Secret Projects Indian Textiles, Technology and Crafts Trip. 7th - 15th January 2021

 10th Mar 2020 |  Travel |  Fritha Mason


We are delighted to invite you to join our Textiles, Technology and Crafts trip hosted by Lesley Pearce

We are absolutely delighted that Lesley has planned her second Indian Textiles, Technology and Crafts Trip, following the huge success of her 2020 trip that saw a group of 12 travellers delve into the vibrant world of Indian crafts and textiles, as well as experiencing the work and impact of Secret Projects first-hand.

This year's textiles, technology and crafts trip will provide each traveller with a unique opportunity to learn about some fascinating textile and craft techniques from local artisans who have worked for many, many years in the world of fabric design and production. Travellers will also be able to experience the beating heart of Secret Projects as they visit Secret Projects Maker Groups and meet the inspirational faces behind our products.

Great thought has gone into the planning of this bespoke trip and you will experience India in a unique way, not as a tourist, but through the Secret Projects back door! Lesley will host the trip supported by Nirmala, our India Director, who has a wealth of experience of leading groups through her homeland, you will of course be part of the wonderful and colourful culture that only India has to offer and so much more...

Payment and booking

The cost of the trip is NZ Dollar 2,200 per person, €2,000 per person, £1,900 per person (This is based on a group of six travellers and includes all internal travel).

The following is not included in the cost of the trip:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Cost of tourist visa
  • Meals on the evenings of Day 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
  • Drinks outside of mealtimes
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Purchase of fabrics and other craft, homeware or clothes at shopping stops
  • Single occupancy rooms. If you would like a single room, we can provide a quote

To book your place, please email travel@secretprojects.org.

  • We will ask you for a refundable deposit of NZ Dollars 600 or €500 or £500 and will only be able to move forward with the trip with a minimum of 6 travellers.
  • We will ask you for the remaining balance 3 months before the trip.

Please note, if we haven’t managed to reach the numbers needed by the end of July, we will sadly have to cancel the trip and will refund your deposit or give you the option of booking our 2021 Customer Trip or other similar future textiles/crafts trip.

Booking confirmation will be sent to you via email along with a Welcome Pack, so you will be able to begin dreaming and planning your trip!

BOOK WITH PEACE OF MIND

March 2020. We will continue to watch the situation with the Corona virus very closely. We would like to suggest that if you would like to reserve a place on one of our trips, please pay the refundable deposit suggested to secure your place and if the trip cannot take place we will refund your deposit. There currently is no UK government advice not to travel to India.

Itinerary

Tuesday 7th January - Flight from Auckland, New Zealand or other countries

Day One - Wednesday 8th January

We will arrive in Bengaluru, the tech capital of South India around lunch time and after checking into the hotel, the group will be given a welcome briefing to help you find your feet as quickly as possible! We will have lunch locally and afterwards enjoy a shopping trip as we get into the India vibe and orientate ourselves to this wonderful continent.

Before dinner, we will listen to a lecture on the different types of fabric produced across India by Guarav Shah, one of the owners of a popular fabric shop Riti’s. You will have an opportunity to buy fabrics that you will be able to have made up into a Secret Pillow by a Maker at one of the Secret Projects Maker Groups, as well as handmade block prints at a discounted price. Traditional Indian clothing will also be for sale.

We will enjoy a welcome dinner together.

That night stay at The Royal Serenity Hotel, Bengaluru

A visit to Riti's to view a huge range of high quality Indian fabrics
Wonderful, wooden block prints

Day two - Thursday 8th January

After a good breakfast, we will spend the morning at Secret Projects Indian Production Support Unit. During this visit you will learn more about the mission of Secret Projects to empower women in India and meet some of our inspirational Makers.

The afternoon kicks off after a delicious lunch made by Secret Projects Makers with a talk by a master wood block carver to discover more about this ancient craft. You will be able to purchase blocks and experiment with this craft on fabric yourself.

We will eat a delicious dinner at local craft brewery and afterwards either opt for an early night or a chance to chat through your initial insights and thoughts about India with your fellow travellers.

Enjoy a dinner in the local area.

That night stay at The Royal Serenity Hotel, Bengaluru

Women from Secret Projects Indian Production Unit Bengaluru

Day 3 - Friday 9th January

Today is a day to put learning into action! The group will attend a block printing workshop at the famous and world renowned Tharangini Studios in Bengaluru. There will be a demonstration of mixing and preparing natural dyes using traditional methods and you will be given an opportunity to block print on silk with natural dyes to create your own beautiful scarf.

After lunch our block printing education continues as we print on cotton yardage using old and traditional blocks with 2 or even 3 colour combinations.

Dinner will be wherever you want it to be that evening, to give you an opportunity to do some self exploration of Bengaluru.

That night stay at the Royal Serenity Hotel Bengaluru

Block printing workshop
Block print scarves drying in the India sunshine

Day 4 - Saturday 10th January

It's an early start today! We will pile into a Tempo Traveller (aka mini bus!) and begin a 3.5 hour drive to the state of Andhra Pradesh.

You will appreciate that the long journey has been well worth it as you are welcomed into a wonderful community run by Brother Thomas - a man completely dedicated to supporting and nurturing both children and adults. This special place includes not only a medical dispensary and training centre, but also a school that you will visit to hear the story behind it.

