Threads of Tradition Textiles tour of India banner ATI Travel NZ

SMALL GROUP TOURS

Threads of Tradition

24 days NZ$8985 (US$5854/€5636) per person
Ahmedabad to Kolkata
Max 10 guests
22 Jan to 14 Feb 2023

17 days NZ$8085 (US$5270/€5073) per person
Ahmedabad to Delhi
Max 10 guests
22 Jan to 7 Feb 2023

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.

Threads of tradition

A farm to fashion textiles tour which goes off the beaten track to meet master artisans at work and showcase the best in the traditional textiles industry covering the West, Central and Eastern regions of India.
Our colourful ‘Threads of Tradition’ tour treks the geography of textiles as it has been since ancient times. This Farm to Fashion tour starts from India’s ancient and current centre of textiles in the west, Gujarat, and concludes in Kolkata, a port and yarn and textile hub of the pre-British era.

Along the way, we visit New Delhi in the north-west, a stopover in Agra to feast our eyes on the Taj Mahal e route to Lucknow. Throughout this tour, we will witness for ourselves the hearts and souls, traditions and beliefs that are woven and embellished into the textiles of India.

We embark on this amazing and colourful textiles adventure from the heart and centre of Indian textiles from ancient times, Gujarat. The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat is renowned for its indigo dyeing, handloom weaving, embroidery, handicrafts, mouthwatering vegetarian cuisine, natural beauty and colourful lifestyle. We will venture off the beaten track and visit villages where indigo dyeing, intricate embroidery (Rabari, Bavalia & Sindhi),

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double ikat patola saree weaving, wooden block making, Ajrakh block printing etc. are undertaken in a very traditional way. Along the way, we will stop and marvel at architectural splendours of bygone eras, eat where the locals eat, meet and mingle with tribals and villagers in their natural surroundings and even visit some in their homes.

We will also visit various artisan campuses set up by NGOs to encourage and teach the next generation of artisans in an effort to revive and retain these ancient skills. A trip to Gujarat, with the longest coastline (1290 km) in India, will not be complete without a stay in a beach resort where we get to rest, relax, rejuvenate and reminisce.

After a restful day, we will fly north-west to Delhi, the capital city of India. A fascinating city made up of Old Delhi (a historic walled capital city built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal) with its narrow,crowded, colourful and fascinating bazaars and New Delhi (a garden city designed by Lutyens during the British era) with its landscaped parks, boulevards, mini palaces and Government buildings. Being the capital city, it proudly hosts a craft village spread over 6 acres of reclaimed land, where all the various arts, crafts and textiles from all parts of India are on display and for sale. Here we will get to visually treat ourselves to beautifully woven and embroidered textiles (cotton & silk) and meet and talk to the artisans. A visit to Delhi will not be complete without visiting Qutub Minar (a historically significant monument), doing a cycle rickshaw ride through the crowded streets of Old Delhi, visiting State Emporiums, enjoying culinary delights and commuting with the locals on the Metro.

Out next leg of the journey takes us to one of the world’s most celebrated structures and an icon of India’s rich history – the Taj Mahal. A symbol of love, that is not only beautiful and romantic but is also so graceful, majestic and deeply memorable. With wonderment in our eyes, we embark on a three-hour train journey to Lucknow, the city of the Oudh Nawabs. The Nawabs were great patrons of the culinary and other arts, particularly dance and music. Away from the tourist route, Lucknow is, to this day, a city of culture, gracious living and rich cuisine. It is the home of Chikan, a delicate and artful hand embroidery that embellishes a variety of textile fabrics like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net, etc. Historically of royal significance, it is now a fashion-centric form of needlecraft recognised world over and sought after by the international fashion houses. Lucknow is also famous for its zardozi (gold or silver metal thread) and Ari (stitching using finest threads, beads and pearls) embroidery. Our culinary walk will entreat us to the famous and rich Lucknow cuisine.

We also get to witness metal craft, artificial jewellery and edible silver foil being created by artisans in the bazaars. Staying in a beautiful Taj hotel, we roundup our stay with a taste of the lifestyle of the princely Nawabs of Lucknow.

