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KUTCH TOURISM
DESERT-GUJARAT-KUTCH

Amazing Wonders of Kutch :

 

 RANN OF KUTCH: A Seasonal Salt Marsh, in the Kutch District is Reputed to

be the largest White Salt Desert in the World

 

White Rann :

The Great Rann of Kutch also called Greater Rann of Kutch or just Rann of Kutch, is a seasonally marshy saline clay desert located in the Thar Desert bio-geographic province in the Kutch District, state of Gujarat situated 8 km away from village Kharaghoda located in the Surendranagar District. The Rann of Kutch comprises some 30,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) between the Gulf of Kutch.
 
The Great Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India and the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometres (2,897.78 sq mi) in size and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. This area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people. The greater Rann of Kutch is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Migratory birds deem it an abode during diverse weather conditions.

 

Entree fee for Dhordo White desert

Per Adult                                             100 INR

Per Child below 12 years                    50 INR

Per Two wheeler vehicle                     25 INR

Vehicle other than 2 wheelers           50 INR

 

Black Hill (Kalu Dungar):

It is tallest hillock in Kutchh and has a shrine of Dattatreya widely known as Pacchamai Pir. A fair is held in the month of Sravan every year. The lord of Western Kutch & the Guardian of Western Border “Shree Guru Dattatreya” One of the India’s biggest Districts & Gujarat’s cost district Kutch’s capital is Bhuj. There is a village of Khavda exactly 70kms in the northern side of Bhuj, stretched in 229 Sq. meters by the group of hills. Dutt shikhar is having the height of 1460 feets from sea level. The hills are well known in locals as Kala Dungar or Panchchhamayi. the top of the Black Hills is the highest point in Kutch, at 462 m. From here, the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, the desert and sky often becoming indistinguishable. Looking out from the Black Hills, you can understand the tremendous effort that those who undertake the crossing of the Great Rann have to make. Since this is one of the places where a civilian can get closest to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed. The hill is also the site of a 400-year-old temple to Dattatreya, the three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the same body.
 
Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
 
Reaching the hilltop by public transport is difficult; the only bus travels there from Khavda on weekend evenings and returns in the early morning. Hiring a jeep from Khavda is your other option. Visiting in the early morning or late afternoon is recommended, though with a few more hours there are nice hikes to do around the hill. Be sure to take your own food and water and if you want to stay the night, there is a dharamshala next to the temple.

 

Kutch Fossil Park

Fossil Park is 60 Km from Bhuj. Mohansinh Sodha visionary man has faced lots of trouble in his life come up as hero and devoted his full life in collection of fossils which found in the land of Kutch district of India. We may conclude him as legendary personality living on goddess Earth. This collection of fossils we may count it as wealth of nation as well as for Geology too. Lets have his view on fossils and Kachchh Fossil park in his words.
 
Since long in the nineteenth century, Kutch attracted British officers by its varied landscape, ethnic variation, wealth and unique rocks of the barren hills. It was after the great triangulation survey by British administration in Kutch that they realized that unique fossil contents in the rocks of Kutch. They appointed several surveyors and researchers who did arduous field work and extensive study on the rocks, minerals and fossils of Kutch. A similar study was taken over by many Indian experts who were trainde in this subject. After identification of number of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils of Kutch, the region became famous all over India and the entire world especially in various Geology Department.
 
Kutch was then accredited as famous fossil site in the world being a small geological basin, where numerous species of invertebrates and vertebrates fossils are found in a limited geographical area.

 

Kutch Fossil Park: A Fossil Treasure in Kutch (India)

Way back in early seventies as an army personal I observed unusual form of rocks while wandering the barren hills of Kutch. This unusual rock a fossil Ammonote made a tsunami change in my conception of life. I migrated From Sindh province of Pakistan to Kutch leaving behind relatives and belongings way back in 1971 Indo-Pak war, and got involved with the army to offer valuable service then. The long exposure since then in studying and collecting fossils from Kutch is unexplainable in this para but the marvelous collection of thousands of fossils will certainly be a living records of skeletons and dead organisms as old as 150 million years.
 
Mohansinh m. Sodha, I formed a society, Kutch Fossils Park in 2002. perhaps, it is the first stone of great fossil museum in Kutch. the homeland of Fossils. Another aspect to be noted is the accredition given, after a new vertebrates fossil species was found from western kutch. the research was carried out by Roorki Institute Of Technology scientist on the vertebrates Sea-cow fossil collected by me as new species in india, so they decided to give its name after me. The species will be known as Dommingia Sodhae.

 

Timing: 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM / 02:00 PM / 05:00 PM

Fees:  Rs. 53/-

 

Chhari Dhandh

The Chari-Dhand wetland conservation reserve is located on the edge of arid Banni grasslands and the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch in Kutch District, Gujarat State in India. It is currently legally protected under the status as a Protected or Reserve Forest in India. Chari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland, Dhand is a Sindhi word for a shallow saucer shaped depression. This is a seasonal desert wetland and only gets swampy during a good monsoon, receiving water from the north flowing rivers as well as from the huge catchment areas of many surrounding big hills. It is spread over an area of 80 km2. It is in Nakhtrana Taluka, 80 km south west to the city of Bhuj, about 7 or 8 km from Fulary village and 30 km from Nakhtrana town. It is home to nearly two lakh birds with migratory and endangered species of birds flocking into the area in thousands during monsoon and winters. This wetland is home to thousands of migratory waterfowl. During a good monsoon year Chhari-Dhand (Dhand, a shallow lake) gets inundated with rain water that lasts through-out the year and is a paradise for amateur bird watchers, wetland and wildlife expers. It provides habitat for 55 species with the abundance of around 50,000 birds. Many of these fall under the rare and threatened categories. Many raptor species, Greater flamingo , Great white pelican, Common pochards and Common coot are some of the bird species commonly found here. The Indian wolf, Jungle cat, Chinkara, Caracal are the threatened mammalian fauna that depend on this wetland.

 

Bhunga

Bhunga of Kutch (A circular hut from Kutch, Gujarat). Bhunga is a type of hut from dessert area of Gujarat, Kutch. It is a earthquake proof design made out of Mud blocks, Mud plastering and mud flooring.
 
Bhungas are traditional houses unique to the Kutch region in Gujarat. The houses are circular walled with thatched roof. They are known for their structural stability in earthquakes and for being climate responsive. It also protects against sandstorms and cyclonic winds.
 
It is constructed using locally available materials like clay, bamboo, timber, etc. Structurally the roof is placed on two thick wooden posts placed across the circular walls. These two posts bear the weight of the roof. Wooden framed windows are set at a lower level for cross ventilation. The low hanging roofs cover the walls against direct sunlight and add to the insulation from the environment. The thatched roof is built on top of the walls resting on a spiral frame forming a cone.
 
