Amazing Wonders of Kutch

Gujarat Tourism has one of the finest tourist attractions known as Kutch Tourism.  Kutch tourism offers you White Rann, Rann of kutch Festival known as Rann Utsav, Mandvi Beach, Black Hill, Kutch Fossil, Dholavira and many more. Some wonders of Kutch will amaze you during your Kutch Tour. 

White Rann, Kutch

The Great Rann of Kutch also called Greater Rann of Kutch or just Rann of Kutch, is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District, state of Gujarat situated 2 km away from Dhordo village. The Rann of Kutch comprises about 7,505.22 square kilometers (2,897.78 sq mi) in size and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. This area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people. The greater Rann of Kutch is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Migratory birds deem it an abode during diverse weather conditions. Every year for 3 months during winter season Gujarat Tourism Organize Rann of kutch Festival also called Kutch Rann Utsav or just Kutch festival


White Rann, Kutch

For Visiting white Rann tourist required permit from Bhindiyara Check Post about 20kms from Dhordo village and 1kms from Bhindiyara Village, it is on route while going bhuj to rann utsav or bhuj to white rann. A tourist needs to fill form and pay entry fees at this check post. A Tourist who stay at Rann of kutch festival or Kutch Rann Utsav they do not required permit to visit white Rann.

Entree fees for White Rann

Per Adult - 100 INR

Per Child below 12 years - 50 INR

Per Two wheeler vehicle - 25 INR

Vehicle other than 2 wheelers - 50 INR

Black Hill, Kutch 

It is tallest hillock in Kutchh and has a shrine of Dattatreya widely known as Pacchamai Pir. A fair is held in the month of Sravan every year. The lord of Western Kutch & the Guardian of Western Border “Shree Guru Dattatreya” One of the India's biggest Districts & Gujarat's cost district Kutch's capital is Bhuj. There is a village of Khavda exactly 70kms in the northern side of Bhuj, stretched in 229 Sq. meters by the group of hills. Dutt shikhar is having the height of 1460 feets from sea level. The hills are well known in locals as Kala Dungar or Black Hill. the top of the Black Hills is the highest point in Kutch, at 462 m. From here, the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, the desert and sky often becoming indistinguishable. Looking out from the Black Hills, you can understand the tremendous effort that those who undertake the crossing of the Great Rann have to make. Since this is one of the places where a civilian can get closest to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed. The hill is also the site of a 400-year-old temple to Dattatreya, the three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the same body.

Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.

Reaching the hilltop by public transport is difficult; Hiring a jeep from Khavda or Bhuj is your other option. Visiting in the early morning or late afternoon is recommended, though with a few more hours there are nice hikes to do around the hill. Be sure to take your own food and water and if you want to stay the night, there is a dharamshala next to the temple. Tourists who stayed at rann of kutch festival or kutch Festival known as Rann Utsav can visit this place as part of their Rann Utsav package. 

Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.

Reaching the hilltop by public transport is difficult; Hiring a jeep from Khavda or Bhuj is your other option. Visiting in the early morning or late afternoon is recommended, though with a few more hours there are nice hikes to do around the hill. Be sure to take your own food and water and if you want to stay the night, there is a dharamshala next to the temple. Tourists who stayed at rann of kutch festival or kutch Festival known as Rann Utsav can visit this place as part of their Rann Utsav package. 

Kutch Fossil Park

Fossil Park is 60 Km from Bhuj. Mohansinh Sodha visionary man has faced lots of trouble in his life come up as hero and devoted his full life in collection of fossils which found in the land of Kutch district of India. We may conclude him as legendary personality living on goddess Earth. This collection of fossils we may count it as wealth of nation as well as for Geology too. Let’s have his view on fossils and Kachchh Fossil park in his words.

Since long in the nineteenth century, Kutch attracted British officers by its varied landscape, ethnic variation, wealth and unique rocks of the barren hills. It was after the great triangulation survey by British administration in Kutch that they realized that unique fossil contents in the rocks of Kutch. They appointed several surveyors and researchers who did arduous field work and extensive study on the rocks, minerals and fossils of Kutch. A similar study was taken over by many Indian experts who were trainde in this subject. After identification of number of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils of Kutch, the region became famous all over India and the entire world especially in various Geology Department. Kutch was then accredited as famous fossil site in the world being a small geological basin, where numerous species of invertebrates and vertebrates fossils are found in a limited geographical area. Must club this Tourist attraction of kutch in your Tour packages of Kutch.

