My Kutch Trip Report


We took a train from Bandra Mumbai in the noon on 27 January, 2013ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage which reached Bhuj at 8.00 a.m. next day morning. ( almost 30 minutes late). A driver was waiting for us with new Xylo from Devsach Travels Bhuj, which I had prebooked. He tried a few restaurants for our breakfast but all were closed. So he took us to a street food stall which was clean. We had Idli, Medu Vada etc. and tea. We received a call from Shaam-e-Sarhad resort asking us whether we would reach there for lunch. We said yes.

 

We reached by 10.00 a.m. to Bhirandiyari to get our passes to visit Kalo Dungar, Dhordo, India Gate etc. There was no queque and the police there were quite quick and cooperative. We paid Rs. 100/- per head plus for car also and went first to India Gate. Photography of the Bridge is prohibited so we could not take photos of the bridge. The road was of very good condition and it was flanked by vast stretch of land, some barren, some with thorny bush and babool trees. Lots of cattle were seen grazing in the bush. We could hardly see any human being.

 

Then we went to Kalo Dungar. It is one of the few hills in Kutch region. There is a temple of Lord Dattatraya recently rebuilt. The area is being developed by the Tourism Department. From the top you can see good view of white raan and surrounding area.

On the way back we passed Khavda village.  We wanted to visit, but we wanted to be in Hodka village in our resort for lunch. We reached our resort by 1.15 p.m.. We finished lunch, which was really good and sumptuous.

 

Shaam e Sarhad resort at Hodka is simply fabulous and very impressive. It is exactly, as it looks in photos on the internet. No tricks on photographs. It is simply picturesque and very much clean. We had booked a Bhunga (mud hut) which was really very good and it was a different kind of experience to stay there.

 

After our tea, at around 5 in the evening we went to Dhordo village about 20 kms. ahead to see the white raan. Before that we went to Raan Mahotsav stalls. There were hundreds of tents raised by Tourism Department and security was tight so we could not see the tents and the area from inside. But we were very happy with our resort and it was not comparable to the tents at Dhordo. We proceeded to see the actual white raann  about 2 kms. ahead. It was a vast flat land, fully white, till the horizon. Sun was setting. The ground was full of white salt like granules. If you dig a little, water would come up and it becomes a small puddle. The colours in the sky were changing from yellow to scarlet to red. The setting sun was looking like hot iron ball of red colour. We had taken a camel cart so we could go inside for over a kilometer. We took several photographs.

 

At night we returned to the resort for dinner. Dinner was nice as expected. The Dining area was decorated with beautiful cloth pieces hung on the high ceiling making it colourful. After dinner there was a music programme of local orchestra. We saw that for a while and sat around fire as it was quite cold by then.

 

Next day morning after good breakfast we started around 9.30 a.m. and headed for Mandvi. We first visited Shamji Krishna Varma Memorial. This has been recently developed by the Government. Mr. Varma was a barrister and a freedom fighter. When he went to London to learn he realised that getting an proper accommodation for an Indian student was very difficult. So he built a building in London called India House and made accommodation available for Indian students studying in London. India house was visited by Mahatma Gandhi, Veer Savarkar and many other freedom fighters. The replica of the India House has been built in Mandvi and Mr. Varma’s ashes have been kept. The tourism dept is developing a huge garden around it. It is worth a visit to such a beautiful place near the sea beach.  There is a small canteen for snacks and tea only. We had to go out for lunch.

 

On the way to the Memorial, there was a small puddle with some water in it and there were so many types of bird we could see and photograph. It is a special thing which I have observed in Kutch that whenever there is water, there are flocks of pelicans, storks, ducks and various other types of birds. It was a pleasure to take photographs.

 

After lunch we visited Vijay Vilas Palace which is good. It is surrounded by dense trees like jungle and very picturesque. Then we headed towards the beach for a camel ride and taking photographs of sea gulls which were present there in large numbers. Watching the Sun setting in the water was another pleasant experience.

 

We had booked Devpur Homestay for our night halt. Devpur is about one and half hour travel distance by car. It was a small princely state of Jadeja family and present descendent is Mr. Krutarthsingh Jadeja, a very polite person, well-qualified and well read man. His house is a small fortress and historical. When we reached there he and his old mother welcomed us with a garland and kumkum tilak on our forehead.

