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From the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat to the delta of West Bengal, this is an immersive experience of rural India's culture and traditions, exploring its deep connection with history and community.

Activity Level: Easy +

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The production of textiles in India continues to flourish just as it has for many centuries. Exquisite fabric from places like Kutch in Gujarat were legendary and widely traded as far back as the Indus Valley Civilisation, some 5000 years ago. The interaction of people – indigenous tribes, invaders, traders and explorers through history has built a complex culture renowned for its variety, vitality and colour.

Handwoven Indian textiles appear on the ramps in Paris, handcrafted Indian jewellery is sold in the best stores in New York, and handmade Indian carpets cover some of the World’s most elegant floors. The craftsmen and craftswomen who create them often have learned their art as a hereditary profession and are taught from infancy. Some skills are so intricate and so specialised that the manufacturing process is a secret still closely guarded by a small number of families. Protecting and preserving these skills is a major challenge; ensuring they provide viable livelihoods for their owners is an even greater one.

This tour aims to showcase some of the amazing handcrafts and artisans of India, with the objective of not only revealing the rich culture and strong sense of community that are an integral part of the story, but to also give participants the opportunity to meet the artisans who are carrying on these ancient traditions. Develop an understanding of their passionate connection to their craft and the challenges they face in the ever expanding global market of mass produced textiles.

We will travel through Central India to the village of Maheshwar, and stay at the wonderful Ahilya Fort owned by the Holker family. Maheshwar is home to two great Women’s textile cooperatives supporting the future of these ancient crafts and the skilled women that practice them. From here we take the opportunity to visit the State of Gujarat and Ahmedabad – once called the Manchester of India – as well as the small town of Bhuj, where the array of handcrafted textiles is as astonishing as the different ethnic communities that produce them.

Kolkata and West Bengal are an essential component of any textile and handcraft journey in India and is the perfect place to complete this exclusive and distinctive tour.

Meet your Guide:

Jennifer Wilkinson Owner / Director

Jennifer has a life-long passion for food, wine and travel. Following a successful career in economics and industrial relations, she left…

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