Arrival at Mumbai and meeting with a representative of Lotus India Holidays and transfer to hotel for your beautiful tribal Gujarat tour package.
Fly to Ahmedabad, and then drive to Utelia, a feudal village clustered around a medieval palace.
A pastoral people. the Bharwad are shepherds and cattlemen. No longer wanderers, most Bharwadi lived in villages painting their houses primarily in blues, greens. and white.
We will walk along the neat lanes and perhaps visiting one or two homes. Some Bharwadi have turned their talents to different occupations; the polishing and cutting of diamonds is one, and we will be able to photograph the steps that turn a handful of dull looking opaque lumps into sparkling gems.
At a local camel-breeding farm, the business of producing the finest stock of camels is explored.
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 modem and antique, wall hangings,tapestries, and costumes Adalaj Wav (built in 1499) isthe most famous of the Gujarati baolis (step-wells). These elaborate creations. unique to Gujarat, were constructed by royal families as a means of ensuring a source of water through out the year and as a place of escape from the fierce Gujarati summers. The stone-clad walls have been adorned with carvings of flowers and birds, and at the bottom of the five story deep well, is a small. pool of water. Modhera Sun Temple dates from the reign of King Bhim dev I (1026), and is said to resemble the famous Konark temple in Orissa. Like Adalaj Wav, Modhera’s granite austerity is relieved by the slight of brightly-clad locals walking around the complex.
(Dinner and Overnight)
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 slightly less ostentatious than the Gowala females. Their tribal home is among the hills that separate Gujarat from Rajasthan, and they are primarily sheepherders In the evening we will enjoy a private performance of tribal dances.
An art that today is only practiced 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 step well during our drive into the Little Rann of Kutch.
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 Rabar is, the most nomadic of Gujarat’s tribes, constantly searching for better grazing ground for their camels and sheep. Other tribes have settle dhere. including the Banjara, who make their living from cattle.and whose female members are famous for their embroidery.
( 70Km – 1,5H )
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. If we were lucky to meet Rabaris when they migrate it will be a nice chance to enlivened the journey by meeting a group of them along the way.
Megwar, Samma, lat, Mutwa, Ahir and 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 in hospitable landscape that is the Great Rann of Kutch. We will take some time to visit Bhuj, which was partially destroyed by the earthquake of January 2001 . The Old City tour (via motor rickshaws) include Aina Mahal and Prag Mahal and the Bhartiya Folk museum with its exhibits pertaining to local tribal life.
(Overnight at Bhuj and full board the day at Hodka.)
Afternoon flight from Bhuj to Mumbai. Late in the evening transfer to international airport for return ﬂight home.
Departure from Mumbai airport for the night ﬂight home and at last your tribal Gujarat tour package is over.