It’s a Sunday afternoon, I should say boring Sunday afternoon.. I really don’t know what I am going to write but started writing this (un)planned post about my experience in Kutch.. and my personal experiences within the span of last one week..
I left for Kutch on last Monday, 6th July, I was pretty much excited as my main purpose of visiting Kutch was to meet my grandparents.. I am kind of fond of them.. clean hearted people.. We see the love in their eyes..
I had decided that I will keep the work on the backseat but then I got stuck in the small issues which eventually were blown out of proportion.. few things left me in deep shock.. basically behavior of few people.. I won’t be able to post much about it now as I have been told myself to keep my mouth shut till the issues are resolved but I would surely like to tell the world whole story about how people try to take you on a joy ride.. (Obviously without playing name games..)
So, 6th and 7th were almost spent on cleaning up the mess.. though the shadows of it still remains..
But on the positive site.. I felt really good meeting my grand parents.. I saw the joy in their eyes..
After taking rest on 7th, as per our plan, we left to explore Kutch on 8th (We had planned for 2 days).. though the plan kept changing till the end..
We first visited a place called Mata nu Madh.. it is basically a temple.. I thought it will be a good place to visit but frankly speaking, it was one of the worst place to visit.. (though my parents like the temple and all..), then we moved to a place called Narayan Sarovar.. this one is another temple but I had decided to go to this place just to enjoy the scenic beauty and hope to get a closer look at the Indian border.. (It’s not so far from there), but I was left disappointed.. It did not have anything what I had in my old childhood rough memories..
We moved to a place called Koteshwar from there.. now this one was a real shocker.. like the other 2, it was also a temple but this one was far more closer to the our border.. around 50 KMs distance.. We just got on to the temple’s terrace and were amazed by the beauty.. ocean all around.. I could see some BSF guys around.. the wind was blowing like crazy.. I had never expected this kind of wind flow or scenic beauty in Kutch.. this changed my views about Kutch totally… I just can’t express the feeling in words but by far it was the best place I have ever visited in Kutch.
We spent around an hour at Koteshwar and then moved to a new place called Lakhpat. We did not have much idea about this place, just heard about it from few people..
This place was another surprise for us.. it was basically a small village surrounded by a huge fort.. what surprised me was, presence of 200 odd year old Gurudwara (Guru Nanak had visited that place while visiting Macca), we never expected a Gurudwara out of nowhere in Gujju land.. the place was very holy, calm.. I felt like sitting there for hours..
The same village had around 200 odd year old Makbara (Tomb & Mosque) too, this work on the structure gave us clear idea that the Village must be full of riches.. as the work was resembling the work of artists from Gujarat (mainly from Ahmadabad).. and our guess was true too.. Lakhpat was known as city of lakhpati (millionaires), the whole city got destroyed in a major earthquake during that period.. After visiting the Mosque, we moved to check the fort.. the view from the Fort again left us amazed.. the wind was blowing like crazy.. you just can’t stand still.. the wind will make sure that it shakes your bones.. This place was again very near to the border.. we could see endless ocean in front of our eyes.. The fort was build very smartly, we could not explore much due to time constraints but we could easily figure out minor but smart provisions for the soldiers..
That was the last place to visit that day.. the ended with pathetic food in one of the restaurants in Bhuj.. but we returned with very happy faces and were still relishing the experience at Koteshwar and Lakhpat.. (We still miss these 2 places and feel like visiting again..)
The next day.. 9th July.. this one was basically without our parents.. We had planned to visit small villages in Kutch and a place called Karo Dungar (also known as Black Hills of Kutch). The day started with a short visit to Shrujan.. you get one of the finest clothes made by Kutchi Artisans.. (Sarees, Dresses, Bags, Shawls etc..) We picked up few things from there and moved to the villages.. the places where these guys get the stuff from..
