Orissa Textile & Handicraft Tour

Odisha formerly known as Orissa is a wonderful land of fascinating beauty situated on the East coast of India along the Bay of Bengal and is endowed with nature’s bounty, a 482kms stretch of coastline encompassed by the forest clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats. The history of Orissa, which acquired indelible fame and glory under its past names, Kalinga, Utkal or Odradesha dates back to very remote antiquity. The State was known, far and wide, for the heroic deeds and cultural upheavals, maritime trade and over-sea expansion of its people. It is now a locus of traditions, customs, ethnic and tribal groups that can be traced back to the stone ages.
Odisha has an illustrious heritage of handloom-weaving. From generations, lakhs of handloom-weavers in Odisha have been weaving and producing rich works of art, upholding the exquisite tradition of the state. Handloom sector, next to agriculture, provides massive employments to the rural weavers. So far as our State is concerned, it has a rich tradition of great handloom products. Even the skill and knowledge imbibed over generations has given hand woven cloths of Odisha an unparalleled depth, range, versatility, strength and vigour. Handloom cloth is one of the richest and resilient mediums of ethnic expressions. Odisha has already carved a prominent place in the handloom map of the country. The unique traditional products of Odishan handloom depict the rich cultural heritage of the State and the excellent craftsmanship of the weavers.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01- Arrive Kolkata by international flight

On arrival at Kolkata International airport after clearing immigration formalities, you will meet our representative in arrival hall holding paging of your name. He will further assist you to your vehicle and then hotel check-in formalities. (Standard check-in time is 1200 hours)

Evening will be at leisure to relax.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02- Kolkata

Breakfast at hotel

 After breakfast proceed for half day sightseeing visiting Dalhousie Square, Flower Market, Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, Mother Teresa’s House.

Dalhousie Square: The Square was named in the memory of Lord Dalhousie who was the Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856. The alleys off N.S.Road, the famed office area surrounding Writers Building (the administrative centre of West Bengal) offer a lip-smacking variety of snacks and meals, with choices ranging from typical Bengali and South Indian to Mughlai, Punjabi and Chinese cuisine. In fact the entire area, loosely referred to as the “Dalhousie para”, encompassing the Calcutta High Court and the Stock Exchange on Lyons Range (to name just two of the many landmark buildings), is a foodies` paradise where one can spend weeks sampling new dishes.

Flower Market : It can also be termed as Heritage Market. Beneath the east end of Howrah Bridge, Mullick Ghat Kolkata Flower Market is eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls and people sitting on the ground.

Howrah Bridge(View from Howrah bridge): It is popularly known as Rabindra Setu. Howrah Bridge in Kolkata spans over river Hooghly and is considered to be a marvelous engineering work by the British. The Howrah Bridge is enumerated amongst the busiest cantilever bridge in the World. It took nearly about 7 long years to construct the Howrah Bridge. The cantilever bridge of Howrah was completed in 1943.

Victoria Memorial: This is one of India’s most beautiful monuments built between 1906 and 1921 on the lines of white marble. The memorial was the inspiration of Lord Curzon, who in 1901, felt that his lately departed Queen Empress, required a suitable monument to her memory. It houses paintings, manuscripts, and other objects of historic value in its Museum and Art Gallery. (Closed on Monday & National Holidays. Photography not allowed inside).

Mother Teresa’s House : Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages and schools. (Closed on Thursday, photography not allowed inside).

Evening will best leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03- Kolkata – Bhubneshwar by flight G8 Departure 09:55/ Arrival 11:00 hrs

Breakfast at hotel

Meeting and assistance on arrival and directly proceed for sightseeing visiting couple of unique temples and the one and only Kala Bhoomi Textile and Crafts Museum. Mukteshwar Temple belonging to the 10th -11th Century is one of the most prominent temples of Bhubaneswar. The 34ft high temple stands gracefully with an elegant torana (arch)in the front. In totality, the decorative designs present magnificent work of visual art.

Kala Bhoomi Textile Museum: The museum celebrates the craftsmanship of our artisans by putting on display their breath-taking masterpieces. Divided into 2 blocks, the museum has a display area and a live section. The display area focuses on galleries about Handicrafts and Handlooms from around the state while the live section is equipped with an outdoor Amphitheatre as well as separate workshop zones. Kala Bhoomi is built using local raw materials such as the Laterite stone which can still be seen in some of the oldest monuments around the state.

