and herbs of medicinal value. [Image: Pavagadh Suman Wadhwa].
Day 14 Chhota Udepur
Depart Jambugodha for the 60 km drive to Chhota Udepur, the capital of a tribal district where Bhils and Ratwas live in secluded hamlets. Visit the tribal museum which has interesting examples of wall paintings and collections of folk costumes, artefacts, weapons and handicrafts. Afterwards explore the Ratwa tribal villages around the town featuring picturesque houses with painted walls and terracotta horses.
Day 15 Baroda
Drive 100 kms to Baroda, which was once the capital of one of India’s most powerful and wealthy princely states. Visit some of the many palaces and museums here, filled with the magnificent treasures of the Gaekwad dynasty, established by the 18th century Maratha General, Damaji.
Day 16 Silvassa
Leave Baroda this morning and drive to Silvassa, a place of spectacular natural beauty, considered to be the home of Warli culture. From here you can explore the tribal villages of the Warlis, Gamits, Kunbis, Kukmas and other groups.
Day 17 Silvassa
Visit the tribal museum. Set up to preserve the local tribal culture, it offers a fascinating insight into beliefs, life, customs and traditions through its collections of masks, musical instruments, traditional jewellery and hunting tools. You may like to do some last minute shopping for souvenirs such as Warli paintings, bamboo crafts and palm leaf mats.
Day 18 Silvassa
Transfer to Mumbai or Surat for domestic or international flights.
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