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Golden Threads of Moguls

13 Days Farm to Fabric Tour

A Small Group Escorted Journey

Kantha Embroidery Bengal

Dive deep into India’s rich textile heritage!
Visit artisan studios and witness age-old skills passed down through generations.

Delhi | Agra | Chambal | Lucknow |Itachuna | Kolkata

Textiles tour of India route map. ATI Travel NZ

Start - Delhi, India

Finish - Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Tour Escorted by Joji Jacob

Max 10 Guests

13 days from NZ$6885pp

Get NZ$1500 discount by joining both ‘Golden Threads of Moguls’ & ‘Cotton Traditions’ tours.

Itinerary

Dates & Prices

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Overview

Immerse yourself in India’s vibrant tapestry on our “Threads of Tradition” tour! Explore Delhi’s historic bazaars and the iconic Taj Mahal, then delve into Lucknow’s Nawabi legacy and Chikan embroidery. Marvel at Kolkata’s jamdani weaving in charming villages, meet artisans reviving traditions, and savor mouthwatering local cuisine. From bustling streets to serene villages, this journey promises unforgettable memories woven with textiles, culture, and history.
Joji Jacob

Joji Jacob

Tour Director

Joji has designed this tour and has escorted groups since 2016. He shares his passion for textiles and anything hand-made during this tour. Read More >

Key Highlights of this Journey

Durga Puja pandal visit with ATI Travel NZ

Unforgettable Experiences

Explore the stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, and take part in the vibrant Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata.

Jamdani Weaving with ATI Travel NZ

Meet the masters

Learn from Lucknow and West Bengal artisans, witnessing intricate embroidery, and centuries-old weaving techniques like Brocade and Jamdhani.

Lucknow La Martiniere College

Jewels of Mughal & Colonial Era

The Lucknow City unfolds its architectural tapestry, inviting you to explore a unique blend of styles and eras.

Chambal Safari Lodge Boating

Unwind on the Chambal River

Embark on an evening boat safari, spotting wildlife like alligators, dolphins & diverse birds, followed by a delightful picnic.

Women's Empowerment Lady Weaving

Empowering Women

Witness the artistry of Zardozi, Aari, Kantha, Suf, and Chikankari embroidery, supporting women-led communities.

Kolkata Market with ATI Travel NZ

Vibrant Markets & Delights

Immerse yourself in bustling bazaars like Delhi, Lucknow, and Kolkata, savouring local cuisine with a foodie guide.

Connect with Locals

Meet locals and visit private homes to experience local life and hospitality.

Community Initiatives

Learn about and support community initiatives working towards social and economic development.

The principal focus was traditional textile arts, but there was a marvellous balance of exposure to other arts and traditional crafts, music, design and architecture.

The food and varied accommodations were excellent. Joji, ATI’s owner, led the tour and his genuine care for his clients, as well as his deep knowledge of and love for India’s cultures, arts, food and people, were always evident.

While the itinerary was carefully planned, flexibility was part of its fabric, so we enjoyed several serendipitous adventures and meetings, which were really enriching. I would say that ATI’s tours are designed for the curious and culturally sensitive, and its itineraries take you off the heavily beaten tourist oaths and much further into the heart of India.

Now that its tours are starting up again after the Covid hiatus, I am planning my next trip with the ATI crew as I cannot think of a better way of seeing India again.

Anna Lennon

Sydney, Australia

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Delhi

Welcome back to guests from the previous tour, and Welcome to India for all those new guests! We’re thrilled to delve into India’s capital city’s rich culture and history. Our itinerary includes visits to several sites such as The National Craft Museum, The Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the architectural brilliance of the Mughal dynasty, the Jama Masjid, the textiles and spice market, as well as The Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. This Sikh temple provides free meals to thousands of people daily. Additionally, we plan to shop at Khan Market, which is home to some of the best boutiques in Delhi, such as Good Earth, Anokhi, and Fab India, all of which offer high-quality products with an ethnic touch.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Park Delhi

Day 2, 3 & 4 – Chambal

We bid Delhi farewell and head towards one of the world’s wonders – the Taj Mahal. The white marble mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built it in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is considered one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic buildings and a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage. We marvel at its intricate design and exquisite craftsmanship and learn about its history and significance.

Along the way, we will stop at Sheros Cafe, a unique place run by survivors of acid attacks. These brave women have overcome their trauma and stigma and created a space of empowerment and solidarity.

