Blog 6 : Kutch (The Crown of Gujarat)
Hope you are doing well, Welcome to World Glance today we are going to know about Gujarat’s Crown KUTCH.
So guys this is Utkarsh and anjali and today we have a special Blog as it is from our guest Sagar Hathi.
Kutch is The Crown of Gujarat and is popular for its grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands. It is beautiful yet different location as most of Kutch is known for its drylands which are covered in shallow water during the rainy season.
Do you know why Kutch is so Famous and Historic?
Well, today we will learn the sightliness of this place and the history behind it in a little more. Its literally means something which discontinuously becomes wet and dry, its a large part of this district is known as Rann of Kutch. It is also well known for tourism. Kutch is not only famous for its marshy salty white rann,wetland or it desert safari. It is also famous for its ancient history & culture.
Do you Guys know about – “The Great Rann of Kutch” – ?
Its name makes sense only in comparison with the salt desert next door. Considering that it spread over 5,000 sq km, the Little Rann of Kutch (the barren land of Gujarat) seems inaccurately named. Spread over a vast 7,500 sq km, the Great Rann of Kutch lies in the heart of the Thar Desert, touching Pakistan’s Sindh Province on one side, and making it the largest salt marsh in the world.
There is the place called “White desert” near dhordo village in the Great Rann of Kutch. During the full moon night, watch the entire carpet of salt i.e. Rann of Kutch glow as if in a dreamland. That’s why Mr. Amitabh Bachchan had once said “Kutch nahi dekha to kuch nahi dekha!!” this quote is in the true sense for this place.
Do you know that kutch is one of the favorite destinations for Bollywood’s movies or serial shooting site location?
There are a huge number of scenes, songs, and movies which was especially acted in kutch such as lagan, Ram-Leela, Mohenjo-Daro, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Kai Po Che, Refugee , Sharto Lagu(Gujarati-2018) etc.
Let’s Explore Kutch but first we will start from the Capital – Bhuj.
This Old City Bhuj from kutch, is full of beautiful castles, museums, and temples. Bhuj is a great place to pick up richly embroidered fabrics made by the Kutchi tribes of Gujarat. Bhuj is famous by another name – “Old Walled City”
“I guess you guys didn’t know where the name of bhuj came from?”
Well, this city got its name from the Sanskrit word “Bhujang”, which means ‘snake’.
The most important part of the southeast asia’s history is bhuj and you can still get to see lots of Primitive Places remains in Bhuj which date back to the era of indus valley Civilization and the time of dvapara yuga . History of Bhuj exaggerates of remaining the witness to many important events that have created an impact on the ancient civilization.With a history that is more than 4000 years ago, Bhuj deals with ancient cultures and has seen the rise and fall of rulers like Rajput rulers, Sultans, local Kutchis and others.
I am feeling good enough to hear this old history of this place that we are sharing with you guys. We are also amazed with the history of this place.
If look forward, before independence Britishers did not directly rules over a bhuj but they supervised and became the administrative head. The British helped in maintaining peace between the people of Kutch and others living in the surrounding regions till the jadeja dynasty.
After independence, Bhuj has become a major city of Kutch. Today, Bhuj is an important place for India’s security and conservation. Today there are many changes in Bhuj where industries are being established and there are two major ports of available nearby in this major city one is Kandla & second is adani.
Now we are going to explore some beautiful places of bhuj. And we are going to start journey from Aina Mahal, then Chhatedi, Haji Pir, Jesal toral, Kalo dungar, Mandvi: beach & palace, Dholavira, kodki river, Desert safari, Rann utsav and at last we will talk about some delicious Food.
Aina Mahal – “Mirror Palace”
I have come here many times but still this place has its own identity. It’s One of the sightseeing attractions in Bhuj. This dreamy palace is the divine creation of Ramsinh Malam. The fabulous Aina Mahal is a most lavish part of the Darbargadh Palace of Bhuj.
Today, this palace is known as Madanji Museum and we can also describe this beautiful palace as jewel of kutch. I can’t explain the royalty of this place through my words, but still I am sharing some facts about this place.
This palace was built in the 18th century by Kutchi ruler Maharao Lakhpatji, renowned for his vivacious and patronage of the arts. In fact, the artifacts and paintings inside the palace are from around the world.
