IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, my passion for craft has transformed how I travel. Without calling attention to itself in the way of art or architecture, craft quietly sits at the nexus of everything unique to a place: its landscape, notions of beauty and ritual, its history, its sufferings, and its hope. While craft is born of necessity—the making of the things we need to survive —almost every culture has also devised ways to make these things beautiful and delightful. Craft, I believe, is an expression of our common humanity, and yet it manifests in exquisitely varied and ingenious ways.
Few places are as rich in this heritage as the city of Jaipur. In the 18th century, its ruler Sawai Jai Singh II brought artisans from all over the subcontinent to adorn his court. Despite myriad setbacks over the past 300 years, Jaipur forged a legacy as a center of crafts, from massive geometric rugs to delicate brass statuettes.
So when David Prior, a friend, and journalist turned travel planner, asked me to host an intimate, 10-day craft-based tour for his club, Prior (membership from ₹1,82,690; prior. club), I immediately chose India, with Jaipur as our starting point. Since I am crazy for Indian fabrics—from fine silk saris to sturdy cotton lehengas—we focussed our 72 hours in Jaipur on textiles.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Spoil yourself silly with organic face oils, Ayurvedic hair cleansers, luxe sleeping masks, and more.
NEW GEAR INCOMING
Autumn brings with it a windfall of exciting launches in India. Add your favourite tech to cart and indulge in retail therapy.
THE ROAD TO MY ROOTS
A dysfunctional family finds harmony and plenty of nostalgia in the hilly forests of Ramgarh, Uttarakhand.
WHERE SIDDHA SERENADES
Offering a mix of stillness, spirituality, and Siddha, a trip to Svatma in Thanjavur promises to soothe the mind, body, and spirit.
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS OF ART
As the Kochi-Muziris Biennale—deferred to November this year due to the pandemic—dusts away the cobwebs at Aspinwall House, unspools the yarn at Cabral Yard, and contextualises the contemporary at Kashi Art Cafe, it is time to look back at some of the art extravaganza’s most thought-provoking narratives.
MASKS OF GLORY
Charida is not the most popular tourism spot in West Bengal. But its obscurity is one of the reasons that made UPASYA B choose to discover the undiscovered ‘mask village’ of India.
BEAUTY BY DESIGN
After decades of war and political turmoil, Beirut’s artists and makers continue to produce boundary-pushing works as the city rebuilds. GISELA WILLIAMS visits Arthaus, an innovative hotel that offers guests access to Lebanon’s irrepressible creative scene.
East Java is home to some of Indonesia’s most spectacular volcanoes, including one with blue fire. NIVEDANA JALAN embarks on a daring expedition.
An Endless Summer
The brand new Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa puts a refreshing European spin on the luxuries of the gorgeous archipelago.
ART FOR EVERYONE
Kiran Nadar’s delightful, diverse collection of 5,000 artworks represents all the major phases of modern and contemporary Indian art at the two venues of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. The iconic art connoisseur speaks with SUMEET KESWANI about the importance of accessibility, digital and immersive exhibits, and her favourite cities and museums.
Simple STEP STOOL
A fresh approach to a Shaker tradition
As tough as they come
Create a convertible bedroom with cool cabinetry, the right hardware kit, and clear instructions.
FUN with FRIDGE MAGNETS
Have a micro-blast turning precious scrap into useful hangers-on
Dramatic curves from your table saw
Arts & Crafts WALL CLOCK
My mission to create a Craftsman clock on the table saw
IRELAND INVESTIGATES TIKTOK OVER CHILD, CHINA DATA CONCERNS
TikTok is facing two EU data privacy investigations, one into its handling of children’s personal data and another over its data transfers to China.
TESLA BUILDS 1ST STORE ON TRIBAL LAND, DODGES STATE CAR LAWS
Carmaker Tesla has opened a store and repair shop on Native American land for the first time, marking a new approach to its years-long fight to sell cars directly to consumers and cut car dealerships out of the process.
NUCLEAR SUBMARINE DEAL WILL RESHAPE INDO-PACIFIC RELATIONS
The U.S., Britain and Australia have announced they’re forming a new security alliance that will help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. The alliance will see a reshaping of relations in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Here’s what it might mean for various players:
INTERNET FUNDING RULE COULD FAVOR RURAL AREAS OVER CITIES
Cities and urban counties across the U.S. are raising concerns that a recent rule from President Joe Biden’s administration could preclude them from tapping into $350 billion of coronavirus relief aid to expand high-speed internet connections.