ADDRESS

Godhinodhar Village,, Bhuj, 370615, India

Phone Number  +91 97 25 339185

TIMINGS

10.00 to 12.00 /15.00 to 18.00

Open on: Every Day

FEES

Rs.50 Per Person

Chhari Dhandh

The Chari-Dhand wetland conservation reserve is located on the edge of arid Banni grasslands and the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch in Kutch District, Gujarat State in India. It is currently legally protected under the status as a Protected or Reserve Forest in India. Chari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland, Dhand is a Sindhi word for a shallow saucer shaped depression. This is a seasonal desert wetland and only gets swampy during a good monsoon, receiving water from the north flowing rivers as well as from the huge catchment areas of many surrounding big hills. It is spread over an area of 80 kms. It is in Nakhtrana Taluka, 80 km south west to the city of Bhuj, about 7 or 8 km from Fulary village and 30 km from Nakhtrana town. It is home to nearly two lakh birds with migratory and endangered species of birds flocking into the area in thousands during monsoon and winters. This wetland is home to thousands of migratory waterfowl. During a good monsoon year Chhari-Dhand (Dhand, a shallow lake) gets inundated with rain water that lasts through-out the year and is a paradise for amateur bird watchers, wetland and wildlife expers. It provides habitat for 55 species with the abundance of around 50,000 birds. Many of these fall under the rare and threatened categories. Many raptor species, Greater flamingo , Great white pelican, Common pochards and Common coot are some of the bird species commonly found here. The Indian wolf, Jungle cat, Chinkara, Caracal are the threatened mammalian fauna that depend on this wetland.

Bhunga in Kutch

Bhunga of Kutch (A circular hut from Kutch, Gujarat). Bhunga is a type of hut from dessert area of Gujarat, Kutch. It is earthquake proof design made out of Mud blocks, Mud plastering and mud flooring.

Bhungas are traditional houses unique to the Kutch region in Gujarat. The houses are circular walled with thatched roof. They are known for their structural stability in earthquakes and for being climate responsive. It also protects against sandstorms and cyclonic winds.

It is constructed using locally available materials like clay, bamboo, timber, etc. Structurally the roof is placed on two thick wooden posts placed across the circular walls. These two posts bear the weight of the roof. Wooden framed windows are set at a lower level for cross ventilation. The low hanging roofs cover the walls against direct sunlight and add to the insulation from the environment. The thatched roof is built on top of the walls resting on a spiral frame forming a cone.

The traditional bhunga requires periodic maintenance, a regular application of lipai or lime plastering to the walls and floor, and the replacement of the dried grass on the roof. The exterior walls are adorned with colourful paintings while the interiors are decorated with exquisite mud and mirror work.

The main peculiarity of Bhunga is its design. Generally ordinary houses are of square or rectangular shape, instead of that Bhunga houses are of round shape. At the time of earthquake it was noted that when skyscrapers made of cement and steel felled like a pack of cards, Bhungas stood strong due to its composition and size. Thus Bhungas are very popular due to their unique make. Bhungas are made of different materials like was there are different types also. Generally in tradition Bhunga babool wood, grass is used as a structure and earth/cow dung is used for plastering and flooring.

The roof is made of wooden top dome where bamboo sticks are tied together with a dried grass rope which weaved with thick layer of grass is then placed on the roof and securely tied down. The walls are made of bamboos sticks with a layer of grass tied to it. Mud and cow dung are used as wall plaster over the grass. They are single cylindrical structures put close to each other to form a house. In common terminology, each bhunga would be equivalent to a room in a house. Bhungas are mainly found in desert islands in the northern parts of Kutch region of Gujarat- specially Banni and Pachham. Banni and Pachchham, Kutch

Banni and Pachchham, Kutch
Banni:

The Banni grassland of Gujarat is the largest natural grassland in the Indian subcontinent, and an area that is both socio-culturally unique and ecologically valuable. The Banni has a long history of migratory pastoralism going back at least 500 years, and linking with a broader geographical landscape that included Sindh in Pakistan and even extended into parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan. This physical link was truncated at the time of partition, with pastoral communities settling on either side of the India-Pakistan border.

