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Textile tours & craft holiday destinations

Textile heritage of Orissa

Where is Orissa?


Orissa is an Indian state located on the eastern coast and is a brilliant destination for textile tours. Its landscape is mostly vast mountain ranges with broad rivers flowing between the valleys. The beautiful coastal plain lies on the east of the state hosting the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest coastal lagoon in the world. Orissa is also one of the locations Colouricious Holidays offer as a textile tours hotspot. It’s rich in gorgeous fabrics made by hand.

People of Orissa


In spite of being rural, people of Orissa, have still retained India’s earliest civilization in its pristine form by keeping their traditional values alive in the countless thousands of villages in the country side. Of all the states of India, Orissa has the largest number of tribes, as many as 62 that constitute an impressive 24 percent of the total population of the state. These tribes mainly inhabit the Eastern Ghats hill range that runs in the north-south direction.

quilting-arts-textiles-holiday-orissaSubsistence oriented economy of the tribes here is based on food gathering, hunting and fishing, thus, revolving around forests. While farming, they make use of a very simple technology and a simple division of labor often limited to the immediate family. But they lose out because their holdings are small and unproductive, lacking irrigation facility due to a hilly and undulating terrain.

textile-tour-craft-holiday-tie-dyetextile-tour-craft-holiday-tie-dyeMany tribes practice shifting cultivation or Podu Chasa, also known as slash and burn. They select a plot of land on a mountain slope, slash down all the trees and bushes and burn them to ashes. Spreading the ashes evenly over the land, they wait for the rains before planting their crops. Due to cultivation for two or three seasons on one plot of land the soil gets depleted and the tribes move on. It is a way of life for them.

Textile tours of Orissa

The beautiful variety of unusual fabrics and vibrant textile colours all

over India make this a number 1 destination to visit on textile tours for textile lovers. Orissa is home to and famous for its silk ikat weaves. This unique technique is known as tie and dye (Bandha) and is a very intricate process. It takes extraordinary precision with the predetermined design and colour gradually appearing as dyed threads are woven together. Click here to delve deeper and learn more about the wonderful cotton weaves of Orissa.

Thousands of weavers are inhabited in remote villages living with age old traditions, creating superb workmanship on silk, cotton, tusser fabrics.
On a colouricious holiday to Orissa textile tours, you can expect to experience saree weaving, basket weaving, Dokhra metal art, pottery, stone carving and palm leaf painting, just some of the crafts to get involved with at these remote villages.

Orissa Cuisine

With a simple yet delicious cuisine, Orissa follows a food pattern that is somewhat similar to the neighboring states. Rice, the staple food is paired with vegetables.Due to their deeply religious culture, most of Oriya people practice textile-tours-craft-holidays-orissa-foodvegetarianism. But a significant proportion of population yet relishes fish and other sea food delicacies like prawns, crabs and lobsters that are found in plenty at the vast coastline of the state. Cooked with little or absolutely no oil, Oriya food has a less calorific value.
Along with curd and coconut milk, people are very fond of sweets as well. The curd here is rich and creamy and gives the succulent flesh an additional flavor. Not only the seafood but yams, brinjals and pumpkins are also liberally used in curd with mustard seeds giving the whole preparation that extra zing. Pithas are also very popular food items here. These are small cakes both sweet and savory in taste. Chhenapodapitha, the caramelized custard-like dessert is also very popular not only with the locals but with the tourists also.

Want to join us on a holiday?

Colouricious Holidays have lots of different holidays exploring India, Japan, Bhutan and Uzbekistan. We will be expanding this all the time with more destinations and places to go. If you would like to join us on one of our wonderful cultural, arts and crafts holidays visit the group tours section where you will be able to read all about the holidays we offer and you can reserve your place.

We look forward to seeing you on a Colouricious Holiday! (

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