The traditional bhunga requires periodic maintenance, a regular application of lipai or lime plastering to the walls and floor, and the replacement of the dried grass on the roof. The exterior walls are adorned with colourful paintings while the interiors are decorated with exquisite mud and mirror work.
 
The main peculiarity of Bhunga is its design. Generally ordinary houses are of square or rectangular shape, instead of that Bhunga houses are of round shape. At the time of earthquake it was noted that when skyscrapers made of cement and steel felled like a pack of cards, Bhungas stood strong due to its composition and size. Thus Bhungas are very popular due to their unique make. Bhungas are made of different materials like was there are different types also. Generally in tradition Bhunga babool wood, grass is used as a structure and earth/cow dung is used for plastering and flooring.
 
The roof is made of wooden top dome where bamboo sticks are tied together with a dried grass rope which weaved with thick layer of grass is then placed on the roof and securely tied down. The walls are made of bamboos sticks with a layer of grass tied to it. Mud and cow dung are used as wall plaster over the grass. They are single cylindrical structures put close to each other to form a house. In common terminology, each bhunga would be equivalent to a room in a house. Bhungas are mainly found in desert islands in the northern parts of Kutch region of Gujarat- specially Banni and Pachham.

 

Banni and Pachchham

 

Banni:

The Banni grassland of Gujarat is the largest natural grassland in the Indian subcontinent, and an area that is both socio-culturally unique and ecologically valuable. The Banni has a long history of migratory pastoralism going back at least 500 years, and linking with a broader geographical landscape that included Sindh in Pakistan and even extended into parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan. This physical link was truncated at the time of partition, with pastoral communities settling on either side of the India-Pakistan border.
 
Many factors have served to shape the Banni over time, including the damming of rivers that formerly drained the area of salt ingress from the neighbouring sea, the spread of Prosopis juliflora, a fast growing exotic that was planted in the hope it would keep  salinity  at bay, and the continually varying composition and density of livestock that have grazed these grasslands for many centuries.
 
Overlain on these bio-physical processes are a range of social factors that shape the terms of pastoralist access to and use of the Banni. Among these are the twenty two ethnic communities that comprise the “maldhari” pastoralists whose livestock have grazed this landscape and whose institutions have determined the terms on which different communities have accessed different parts of the Banni. There is also continuing ambiguity with regard to the tenurial regime that regulates access to and use of the Banni, with the Forest Department, the Revenue Department and the Pastoralist Association claiming rights to and control over the Banni. There are therefore a set of competing visions for the use of this vast grassland, including as a grassland to be conserved for its unique biodiversity, as an ecosystem that has sustained, and should continue to sustain, an extensive wide-ranging animal husbandry; and as an area that produces charcoal in support of power-plants being set up on the edge of the Banni.
 
RAMBLE was established to study the social and ecological transformations in the Banni and help answer some of the difficult questions around land use and management. RAMBLE is an open researcher platform where scholars can undertake disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research on various aspects of the Banni grassland ecosystem, its pastoral communities and their interaction with the Banni grassland. Research is expected to help nuance our understanding of the ecological, institutional and socio-economic drivers that have helped shape this ecosystem. Ultimately, such understanding is expected to feed into ongoing policy dialogue with regard to the future management and use of the Banni.

 

Pachchham :

Patcham Island shows physical features similar to the Kachchh Mainland and consists of two east to west running hill ranges, namely, Kaladongar (Black hills) range and Goradongar (White hills) range separated by central valley. The Kaladongar range runs along the northern margin of the island with an escarpment facing to the north and high plateau sloping gently to the south into the Central valley. Two small hills, Dingy hill and Flamingo hill, occur to the north of the escarpment near the Rann. The Goradongar range runs along the southern margin of the island throughout its length with an escarpment facing the central valley to the north and a slope to the south into the Banni plain. A rocky terrain with small hills form the islet of Kuar bet in the north-west and Mori bet covered by sand dunes, in the north-west of Patcham Island.

 

Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary

Kutch Bustard Sanctuary or Kachchh Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, also known as Lala–Parjan Sanctuary, is located near Jakhau village in Nalia Taluka, Kutch District, Gujarat, India. This sanctuary is one of the two great Indian bustardsanctuaries in Gujarat; the other one is in Jamnagar. It was declared as a sanctuary in July 1992, specifically for the conservation of the great Indian bustard, the heaviest flying bird belonging to the avian family of Otididae. However, the sanctuary presently legally covers a protected area of about 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) of area (202.86 hectares (501.3 acres) of fenced land only and is the smallest sanctuary in the country. Several suggestions have been made to vastly increase the size of this sanctuary as it is a breeding ground of the endangered great Indian bustard. The reason is that its ecological zone is much larger on account of anthropogenic and cattle population pressure that are considered as a ‘biotic threat’ to this omnivorous species.
 
Extensive grasslands of Kutch, spreading across the horizon enlivened with avifaunal and mammalian life is an ideal place for any vacationer to get spellbound by the rustic exquisiteness of nature. The Kutch Bustard Sanctuary set amidst this natural haven stretches over an area of 2 square kilometers in the Abdusa Taluka near Nalia in Kutch. The woodlands covering the Jhakau and Budia villages extend to this magnificent sanctuary which is the sole home of Great Indian Bustard bird and various other life forms. The area was declared an indigenous home to Great Indian Bustard and a sanctuary in the year 1992.
 
Great Indian Bustard is a large ground dwelling bird with long neck and ostrich like elongated legs. This endangered species with its neutral colored coat blends with the semi-arid grassland, and provides a visual surprise to the visitors. Lesser Florican Bustards breed here while the flamboyant Macqueen’s Bustard is a winter visitor of this region. The sanctuary is considered a unique dwelling for these birds which are almost becoming extinct in other regions of the country. Other rare species of animals and birds are fellow habitants who make this sanctuary a treat for nature connoisseurs.  Chinkaras, jungle cats, Nilgai and many other mammals inhabit this area, along with the Indian wolf which proliferates in this untamed retreat.

  • The Great Indian bustard, locally called as ‘Ghorad’ lives in the open. The bird breeds during the rains and it is also the best time to visit the sanctuary.
  • The sanctuary is also home to several other species of birds including harriers, common cranes, black partridges, sand grouses, black and grey francolin and many others.
  • One also gets to see wild animals like wolf, desert cat, blue bull, striped hyena, etc. Tourist can also spot flamingos, herons, egrets in the coastal areas of Jakhau during winters.

Fauna

Important animals- Wolf, caracal, desert cat, jackal, hyena, fox, mongoose, bluebull, chinkara, spiny tailed lizard, royal snake etc.