Many factors have served to shape the Banni over time, including the damming of rivers that formerly drained the area of salt ingress from the neighbouring sea, the spread of Prosopis juliflora, a fast growing exotic that was planted in the hope it would keep  salinity  at bay, and the continually varying composition and density of livestock that have grazed these grasslands for many centuries.

Overlain on these bio-physical processes are a range of social factors that shape the terms of pastoralist access to and use of the Banni. Among these are the twenty two ethnic communities that comprise the “maldhari” pastoralists whose livestock have grazed this landscape and whose institutions have determined the terms on which different communities have accessed different parts of the Banni. There is also continuing ambiguity with regard to the tenurial regime that regulates access to and use of the Banni, with the Forest Department, the Revenue Department and the Pastoralist Association claiming rights to and control over the Banni. There are therefore a set of competing visions for the use of this vast grassland, including as a grassland to be conserved for its unique biodiversity, as an ecosystem that has sustained, and should continue to sustain, an extensive wide-ranging animal husbandry; and as an area that produces charcoal in support of power-plants being set up on the edge of the Banni.

RAMBLE was established to study the social and ecological transformations in the Banni and help answer some of the difficult questions around land use and management. RAMBLE is an open researcher platform where scholars can undertake disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research on various aspects of the Banni grassland ecosystem, its pastoral communities and their interaction with the Banni grassland. Research is expected to help nuance our understanding of the ecological, institutional and socio-economic drivers that have helped shape this ecosystem. Ultimately, such understanding is expected to feed into ongoing policy dialogue with regard to the future management and use of the Banni.

Pachchham :

Patcham Island shows physical features similar to the Kachchh Mainland and consists of two east to west running hill ranges, namely, Kaladongar (Black hills) range and Goradongar (White hills) range separated by central valley. The Kaladongar range runs along the northern margin of the island with an escarpment facing to the north and high plateau sloping gently to the south into the Central valley. Two small hills, Dingy hill and Flamingo hill, occur to the north of the escarpment near the Rann. The Goradongar range runs along the southern margin of the island throughout its length with an escarpment facing the central valley to the north and a slope to the south into the Banni plain. A rocky terrain with small hills form the islet of Kuar bet in the north-west and Mori bet covered by sand dunes, in the north-west of Patcham Island.

Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Kutch 

Kutch Bustard Sanctuary or Kachchh Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, also known as Lala–Parjan Sanctuary, is located near Jakhau village in Nalia Taluka, Kutch District, Gujarat, India. This sanctuary is one of the two great Indian bustard sanctuaries in Gujarat; the other one is in Jamnagar. It was declared as a sanctuary in July 1992, specifically for the conservation of the great Indian bustard, the heaviest flying bird belonging to the avian family of Otididae. However, the sanctuary presently legally covers a protected area of about 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) of area (202.86 hectares (501.3 acres) of fenced land only and is the smallest sanctuary in the country. Several suggestions have been made to vastly increase the size of this sanctuary as it is a breeding ground of the endangered great Indian bustard. The reason is that its ecological zone is much larger on account of anthropogenic and cattle population pressure that are considered as a ‘biotic threat’ to this omnivorous species.

Extensive grasslands of Kutch, spreading across the horizon enlivened with avifaunal and mammalian life is an ideal place for any vacationer to get spellbound by the rustic exquisiteness of nature. The Kutch Bustard Sanctuary set amidst this natural haven stretches over an area of 2 square kilometers in the Abdusa Taluka near Nalia in Kutch. The woodlands covering the Jhakau and Budia villages extend to this magnificent sanctuary which is the sole home of Great Indian Bustard bird and various other life forms. The area was declared an indigenous home to Great Indian Bustard and a sanctuary in the year 1992.

