Colorful Kachchh - {Kutch}

One of Gujarat's most beautiful places, Kutch is nature's masterpiece. The vast barren land with spurts of colour is an enchanting sight and the White Desert, as it's fondly called, is what travellers’ dreams are made of. The Rann of Kutch is filled with seawater during monsoons and with saltwater, immediately after. Only on a few islands will you find signs of vegetation enough to sustain life here. The Rann is made of almost 16 tribes and most tribes have distinct cultures, different languages, and a way of life that is drastically different. During your trip here, do make sure to spend time with the tribes here. Not only will you learn a little more about the locals here but the experience tends to become quite memorable. For shopaholics, there are a plethora of goodies to take back home, including silver jewellery, handicrafts, bandhani, and applique work.

Day 01. Post early breakfast drive to Bhuj. This is a panoramic drive clicking the beautiful salt pans and windmills through your eyes and camera. You may also see some migratory birds at salt pans.

Further, you will be visiting the Textile and Tribal Museum in Ajrakhpur "LLDC Museum " which accordingly to me is a must-visit before entering Kutch as this museum explains the real tribes, textiles and culture of Kutch. LLDC Museum is truly majestic.

Drive to Bhujodi Village - a small village with narrow streets align with shops and most houses and workshops in the backyard. You can visit the artisans who are engaged in weaving you can see the women were busy preparing thread from yarn for weaving. Here you will be explained the process for weaving from buying cotton to making thread and weaving it on the loom. There are were so many different stalks of shawls in the shop with different materials used in it. The weavers of Bhujodi are mostly from the Vankar community whose routes are in Rajasthan. Later continue to Bhuj. Dinner and overnight at your hotel pre-booked.

​Day 02. Post breakfast today drive to Banni Region of Kutch visiting Bhirndayara Village - It is on the way to Great White Rann where every house has artisans. The local Meghwal community is known for its embroidery and colourful mud Bhungas with mirror work. Continue to Nirona Village - for Rogan arts on a piece of cloth- The word Rogan comes from Persian and means ‘oil-based. The process of making the natural colours used in art gives it such a name. Castor oil is heated on a fire for about 12 hours and then cast into cold water to give a thick residue called the Rogan. This is then mixed with stone pigments to lend it different hues. Next, the artisan uses a six-inch metal stick to paint with a fine thread of Rogan on cloth. Seeing it live made us realize how delicately the Rogan thread has to be led with precision to give shape to one’s imagination. , Copper Crafts - The Luhars in Nirona have been preserving the craft of making copper bells over seven generations. From the 65-year-old head of the family, Luhar Husen Sidhik, to his 18-year-old grandson, Faruk, the Luhars are passionately taking the art forward. Faruk who is pursuing his college education is keen on giving a new spin to the art. As a result, you can see some heart-shaped wind chimes, a xylophone made of bells, and even a few fauna inspired bell pieces. And Lacquer Works on wooden utensils. On way to Dhordo, you will also be visiting Hodka village. This village has a cluster of families and is famous for its crafts like mirror work, wall hangings, mud work, silver jewellery, etc. Continue to Dhordo – Lunch at the Tent City. Today you will be visiting the White Desert area to witness the amazing beauty in the evening loaded with colours of not just the setting sun. Shopaholics can also indulge in buying authentic Gujarati handicrafts handmade by the Kutchhi people with a variety of options in clothes, bags, and other items such as shoes and puppets. Return to the Tent City. Enjoy your Dinner and cultural evening. Stay at the Tent City.

 

Day 03. Early morning witness the Sunrise at the White Rann of Kutch, Return to your Tent City for breakfast. After breakfast, you will be visiting Dhordo village again where you can see the people from the Mutwa community who hails from Sindh. The women are indigenous with thread and needles which creates amazing embroidery that is patterned around. Continue to Khavda village to see Potters and the Samma tribe. Later visit Karo Dungar to view the beautiful sunset at the Indo-Pakistan border. Continue to Bhuj en-route visiting the Sumarasar Sheikh village to visit Kala Raksha, a non-profit organization that works with several communities, aims to preserve and promote Kutch arts, and specializes in Suf, Rabari and Garasia Jat embroidery. The trust has a small Museum, which works with nearly 600 artisans from seven different communities and can arrange visits to villages to meet artisans and see them at work. Reach Bhuj by evening. Time free for shopping at Bhumi Handicraft Center. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

​Day 04. Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Mandvi formerly known as Boatmen’s Town. Check into your Beach Resort prebooked. Post Lunch today visit the Vijay Vilas Palace and Mandvi Town - Mandvi is known for its 400-year-old shipbuilding centre. The local carpenters still make ocean-going Dhows in much the same way that their ancestors had done a century ago. One can go and visit the men at work, shaping the great vessels with hand tools and coaxing the seasoned timber into shape. The carrying capacity of these boats can vary from 250 tons to 1000 tons. The predecessors of these very same ships had roamed the Indian Ocean and made Kutch a maritime power. Handmade models of these Dhows can also be procured from local artisans at Sagar Ship Model Shop. Rest of the day at leisure on a private beach. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

​Day 05. Early morning free on the beach to enjoy the sea and sand. Post breakfast continues to Bhuj / Kandla or Ahmedabad Airport / Railway Station for the journey back home taking back sweet memories of your Trip to Colorful Kutch…