Textiles of North India (10 days)

specialDeparture: Upon request
Discover the vibrant and diverse world of costumes and traditions of North India learning about its textiles and symbolic designs. Now’s your chance to learn about their origin which can be traced as far back as the Indus valley civilization. Visit a craft museum and discover textile art from each state. See the uniqueness in the North’s patterns and applications. Compare the different methods and designs in The Golden Triangle as you also discover World Heritage sites such as the Taj Mahal. See how gold and silver threads are used to make brocade in Varanasi. Textiles of North India is the fabric of Indian life.

Day 1 – Arrival Delhi
Meeting assistance at Delhi international airport and transfer to hotel

After breakfast (where there is an orientation), visit to the Crafts Museum where you will be given an introduction about the wealth of textiles and handicrafts which you can get in India.

Thereafter visit is to the Dilli Haat(a market displaying a vast array of items from all over the country.

Dili Haat – is not just a market place; it has been visualized as a showpiece of traditional Indian culture- a forum where rural life and folk art are brought closer to an urban clientele.

It is here that the crafts persons find an opportunity to demonstrate their artistic skills to thousands of visitors every day.

Afternoon visit of textile market of Chandni Chowk which is Known for its zari and zardosi work, Kinari Bazaar in Chandni Chowk Market Place is the ultimate stop for an Indian bride. The vibrant hues of the zari work are sure to fascinate you. One such sari deserves to be a part of any Indian woman’s collection. Also Dariba Kalanselling lovely silver jewellery. We recommend all to visit the Gulab Singh Johri Mal, a shop established way back in the year 1819 and not just manufacturers but exporters of attar (perfumes) as well.

The Chhatta Chowk Bazaar, a part of the Chandni Chowk Market is sure to impress you with its rich collection of artificial and semi precious jewellery, embroidered bags, hand painted wall hangings. There is something for everybody at the Chandni Chowk Market. Overnight at hotel
Overnight at hotel – The Oberoi Maidens (Heritage Hotel)

Day 2 – Delhi – Lucknow (Train Shatabdi Express – 0615 / 1230 Hrs)
After Breakfast we have an early morning transfer to the railway station to connect with the Shatabdi express to Lucknow.

Upon Arrival you will transfer to Hotel. Half day sightseeing of Lucknow

The city of Gardens was the 18th century capital of Nawab Wazirs & the center of culture and tradition. Visit the great Imambara, Jama Masjid, Picture Gallery, The Clock Tower, Roomi Darwaza, Residency and Dilkusha Palace.
Overnight at hotel – Vivanta By Taj Gomati Nagar

Day 3 – Lucknow
After breakfast visit the weaving center of ‘Chicken Kari’-the famous textile of Lucknow embroidery mostly local design using white thread upon very fine cotton. Thereafter visit the self-employed women’s center, famous for its hand embroidery.

Chikankari is a form of stitching different forms of design on cloth (traditionally white) which has evolved over centuries in the capital of the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. This form of stitching which has delighted both the Kings and the commoners for centuries was patronised particularly by the Nawabs of Awadh.

The word ‘Chikan’ is probably a derivative from the Persian word ‘Chikin’ or Chikeen which means a kind of embroidered fabric. This form of embroidery became very popular with the king and his nobles and was embroidered on the finest Daccai mulmuls or muslin garments which were most appropriate for the hot, tepid climate of north India. There are some very fine Mughal miniatures that depict the Emperor Jehangir in white flowing muslin garments believed by historians to be `chikan’.

Day 4 – Lucknow – Varanasi (Train Intercity 0700/ 1325 hours)
After early breakfast, we are transferred to station to board the Intercity Train at 0700 Hrs. Arrival Varanasi at 1325 Hrs. Meeting assistance on arrival and transferred to Hotel.

Varanasi – Holiest city to Hindus and one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi was already old when Rome was founded, a flourishing trade centre when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. It was a city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese travelers Hiuen Tsang visited in the 7th century. Half day, sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple,Tulsi Manas Mandir,Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple.

After check-in we will walk through the bazaar of Varanasi—a haven for the rich merchant—wholesale markets for Brocade and Benaras Sari.