The History of the Aina Mahal is like….
This beautiful place is associated with the life story of its architect Ramsinh Malam, who was rescued by the Dutch People when his ship collapsed at east African Coast.
Later He was taken to the Netherland, Where he mastered the art of making in dreamy places, Tile making, Clock making etc. After so many years When he comes back to kutch at that time the ruler of kutch- Rao Lakhpati gave him an opportunity to show his skills and then Ramsinh Malam creates the ornamented with Venetian style Mahal which is called Aina Mahal.
The most eye-catching piece is a 47-foot-long paper scroll depicting a Kutch state procession. And the walls of the palace are of white marble covered with mirrors separated by gilded ornaments with shades of Venetian glass.
Chhatedi – A very Offbeat but the historical one.
The place reminded me of the ruined Hampi of Karnataka. This Place is historical at Bhuj near Hamirsar Lake known for its architectural excellence. it is a city of many royal sites such as palaces, darbargadh, lakes, and chattardi.
These chattardi are built in 1770 AD to glorify the tombs of the Royal family.Here you can see a number of Royal umbrellas which are constructed by royal kings to protect and provide shade to the dead royal (MAHARAOS OF KUTCH).
Unfortunately, a major part of it was damaged in the 2001 earthquake. One of the shots in a movie “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” was filmed here.
Kalo dungar – Bhujiyo dungar
I was eager to visit the Dattatreya temple at kalo dungar on hearing its ritual of feeding vegetarian food to Jackals before serving to travelers or local People. So, I went there during my travel.
Kalo Dungar or Black Hill is the highest point in Kutch, Gujarat, India, at 462 m. It is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya temple.
Elders 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 regenerates itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of Prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
There is another story for the long parsad…
There was the one holy man named lakkh guru residing at kala dungar and he worshipped the lord dattatreya. He used to feed the parsad wild jackals. once he came a day when he found that there was no food to feed the jackals so, he did similar to lord, He cutting-off his body and offered to the wild jackals and saying, “Le ang!” that means Take my Body part. Over the time this got corrupted to ‘Long‘. so, Now it’s called Long Parsad.
A strange phenomenon was also observed at Kalo Dungar when some visitors & even I noticed that their vehicles were hurtling down the hill at speeds over 80 km/h even with the ignition switched off. It is concluded that the vehicle hurtles down fast due to the more gradient of the slope. Which is still on Research by many Research institutions.
Jesal – Toral Shrine – The Story of Passionate lovers
Near Bhuj, there is a very famous temple in the small town of Anjar, this temple tells the tale of a rare Conjunction between a dacoit and a queen. And this temple is known as Jesal – Toral Shrine.
The very interesting story goes like in middle of the 14th century, where people of the Kutch got to much terrified by Jesal’s Dacoity. One day his sister-in law challenged him about stealing the Tori – a fine mare belonging to Sansatiyaji.
There was no end to Jesal’s desires. It was a habit of picking up whatever he likes. He had heard much praise of the beauty of toral and tori-the mare. One night …… Jesal got hidden and reached the stairs. With the arrival of an unknown man, who starred in the dark mare to break the nails & meet to the Bhagat.
However, Tori was caught by the stable-hand and brought back. While the stable-hand was fixing the nail back in the ground, he accidentally stabbed the hand of Jesal who was hiding in the grass in the stable. But he did not shout or cry for fear of coward. He suffered terrible suffering there.
After the Bhajans got over, Sansatiyaji found a man in the stable who was fixed to the ground with the nail in his hand and immediately understood that such a brave man can only be Jesal.Toral treated jesal with hospitality.
Next morning, Jesal asked for Toral, not knowing that the queen too had the same name. Sansatiyaji was the Philanthropist like karn. He gave him three Things – his queen, the mare and a sword by that name of toral but Sansatiyaji put a conditions that Jesal turns towards devotion.Accepting that condition which prevailed under intense pressure of desire. Jesal took a walk with Toral.
On their way to Kutch, there came a fierce storm and Jesal realized that he would not survive the storm. Toral explained to him the truth of life in that moment of crisis. Following her advice Jesal did the needful. He asked for forgiveness and took a vow to turn towards God. That incident transformed Jesal completely.
