Bhuj Holiday – Off the Beaten Track
Among the most attractive villages in the India rural tourism market is the Rann of Kutch in the state of Gujarat. Gujarat is a great place to visit for people with varied tastes and likes. Some of the attractions that rural tourism in Gujarat provides are farmstays, shopping at village fairs, hiking, buying handmade crafts, etc. These provide great scope to understand the culture, handicraft, tradition, and cuisine of the land.
The Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is the most ethnically and ecologically diverse districts in Gujarat. A major portion of Kutch is covered with salt flats and spreads over four districts of the state. Made up of about 969 villages, it is famous for cottage industries unique to each tribe of the region. The beauty of the Rann is enhanced by the riot of colorful handicrafts made in the different villages here. Read on to get information on some of the finest craft villages of Kutch.
Located 66 km away on the northern side of Bhuj, it is noted for its potters, Kutchi food, and leather craftsmen. The potters paint their wares in distinct colors of black, white and red to give it a distinct look. It is also the entry point to the world’s largest flamingo colony where the birds stop during migration at a lake in the desert.
Hodka is home to the famous Banni embroidery, the word coming from Banni grasslands found on the edge of the Rann. The embroidery is done on the cloth of bright hues of yellow, red and green along with hand stitched mirror pieces. Each piece is different from the next. Other things that a tourist can buy include apparel, jewellery, home furnishing, appliqued fabrics, trinkets, etc.
3. Jura and Nirona
The very names of Jura and Nirona villages conjure a number of exciting images in the minds of the travelers. Jura is home to the Lohar community from Sindh, who are renowned in the art of making copper bells. Bells of all shapes and sizes are made by Huser Sidhik, the artisan who has strived to perfect this skill. These bells made from scrap copper are designed such that the sound from no two bells is alike. Nirona lies at a distance of only 6 km from Jura. Whether it is about visiting the Rogan artists using a metal stick and castor-oil colors to make vibrant designs on bridal wear, or transforming wood with brightly colored lacquer, Nirona has it all.
The Ajrakh block-printing art of 3000 years old from Sindh is famous here and is done with colors derived from natural sources such as mud, pomegranate, indigo, and henna among others. The blocks have intricate and complex designs carved and shaped by the hand. The bold-colored fabrics come out in the market after about 16 different processes.
How to Get To the Villages
Each of these villages is connected by road to Bhuj. They can be reached using state or privately run buses. One can also take a car taxi to any of these places.
Where To Stay
To get an insight into the village life, the best option would be to opt for a farmstay near Bhuj. This is perfect to get off the beaten track and enjoy the local artisans in action. You can stay in mud huts or tents, taste the Kutchi cuisine, sleep under the open sky or go on a camel ride in Khavda. You cannot ask for a better holiday.