ITINERARY & COST – Gujarat

 


THE CLOTH & STONE TOUR to GUJARAT, INDIA

 6 to 25 January, 2018

BOOKINGS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS TOUR.
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The CLOTH & STONE TOUR takes us to the state of Gujarat, in the western part of India with an area of 196,204 km2,  and a coastline of 1,600 km. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west.
It will be late winter in January with pleasant dry weather.
Click here for a more detailed description of the tour.

What makes Kasu Tours different?
Our main point of difference is that we take a maximum of 6 guests.

  • We find that by keeping numbers small, we bond better as a group, becoming friends very quickly;
  • Low numbers allows us to stay in boutique hotels, family residences and havelis that cannot accommodate larger groups;
  • Small numbers allow closer encounters with the people of India;
  • Each person in a small group gets more one-on-one attention from guides and in workshops;
  • We travel in our own private 12 seater bus so there is plenty of room for everyone, and their luggage. And their shopping.  And boxes of food for picnics, and the cooler full of water;
  • Everyone gets a window seat;
  • Having our own private vehicle also means that there is no waiting around at airports, railway stations and bus terminals: more quality experiences every day;
  • It also means we are more flexible if we want to make a detour or unscheduled stops.

THE ITINERARY
Our tour begins in Ahmedabad (via Mumbai), largest city and former capital of the state of Gujarat and hub of India’s textile industry. Transport in the city will be by taxis or auto-ricks.  After leaving Ahmedabad, we will travel in a comfortable private vehicle for the remainder of the tour.
Our tour ends in Bhuj, Gujarat, where an internal flight can be taken back to Mumbai for onwards travel.
See the end of itinerary for TOUR COST, DISCOUNTS and  the full list of INCLUSIONS in the tour cost.

Day 1 – Saturday January 6, 2018
Arrive in India via Mumbai.

  • On arrival in Mumbai, we gather at Mumbai Central Railway Station for a train to Ahmedabad the same day.
  • I will secure Retiring Rooms at the station with private bathroom facilities and beds so we can wait in (relative) comfort for our train.
  • On arrival in Ahmedabad, we will be picked up at the railway station by our hotel which is only minutes away.
  • If you prefer to fly* to Ahmedabad, our hotel will pick you up at the airport and check you in to your room. If you are taking this option, please let me know.
  • *Flight to Ahmedabad at own cost and arrangement.
  • *Taxi to Mumbai Central Railway Station at own cost: tickets from the Government regulated Pre-Paid Taxi Stand in the arrivals lounge.
  • Train to Ahmedabad included.
  • Our hotel will pick us up at the station or airport.
  • Dinner will be available in the dining room for hungry travellers.
  • Dinner included.

Day 2 – Sunday January 7, 2018

  • Our Ahmedabad accommodation is a comfortable modern hotel with friendly staff and great food, close to the fascinating beating heart of the old city.
  • We will have a leisurely start to the day after the travels of the last few days with breakfast in the dining room at a time that suits you.
  • For early risers, a short walk takes you through the old city gates to a bustling local market: great photo and drawing opportunities and an insight into local Indian shopping.
  • We take lunch at a lovely pavilion restaurant opposite the beautiful Sidi Sayeed Mosque, which we will have time to visit.
  • Then we have some shopping time in a classy clothing store which features block printed fabrics and contemporary Indian design in their range.
  • Back to the hotel for an optional rest before our Welcome Dinner of traditional Gujarati cuisine at one of Ahmedabad’s finest restaurants.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 3  – Monday January 8, 2018

  • The day begins early before the traffic gets too crazy with a guided walking tour through the old city with its wonderfully ornate houses and bird feeders, temples and mosques.
  • We will meet for brunch in the old city.
  • In the afternoon, we visit the studio of a contemporary textile artist/couture designer specialising in fine embroidery.
  • Then a visit to one of Ahmedabad’s architectural treasures, the Dada Harir Vav (step well).
  • Breakfast and dinner included.


