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INDIA: Kolkata & West Bengal: Textile & Tribes Tour

INDIA: Kolkata & West Bengal: Textile & Tribes Tour
28th November - 8th December 2019 : Places Available

Destinations: INDIA: Kolkata & West Bengal: Textile & Tribes Tour: 11 days

Tour Grading Moderate: Suitable for travellers with an above average level of fitness and mobility

Tour Commences In: Kolkata

Number of Days: 11 days / 10 nights

Accommodation: 4 & 3 star & Boutique Hotels

Leaders: Australian Textile Specialist & local Artisan guide

Tour Concludes In: Kolkata

Tour Style: Luxury / Deluxe Escorted Small Group Tour

Meals: Breakfast; 11: Lunch; 5: Dinner; 5

Transportation: Luxury / Deluxe private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles

Tour Summary

Bengal

The Cultural confluence walk showcasing the multi-layered flavours of Kolkata through the small alleyways seeing quirky buildings, locals eating their cuisine, and listening to the sounds of the city as it wakes up. 

The Muslin weaving at Kalna – ‘woven gold’ in air, this is the finest cotton weaving in the world and was valued at the price of Gold in the Roman Courts.

The bard’s town, Shantiniketan, was created by Tagore and his peers. Shantiniketan is abundant with creative people who are immersed in a diverse set of creative skilled professions from ceramics, textiles to organic food. 

The riches of the Nawabs of Bengal, Murshidabad - long before Kolkata got the tag of ‘City of Joy’ it was known as the City of Palaces and when it comes to palatial places Murshidabad at its peak of glory it would have given any other place in world a stiff competition. Today the ruins are still amazing and the best part is that some of them have been renovated. The silk weaving, the beautiful palaces makes this a fairy town.

The stunning terracotta temples of Bishnupur and the amazing silk weaving of Baluchari sarees make this an amazing place to venture to. 

 

Nagaland

The community weaving at Loinloom Festival is unique and the back-strap weaving with beautiful woven threads by the elderly locals is simply stunning. 

The Hornbill Festival is a coming together of the 19 Naga tribes that just happens once every year and is just too good to miss. 

Tour Inclusions

  • International & domestic airport arrival and departure private transfers for all guest
  • Domestic Flight – Economy.  Kolkata – Dimapur Return
  • 4 & 3 star modern & boutique accommodation - twin sharing / single supplement basis
  • Chauffeur driven luxury / deluxe air- conditioned private vehicles for all transfers & sightseeing
  • Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B = Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
  • Australian Tour Manager & Professional textile specialist guide
  • Admission fees to all Monuments and activities as per the program
  • 1 Litre Bottled water during overland transportation.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1     28th November 2019:    Arrive Kolkata:
  • Day 2     29th November 2019:    Kolkata:
  • Day 3     30th November 2019:    Kolkata:
  • Day 4     1st December 2019:    Kolkata – Kalna – Maheshganj:
  • Day 5      2nd Deemberr 2019:    Maheshganj – Murshidabad:
  • Day 6      3rd December 2019:    Murshidabad:
  • Day 7       4th December 2019:    Murshidabad – Kuli – Shantiniketan:
  • Day 8      5th December 2019:    Shantiniketan:
  • Day 9      6th December 2019:    Shantiniketan – Bishnupur:
  • Day 10     7th December 2019:    Bishnupur – Pingla – Kolkata:
  • Day 11:   8th December 2019:    Depart Kolkata
  •  

Continue on to the Hornbill Festival - Extra Cost 

  • Day 11     9th December 2019:    Kolkata – Dimapur: To Nagalan Hornbill Festival
  • Day 12     10th December 2019:    Dimapur – Kohima:
  • Day 13     11th December 2019:    Kohima – Dimapur
  • Day 14     12th December 2019:    Dimapur ~ Kolkata ~ Onward Journey

Country Information

Accommodation:

All our hotels are excellent 5 and 4/3 star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotels as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double or two twin beds.

Climate & Clothing:

The climate in India is warm to hot all year around. The rainy season is June till October. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.

Currency & Money Matters:

The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATM’s are not generally available.

Electricity:

The electrical current in India is 250 volts AC. 50Hz. A variety of power outlets are used in India, but most plugs have two or three round pins.

Insurance:

You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.

Language:

Hindi is the official language. English is fast becoming the language of the younger generation.

Meals:

Our hotel offers a variety of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.

Medical Services & Facilities:

Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in India are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.

Passports & Visas:

To enter India you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. A visa is required for most guests and will be organised prior to departure.

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:

Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed. Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at many hotels for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please request when booking.

Time Zone:

Despite the size of the country, the standard time throughout India is GMT +5.30.

Tipping:

We know that some of our guests are not familiar with tipping customs, so any gratuities (eg to waiters, porters etc) are already taken care of as part of your fee. A tip from you to the guides and drivers is always a goodwill gesture.

Tour Group:

Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.

Transport:

Most of our road journeys between major cities are longer than 3 hours so we include modern Luxury sedan cars or minibuses for this tour. They are spacious and comfortable so we can all enjoy the journey.