Important birds : Great Indian Bustards, lesser floricans, houbara bustards, harriers, common cranes, black partridges, sand grouses etc.

 

Traditional Water systems

Extreme whether conditions and frequent droughts in this area have led the local people to evolve innovative ways to capture and manage the rain water. They dig shallow pits called virdas in almost invisible depressions in the ground, just over the surface. The people scoop it out when needed. Even if it seeps down to the body it cannot be readily agitated underground, the two do not easily mix. As the fresh water diminishes, the saline water gradually rises through the soil and collects at the bottom of the virda, but does not immediately contaminate the potable water above. Just 25 cm of rain is enough to provide fresh water for a few months.

 

Ports of Kutch

 

Ports of Kutch District are dealing with the main outland ports of Western India. Gujarat state has the largest coastline having variety of natural advantages for maritime activities. Ports in the Gulf of Kutch have played a key role in promoting trade activities.
 
Kutch has good number of large ports like Mandvi port, Kandla port, Mundra port and Jakhau port. There is not much for tourists here except the view of large number of ships and boats standing by the shore and some ship construction centres.

 

Mandvi Port:
Mandvi is known for its port and sea. Mandvi port was once the principal port of Kutch that was developed under Maharao Shree Khengarji-I in 16th century in Gujarat. Mandvi port is not in much use now but many boats and ships are made here nowadays.
 
The port is well known for country craft construction business from ancient time. Traffic is moved by country craft and lighter age vessels at this port. There is ample opportunity to develop repair facilities by constructing slipway. Clay, bauxite, cotton seeds, salt and oil cakes are exported from here. Fertilizers, building materials and dates are the major products imported

 

Kandla Port: 90 kms from the Gulf of Kutch, Kandla Port, a national port under Ministry of Commerce situated on the Kandla stream, is one of the eleven most important ports of India. Kandla Port is the most economical major port in terms of tariff and operational expenditure.

 

Mundra Port:
Located at 60 km West of Gandhidham, Gujarat on the northern coast of the Gulf of Kutch and almost 10 Kms far from Mundra city, Mundra Port is about 65 km from Bhuj and 400 km from Ahmedabad. Mundra Port provides a convenient international trade gateway to Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East. The port is frequented by many large ships and steamers for trade. It is also known for dry fruit ‘Kharek’ that is exported to the other states from here.

 

Jakhau Port: 130 km from Bhuj (capital of Kutch), Jakhau is one of the oldest ports of Kutch which still retains its old beauty and is famous for fishing. Jakhau is a village 17 km south of Naliya, the taluka headquarters of Abdasa taluka of Kutch with its port situated a further 15 km southwards. There is a centre for coastguard and water department of B.S.F. in Jakhau Port.

 

Must visiting Villages of Kutch

 

Bhujodi Village

A small town just 8 km southeast of Bhuj, Bhujodi (shopping market of Handicraft product) is a major textile center of Kutch, with the vast majority of the 1200 inhabitants involved in textile handicraft production. Here you can meet weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of whom belong to the Vankar community. Many will let you watch them work; just ask around.
 
About a kilometer from Bhujodi is the Ashapura Crafts Park, set up by a corporate non-profit wing to help artisans display and sell their work and organizes dance and music events on weekends. Shrujan is a local non-profit set up 40 years ago to allow women to market their work better and earn a better living from it. The Shrujan campus is an interesting place to visit, with embroidery exhibits, a production center and excellent examples of local architecture with environmental awareness in mind.
 
Bhujodi is a major textile center of Kutch with more than 1000 inhabitants involved in textile handicraft production. The village hosts a handicraft mela all year long with special dance and song performances on weekend. All the handicrafts including embroidery, mud work, metal work, wood work, terra-cota pots with human faces, potteries, block printing, bandhani shawls etc. are typical to Kutch area.

 

Timing: 09:00 Am to 08:30 PM

 

Ajrakhpur Village

Ajrakhpur is known worldwide for the art of Ajrakh, block printing uses colors derived from nature, such as indigo, henna, turmeric, pomegranate, iron and mud. In some cases, the fabrics are washed up to 20 times. The printing blocks are hand-carved. Ismail Mohammed Khatri’s traditional expertise in block-printing and natural dyes was given due recognition when De Montfort University of Leicester presented this skilled craftsman with an honorary doctorate in textiles. The Khatris are a community of block-printers adept in the 3,000-year-old art of Ajrakh. The process is complex and involves 16 different processes. Ismail Mohammed Khatri has gained critical acclaim for his innovative use of natural dyes that include a mixture of camel dung, soda ash and castor oil, waste iron, myrobalan, madder, indigo, pomegranate peel boiled in water, sprays of turmeric water and the root of rhubarb.
 
Against the dull canvas of the Kachchh desert the rich and bold colours of the textiles are strikingly displayed. The millennia old tradition of weaving and dyeing textiles originated in this Indus Valley region in the North West of India, and is still in abundance today.
 
For a typical Kachchhi man or woman, their cloth is an essential everyday commodity and decoration as well as a symbol of their identity. Whether woven, embroidered, printed or tie-dyed, the textiles worn by a person in this area can reveal a multitude of details about their caste, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status and economic standing.
 
The highly skilled and patterned ajrakh block-printing (read more about the process here) came to Kachchh from Sind 400 years ago when the Muslim Khatris (artisans who ‘apply colour to cloth’) settled in the village of Dhamadka. In 2001 a devastating earthquake severely damaged Bhuj, Dhamadka and other villages and towns all over the Kachchh region. In the wake of this tragedy, the Khatris were brought closer together and a new village was created to rebuild their lives and their craft production, aptly named Ajrakhpur (‘place of Ajrakh’). Today there are Khatris living and working in both villages.

 

Places of interest:

Dr. Ismail mohammed khatri (son of mohammed siddique) in ajrakhpur invites tourists to come and stay with his family and learn the craft of ajrakh.

Address: ajrakhpur. Post: kukma, bhuj, kachchh 370105, gujarat, india.

 

Kala raksha– headquarters, shop and museum

Address: Parkar Vas, Sumrasar Sheikh: Ta Bhuj, Kutch 370 001, India

 

Kukma Village

Kukma or Kookma is a village near the Bhuj town, taluka in Kachchh District of Indian State of Gujarat. It is located at a distance of 16 kilometers from Bhuj, the headquarters of Kachchh District. The kukma village is amoung the main weaving centers fo kuchchh.
 
Khamir is a vibrant active campus that is open to the public. We welcome anyone who is interested to visit us and spend some time learning about what we do. Khamir works to strengthen and promote the rich artisanal traditions of Kachchh district. Our name stands for Kachchh Heritage, Art, Music, Information and Resources. Khamir means ‘intrinsic pride’ in Kachchhi, the local language.
 
