Places to visit in Kutch
Kutch, the largest district and region in Gujarat known for its barren, white desert that covers more than 40,000 sq.km. Kutch refers to the way it is submerged during the monsoon season and completely dry otherwise. The region borders Pakistan and also has a few areas of the Thar Desert in it that extends into Rajasthan. Once ruled by the mighty Rajputs, the region is not very fertile but the arts and handicrafts from the area are incredible and one of a kind. Jeep and camel safaris in the area of Kutch are the greatest attraction in the realm. The unique blend of nature and tribal culture makes it a delight for all the tourists worldwide. Here are some of the places that are must visit for all in the Kutch.
The capital of Kutch, Bhuj is accessible through all the modes of transport. Ruled by the Jadeja Dynasty kings, the city is located on a hill called the Bhujia Dungar. 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 must visit for all.
Established in the year 1877, Kutch Museum is the oldest museum in the state. The museum is one of the foremost initiatives to preserve the local tribal culture and houses the rare and largest collections of inscriptions, Kutchi script, coins & currency, art, musical instruments, sculptures, and metal items. It is the ideal place to know the historical importance of the Kutch people.
Great Rann of Kutch
The Kutch desert has two parts, out of which the Great Rann of Kutch makes up more than 7,000 square km. The Rann is filled with marshy salts that make it the white desert that creates an illusion of endlessness. In mid-November, the region hosts the Rann Utsav, one of the biggest cultural fests that show the elegance of local artists performance along with camel safaris.
Bhadreshwar Jain Temple
Kutch is home to some of the Jain temples. The Bhadreshwar Temple, one of the most ancient temples situated in Bhadrawati, is a highly popular temple in this region. The temple has an interesting history behind it. King Sidhsen ruled Bhadrawati in 449 B.C (according to the Hindu calendar) who renovated the place. Later, the Solanki’s who were Jains, and changed the name to Bhadreshwar ruled it. Then in 1315, a great famine struck Kutch, after which Jagadusha renovated the place.
Kandla Port, a public port, is one of the eleven most important national ports of India. The British Royal India Navy in 1851 and a detailed survey done in 1922 undertook the first investigation of this stream. Developed by a Joint project of Maharao Shree Khengarji-III and British Government in the 19th century. Standard dry cargo treatment capacity of Kandla Port is 24,000 metric tonnes per day.
Vijay Vilas Palace
One of the premium movie location that can be witnessed in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and Lagaan, Vijay Vilas Palace is a mesmerising royal junction. Located in Mandvi city in the Kutch district; it’s a perfect royal residence set amidst well-trimmed gardens and marble fountains. Structured with coloured glass, protruding porches and domes on pillars, this palace is beauty in the region of Kutch.
Aina Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is the old palace of Maharao Lakhpatji’s, where one can witness traditional Kutchi architecture. Created in the 18th century by Ram Singh Malam, the mirror work has an influence of Indian and European styles. With innovative use of Venetian glass, marbles, and mirrors joined by studded jewellery and reflective lighting, Aina Mahal is worthwhile to visit. An absolute royal treat to the eyes which inspires the great history of Kutch.
Mandvi port is home to the largest shipbuilding yards in the country where artisans still work at building ships from wood. The experience of watching this art is out of the world and is hard to come by. On the sidelines of the River Rukmavati, the yard is a major Centre for the shipbuilding industry as well the timber wood industry.