 

Our room was very spacious and decorated with old rifles hanging on the walls. My friends room was decorated with the articles used in stables by the horse riders. It was a very innovative type of decoration and totally different, I may say, a class apart.  Our room was equipped with tea and coffee maker also. There were few selected books in English and periodicals like National Geographic placed in each room for us to read. The bathroom was as big as my bedroom in Mumbai. The rooms and the house was very clean and well maintained.

 

We had dinner which was served with genuine smile and affection. The food had a homely taste, which is the essence of a homestay and that is why it is at times preferable to any hotel. After morning breakfast, we went to Lakhpat Fort, Gurudwara and Narayan Sarovar. Lakhpat fort is an old fort presently guarded by the BSF jawans. Beyond that there is a vast flat grey coloured land till the horizon. Beyond that Pakistan border starts. The Indian soldiers we met were smiling and welcomed us there. After about half an hour we left and went to a nearby Gurudwara. It was under renovation but we could take the darshan. They were very nice people and wanted us to stay for lunch. It was just 12.30 in the noon so it was quite early for us. We politely declined their cordial invitation.

 

We went to Narayan Sarovar. The temples used to close at 1.00 p.m. we could barely make it. But they did not appear to be prompt re closing hours. So they closed about twenty minutes late. The temples are beautifully constructed in the cream coloured stone. The lake or the sarovar was behind the temples. The water did not look clean. We could see few birds in the water. There was nothing much to do or see there.  There are no restaurants or eateries except one run by a charitable organization who do not charge but offer only very basic food like rice, daal and sooji ka halwa (sheera) as prasaad. 

After that we went to Koteshwar Mahadev temple, just 2 kms. from there. It is on the sea shore. When we went, some renovation work was going on. You can see wonderful view of sea and jetty built for fishermen. The tourism department is developing a small garden there. It would be great to view the sunset there. There also you do not get lunch or dinner. 

 

My suggestion will be to visit Narayan Sarovar and Koteshwar Mahadev temple first, then move to Lakhapat and then Gurudwara where you can get lunch.

 

On the way back, we went to Mata nu Madh, a temple of Goddess. Recently renovated beautifully but photography was not allowed. We were back in Devpur by six in the evening. We had dinner there.

 

The next day was our last day. It was a pleasant stay with Devepur Homestay. The Jadeja family was very affectionate and smilingImageImage. We said good bye to them with heavy heart.

 

Our driver, Noor Mohammed, was very polite, smiling, prompt and skillful person. He took us to Nirona near Bhuj by some different route which was different from regular highway. We could spot peacocks, deer on the way and we took so many snaps. The road was in good condition and it was an area with availability of water so it was green and agriculture was the main occupation there. Passing by the green prosperous farms made our journey delightful.

 

At Nirona, we visited a weaving centre called Kala Raksha. It was in a village and had a sales counter also.

 

After that we went to Bhujodi. Just before a kilometer, we spotted a good restaurant for our lunch. We were watching weaving centres etc. in Bhujodi till evening. We made lot of shopping also.

 

Unfortunately, we could see only one museum in Sharad Baug, that too because our driver knew the back door road. That day was a concluding day of Raan Mahotsav organized by the tourism dept. There was a programme arranged in Bhuj and was attended by the Chief Minister. So all the roads were closed and museums too were closed. So we missed that.

 

We thereafter had a dinner and reached Bhuj railway station to take our train back to Mumbai. We wished we had one more day.

Our driver, Mr. Noor Mohd. came out all the way on the platform and helped us with our luggage. Top of it he took the platform ticket with his own money and refused to accept money for the platform ticket. ImageImageImageImageImage

 

The driver, Mr. Noor Mohd., Devsach Travels, wonderful Shaam e Sarhaad resort, Jadeja Family of Devpur Homestay made our trip to Kutch pleasant and memorable. 

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84 thoughts on “My Kutch Trip Report

  1. Very well written blog with lovely snaps.
    I visited kutch around 6yrs back and after reading ur blog, will plan to revisit.
    Thanks for sharing and waiting for next trip report.

  2. I had visited Bhuj a little after the town had been reconstructed after the devastating earthquake of 2001 & was truly impressed. The ‘model’ villages are beautiful indeed but go to a ‘real’ village & it is an entirely different story.

    • I agree with you that it was a very sad event 11 years before. Now people have not only overcome their grief but resumed their life with new vigour. Salute to their fighting spirit. Now state govt. too is doing their best to promote Kutch as a tourism destination.
      Thanks for your comments.