When to Come : Our campus is open from 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday.
 
While open year round, our campus is at its active best in the winter season, between October and March. During these six months of the year, the harsh Kachchh climate cools considerably and it is the time when most visitors arrive to sample what the district has to offer.

 

Address:

KHAMIR Craft Resource Centre

Behind BMCB Social City

Lakhond-Kukma Crossroads

Post Village Kukma, Taluka Bhuj

Kachchh, Gujarat 370105

India

Phone: +91 02832 – 271272/422

 

Dhamadka Village 

A major center of the ajrakh block-printing technique, Dhamadka is about 50 km east of Bhuj. Some artisans have now relocated to Ajrakhpur, closer to the city, since the earthquake of 2001.

 

Kera Village

Just 22 kms south of Bhuj on the road to Mandra, Kera houses the ruins of a Shiva Temple that dates to the era of the Solanki rulers. Only part of the temple remains, as much was destroyed in the 1819 earthquake, but the inner sanctum is still there, as well as half of the main spire. The Fort of Kapilkot, also in a rather rundown state, is next to the temple.

 

Dhrang Village

This village hosts the Dhrang mela.
 
Dhrang is a small village in the extreme north-west of Kutchh District in Gujarat. The village is on the border to Pakistan and is about 40 km from Bhuj. Dhrang is known for the famous Saint Mekaran Dada who served the community with devotion. As his Samadhi lie in this place, his large number of followers from different parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan come to Dhran to pay homage and participate in religious rituals.
 
Born in 1720 AD, Saint Mekaran Dada founded his Ashram in Dhrang. He spent all his life serving the cause of humanity. He preached against untouchability and superstitions. Legend says that, Saint Mekaran Dada had a dog named motio and a donkey named Lalio with whom he used to wander into the Rann daily with water and food to quench the thirst and show the direction to the lost travellers. Known for his simple living and high thinking, Saint Mekaran Dada left behind a legacy of his preaching, which earned him the respect and devotion of generations to come. Of the Tribals, the Ahir community considers Saint Mekaran Dada as God. A large fair is held every year on Magh Vad 14 (February-March).

 

Sumrasar Village

On the way to banni to bhuj take a detour to Sumrasar Sheikh to visit Kala Raksha, non- profit organization that works with a number of communities, aims to preserve and promote Kutch arts, and specialises in Suf, Rabari and Garasia Jat embroidery. The trust has a small museum, works with nearly 600 artisans from seven different communities and can arrange visits to villages to meet artisans and see them at work.

 

Bhirandiyara Village

Bhirandiyara – A Beautiful Kutch Village. This small village – Bhirandiyara on the way.  It was a cluster of about 20 houses and every member of the village is an artisan in some way. The town is most famous for its fresh MAAVO, milk reduced to a thick fudge-like consistency & sweetened with suger – best when eated hot. The local meghwal community is known for its fine embroidery & colorful mud bhungas.

 

Ludiya Village / Gandhi nu Gam

Ludiya is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages.  Ludiya is located 70kms north of Bhuj in Banni districk of Kutch. It is 3 kms from Khawda. The total area of the village is about 5 square kilometers and the population is about 2000 people predominantly Muslims and a few Harijan families. (Harijan, literally ‘child of God’ was a term coined by Gandhiji to refer to the lowest caste people in the Hindu religion hierarchy). Gandhi nu Gam, inhabitated by the Meghwal Community, flaunts beautifully painted circular huts organized around the temple. Between the vibrant Kanjari Blouse of the women & the men hunched over the various corners carving wood. The village is an aesthetic delight.
 
The main occupation of the women folk in the village is making beautiful embroidery work and tradional crafts while the men make decorative furniture.
 
The village has no streets. The space between two houses is used as a pathway. I was actually looking for one when I entered the village.
 
The houses of the village have a typical structure called bhunga with intricate decorations both inside and outside. While the outside is decorated with vibrant motifs, the inside has has clay designs with mirror work. These houses are really an architecture marvel. The thick walls keep the house cool even when the temperature reaches close to 50 degrees centigrade in summer. I could feel it when I entered one of the houses. Some of these houses are as old as 100 years but look like new.

 

Navavas Village

Situated just before Ludiya, the village of Navavas also comprises the Meghwal community & is another great place to find beautifully crafted embroidery & woodwork. Meet with Hirabhai Marwara, who heads the village work shed, to see interesting experiments with wood designs.

 

Khavda Village

For those heading northwards, Khavda, 66 kms along the principal road going north of Bhuj, is a major stop and the last place to get bottled water and fruits before heading to other destinations. The center of town also has Kutchi food available. The town has excellent potters and leather craftsmen (indicating a heavy Muslim presence, as Hindus do not use leather), and ajrakh block-printing at khatrivas. The KMVS office in Khavda sells embroidered handmade dolls and other textile products and is run by local women. Khavda is also the departure point to visit the world’s largest flamingo colony, at a lake in the desert out past Jamkundaliya, where a half million flamingos stop over on their migrations every year. The flamingo colony can only be reached by camel and is best visited in the winter.
 
Khavda is also the departure point to visit the world’s largest flamingo colony, at a lake in the desert out past Jamkundaliya, where a half million flamingos stop over on their migrations every year. The flamingo colony can only be reached by camel and is best visited in the winter (Oct. to Mar).

 

Hodka Village

This cultural village is located in the Banni Grassland, right on the edge of the great salt desert – the Rann. The village is a cluster of houses situated close to each other. Seven to eight families live in a cluster. The village is famous for its craft like decorative mirrors, lamps, hand fans, letter boxes, wall hanging, lather, clay, wood, metal and mud work especially the exquisite silver jewellery. The artisans sell their goods directly from their artistic huts which are popularly known as Bhungas.
 
The Hodka village is believed to have been set up by the Halepotra clan. ‘Halepotra’ literally means the ‘son or the descendant of Halaji’, who is believed to have immigrated from Sindh.
 
Along with the Halepotra, who are Muslims, the Hindu Meghwals have also settled in Hodka.
 
The Halepotras – belonging to the bigger group called Maldharis, or cattle breeders – believe their ancestors originated from Saudi Arabia and reached Kutch via Iran, Baghdad and Sindh in search of pastures for their cattle.
 
The Meghwals- also known as Marwada Meghwals- believe their ancestors came from Marwar, Rajasthan. They are traditionally leather craftsmen and settled in Banni which was rich in livestock. Today there are 8 nokhs (sub castes) of the Meghwal community residing in Hodka.