We fly over to Kolkata, the final leg of the “Threads of Tradition” tour, to marvel at her rich textile traditions. Fine muslins with superior designs, jamdanis, are their speciality here and so it is only apt that we pay a visit to a jamdani master weaver’s workshop in a nearby village. Here, we get to visit a cotton weaver in his home, a cooperative society of weavers and get a real taste of village life. Returning to Kolkata, we will not only visit Mother Theresa’s home but also observe clay statue making and visit Indian fashion designers who are working to revive the traditional textile arts. No visit to Kolkata will be complete without a tram ride, tasting the famous Bengali cuisine (street stalls visited by Rick Stein) and enjoying the majestic colonial architecture.

We bid our farewells, but only after we have had time to chill out, unwind and weave our rich and colourful experiences into yarns that we can take with us to share with family and friends.

Ahmedabad | Patan | Bajana | Surendranagar | Bhuj | Hodka | Mandvi | Delhi | Agra | Chambal | Lucknow |Itachuna | Kolkata
Ahmedabad to Kolkata route map - Threads of Tradition - ATI Travel NZ

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 >

ITINERARY

Day 1, 2 & 3 – Ahmedabad - Arrival

We will receive you personally at the Ahmedabad International Airport and take you to your hotel.

We start our tour from the Gandhi Ashram and visit  Calico Museum, the National Institute of Design, markets, traditional eateries, and private museums and also attend a hands-on tribal art workshop.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe House of MG

Day 4 & 5 – Bajana

From Ahmedabad, we travel north to Patan to visit an 11th-century stepwell, a UNESCO world heritage site and visit weavers undertaking the complex double IKAT weaving. From Patan, we continue our journey to Bajana in the southwest to the next accommodation. However, on the way, we take a break at a wooden block maker’s workshop and visit the Modhera Sun Temple (an ancient & beautiful architectural marvel built in 1026AD).

Bajana is in the ‘Little run of Kutch’ famous for the Wild Ass sanctuary. Early morning, we will venture out on a safari expecting to see this shy animal in its habitat. During our stay, we visit a salt farm/factory, meet the tribals, dance to their music, and most importantly, see how Tangalia, a supplementary weft beaded textiles, are woven at the artisan’s home.

Meals:   B | L | D
AccommodationThe Royal Safari Camp

Day 6, 7 & 8 – Bhuj

Travelling west takes us to the heart of the textiles tradition of the Indian subcontinent. We stay in Bhuj and explore each region day by day. Be prepared to get mesmerised by colours and patterns magically formed in the skilled hands of artisans. We will visit communities, NGOs & museums to understand the textiles and crafts tradition of Kutchh.

Meals:   B | – | D
AccommodationKutch Safari Lodge

Day 9 – Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch, north of Bhuj, is a seasonal salt marsh in the Thar desert. On a full moon night, the salt marsh looks like the moon. The Rann Utsav arts and crafts festival (3 months long) will be in full swing. We meet artisans and enjoy the local culture, textiles, arts and crafts and cuisine. Being in a desert, we will stay in traditional mud huts (Bhungas) to enjoy the ambience.

Meals:   B | L | D
AccommodationMahefeel E Rann Resort

Day 10 – Mandvi Beach

We head off south to Mandvi Beach – a pristine beach along the Gulf of Kutch. An opportunity to just relax, soak up the sunshine and rejuvenate.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationVijay Villas Heritage Resort

Day 11 & 12 – Delhi

We take a morning flight to Delhi. Staying in the heart of Delhi allows us to walk to markets, emporiums, eateries and pubs. We will also check out Dili Hart, an open-air food and crafts market in the city centre. Here you can meet artisans from many parts of India selling regional handicrafts and textiles. A fantastic place to get a taste of the amazing regional cuisines and buy gifts for friends and family.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Park Delhi

Day 13, 14 & 15 – Chambal

We bid Delhi farewell and head towards one of the world’s wonders – the Taj Mahal. You get to enjoy this breathtaking symbol of love for a couple of hours before we head off to our accommodation in the heart of Chambal Valley. Located in a sprawling reclaimed woodland, you can immerse yourself in its tranquil green surroundings.

