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Posted in Photo Essay, Travel | 7 comments

Kutch-ing!

Our trip to Kutch was nothing short  of a mesmerising treat to the eyes. Each curve was beautiful and every village or town we passed was a story. It was more exciting because we were riding – a small battalion of four Royal Enfields – thumping through the smooth roads of Kutch under a sultry sky.

It was dry and hot but it did not matter. What we saw and explored was truly majestic and so much fun. I wonder if there was any better way to have done it than on two wheels – and I am so sure there wasn’t. It wasn’t just the places we saw; but also the way we soaked in its essence against the blowing winds.

Our ride that started and ended at Gandhidham.

Our ride that started and ended at Gandhidham.

We trailed in this order: Gandhidham – Dholavira – Dhordo – Kala Dungar – Lakhpat – Narayan Sarovar – Mandvi – Gandhidham.

The locals seemed innocent and shy. It happened so many times that I would want to click someone and they would look away, with an apprehensive smile.

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A shy, little Kutchi girl.

A local woman at Rapar, on the way to Dhordo.

The food never disappointed us. It might be a good idea to stick to Gujarati thalis when eating on the highway, like us. However, it must be noted that there are very few places to dine on the way. Even in villages you wouldn’t find a dhaba or anything like it. Only certain places serve food but wherever we ate, we were jolly well delighted!

A Gujarati thali in Mandvi

A Gujarati thali in Mandvi. Image courtesy: Deepak Ananth

Imagine having to halt your vehicle to make way for a camel. What a sight!

A camel crossing the road while we wait. Notice the bike in the distance; our friends riding ahead of us.

A camel crossing the road while we wait. Notice the bike in the distance; our friends riding ahead of us.

It was so spectacular to just stand by the road and watch a caravan of camels walk by slowly. It was quiet, peaceful and beautiful. The only sounds we heard was of bells hanging around some of their necks.

Camels walking against the white desert, on the way to Dholavira.

Camels walking against the white desert, on the way to Dholavira.

It was a great ride – smooth roads, open spaces, sparse traffic. There were patches when we didn’t see a human for many kilometres.

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Dholavira is an archaeological treasure. The remains of Harappan civilization can sweep one off their feet. Going by Wikipedia, the site was occupied from c.2650 BCE, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE. It was briefly abandoned and reoccupied until c.1450 BCE.

That long ago, they built classic drainage systems and water reservoirs, male-female locking system and symmetric architecture! It is a wonder.

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Remains at the Harappan Site in Dholavira

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Harappan remains at Dholavira, Kutch

Harappan remains at Dholavira, Kutch

Harappan remains at Dholavira, Kutch

Harappan remains at Dholavira, Kutch

One can see broken pottery pieces and pieces animal bones everywhere at the site.

Broken animal bones at the site.

Broken animal bones at the Harppan site.

Tip: Do hire a guide when you visit the Harappan site.

To stay: We stayed at the government resort – AC rooms in the shape of a circular hut. Decently comfortable.

We moved onto Dhordo the next day. This is where the Rann Festival takes place every year. We caught the sunrise at the white rann here; one of the most beautiful mornings there can ever be. It’s supposed to be extremely beautiful under a moonlit sky.

Tip: Do secure permission to visit the white desert beforehand from the check-post about 27 kms before Dhordo.

The last electric poll in this part of the border area.

The last electric poll in this part of the border area. One can spend hours just looking at this white

We stayed at the Toran Rann Resort, a beautiful place with AC rooms and basic comforts.

Toran Rann Resort, Dhordo

Toran Rann Resort, Dhordo

Kala Dungar

Kala Dungar (black hill) is about 70 kms from Dhordo.

The view of the white desert from this point is beautiful. Photographs cannot do justice to it!

Our next stop was Lakhpat, a ghost town with a population of less than 500. We spent a couple of quiet hours at the Gurudwara that speaks volumes about this town’s fascinating history. You can stay here for free and even have the langar. We reached at a time when we were served (with a lot of love) tea. We sipped on it as we saw a peacock walk by. It was so serene and the place has a very calming effect on the mind.

At the entrance to the fort at Lakhpat, Kutch

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In the Gurudwara at Lakhpat, Kutch

Sun setteing over a temple at Lakhpat, Kutch

Sun setteing over a temple at Lakhpat, Kutch

We proceeded to Narayan Sarovar to halt for the night. This is a very small town where life surrounds the main temple. We had our dinner in the temple premises and had the darshan only the next morning. The temple guest house is available with AC rooms and other very basic facilities. A comfortable stay for a temple town.

We also visited Koteshwar, just a kilometer ahead of Narayan Sarovar.

Koteshwar, Kutch

Koteshwar, Kutch

Koteshwar, Kutch

Koteshwar, Kutch

Koteshwar, Kutch

Koteshwar, Kutch

Our last day was spent at Mandvi, a coastal town with a beautiful palace and a beach.

Mandvi Beach. A camel ride here is a must during sunset. Very enchanting!

Mandvi Beach. A camel ride here is a must during sunset. Very enchanting!

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Vijay Vilas Palace at Mandvi. This is where some parts of the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was shot.

7 Comments

  1. Few cool captures up there 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, thank you 🙂

      It was a great experience to be on the road and explore the region.

  2. Beautiful as it is…you have captured it well too

    Nice one

    • Glad you like it 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂

  3. Amazing set of photographs. Kutch is a must visit place. Now am craving for that Gujarati thali 😉

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