 

Dhordo Village

Dhordo is 80 KM for Bhuj which is Full of banni hospitality & rich culture. Dhordo is mostly occupies by the mutwa community, who hail from Sindh. The women are ingenious with needle & thread, creating an extremely fine style of embroidery called Mutwa that is patterned around tiny mirror. Visit the hospitable Miyabhai Hussein Mutwa or Mehmoodbhai Elias Mutwa to see & learn more about their exquisite mud craft, usually found along interior walls, & Mutwa embroidery.

 

Jura and Nirona Village

On the way to Bhuj stop by Jura & Nirona to meet master craftmen Elias Lohar or Haji Vali Mohammad to learn about the skill-intensive process of tuning the famous copper bells of Jura. Nirona, about 6 KM from Jura, is home to about half a dozen distinct craft forms. Visit Abdul Gafur Khatri, who belongs to the last remaining family of Rogan artisians, & watch him use a metal stick and some castor – oil based colors to create vivid compositions. Observe Sugar Saya or Mala Khamisa in Vadavas as they transform wood with bright lacquer colors.

 

Religiously Interesting Places of Kutch

 

Rudramata Temple

Rudrani temple here is dedicated to 04 Hindu Goddess – Ashapura, Rudrani, Ravechi & Momaya. 14 kms from Bhuj, on the road to Khavada, this temple, located at a scenic spot on the banks of the river Khari, is the presiding deity of the Maharajas of Kutch – the Jadeja family. According to mythology, it is 400 years old. A stone’s throw away from the temple is the Garha Safari Lodge, a theme hotel that has a panoramic view of the river and offers an experience of staying in bhoongas , the traditional dwellings of the villagers but with all the modern comforts. The temple garden and nearby nursery of medicinal plants stands in stark contrast against the arid landscape. The garden draws water from the nearby Rudramata Dam.

 

Mekran Dada Temple

The space between the dry desert village 40 km away from bhuj dhrang font uninterrupted water flowing the last 300 years. This space is known as water Mekaran dada disclosed. Dhrang is known for the Samadhi of a famous saint Mekaran Dada who died here.
 
Four font phutya and flows are consistent with new lies. Sant Kabir called Kutch here mekarangrandfather has had a kapadi. Mekaran grandfather us trisul bhokata phutyani story of water in the desert.
 
The fair held three days well dhrang day of Maha Shivaratri. The pool water bath to prevent the disclosureof any carmarog cured there is a belief. Lord Shiva is a very sacred memory of “Mahashivratri” This holy day, Mekran Dada on re-named.
 
This is an annual event and also the fair during the Gujarat tourism department “Kutch Festival” event. The fair is also known for its old-time rural tradition – “Mall-Akhado” (wrestling) and “Renkda-races” (kart racing). The ‘grandfather Mekand fair’ is a major event and Kutch, Gujarat State in India is a center of tourist attraction.

History of Saint Mekran dada:-

Sant Mekan Dada it is said was born in 1720. In a small village name Khumbdi at kuttch. His father Hardolji and his mother pababa. Sant Mekran has one younger brother name Pataji, later he has followed Muslim religion and knows as patangsha pri even his live samadhi (tomb) are located in village dhrang with sant Mekran dada.
 
He spent almost whole his life criss-crossing the Rann of Kutch, doing this humanitarian services. In his late life he established himself in Dhrang, in year 1786. He also had five disciples with him, who religiously followed him and along with Sant Mekan Dada did the humanitarian services, as explained above.
 
Rao Desalji was also a great follower of Sant Mekan Dada. He used to preach villagers and his followers also. He preached against untouchability and superstitions. The Sant Mekan Dada later took a live Samadhi along with his twelve followers in Dhrang village. The Samadhi are one of the most revered sites of Kutch and people of all communities go there to pay their.
 
He spent his whole life in Rann of Kutch, looking after survivors and people lost in desert and serving them food, water and shelter. His two partners were “Laliyo”, the Donkey and “Motiyo”, the dog. He would load “Laliyo”-donkey with water and food and the “Motiyo” was trained by him to direct the “Laliyo” to travelers lost in great desert of Kutch.
 
Thus they would provide water, food and direction to the hungry, thirsty and lost travelers and nomads passing through the Rann of Kutch He was also a good poet and composed several hymns based on the Hindu philosophy. Today he is worshipped as the re-incarnation of Lakshman by the kapdi community.
 
His Samadhi along with that of his faithful friend Motiya, the dog and Lalia, the donkey, at Dhrung (Dharang) village about 40 km from Bhuj, Gujarat, is the venue of the annual Mekan Dada Fair, dedicated to him, which takes place on the eve of Mahashivratri (February – March) every year, attracting people from Gujarat and Rajasthan to participate in the religious rituals

 

Than Monastery

Than Monastery is about 60 kms from Bhuj. A beautiful temple complex tucked away in the quiet countryside of Kutch district. Than Monastery is situated at the foot of Dinodhar Hill and is dedicated to Dhoramnath.  The temple is made with limestone, mud and plastered with cement and one can see bright vermillion colour smeared on various walls. Dinodhar Hill is located near Nani Aral village, in Nakhatrana Taluka, Kutch District , Gujarat, in India. Dinodhar Hill is a tourist and pilgrimage spot. Dinodhar Hill, an inactive volcano rising to an elevation of 386 meters, has a temple dedicated to Dharmanath (Dhoramnath) at its peak. Dharmanath, founder of exclusive monastic order, Kanfata (slit-ears), is said to have stood on his head for twelve years as penance for a curse he made. Atop Dinodhar, there are spectacular views of the Great Rann and the Chhari Dhandh wetland, especially after a good rain. This area abounds with wildlife and flora and is a trekker destination. At the bottom of Dinodhar Hill stands the 500-year-old Than Monastery belonging to the Kanfata sect.

 

Bohter Yaksh Temple

It is about 35 Kms from Bhuj. It is a 9th/10th century A.D. temple raised on a high plinth and has some fine sculpture on display. This temple is also known as Purneshwar Temple. Purvano oppressed his subjects, especially the Sanghar people in the neighboring village. To deliver them from his tyranny, 72 (Bother) warriors or yakshas (jakhs in Kachchhi), belived to be of Assyrian origin, & their sister Sayari, settled on a nearby hilltop, named Kakkad Bhit after the eldest of the Yakshas. They killed the king. The Sanghars made the Yakshas their patron deities and erected the Bohter yaksh Temple in memory of this event. Raised on a high plinth, the shrine has some beautiful sculptures on display. In proximity to the temple is located Vadimedi, a palace belonging to the Solanki period.
 
