Kleshna Handel Tribal Art of Orissa – March 2019

Exploring the Tribal Arts of Orissa

From: 16th March, 2019

To: 30th March, 2019

Holidays from £2,850.00

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From: 16th March, 2019
To: 30th March, 2019

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Orissa Tribal Art Photos


Orissa Tribal Art Videos



Explore the tribal art of Orissa on a Colouricious Holiday

Colouricious Holidays offer a unique approach to exploring the creative world. Jamie Malden, an established crafter has explored India to find the best of textile art and ancient craft techniques. She now brings these treasures to you offering textile tours of this beautiful country.

Group-textile-holiday-Orissa-colouricious-holidayYou will fall in love with the vibrant colours and the incredible craftsmanship. You will have the opportunity to learn these wonderful skills that have been passed down through generations from where it all began. Prepare to be inspired by visiting remote villages, working with Orissa people.

These group holidays are a great way to meet creative people, feel comfortable to relax and be happy knowing that these fabulous hotels and private coaches have already been organised. Colouricious holidays is a trusted travel company.

Come and watch our wonderful testimonials from our guests.


Tribal Art of Orissa

13 Nights/14 Days

London – Kolkata –Gopalpur – Rayagada – Jeypore – Bhubaneshwar – Puri – Kolkata – London

During this fabulous tour you will be visiting remote tribal villages on the east coast of India. This is a very rare opportunity to visit indigenous peoples in their heritage villages, making their cultural crafts for their livelihood. Please note, when booking this holiday, you must send us a colour photocopy of your passport which we need for applying for an entry permit. We will be travelling into remote heritage villages which require a special entry permit

This Colouricious tribal arts and crafts of Orissa tour will be lead by Kleshna Handel 

https://colouriciousholidays.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/colouricious-holidays-kleshna-handel.jpgKleshna is an award winning artisan jewellery designer, crafter and teacher. Frequenting Jewellery Maker TV each month with her eclectic design led shows, she teaches a plethora of jewellery making skills and applications. Hailing from a design background, Kleshna caught the public’s eye through London Fashion Week which saw work being worn by A-list celebs including Judie Dench, Helen Mirren, Emma Watson and Annie Lennox. From this point Kleshna focused more on championing and teaching yesteryear crafts from intricate beading, Japanese silk flower folding (kanzashi), kumihimo, weaving, shibori, silk painting and working with textiles. She is passionate about conserving ancient craft skills and contemporizing them for future generations.

Highlights of the Tour:

NB. All our tours require a minimum number of 6 passengers to go ahead. In the unlikely event there are insufficient numbers for the tour to proceed all monies paid will be refunded in full.


Need to know more…


Kantha embroidery workshop

This traditional kantha workshop  is an opportunity to learn the traditional kantha techniques which informed the more modern, mass-produced West Bengali kantha techniques that have become so popular worldwide recently. The opportunity to learn this ancient textile art from practitioners who have learned it from their mothers, grandmothers and a line of women going back into antiquity is not to be missed! As sarees, dhotis and even bedding become torn or too worn to use, they are layered together, and yarn or cordage salvage form other pieces are threaded between the layers, binding them together in a unique ‘crinkly’ manner. This Kantha stitching is used to decorate the new textile pieces with large, repeating motifs of various kinds.

Konark Sun Temple

learn-a-new-craft-workshop-handicraft-coursesOne 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

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.

Bird-sanctuary-colouricious-holidays-tribal-artA 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.

Tribal arts and crafts

You’ll tour several villages dedicated to one or more traditional art forms:

Sadhi weaving

Traditional Orissan sadhi weaving is a unique form of a continent-wide tradition. The Indian saree is called a ‘Sambalpuri Sadhi’ locally, and the tradition of making these is unique to the region. The warp and weft are separately tie-dyed before weaving begins.

Potters village

At the traditional potter’s village of Bapaniguda, you will see how local clays and minerals have been used to make both sacred and practical vessels since the first stone age peoples migrated to the region, long before recorded history.

Basket weaving

The basket weaving tradition of Eastern India is at least a sold as the pottery tradition. Orissa puts a unique spin on both the bamboo basket weaving techniques usually associated with Bengal, and the ‘moonj’ monsoon grass weaving techniques of Utar Pradesh.

Dokhra metal art

Dokra metalworking techniques that date back to the prehistoric civilisation of Mohenjo-Daro are the specialty of villages like Devrai Art Village. Dokhra metal work is a unique example of ‘lost wax casting’ and it is produced in the manner handed down for thousands of years today.