We continue our journey to Chambal. This region is known for its rich cultural and natural heritage and its notorious history of banditry and lawlessness. Our lodge is situated in a restored woodland area, where we can enjoy the peaceful green scenery and the birdlife from our unique cottages.

We have two full days to explore the Chambal Valley and its surroundings. We can visit the local village and interact with the friendly people, who will share their stories and traditions with us. We can also go on a bird-watching tour and spot some of the rare and endangered species that inhabit the area, such as the Indian skimmer, the black-bellied tern, and the sarus crane. One of the highlights of our stay is a river safari on the Chambal River, where we can see the unique wildlife that thrives in its pristine waters, such as the gharial, a crocodile-like reptile, the mugger crocodile, and the Gangetic dolphin. If we are feeling adventurous, we can also cycle around the village or relax under the shade of ancient trees. Every meal at our lodge is a culinary delight, prepared with fresh and organic ingredients.

Guests on 20 days tour will be transferred to Delhi in a private vehicle. A night’s stay in Delhi and airport drop-off are included in the package.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationMela Kothi – Chambal Safari Lodge

Day 5, 6 & 7 – Lucknow

We drive east on the four-lane highway to princely Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh and a city with a rich cultural heritage. Lucknow was once the seat of the Mughal Empire and later the Nawabs of Oudh, who left behind many splendid monuments and buildings that reflect their refined taste and grandeur. In the evening, we’ll indulge in the culinary delights for which Lucknow is famous. Its Persian and Awadhi-influenced cuisine blends aromatic spices and herbs, and we’ll walk through lively areas where the locals eat to sample delicious dishes like kebabs, biryanis, chaats, and kulfi.

In the old part of Lucknow, we’ll stroll through narrow streets and see the artisans who practice different types of embroideries, such as Chikan, Zardozi, and Aari, to adorn clothes and fabrics with intricate patterns. We’ll also witness block printing that uses wooden stamps to create colourful designs, metal crafts that shape brass and copper into utensils and ornaments, perfumeries that use local rose petals to make fragrant attars, and costume jewellery making that creates dazzling accessories with beads and stones. Whenever we feel like it, we’ll stop and taste the local specialities that vary from sweet to savoury.

Be the guest of the erstwhile royal family of Mahmudabad, who live an hour away from Lucknow in a splendid palace. We will also visit one of their projects that empowers local women who make beautiful embroidered materials using traditional techniques. We will hear their stories and skills and have an opportunity to buy unique souvenirs supporting their livelihoods.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationRamada by Wyndham

Day 8 – Kolkata

We fly from Lucknow to Kolkata, the cultural hub of West Bengal and the former capital of colonial British India. We arrive in the afternoon and check into our hotel, which is located in the heart of the city. After a short rest, we will explore the neighbourhood on foot and get a glimpse of the local life. We walk along the busy streets, admiring the colonial architecture and the vibrant markets, where we see a variety of goods and crafts. Stop at a roadside stall and sample some delicious street food, such as puchkas, which are crispy hollow balls filled with spicy water and potatoes, jhal muri, which is a mix of puffed rice, peanuts, onions and spices, and kathi rolls, which are flatbreads stuffed with meat or vegetables and sauces. We enjoy the sights and sounds of this lively city and feel its pulse.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Astor

Day 9 & 10 – Itachuna

Our next destination is Itachuna, a charming village in rural Bengal that dates back to the 18th century. We will leave our hotel after having a delicious breakfast of luchi, aloo dum and sandesh, and drive through the scenic countryside to reach Phulia, a famous weaving cluster that produces some of the finest handloom sarees in India. There, we will meet a master jamdani weaver and learn about his craft and the history of this exquisite fabric that originated in Dhaka and was patronised by the Mughal emperors. We will also have a chance to see some of his creations featuring intricate floral and geometric patterns and buy souvenirs if we wish. After that, we will continue our journey to Itachuna, where we will stay in a stunning heritage mansion that has been restored to its former glory by the descendants of the original owners. The mansion is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful retreat from city life. It has spacious rooms, antique furniture, a library and a courtyard where we can relax and enjoy the breeze. In the morning and evening, we will explore the village and interact with the local people, who are very friendly and hospitable. We will also enjoy some authentic Bengali cuisine, such as ilish macher jhol, kosha mangsho and mishti doi, listen to traditional music, such as baul and kirtan. We’ll also visit the Kalna Terracotta Temple, which showcases exquisite terracotta sculptures and provides insight into the culture and history of the region.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationItachuna Rajbari

