Tribal Treasures of Gujarat Tour
Mumbai – Ahmedabad – Bharwadi – Gowala – Patan – Rann of Kutch – Bhuj – Mumbai
- Day 01: Arrive Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai, meeting assistance and transfer to the Hotel.Overnight at hotel.
- Day 02: Mumbai Ahmedabad Utelia
Morning transfer to airport to board the flight for Ahmedabad. On arrival drive to Utelia, a feudal village clustered around a medieval palace.Overnight in Hotel.
- Day 03: Utlia - The Bharwad
A pastoral people, the Bharwad are shepherds and cattlemen. No longer wanderers, most Bharwadi live in villages painting their houses primarily in blues, greens and white. We visit several, wandering the neat lanes, and perhaps visiting one or two homes.
- Day 04: A Stepwell & Sun Temple
Our drive to Balaram takes us away from life today and into the past. We plan three major stops: a museum, a stepwell (baoli), and a sun temple. The Calico Museum is one of the most fascinating museums in all of Gujarat, if not India, and houses an extensive array of tribal fabrics, both modern and antique, wall hangings, tapestries, and costumes. (Balaram Palace Resort, 3 nights).
- Day 05: The Gowala & The Garacia
Tribes that are second cousins to each other, they differ only in the manner of living; the Gowala are more settled, the Garacia are still prone to roaming, and their women dress is a manner slightly less ostentatious than the Gowala females. Their tribal home is among the hills that separate Gujarat from Rajasthan, and they are primarily sheepherders. One evening we will enjoy a private performance of tribal dances.
- Day 06: Patan's Patola Weavers and The Rani-ki-Vav
An art that today is only practised by three families, patola is an intricate form of double ikat weaving that is so difficult and demanding that one sari can take up to six months to complete.All three families live near Gujarat's oldest baoli, the 11th-century Rani-ki-vav; we will visit one of the families, and explore the stepwell during our drive into the Little Rann of Kutch. (Desert Courser Camp, 3 nights).
- Day 07: The Banjara and The Rabari
The Little Rann of Kutch separates Kutch from the rest of Gujarat. It is an area composed of marshy salt flats and inhospitable terrain. Flamingos breed in the area's shallow lakes; here too, the last remaining khurs (Asiatic wild asses) live in a protected sanctuary. Through this land travel the Rabari, the most nomadic of Gujarat's tribes, constantly searching for better grazing ground for their camels and sheep. Other tribes have settled here, including the Banjara, who make their living from cattle, and whose female members are famous for their embroidery.
- Day 08: The Rann of Kutch
Today, we head westward into the bleak countryside of Kutch, Gujarat's last frontier. It will be a day of driving, with no scheduled stops, only those of our own choosing as we head toward Bhuj, the region's capital. This, fortunately, is the season when the Rabari migrate, so it's possible our journey may be enlivened by meeting a group of them along the way. (Prince Hotel, 4 nights).
- Day 09 -11: A Melting Pot of Tribes
Megwar, Samma , Jat, Mutwa, Ahir, Rabari. These are just some of the tribes we will photograph over the next four days as we make daily excursions into the barren and inhospitable landscape that is the Great Rann of Kutch. Some time will be devoted to Bhuj, which was partially destroyed by the earthquake that struck in January 2001. We tour the Old City (via motor rickshaws) seeing, among other places, the Aina (Old) and Prag (New) mahals (palaces) and visit the Bhartiya Folk Museum with its exhibits pertaining to local tribal life. We also visit an artist who is one of only three people continuing to paint in the Rogan style.
- Day 12: Bhuj Mumbai
Transfer to airport to board the flight for Mumbai. On arrival meeting assistance & transfer to hotel.Overnight at hotel.
- Day 13: Depart Mumbai
Today you are transferred to the airport / railway station to board flight / train for onward journey.