    • it’s really simple and the best travel picture,i wish to visit the place the inf.will be really useful,thanks sohoni j.k.

  3. Very well written sir… I m also planning to visit soon… Can you please mail me contact details for Devpur Homestay as well as your itinerary for this trip… this will help me in making my plan… my email is amitc8680@gmail.com

  4. ohh, it was really a detailed tour report, and after reading i feel that we should not miss the Kutch…or take it on first priority. thanks,

  5. Planning Bhuj visit and after reading your beautiful tour report, I can plan my visit well. Only you should named your photographs, which are beautifully taken.

  6. Sanjiv Ji, Nicely written blog with beautiful pictures and as you said it was your first attempt but definitely will not be the last.
    deepak

  7. Sanjivji,
    Very nice and colourful description. We are planning to visit bhuj and kutch in November.
    I want to follow your path and itenary to have a hazel free trip.can u give the details of the travel agent and the home stay people’s address to my email address
    Jaya.herle@gmail.com.

  8. Hi Sanjiv ji,
    Nice informative blog,
    I will be going to Ahmedabad this October. Can you please let me know if I can take a bike ride to Rann of Kutch within two days from and to Ahmedabad? Also, I couldn’t find much info about the bike ride on net. I would greatly appreciate if I could talk to you on this,
    Thanks in advance.

    • Dear Nikhiljee,
      Thank you very much for your appreciation.
      Roads in Gujarat are very good so riding bike should not be a problem at all.
      Within 2 days would be bit hectic. What you can do is take the bike with you in luggage in the same overnight train you travel. (You have to empty the petrol tank for the purpose but can keep a small quantity if you can please the railway clerk.) So you can move their on your motorcycle.
      But make it 3 to 4 days in case you want to enjoy it thoroughly.

  9. Hi, me and my friend are planning to visit rann of kutch on our own on january 2014 and also some sightseeing like mandvi,karo dungar,india gate.
    How much will a car cost to cover all these places,lets say for a span of two days.
    And what are the budget staying options near to white rann of kutch so that we could enjoy both sunset/sunrise over kutch.
    It would be of great help if u can help us out.

    • In Gujarat minimum per day kilometers are 300 and the rate per km. that time was Rs. 13/- plus driver’s food or Rs. 200/-. Now with increase in diesel prices it would be more.
      Near white rann there could be homestays available in the village. But you have to go there and find out yourselves. If you do not get it then you can come back to Bhuj at night.
      Hope this helps. Have nice time and a great trip.

  10. We r 14 SENIOR CITIZENS planning to visit Kutch from 1st to 5th January,2014. Tickets, Hotel & Taxi were booked.
    Kindly inform us about the following :
    1. Distance from Bhuj to : Narayan Sarovar, Mandvi, Bhujodi, Bhirandiyari, Mata na Madh, Kala Dungar, Dhorodo,

    or Kindly Give us day wise itinerary in short with only places to be visited in a particular day and line of visit i.e. from where to where, Please.

    • Dear Avinashjee,

      The distance is not much as the roads are good and traffic also is not much. Thus time taken for travelling is much lower than we expect.

      On day 1 you can cover northern part i.e.Bhirandiyari, Kalo dungar, India bridge, then Dhordo and White Raan.
      On day 2, you can do south i.e. Mandvi (I had stayed at Devpur at night).
      Day 3 – Narayan Sarovar (first), next Lakhpat fort and lunch at Gurudwara near Lakhpat Fort. On the way back Mata nu Madh.
      If you start at 8.30/9.00 a.m. after breakfast you can cover all the places and can be back to Bhuj by 7.30 p.m. (Please carry some dry eatable with you for diabetic patients as there are no hotels or few and sporadic eating places on the way)

      On all days you can start at 9.00 a.m. and can be back to your hotel by 7.00 or 7.30 p.m.

      On your last day you can visit Bhuj city attractions and Bhujodi (15 to 20 kms. away from Bhuj)

      Hope this helps. Have wonderful time.