The most important feature of Purneshwar Temple of Gandhidham is its dexterously carved sculptures and elegantly portrayed images. A high flight of stair leads us to the doorways of the Purneshwar Temple. Highly popular in the Hindus and Jains, this old temple still retaining all its old world grandeur and splendor, sings the sagas of the luminous heritage of the Garvi Gujarat. Raised atop an elevated platform and built in the shape of a ‘Chhatri’ this temple is crowned with an imposing cupola supported by intricately carved pillars.

 

Bhadreshwar Jain Temple

These temples in Bhadreshwar are believed to be the oldest Jain temples in India and Jain monk Shravak Devachandra laid the temple’s foundation stone ages ago. The temple complex house about 53 Jainalays that surround the main Bhadreshwar shrine. These temples were destroyed several times due to earthquakes and other natural calamities but have been successfully redone time and again. The architecture of the ancient Shiva temple is such that the presiding deity is visible from the ground floor as well as the first floor, with some beautiful sculpture chiselled on the outer walls. The tour will also cover stepwell, Sol Thambhi Mosque, Jagdu Shah Palace, Lal Shabhar Mosque, Chokunda Mahadev Temple – a visit that will expose you to many religious traditions of India, congregated in one region.

 

Aashapura Mata Temple

From Bhuj, the capital of erstwhile state of Kutch, about 80 km to the north is the temple of Ma Ashapura at Mata no Madh. It has become a live symbol of faith of people of Kutch in the last 600 years.
 
In 14th century two Karad Vanias, Ajo and Anagor had this temple built. They were ministers in the court of the father of Lakho Fulani. The severe earthquake in 1819 badly damaged the temple. Within 5 years Sundarji Shivji and Vallabhaji, the two persons of Brahmakshatriya caste repaired it. This ancient temple is now 58 ft. long, 32 ft. wide and 52 ft. tall. Once again the earthquake of 2001 AD shook it and its dome tumbled down. However, very soon it was repaired once again and now it stands with a new grandeur. The image of its deity, Ma Ashapura, is 6 ft. tall, 6ft. wide and is red in cot”or.It is said to be existing on its own, i.e. ‘swayambhu’.

Considered as the Cromwell of Kutch, Jamadar Fateh Muhammad had presented this temple with a ‘deepmala’ weighing 2 kg silver, and with 41 lamps carved in it. The head of the temple is called Rajabava and his power is still very great. When the ruler of Kutch visits Mata no Madh, inevitably he pays a visit to the temple. At the time the head of the temple sits on the throne and the ruler stands humbly before him. Ma Ashapura is the ‘kuldevi’ of the ‘Jadeja’ community of Jamnagar. At the city of Jamnagar also a temple of ‘Nani Ashapura’ is built. The people of Kutch take care that nothing is missing in their hospitality of the visitors who come on foot most of the time. From Surajbari to the temple at various places tents are set up for resting. In some village such tents are turned into permanent stn..lctures as guesthouses. On the Bhuj – Anjar road and Bhachau – Dudhai road villagers erect relief camps enthusiastically. The pilgrims are served with tea, coffee, or other drinks, snacks, meals, fruits and even medical services like physiotherapy, doctors and medicines. These camps provide services round the clock. A huge camp comes up opposite the Taluka Panchayat building at Bhuj. Within 3 km of this, other 5 camps also come up. Among the pilgrims there are doctors, bank officials and other educated persons too. Many ladies, girls of peasants, girls attending colleges, teachers, rich merchants from distant Mumbai and other places, all come to Kutch and serve. The pilgrims are bidden adieu from the ‘Panch-hatdi Chowk’ near the temple of Ma Ashapura at Bhuj.
 
Millions of devotees visit the Mata no Madh to bow down to Ma Ashapura. The road turns into a carpet made of outer skin of dry coconuts. For hours the devotees wait for their turn for ‘darshan’ and observe discipline on their own to have a glimpse of the image of Ma Ashapura. On the day of Havanashtami the royal family of Kutch remains present at the puja. The ‘jatar’ is offered to the deity and a ceremony called ‘patri’ is performed. Here are also the temple of Chachar Mata, and places called Chachar Fand and Chachar Chowk.

 

Narayan Sarovar

Narayan Sarovar Lake is one of the 5 holy lakes of Hinduism, along with Mansarovar in Tibet, Pampa in Karnataka, Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa and Pushkar in Rajasthan. The lake is associated with a time of drought in the Puranic area, when Narayan (a form of Lord Vishnu) appeared in response to the fervent prayers of sages and touched the land with his toe, creating the lake, now revered as holy to bathe in (though this is not recommended).
 
There are temples to Shri Trikamraiji, Laxminarayan, Govardhannathji, Dwarkanath, Adinarayan, Ranchodraiji and Laxmiji, built by the wife of Maharao Desalji. These are of more interest to those on religious pilgrimage here; other visitors are likely to find Koteshwar a more interesting option.
 
The temple at Narayan Sarovar houses the shrine of Trikamaiji. The lake itself is considered to be one of the five holy lakes mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures. A tributary of the Indus flowed nearby. Best season to visit this place is from September to January. Every year pilgrims visit Narayan Sarovar for the Kartik Purnima and Tulsi Vivah Festivals. En route to Narayan Sarovar lies the shrine of Ashapura at Mata-na-madh, the mother goddess, deity of Jadeja Rajputs. Located 2 km away from Narayan Sarovar is the famous Mahadev Temple of Koteshwar which is mentioned in the Puranas. The existing temple is situated on a high plinth overlooking the sea.

 

Koteshwar Temple

After traveling over the expanse of desert in western Kutch, you find the Koteshwar Temple, at a place where the immensity of dry land meets the incomprehensible vastness of the sea. After so much arid ground, the sight of the ocean will awaken your spirits; though the sea is even less hospitable to humans, a sobering thought. The only point that breaks the skyline from the flat brown horizon to the east and the wide blue horizon to the west is the point of the Koteshwar Temple, the last outpost of human construction at the westernmost limit of India. Not overrun by tourists like the temple at Dwarka, Koteshwar is conducive to contemplating emptiness, pondering the place of humanity on earth (and ultimately, isn’t that what spiritual traditions are about?).
 
The story of Koteshwar begins with Ravana, who won a boon from Lord Shiva for an outstanding display of piety. This boon was the gift of a Shiva linga of great spiritual power, but which Ravana, in his arrogant haste, accidentally dropped and it fell to earth at Koteshwar. To punish Ravana for his carelessness, the linga turned into a thousand identical copies (some versions of the story say ten thousand, some a million; suffice to say it was quite a lot.) Unable to distinguish the original, Ravana grabbed one and departed, leaving the original one here, around which Koteshwar Temple was built.
 
Visitors can see the temple, walk along the beach and on a clear night, even see the glow of light from Karachi, Pakistan, on the north-western horizon.

