This journey can be nicknamed as ‘A series of unplanned events.’ The status of the journey was walking a tightrope as the weather had been unfavourable. Bad weather saw flights being cancelled and the roads were being blocked due to landslides. Luckily, the weather cleared up and we were all set to go. Then came the next trouble, our flight to Kullu got cancelled at the last moment. And the group of reporters reached Delhi a day early, causing a huge change in plans. Flights to Kullu were unavailable and the team wasn’t keen on road travel either. After playing with the option of a train journey, we managed to get flight tickets to Kullu. On the day of departure, we were stuck in traffic and reached the airport in the nick of time. The flight was a rough one and we heaved an audible sigh of relief when we landed safely.
Kullu is a pleasant little town set in the foothills of the Himalayas. We were there to introduce the reporter to an indigenous weaving tradition that inspired and shaped the philosophy of the brand of BODICE’s latest woollen collection. The plan to stay in Kullu got extended by a night at the request of the clients. Along with Gopesh, our experience curator, the clients took a walk in the nature valley park which contained some soothing greenery. Since the travel had been hectic, we decided to retire to the rooms and take a quick nap. After lunch, we travelled to a village (Diyaar), about an hour from Kullu. The winding road. We then visited an old temple (Triyugi Narayan Temple) which had some beautiful old Kullu architecture. People were preparing and rehearsing for a festival that was to happen in a week. The clients were excited and listened to Gopesh and a few locals who told them the legend behind temple and the festival. While conversing with the locals, we stumbled into a small loom inside a house there. The woman was weaving a rug from rough wool. We were offered chai which we relished overlooking the scenic valley. After spending our evening there, we decided to head back to Kullu.
The next morning, we met with the members of the community of Bhuttico, a co-operative society started for the preservation of the Bhutti weaving tradition. It provides the artisans with a means of sustenance and recognition that centers around them preserving their craft. We visited the looms of the Bhutti people, where we had scheduled a special workshop that would give the reporters a first-hand experience of the process of weaving wool.. They were taken through the entire weaving process and then made to weave a woollen stole which they later dyed during a indigo dyeing workshop. For lunch, we went to Shivani Thakur’s house, (managing Bhuttico) where we savoured some traditional Kullu food. The workshop happened right behind the factory where they got introduced to the different dyes made from natural ingredients like pomegranate, walnuts, madder root and flowers like night jasmine.. Once done with the workshop the group expressed that they wanted to see more of Delhi, adding that we head back the same night instead of catching the flight next morning. We contacted a few friends and managed to arrange for a cab. Before travelling back to Delhi, we had planned a special candle light dinner for the clients. However, things didn't go as planned and we ended up lighting the candles after the clients arrived for dinner.