The magical hues of Kutch in ten amazing photographs
When a pre-planned trip fell through, Mridula Dwivedi decided to visit Kutch on an impulse.
I learnt on a Thursday that my trip starting Sunday stood cancelled.
I had leaves and no trip in sight.
To me that was quite unacceptable.
After spending four hours on the Internet the cheapest airfare I could figure out was on for Delhi-Ahmadabad.
And so I decided to visit Kutch.
Bhuj is 7-8 hours from Ahmadabad whether you go by train or bus.
There are no direct flights from Delhi to Bhuj (though it is connected from Mumbai).
So here you have it. The many hues of Kutch in ten pictures:
Colours at Narayan Sarovar
Narayan Sarovar is close to Lakhpat and so is Koteshwar. All the three can be done as a day trip. Narayan Sarovar needs a serious cleaning up but it is said to be of religious significance for Hindus. I was fascinated by these colorful doors at the complex.
Places in Kutch are far away from each-other.
This is Lakhpat which is about 139 km Bhuj. The only eating option at Lakhpat is the langar at the Gurudwara. There are ruins of an ancient fort. From the fort walls I saw the rann for the first time. It was a wonderful sight!
As this was a last minute trip I was finding all the hotels in Bhuj quite expensive.
I got so fed up that I started searching for homestays.
I was really lucky to stumble upon the Devpur Homestay run by one Krutarthsinh Jadeja and his family.
It is a haveli -- a small fort actually.
Not only I had a lovely place to stay, Mr Jadeja planned my entire Kutch including Lakhpat.
Later everyone else told me that the Jadejas belong to the Royal family of Kutch!
They never uttered a word about it though while I stayed with them.
The sea at Koteshwar
I missed the sunset at Koteshwar. I am told that it is considered to be the west most point in India and the sunset usually is spectacular. It is also said that on a clear night you can see the lights of Karachi at the other side of the ocean! If you are going to Lakhpat I would say do Narayan Sarovar and Koteshwar as well!
Vijay Vilas Palace, Mandvi
My next stop was Mandvi.
The Vijay Vilas palace has been the backdrop for many Bollywood films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Lagan.
All I wanted was to have a cup of tea in this grand room! Don't ask me why!
I love being on a beach at sunset.
It is so easy to take good pictures then.
Sometimes I do wonder though, that I should be rather playing on the waves than lugging the camera and the tripod in search of good pictures.
Sunset at the Mandvi Beach
The sunset at Mandvi beach was beautiful. It is not too crowded but it could be cleaner.
There are quite a few food stalls around the beach and we Indians litter without a care in the world!
The Great Rann of Kutch
I did not stay at the Gujarat Tourism tents celebrating the Rann Utsav as they go for Rs 15,000 per night.
I was a little away (Village Gorevali) from the Great Rann of Kutch but it is still easy to go there in the evening and walk along the ramp.
From the parking lot it is a 2km walk across the rann.
Battery operated vehicles are available for hire, so are camel carts.
You are allowed to get down at walk on the salt land.
Musicians at the Great Rann of Kutch
At the end of the walk there were musicians. I could hear them first before I could see them! To me the vast white expanse felt almost like a mirage.
The Moonrise Kingdom
I started walking back to my waiting taxi only after the moon rise.
This was a solo trip for me and I felt safe all times.
Distances are great in Kutch.
So in spite of being a big fan of public transport I had to hire a taxi.
The roads are good in the region. I would recommend Kutch highly.
Mridula Dwivedi is an academic from India who is passionate about trekking and travelling. She blogs at Travel Tales from India.
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