Water & Beverages:

Some of our hotels offer bottled water in your room,  and bottled water is provided when travelling in our transport. Most teas are available with most meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour. 

Full Itinerary

Day 1:    Thursday 28th November 2019:   Arrive Kolkata:

On arrival you will be greeted by your guide at the airport and driven to your boutique homestay in Park Circus (central Kolkata). The afternoon is at your leisure.

 

Day 2:    Friday 29th November 2019:    Kolkata:    (B)

After an early breakfast, enjoy a visit to the local Flower Market and then drive to North Kolkata proper for our walking tour of Kolkata. The walking tour will allow you to appreciate the many cultural layers of the city & the parallel lives of the different communities of Kolkata. After, enjoy lunch at an interesting cafe followed by viewing of a wonderful collection of textiles. We drive to a residence of a natural dye artist where you will get to see a very well know pair of artists who create paintings using natural dye on cloth. The process will be explained and then you will get some time to peruse the art and the collections. We llater return to the Lodge, the rest of the evening is free.

 

Day 3:    Saturday 30th November 2019:    Kolkata:    (B/D)

After breakfast, we drive to a jute mill where you will get to see the jute processing and the way jute based products are made. Jute is one of the most organic material and its processing is nearly a zero-waste process. Bengal was well known for its jute industry and it still produces an enormous amount of jute that is used in various industrial and commercial products. After the tour enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and then drive to the Gurusaday Museum – where one of the finest collections of textiles and other art objects can be seen. After the visit we drive back into the city and enjoy time to explore some of the well-known boutiques of Kolkata (with your guide). This evening enjoy a bengali dinner at a local restaurant.    

 

Day 4:     Sunday 1st December 2019:    Kolkata – Kalna – Maheshganj:    (B/D)

After breakfast, we drive for nearly 4 hours to Kalna, is a small town with an impressive terra-cotta temple. We meet an incredible weaver who has revived one of the finest weaves of Bengal. Muslin is a cotton weave that used to be valued as gold in the old days. However the British destroyed the weaving practise as they wanted to buy the same cotton and make cheaper textile in Manchester and sell export it to India. They issued a ‘farman’ or an order than any weaver who will weave Muslin will have his right thumb chopped off. This resulted in a complete erosion of this amazing skill in a short span of time. In recent times one weaver in Bengal tried to revive this skill successfully and you will visit his loom where you will be explained the process of weaving fine Muslin. Later we drive onto Maheshganj where you will relax in an old indigo plantation bungalow. The bangalow is partially reconstructed and it is located close to a river. This is the main reason why the weavers chose this area to live and work. This  afternoon is at leisure.

 

Day 5:    Monday 2nd December 2019:    Maheshganj – Murshidabad:    (B/D)

After breakfast, we drive for about 5 hours to Murshidabad. Murshidabad was the last capital of undivided Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and was one of the richest towns of India. It was surrounded with palaces and mansions that are still around albeit in dilapidated state. The history of Murshidabad dates to the 17th century when Murshid Kuli Khan was appointed ‘Diwan’ of Bengal and he shifted the capital from Dhaka to Murshidabad. Soon the glory of Murshidabad spread all over the Mughal India to be known as one of the best Silk producing centres. At that time the Baluchari saree which is now woven in Bishnupur used to be made in a village called Jiaganj. After Murshid Kuli Khan, Murshidabad was under Siraj-ud-daulah and then Mir-kashim. However one of Mir-kashim’s generals Mir Jafar joined hands with the British and in a historical fight at a place called Palashi the British Forces finally defeated Mir-Kashim and took over the reins from the Nawabs of Bengal. Today Murshidabad is a centre of silk weaving and also an important place to visit for history & architecture lovers. On reaching Murshidabad, check in to the well-appointed Hotel Fame. Later enjoy a tour of the magnificent Hazar Duari Palace and then the Kathgola Palace. After, cross over the Bhagirathi river and see the grave of Siraj-ud-daulah. 

 

Day 6:     Tuesday 3rd December 2019:    Murshidabad:    (B)

After breakfast we travel to the silk-weaving workshop to see the way the silk is processed and woven. We later drive to the Katra Mosque. We continue our drive onto a nearby village to enjoy a walk in the local market and mingle with the locals. Its always fun. We continue driving and see an interesting small palace in Kashim Bazar. This afternoon is at your leisure. There is an option to enjoy a boat ride on Bhagirathi River.

 

Day 7:     Wednesday 4th December 2019:   Murshidabad – Shantiniketan:    (B/L)

This morning we drive for about an hour and you will reach a handicraft school by the road-side where a lady has been training the villagers to make the beautiful kantha saris. Here you will get to know about the stitch and the way they are made by layering the old sarees.  After this demonstration you will enjoy lunch with the ladies. Then you will be driven for about 3 hours to reach Shantiniketan. On reaching Shantiniketan you will be driven to your lodge. In a short while you will take a short walk to a ceramic pottery studio where you will meet the artist and enjoy a coffee/tea with a look around of the studio. The afternoon is at leisure.                      

