Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2730 per person
Places Visited: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad
Textiles are among the most vibrant expressions of a nation’s cultural heritage, and nowhere is this more true than India. Visit any Indian shopping district or handicraft emporium and you’ll encounter an extraordinary wealth of living tradition, from glittering, gold-encrusted wedding sarees to humble, hand-loomed cotton garments.
Whether Benarasi brocade to Orissan ikat, each region, community and tribe retains its own handicraft traditions, many of them dating back centuries. This fact is especially apparent in the northwest of the country, where the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat provide the focus for our short, textile-oriented tour.
We start by plunging into Delhi’s Kinari Bazaar, renowned as a source of traditional fabrics and jewellery. Watch block-printers and dyers at work on the outskirts of Jaipur, the fabled ‘Pink City’, whose bazaars are filled with luminous patchwork bedspreads, mirror-inlaid wall hangings and exquisitely embroidered cloth from across the region.
Further south in Gujarat, Ahmedabad was once dubbed ‘Manchester of the East’ for its pivotal role in India’s cotton trade. Today it’s the home of the fabulous Calico Museum, whose collection of antique and modern textiles ranks among the finest in the world. It includes Kashmiri shawls that took three years to make.
In the course of this trip, you’ll have the chance to experience some of India’s most iconic monuments, including the Taj Mahal, the Mughal's deserted sandstone capital at Fatehpur Sikri and romantic Amber Fort – all of them sumptuously embellished with ornate carving and inlays of semi-precious stones. Opportunities to shop for fine fabrics will be numerous and seriously tempting: we recommend you keep plenty of spare room in your suitcase.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Delhi on an overnight service.
Arrive Delhi in the morning, stay two nights. In the afternoon, visit the Craft Museum and the popular Dilli Haat, an open-air food plaza offering cuisines from across India.
Full day sightseeing in New and Old Delhi today includes a cycle rickshaw ride through the busy lanes of Chandni Chowk. Of particular note is Kinari Bazaar – a popular market for Indian traditional clothes, embroidery, stonework and jewellry. We’ll also visit Humayun’s Tomb and medieval Qutb Minar.
Drive to Agra today for an overnight stay. Afternoon sightseeing includes the beautiful Mughal Fort, and a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunset.
Drive westward to Jaipur today stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri – a medieval city built at vast expense by the Emperor Akbar, but abandoned soon after. Stay three nights.
Visit Amber Fort, renowned for its resplendent Sheesh Mahal, or ‘Hall of Mirrors’. The nearby Anokhi Museum offers a fascinating insight into the ancient tradition of hand-printed textiles. Explore the monuments in the Jaipur’s old city this afternoon including the much-photographed Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’.
Take an excursion out of town today to the villages of Sanganer and Bagru, known for their decorative textile art. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping and relaxation.
Fly to Ahmedabad this morning; stay two nights. Spend the day seeing the main sights: the Gandhi Ashram, the ornately carved Adalaj Vav (stepwell) & Calico Museum.
Enjoy an atmospheric early morning heritage walk through Ahmedabad’s old city. The remainder of the day is at leisure for shopping or to visit the Shreyas Museum of Folk Art and the busy street market of Law Gardens.
Fly to Mumbai this morning; stay overnight. Sightseeing includes a drive up to Malabar Hill for a bird’s eye view for the city’s trademark skyline, and through the heritage quarter with its impressive Art Deco and Indo-Saracenic buildings, dating from the heyday of the Raj. Enjoy a late afternoon treat of street food snacks.
The day is at leisure for shopping or for a cruise to the rock-cut Elephanta Caves.
Fly to London on an overnight service arriving back early morning.
Tailor-made Tour 12 days from £2730 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 9 nights accommodation
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Breakfast daily
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Places and Experiences in this tour
Delhi, India’s capital, is home to an estimated 20 million people. A compelling hotch-potch of ancient and modern, it holds the vestiges of at least seven great urban centres: Afgh…
The city of Agra makes up one-third of India's 'golden triangle', along with Delhi and Jaipur, three of northern India's most popular destinations for tourists. Agra’s heart-stopp…
‘A teardrop on the face of Eternity’ is how the Bengali mystic poet, Rabindranath Tagore, famously described the Taj Mahal. Built in the mid-16th century by the Mughal emperor Shah…
The forts of Delhi and Agra may have lost much of their former lustre, but it’s not hard to envisage the lavish lifestyle led by the royal inhabitants of Akbar’s court, thanks to t…
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, has a markedly different feel from the other two corners of the ‘Golden Triangle’. The traffic is no less intense, but the architecture of its wal…
Amber Fort (Jaipur)
Rising from a craggy escarpment to the north of the city, Amber is the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Rajput fortress palaces, enclosing a wonderland of sumptuously decorated halls, pavil…
Inconspicuous on its traffic island amid the chaos of central Ahmedabad, the diminutive mosque of Sidi Sayyid encapsulates the flawed charms of Gujarat’s largest city. Blink and yo…
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