Creative trips with Colouricious Holidays

Places to visit for creative inspiration in Orissa

Creative trip of a lifetime

Colouricious Holidays offer an incredible opportunity to explore the textile crafts of India. With a guided tour for your whole creative trip you’ll experience selected craft activities in remote locations organised for you. Not only will you participate in creative workshops to learn new art and craft techniques but you’ll discover Orissa’s greatest treasures from grand stone temples to crowded traditional market. you’ll travel to these amazing places on a private coach and stay in trusted hotels. Visit our website and read the testimonials of past years guests!

Konark Sun Temple.

One of the jewels of the Golden Triangle of Orissa (bounded by Konark itself, Puri and Bhubaneshwar) is the fabulous ruined temple known as Konaditya. It was built in 1278 by a king of the Ganga line named Narasima Deva. It was once referred to as the Black Pagoda, but modern scholars take more care to call it by its original name. The temple was originally dedicated to the sun god Surya. Some time long ago its tower and dome collapsed, and tradition has it that the idol to Surya inside was relocated to nearby Puri.

Beyond its staggeringly majestic ruins themselves, Konaditya is known for the amazing examples of classical Indian stone sculpture it still contains. The temple itself was decorated as the chariot of the sun itself, and the main temple structure boasts 24 gigantic stone wheels twice the height of a man. 7 stone horses of equally Herculean stature appear to pull the temple and two stone lions guard the main entrance, standing on the bodies of defeated stone elephants.

Three separate stone images of the Sun God remain, one catching the sun’s rays at dawn, one at noon and the last at sunset. All the surfaces of the temple are covered with intricate carvings of plants, animals and people in erotic poses.

Bird Sanctuary at Mangalajodi.

Orissa plays host to some of the world’s most beautiful wetlands, including the thriving Chilika Lake. Chilikia is the largest brackish water lake in Asia, and as such it supports a huge diversity of tropical species. On the shores of this lake lies the beautiful village of Mangalajod. This village is the chief settlement at the edge of the bird and wildlife sanctuary of the same name, one that is beginning to rival the region’s tiger sanctuaries as a popular eco-tourism destination.

Birds-sanctuary-colouricious-holidaysA boat tour through the sanctuary will let you see thousands of tropical birds and other animals, including moorhens, stilts, lapwings and godwits. The sanctuary is particularly well populated in the winter months, when it plays host to migratory birds fleeing colder weather. In all, there are over 150 species of birds living in the region year-round, and at least 40 migratory species winter there.

Only 20 years ago, this intense biodiversity was the sole domain of poachers and hunters. Just a generation later the birds are protected and the people of the region have learned to derive an income form this tremendous natural resource that protects it rather than consumes it.

Tribal and Textile Museum at Koraput.

It is the treasure of this incredible diversity that Orissa’s leadership are trying so hard to protect and preserve. As more and more of the region’s people adopt modern ways of life, the Orissans themselves realised that they needed to preserve examples of tribal arts and crafts in various ways, to protect them for future generations. The traditional ‘artist’s villages’ are just one way – the other is a series of museums dedicated to displaying and interpreting the cultural heritage of the many local tribes.

The museum at Koraput is one such. It displays examples of the handicrafts and cultural materials of these peoples, as well as recordings of their dances, music and stories. Of particular note are the museum’s collections of metal work, stone sculpture, terracotta sculpture, wood carvings, traditional textiles and paintings, as well as historical documentation of all kinds.

The Tribal Museum at Koraput was established to preserve the cultural heritage of the local tribes and promote their arts, crafts, dances and music. The museum has on display a collection of stone sculptures, metal images and objects, terracotta, wooden objects, paintings, documents, rare objects and textiles among other things. It is free for visitors.

The museum is free to visit, but you will be politely asked to make a donation on the way out. 100 Rs (just over one pound) is considered quite generous.

Overnight train journey

As part of this fascinating experience, you’ll travel back to the South of India on an overnight train journey. This is an excellent opportunity to see the vast differences between the traditional textiles and handicrafts of India’s more modern, populous Southern regions compared to the more traditional, slower paced way of life in the East.

The journey itself is more than half of the fun, though. The sleeping accommodations are spacious, comfortable and secure, and the whole experience is one of the kind of luxury train travel that no longer exists in Europe. Many people describe it as just as exotic and enjoyable as a trip on the ‘Orient Express’, but in a fraction of the time. After all, with so very much to see (and so little time to see it in) you wouldn’t want to spend the entire holiday on a rail.

Book now for a unique creative trip.

Learn, create, be happy!