      Sanjiv

  11. Hello,
    I came across your blog while looking for information on travelling to Dholavira (Harappa site). Did you consider visiting the site, and if so, what would your recommendation be on how to reach it (car or bus)? Any information you can give would be really appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Soumyajee,

      I thought of visiting Dholavira but I could not do so due to time constraint.
      Secondly, it is a excavation site and I did not know whether they have good guide who would explain to you everything you see around, and whether they allow you to see everything. Otherwise it would be just heap of sand and dilapidated walls for us.
      Reading about it in books is one thing and seeing actually is another thing. Actually seeing can be boring or painstaking also. I do not know exactly how it would be as I have never visited such sites. But I will not discourage you.
      In my humble opinion, you should hire a car and go which would save your time and add to your convenience.
      Have a nice trip.
      Regards,
      Sanjiv

      • In March I had gone to Bhuj and also made my trip to Dholavira, though it was not earlier planned. But after hearing about it in internet, we insisted to go there, it was 6 hours car drive from Bhuj. It is worth going if you are interested in our old culture of Mohinjadaro & Harappa. There are only ruins left there but there is a caretaker who guides you around with a chart drawing showing you the layout of the settlement. it is worth going if

      • Hi,
        Thanks Angeline Martis. I will definitely visit next time. If a guide or a knowledgeable person is available then it is worth. Since you have said that such a person is available, then I must make it. Thanks once again.
        Regards,
        Sanjiv

  12. sir ,
    we have are a group of students , we are planning to visit rann utsav on night of 9 feb 2014 ,staying full on 10 feb and returning on 11 feb 2014 morning.
    Is it possible to visit white sand,hancrafts or anything more..we have planned not to take tour package for 1 day..
    please reply as soon as possible

    • You must be hiring a bus for the students. You can cover Kalo Dungar – there is a small garden and tourism dept is developing the place as a tourism spot, India bridge and rann utsav in the evening followed by visit to white rann to see sunset, which is just couple of kms. away from rann utsav site.
      Next day, you may take a trip to Mandvi.
      Please note that you have to give order in advance for food as there are no hotels on the way. In Mandvi you may find hotels and restaurants but order in advance would be is desirable to save time.
      Have wonderful trip.

  13. Please note that Kala Rakshak is at Sumarsar & not at Nirona.Nirona is famous for Rogan
    Art which is one & only one in India .At Nirona you can also see Copper Bell making,Leather work ,wooden art and textile weaving more information at Kutch travels.

  14. Sanjiv ji I am planning one day trip to kutch on 30th march 2014, sunday, il be travelling from rajkot with my cousin sisters in my car. i want to ask you is one day trip to kutch advisable by you? we cannot stay overnight. if it is okay to visit kutch for one day, where exactly are we supposed to go? little rann of kutch or greater? i also wanna visit kalo dungar, what is the procedures to get the permits? please advise.

    • Mehulbhai,
      Travelling all the way from Rajkot to Kutch and that too just for one day? Not advisable. It is like going all the way to Scotland to taste a spoonful of Single Malt finest whisky and return. Please plan it again during proper winter with 3 days time at least.

  15. i cant imagine such a beautiful/helpful write up and mr sanjiv is so approachable too. THANKS A TON

    Can i also take a liberty to bother you Mr. Sanjiv.

    We are a family of 3 member, me my wife and a 3+year daughter reaching ahemdabad on 17th may morning and leaving from Ahmedabad again on 22nd may 6.30pm is the train is to Delhi.

    Since this is my first visit to Gujrat and i am a not a travel freaky person so doesn’t travel much.So little scared if my first trip will be successful to achive a goal as a tourist????

    I have a friend at Bhawnagar so have to go there too at least for a night , if possible after 20th may.I can land his car too if required once i reach there, but than i have too go back to return the same to him.

    I know i am demanding for too much but can you please guide me a plan which suites to me. If possible keep budget too in mind.

    I am reachable at my e mail and can share my mobile if you provide your mail id to me.

    Thanks in anticepation
    Nitin Gupta

    • Nitinjee,
      Sorry for delay as I was away in Kashmir for a week. I will write another blog on it in next few days.
      Please do not visit Kutch or any part of Gujarat as it would be 45+ C temperature and you will not enjoy it at all. You may plan your trip After October till Mid march.
      If your bookings have been done then take a overnight bus or immediately a train from Ahmedabad to Abu Road and reach Mount Abu where you will enjoy a lot as it is a hill station.
      Thanks for your kind appreciation and Regards,
      Sanjiv

      • Dear Sanjeev Ji thanks a ton for your guidance.However the reservation have already been done, is it worth spending 2 or 3 nights at Mount Abu, is there any beach i should try. Since i work for a school and this is the only time i can go on leave so unfortunately this is the only slot i can plan for and none other. Ne ways thanks once again for your suggestion.