Evening visit to Ghat for witness Aarti & Pooja ceremony followed by short Cycle Rickshaw Ride.
Overnight at hotel – Hotel Jukaso Ganges (Heritage Hotel)

Day 5 – Varanasi – Agra (Train Marudhar Express – 1720/0605 hrs)
Arise early this morning for a Boat ride on the River Ganges to see the sunrise. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Morning City & sightseeing tour of Sarnath—the Buddhist city.

Afternoon visit the brocading center where you can see the weavers at work—weaving pure gold and silver thread into silk textile. Evening transfer to station to board the overnight Train for Agra

Banaras is one of the rich weaving craft center of India, famous for Brocade saris and allover dress material. Exclusive varieties of the saris are Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Cutwork, Tishu, and Butidar which are made of silk warp and silk weft, on plain/satian ground base, brocaded with extra weft patterns in different layouts introducing Buties, Bells, creepers, Buttas in ground, border and Anchal for getting glamours appearance. As in the History of the India Banaras is known since regveda about 1500 year 2000 year BC and also a period of Ramayana and Mahabharat come to know identical reference about the fame of Banarasi Sharee and Fabrics as known Hiranya Vastra (Putamber Vastra).

Zari-brocades-When gold and silver threads are use along with or without silk-threads, thrust either as special weft or warp to create glittering raised or-namentation. We have the Zari brocade kind of fabrics. When we talk of gold or silver threads. It is to be under stood that the gold,threads are actually only silver threads with gold polish and that these threads are obtained by closely winding extremely fine gold or silver wire around a silk thread. According to Sir George Watt, When the gold and silver threads were used so densely that the ground was hardly visible, the material was kinkhab proper and was too heavy for clothing, it was therefore used for trappings, hangings and furnishing.
Note: Overnight Train

Day 6 – Agra Arrival
Arrival in Agra at 0605 Hrs. Meting assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Early afternoon proceed for a half day tour of the Taj Mahal ( Closed on Friday’s ) and Agra Fort.
Overnight at hotel – Hotel Grand Imperial (Heritage Hotel)

Day 7 – Agra/Jaipur
Today you start from an early morning visit to Taj Mahal (closed on Friday) which frees you from the crowds and heat in daytime. This white-marble world wonder was built by a great emperor in memory of his beloved.

Later visit the palatial Royal Pavilions at the red sandstone Agra Fort for a glimpse of the royal Mughal lifestyle.

After breakfast drive to Jaipur enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri, and then continue to Jaipur and check into Hotel.

The capital of Rajasthan was given a color coat of pink a century ago in honor of a visiting Prince and ever since, it has retained this color. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer, this city is 260 yrs old. Visit Maharaja’s City Palace, the Observatory & Ram Niwas Gardens. Drive past Hawa Mahal & through the pink rose residential & business areas.
Overnight at hotel – Hotel Alsisar Haveli

Day 8 – Jaipur
After breakfast a morning sightseeing tour of Jaipur including visits to Amber Fort and Palace Museum Jantar Mantar, the Observatory and the Palace of the Winds.

Take a walk in the local bazaar to see the colorful textiles “Bandhani and Leheria”. In the afternoon after lunch visit the nearby villages of Sanganer or Bagru where we will see the villages at work—fascinating art of Tie and Dye, Bandhani, Block printing with wooden blocks and the art of hand made papers.

Bandhani – The art of Bandhani is highly skilled process. The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points,thus producing a variety of patterns like Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, red,blue, green and black. Bandhani work, after the processing is over, results into a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and strips. Bandhani pieces can be dyed by natural and artificial colors.

The main colors used in Bandhani are natural. In fact all colors in Bandhani are dark, no light color is used, and the background is mostly in black / red cloth.

The Bandhani work has been exclusively carried out by the Khatri community of Kutchh. A meter length of cloth can have millions of tiny knots known as “Bheendi” in the local language (“Kutchhi”). Four bheendis are known as a “Kadi”. These knots form a design once opened after dyeing in bright colors. Traditionally, the final products can be classified into “khombhi”, “Ghar Chola”, “Patori”, “Chandrokhani” etc.
Overnight at hotel – Hotel Alsisar Haveli (Heritage Hotel)

Day 9 – Jaipur/Delhi
After breakfast drive to Delhi. On arrival check in at hotel
Overnight at hotel – Hotel Jaypee Vasant Continental

Day 10 – Delhi Departure
In time departure transfer to International airport to board the flight for onward journey

NOTE: Trains may be replaced with internal flight or car with driver.

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