Posts tagged ‘kutch’

BEAUTY OF THE BARREN LAND


Places having mountains, valleys, beaches, culture and heritage, excavations, glaciers etc. get famous throughout the world. Apart from these places having tourists round the year, there is a place away from water and greenery and yet cocooned in its own beauty. Yes, it is the desert. Along with varied wildlife, beautiful beaches, mountains and shrine Gujarat is also blessed with the rare beauty of the deserts.

Little Rann of Kutch is situated about 93 kms from Ahmedabad. It lies in Gujarat along Pakistan border. The demography of the Little Rann of Kutch comprises of saline desert plains, grassland, scrubs, lakes and marshes. It is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the rains. The land with beautiful sand carpet offers wildlife viewing opportunities, colorful villages, safaris and lakes. It is a unique place on earth with an unending possibility of exploration. It provides varied sites that become a part of an unforgettable experience.

HOME TO THE ENDANGERED

Little Rann of Kutch harbors the last population of Asiatic Wild Ass. The sanctuary was established in 1972 and is known for its herds of the wild ass (Gudkhar). The brown creatures are not found anywhere else in India. Around 3000 wild ass live in this region and most of the time they are spotted in herds, especially during the breeding season. Apart from wild ass, the sanctuary is also a home to 32 animal species. The elegant blackbuck, nilgai, graceful chinkara, jungle cat, fox, wolf and many more species of animals can be spotted in the safari.

The place become a paradise for bird watchers during winters. Houbara bustard, sandgrouse, desert chat, desert wheatear, nine species of larks, quails, gray francolin etc are seen in the saline desert wilderness. One can also have the pleasure of watching Eagles, vultures, harriers and falcons hunt their prey. Thought a desert, there are small lakes surrounding the region like Nawa Talao and Vanod Saran. Flocks of water birds are found in this region like Flamingoes, pelicans, cranes, storks, ducks etc.

The Sanctuary has three main access points: Dhrangadhra, Range Bajana, and Range Aadeshwar. If you are planning to visit it during winter, Range Bajana is the best place as you can get closest to the migratory bird from this point. Whereas, Dhangadhra being a bigger town will provide easy transportation and accommodation facilities.

Exploring nearby villages is a good option apart from the sanctuary as the place is a home to tribal groups. The traditionally built houses, paintings and dresses fill color to the beautiful picture of the desert. The Rabari and Jath women embark various tattoos; wear large beaded necklaces, ornamental jewellery made from lead, white metal, iron and silver.

Zinjuwada, bang on the edge of the Rann, has an old, 11th century fort built during the Solanki era and houses one of the area’s largest salt works. On your way to or from the Rann, you can visit the glorious Sun Temple at Modhera and enjoy the delicately carved stone walls. There are some other national parks in the region including the Marine National Park and Nal Sarovar Park, which are rich in flora and fauna and are really worth a visit.

ACCOMODATION 

You will get many government guest houses. At few places you can also opt for the traditionally build huts and have a feel of the culture of the tribals.

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Treasure The Village Tradition at Hodka


Each of us waits for holidays to move away from the hustle and bustle of city life. People rush to various tourist destination as soon as the holidays begin. Nowadays rather than visiting hill stations, people prefer visiting villages. Visitors these days look for places where they can get a feel of a village and know more about village life and culture of the villagers. As a result The Endogenous Tourism Project has been started. Endogenous tourism is a step beyond tourism as it does not only mean travelling or exploring for pleasure. It is much more beyond pleasure as it helps to create a mutual understanding between the localites and the travelers. It helps to broaden the mindset of people.

One such endogenous travel project has been started at Hodka village in Kutch. It is situated at a distance of 63 kms from Bhuj. The name ‘Hodka’ has been derived from the word ‘hodi’ which means boat. Hodka is believed to have been inhabited around 300 years ago by the Halepotra clan from Sindh who were cattle herders and were in search of pastures. The Meghwals, traditional leather craft and embroidery persons, from further north, have also settled in Hodka over time.

Hodka Tourism is owned and managed by the people of Hodka. The village with perfect natural surrounding is a perfect way to enjoy the village atmosphere. The main attraction of the village is that you can live with the same style as that of the community, explore their art, craft and folklore of the region. The village is very famous for its art and craft work with distinguished designs and patterns. Leather craft is a specialty of this region as several types of embroideries; weaving, printing lacquer work etc are beautifully done. One can also visit several artisans and observe the making of these art pieces. One can converse with these artisans about their livelihood and know more about their lifestyle. The colorful handicraft items available here can become a shopping spree.

The typical mud made houses often attract the tourists. The houses are nicely decorated and creatively painted. Usually dung and natural dyes in the earth tones are used to decorate these houses. One also gets to visit virda or well where you learn about the ancient process of water harvesting in the Banni dry-lands and to Sarguvaro Dhand, a flat and dry extension of land similar to the Great Rann of Kachchh, to enjoy the particular landscape. One can have a different experience of sleeping on a bed made out of mud or sleeping in a tent enjoying the open dessert.

After having a feel of the village, one can have a good time exploring the birds at Chhri Dand. It is a home to more than 50,000 waterfowls and 55 distinct animal species. Migratory birds are often seen in this area. Moreover, one can have a sight of endangered foreign species of birds. It is a best site for bird watching as the area remains flocked by several species of birds.

Apart from Hodka one can also visit Than Monastery, Dholavira and roam around the white Rann of Kutchh. All this seems to be a mixture of art, culture, tradition, civilization, nature and wildlife. It is a place that is a combination of all, a place that suits all kinds of people. It is a perfect place that not only brings peace but also adds to one’s learning about the village life and people.