Itinerary: The Cloth and Stone Tour to Gujarat

Due to Covid19 travel restrictions, there are no tours dates or prices available at the present.

The Cloth and Stone Tour takes us to the state of Gujarat, in the western part of India with an area of 196,204 km2,  and a coastline of 1,600 km. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west.

Our tour begins in Ahmedabad, the largest city and former capital of the state of Gujarat and hub of India’s textile industry. Transport in the city will be by taxis or auto-ricks. After leaving Ahmedabad, we will travel in a comfortable private vehicle for the remainder of the tour.
Our tour ends in Bhuj, Gujarat, where a domestic flight can be taken back to Mumbai for onward travel (Not included in tour cost).

On arrival in Ahmedabad, you will be picked up at either the railway station or airport by our hotel, depending on how your decide to travel to Ahmedabad.

Dinner will be available in the dining room for hungry travellers.
Dinner included.

    DAY 2
    Our Ahmedabad accommodation is a comfortable modern hotel with friendly staff and great food, close to the fascinating beating heart of the old World Heritage listed city.

    We will have a leisurely start after the travels of the last few days with breakfast in the dining room at a time that suits you.
    For early risers, a short walk takes you through the old city gates to a bustling local market: great photo and drawing opportunities and an insight into local Indian shopping.
    We take lunch at a lovely pavilion restaurant opposite the beautiful Sidi Sayeed Mosque, which we will have time to visit.
    Then we have some shopping time in a classy clothing store which features block printed fabrics and contemporary Indian design in their range.
    Back to the hotel for an optional rest before our Welcome Dinner of traditional Gujarati cuisine at one of Ahmedabad’s finest restaurants.
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

    Our first stop is the world famous Calico Museum where examples of historic textiles from across India are lovingly kept and attended to by caring staff in a beautiful haveli surrounded by a walled garden.
    We lunch at a local cafe.

    After lunch, we will visit the Gandhi Ashram and museum on the banks of the Sabarmati River, home to Mohandas Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.
    Next we visit the wonderful Shreyas Folk Museums where we can see collections of crafts, utensils, domestic items, costumes and ceremonial objects from different communities and tribes in Gujarat, a collection of toys, crafts and objects of performing arts from across India, a gallery of fairs and festivals and a gallery of musical instruments of India and other countries.
    Then back to our hotel for a quiet night and dinner.
    Breakfast and dinner included.

      DAY 4
      The day begins early before the traffic gets too crazy with a guided walking tour through the old city with its wonderfully ornate houses and bird feeders, temples and mosques.

      We will meet for brunch in the old city.
      Then a visit to one of Ahmedabad’s architectural treasures, the Dada Harir Vav (step well).
      Back to hotel for a rest, then to the fascinating night market at Manek Chowk for some wonderful street food.
      Breakfast and lunch included.

        DAY 5
        Our private vehicle picks us up at the hotel for a  day trip to Patan to visit the famous Patan Patola Museum where the Salvi family has continued the art of double ikat weaving since the 11th century – approximately 35 generations.

        En route, we visit the Sun Temple at Modhera set in restful gardens on the bank of the river Pushpavati.  The temple was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty and was dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. Lunch of fruit and snacks in the gardens surrounding the temple.
        We also visit Rani ki Vav, an intricately constructed stepwell on the banks of the Saraswati River. The step well, built in the third millennium BC, is a subterranean water resource and storage system and was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2014.
        Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

          DAY 6
          Departing Ahmedabad in our comfortable  tour bus with a packed lunch, we head to the ancient ruins of Lothal, one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilisation. Dating from 3700 BCE, it is believed to be one of the world’s first seaports. We spend some time walking around the ruins and the small museum full of ancient artefacts.

          We continue our journey through the countryside to Botad village to see some potters at work.
          In the late afternoon, we arrive at the village of Sayla where we stay in an old haveli, once a royal guesthouse, and now a heritage homestay offering the personalised hospitality of the Yuvraj (crown prince) and Yuvrani of Sayla.
          Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

            DAY 7
            We have our own guide for a leisurely day exploring the village of Sayla and visiting families continuing the intricate ikat and endangered tangaliya weaving traditions.

            During the day, we also visit some bead weavers and metal workers in nearby villages and maybe some unforeseen adventures.
            A restful evening and dinner in the garden of the guesthouse with folk music and dancing by local villagers.
            Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

              DAY 8
              From our comfortable abode, we have another day with our guide visiting local important sites and some unscheduled adventures.