Stone carving village

The most ancient Orissan stone carving techniques are still practiced in villages like Bhubaneswar, Puri and Lalitgiri. You will have the opportunity to see how some of the most beautiful statuary and architectural decorations in the region were produced.

Hand painted textiles

Orissan Applique workshop


This technique began as a religious observance. It was first used to decorate awnings, umbrellas and shades for statues, effigies and shrines to spiritual entities like Balabhadra, Jagganath and the goddess Subhadra. Whilst the finest examples can still be seen in this traditional context, the technique is also widely used to decorate non-sacred items with the same motifs, primarily animals and birds, flowers and leaves, and other designs inspired by nature.

Colour choice is also important to traditional Orissan applique work. The vast majority of traditional pieces are produced from only four colours – black, white, red and yellow. The striking effect is achieved by stitching highly contrasting colours together.

Recent centuries have seen the inclusion of green to the traditional 4 colour scheme, and the addition of embroidered decorative elements. In this workshop, you will have a chance to practice both the most ancient techniques as well as the more modern variations.



Day 1: 

  • Depart London

Day 2: 

  • Arrive Kolkata
  • Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
  • Stay overnight at Fairlawn

Day 3: 

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • Late morning [1130 Hrs] participate in Kantha weaving workshop.
  • Light lunch will be organised during the workshop on direct payment basis.
  • Rest of the day at leisure for Independent activities.
  • Dinner will be at your hotel.
  • Stay overnight at Fairlawn

colouricious-holiday-tribal-art Tribal Art of Orissa colouricious-tribal-textile-art Tribal Art of Orissa art-textiles-applique Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 4: 

  • Packed Breakfast from the Hotel.
  • Flight Kolkata-Bhubaneshwar [6E 293: 0720-0820 Hrs]
  • Later, drive to Chilika [110 Kms: 3 Hrs] and visit Bird sanctuary at Mangalajodi in Chilika
  • Lunch will be organised on direct payment basis at local restaurant.
  • After Lunch, drive to Gopalpur [50 Kms: 1.5 Hr].
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Gopalpur.

tribal-art-holiday Tribal Art of Orissa  textile-quilting-arts Tribal Art of Orissatextile-art-holiday Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 5: 

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • Drive Gopalpur – Padmanabhpur [65 Kms: 2 Hrs] and witness tie-n-dye on cotton sarees.
  • Light Packed lunch will be arranged on direct payment basis.
  • Drive Padmanabhpur-Saura Tribal village [100 Kms: 4 Hrs] and witness the lifestyle of Saura tribes, especially known for their famous Saura wall mural paintings.
  • Drive Saura-Rayagada. [80 Kms: 2.5 Hrs]
  • Stay overnight at Hotel Sai International in Rayagada.

Day 6:

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast, day excursion to Majhiguda [150 Kms: 3 Hrs] and visit tribal villages
  • Packed Lunch will be arranged from the hotel on direct payment basis.
  • Visit to Paikapada to see Shiva temple of 09th century.
  • Later drive back to Rayagada enroute visiting Desia Kondh village.
  • Stay overnight at Hotel Sai International in Rayagada.

Day 7: 

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast, drive to Jeypore [150 Kms: 1.5 Hrs] enroute visiting Praja & Mali tribes and small village famous for basket weaving.
  • Arrive Jeypore and check-in at your hotel.
  • Lunch will be at your hotel in Jeypore on direct payment basis.
  • After Lunch drive to Kotpad textile village famous for making natural die and using cow dung for printing fabric. [50 Kms: 1 Hr – one way].
  • Stay overnight at Hotel Hello Jeypore in Jeypore.

textile-art-applique-embroidery Tribal Art of Orissa    quilting-arts-textile-art Tribal Art of Orissa   textile-holiday-india Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 8: 

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast day excursion to Ankadelli [80 Kms: 1.5 Hrs] and witness the weekly market of Bonda Tribe.
  • Lunch will be at your hotel on direct payment basis.
  • Late afternoon, transfer to Rayagada railway station to board your overnight train to Bhubaneshwar. [Train: Hirakhand Express: 1542-0825 Hrs (arrival next day)/ AC-Two Tier]
  • Packed Dinner will be arranged from the hotel Hello Jeypore.
  • Sleep overnight in the Train.