 

Day 8:     Thursday 5th December 2019:     Shantiniketan:   (B/L)

This morning we visit a natural-dye workshop in the hotel where you will learn how to make the colours and use them on the textiles. After, we drive to a couple of studios in Shantiniketan to see more textiles. We continue driving to a nearby village with an organic farm. Enjoy a delicious lunch experience with the locals. Later we troll around the village before we return to your lodgings. We stop along the way at a university that was set up by Debendranath Tagore and his peers.

 

Day 9:      Friday 6th December 2019:   Shantiniketan – Bishnupur:    (B/D)

After breakfast we drive for about 3 hours to reach the terra-cotta temple town of Bishnupur. We explore the Bishnupur Terracotta temples with our private guide for about an hour.  We then visit a museum and before returning to our hotel. Later in the day you will be able to see an interesting way of making cards that were part of an old ritual of the royals of Bishnupur.    

 

Day 10:    Saturday 7th December 2019:    Bishnupur – Kolkata:    (B/L)

This morning we drive to a village in Medinipur district where you a small bunch of artists perform songs using scrolls that are completely hand-made using natural dyes. The ladies will sing and explain the themes of the scrolls and then you will get time to see their work and if you wish you can buy directly from them. After this, enjoy lunch with in the village and then we drive to Kolkata (3 hours’ drive). On reaching Kolkata you will check in at hotel.

 

Day 11:  Sunday 8th Decenber 2019:    Depart Kolkata (B)

After breakfast you will be driven to the airport to connect to your flight back to Kolkata. On arrival you will transfer to the international section to connect to your flight onward or homeward bound flight.

Continue on to the Hornbill Festival and more textiles along the way 

Day 11:    Sunday 8th December 2019:    Kolkata – Dimapur:    (B/D)

This morning we fly to Dimapur. On arrival we are transferred to our hotel. The word Nagaland evokes an image of rolling forested hills and tattooed people. The word Naga comes from the Burmese word ‘No-ka’ meaning pierced ear-lobes. The land of the Nagas stretch from Myanmar into India and even now there are areas which lie in both countries where people freely move between the two countries. The Naga people are tough forest dwellers who had until recently been living in an animistic society with very little education and scant regard for the outside world and the rest of India. Till the 1960’s some of their tribes participated in a macabre cult of head-hunting from enemy villages. This was discontinued as the American evangelists gradually baptized them and managed to convince them to accept a more docile life within villages. The tour to Nagaland will take you through the beautiful villages and allow you to experience their culture and meet the people. You will get to see the various tribes like the Konyaks, the Aos, and the Angamis and the Chakesangs in the well-known Hornbill Festival grounds.

On arrival at the hotel – after lunch you will be taken for a walking tour in the Dimapur vegetable market. A dynamic and busy market is a proof of the varied culinary traditions that are practised in these areas. The tour is interesting at the same time parts of it is not for the faint-hearted as people here do eat a lot of bush-meat. After the tour we drive to a nearby village to see the rural life and locals weaving. The evening is at leisure in your homestay.

 

Day 12:    Sunday 9th December 2019:    Dimapur – Kohima – Dimapur:    (B/D)

After breakfast, we drive for about 2 hours to the Hornbill Festival grounds in the Kisema village. The Hornbill Festival is a unique initiative where one can see almost all of the Naga tribes in their traditional attire and witness the Naga cultural activities that has been practised for a long time. Here one can delight in the harvest festival. Listen to traditional songs, be a spectator at the fabulous traditional games and most important see the tribal people in their festival clothing. Wonder and be fascinated with the colourful celebrations. 

 

Day 13:    Monday 10th December 2019:    DimapurKhonoma Village – Kohima – Dimapur:  (B/L)

After breakfast you will be first get to see a unique weaving festival that is held in Dimapur. After seeing it – you will be driven for 2 hours to the Khonoma village which is home to the Angami community. Here you will enjoy a tour of the village. After that you will be driven to the Hornbill Festival grounds in the Kisema village. After the visit you will be driven back to Dimapur.

 

Day 14:    Tuesday 11th December 2019:     Dimapur – Kolkata – Onward bound:

After breakfast you will be driven to the airport to connect to your flight back to Kolkata. On arrival you will transfer to the international section to connect to your flight onward or homeward bound flight.

 

Cost 

AU $1600.00pp
SS 80.00pp

Enquiries Welcome

Tour Hotels

 

Kolkata:   Amiya Bhavan  
Maheshganj:   The Maheshganj Estate  
Murshidabad:   The Fame  
Shantiniketan:       The Garden Bungalow;   
Bishnupur:       The Annapurna Hotel  
Kolkata:       The Holiday Inn  
Dimapur:         Longchen Homestay 
Kohima:      
Dimapur:       Longchen Homestay
       

 

Start Date End Date Luxury Deluxe Boutique Availability
400 28 Nov 2019 8 Dec 2019 $3,200.00 Space Available Book Now

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