- Duration: 13 Nights & 14 Days
- Major Attractions: Tribes of Gujarat, Rann of Kutch, Ancient Step wells, Heritage Sites
- Destination Covered: Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Poshina, Patan, Modhera, Rann of Kutch
Numerous tribal communities who have lived in Gujarat for many years are considered to be its original occupants. Gujarat offers tourists plenty of opportunities to observe the many tribes, their ways of life, vibrant costumes, customs, and traditions. The best place to see the Rathwas, Nayakas, and Bhils dressed colourfully is in the village haats (markets) in Chhota Udepur, Kavant. A highly unusual sight in India is when hundreds of clay horses are donated to a tribal god close to Poshina hamlet.
We observe the Gujarati and Rajasthani Garacia clan in the neighbouring villages that surround Poshina. Many Garacia females may be seen carrying the wood that they collect from the adjacent forest to sell at the market even in Poshina. Garacia ladies and girls are extremely colourful and constantly dress in vibrant hues. Watching them dance is a feast for the eyes.
The lively Kutch area is the focal point of the Gujarat Tribal Tour. The most fascinating group in this area is the Rabaris; they are nomadic cattle ranchers and are hence known as Gypsies. The males of the Rabari tribe dress in a white garment with a stunning turban, while the ladies wear black gowns and a backless shirt. Meghwal, Ahir, and Jat are some of Kutch’s other well-known tribes. The Meghwal homes’ huts are intriguing since they are skillfully decorated with mud and mirror work. You will visit the native people as well as their crafts while on the Gujarat Tribal Tour.
You will get a customary greeting at the Mumbai international airport and be assisted in your transportation to the hotel. Our representative will give you a briefing on the tour and provide you the trip folder with all of the necessary tickets and travel documentation. Mumbai is the financial centre and most populous city in India, making it the nation’s economic hub.
As the adventure on the Gujarat Tribal Tour will begin the next morning, unwind in your cosy accommodation for the evening.
Transfer to the airport in the morning to catch a flight to Vadodara, commonly known as Baroda. When you get to Vadodara, take a taxi to the hotel, then check in.
Visit Lakshmi Villas Palace after lunch. It is the greatest palace in Gujarat and is a magnificent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The palace’s art collection has some of the most magnificent artworks. Sayajirao Gaekwad, the Maratha king, constructed Vadodara’s Maharaja Palace, also known as Lakshmi Vilas Palace, in 1890.
Later, travel to Dabhoi, a historically significant gated town from the sixth century also known as Darbhavati. Additionally, stroll around the town’s historic streets to see daily life there. On this stroll, you will pass through antique homes, little roads, and traditional villages of Jain, Hindu, and Muslim people coexisting together. Visit the Hira Gate, also known as Hira Bhagol, which was designed by Hiradhar and is named in his honour.
After the visit, go back to your hotel in Vadodara and have the delectable Gujarati and Marathi supper there.
Drive to the locations of the weekly markets in the morning, either in Kavant or Chotta Udepur. The Rathwas, Bhils, and Nayaks, among other Gujarati tribes, congregate at these marketplaces. A well-known tribe in this region is the Rathwa, whose males dress in red turbans knotted in a special manner and whose women may be seen wearing knee-length skirts, vibrant shirts, and silver jewellery. These tribes, who reside in small villages, go here on a weekly basis to shop for groceries and other items of daily use and to sell their produce, grains, and other goods at the market.
Visit the tribal museum at Chotta Udepur after seeing the tribal Haat. It includes a good collection of tribal artefacts and model homes of the Rathwas and Nayakas that depict their way of life. After lunch, visit a Rathwa home to observe the Pithora wall paintings. Pithora is more of a ritual conducted in Rathwa homes than it is an artistic endeavour.
This ceremonial art is performed by the family for their own enjoyment, well-being, to grant wishes, or to heal their pets or loved ones. The main walls of the homes, where people sit or enter, are covered in paintings of Pithora. You won’t find any natural landscapes in these paintings; instead, you’ll see horses, bulls, elephants, goats, and other animals that represent God’s vision.
Visit Champaner-Pavagadh, an Indian UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the late afternoon. Visit the magnificent Sahar Ki Masjid and Jami Mosque here. Champaner, an ancient city, was once briefly the capital of Gujarat. Mahmud Begada constructed the Jama Masjid in Mughal style in 1513, and its minarets and domes are beautiful.
Breakfast first, then head to Ahmedabad. Considered one of India’s top textile museums, the Calico Textile Museum has a wide variety of textiles dating from the Mughal era to the 19th century. Check into the hotel following the visit.
After lunch, visit the lovely Hutheesing Jain Temple. It was constructed in 1848 by a wealthy trader and features a magnificent Glory Tower.
Visit the Sidi Sayed Mosque, also known as the Jali Masjid, which was established in 1573 and is renowned for its magnificent design. The Jali is a complexly sculpted stone window that is regarded as the unofficial emblem of Ahmedabad.
Visit the Vidyapith Tribal Museum and Gandhi Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi spent some of the most significant moments in his fight for independence from the British Empire. This Ashram, where Gandhi resided in a modest house now used as a museum, served as the nerve core of India’s campaign for independence.
Go back to the hotel to spend the night and have dinner. On some days of the week, you may still visit Ahmedabad’s night market after supper if you so want.
In the morning transfer to Swami Narayan Temple in Kalupur to start the heritage walk in the walled city of Ahmedabad. The walk will be really interesting going through the old quarters of the walled city ending at Jami mosque.
