We had been to Bhuj in 2016 and my reason for urging Patidev to drive me to this place was the mesmerizing White Desert, the Great Rann of Kutch.
The drive to Bhuj is five and half hours journey and we started off much before sunrise. We mostly do the same as it better and easier to drive through less traffic woes.One can take flights from it’s domestic airport that connects it to Mumbai( well connected). The Kandla airport is around 53kms from the city or one can also take the train.
This was clicked on the way to Lakhpat.
Bhuj is a city and a municipality in the Kutch District in Gujarat which was founded by Rao Hamir in 1510. The city has borne the brunt of natural calamity i.e. earthquake twice,1819and 2001. The destruction was massive and the reconstruction process after the recent one has been going on steadily. The official language spoken is Kutchi and Gujarati.
The climatic condition of Bhuj is more of desert like, hence it’s recommended to visit the city and the Rann during winters. Bhuj is famous for the craftsmanship of the Kutchi artisans of bandhani, embroidery and leather work. It is also famous for it’s cuisines i.e pakwans and the Kutchi dabeli.
There are many places of historical and architectural importance in and around the city. We spent two days in the city and covered most places we wanted to visit We were fortunate to have been able to visit a few of them. Let me take you through a pictorial journey of some of them.
On the way to the city I had seen some strange objects being carried in really long trailers and wondered what they were till we chanced upon seeing these windmills all across the outskirts of the city.
Those objects were the blades and they are huge, really huge in proportion.
One can see a variety of embroidery being adorned by the people in the region, I saw this herdsman’s scarf and some other people headwear too. They had beautiful and intricate design.
We had put up at HotelMangalam which is within the city’s parameters and is closest to most of the sites.
The first day we visited the Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park which has a number of shops that promote the handicraft workers and the artisans and provide them a platform to sell their stuff too. The VandemataramMemorial was under construction then and is made to resemble the structure of the Indian Parliament. It aims to immortalize many of the freedom struggle episodes and does it really well.
The same day we also visited the Ashapura Mata no Madh and Lakhpat.
Lakhpat is a town and subdistrict in Kutch. The town is enclosed by these 18th century fort walls. One can see the ravages of time, the ruins of homes destroyed in the earthquakes.
The architecture of those days can make one go spell bound even if it a home.
The fort walls overlook a great expanse of a then dried up water body.
There are many places of worship within the small town of Lakhpat. It is three hours journey from Bhuj to this town.
The next day we started off with a visit to the Aaina Mahal, PragMahal and the Kutch museum and then we headed to the Great Rann of Kutch.
This is a door in the Aaina Mahal and the carvings are in ivory.
This bed belonged to the then Maharaja( in the portrait) and the things that are in golden colour are made up of real gold.
Silver Ware of the royals.
Locks of those times.
A part of the PragMahal in shambles.
A typewriter of those times.
A room with furniture of those times in PragMahal.
The Maharajas Chariot.
The clock tower in PragMahal.
The front facade of the PragMahal.
The intricate carvings on the pillars in PragMahal.
The entrance to the PragMahal
Take a look at the intricate architecture of those times.
More of ruins.
We also visited the Hamirsar lake which is very close by to the PragMahal.
We also visited the Narayan Sarovar which was completely dried up by then as it was peak of summer season.
We then started off to visit the Great Rann of Kutch and it is around 50kms from Bhuj. The drive to the Rann is very interesting, at least I found it to be be so. The entire stretch is a barren land but one can see herdsmen with their herds all along the way. The way the livestock adapt to the extreme environment is interesting.
One needs to take a written permission ( after paying an amount) from the policemen before entering the vicinity of the Rann and will have to get it checked by the BSF before entering the Rann.
The Rann hosts the RannUtsav every year which is managed by Gujarat Tourism.
The place is a treat to eyes, vast expanse of white salt strewn land( which is the dried up water from the Gulf).
Sunsets are a dreamy visual in the Rann and they are extremely beautiful. Winter’s and especially full moon nights are mostly preferred days to witness the White Desert.
We did a camel cart ride to the Rann and back.
We waited for an hour and half to see the sunset. I donot have that patience at all but the scenic view makes you do it. We returned to our place of stay quite late but enjoyed the dinner.
That was our last night in Bhuj and the next day we drove back to Ahmedabad not before seeing vast stretches of salt making processing places and some clicks of funny yet fact full stuff written on the trucks.
Salt making in progress
( All the pictures have been clicked my me)
Hope you enjoyed this virtual journey of Bhuj and Kutch. Do feel free to write a comment and like the post.
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