Apr 27, 2014

11 Must-Do Textile Tours and Craft Tours in India

Are you the kind of traveller who loves a dive into the art and crafts scene of any place you go to? I mean, get down to the raw materials, watching artisans create from scratch, learning ancient techniques of say, weaving, craft making, watching experienced hands at work creating magic with their fingers.

Sure a few of you must have gone with some of these tour planners in India. If you haven't, here is a list you must check out.

Sources (Clockwise from top): BoutiqueTours, MastyaCrafts, GoIndia.about 
Kutch, Guajarat has to be first (on my list), a destination already quite popular among art and textile lovers. And I'd let Mumbai-based Neha Gandhi of Matsya Crafts take me on an unhurried, customized journey to the craftsmen of rural Gujarat.

A Textile Trail in Kanchipuram by Breakaway
I think all die-hard Kanchipuram saree lovers must do this to know where your "temple borders, checks, stripes and floral buttas" are coming from. Visit the traditional looms to see how your kanchipuram saree gets woven from raw materials sourced from all parts of the country.

Indigenous textiles, jewellery and handicrafts in Delhi-Nagaur-Jodhpur-Jaipur by Prior Knowledge
A 12 day tour by Prior Knowledge, started by David Prior. This is "a membership-based ‘travel society’ – a luxury service with a not-for-profit arm, focusing on truly unique travel experiences that highlight and preserve culture, rather than exploit it."

The Crafts and Textiles of Kolkata and West Bengal (for the longer vacay-goers 11 Days/10 Nights) by Lost and Found Travel
Visit weaver villages around Kolkata  known for their silk and cotton hand woven saris, dhotis, jacquards and jamdanis. They promise explorations of silk farming, cork carving,  textile villages around Shantiniketan, a community workshop for embossed leather goods, and much more. I'm on!

Legends of Lucknow: A Craft & Textile Exploration by Breakaway
I'll let the words on the website speak "Drape yourself in the stories that make chikan so delightful to wear. Let the divine fragrances of ittar transport you to the heavens. Allow the traditions of naqqashi to delicately engrave their way into your heart." And indulge in "Ganjing" - this is a term used to describe ambling and shopping in the wide lanes and by lanes of city's Ganj market."

Visiting the Looms in Tamil Nadu by Breakaway
A journey to Tamil Nadu's vibrant and time-tested expertise in textiles through Kalakshetra (Chennai), Kanchipuram, Auroville (Pondicherry), Karaikudi, Gandhigram, and Madurai.

Bagru Block Printing Workshop, in Bagru, Rajasthan by Vedic Walks
This one is for the one's pressed for time. Gives you half a day with the bagru artists in their workshop.

A 12-day tour to remote tribal villages on the east coast of India by Colouricious Holidays (UK-based)
Gives you a chance to "visit indigenous peoples in their heritage villages, making their cultural crafts for their livelihood"

Painted Histories - Rajasthan by Breakaway
This is the most intriguing one, I'd love to go for. It lets you peak into lesser known art forms, their creators and cultures - miniature art, Bundi style of painting, Kotah style, the Kishangarh style and so on.

A Brush with Nilgiris by Breakaway
Which sounds indeed a "brush" with the Nilgiris where photographer, painter, traveler Mukesh Munim offers 2/3-day workshops in photography and painting (oils, acrylics, pastels). This tour also
offers stay at a farm "at the Khans' whose 22-acre property is a naturalists haven and who have also turned cheesemaking into a fine art". This is an ideal one for artists and art lovers who want to create in the lap of nature.

I want to pack up my bags and go NOW! A textile or craft tour to remote villages of India is one of the best vacation ideas for me! How about you? Have you tried any of these tours or tour planners, do you have any reviews?


  1. Some great ideas here! I'm saving this for a future India trip!

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  5. Right choice of places for the textile tour....Thanks for your suggestion

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