 

Jesal – Toral Tomb

Anjar, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Gujarat, houses some of the most attractive forts and monuments. The Tomb of Jesal Toral is one of the famed tourist attractions in Anjar. It is basically a samadhi of Jesal Toral. There is also a bungalow of James Mc.murdo here. It has now been converted into a veritable museum that displays Kutch art. Anjar is also famed for its beautiful block printing work, scissors, nutcrackers and penknives. These are some of the artworks which you will come across in the museum at the Tomb of Jesal Toral in Anjar. On your visit to the city, a tour to Jesal Toral Tomb is highly recommended as it is one of the premier attractions of Gujarat. The tomb is also a centre for fairs.
 
Bhuj is distinguished by its brightly decorated Hindu temples, beautiful palaces and intricately carved wooden pavilions. It is a paradise for handicraft lovers. The houses here are decorated both from inside as well as outside with linear reliefs made from mud and mirrors. Bhuj is famous for embroidery. The oldest museum of Gujarat is situated in Bhuj.
 
Be it the bandhni (tie and dye) and batik textiles, or the intricate silk embroidery done on leather, each artifact is a labour of love for the craftspersons. The colorful thread embroidery on cloth is done by different castes and communities in their own distinct way. The region was also known for the enamel work done on gold and silver jewelry, lacquered wood, seashell toys and metal bells.

 

Hajipir Dargah

The shrine of Haji Pir in Kutch has many Hindu followers. ‘Low’ caste Kolis offer free service and keep the shrine clean, and a rich Jain industrialist has paid for constructing its boundary walls. A symbol of India’s Ganges jamuni tehajhibani haja Pir Dargah is the unique identity of Kutch of Gujarat. India – Pakistan border at the dargah of Haji pir paraca live is believed to be.
 
Pir real name was Haji Ali Akbar. He was a soldier sahabuddin Ghori. They were following the events in the village. He’s here for his whole life was spent in service. He had to give up his caliphate ahuti giving cows climbing.
 
A Muslim saint called Haji Pir believed to have originally come to India as a soldier in the army of Shahbuddin Ghori. After giving up the service, he settled near village “Nara” and spent his days in the service of people.
 
He laid down his life while trying to recover cows driven away by dacoits. After performing the Haj, he was known as Haji Pir and also known as Live Pir. People worship at Haji Pir Dargah and then proceed to Karol Pir Dargah 4 miles away.
 
A symbol of India’s Ganges jamuni tehajhibani haja Pir Dargah is the unique identity of Kutch of Gujarat. India – Pakistan border at the dargah of Haji pir paraca live is believed to be.
 
Pir real name was Haji Ali Akbar. He was a soldier sahabuddin Ghori. They were following the events in the village. He’s here for his whole life was spent in service. He had to give up his caliphate ahuti giving cows climbing.
 
A Muslim saint called Haji Pir believed to have originally come to India as a soldier in the army of Shahbuddin Ghori. After giving up the service, he settled near village “Nara” and spent his days in the service of people.
 
He laid down his life while trying to recover cows driven away by dacoits. After performing the Haj, he was known as Haji Pir and also known as Live Pir. People worship at Haji Pir Dargah and then proceed to Karol Pir Dargah 4 miles away.
 
Haji Pir is an important shrine strategically and culturally. Being close to the border between India and Pakistan, this shrine attracts devotees from Pakistan. Haji Pir has tremendous following among people of all religions.
 
They say that whoever donates towards the construction, expansion and repair of the dargah, multiplies his own wealth. There are several such stories of devotees and donors to the dargah having become richer after the donation
 
As politicians debate over the existence of Lord Ram, a unique attempt is being made near the Indo-Pak border to bring Hindus and Muslims together at a “RamKatha” programmed organized at haji pir Dargah.

 

Archeological Sites of Kutch :

 

Dholavira

The archaeological excavations here have revealed an Indus Valley Civilisation site. It is one of the oldest and largest Indus sites in India. It is located on Khadir Island surrounded on all sides by the Great Rann of Kutch.
 
An ancient city, and locally known as Kotada Timba Prachin Mahanagar Dholavira, is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley    Civilization.  It is located on the Khadir bet  an island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Great Rann of Kutch.  The site is surrounded by water in the monsoon season The site was occupied from c.2650 BC, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE. It was briefly abandoned and reoccupied until c.1450 BCE. The site was discovered in 1967-8 by J.P. Joshi and is the fifth largest Harappan site in the Indian subcontinent, and has been under excavation almost continuously since 1990 by Mr. Bist the director of the Archaeological Survey of India. Eight large urban centers have been discovered: Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupar, Dholavira, and Lothal. Dholavira is the only site where the SIGN BOARD – INSCRIPTION  of  TEN LETTERS  found during excavations . Also a large STADIUM re excavated .  This city has 16 reservoirs for WATER and most of are inter connect by under ground canals . Also a dam on river!!
 
A series of excavations by the Archeological proved that Dholavira ranks, with Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, Ganweriwal now all in Pakistan and Rakhigari in India, was one among 5 largest urban centres of the Harappan civilization. Surveys of India uncovered Dholavira as a major exquisitely planned Harappan city. It had monumental structures, aesthetic architecture and an amazing water management system. The ancient ruins of Dholavira spread over about 100 ha nearly half of which is a fortified settlement. Dholavira was laid out on sloping terrain between to storm water channels, Mansar in the north and Mahar in the south. The city was enclosed by a massive wall, designed like a large parallelogram measuring 771 metres in length and 616 metres in width. It is evident that the site of the settlement was picked after good deal of forethought and planning. The gradient, between the higher east and the lower west of Dholavira is 13 metres, which is ideal location for reservoirs. In fact, along the inside of the city’s walls is a series of water reservoirs, which almost entirely surround the 3 principal divisions of the city, designated Citadel, the Middle Town and the Lower Town. The citadel which stand majestically on the south side consists of 2 fortified divisions on the east and west named castle and Bailey respectively The Middle town, also fortified, lies to the north and is separated from the citadel by a long and wide ceremonial ground. To the east of Middle town is the lower Town, which is not fortified. Dholavira also enjoys the unique distinction of yielding the word’s oldest signboard, comprising an inscription of 10 large sited alphabets of the Harappan script. Plenty of stones were available at Dholavira and were used to make tiles for the water system drains and channels. Pottery pipes were also used. In some places mortar was made of superfine sticky grey clay.

 

Timing: 8:00AM / 5:00 PM

Close : Friday

 

Lakhpat Fort

Lakhpat has religious significance for three of India’s most populous religions: Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, reportedly camped here on his journey to Mecca. The site later became a gurudwara, which holds some of Nanak’s possessions; Pir Ghaus Muhammed, a Sufi mystic who from the age of twelve devoted himself to spiritual practice and reportedly practiced half as a Hindu and half as a Muslim, is buried here in Lakhpat. His tomb is a stone construction with very complex carvings and a water tank that is said to have healing properties for skin problems; Sayyed Pir Shah’s nine-domed mausoleum has intricate carvings, doors, windows and jaalis.
 