Day 4 – Tuesday January 9, 2018

  • Our first stop is the world famous Calico Museum where examples of historic textiles from across India are lovingly kept and attended to by caring staff in a beautiful haveli surrounded by a walled garden.
  • The rest of the day will include a visit to the Gandhi Ashram and museum, home to Mohandas Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.
  • Options for the remainder of the day: an art book shop, fair-trade craft from all over India or fabric shopping at a textile treasure trove in the old city.
  • Breakfast and dinner included

Day 5 – Wednesday January 10, 2018

  • We get out of town for a day trip to Patan to visit the famous Patan Patola Museum where the Salvi family has continued the art of double ikat weaving since the 11th century – approximately 35 generations.
  • En route, we visit the Sun Temple at Modhera set in restful gardens on the bank of the river Pushpavati.  The temple was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty and was dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. Lunch of fruit and snacks in the gardens surrounding the temple.
  • We also visit Rani ki Vav, an intricately constructed stepwell on the banks of the Saraswati River. The step well, built in the third millennium BC, is a subterranean water resource and storage system and was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2014.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 6 – Thursday January 11, 2018

  • Departing Ahmedabad in our comfortable 12 seater tour bus with a packed lunch, we head to the ancient ruins of Lothal, one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilisation. Dating from 3700 BCE, it is believed to be one of the world’s first seaports. We spend some time walking around the ruins and the small museum full of ancient artefacts.
  • We continue our journey through the countryside to Botad village to see some potters at work.
  • In the late afternoon, we arrive at the village of Sayla where we stay in an old haveli, once a royal guesthouse, and now a heritage homestay offering the personalised hospitality of the Yuvraj (crown prince) and Yuvrani of Sayla.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 7 – Friday January 12, 2018

  • We have our own guide for a leisurely day exploring the village of Sayla and visiting families continuing the intricate ikat and endangered tangaliya weaving traditions.
  • During the day, we also visit some bead weavers and metal workers in nearby villages and maybe some unforeseen adventures.
  • A restful evening and dinner in the garden of the guesthouse with folk music and dancing by local villagers.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 8 – Saturday January 13, 2018

  • From our comfortable abode, we will take a tour of nearby grasslands for some animal and bird spotting.
  • then back to Sayla for our last night in the heritage haveli.
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 9 – Sunday January 14, 2018

  • Back on the road, we head to Sasan Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, the sole home of the Asiatic lion which has been brought back from the brink of extinction under the care of this park.
  • On the way, we stop for lunch and enjoy some amazing architecture in Junagargh.
  • After arriving at our well equipped luxury tent accommodation set in over 4 acres of gardens surrounded by a lush green mango orchard, we can spend some time in the gym, the pool and/or the spa*, or take a nature walk along the river edge.
  • We enjoy evening entertainments in the gardens of the resort.
  • Gym and pool included
  • *Spa at own cost with 15% discount
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


Day 10 – Monday January 15, 2018

  • The day starts with an early morning jeep safari to search out the reclusive Asiatic lion and other species in their natural habitat.
  • Note: there is a camera charge* of about $30 on the safari. This will be at your own cost. The charge does not apply to phone cameras.
  • After breakfast, we can take a guided nature walk along the river edge, spotting migratory birds, flowering trees and maybe a crocodile.
  • Time for some more walks, leisure by the pool, in the gym or spa.*
  • Time permitting, there is an optional evening safari *
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • More evening entertainments in the gardens
  • Gym and pool included
  • *Spa at own cost with 15% discount
  • *Extra evening safari at own cost, and dependent on availability
  • *Camera charge at own cost on jeep safari.


Day 11 – Tuesday January 16, 2018

  • Back in our private vehicle for a drive to Gondal where we will visit the Khambhalida Caves, believed to have come into existence in the 4th or 5th century AD. They were carved into the limestone rocks by  a saint of  the Dinyan branch of the Buddhist tradition.
  • We lunch in Gondal.
  • On the road again heading for Bhuj, main town in the Kachchh (Kutch) area of Gujarat and our base for the next four days. We pass through a section of the wild ass sanctuary and hopefully along the way, we may spot some of these rare and beautiful creatures in their only natural habitat.
  • Arriving in Bhuj, we book into another heritage haveli – a fully restored 150 year-old traditional Parsi ‘courtyard’ house where the descendants of the original owners still live.
  • Dinner is a Parsi style home cooked meal.
  • Breakfast and dinner included


