Modhera Sun Temple

by Nicole Farrell

Our Gujarat textile tour is more than textiles! We went on an open jeep safari and saw lots of wildlife, met locals in villages and visited palaces and stepwells. On our final day in Gujarat we went to the Modhera Sun Temple.

   

 

The Modhera sun temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya. It's located in the Modhera village, Gujarat, India. It was built in 1026 and has 3 components: assembly hall, shrine hall and surya kund. They are intricately carved and depicts  scenes from daily life.

 

 

 

  

 There are 52 pillars which depict the 52 weeks of the year.

    

    

    

 The temple is constructed so that during the equinox, the sun rays fall on a diamond placed on the sun God's head. This then illuminates the entire temple.

The sun temple is on our Gujarat Tour itinerary. Read more about the tour here (and download an itinerary)  

Exploring the Textiles of Morocco

by Nicole Farrell

Morocco has a long history of textiles with century old techniques passed down through the generations. 

  

 

  

The souks of both Fez and Marrakesh each have a dying area. Men can be seen dying clothing and textiles. These are then hung to dry.

  

 We stumbled upon many stalls similar to this one. I could not resist a few of the metallic and silk threads for the equivalent of $1 Aussie!

  

I always associate tassels with Morocco as it was a bit of a theme for my first visit to the country. Nothing has changed and I can't walk past a pom pom or tassel! The selection is amazing. 

  

 I found a fabulous little area in the souk of Marrakesh that sold fabulous ribbons and seed beads. 

  

 These clutches have been made using recycled rugs. There were also slippers made from old rugs and I purchased a pair to wear with jeans. They are too nice for slippers!

   

We were lucky enough to visit a women's cooperative which employs disabled ladies for embroidery. The embroidery was of the highest standard and I particularly loved the edging stitch in the left  photo. The stitch is known as 'Darss'. On our October tour, we are excited to offer an optional class at the cooperative. The stitch can be mastered in approximately 2 hours and is a fabulous edge for scarves, napkins etc. There is also the opportunity to visit and observe rather than stitch. 

  

                                   Arts and Crafts of Morocco                                                                              Women Artisans of Morocco

These two books are on my wish list. I have not seen them in person so can't personally recommend but they certainly look good.

 Our March 2020 Morocco Highlights Tour is filling fast. Click here to discover more. 

Meringues, mix masters and the Marrakesh Medina

by Nicole Farrell

Marrakesh is the 4th largest city in Morocco. It's a fortified city with a medina packed with stalls and vendors. The medina is UNESCO listed. It is a maze of alleys with donkeys transporting goods, motorbikes and plenty of people. I honestly think it would be impossible to see it all. Everyday is a new adventure!

On this day, I was thrilled to discover meringues! As a self confessed sugar addict, meringues are a favourite! These remind me of the ones we used to have as kids from woolworths. Bags of tiny coloured meringues! Check out the size of the mix master! 

   

  

Our Morocco Highlights Tour departs in March which is a perfect time of year to visit. Discover more about the tour here.