The crafts museum, spanning across 13 acres is divided into two blocks – handicrafts and handloom. The handicraft section exhibits unique artworks of Odisha craftsmen, the handloom section exhibits traditional textiles and weaves.Items such as terracotta, paintings, dhokra and bell metal work, Pattachitra, wood carvings, household objects, ornaments, mythology/folklore depictions, palm-leaf paintings, etching, applique work, stone and wood carving and tribal art are also displayed in separate galleries.   (Crafts Museum is closed on Monday).

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 04- Bhubneshwar –Gopalpur- Bhubneshwar (approx. 2.5 hours one way)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast l drive to Gopalpur in Jajpur district couple of hours drive each way and spend the day to have the experience of Odisha texilte with the local weavers community engaged in Tussar fabric. This is a very unique village not frequently visited by tourists giving you that exclusivity for interaction and demonstration.

The Gopalpur weavers make some of the beautiful tussar designs .Weavers inherited the traditional skills of weaving from their forefathers and continued the art and stories woven in the hand reeled tussar with myths and legends. Each thread reflecting symbolism and spirituality is embodied and crafted with personal touch.

Evening return to Bhubneshwar.

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 05- Bhubneshwar –Nuapatna –Sadeibarani- Dhenkanal (115 Kms/ 3 hours)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast proceed for full day excursion visit of Nuapatna and Sadeibarani.

The handloom cluster of Nuapatna is located in the central part of Orissa and it comprises the two nearby villages Nuapatna and Maniabandha. This is a natural cluster. The art of weaving at Naupatna is more then 800 years old and is linked with temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri. Few weavers of Nuapatna specially weave cloth for the Lord Jagannath. This has been the practice since generations and even as on date.

Nuapatna being interspersed with numerous weavers’ cottages accompanied with the rhythmic beating sound of working handlooms, stretched warp yarn in the streets, colorful dyeing of yarn and open sun drying of multicolor dyed yarn, with typical country side unpretentious surroundings, offer an exhilarating experience devoid of urban clumsiness but with full of natural beauty.

The Bell Metal or Dokra art of Sadeibareni village in Dhenkanal, is home to 45 families with 130-odd artisans, who are mostly into creating Dokra handicraft. The process of making Dokra is fascinating and only natural raw materials are used. Traditional Dokra is a typical tribal craft in bronze with its mesh like features giving it a distinctive beauty. Interestingly, the handicraft is still prepared by hand without involvement of any machines. They have a vast repertoire―gods and goddesses, tribal and animal figurines, vases, door handles, and photo-frames. Curious visitors can also go round the houses and get a first-hand experience of making the craft from the artisans, who are willing to explain the preparation process.

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 06- Dhenkanal – Sonepur-Sambalpur (approx.. 315 Kms/ 06 hours)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast we drive to Sambalpur en-route visit of weaving cluster of Sagarpalli Sonepur

Sagarpali is a big village hosting around 500 bhulia (weaver) families. This is, in fact, one of the largest weaving villages in western Orissa, a bastion of the famous Sambalpuri sari. Here,weavers wove magic out of cotton and silk threads from their mongas (handmade weaving machines).

Sonepur is located in the western part of Orissa. Sonepur hand loom woven sarees and dress material are known for their unique Bomkai designs locally known as  Bandha design. This Bomkai design on the fabric (especially on Sarees) is developed by using Jala technique on handloom. Sonepur cluster have specialty in tie dye and Bomkai design in sari. The other products of this cluster are plain cotton sari, plain silk sari with bandha design and ladies dress material. The Bhulias of Western Orissa, in fact, are the acclaimed weavers of celebrated tie-and- dye textile fabrics, popularly known as Sambalpuri Cloth . For centuries, they have practised and perfected the local tie-and-dye technique of designing and weaving and zealously guarded the secret from being passed on to others.

After visit continue your drive to Sambalpur.  Sambalpuri sarees are some of the most beautiful saris in India. These saris are incomparable. A conventional handloom silk sari, the Sambalpuri is a traditional hand-woven Ikkat weave from the state of Orissa. Famous for its Kathan border & pallu, the Sambalpuri till date is made according to ancient norms. What’s unique about this weave is that, once the fibres have been dyed, it can never be bleached into another colour, in fact the cloth may deteriorate with time, but its colour never fades. Varieties of the Sambalpuri saris include Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Barpali, Bapta saris have substantial demand. Most of them have been named after the places of their origin, and are popularly known as Pata . The Shankh (shell), Phool (flower) and chakra (wheel) are motifs that are distinct to the Sambalpuri Saree.  Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi became a sort of ‘brand ambassador’ of the Sambalpuri sari – it was her favourite attire!