Day 11 & 12 – Kolkata

Our journey to Kolkata takes us through Saharanpur, a town with a Dutch colonial past. We admire the Dutch architecture and the culture of the town. We visit an artists’ colony where we see the amazing skill of clay idol makers who create idols of gods and goddesses for various festivals throughout the year. They demonstrate how they shape, paint and adorn the idols with intricate details. We enjoy a delicious lunch of Bengali delicacies at a local home. We also visit Weavers Studio, New Market, a social initiative that supports deprived women and then Mother Teresa’s home.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Astor

Day 13 – Kolkata - Departure

Today marks the end of our journey together, and it’s time to bid our farewells and part ways. We feel grateful for the opportunity to share with you the rich textile traditions of both ancient and modern India.

Meals:   B | – | –

Group Organiser Discount Available

A group organiser (4-10) can avail up to $2000 discount on a twin share package price.
Please contact us for further details.

INCLUDED

  • Airport meet and greet with private transfers
  • Domestic airfare
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Handpicked boutique accommodations
  • Meals as per trip note
  • English-speaking local guides
  • All entrance fees, tips & gratuity
  • Guaranteed departure with just six guests

EXCLUDED

  • International airfares
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Tests & other medical expenses
  • Personal expenses

REQUEST DETAILED ITINERARY

Or call Joji on +64 (0) 21 505 713

Golden Threads of Moguls

This 13-day Farm to Fabric tour is part of the Threads of Tradition Indian textiles tour series.

13 days from NZ$6885 (US$4491/€4323) per person
Delhi to Kolkata
Limited to 10 guests | Escorted by Joji Jacob
2024 – 2 to 14 Oct 2024
2025 – 10 to 22 Oct 2025

Get NZ$1500 discount by joining both ‘Golden Threads of Moguls’ & ‘Cotton Traditions’ tours.

Please contact us if you wish to customise this itinerary to suit your travel needs.

An ideal trip for:

Solo Traveler, Group of Friends, Couples

If you want a rich and truly authentic experience of the region(s) being visited in a slow and well-paced manner as part of a small group of like-minded people who appreciate the personal care and attention provided to them, then this is the trip for you. 

Safe Travels with ATI

Since 2013, ATI Travel NZ has been unsurpassed at delivering expertly managed small group and tailor-made boutique travel experiences.
We are uniquely qualified to ensure your well-being when travelling with us.

Our local partner offices work tirelessly with us behind the scenes

Our local suppliers and partners know our health & safety requirements, and our requirement to comply with all local regulations.

We follow the health and safety protocols required for your journey

All protocols involving physical distancing, vaccinations, masking, testing and other safety practices are communicated both before and during your journey. These protocols are carried out according to the latest local regulations and service provider requirements.

We facilitate in-country COVID-19 testing and provide round-the-clock support for any health-related matters

ATI’s network of local offices has the contacts and knowledge to support you throughout your journey, from coordinating COVID-19 testing (for travelling between countries and returning home) to answering any questions you have during your journey. Our local partners are experienced in handling any situation and have the contacts and knowledge to support guests 24/7.

ATI Travel will constantly monitor its safe travel plans to comply with global health and safety protocols

In the event that the tour director has to isolate, the tour will continue with the tour director remotely managing the tour in conjunction with the local team members.

If any of the guests have to isolate, all arrangements will be made to find accommodation and their medical support. This is not included in the package costs and must be covered by the individual’s travel insurance.

The guest can join the tour after the required isolation and clearance if the tour is still active. In the event that the tour has been completed, the guest will be supported to make their return passage home.

We Got You Covered

Something for everyone

Whether you are a first-timer or experienced traveller, our tours meet the expectations, needs and interests of each individual on the tour. Our guests continuously tell us that it surpasses all their expectations.

Active Tour

This tour is suitable for guests who do not mind travelling that extra mile in search of those unique experiences. If you are interested in culture, cuisine, architecture, people interaction and textiles, you will love this tour.  

boutique accommodation

Boutique accommodation, handpicked by us, for you to rest and rejuvenate in beautiful settings such as palaces, homestay, mansions, farm stay, business hotels and glamping is part of the travel experience we curate for you.

Travel in comfort

We provide airport to airport service, for your comfort and safety. Your private vehicle and the English speaking driver will accompany you throughout the journey. Check out the feedback we have received from our guests.

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