A couple of days to explore the village, meet and mingle with the villagers, enjoy bird watching, cycle around or just relax under the shade of beautiful mature trees. Every meal is a culinary experience at Chambal Safari.

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

Day 16, 17 & 18 – Lucknow

We drive east on the four-lane highway to princely Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs of Oudh. In the evening, we will go on a culinary walk through areas where the locals go to eat. We get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage haveli.

We will wander around narrow streets in the old part of Lucknow to view artisans undertaking different types of embroideries (Chikan, Zardozi and Aari); block printing; metal crafts, perfumeries (using local rose petals) and costume jewellery making. Walking around, we will stop as the fancy takes us to taste the local delicacies.

Be the guest of the erstwhile royal family an hour’s drive and join them for a royal lunch. We will also visit one of their initiatives to provide a livelihood for local women.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationLebua

Day 19 – Kolkata

We fly from Lucknow to Kolkata, and in the evening, we explore the neighbourhood on foot.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationLemon Tree Premier

Day 20 & 21 – Itachuna

After breakfast, we check out and head out to Itachuna. Enjoy the scenic drive towards rural Bengal, where we will visit a master jamdani weaver’s workshop. Once again, we get to stay in a beautifully restored heritage mansion.

We venture to rural Phulia, where we will visit a cotton weaver’s home and the cooperative societies.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationItachuna Rajbari

Day 22 & 23 – Kolkata

We drive back to Kolkata through Sharanpur, a former Dutch colony. In Kolkata, we visit an artists’ colony where they create clay idols for festivals. We get to enjoy a home-cooked lunch before visiting Kolkata’s ‘Tant’ textile showroom, where traditional Bengali sarees are displayed.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Elgin Fairlawn

Day 24 – Kolkata - Departure

Sadly, this is the day to bid our farewells and head our separate ways. It has been our pleasure to show you the textiles traditions of old and new India.

Meals:   B | – | –

Tour Price & Offers

Prices are per person, based on twin-share
Ahmedabad to Kolkata – 24 Days
Package Price for 24 days
: NZ$8985 (US$5854/€5636)
Group organiser (2-10) discount:  Up to NZ$1000 One person on twin share
Single Supplement: NZ$3450 Per Person (US$2260/€2176)

Ahmedabad to Delhi – 17 Days
Package Price for 17 days
: NZ$7985 (US$5205/€5011)
Group organiser (2-10) discount:  Up to NZ$500 One person on twin share
Single Supplement: NZ$2650 Per Person (US$1741/€1676)

Accommodation (no. of nights): Heritage Mansion (8), Beach Resort (1), 5Star Hotel (2), Safari Lodge (8), Village Retreat (1), Business Hotel (1), Boutique Hotel (2)
Included Meals: 23 Breakfasts, 5 lunches & 6 dinners

Group Organiser Discount Available

A group organiser (2-10) can avail up to $1000 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 van
  • 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

"I travelled with ATI across the north of India...

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.”

Witness the hearts and souls, traditions and beliefs that are woven and embellished into the textiles of India. Meet master artisans and watch them at work.

Farm to fashion

Farm visit

Spinning

Dyeing

Indigo Dyeing

Ikat Weaving

Jamdhani Weaving

Tangalia Weaving

Tangail Saree Weaving

Brocade Weaving

Carpet Weaving

Ajrak Block Printing

Bandhani (Tie & dye)

Shibori

Kalamkari Workshop

Rogan Art

Zardozi Embroidery

Aari Embroidery

Kantha Embroidery

Suf Embroidery

Chikankari Embroidery

Meet Master Artisans

Meet Designers

Visit Textiles Museums

Visit Boutiques

This tour has been designed not only to showcase Indian textiles but also to experience the local culture, tradition and lifestyles of these regions of India.

Other Highlights

Taj Mahal Visit

Arts & Crafts

Culinary Treats

Shopping

Village Walks

Folk Music & Dance

Attend Festivals

Market Visits

UNESCO Heritage Sites

Private Home Visits

Pottery Making

Community Initiatives

River Safari

Jeep Safari

Bird Watching

Serendipity

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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