Sambalpur is a city in the western region of Odisha. It is the headquarters of Sambalpur district. Sambalpur  has a rich and prosperous tradition of hand loom fabrics that have gained worldwide popularity .The textiles for their unique pattern, design and texture commonly come under the patent of Sambalpuri.

Engage in the activity of the weaver community learning the process and techniques of weaving while you stay at Sambalpur.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07- Sambalpur –Bargarh-Barpali –Sambalpur (approx 145 Kms/ 3.5 hours)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast proceed to explore Barpali weaving cluster ,nearby pottery village and Huma temple- the leaning temple of Lord Shiva.

Tope, fall under the Attabira block of Bargarh district,and there are several clusters of weavers in this block. Simple block pattern is a common design for sarees in this block. In this district, it is the Meher community of Odisha that is involved in weaving.

Bargarh has more than 12,000 looms, the most in any district in the state. Its weavers have received many national awards and recognition—all for their work on the Sambalpuri Ikat. This is the only weaving cluster in the country with so many awards to its credit.

Barpali is a town and a notified area committee in Bargarh district of Odisha, known for its handloom weaves. There are about 1000 handlooms in this part of the state, and weavers here are known for their original square ikat prints on Tassar silk. However, machine-aided printing is damaging the market for handloom products as the former can be produced in minutes and costs much less.

Visit of Pottery village at Barpali .In the past the tribal communities of Western Odisha used the terracotta representation of these animals on the roof of their houses to ward off evil spirit and bring prosperity to their homes. Barpali in Western Odisha and its surrounding villages was the centre of terracotta roof tile craft depicting these animals.  But as time moved with the influence of market forces and crony capitalism, the tradition declined and now confined to few houses at Barpali .

Evening return to Sambalpur.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 08- Sambalpur – Pipli -Puri (approx.. 350 Kms/ 7 hours )

Breakfast at hotel

After breakfast drive to Puri en-route visit of Pipli appliqué centre

Pipli: The famous town of Pipli in Odisha, halfway between Bhubaneswar and Puri, is known for its exquisite applique work. An enchanting form of fabric based patchwork, well known for its geometric motifs and stylized birds, animals and flowers cut out of brightly coloured cloth and sewn on contrasting backgrounds. The typical traditional motifs are varied yet fixed in their colours and representations. Motifs ranging from geometric, abstract, schematized actual life forms to stylized versions of social, natural, astral and mythological characters and objects.

Later proceed to Puri. Arrive Puri and check-in to hotel at Puri.  *All hotels in Puri have check in / check out at 0800 hrs . For centuries now, the beach at Puri has been the venue of countless pilgrims taking the traditional purifying dip. However, for decades now, both Indian and foreign beach lovers have made it their special haunt. The fine golden sands of Puri beach and the roar of the breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal have fascinated visitors throughout the ages. As it is with all the beaches of Odisha, overcrowding is never a problem and the sight of holiday-makers having entire stretch of the beach to themselves is not uncommon. The local fishermen, with their catamarans and wide brimmed cane hats are welcomed by tourists.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09- Puri – Konark –Puri (approx. 1 hour one way)

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast visit magnificent Konark Sun Temple.

The third link in the Odishan Golden Triangle, Konark is the site of one of the most spectacular examples of religious architecture in the world. The Sun Temple at Konark conceived as a massive chariot hauling the Sun God across the heavens by the might of seven splendidly carved horses, standing aloft on 24 chariot wheels-intricately carved – symbolizing the march of time, lies in solitary splendor surrounded by drifting sand three kilometres from the sea, but originally it was reported to be closer for which it was used as a navigational point by European sailors, who referred to it as the ‘Black Pagoda’.

This 13th century architectural marvel is one of the most magnificent monuments of the World and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nobel Laureate & Poet Rabindranath Tagore said, ‘here the language of stone surpasses the language of man’. It is true that the experience of Konark is impossible to translate into words.

Also visit the local Fisherman’s village and interact with the local community.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 10- Puri – Kolkata by flight I5 Departure 14:05/ Arrival 15:15 hrs

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast drive to Bhubneshwar airport (approx. 1.5 hours). On arrival at Bhubneshwar connect flight for Kolkata.

Meeting and assistance on arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 11- Depart Kolkata by international flight

Breakfast at hotel

Post breakfast assisted transfer to airport to board the flight for onward destination.

This is the end of the Trip! Happy Memories


Handlooms – A rich heritage .

Let us preserve it

Handlooms – A glorious tradition .

Let us encourage it