Gujarat cultural holiday, India

Description of Gujarat cultural holiday, India

Gujarat, a state that has played host to the early Indus Valley Civilization 4,000 years ago at Lothal & Dholavira, the region evolved from there into several princely states that made up the region of Saurashtra.

Saurashtra’s distinction was that it remained independent from colonial British India until Independence, forming its distinct identity – from the powerful Hindu temple of Somnath to Gujarat’s unique landscape and geography that gave rise to it’s distinct tribal communities and wildlife-migratory birdlife of the Great Kutch Desert and the majestic Asiatic Lion – a species today confined only to the state of Gujarat.

Day-by-day itinerary

Days 1 & 2Ahmedabad & the history of the Great Mahatma Gandhi – You begin the journey through the nerve centre and capital of Gujarat at Ahmedabad. Over these two days, we’ll take you through the history of textile at the rich Calico Museum and also walk you through glimpses of the great Mahatma Gandhi’s life and home at what has now become a shrine to his life at Sabarmati Ashram.
Days 3 & 4A Family Homestay and Tribal Bazaars at Poshina – Proceeding north of Ahmedabad, we’ll take you to a local family in their heritage palace-haveli homestay to experience the little village of Poshina with it’s unique tribal bazaars where local craftsmen forge swords and daggers, potters making fine terra cotta horses and jewellers making and selling chunky tribal ornaments. A Journey through Poshina will lead you on a personally guided discovery of the Adivasi and Garasia Tribes of the region.
Day 5Ancient Stepwells and Mosques – step-wells and the unique and very traditional artisan technique of Patan Pataola Saree weaving; a tradition carried forward by generations of weaver families.
Days 6 & 7Kutch, Wild Asses & Mir Tribal Nomads – Further west and on the fringes of the Little Rann of Kutch you’ll spend these two days exploring the Kutch Desert in search of the one-of-their-kind Wild Asses as well as village safaris to ethnic nomad Mir tribal settlements to experience their forte – traditional Beadwork – from opaque beads, coins, bells, buttons and mirrors all employed to create braids, tassels and necklaces for women.
Days 8 & 9Stay with Tribals in Hodka – You’ll travel north-west to spend two days immersed in village life, living in traditionally constructed Bhungas (local mud huts), directly interacting with and experiencing tribal families and their embroidery work and leather craft.
Days 10&11Dynasties of the Mauryas & Mughals of Junagadh – Travelling South, you’ll experience ancient dynasties and their historic contributions at the town of Junagadh over the course of a day.
Days 12&13The Lions of Gir – Travelling east now to the wilds of the Sasan Gir National Park, we’ll take you on private safaris through the park in search of these majestic Lions in the only park in India that they can call their home.
Days 14&15Jainism at Palitana – Travelling back east, we’ll take you on a spiritual discovery of ancient Jainism. Where else to experience Jainism but at one of it’s very spiritual and historic temple sites of Palitana; with architectural work having commenced 900-years ago!
Day 16Indus Valley’s Lothal ruined city – Tracing your way back to Ahmedabad, we’ll explore the ruined port of Lothal. One of the most prominent citiies of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization which connected the ancient Harappan city in the Sindh to the Arabian Sea. You’ll proceed to spend the night in the city of Ahmedabad.
Day 17Colonial Vadodara & historic Champaner in a day – We’ll take you on a day trip south of Ahmedabad to the city of Vadodara to explore it’s colonial architectural glory and then contrast it with the historic Sultanate and Rajputana region of Champaner before you head back to Ahmedabad for the night and to cap your trip through this fascinating region.

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Departure information

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gujarat cultural holiday, India

Environment

Village Sustainable & Eco Accommodation
To ensure that our holiday experiences endear to a transformative model, we’ve teamed up with the village community in Hodka, Gujarat to offer our travellers an experience where there isn’t just mutual understanding of cultures but a truly authentic and immersive experience into the local tribal community, their cultures and local crafts.

Apart from being socially responsible, this exercise is highly environmentally and ecologically friendly. Traveller accommodation consists of ‘Bhungas’ pure mud huts with thatch roofing, built purely in rural fashion and using materials sourced from the surrounding region, by the tribals themselves, thereby making this one of the most authentic all natural construct accommodations that can be found anywhere in the state of Gujarat outside of local tribal and rural communities.


Carbon Credit Offsets
We know how polluting long haul flights are to our environment. Hence as travel and experience planners to Gujarat, we believe in helping the environment by offsetting these carbon emissions by purchasing Carbon Credits.

A typical long haul flight from Europe to Ahmedabad generates on average 2.2 to 2.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions for a round trip flight per passenger. In order to offset these damaging emissions, as a Company, we offset this by purchasing Carbon Credits for each of our traveler who travels with us to Gujarat. Through this endeavor we ensure that we purchase corresponding credits that ensure the offset of the entire 2.5 tonnes per passenger per trip.

These carbon credits purchased in part go towards funding the Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative’s initiatives of afforesting wasteland with natural forest.

Community

The Mir Tribals of Dasada
Originally from Rajasthan, the Mirs migrated over 60-years ago with another nomadic tribal community called the Rabaris. Largely forced to remain nomadic as a community, our commitment in the local area and our partnerships with local outfits in the Dasada region have ensured that fifteen (15)-families that today reside in their village settlement outside of Dasada beside the Little Rann of Kutch are able to engage in the traditional Mir forte – Beadwork. Employing opaque beads, old and out-of-circulation coins, bells, buttons and mirrors, the Mir create and craft braids, tassels and necklaces for women and girls.

Our support for these families have ensured that a part of them uphold and carry on their craft traditions as they now have commercial and financially viable avenues along which to channel this ancient and traditional craft form.


Family Havelis & Local Tribal communities
With our continued and sustained support of family owned and managed Havelis and homestays in the State of Gujarat, we uphold local the traditions of authentic family homes, cuisine styles and a mutual exchange of cultures and practices.

One such example is in the village of Poshina and the family of Harendrapal Singh. Harendrapal’s involvement and dedication to his local area ensures that he upholds and encourages local tribal bazaars and traditional artisans not only through his active patronage but also with the help of travellers who end up experiencing his family home through our support and commitment.

All in all, this essentially preserves traditional craftsmen who forge local swords, potters who craft terra cotta horse figurines and clay utensils as well as jewellers who fashion chunky tribal ornaments.


Village Tourism & Local Employment
Our Village Tourism initiatives in the regions of Poshina, Dasada and Hodka ensure that we promote a more sustainable, transformative model of tourism to the region but in turn this also enables and encourages all forms of local employment. This employment ranges from the utilization of local skill-sets in the fields of local craft and art work, to the preservation of local styles of architecture and the sustained belief in all things local and natural in the local communities.

This endogenous form of tourism essentially helps improve the quality of rural life while at the same time preserving traditional livelihoods while allowing the communities to sustain their distinct cultures and communal identities.

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