Kutch region in Gujarat is understood everywhere for its barren, white desert that covers quite 40,000 sq.km. Kutch or Katchch, refers to the way it is submerged during the monsoon season and completely dry otherwise. The Great Rann of Kutch borders Pakistan and is legendary for its white salt sand. It also has a few areas of the Thar Desert in it that extends into Rajasthan. Once ruled by the mighty Rajputs, the region isn’t very fertile but the humanities and handicrafts from the world are incredible and one among a sort. The unique blend of nature and tribal culture makes it a must-visit for all!
Bhuj is that the capital of Kutch and is accessible through all modes of transport. Ruled by the Jadeja Dynasty kings, the town is on a hill called the Bhujia Dungar which the town has been named after. The Bhujia fort is on the hill and is a magnificent structure built by the king Rao Godaji. The old walled city has the remains of the royal heritage of amongst which the Rani Mahal, the Prag Mahal and the Aina Mahal are the most exquisite and are a must visit for all.
The port of Mandvi is home to the most important ship-building yards of the country where craftsmen still work on building ships from wood. The experience of witnessing this art is out of the planet and is tough to return by. On the side-lines of the river Rukmavati, the yard may be a major centre for the ship-building industry also because the timber wood industry. A must-visit for all, this experience of witnessing magic take place will be definitely worth your time!
The oldest museum of the state, the Kutch museum was established within the year 1877. Housing the most important collections of inscriptions, Kutchi script, coins and currency, the museum is one among the foremost initiatives to preserve local tribal culture. Along with art, musical instruments, sculptures and metal items, the museum may be a rare glimpse into the local way of life. The museum has been recently renovated so checking with the authorities beforehand would be a great idea. All under one roof, the Kutch museum may be a good way to start out your day with going to know the historical background of the people of the region.
The Kutch desert has two parts, of which the good Rann of Kutch desert makes up quite 7,000 square kilometres. The Rann is filled with marshy salts that make it the white desert that it is and create an illusion of endlessness. During the rainy season, the entire land gets filled with water, making it accessible only during non-monsoon months. In mid-November, the place hosts the Rann utsav where local artists perform and camel safaris are administered. The white sand is magical and a sight to behold. A rare piece of natural miracle, the Rann of Kutch is a place you cannot miss!
One of the sole Harappan sites of the country, the Dholavira site is within the Khadir Bet island of Gujarat. The Indus valley civilization was said to be the former residents of this historical site. Major excavations are administered here which found remains of Harappan Architecture and handicrafts. Entry into the location is free and may be visited any day through the week. The site is a lovely way to rediscover the ancient history and culture of the Indus valley civilization.