Day 9: 

  • Light breakfast will be served on board.
  • Arrive Bhubaneshwar at 0825 Hrs and check-in at your hotel.
  • Later morning, visit Tribal Museum
  • Lunch will be on direct payment basis at local restaurant.
  • After Lunch, visit Weaver’s Service Centre.
  • Rest of the day is at leisure for Independent activities.
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneshwar.

colouricious-textile-holidays1 Tribal Art of Orissa  art-textiles Tribal Art of Orissa textile-holiday-embroidery Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 10:

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • Day excursion to Olasingh village [65 Kms: 2 Hrs] to witness tussar silk weaving.
  • Lunch will be on direct payment basis at local restaurant.
  • After Lunch, visit to Boyanika and local market.
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneshwar

Day 11: 

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • Full day excursion to Nuapatna village [95 Kms: 2.5 Hrs], famous for silk saree weaving especially Khandua Silk and Ikat saris and Sadeibarini village [40 Kms: 1 Hr] known for Dhokra craft.
  • Drive Sadeibarini-Bhubaneshwar airport [90 Kms: 2.5 Hrs]
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Lagoon in Bhubaneshwar.

embroidery-ideas Tribal Art of Orissa   art-crafts-ideas Tribal Art of Orissa embroidery-patchwork Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 12:

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast, drive to Puri, enroute visiting Pipli village [25 Kms: 1 Hr] famous for its applique work, Dhauli and visit Budhist Stupa.
  • Lunch will be at your hotel in Puri.
  • Arrive Puri [45 Kms: 1.5 Hrs] and check in at your hotel.
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Heritage in Puri.

embroidery-quilting-patchwork Tribal Art of Orissa  quilting-arts-textiles-holiday Tribal Art of Orissa  quilting-holiday Tribal Art of Orissa

Day 13:

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast, visits to various nearby villages in tuk-tuk or cart like Potter’s village, Stone Carver’s village or Painter’s village.
  • Light packed Lunch will be arranged on direct payment basis.
  • Afternoon visit Raghurajpur known for palm leaf painting.
  • Rest of the day is at leisure to relax by the sea.
  • Stay overnight at Hotel – Mayfair Heritage in Puri.

Day 14:

  • Breakfast is at the Hotel.
  • After breakfast, check-out from hotel [1100 Hrs] drive back to Bhubaneshwar airport [60 Kms: 1.5 Hrs] enroute visiting Sun Temple in Konark.
  • Lunch will be at local restaurant in Konark.
  • Arrive Bhubaneshwar and board flight 6E 294 [1930: 2030 Hrs] to Kolkata
  • Arrive Kolkata and transfer to hotel near airport
  • Stay overnight at Kolkata Hotel

Day 15:

Depart India


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Listen to what our guests have to say about their Colouricious Creative Holiday



From Jill ... “I enjoyed this holiday enormously. It enabled me to travel to places and see things I could not have done on my own. The guides were excellent and it was great to have someone who could answer questions and explain what we were seeing. I loved visiting the villages, all very different, and it was a privilege to see how people lived. I particularly enjoyed the remote landscape and vegetation in Orissa
The organisation of the holiday was brilliant, from the choice of hotels and travel arrangements, to bottles of water and hand cleanser!
Looking back my overriding impressions are of wonderful colours set against the landscape of India, a very friendly group of people, lovely textiles and great food.Many thanks”

From Katy …I loved every minute of the Colouricious Tribal Textile Tour, and fell completely in love with India through my short exposure to some of the rural, coastal, tribal and spiritual areas of Orissa. My travelling companions, our host and guides were a delight to spend time with and to share in this wonderful textile adventure. We were a fairly mixed bunch, from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of travelling experience, and it is safe to say I was the least travelled of all. However, I felt completely at home, safe, and tremendously well looked after for the entire experience. I’ve never been on holiday with a group of strangers before, but I’d thoroughly recommend it, it’s very liberating to meet, eat with and talk to other textile enthusiasts while learning more about the crafts we love in a beautiful, unreal and sometimes surreal environment. It was also brilliant to spend time with people who all take photos of strange doors and walls and patterns without thinking it’s odd, and to meet fabric shoppers even more obsessed than I am! I came away from Orissa with new friends, lots of shopping and many, many fantastic memories. In just twelve days, I’ve experienced the colours and scents of tribal markets, been welcomed into peoples homes and met people whose way of life is completely alien to mine. I’ve seen an amazing array of plants and animals, visited beautifully carved ninth century Hindu temples, witnessed beautiful crafts and astonishing works of art and slept on a wonderful overnight train. In many ways, twelve days felt like both a month and twelve minutes, but I would do it all again tomorrow if I could. India has so much to offer, and Orissa is such an unspoilt and scarcely visited area, it was a great privilege to visit and enjoy a side of India that many travellers never see. I had high expectations, but I never imagined that I would see or experience quite so much in so little time, nor that the whole trip would be so breathtaking and life changing.”


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