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Kutch

World renowned Kutch handicrafts from centuries old traditions

If you are in search of nature at its spectacular and barren best, the Kutch region in Gujarat should be your port of call. The walled city of Bhuj, headquarters of the Kutch district, derives its name from Bhujia fortress, which overlooks the city from a hill nearby. History weighs heavily on the Kutch region, home to the Harappan sites. Bhuj gained prominence when it became the capital of the Jadeja Rajput rulers the mid-16th century. A shopper’s delight, the city’s beguiling bazaars sell a wide variety of world renowned Kutch handicrafts. Bhuj also serves as a springboard for visits to Flamingo city, a bird watcher’s paradise.

Fast Facts

Temperature : Summer: 40 - 28°C
Winter: 28 - 14°C
Season : November to March
Clothing : Cotton in summer and light woollen in winter
Languages Spoken : Gujarati, Hindi and English
STD Code : 02832


Tourism Office: The Manager, Toran Rang Resort (Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. --TCGL), Mirzapur Road, Bhuj, Tel: 02832 224910; TCGL, 1st floor, Khetan Bhavan, Mumbai, Tel: 022 22024925. Website: www.gujarattourism.com

Getting There

Air
Bhuj’s airport is connected by flights from major cities like Mumbai.

Rail
Bhuj is a major railway station connecting several important cities in India.

Road
Bhuj is connected by good motorable roads to all places in South India.

Kutch is

  • 402 km from Ahmedabad
  • 391 km from Bhavnagar
  • 313 km from Jamnagar
  • 324 km from Junagadh
  • 314 km from Mehsana
  • 226 km from Rajkot

Hotels in Kutch

Hotel Prince
Station Road
Tel: 02832 220370 / 269408 / 252370
Fax: 250373
E-mail: info@hotelprinceonline.com

Hotel Lakeview
Opposite: Rajendra Baug
Tel: 02832 253422

Sagar Guest House
Jilla Panchayat Office
Tel: 02832 221479

Srinathji Guest House
Station Road
Tel: 02832 222388

Hotel llark
C/o Katira Hotels Pvt.Ltd
New Station Road
Bhuj, Kutch
Tel: 02832 258999
E-mail: info@hotelilark.com

VRP Guest House
Opposite: S.T. Stand
Tel: 02832 221388

Places to Visit

Dadavadi Jain
Dedicated to Shri Adinathji, the first Jain Thirthankar, the Dadavadi Jain is an old Jain shrine attracting devotees.

Khengar Park & Hamirsar Lake
A popular park outside the city of Bhuj offers everything one needs for a day of family fun. The park also has a beautiful lake, which adds charm to the place.

Mohammed Pannah Mosque
This mosque was built by Rao Shigodji - II in memory of the Muslim fakir Mohammed Pannah Sayed.

Paragmahal
An ornate Italian marble and sandstone building Rao Paragmalji’s Palace was built in the latter part of the 19th century.  Parts of it are now used for government offices but the huge Darbar Hall and the Clock Tower are open to the public.

Rao Lakhpatji Chhatri (Cenotaphs Complex)
The final resting place of the royal household, the chhatris (cenotaphs) are erected over cremation platforms of the rulers. These red sandstone chhatris were built by Rao Lakha in the 18th century. The main chhatri is the most impressive and has an artistically carved roof supported by decorated pillars.

Swami Narayan Temple
It is a beautiful temple built by Gangabai (daughter of Jethi Ghela Trikamji) in memory of her mother-in-law.

Kutch Museum
The oldest museum of Gujarat, the Kutch Museum is a repository comprising 11 sections on inscriptions, archaeology, sculpture, paintings, coins and currency of the Katchchh state as well as from almost every country of the world, a shipping section showing models of ships made in Mandvi, sections on musical instruments, arms and ammunition, philately. The section on Natural History was added in 1978.

Aina Mahal Adjacent to the Prag Mahal, the beautiful 350 years old palace was built at a cost of Rs. 2 million. It houses the Maharaja's private collection of paintings, royal furniture, textiles, arms, ivory work, manuscripts, etc.

Excursions

Purneshwar (35 km)
The place is famous for ancient temple dating back to 9th century AD. 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.

Anjar (41 km)
Anjar is the venue of many popular fairs. Most important fair is one held in glory of Menkan dada, a local saint. The Jesal-Toral fair near the shrine of Jesal and Toral, the legendary lovers, is another important fair.  Anjar’s other claim to fame is its Ajrakh printing technique as well as metal ware specialties such as carved nutcrackers, scissors and knives.