              Then back to Sayla for our last night in the heritage haveli.
              Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                DAY 9
                Back on the road, we head to Sasan Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, the sole home of the Asiatic lion which has been brought back from the brink of extinction under the care of this park.

                On the way, we stop for lunch and enjoy some amazing architecture in Junagargh.
                After arriving at our well equipped luxury tent accommodation set in over 4 acres of gardens surrounded by a lush green mango orchard, we can spend some time in the gym, the pool and/or the spa**, or take a nature walk along the river edge for bird and crocodile spotting.
                We take the first of our safari tours in the evening to see if we can spot the reclusive Asiatic lion and other species in their natural habitat.
                Note: there is a camera charge* of about $30 on the safari. This will be at your own cost. The charge does not apply to phone cameras.
                Depending on time of return from the safari, we can enjoy evening entertainments in the gardens of the resort.
                Gym and pool included
                *Camera charge on jeep safarat own cost
                **Spa at own cost with 15% discount
                Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

                  DAY 10
                  The day starts early with another jeep safari to search out the reclusive Asiatic lion and other species in their natural habitat.

                  Note: there is a camera charge* of about $30 on the safari. This will be at your own cost. The charge does not apply to phone cameras.
                  After breakfast, we can take a guided nature walk along the river edge, spotting migratory birds, flowering trees and maybe a crocodile.
                  Time for some more walks, leisure by the pool, in the gym or spa.**
                  More evening entertainments in the gardens
                  Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
                  Gym and pool included
                  *Camera charge on jeep safarat own cost
                  **Spa at own cost with 15% discount

                    After breakfast, we continue our adventures with a drive to the fascinating Khambhalida Caves, believed to have come into existence in the 4th or 5th century AD. They were carved into the limestone rocks by  a saint of  the Dinyan branch of the Buddhist tradition.

                    Lunch on the road somewhere and then on the road again heading for Bhuj, main town in the Kachchh (Kutch) area of Gujarat and our base for the next four days. We pass through a section of the wild ass sanctuary and hopefully along the way, we may spot some of these rare and beautiful creatures in their only natural habitat.
                    Arriving in Bhuj, we book into another heritage haveli – a fully restored 150 year-old traditional Parsi ‘courtyard’ house where the descendants of the original owners still live.
                    Dinner is a Parsi style home cooked meal.
                    Breakfast and dinner included

                      DAY 12
                      After a nourishing home cooked breakfast, we take a walk through a fascinating bazaar in the old city where traditional embroidered textiles, silver jewellery, antiques and all kinds of necessities of daily life can be found.

                      We visit the Prag Mahal (palace) and see the fading grandeur of earlier times.
                      After lunch in the bazaar, we visit the award-winning Living and Learning Design Centre (LLDC) situated on a three-building, eight-acre campus to view and learn about the various tribal textile traditions of the Kachchh area.
                      Then a visit to a fair trade organisation with some wonderful hand woven textiles for sale.
                      In the late afternoon, we visit an Australian clothing designer who has made Bhuj her home, and uses local textiles to create her India-inspired one of a kind designs.
                      Back to our haveli for some more home-cooked goodness and an early night in or a stroll through the streets before bedtime.
                      Breakfast and dinner included

                        DAY 13
                        After breakfast, we head off to  the acclaimed Kala Raksha organisation – a grassroots social enterprise, dedicated to preservation of traditional arts and to documenting existing traditions. Our day will include a visit to the museum which houses a collection of heirloom textiles, a viewing of a very special animated film about the organisation, an embroidery demonstration exploring two traditional styles of stitching, a Gujarati lunch and time to spend in the very tempting shop.

                        In the afternoon, we visit a private textile collector and view the collection of local tribal textiles.
                        Time permitting, we can visit a Kachchhi craft store near our lodgings.
                        Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                          DAY 14 
                          Today we meet our local guide for the rest of our time in Bhuj.

                          In the morning, we get our hands dirty with a block printing workshop
                          followed by a mud-work workshop.
                          After lunch, we get out of town and visit a metalworker who specialises in making knives
                          And then on to another village to see a demonstration of Kharad rug weaving.
                          There will be an opportunity to purchase directly from the makers.
                          Breakfast and dinner included.