But both were not been accepted as united in the society and they both were buried under the ground. Since they were not accepted when alive by the society; both took an oath of coming together even after death. And since then the two tombs are said to be coming closer to become one. These phenomena happen every 12 years and these tombs move a distance of around 1 cm average. Also, it is said that the day these tombs will meet that will be doomsday.
Dholavira – Harappans Convenances
What I saw in Dholavira may have been slightly archaic than an ancient Greek city or Rome,you can absolutely see the splendour in which this city was planned.The best example of engineering is this Dholavira.
Dholavira is the nest land in kharid bet in kutch. Dholavira is the ancient Indus valley civilization and historical Harappans site, and its discovered in 1967 by J.P. Joshi and it is fifth largest harappan city from eight cities. It is close to a port from where extensive trading is believed to have taken Place.Dholavira is a planned city. Exactly like the planned modern cities, Dholavira was made based on a design. In dholavira, You can find lots of things like water conservation system, ruined castles,houses Other structures and Object like sculpture, pottery pieces, terracotta seals, bangles, rings, beads, and intaglio engravings and even sign boards.
This valley is older than the Egyptian pyramids and displays remnants of a highly sophisticated urban culture that was way ahead of its time. The ancient people of this city lived in planned townships with streets, permanent houses, marketplace and even a drainage system similar in the movie called Mohenjo-Daro.
Who can say that even in that period our ancestors were so fond in Vigyaan (science) and Vastu Kala (Architecture).
Kodki – Bhavanipur
There is a very interesting thing about this place which is not so attractive, but nature can say a charisma or we can say creation of the Eternal.
In 1819 earthquake created some crack dawn near kodaki village where river running through, which does not have much to offer the attractive appearance but the place gives you a feeling of deep space to relax view of the valley and direct.
Haji Pir Dargah – Zinda Pir
Now we are talking about a place which seems to be Stillness and Mankind. Which has kept both religions (Hindu and Muslim) together. The place is known as Haji Pir Dargah
Haji Pir Dargah is a unique identity of Kutch. The shrine is dedicated to a Muslim saint Haji pir. This culture and historical Pir is very close to India and Pakistan. This holy place attracts all the people of Pakistan. Even, people from gujarat visit this place.
Do you guys Know why it is called Haji Pir Dargah?
A saint Haji Pir was a soldier in the army of Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri. After giving up the service, he settled near village “Nara” and spent his days in the service of people.He died while saving cows from dacoits. He had performed the Hajj, that’s why he was known as Haji Pir and also known as Zinda Pir dargah.
Mandvi – The sun, The beach, The Palace
In 1585 , Mandvi was established by rao Khengarji. According to Millburn (a writer), Mandvi was famous greatest and busiest port of india. It was connected with South Africa, Zanzibar, Arabia, Malaysia, China and Japan. So, Mandvi has a rich history as it was a major trade center in its heydays. It was considered being one of the richest cities of Kutch
Now, Mandvi is the small town in Kutch which contains the beach, Temples & palaces. When you enter in Mandvi you Find Busiest but Amazing and 400 years old Shipbuilding yards & port around rukmavati river. I find almost Hundreds of men construct by hand with these wooden ships for faraway Arab merchants. The massive timbers apparently come from Malaysian rainforests.
The heart of town is lined with beautiful old buildings in faded pastel hues and temples with wildly sculpted, cartoon-like facades.
Now Let’s Enjoy the sun, the sand, the beach, the waves of Mandvi
Mandvi Beach – Series of windmills
The Ahmedpur beach is the best beach to roam around the sea. The Blue Sky and The Blue sea were playing with each other, with every passing minute of the evening. You can witness the beautiful painting the God was created with different colors of nature. With the sunset the evening beside the sea was amazing. It was really peaceful to be at a beach at night and listening only to sound of waves and gazing at stars.
Once at the beach, the most eye-catching are a series of windmills that are present in the corner of the beach which provides electricity to most parts of the region. This is Asia’s first Windmills Project running on the beach, founded in 1983.
Vijay Vilas Palace:
After roaming and some relaxing at beach now lets see one wonderful & beautiful palace…
Vijay Villas Palace is near Mandvi Beach. In 1920 to 1929, the place was built during reign of Shri Khengarji rao as summer resort for the use of his Successor to the kingdom, the Yuvraj Shri Vijayaraji and is therefore, named after him as Vijaya Vilas Palace.