Day 12 – Wednesday January 17, 2018

  • After a nourishing breakfast, we take a walk through a fascinating bazaar in the old city where traditional embroidered textiles, silver jewellery, antiques and all kinds of necessities of daily life can be found.
  • We visit the Prag Mahal (palace) and see the fading grandeur of earlier times.
  • After lunch in the bazaar, we visit the award-winning Living and Learning Design Centre (LLDC) situated on a three-building, eight-acre campus to view and learn about the various tribal textile traditions of the Kachchh area.
  • In the late afternoon, we visit an Australian clothing designer who has made Bhuj her home, and uses local textiles to create her
    India-inspired one of a kind designs.
  • Back to our haveli for some more home-cooked goodness and an early night in or a stroll through the streets before bedtime.
  • Breakfast and dinner included


Day 13 – Thursday January 18, 2018

  • After breakfast, we head off to  the acclaimed Kala Raksha organisation – a grassroots social enterprise, dedicated to preservation of traditional arts and to documenting existing traditions. Our day will include a visit to the museum which houses a collection of heirloom textiles, a viewing of a very special animation about the organisation, an embroidery demonstration exploring two traditional styles of stitching, a Gujarati lunch and time to spend in the very tempting shop.
  • In the afternoon, we visit a private textile collector and view the collection.
  • Time permitting, we can visit a Kachchhi craft store.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 14 – Friday January 19, 2018
Today we meet our local guide for the rest of our time in Bhuj.

  • In the morning, we get our hands dirty with a block printing workshop
  • followed by a mud-work workshop.
  • After lunch, we get out of town and visit a metalworker who specialises in making knives
  • And then on to another village to see a demonstration of rug weaving.
  • There will be an opportunity to purchase directly from the makers.
  • Breakfast and dinner included.


Day 15 – Saturday January 20, 2018

Today our tour takes us to the Great Rann of Kachchh where will will book into our mud-built village resort. Our guide will take us to visit local villages to see:

  • a demonstration of copper bell making,
  • a demonstration of lacquer work,
  • and a demonstration of leather work.
  • We arrive at our accommodation – a mud built resort in a village – in time for lunch.
  • Some free time to enjoy our surroundings is followed by a visit to another village to see more embroidery styles and meet the makers.
    Sunset will see us at the famous ‘white desert’ – a desert of salt, then back to the resort for traditional Gujarati dinner with folk music supplied by the villagers.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 16 – Sunday January 21, 2018

  • After breakfast, we head off to the village of Nirona to see a demonstration of a very rare craft – Rogan work.
  • Hopefully we can work up an appetite to savour some of the best samosas I have ever tasted 
  • Back to our desert resort for lunch (if we haven’t over-indulged in the excellent samosas!)
  • After lunch and a short break, we take a leisurely drive to a far-flung village to  visit some potters and wood carvers.
  • Then we head to Kalo Dungar (Black Hill), the highest point in Kachchh at 462 metres, from where one can see a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kachchh in time for sunset.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 17 – Monday January 22, 2018
Departing our village resort, we head south to Mandvi on the coast, stopping along the way for lunch and visits to:

  • A Namda artisan. Namda is felted wool and its origins can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation,
  • a batik block printer,
  • and a tie dye artisan.
  • We arrive at our luxury tent accommodation, part of the private beach estate of the Maharaos (rulers of Kutch) in time for lunch.
  • After lunch we have the opportunity to visit a weaver using mashroo style of weaving and/or a maker of model ships.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 18 – Tuesday January 23, 2018
We’re glamping (that’s ‘glamorous camping’) on a beach, so some chill-out time is factored in here.

  • Weather permitting, you may choose to take a swim in the Arabian Sea, or a long walk along the nearly deserted beach to see if you can spot some flamingos.
  • Or, we have the choice of visiting the local village and bazaar and/or boat makers.  Or maybe a tour of the Vijay Vilas Palace with its interesting architecture, nestled in 450 acres of lush greenery with marble fountains and its own private sanctuary where one can see blue bulls, jackals and an occasional chinkara (Indian gazelle), peacocks and partridges.
  • As our tour is drawing to an end, we celebrate with a farewell BBQ dinner on the beach.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 19 – Wednesday January 24, 2018
We depart Mandvi and head back to Bhuj, staying at the heritage haveli again.

