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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Gujarat, India

Feb 25, 2020 - Handmade Bells

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Flamingo Tours information sheet told us about our visit to see the Luhar family, master bell-makers: “The Luhars, in Nirona, have been preserving the craft of making copper bells over seven generations. From the 65-year-old head of the family, Luhar Husen Sidhik, to his 18-year-old grandson, Faruk, the Luhars are passionately taking the art forward. Faruk who is pursuing his college education is keen on giving a new spin to the art. As a result, you can see some heart-shaped wind chimes, a...

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Feb 25, 2020 - Rogan Art

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Gujarat has to say about Rogan Art: The village of Nirona, 40km northwest of Bhuj, features several distinctive crafts (lacquer-work, bell-making), but none more so than the award-winning ancient art of Rogan painting, brought over from Iran 300 years ago and practised by just one extended family in India in this village. These delicate, detailed cloth-paintings take months of work and Narendra Modi famously presented one fine piece to Barack Obama during the American...

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Feb 25, 2020 - Rann Visamo Resort

@@@@@@@ KAPOORS ON THE ROAD We were absolutely delighted when we pulled into the Rann Visamo Resort, just outside of the small village of Hodka. When working with Bhavna Shah, our nephew’s mother in law, to plan the trip through Gujarat, she was quite concerned that we would not be happy staying for two nights in ‘mud huts’ while we were in the northwestern region of the state, an area known as the White Rann. We assured her we were motivated enough to see the villages in the district, and if the only accommodation on offer was a mud hut,...

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Feb 25, 2020 - The Tropic of Cancer

@@@@@@@ KAPOORS ON THE ROAD We were now heading towards the highway, away from Nirona, and on to the highway that would take us northwards to our accommodation for the next two nights, the Rann Visamo Resort. Shortly after turning onto the highway, our driver Mr. Singh pointed out the sign indicating that we were about to cross the Tropic Of Cancer. I didn’t hesitate for a moment, I was sitting in the front seat and asked him to stop so we could take some photos to remember the event. Now, we’ve been to India so many times, but the closest...

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Feb 25, 2020 - The White Rann

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Gujarat has to say about the White Desert (Rann): “West of Khavda and north of Hodka, the white desert is the one accessible corner of the Great Rann of Kachchh – the 30,000-sq-km desert between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River in southern Pakistan. A 1.3km trail leads from the parking area to the viewing tower over-looking the great salt expanse. During the winter months, when the water dries up, the place is mesmerising.” KAPOORS ON THE ROAD It was...

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Feb 25, 2020 - Bhuj's Architectural Treasures

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND The capital of Kachchh is an interesting city, largely resurrected following the massive 2001 earthquake that destroyed most of the place. It sells amazing Kachchh handicrafts, and historic buildings such as the Aina Mahal and Prag Mahal possess an eerie beauty. Bhuj is an ideal springboard for visits to the surrounding villages and to places of great natural beauty in the Great Rann, and textile tourism is attracting visitors from around the world. At the heart of the old town is the Darbargadh palace complex; Prag...

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Feb 24, 2020 - Kachchh (Kutch)

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Gujarat has to say about Kachchh: “Kachchh, India’s wild west, is a geographic phenomenon. The flat, tortoise-shaped land, edged by the Gulf of Kachchh and Great and Little Ranns, is a seasonal island. During the dry season, the Ranns are vast expanses of dried mud and blinding-white salt. Come the monsoon, they’re flooded first by seawater, then by fresh river water. The salt in the soil makes the low-lying marsh area almost completely barren. Only on scattered...

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Feb 24, 2020 - Ajrakh Block Printers

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Flamingo Tours information sheet told us about our visit to see traditional block-printing: “In Ajrakhpur, you will be visiting the Block Printers at Ajrakhpur village. The Khatri’s are a community of block-printers adept in the 3,000-year-old art of Ajrakh. The process is complex and involves sixteen different processes. They are known worldwide for the art of Ajrakh, block-printing that uses colors derived from nature, such as indigo, henna, turmeric, pomegranate, iron, and mud. In some cases,...

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Feb 24, 2020 - Mirrorwork Embroidery

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Flamingo Tours information sheet told us about our visit to see Ahir embroidery: “Next you will be visiting Dhaneti village for embroidery by Ahir community. Ahir embroidery of Gujarat is a rhythmic row of embroidered patterns, circular mirrors encircled with stitches enriching the fabric and material. This type of embroidery can be used for home décor and clothing. The bright colors of the threads and glittering pieces of mirrors, embellish the fabric and gives it a feeling of grandeur. It appeals...

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Feb 24, 2020 - Agricultural Gujarat

@@@@@@@ KAPOORS ON THE ROAD As we drove west from the capital of Ahmedabad, we passed through an extensive agricultural region with a great variety of crops being grown. Many I could recognize but here and there were ones I was unfamiliar with. When I asked about one particular crop that was seemingly everywhere, I learned that it was castor. I knew from my childhood that castor oil had some medicinal purposes, but I didn’t think that it was used enough to warrant this amount of land being dedicated to its production. When we had the...

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Feb 24, 2020 - Crafts, Cattle And Cricket

@@@@@@@ KAPOORS ON THE ROAD It was a real pleasure to be invited into the family compound to see how they managed to run a weaving and handicraft business and still carry on a traditional life with their cattle at one end of the large building, and the living and working side of their lives nearby at the other end. It was late in the afternoon and it appeared that the weavers and spinners were done for the day, but the older gentleman, presumably the grandfather kept himself busy with some embroidery. The women were attending to the cattle,...

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Feb 23, 2020 - The Step Well Of Patan

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Gujarat has to say about Patan: “About 130km northwest of Ahmedabad, Patan was Gujarat’s capital for six centuries before Ahmedabad was founded in 1,411. It was ruined by the armies of Ala-ud-Din Khilji around 1,300, and today is a dusty, little town with narrow streets lined by elaborate wooden houses. Rani-Ki-Vav (Step Well) The only real sign of Patan’s former glory is this astoundingly beautiful step-well. Built in 1,063 by Rani Udayamati to commemorate her...

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