Gandhidham (54 km)
The township set up to accommodate refugees in the wake of the partition of India has three distinct sectors Adipur, the industrial centre, Sardarganj the commercial centre and Gopalpuri, the residential centre.

Ravechi Temple (170 km)
One of the most splendid excursions from Bhuj the place is visited by hordes of people the presiding deity of the shrine is Goddess Ravechi.  A colourful fair is held every year at Ravechi usually in September ever year.

Mandvi (75 km)
One of Gujarat’s most evocative destinations, Mandvi is a land of sun-drenched beach. Founded in 1581 AD Mandvi has a fortification with 25 bastions. The place is a well-known centre for the production of the country crafts. The Rukmavati Bridge, built in 1883, is the longest existing one of its kind. Mandvi is also well known for its beautiful silver sand beach and the imposing Vijayvilas Palace built in 1935.

Banni (65 km)
This grassland in the great Rann of Kutch is known for its small villages which are a great storehouse of rich textiles and handicrafts especially embroideries, leather foot wear, block printed fabric, pottery, wood carvings and metal ware manufactured by the local people. 

Kandla (68 km)
This is one of India’s six major ports and a free trade zone.

Hodaka (53 km)
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.

Tunda Vandha
A unique Rabari village, it has about 125 exquisitely designed Kachchhi huts inhabited by about 400 Rabaris. Most of the male population is generally away from the village. The interiors of the huts present a pleasant spectacle of native art. A chat with the womenfolk will introduce visitors to this insulated and pristine culture, a world so different.

Bhadreshwar (75 km)
Bhadreshwar is the site of the ancient Bhadravati Nagri of King Yuvnashva mentioned in the Mahabharata. Most of the ruins of the city have been carried away, including its foundations stones which have been dug up and removed.  The remains of a large stepwell, a Shiva temple and an old Jain temple are among the ancient relics that can be seen here.

Dhola Veera (100 km)
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.

Kera (40 km)
Kera is famous mainly due to the 10th century Shiva Temple. The present day ruins are indicative of how beautiful this temple must have been centuries ago. It was damaged in the earthquake of 1819 AD. In the same area is also a Muslim shrine of Ghulam Ali Shah. The annual
Urs held here attracts devotees from all faiths. Pilgrims walking on burning coals is the principal feature of the Urs.

Rann of Kutch (100 km)
The little Rann of Kutch is the home of the Indian Wild Ass. In winter the Great Rann of Kutch becomes the breeding ground for flamingos and pelicans. The Rann of Kutch is also worth visiting for the local people who have preserved their customs and traditions through the ages, who express themselves artistically in the form of handicrafts and beautifully designed day to day objects, their houses, etc.

Flamingo City (100 km)
In Gujarat, flamingos breed in the interior of the Great Rann of Kutch, their breeding colony is being known as ‘Flamingo City’. To reach ‘Flamingo City’ one has to travel up to Khavda from Bhuj (80 km) by road and then further journey on camel back for five to six hours.  Necessary clearance from the Border Security Force is required to be obtained before visiting this area, which is given by the District Collector of Kutch at Bhuj.

Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary (100 km)
Spread over an area of 765 sq km, the sanctuary’s main attractions are the chinkara, Indian wolf, desert monitor lizard, black partridge, and flamingo. One can also see the blue bull, wild boar, jackal, striped hyena, hare, Indian fox, desert cat , porcupine, spiny tailed lizard and birds like haubara bustard, lesser florican, etc. 

Kalo Dungar (125 km)
It is tallest hillock in Kutch and has a shrine of Dattatreya widely known as Pacchamai Pir.  A fair is held in the month of Sravan every year.

Narayan Sarovar (154 km)
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 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.

Wild Ass Sanctuary (200 km)
Situated between Surendranagar and Kutch district this sanctuary covering an area of 5,000 sq km is the only home of the Indian Wild Ass.  One can also see other species of wildlife such as panther, black buck, blue bull, wolves, jackals, wild boar and birds. The Sanctuary could be best explored by making a base at Dasada / Zainabad or Dharangadhra / Halvad. Dasada is 33 km away from Viramgam and 90 km from Ahmedabad by road.

Festivals
Kutch Mahotsav is usually organised during February /March by TCGL.