The fort of lakhpat was built around 1855 AD, by the famous Army General of Kutch, Jamadar Fateh Mamad. The fort protected the richest town of Kutch from the encroaching armies of Sindh. It has 20 Bastions and 6 gates. The kings of Kutch had set a rule according to which, any fort built in the state must have five gates referred to as NAKA and the sixth gate that is smaller in size referred to as CHCHATTHI BARI. This popular rule was referred to as “PAANCH NAKA ANE CHCHATTHI BARI”. Thus, the fort of lakhpat has six gates. The smaller gate known as CHCHATTHI BARI was used to carry dead bodies to the cremation grounds.

 

Timing: 6:00AM / 6:00 PM

 

Bhuj Varo Nako:

The main entrance gate of the fort connected lakhpat with the road, leading to BHUJ, the capital of the state. Hence it was named BHUJWARO NAKO.

 

Pani Varo Nako:

This gate is situated in the southwest direction of the fort. VAMASAD, a lake for drinking water, was situated outside this gate. The gate is built in such a way that only pedestrians can use it. It was used mainly by women to fetch water from the lake. Thus it was named Pani Varo Nako. A cremation ground was situated near the lake and dead bodies were carried to the cremation ground from this gate. Thus, it was also called CHCHATTHI BARI.

 

Katha Varo Nako:

There are two gates situated after the Pani Varo Nako. Both these gates connected the fort of lakhpat to Bibi Dullah Harbourage. Since the gates were located close to KANTHO; the coast, they were called KANTHAWARO NAKO. The custom goods were brought inside the fort through this gate on bullock-carts. The carts passed by the Sahib Sharif Dargah to Ibadat Khana and reached the Custom House.

 

Tapal Vari Bari:

This gate is situated in the western side of the fort. The gate was mainly used as a station to receive all the posts arriving from the towns of Bhuj, Gadhuli and Dayapar. Since all Tapal; the posts were collected at this gate, it was named Tapalwari bari.

 

Bibidullah port:

Bibidullah dargah is situated in the West direction, outside the fort of Lakhpat. It was built around 300 years ago by the local khoja community, residing in this part of the town. Bibi and Abdullah were lovers, separated by the fate. They died on the same day with an unfulfilled dream of being together. The inhabitants built a mausoleum in memory of the lovers and named it bibidullah.
 
Bibidullah dargah is four kilometres away from the KANTHAWARO NAKO of the Lakhpat fort. The border security agents devotedly take the tourists to the dargah and enumerate the love story of the eternal lovers. The bibidullah area was a harbourage chiefly occupied by the khoja Muslim community. The harbourage has an approximate population of 250. The cargo ships would be anchored at the bibidullah. The traded goods would be transferred to the bullock carts and brought to the custom office of the town through the kanthawaro nako of the fort.

 

Siyot Caves

Dated around the first century AD, Siyot Caves have an east facing sanctum and an ambulatory. Siyot must have been on of the 80 monastic sites that the 7th century Chinese travellers reported at the mouth of Indus River.
 
These caves have their origin to the first century AD. It is also worth knowing that the caves have Sanctum and an ambulatory which are east facing. Really, this place presents a picture of traditional culture and illustrious history.
 
The traces describe that Siyot Caves at the mouth of the Indus River, were one of the 80 monastic sites for Chinese Pilgrims.
 
The inscriptions and architectures of the ancient times attract people for visiting these caves. Sculptures of this place are centre of attraction for the tourists.
 
The cave’s artistic carvings are included in the uncommon things which have been traced across the nation. As a result, this place has turned out as a very unique, soulful and interesting place for visiting. If we talk about its archaeological aspect, it leaves a beautiful picture in mind. This place also had a very strong Buddhist link which is clearly revealed by the sanctum and the ambulant.
 
All this clarifies the fact that how divine and tourist spot of Gujarat this beautiful place is!
 
A huge number of visitors came here to endure religious feelings. This is so, because it is also popular as a place acknowledged for the Buddhist footprints.
 
These caves have their origin to the first century AD and have an east facing Sanctum and an ambulatory.
 
It is really commendable at Government of Gujarat’s part that it takes proper measures and makes full proof programs to preserve this Buddhist cave.

 

Surkotda

The site at Surkotada is located 160 km north-east of Bhuj, in the district of Kutch, Gujarat. The ancient mound stands surrounded by an undulating rising ground clustered by small sandstone hills. These hills are covered with red laterite soil giving the entire region a reddish brown colour. The vegetation is scarce and consists of cactus, small babul and pilu trees and thorny shrubs. These give green patches to the red environment. The mound was discovered in 1964 by Shri Jagat Pati Joshi of the Archaeological Survey of India. The mound is higher on the western side and lower on the eastern side and has an average height of 5 to 8 m (16-26 ft). In the ancient days, a river 750 m (½ mi) wide flowed past the north-eastern side of the site. This river, which emptied into the Little Rann, might have been an important reason for siting the town here. Now this river is only a small nalla (stream).

 

Kanmer

(Bakarkot), a multicultural site, is located in Rapar tehsil of Kachchh district of Gujarat, India. Our controlled excavations have yielded five-stage cultural sequence at the site. Period I (i.e. Kanmer I) was marked by coarse and fine varieties of Red Ware, the latter often painted in bichrome. The characteristic Anarta material of course appears in the upper levels of this brown sandy clay deposit. Kanmer II (or Period II) is characterized by residential structures and a strong fortification associated with the Harappan material similar to the urban phase of Dholavira.

 

Kera Shiva Temple

Just 22 kms south of Bhuj on the road to Mandra, Kera houses the ruins of a Shiva Temple that dates to the era of the Solanki rulers. Only part of the temple remains, as much was destroyed in the 1819 earthquake, but the inner sanctum is still there, as well as half of the main spire. The Fort of Kapilkot, also in a rather rundown state, is next to the temple.
 
Shiva Temple, Kera, Kutch, Gujarat: Kera is renowned for its 10th century Shiva Temple. The present day ruins are suggestive of how beautiful the temple must have been centuries ago. Sadly, the temple was damaged in the epoch-making earthquake of 1819AD. Very near to this ruined Shiva temple, is a Muslim shrine of Ghulam Ali Shah. The annual Urs held here attracts devotees from all faiths. Earnest worshippers walking on smoldering coal is the prime attraction of Urs.

Timing: 8:00AM / 5:00 PM

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