Expert-Led Group Tour

India group tour - Textiles and Artisans of India

Travel from Gujarat to Hyderabad

13 days

from £4,495pp
  • Escorted by textiles expert, Rosemary Crill, co-curator of the V&A's Fabric of India exhibition
  • Guided tour of the Calico Museum of Textiles, a world renowned treasure trove of textiles
  • Special permits for access to Banni villages where the mirror work is unparalleled
  • Stay at India's most ornate hotel - the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad

Travel from India's north-west region of Gujarat to Hyderabad. Discover the fascinating textiles of these regions and learn more about its influences on the V&A Fabric of India exhibition through the eyes of the exhibition curator Rosemary Crill.

The history of India's remarkable textile traditions date back at least six thousand years to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Fragments of woven cotton have been found, and some traces of dye, which speak of a highly developed cotton industry, while recent discoveries suggest that the cultivation of wild silk was also well understood in ancient India.

Throughout India today, skilled textile artists continue to contribute to these truly splendid and enduring traditions, producing textiles that not only reflect the past but also cater for modern tastes and global markets today.


Travel through the semi-arid regions of Gujarat in India's north- west, meet the people of Bhuj with their instinctive eye for colour and design. These artisans have produced some of India's most creative folk embroidery and gorgeous bandhini or tie dye work.

Visit Dasada to learn the origins of Ajrakh prints, among the oldest textiles in the world, dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation; travel to Ahmedabad and discover the intricate techniques used to produce Patola cloth, used to make the finest hand woven saris in the world; and take a guided tour of the Calico Museum - a pilgrimage site for textile lovers.

The tour finishes in Hyderabad with a stay at the former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad - Falaknuma Palace, now leased by the hotel group Taj. One of India's most ornate and exquisite hotels, Falaknuma is more a museum than a hotel and is a fitting end to this exceptional tour.


Rosemary Crill is the internationally respected former senior curator for South and Southeast Asian textiles and dress, Middle Eastern Carpets, and South Asian painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She curated ‘The Fabric of India’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This tour will give a privileged insight into her in-depth understanding of Indian textiles.

She has published many books and articles on these subjects and has travelled widely in India.

Rosemary will join the group as a tour expert, she will work with a local tour guide throughout, allowing priveledged access into certain sites and museums as well as giving an insight through organised talks. Please note Rosemary is not a tour lecturer or tour leader, however her experience and knowledge of the Fabrics of India make an incredible addition to this tour.


Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Expert.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.


All visitors need a visa for India. There is now provision for an online e-visa for citizens of certain countries, including the UK. The visa has to be obtained before arrival in all circumstances. Tourist visas issued in the UK have six months’ validity from date of issue.


During this tour you will stay in a carefully selected range of small hotels in Gujarat and world leading five-star properties in Hyderabad and Mumbai. All hotels are at least a three-star standard and all offer restaurants on site, some offer pools and leisure facilities. These hotels have been chosen for their vantage points, and good access to city sightseeing.

Gujarat hotel standards are generally lower than other more visited areas of India and availability and choice are limited. We believe we have confirmed the best available in each location.


Both regions have distinctive cuisine.

Gujarat cuisine offers a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, and more often than not served on a lovely silver platter. A combination of different spices is used in cooking and this is what makes Gujarati food truly exotic with sweet notes dominating many dishes such as Gujarati Kadhi (curry). Another traditional dish is the Gujarati thali, consisting of roti, dal, rice and shaak (a dish made up of several different combinations of vegetable and spices).

Hyderabad is famous for its ridiculously good Biryani, a traditional celebration of lamb and rice. Do not leave the city without a tasting.


Warm sunny days with cooler nights. November is the end of the monsoon rains. The average temperatures sit around 30 degrees, dropping to 17 – 18 degrees at night.


General overall fitness is required. There is a lot of walking however, at a leisurely pace with some stairs. We would suggest that you bring a comfortable pair if walking shoes, that are easy to take on and off as you will be required to remove your shoes when visiting mosques and temples.


Yes, this can easily be arranged at the end of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided and a private guide arranged for sightseeing.

We have arranged an extention at the Falaknuma Palace for those feeling they would like an extra night stay independant of the group. The price starts from £400 per person including private airport transfers.

From Mumbai you can easily reach the beaches of South India.  If Rajasthan is on the wishlist then there is daily connectivity by air, easily enabling a short extension to visit the Taj Mahal and Jaipur.

Departing on:
  • 4th November 2017

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

DEPART UKARRIVE UKPrice Excluding Flights (£)Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
4th Nov 2017 16th Nov 2017 £ 4,495 £ 685 £ 1,795 Rosemary Crill Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 Dinners
  • Accompanied by an English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Accompanied by textile expert Rosemary Crill throughout
  • All transportation by comfortable AC Mini coach
  • Comfortable Hotel accommodation (at least 4*)
  • Domestic internal flights
  • Entrance to all sites mentioned
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and porters
  • Local experts in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gujarat.
  • Meet and greet service at the airports

what is excluded

  • Additional meals not mentioned
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • India visa
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Mumbai

Day 2

Lunch not included. Dinner is included at Masala Restaurant

Welcome Dinner at Masala Kraft
Before dinner this evening there will be a presentation from Rosemary Crill. This will take place within the Taj Mahal Palace.

