Textile Impressions of India

Prices from £4,995

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24 Jan 2020 - 8 Feb 2020
Duration: 15 nights
Ref: 20002
With: Mandy Shaw

Prices

Prices from £4,995
Single Supplement: £1,495
Deposit: £400

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This textile holiday will capture your imagination and introduce you to the colourful textiles and cultural wonders of India. We’ll enjoy the Republic Day parade in Delhi, travel on India’s fastest train to Agra and, the highlight of the tour for some, visit the Taj Mahal. In Jaipur we’ll take part in a block printing workshop and in Udaipur we’ll visit a foundation set up to teach women patchwork, applique and embroidery skills. In Ahmedabad we visit the Calico Museum, the premier textile museum of India and not forgetting, of course, a chance for some retail therapy in the markets of Mumbai!

INCLUDING WORKSHOPS WITH MANDY SHAW...

"Inspiration for our sewing projects pour from every corner of our trip to India. I have designed several hand-sewing projects, hoping that we will be able to complete them with treasures and textiles we find and buy along our journey. The first is a 3D felt elephant, embroidered with shishi mirrors, ribbons and braids. The second is a crazy embroidered textile with an image of the Taj Mahal on it. A pattern will be provided to make this into a notebook cover, a storage envelope or even a cushion. Wonderful memories will be sewn into these items to treasure forever."

DAY 1: LONDON - DELHI

Meet Mandy Shaw at London Heathrow airport for your overnight flight to Delhi.

DAY 2: DELHI

On arrival in Delhi we’ll be met by our Indian Tour Manager, who will accompany us throughout the tour, and transfer to our hotel for immediate check in.

After some free time to unpack and freshen up, we’ll visit the National Crafts Museum, one of the largest museums in India. The museum is run by the Ministry of Textiles and holds over 35,000 rare and distinctive pieces, reflecting the traditions of Indian craftsmen through painting, embroidery, textiles, clay, stone and wood.

DAY 3: DELHI

Today is Republic Day in India. Ceremonious parades take place in tribute to India, its diversity and rich cultural heritage. Starting from the President’s residence, the parade showcases India’s defence capability and cultural and social heritage. We’ll have allocated seating for the viewing of the parade.

This afternoon we’ll have a guided visit of Laxminarayan Temple and Humayun’s tomb. Laxminarayan Temple is a Hindu temple and was the first large Hindu temple built in Delhi. Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emporer Humayun. Construction was completed in 1572 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

DAY 4: OLD DELHI

Today we’ll have a guided visit of Old Delhi, travelling there by underground train and rickshaw in order to avoid the traffic. We’ll visit:

  • Chandni Chowk; one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi
  • Kinari Bazaar; a market specialising in fabrics
  • Jama Masjid; India’s largest mosque
  • The Red Fort is located within Chandni Chowk and we’ll get a view of the fort from the mosque. It was built in 1639 and was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years. It now houses a number of museums.

This afternoon we’ll enjoy our first hand sewing workshop with Mandy.

DAY 5: DELHI - AGRA

This morning we travel to Agra on the Gatimaan Express; India’s fastest train. Breakfast is served on board and is included in the price of our ticket.

On arrival in Agra we’ll visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The Taj Mahal, meaning crown of the palaces, is a mausoleum commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife. The Taj Mahal was dedicated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being ‘the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage’. Agra Fort, more accurately described as a walled city, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty until the capital was moved to Delhi.

DAY 6: AGRA - JAIPUR

This morning we leave Agra to travel to Jaipur. En route we’ll take a guided tour of the town of Fatehpur Sikri, founded as the capital of the Moghul empire in 1571. Lunch is included on this day.

DAY 7: JAIPUR

On today’s guided tour we’ll visit:

  • Amber Fort; an opulent palace constructed of red sandstone and marble
  • Panna Meena Ka Kund is a picturesque stepwell; a well or pond in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are most common in western India, developed to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. Panna Meena Ka Kund was built in the 16th Century
  • Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing; displays a varied selection of block printed textiles, images and tools to provide an in-depth look at this ancient tradition
  • Hawa Mahal Palace, literally translated as Palace of Winds, is constructed of red and pink sandstone. Its unique five-story exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows decorated with intricate latticework. The intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.
  • Jantar Mantar is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments. It features the world’s largest stone sundial and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • City Palace Museum, houses the textiles of the royals of Jaipur

DAY 8: JAIPUR

Today we take an excursion to Bagru village, famous for its wooden block printing, where we’ll take a workshop with the Chippa community. Commonly known as 'Bagru Prints', the design is carved on a wooden block which is used to reproduce the same design on the preferred fabric. The craftsmen, following the original tradition, clean the cloth with clay and immerse it in turmeric water to provide the cloth with the customary cream colour. Following this, various designs are embossed on the fabric, with the help of natural dyes.

DAY 9: JAIPUR - UDAIPUR

This morning we have some free time in Jaipur for shopping before transferring to the airport for our flight to Udaipur.

DAY 10: UDAIPUR

Today our guided tour includes:

  • City Palace; a palace complex built in a flamboyant style using granite and marble over a period of almost 400 years
  • Jagdish Temple, a large Hindu temple

In the early evening we’ll enjoy a peaceful boat ride on Lake Pichola as we watch the sun set onto the city's marble facades, with beautiful views of the mountains.

DAY 11: UDAIPUR

Today we take an excursion to Sadhna women’s foundation. The foundation was established in 1988 to provide alternative incomes for women in Udaipur’s rural, tribal and urban slum belts. Sadhna taught Patchwork, Appliqué and Tanka embroidery skills to women so they could earn a secure living. Today, Sadhna provides the women with continuous training to improve their skills, a support network in their villages and a respectable position in their family and society. We’ll enjoy a handicraft walk, with an opportunity for some retail therapy. Lunch is included today.