                            DAY 15 
                            Today our tour takes us to the Great Rann of Kachchh where will will book into our mud-built village resort. Our guide will take us to visit local villages to see:

                            a demonstration of copper bell making,
                            a demonstration of lacquer work,
                            and a demonstration of leather work.
                            We arrive at our accommodation – a mud built resort in a village – in time for lunch.
                            Some free time to enjoy our surroundings is followed by a visit to another village to see more embroidery styles and meet the makers.
                            Sunset will see us at the famous ‘white desert’ – a desert of salt, then back to the resort for traditional Gujarati dinner with folk music supplied by the villagers.
                            Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                              DAY 16
                              After breakfast, we head off to the village of Nirona to see a demonstration of a very rare craft – Rogan work.
                              Hopefully we can work up an appetite to savour some of the best samosas I have ever tasted 

                              Back to our desert resort for lunch (if we haven’t over-indulged in the excellent samosas!)
                              After lunch and a short break, we take a leisurely drive to a far-flung village to visit some potters and wood carvers.
                              Then we head to Kalo Dungar (Black Hill), the highest point in Kachchh at 462 metres, from where one can see a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kachchh in time for sunset.
                              Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                                DAY 17 
                                Departing our village resort, we head south to Mandvi on the coast, stopping along the way for lunch and visits to:

                                • A Namda artisan. Namda is felted wool and its origins can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation,
                                • a batik block printer,
                                • and a tie dye artisan.
                                We arrive at our luxury tent accommodation in time for lunch.
                                After lunch we have the opportunity to visit a weaver using mashroo style of weaving and/or a maker of model ships.
                                Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                                  DAY 18 
                                  We’re glamping (that’s ‘glamorous camping’) on a beach, so some chill-out time is factored in here.

                                  Weather permitting, you may choose to take a swim in the Arabian Sea, or a long walk along the nearly deserted beach to see if you can spot some flamingos.
                                  Or, we have the choice of visiting the local village and bazaar and/or boat makers.  Or maybe a tour of the Vijay Vilas Palace with its interesting architecture, nestled in 450 acres of lush greenery with marble fountains and its own private sanctuary where one can see blue bulls, jackals and an occasional chinkara (Indian gazelle), peacocks and partridges.
                                  As our tour is drawing to an end, we celebrate with a farewell dinner .
                                  Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                                    DAY 19 
                                    We depart Mandvi and head back to Bhuj, staying at the heritage haveli again.

                                    Back in Bhuj, we may need to visit the post office to unload some excess baggage.
                                    The remainder of the day will be flexible: rest, catching up with more artisans or bazaars, find the very special mithai walla (maker of sweets), or check out some local fashion and crafts.
                                    We say goodbye to our trusty driver and private tour bus.
                                    Our last night spent in Bhuj before departing the next morning.
                                    Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

                                    END OF TOUR

                                      Day 20 
                                      Breakfast included.

                                      The TOUR FEE includes:

                                      • arrival & departure transfers to airports and/or railway stations
                                      • all tour accommodation
                                      • all breakfasts, 12 lunches,  all evening meals except one.
                                      • a constant supply of bottled water
                                      • all ground travel in our private vehicle and some taxis and/or auto-ricks
                                      • Australian guide for the whole tour
                                      • local guides in Sayla, Bhuj and Mandvi
                                      • local guides at monuments
                                      • admission to all monuments and workshops in itinerary
                                      • police permit to enter tribal areas
                                      • tip to our bus driver
                                      • a downloadable booklet with information about our destinations

                                      The TOUR FEE does not include:

                                      • International flights
                                      • connecting travel within India before or after the tour
                                      • meals other than those mentioned above
                                      • admission and guides to monuments not specified in the organised tours
                                      • camera charge on the jeep safari – about $30
                                      • Spa cost – but there is a 15% discount for guests
                                      • tips to guides and other individuals, laundry, beverages.

                                      PLEASE NOTE: The accommodation indicated in the itinerary is accurate at time of publishing. On very rare occasions, our preferred accommodation may be unavailable. In this instance, similar accommodation will be booked.

                                      TOUR FEE*  $
                                      SINGLE SUPPLEMENT*  $
                                      DEPOSIT*  $
                                      (*All prices are in Australian dollars.)
                                      SEE BELOW FOR DISCOUNTS

                                      • An EARLY BIRD discount of $250 applies if you book and pay your deposit before the end of September 2018.
                                      • For every person you introduce to Kasu Tours and bring on the tour, you will receive $100 off the price of your tour (may be used with other discounts up to a total of $350).
                                      • If you gather a group of 6 people to come on the tour, including yourself,  a discount of $350 applies to all six people (cannot be used with any other discounts).
                                      • If you have ever purchased something at Kasu Emporium, you receive a discount of $100  (may be used with other discounts up to a total of $350)
                                      • Ethical Travel Club Members receive a discount of $350 (cannot be used with any other discounts).