      • Nitinji,

        Abu is a nice place. you can easily spend 2 or 3 nights there. Carving on marble is fascinating at Delwada Jain temples and worth seeing.

        If you want to go to sea shore, then try Diu. It is near from Bhavnagar when compared to Abu and you will get a decent beer as there is no prohibition.
        Next time try to get in Gujarat during Diwali or X mas vacation.

  16. Dear Sanjiv,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m looking to travel to Gujarat in Oct 2014 and doing my research beforehand. Your blog is very well written and highly informative. Thank you for helping your fellow travellers with your experience.

    Warm Regards,
    Soumya

  17. Wonderful experience. By reading I am impressed and planning my trip. Request if you could suggest itinerary. I want to spend one night at Dhordo in tent. Is it recommended to stay one night each at Shaam e Sarhaad resort, and Jadeja Family of Devpur Homestay ? I have 4 to 5 days.

    • Yes it would be wonderful to be at Shaam e sarhad as well as with Jadeja Family of Devpur homestay.
      Dhordo in tent was ok with hundreds of tent and lots of people around you watching and shopping at stalls. entertainment programmes etc. One night over there would be good experience.

  18. Hello,

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Would u be able to share Noor Mohammed’s contact? We are 6 people looking for a reliable driver for our Kutch trip this Dec. Thanks!!

  19. Hi Sanjivji,

    Read your review on Kutch here. It is very remarkable. And to say we’ve planned for a trip there seeing your review. Looking for your kind assistance in getting a 3 day itinerary for 2 people (me & my wife). We have our room booked only at Bhuj from a tourist provider. Thus we can’t stay in Hodka and Devpur unlike your trip. That’s my concern but however could you please assist us with a 3 day itinerary having Bhuj as the point of centre. We would be grateful for that.

    Thanks,
    Vimal.

    • Vimaji,
      You can stay in Bhuj and still enjoy. Please hire a tourist taxi from Bhuj cover the north side like Hodka the way I have covered.
      Second day you can cover Narayan Sarovar side back to Bhuj for overnight stay. Third day you can cover Mandvi and back to Bhuj in the evening. Please go only in Nov. to Feb. Now onwards it would be quite hot.
      Enjoy
      Sanjiv

  20. Dear Sanjivji,
    At the outset, let me convey my note of appreciation to your write up on Kutch trip. We will be going Baroda during December 27-30, 2015 to attend a seminar. Prior to that we intend to visit Kutch as per your Itinerary. We will reach Ahmedabad from Kolkata by flight. Therefrom we shaal go to Bhuj. Then we will follow your Itinerary. We just want to add two more sites: Zainabad (for wild asses) and Dholavira (Harappa site). Kindly let me know in details (including night stay) how can I accommodate these two sites in your Itinerary. After finishing the tour at Bhuj, we will return Baroda to attend the seminar. An early reply from your end will be much appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    J K Sarkhel

    • Prof. saab,
      Day 1, you may cover places as per my itinerary of day one. Day 2 you may cover Narayan Sarovar etc. plus Mandvi in the evening and save your one day. For that you may have to start early morning about 7.30 or 8 a.m. Please note to finish you breakfast early and carry some snacks etc. as there are no regular hotels in interior parts. You can have your lunch at Gurudwara there by 12 and proceed to Mandvi. You can stay at Bhuj and cover all places.
      While in Baroda, do not forget to visit Narmada river and Sardar Sarovar Dam.
      Have nice time.
      Sanjiv

  21. Hi sanjiv. I read your post on Bhuj a year back and saved it cos I knew I would visit it one day. I might plan it this december and earlier I was only planning to stay in tented acco in Kutch but now think I should follow the itinerary you have given. How many days did you spend there? I will be going from Delhi and any other place you can recommend?

  22. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for this fantastic blog. I helps travelers like me who would like to explore Kutch. I’m doing my initial research towards planning the itinerary from Delhi. I have a few questions.

    – Is Feb a good month to explore Kutch?
    – Would you recommend the Kutch Festival or an independent itinerary for a better experience?

    I would like to seek more help from you if possible via email.

    • Hi Prasenjit jee,
      Thank you very much for your kind appreciation.
      February is a good month to visit.
      I love independence so I would prefer my own way instead of being driven by festival crowd.
      You may consider pros and cons of the issue and decide.
      Thanks,
      Sanjiv

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