After the walk drives further to Poshina stopping en-route to visit Adalaj Step well built-in 1498 in Solanki architectural style, it is a five-storied structure and quite magnificent. In ancient India, the wealthy traders and royal families used to make the step-wells for the people so that they can relax here during their long journeys and get the drinking water. By the evening, arrive at Poshina and check in to the heritage hotel Darbargarh.
Visit Poshina’s main street in front of the hotel before breakfast to observe the Garcia girls hauling the trees out of the forest to sell in the market.
Visit the Garacia settlements and the Adivasi (prehistoric occupants) hamlets after breakfast. Although Adivasis are a simpler tribe and Garcias are more colourful, both of these tribes are dependent on farming and animal husbandry. Garcias dwell in the highlands of Gujarat and Rajasthan and are highly colourful.
Visit the terracotta shrine honouring a village god where you can witness the tens of thousands of horses made of the material. The inhabitants perform rituals to appease the Goddess in exchange for terracotta horses because they think she grants their requests. Even a formal ceremony with rites might be set up for you beneath this sacred tree. You may get the right one for you and see the potter create these horses right there in Poshina town.
Numerous artists may be found in Poshina, including blacksmiths, silversmiths, arrow makers, and potters. The market is popular for its tribal jewellery as well as for observing the tribes trading and purchasing goods while dressed in vibrant garb.
Visit the Kumbharia Jain Temple first. This magnificent white marble Jain temple is dedicated to the Jain prophet Thirthankar Neminath and features adorned domes and excellent stone carvings.
Drive to Ambaji, a Hindu holy site with a temple dedicated to the mother goddess. Take a stroll around the bazaar to meet several ethnic worshippers, primarily Gracias, dressed in vibrant garb, as well as some Rabaris. Later, travel to Patan and see the Patola weavers and Rani Ki Vav stepwell, two of Gujarat’s most beautiful structures.
Queen Udayamati constructed the intricately designed Step Well of Patan known as Rani Ki Vav in honour of her late spouse Kind Bhimdev in the eleventh century. The Modhera Sun Temple, built in 1026–1027 AD, would be our next trip. The complex includes a shrine hall, an assembly hall, and a reservoir. Intricate carvings may be found on the pillars and outside of the halls.
Drive to Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary in the morning to see the birds (Siberian Crane, flamingos). Greater flamingo groups may be seen around water sources in the winter, making it a delight for bird watchers.
Consider the various species as critically endangered Asiatic wild ass and several antelopes, such as the nilgai (Blue Bull). Little Rann of Kutch is the finest location to see Asiatic Wild Ass in the wild because it is a threatened species. Additionally, pay a quick visit to the Agaria salt workers.
View some of the Vadiara Rabari and Bharwad tribes’ villages in the afternoon. Both Rabari and Bharawad are cattle herders, and we can observe them milking their cows and buffaloes in the evening. The Dhoti, or bright-colored skirt, is worn by Bharwad males.
Drive to Bhuj while pausing to observe some of the Rabari caravans along the way. There is not enough grass for their livestock after the rainy season, so at the end of October, the Rabari people begin to migrate from Kutch to mainland Gujarat so that their goats and sheep may find some lush green grass. They travel with their family and transport their daily necessities on camels or donkeys. Speaking with them in their camps is a wonderful experience.
Visit Dhamadka as well to observe the Khatri tribe’s block printing. Khatris are masters at creating the exquisite fabrics with block printing. Reach Bhuj at the end of the day.
Visit ancient sites including the Darbargadh and Pragmahal palaces, the Royal Cenotaph, and the Aina Mahal Museum, one of the greatest museums in Kutch with stunning mirror work, as part of a city tour of Bhuj. Start your trip to Dhaneti and Bhujodi after lunch to see the Vankar tribe’s weavers and Ahir tribe’s needlework, respectively.
Since ancient times, Ahirs and Rabaris women have been embroidering, passing down this special art from one generation to the next. You may observe the women embroidering in their houses as well as the finished fabrics. Even some of the females have received accolades from abroad.
Transfer to Hodka today and view the Khatri family’s Rogan artwork in the Nirona village. The only location to witness Rogan art is likely in Nirona Village, which is where it is rarest in the entire globe. Visit the tribes of Lohar and Vadha, who turn wood into colourful household items, to see how copper bells are made.
Visit Bhirandhiaro hamlet in the afternoon to admire the exquisitely painted Meghwar tribal homes and to view some of the women’s handiwork. Meghwal women wear gorgeous nose rings and really brightly embroidered gowns. In the inner walls of the huts, there is exquisite glass work.
Visit Hodka Village and the Pathan, Jat, and Sama Tribal Villages that are close by. Continue to Khavda after lunch to view the Samma tribe and potters. The guys apply Heena on their beards and hair. They stand as tall as Afghans do, and they typically wear salwars and kurtas in the hues of yellow, blue, pink, and black. Later, travel to Kala Dungar to see the stunning dusk across the Pakistani border. (Finally, for no man’s land) The salt desert is also visible. The landscape from Khavda to Kala Dungar is extremely unique, and the view from the black mountain is dominating.
Transfer back to Bhuj airport for the trip to Mumbai after a leisurely breakfast. You would be met upon arrival and taken to the international airport to catch your trip home. Gujarat Tribal Journey tour comes to a conclusion.