Great Indian Bustard is a large ground dwelling bird with long neck and ostrich like elongated legs. This endangered species with its neutral colored coat blends with the semi-arid grassland, and provides a visual surprise to the visitors. Lesser Florican Bustards breed here while the flamboyant Macqueen’s Bustard is a winter visitor of this region. The sanctuary is considered a unique dwelling for these birds which are almost becoming extinct in other regions of the country. Other rare species of animals and birds are fellow habitants who make this sanctuary a treat for nature connoisseurs.  Chinkaras, jungle cats, Nilgai and many other mammals inhabit this area, along with the Indian wolf which proliferates in this untamed retreat.

The Great Indian bustard, locally called as ‘Ghorad’ lives in the open. The bird breeds during the rains and it is also the best time to visit the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is also home to several other species of birds including harriers, common cranes, black partridges, sand grouses, black and grey francolin and many others. One also gets to see wild animals like wolf, desert cat, blue bull, striped hyena, etc. Tourist can also spot flamingos, herons, egrets in the coastal areas of Jakhau during winters. If you are wildlife lover this place should be your part of wildlife tour of Gujarat or Birding Tour of Gujarat.

Fauna

Important animals - Wolf, caracal, desert cat, jackal, hyena, fox, mongoose, bluebull, chinkara, spiny tailed lizard, royal snake etc.

Important birds -Great Indian Bustards, lesser floricans, houbara bustards, harriers, common cranes, black partridges, sand grouses etc.

Traditional Water systems of Kutch

Extreme weather conditions and frequent droughts in this area have led the local people to evolve innovative ways to capture and manage the rain water. They dig shallow pits called virdas in almost invisible depressions in the ground, just over the surface. The people scoop it out when needed. Even if it seeps down to the body it cannot be readily agitated underground, the two do not easily mix. As the fresh water diminishes, the saline water gradually rises through the soil and collects at the bottom of the virda, but does not immediately contaminate the potable water above. Just 25 cm of rain is enough to provide fresh water for a few months.

Ports of Kutch

Ports of Kutch District are dealing with the main outland ports of Western India. Gujarat Tourism has the largest coastline having variety of natural advantages for maritime activities. Ports in the Gulf of Kutch have played a key role in promoting trade activities.

Kutch has good number of large ports like Mandvi port, Kandla port, Mundra port and Jakhau port. There is not much for tourists here except the view of large number of ships and boats standing by the shore and some ship construction centers.

Kutch has good number of large ports like Mandvi port, Kandla port, Mundra port and Jakhau port. There is not much for tourists here except the view of large number of ships and boats standing by the shore and some ship construction centers.

Mandvi Port

Mandvi is known for its port and sea. Mandvi port was once the principal port of Kutch that was developed under Maharao Shree Khengarji-I in 16th century in Gujarat. Mandvi port is not in much use now but many boats and ships are made here nowadays.

The port is well known for country craft construction business from ancient time. Traffic is moved by country craft and lighter age vessels at this port. There is ample opportunity to develop repair facilities by constructing slipway. Clay, bauxite, cotton seeds, salt and oil cakes are exported from here. Fertilizers, building materials and dates are the major products imported

Kandla Port

90 kms from the Gulf of Kutch, Kandla Port, a national port under Ministry of Commerce situated on the Kandla stream, is one of the eleven most important ports of India. Kandla Port is the most economical major port in terms of tariff and operational expenditure.

Mundra Port

Located at 60 km West of Gandhidham, Gujarat on the northern coast of the Gulf of Kutch and almost 10 Kms far from Mundra city, Mundra Port is about 65 km from Bhuj and 400 km from Ahmedabad. Mundra Port provides a convenient international trade gateway to Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East. The port is frequented by many large ships and steamers for trade. It is also known for dry fruit ‘Kharek’ that is exported to the other states from here.

Jakhau Port:

130 km from Bhuj (capital of Kutch), Jakhau is one of the oldest ports of Kutch which still retains its old beauty and is famous for fishing. Jakhau is a village 17 km south of Naliya, the taluka headquarters of Abdasa taluka of Kutch with its port situated a further 15 km southwards. There is a centre for coastguard and water department of B.S.F. in Jakhau Port.

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