DAY 12: UDAIPUR - AHMEDABAD

Today we leave Udaipur and travel by road to Ahmedabad. We stop en route for lunch, which is included in the cost of the holiday.

DAY 13: AHMEDABAD

Our visits today include:

  • Calico Museum, the premier textile museum of India. The museum was inspired by the pioneering art historian and philosopher Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy. It was his suggestion to Gautam Sarabhai, chairman of the Calico Mills of Ahmedabad, that a textile museum and an institute be founded in the city, as it had been one of India’s leading textile production and trade centers since the 15th century.
  • Sabarmati Ashram; one of the many residences of Mahatma Gandhi and now a national monument. Mahatma Gandhi lived here for a total of 12 years
  • The House of MG; a premier boutique heritage hotel and one of the oldest buildings in the city. This early 20th-century mansion, home to a prominent textile Merchant and entrepreneur contains a gallery showcasing traditional textiles of India from the Mangaldas family collection
  • Sidi Saiyyed Mosque was built between 1572 and 1573 and is well known for its intricately carved stone latticework windows or jalis

DAY 14: AHMEDABAD - MUMBAI

This morning we leave Ahmedabad and fly to Mumbai. This afternoon is time for shopping with visits to Mulji Jetha market, Asia’s largest textile market as well as Crawford and Colaba markets.

DAY 15: MUMBAI

Our guided visits today include:

  • Gateway of India; an arch monument erected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder pier in 1911
  • Dhobi Ghat; built in 1890, is an open-air laundry. The washers, known as dhobis, work in the open to clean clothes and linens from Mumbai’s hotels and hospitals
  • Victoria Terminus, now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, is one of the busiest railway stations in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The Prince of Wales Museum, now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, was founded in the early 20th Century to commemorate the visit of Edward VIII who was Prince of Wales at the time. The museum houses approximately 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands, categorized into three sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History.

We’ll also watch the impressive Dabbawallahs; a lunchbox delivery and return system that delivers hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work.

DAY 16: MUMBAI - LONDON

This morning we transfer to Mumbai airport for our return flight to London.

PRICES:

Twin/Double Room: £4995 per person
Single Supplement: £1495

Deposit: £400 per person

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Return flight with British Airways
  • 14 nights accommodation on a half-board basis (breakfast and dinner included)
  • 3 lunches
  • Transport in a deluxe air-conditioned coach
  • English speaking guides in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai
  • English-speaking local Tour Manager
  • Mineral water whist travelling by coach and sightseeing
  • Delhi metro train fare and cycle rickshaw ride
  • Entrance fees to monuments, museums and places of interest
  • Internal flights from Jaipur to Udaipur and Ahmedabad to Mumbai
  • Train from Delhi to Agra in first class
  • Block printing workshop and SADHNA centre visit
  • Gratuities for driver and guide
  • Two half day workshops with Mandy Shaw, kit included

NOT INCLUDED:

Meals and drinks other than those specified, travel insurance, visa fee and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.

TRAVEL ADVICE:

All passengers will need to obtain a visa before travelling to India. You can find further information about how to apply here https://www.hcilondon.gov.in/index

Visit your health professional at least 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Please Note: A good degree of mobility is required for this holiday due to the amount of walking involved on some of the visits.

NON-CRAFTERS

Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Worldwide- £75

WHY NOT MEET US THERE?

Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.

THE "STITCH TOGETHER" PROGRAMME

For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

The Imperial, Delhi ★★★★★

This 5-star hotel is an oasis of calm and comfort. A luxury hotel with an awe-inspiring heritage interwoven with colonial elegance, it is reminiscent of the days of the Raj.

Trident Hotel, Agra ★★★★

This 4.5-star hotel is set amidst beautiful gardens and is only a few minutes' walk from the Taj Mahal. The hotel is designed around a landscaped central courtyard with a swimming pool and fountains. The elegantly appointed rooms engulf you with a sense of warmth and comfort. The picture windows let in Agra’s natural light, while colourful wall panels add cheer to the décor.

Trident Hotel, Jaipur ★★★★★

This 5-star luxury hotel offers stunning views of the Mansagar Lake and Jal Mahal. The 132 rooms are tastefully appointed, well-lit and airy with television, mini-bar, safe and high-speed internet. Recreation and wellness facilities include swimming pool, spa and fitness centre.

LaliT Laxmi Vilas Palace, Udaipur ★★★★★

This 5 star hotel was originally built by His Highness Maharana Fateh Singh in 1911. Overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake, with the majestic Aravalli hills as its backdrop, this beautiful heritage palace seamlessly combines royal splendour with modern amenities.

The 55 well appointed, spacious rooms offer captivating views of the lake or the hills. In-room facilities include safe, iron & ironing board, min bar, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, bathrobe & slippers, hair dryer, TV, complimentary mineral water and wifi.

The expansive gardens offer a great opportunity to relax after a busy day of sightseeing.

Lemon Tree Premier; The Atrium, Ahmedabad ★★★★

This 4-star plush and stylish hotel is located on the banks of the river. The 63 spacious and well-appointed rooms are draped in exquisite fabric and bright décor.

Trident Nariman Point, Mumbai ★★★★★

Nestled in the heart of Mumbai the hotel offers stunning views of the ocean and the Mumbai city skyline. Elegant and spacious, each room is furnished with utmost attention to detail, making it a quiet, comfortable retreat in bustling Mumbai.