The palace of his magnificence, Maharaja Vijay Singh ji, who ruled Kutch in 1940, is a variety of architectural styles. Mughal buildings such as umbrella-dome (umbrella, chhajas), mosque roof,Jewelry top Jarokhas and Corpse-Merch, which are found in Rajasthan’s Rajput palaces, Victorian Gothic arches and classical columns seen in the palaces of Bengal. Although the architects were skilled enough to make the whole complex look harmonious
Visitors can see the interiors including offices where the Maharao worked from dawn to afternoon, the rooms for entertaining, the old living quarters, Dining table. From the from the dome-covered terrace, You can see the seashore, their 450 acres of green land & 2km away Private beach.
Guys do you know, The Vijay Vilas Palace has its own private sanctuary maintained in an Eco-friendly manner to preserve its pristine beauty. In Their private sanctuary you can see a blue bull, fox and occasional chinkara, Peacocks & other forest birds.This palace has been used as the setting in many Hindi films Like Hum dil de chuke sanam, Lagan and so on and has now become a popular tourist destination.
Vighakot- India bridge
Indian bridge is the last stop where the common citizens can go. This place is known as Vighakot. In rann it is the only place where you will find lot of stories & Monuments of our brave soldiers. Vaghikot is very silent place where you can sit & meditate over there.
As far as your eyesight is concerned, you will see only an empty ground of 150 yards. On that place, you guys will not see a single person there but if you wanted to go there than you’ve to take special permission of BSF (Border Security Force).
I had special permission to go beyond the india bridge. Indian army & BSF both guards the india from the pakistan. Here are patrolling day and night by soldiers. The Koteshwar temple of Kutch is situated on the far west side of the country.
Here in the territorial water After the Mumbai attacks, Indian navy is also serving their thankless duty. Some Tourist also visit the Sir Creek, Harami Nala, Khavda which are near to the international border.
It is a celebration of the famous festivals here, the people from gujarat celebrate with great fanfare. which is Known as Rann Utsav.
This is a desert festival which is organized by Gujarat Tourism Department. It only Happens in winter’s from December to February, one of India’s unique cultural heritage festivals is celebrated in Gujarat–the Rann Utsav.
Here you guys will find some local handicrafts such as embroidery, terracotta cloths, block printing, and wood carving are on display; Kutchi folk songs and dances are performed and also come in an array of mouth-watering delicacies like regional cuisine, cooked with masala curry and chutneys, and regional Gujarati sweets. The area is also a sanctuary for the rarest Indian wild ass, not to mention the numerous species of birds that come visiting in the winter.
To get a glimpse of rural life in nearby villages also need to see dhardo or hodakano. You can also be seen very close to India-Pak border.
Now let me take you to the Desert Safari Tour…….
The Little Rann contains one of the country’s largest wildlife reserves, the Wild Ass Sanctuary. It is one of the few places to spot the ghudkhar (wild ass) That is not found elsewhere. The wild ass is a handsome chestnut brown member of the hybrid horse family.
Since, there are no shrubs or trees for animals to hide behind, they are easy to spot while driving around. The marshlands and Narayan Sarovar is crowded with Flamingos and demoiselle crane. The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, white-footed desert fox, wild big cats, elegant blackbuck & nilgai, graceful chinkara and a few Small mammals like hares, gerbils, and hedgehogs, desert snakes, cobras etc could also be seen during the safaris in the Rann.
Food of kutch:
Being foodie I can’t resist without a food & yes,you will definitely feel hungry by reading the tasty & delicious food.
In india, Mumbai has the vada pav, then Kutch has the Delicious, Tasty Dabeli. Famously It called “Kachchhi Dabeli”
It is very Famous street food. Dabeli was discovered in Mandvi town there are lots of sweets which are famous and unique than other cities & states. During the Diwali even Pakistani rangers literally waiting on the border to receive a basket which is full of Kutchi sweets from BSF, India.
Generally, It contains rasiya muthiya, Mesukh (mesub), Gulab pak, adadiya, and pakwan.
Hope you have received information about the history of Kutch in this blog.
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