The House of MG – short for The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas- is a century-old erstwhile family mansion in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, that has been transformed into a lovely boutique hotel by Abhay Mangaldas, the great grandson of Mangaldas Girdhardas.
The sprawling hotel enjoys a perfect location as it stands just across from Sidi Saiyyed Mosque (built in 1572–73 AD) the city’s most famous monument graced with intricately carved fretted stone window panels, and a short walk from the Old City area of Ahmedabad that received the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage City status in 2017.
The House of MG offers an interesting glimpse of the craft, art and textile heritage of Gujarat in the artefacts displayed through its spaces spanning rooms, suites, passages, courts and staircases, as well as of a lifestyle of times gone by.
For craft and textile lovers, the hotel has an ideal destination: three textile galleries displaying beautiful vintage textiles, garments and home décor accessories from the personal collection of Abhay’s paternal grandmother and his mother who had a deep love for handmade textiles.
Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 exhibit traditional textiles and garments from Gujarat that have been handmade using different and multiple techniques and materials. Savitaben takes visitors around the gallery and identifies the different embroidery stitches made by the different communities that live in Gujarat and specifically in the Kutch district of Gujarat. From fine tie-dye textiles to intricately embroidered skirts, jackets and home accessories, the exhibits convey the wonderful span of embroidery and textile techniques practised in Gujarat
Gallery 3, the Saree and Shawl Gallery, displays a rotating exhibition of handmade shawls and sarees that are draped (rather than stitched) garments from different parts of India. Thus, visitors can see handwoven and hand-embroidered shawls from Kashmir, handwoven saris from Varanasi, ikat saris and more. This gallery broadens the canvas as the visitor sees prized heirloom textiles from different parts of India. These three galleries are open from 10am to 6pm. The recently opened Gallery 4, a jewellery and silver gallery, has beautiful ornaments and accessories. This gallery may be viewed only by prior appointment.
Adjoining the galleries is Ahmedabad Trunk, a textile store where one can see and purchase museum quality textiles and accessories including vintage pieces, and a book store with a choice of books related to Indian textiles, crafts and culture. Local Artisan, a store on the ground level has handmade crafts, art, garments and more that are perfect for oneself or to gift!. Find out more information here
Text by Brinda Gill, Images by House of MG
Join Polly Leonard on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the textiles of India. 12 February to 9 March 2023 Find out more information here