After a good lunch, yet more textile and craft learning awaits you, as you visit a local silk weavers to gain insight into the beginning of silk fabric production.

Dinner that evening will be eaten with a local community with delicious food and entertainment. Be prepared to be humbled by their hospitality.

That night stay at the Royal Serenity Hotel Bengaluru

The children of Brother Thomas's Community

Day 5 - Sunday 11th January

Today, we will meet the local Secret Projects Maker Group from Hindapur where a special treat awaits you as you observe and participate in a demonstration of mirror work and embroidery and watch a dance programme by the Lambadi Tribe.

After lunch revisit the community of silk weavers to absorb more information about silk production. Afterwards, our learning turns to food, as we are taught how to make local dishes such as ragi millet balls and chapathi.

After a busy day, we will head back to Bengaluru for dinner at a restaurant of your choice.

That night stay at The Royal Serenity Hotel, Bengaluru

Embroidery and mirroring demonstration
Women from the Lambadi Tribe demonstrate a cultural dance

Day 6 - Monday 12th January

Today we visit Raji Market to buy fabrics, beads, embroidery flow, jewellery and all kinds of arts and craft items to add to your kit!

The afternoon is free to spend as you wish - maybe having a rest or perhaps visiting the famous Bengaluru City Market?

That night you have the choice to dine at a rather spectacular spectacular venue in the centre of town - Byg Brewski Brewing Company, one of Bengaluru's all time favourite microbreweries.

That night stay at The Royal Serenity Hotel, Bengaluru

Shopping in Bengaluru!

Day 7 -Tuesday 12th January

We head off early to the beautiful city of Mysore (or Mysuru as it is known locally) in the state of Karnataka. On our way, we will stop at Srirangapatna - a majestic heritage site situated outside Mysore.

During this busy and exhilarating day we will visit Devaraja Market, a beautiful and famous flower market where you will be able to buy flower oils, sandalwood, baskets, dyes, silks and the most wonderful flowers.

Later that afternoon/evening there is an opportunity to visit Odanandi Seva Trust, a powerful NGO that fights tirelessly to end human trafficking and supports a safe house for women, girls, boys and young men rescued from situations of human trafficking. The women's safe house operates a beauty salon where you can have wonderful henna tatoos.

That night you can choose where to eat but we recommend dining amid sparkly lights, on the lawn of The Green Hotel where we are staying. The Green Hotel is a former palace originally built for 3 princesses and offers insight into old India.

That night stay at Green Hotel, Mysore

Henna tatoos

Day 8 - Wednesday 13th January

This morning, we will visit the unmissable Mysore Palace and marvel the pomp and splendour of this magnificent site.

The day is free to explore as you please! Here are a few ideas:

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple

Chamundi Hills - sacred land for Mysorians and Hindus

Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

Brindavan Gardens

St. Philomena's Cathedral

Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery and Auditorium and see the artisans hanging out in the alleys.

Tuktuks and cars are available for hire at the Green Hotel.

Later that afternoon there will be another opportunity to visit Odanadi Seva Trust for more beauty treatments or stay at the Green Hotel for a restful evening.

That night stay at the Green Hotel, Mysore.

Flowers for sale at one of Mysore's markets.

Day 9 - 14th January

We set off early to travel back to busy Bengaluru. We will stop along the way to break up the journey. Our options include a toy factory and a winery. (Exact details are to be decided).

We will enjoy dinner together somewhere special as it will be our last night.

That night stay at The Royal Serenity Hotel, Bengaluru

Day 10 - 15th January

Today is yours to do with exactly as you please!

Hop in a tuk tuk or take a taxi and the world is your oyster!

Here are some ideas...

Shopping

MG Road is one of a most popular shopping and entertainment hub of Bangalore.

Commercial Street - the lanes here are loaded with a variety of items with no fixed price.

K.R. Market (Krishna Rajendra Market), also known as City Market, is the largest wholesale market.

Chickpet is fabulous and well known for its fabric.

Other ideas!

Bangalore Palace. ...inspired by Windsor castle

National Gallery of Modern Art

Tipu Sultan's Palace and Fort

Lalbagh Botanical Garden - famous for its glasshouse and the foundation stone of the glasshouse is modelled after London's Crystal Place

Omthara Kala Kuteera

Vidhana Soudha - largest legislative buildings and is a must-see tourist attraction in Bangalore.

Blossom Book House

Or...maybe take in a cookery demonstration

Later today, the group will return home from Bengaluru airport.

Downtown Bangalore!

Opportunities during the trip - there are so many, but in a nutshell...

  • You will have a chance to have your own, bespoke Secret Pillow made up by a Secret Projects Maker
  • Visit Secret Projects Maker Groups
  • Really experience 'back-stage' India
  • Be led 2 experienced guides with a wealth of experience, plus a funny tale or two to tell!
  • Meet local people who are working hard towards a more equal world
  • Learn some traditional, tribal dances
  • Travel with a group of like-minded people
  • Make some wonderful memories

All photographs, excluding Mysore Palace were taken on the Secret Projects Teachers Textile Trip in January 2020.

Travelling with us is pure joy!

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