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is a city teeming with culture, architecture and people. Famous for its diversity, this vast metropolis has suffered from religious tensions during recent years, but this has done little to limit the surprisingly liberal attitudes of many 'Mumbaikars'.

Having boomed as a port during the 18th and 19th century, Mumbai is rich with imposing colonial architecture, whilst towering contemporary structures underline the city's recent prosperity. Contrasting strongly with these are the city's slums, which make up large parts of this modern city and serve as a reminder of the mixed fortunes of its residents'.

You will be staying at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Day 3

A Full Day of Sightseeing
A full day of sightseeing is arranged today including a lunch in an iconic restaurant. At around 11:15 am, you will arrive at Churchgate station to watch a typical Mumbai trade - the Dabbawallahs. These men deliver over 200,000 home cooked meals to office workers through Mumbai. Then visit Mahalaxmi to visit the Dhobi Ghat, the largest and most unique laundry qaurters.

After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Khotachi Wadi, Mumbai's oldest preserved settlement. It is a collection of vernacular-style houses, a unique example of 19th century architecture. There used to be 65 of these houses which has now been reduced to 28, due to the influx of modern buildings. There will be an opportunity to visit one of these houses, and meet Mr James Ferreira, an Indian fashion designer and founder of the 'James Ferreira' designer label and also a resident of this heritage village.

Lunch included at a local restaurant. Dinner under own arrangements

You will be staying at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Day 4

Fly Mumbai to Bhuj

Your baggage allowance of 25 kg has been prepaid for each domestic flight

Bhuj - An orientation Evening
After time to refresh, there will a chance to do some pre dinner sightseeing of Bhuj and the local artisans and dealers. Subject to Mr Wazir being available we will visit him in his home to see his textiles collection. Returning to the hotel for dinner.

Breakfast and Dinner at the hotel

You will be staying at Prince Hotel

Day 5

A Full Day of Sightseeing
After breakfast visit Aina Mahal. before driving to Kala Raksha ( 40 minutes driving time). A grass-roots cooperative of traditional embroiderers in Sumraser Sheikh. See their textile museum and learn about the many styles of Kutch embroidery. In 1991, Kala Raksha became a new model for development through handicrafts, the preservation of traditions combined with income generation through contemporary work. Compromising artisans, community members and experts in the fields of art, design, rural management and museums, the organisation works hand in hand with the original suf and other embroidery artisans. Lunch will be taken at Hodka before travelling on to visit a Banni village. The Banni are renowned for the most exquisite mirror work, the results are extravagant covers, tunics and scarves emblazoned with mirrors. Returning later today to the hotel for dinner.

Breakfast, lunch (at Hodka) and dinner at hotel

You will be staying at Prince Hotel

Day 6

Visit to Mandvi Port
An early start today to reach the coast via the Jain Temple (a driving time of 90 minutes). Traditional wooden dhows are constructed at the portLunch will be provided todayat Mandvi Resort. Returning to Bhuj to witness tie die, at the workshops of Jabbar and Abdullah Khatri. On returning to Bhuj take a pre dinner stroll through Bhuj Bazaar at leisure. A great place for souvenirs.

Breakfast and dinner at hotel. Lunch at Mandvi

You will be staying at Prince Hotel

Day 7

Drive to Dasada stopping at Ajrakpur Village

The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the monsoon. Safaris across the Little Rann visit the 'bets' islands, on an ancient seabed that are now higher grounds covered with grass and scrub. These 'bets' support a variety of wildlife including the Gudkhur (Asiatic wild ass) that is not found elsewhere.

Bhuj to Dasada
Morning visit to Bhujori Village to visit the Shamji (weavers). Later drive to Shrujan Museum. Lunch will be provided today at a local restaurant.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening Rosemary Crill will host a pre dinner presenation

Breakfast, local lunch and dinner at hotel

You will be staying at Rann Riders

Day 8

Visit the Little Rann of Kutch and tribal villages
This morning take an open jeep ride to the little Rann of Kutch.

Dasada village is near the Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary. Once an arm of the Arabian Sea the Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape. Today, take a safari across the Little Rann and visit the bets; islands on the ancient seabed that now form higher ground covered with grass and scrub. Witness the sea salt making process. The hardship of the Rann and climate has a deep impact and influence on the textile and embroidery styles of the local people and tribes of the area.