  • Back in Bhuj, we may need to visit the post office to unload some excess baggage.
  • The remainder of the day will be flexible: rest, catching up with more artisans or bazaars, find the very special mithai walla (maker of sweets), or check out some local fashion and crafts.
  • We say goodbye to our trusty driver and private tour bus.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

    END OF TOUR

Day 20 – Thursday January 25, 2018
Taxis will take people to the airport or railway for connections to Mumbai or further travel.

  • Breakfast included.

Click here for a more detailed description of the tour.
Check out the GALLERY page for some pics from the tour.


The TOUR FEE includes:

  • arrival & departure transfers to airports and/or railway stations
  • all tour accommodation
  • all breakfasts, 13 lunches,  all evening meals
  • a constant supply of bottled water
  • all ground travel in our private vehicle and some taxis and/or auto-ricks
  • Australian guide for the whole tour
  • local guide in Sayla
  • local guides in Bhuj and Mandvi
  • local guides at monuments
  • admission to all monuments and workshops in itinerary
  • police permit to enter tribal areas
  • tip to our bus driver
  • a downloadable booklet with information about our destinations

The TOUR FEE does not include:

  • International flights
  • connecting travel within India except for the train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad on Day 1.
  • meals other than those mentioned above
  • admission and guides to monuments not specified in the organised tours
  • camera charge on the jeep safari
  • Spa cost
  • tips to guides and other individuals, laundry, beverages

PLEASE NOTE: The accommodation indicated in the itinerary is accurate at time of publishing. On very rare occasions, our preferred accommodation may be unavailable. In this instance, similar accommodation will be booked.


TOUR FEE*  $6,700
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT  $945
DEPOSIT  $1800
(*All prices are in Australian dollars.)
SEE BELOW FOR DISCOUNTS


DISCOUNTS

  • An EARLY BIRD discount of $250 applies if you book and pay your deposit before the end of September 2017….. this has now ended, but there are still plenty of discounts to be had:
    • For every person you introduce to Kasu Tours and bring on the tour, you will receive $100 off the price of your tour (may be used with other discounts up to a total of $350).
    • If you gather a group of 6 people to come on the tour, including yourself,  a discount of $350 applies to all six people (cannot be used with any other discounts).
    • If you have ever purchased something at Kasu Emporium, you receive a discount of $100  (may be used with other discounts up to a total of $350)
  • Comparing prices with other tours?  Some things to look out for to help you decide >>>>


TO SECURE YOUR PLACE ON THE TOUR

  • Contact me for an application form.
  • Your deposit (plus Single Supplement if applicable) is due with your application to ensure a place on the tour.
  • The deposit is used to secure hotel bookings, and other services.
  • The deposit is non-refundable in the event of your cancellation. However, if there is a waiting list to join the tour when you cancel and your place can be filled, you may be refunded part or all of your deposit.
  • There are only 6 places available on the tour and bookings will be processed in the order of receipt of deposits.
  • Deposits received after the tour quota is filled will be returned and the client placed on the waiting list.

FINAL PAYMENT is due by 1 November 2017
Failure to make the final payment by the due date may result in cancellation of your booking and loss of deposit. 

PAYMENTS are accepted only by ELECTRONIC BANK TRANSFER.
The bank account details will be supplied when you make a booking.


*All prices are quoted in AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS
The TOUR PRICES are based on exchange rates, cost of services and applicable taxes at the time of publication. Prices may be subject to change in the event of significant currency fluctuations or the introduction of new taxes, up until final payment is received. In the event of a price increase by parties other then KASU TOURS, whether because of a currency fluctuation, increase in taxes or a correction in advertised prices, we will advise you and you have the option of accepting the amended prices, inclusions and booking conditions or withdrawing from the tour and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. Once final payment is received, all prices will be guaranteed.


ANY QUESTIONS?
Check out the FAQ page. If you don’t find the answer there, please email me.


Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS page carefully.
By booking a place on THE CLOTH AND STONE TOUR , it is presumed that you have read, understood and agree to the TERMS & CONDITIONS.


As with KASU EMPORIUM,  a percentage of profits at KASU TOURS is donated to selected charities we work with in India.

The boys

Welcoming smiles from some of the lovely waiters at one of our stays.


5 thoughts on “ITINERARY & COST – Gujarat

  1. The more I read the more interested I am! Good website info Beverly but I await the costs! Often a consideration for some of us. Win

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