We fist visited a village called Hudko.. Very small village.. around 25 – 30 houses maximum.. it was around 3 PM in the afternoon.. we got down from our AC car and our body started burning.. the hot wind was blowing… but we went ahead and checked out few houses.. The houses there were very different from our normal houses.. the structure was totally different.. a single room in the rounded structure.. these houses are not so hot from inside despite of the hot weather outside. The material they use is very different from the normal houses. They have been living in these kind of houses since ages… Most of the people living here are the artisans.. mainly into hand embroidery on the clothes.. Surprisingly this small village had a hotel too.. it was made in same fashion as these houses.. the Hotel must have been built to attract foreign tourists.. and it is open in Winter.. as no one comes to these villages during Summer and Rainy season..
Another village we visited was known as Gandhi nu Gham, This one was build by couple of NGOs after the recent Gujarat earthquake.. Like the other village, most of the houses here were rounded cubes.. they were purposely made rounded as the villagers are not used to this type of living style and reluctant to change it.. This village had around 10 – 15 houses with a small school and playground for the kids..
What I have noticed that people in these villages are very different from us, they are way too friendly… they welcome you with a big smile, people are not so much aware about things like cars, mobile phones etc.. though they know what is mobile and what is car but hardly ever used them.. they gather around your car to check it out from close.. and if you are wearing shorts.. they will even consider you as a foreigner.. you will have to speak in their language (Kutchi or Gujarati) to make them feel homely…
Whatever it is, these small villages were fun to visit..
After this, we moved to a place called Karo Dungar (Black Hills of Kutch), the place is known for the story of foxes eating the parasd after the daily aarti. This was something hard to believe but we always wanted to know if it’s real or not.. The place is on top of the hills, with the Rann of Kutch on one side and the mountains on the other… The climate was pretty much different here, wind blowing like crazy and very cool climate.. The area was on the border of Kutch so it had a BSF base camp with radar and all… The view from this place was simply fantastic.. we could see miles and miles of Rann, the border was around 50 – 70 KMs away from there.. (this one was in the Rann, at Koteshwar it was in the sea) At Kari Dungar, there is a small point in the middle of the hills (You have to walk towards up (near the basecamp) for 2-3 minutes), we sat there for sometime, I felt like heaven.. clear sky, amazing weather.. very nice place..
We moved towards the temple at around 7 PM.. it was time for the aarti, and we all were curious to see the foxes coming down to eat the prasad.. as the aarti ended, a man with a huge vessel full of prasad started walking towards a place over the top, as he kept the whole vessel there, the foxes started coming in, jumping to eat the prasad.. We were still in shock, wondering how it is happening, what is the relation and logic, why would foxes from the jungle come up just to eat the prasad.. but without thinking much, we started clicking the photos and shooting the video of it.. you can find the photo on the left hand side of this paragraph.. (You will have to click on it to view the larger image). It was a wonderful experience for us. A new experience indeed, never imagined something like this can happen for real.
This was a memorable day for us, everything was perfect.. nothing badly planned, we had great food both the times at Prince in Bhuj, the places were just marvelous.
In our earlier plan, we had decided to visit a place called Dholavira too but we learnt that it is closed between April and August. It is basically like Haddappa and Mohenjodaro, 5000 year old city.. it’s a wonderful place to visit but we will make sure that we are there in Kutch in the right season..
We spent the next day i.e. 10th July pretty much being at Home.. we had planned to stay at home on 11th July too but in the morning we made a super quick decision of visiting Karo Dungar again.. we called the car and went off to the same place again 🙂 Again, a very good experience..
Today, we are going to leave for Mumbai within an hour.. spent most of the day at our home.. was with Grandparents in the first half..
So, overall, our experience this time was just fantastic. I have visited Kutch so many times in the past but never explored it in this extent.. and now we are already planning to visit Kutch again sometime very soon.. and next time we will do proper research and dig out more places like this to visit.. 😀
From tomorrow, I will be back to my work.. will be seeing my office people after a gap of one week.. can’t wait for it.. lots of exciting things happening..