We’ve gone on many McCall’s Quilting travel adventures over the years, but none more exotic and exciting than the one we have planned with host Pam Holland for September 21-October 2, 2016. Pam is a very experienced traveler, and has much to share with us about our destination and the role of travel in a quilter’s life:
“In religion, India is the only millionaire – the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” – Mark Twain (American Author, 1835-1910)
When I think of India, I remember, color, smiles, friendliness, amazing scenery, and wonderful food. As my travel companions on this expedition in India with McCall’s Quilting and Craftours, we will combine art and photography with a variety of crafts and sensational sightseeing. We will have had more fun than is legal. How could one not get excited by this? Craftours has been taking crafters to India for many years, and their expertise will provide a wealth of experience to make each day an experience to remember.
“We will travel by horse”, said our guide.
I envisioned 3 ladies on a white horse galloping into the Taj Mahal with crowds of people waving as we passed by.
In fact, we went in on a very rickety and bumpy horse and cart but it was immense fun.
Our audience and cheering fans were monkeys with babies on their backs.
It was already hot even though it was only 8:30am. Laden with cameras, our guide insisted I take a bottle of water. OK, it’s sensible, but I don’t have water around the cameras, so he decided to carry it for me. The entrance, or the gates to the Taj Mahal are quite spectacular as one would imagine.
The main gateway is about 93 feet in height, and a masterpiece of fine inlay work in itself.
It has beautifully crafted doors on the two sides, one opening towards the court-yard side to receive visitors from all three entry gates, and the other side opening towards the grand white marble Taj mausoleum.
The gate has profuse inlay work of white marble and precious stones into the red sandstone surface. The top of the gate has eleven domes between two high columns, 22 in all, depicting the number of years it took for the construction of the Masterpiece.
Through the gates, with bated breath and there you are with 1000’s of other people.
It was breathtaking.
We photographed, filmed, talked to people and just stood and marveled at the imagery. The breeze flowing over the river that borders the Taj was cool and refreshing and if we didn’t have a guide who kept us on schedule we could have just sat and watched the passing parade of bright clothes and beautiful people.
The crafts we will enjoy include a Rangoli design workshop with a master artisan. The historic designs range from simple geometric shapes to very intricate patterns made with a base of powdered, colored rice.
We will also visit a family that has been making puppets for generations, enjoy a workshop with a master henna artist, and participate in a miniature painting workshop. We’ll enjoy hands on block printing, and see a demonstration of beautiful brass inlay by master artisans. Our goal on the expedition is to give you the best experience you can have without pushing you to your limit. There will be plenty of time for shopping in the local markets and relaxing in our deluxe hotels. We’ll take photos and explore the beauty of the art and textiles in this country.
India is special and is always a trip of a life time.
At times I’m almost overwhelmed with the color and the sheer beauty of the things I see. Each visit is different, and each experience adds to my excitement of being in the country. There is no doubt in my mind, those of you who join us on this special tour will have an opportunity where your creative process is heightened and your soul will dance in ways it has never danced before. I hope you can join us!
Thank you so much, Pam! Your words and photos make it easy to imagine the wonders of a trip like this.
If you’d like to know more about our India tour, get all the details here. We hope to see you on the trip!