Village life is beautiful. It is a great idea to take a road trip to the country side to rejuvenate and have a nice and quiet time. I did the same and went to Kutch last weekend. The word Kutch means something that becomes wet and dry intermittently. Kutch is a district in Gujarat surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch in the south and the Arabian Sea in the west. Kutch is a wonderful amalgamation of the sea and the desert. Gujarat has the longest coastline (1600km approx) in India contradictory to the general belief that it is a dry state (in terms of both heat and the liquor ban).
We were in Bhachau, one of the main towns in Kutch when we came across a tea stall while simply driving around and asked the man inside for tea. He replied that he doesn’t have milk and showed us the way to another place where we can have tea. This incident points towards their simple and uncompetitive way of life. This kind of an ambience most certainly relaxes you in an outlandish way; even if you don’t get your tea.
We saw a train of camels crossing the road and we had to wait till they crossed the road. Kutch is famous for these animals and their owners, called Maldharis. They are experts with their flocks and herds. It is said a true Maldhari can call a cow that he wants from a big herd and make the cow walk out of the group towards him. They are very good trainers. They also tie different kinds of bells around the cow’s necks to determine the different phases of their lives. These regions are also famous for "Gudkhars", also called the Indian Wild Ass, which look like they are a cross between a donkey and a horse.
The Kutchi art work is very famous and the locals are very good at it. We passed through a village called Madhavpura, which is considered the richest village of India.
We also passed through a village called the “Vrajvani”. This village has a famous story about a dholi(a man who plays the dhol) who was a very popular man in the village. He used to play the dhol and the women would sing and dance. The men didn’t appreciate the fact that their women folk liked to dance to his tunes and they neglected their household duties. Hence they hanged him. Women committed suicides due to this, hence this story became famous as the “Vrajvani no dholi.”
We stayed at a resort called the Seven Sky, which has cottages that are typically found in almost all the resorts in Kutch. They have interestingly embroidered curtains and artwork inside it.
There was another beach resort which had a great beach where we spotted some seagulls, though I couldn’t capture them in my camera as I was bathing in the sea. I just love water and beaches! I myself look quite like a seagull when I am at a beach so here’s my picture waddling in the water.
We went to the famous White Rann of Kutch (the white desert) which is a semi arid desert which has salt deposits making it look white. It is believed the ocean moved away from this land making it a desert with parched land. It is believed this will become a desert with proper sand dunes after thousands of years.
One can see the white salt deposits in the desert
We took a camel ride and were taken inside the desert where there was an event organised. The famous artists of Kutch were performing in the desert. This set a surreal atmosphere.
Artists performing in the desert
The Indus Valley civilization is one of the most prominent archaeological sites found in Kutch. This site called the “Dholavira” is believed to have been inhabited around 2900 to 1900 BC.
A Hindi movie is currently being shot at the Dholavira site. Some other famous movies like “Refugee” and “Lagaan” have also been shot in Kutch. Make sure you visit this wonderful town in Gujarat to experience its magic.