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“Rann Utsav 2012-13”
Review of Bhuj

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Level 6 Contributor
204 reviews
159 helpful votes
“Rann Utsav 2012-13”
Reviewed 29 January 2013

Recently visited the Kutch region along with my family, specially for the Rann Utsav, and we had a very good unique experience and holiday. The best way to reach Bhuj is by train, and from there, one can hire a car and see the local attractions like Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal, Kutch Museum, Hamirsar Lake, Swaminarayan Mandir, and of course eat the delicious Kutchi Dabeli :)

In and around Bhuj, one can visit the famous beach location of Mandvi. Nice clean beach and the Vijay Vilas Palace is also an upmarket property to stay at.

For the Rann Utsav, it's best to stay at Dhordo, from where you can not only enjoy the Great White Desert, but also visit neighbouring villages of Gandhi nu Gaam, Khavda, Ludia, Hodka, Bhirandiyara, and Sumrasar....all dotted along the Banni grasslands. Interact with the Meghwal and Rabari communities and you will be fascinated with the way they display their craftsmenship. Poverty stricken yet rich in colour and tradition! :)

97 kms north of Bhuj; close to the Indo-Pak border; rising 462 m above sea level, is Kalo Dungar (Black Hill), the highest hill in Kutch. This is probably the only place in Kutch from where a panoramic view of the Great Rann is possible.

Another small village is Jura, which has been rehabilitated post the devastating earthquake. Very very poor, but rich in wooden craftsmanship.

I also had the privilege of meeting Mr Abdul Gafoor Khatri and his family in Nirona village. They are the last of the families specialising in Rogan Art. Rogan Art involves using a Metal Stick and Castor-Oil based colors to create a work of genius. Viewing a demonstration of the craft is sure to leave you in awe.

Many people are also not aware of the smally Fossil Park, in Nakhatrana near Bhuj. This place is belongs to Mr. Mohan Singh Soda near village Vithal Goundiyari at Nakhatrana Taluka. Is a small treasure trove of fossils where Mr Soda has studied and collected fossils from Kutch as old as 150 million years!!

Thank Zenobia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
75 helpful votes
“My second home”
Reviewed 10 June 2010

An Urban Village is how I would describe this tiny little town but that which holds the administrative and cultural power to energize the district of Kutch. There is more history to this place than one can fathom in a short trip. Therefore I decided to stay there for 3 years and I still miss each day spent in its midst. The old city of Bhuj, which is nearly half of the whole town, has staggering examples of ancient gujarati architecture and street layouts. The stone and wood work still holds people in awe of the place. The old city is one of the most dense precincts in the world, yet I have never felt more warmth in the way people treated each other. The fabrics, the leatherwork, the pottery, the woodwork, the stone work, the mud work - all this makes Bhuj a city of craftspersons. And that it was since 500 years, the examples of which you see in the Kutch Museum, around Hamirsar Lake and in the Mahal. At night the place lights up to a clamour of dalbeli-walas and road-side laaris. Bhuj is located in one of the most dry and hot districts of the country, yet I never experienced such a great climate. The evenings are particularly breezy and cool, even in mid summers. The traditional food of Kutch, the Bajra roti and Khichdi with Chhaas will make all the heat disappear in one meal. Bhuj also has an excellent public transport and private transport service. There are budget hotels available for people coming for short stay, particularly the bird-watchers who come in winter months when lakhs of birds come to mate. This place has more treasures alone than whole of gujarat put together. It's a must must visit.

1 Thank aanujj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 helpful votes
“My Town”
Reviewed 22 January 2010

It is very calm place.
You can find almost everything required to make your life fun.
Some things are needed to get developed, which is happening.
It has its own value and there are so many historical places to be visited.
All in all a good place to be at.

1 Thank vndbhuj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mumbai (bombay) / bhuj / bhavnagar
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 helpful votes
“all roads lead to bhuj”
Reviewed 11 May 2009

In Bhuj

Kutch Museum - recently renovated and reopend

Aina Mahal - is ill maintained and completey passable

Hill Garden - go only if u have small kids who enjoy joyrides

Indian Planetary Society has a base in Bhuj. Do get in touch with them for some star gazing - Kutch has an incredily clear sky, especially in winter.

Around Bhuj

1. Hira Laxmi Craft Park, Bhujodi - to see demonstration & sale of local crafts. The ambience makes for a good outing

2. Shrujan, Bhujodi - by far, the best quality embriodery, priced at a premium which is totally worth it - shawls, cushion covers, quilts, kurtas, wall hangings, they even have embroidered spagettin tops which are very chic. The various kind of kutchi embroideries are on display, its interesting to see how the different communities use different colours and motifs.

3. SOS Childrens Village - a village orphanage, where 6-8 kids stay in each home, and SOS finds a mother for each home, someone who loves kids and gets paid to run the home and look after the children as well! Its a win win arrangement, and the happy confident faces of the kids validates this simple concept! A visit there is a must, for the happiness is infectious!

Overnight trips

1. Dholavira - an ancient Harrapan Civilization excavated in eastern Kutch. Its about 250 kms from Bhuj, making a day trip rather tiring. Can stay at Rapar for a basic accomodation. For a comfortable & pleasant stay, Gandhidham is a better option (Sharma Resort or Holiday Village). Its worth a see, and a visit to Dholavira definitely leaves one with some perspective!

2. Mandvi Beach Resort - on the grounds of Vijay Vilas Palace. At 6,000 a night, its probably the most expensive place to stay in Kutch but its most definitely worth it. Accomodation is in AC tents, and the beach is a private one - which is the best part. Its secluded, the sand is lovely, and the sunset is breathtaking. The restaurant by the beach is nice. Grab the worldspace remote and pick the channel of music you like, and make sure you order an hour in advance, cuz everything is freshly cooked!

3. Shaam-E-Sarhad Resort, Hodko - this place is very unique. The ambience is rustic & traditional. Book early to get the bhungas (mud houses). At Rs 3,200, they more expensive than the tents, but its much cooler and feel is nicer in the exotic interiors of the bhunga. The ideal use of the day is to see the Rann of Kutch (Salt Desert) early in the morning (best at sunrise), in winter, one can easily spot the Pink Flamingoes that have migrated from Siberia, visit Hodko/Dhordo village, and make it to Kalo Dungar half an hour before sunset to see the majestic view from the highest point in Kutch.
Return to the Resort for a souful performance by the villagers under the star filled sky. The bonfire in the crisp winter makes it an unforgettable experience!

4 Thank reachrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 helpful votes
“bhuj - capital of kutch”
Reviewed 20 February 2009

hi friends,

bhuj is capital of kutch. In the center of bhuj there is a lack which is known as HAMIRSAR TALAV. also one MISUMUM is near it.
beahind hamirsar maharao`s CHATARDI. in side of hamirsar one garden which is covered by water of hamirsar. also one restoront in it.

Thank sandeepsanghvi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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