Camel Cart Ride through Village
After lunch at the hotel, take a camel cart ride to the local villages around Dasada.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel

You will be staying at Rann Riders

Day 9

On departing Dasada this morning stop at the Sun Temple. The 11th century Sun temple of Modhera was built by the Solanki Rajpur kings. The temple features carved torana arches mounted on kirti stambhas (pillars of victory) as the entrances, an exquisite 52 pillared portico, a beautiful domed central portion and a sanctum sanctorum designed so that the sun light falls on the bejewlled statue of the Sun God.

Sightseeing - Dasada to Ahmedabad
Drive to Ahmedabad (approximately six and a half hours). Stopping off at Patan, the ancient capital of Gujarat. Patan is famous for its complex, double ikat patola weaving. Both warp and weft threads are bound and dyed according to the desired pattern before the cloth is woven. If time allows, there will also be a chance to see the Patola weaving. Rani ki Vav is an intricately decorated stepwell dating from the 11th century, and one of the highlights of a visit to Patan. Lunch will be hosted today by a local family before arriving at Ahmedabad.

Lunch with a family and dinner at the hotel

You will be staying at The House of MG

Day 10

The Calico Museum and Gandhi Ashram
After breakfast visit the Gandhi Ashram. Later take an organised and hosted tour of the Calico Museum. Founded in 1959, it is regarded as one of the leading textile museums in the world. The museum houses a collection of Indian fabrics which show Indian textile design and production, from over five centuries. The museum is also a major reference resource for India's surviving textile artisans and the machine-woven industry. The collection includes textile swatches of Indian origin found at archaeological sites in Egypt, silk saris from across India, royal wardrobes from Rajasthan and much more.

Ahmedabad is Gujarat's major city, and is the stepping stone from which your Gujaret holiday will start. Founded in the 15th century it has grown quickly in more recent times. Its stunning Islamic architecture includes some of India's finest monuments. Its fascinating old quarters are worthy of exploration.

Afternoon in Ahmedabad
Returning to Ahmedabad after lunch there will be ample time to explore the bazaars. Dinner will be taken at the House of MG this evening. Pre dinner Rosemary will lead the group through the small in house museum.

Breakfast, lunch at local restaurant and dinner at hotel

You will be staying at The House of MG

Day 11

Fly Ahmedabad to Hyderabad

Morning at leisure

This evening there is a private tour arranged of Falaknuma Palace

Breakfast at the hotel. Dinner and lunch under own arrangements

You will be staying at Taj Falaknuma Palace

Day 12

Walking Tour
After breakfast take a walk around the street market of Charminar and Mecca Masjid. During the walk, there will be plenty of opportunities to see the master craftsmen working in their shops. Along the way, there will be chances to see lac bangle making, fine Bidri work on metal and a visit will be made to the jewellers that learnt the art of replicating the Nizam's jewellery. A lunch stop will be made at a local restaurant.

Situated on the banks of the Musi River, the 400 year old city is a major IT hub , second to Bangalore. In contrast , it is steeped in its past of refined courtly life played out in elaborate palaces, and non grander than the Taj Falaknumad Palace. These days the city is a blend of old and new with burkha clad women scouring the markets for traditional bangles rubbing shoulders with suited and booted men. Explore the city's streets, grand palaces and monuments and uncover its fascinating history. The city is also famed for its aromatic biryani and double-ka-meetha, a bread pudding.

There is the opportunity to take a formal sightseeing tour of the city this afternoon

Half Day Sightseeing Tour of the City
Spend time exploring the Old City of Hyderabad. Visit the iconic minaret-dominated Charminar, the Mughal-designed Mecca Masjid, the opulent Chowmahalla Palace, the vast Golkonda Fort and the pearly white Qutb Shahi Tombs.

Farewell dinner at Falaknuma Palace
In the evening there will be a farewell dinner arranged at the Palace. With drinks at the terrace with a wonderful Qawwali performance (an ancient form of Sufi music). Afterwards a seated meal to savour the traditional delicacies of the Nizam's.

Breakfast, lunch at local restaurant, and farewell dinner including soft drinks and Indian wine

You will be staying at Taj Falaknuma Palace

Day 13

Fly Hyderabad to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Taj Falaknuma Palace

The former residence of the royal family of Hyderbad, The Falaknuma Palace has been leased to the Taj Group of Hotels and refurbished into a truly remarkable palace hotel....

View Accommodation

Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

More than a hotel, the lavish Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic landmark of Mumbai....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Expert

Rosemary Crill

Rosemary Crill
Rosemary Crill has spent her career as a curator of the V&A Museum’s Indian collections, specialising in textiles and paintings. She has published many books and articles on these subjects and has travelled widely in India. She was co-curator of the exhibitions Colours of the Indus (1997), The Indian Portrait (2010) and The Fabric of India (2015-16).
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Rosemary Crill

Departure Date (S):

  • 4th November 2017

  1. Active – The tour may involve daily walks and will have a faster pace in certain areas. Walks will be no longer than 6 hours. The pace of this tour will be quite busy, expect long travel days and very little time at leisure.

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