Kutch, a north western region of Gujarat is commonly known as Great Rann of Kutch and is the largest district of India. The district covers an area more than 40,000 sq. km. There was a time when the district was renowned for its farming and cultivation but due to the devastating earthquake which hit the city twice, the condition of the city got transformed completely but there are several government and non-government research institutes which are taking proper initiatives to make the city available with latest farming techniques. Great Rann of Kutch is reputed as the world’s largest salt water lake. The city holds many monuments and places which were the significant parts of Indian History including Lothal, Dholavira etc. Dholavira an archeological site that holds ruined evidence of the Harappa Civilization. Apart from places related to history it is a multitude of sea and desert, marshlands which make the place a beautiful wonderland.
If you are planning on a visit to Kutch then don’t miss out on visiting these popular tourist destinations:
Great Rann of Kutch:
It is the world’s largest salt water lake located in the western most state of India. The fascinating view of sunset on the full moon day gives you a spell bound experience of visiting a different planet. The beauty of this place is not only limited to tourists only even the salt marshland has served as a background of many Bollywood movies like Refugee, Ramleela and there are several others in the list. The salt marshland has been divided into 2 regions named Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. The deposits of salt on the marshland are renowned for creating the beautiful illusions which are experienced by the tourists and have been appreciated too. The area is filled with herbs and shrubs but you cannot find a big tree anywhere in the Kutch but there is an exception of a weird tree named Prosopis Juliflora.
An archaeological site holding the ruins of Harappa civilization but the place is holding the same popularity at present also. Harappa Civilization was once the most developed civilization around 4500 years back. If you are a history lover or an architecture lover then you must add Dholavira as a stop off in Kutch as the place is filled with curiosity and adventure. However the place lacks in scenic beauty but the architecture and the history of the place binds the tourists towards itself. The archeological site is surrounded by water channels from two sides which are Mansar in the north and Manhar in the south. The sophisticated water reservoirs and the well maintained drainage system of Dholavira are very famous as it was the first city to introduce this system.
The oldest museum of Gujarat holding the inscriptions of Kshatrapa which was in existence during 1st century AD and even witnesses the inscriptions of Kutchi script which has been extinct now as now Gujarati language is used mostly. Similar to other museums you can spot the ancient arts and cultures accompanied with embroidery, paintings, musical instruments and others. You can find several colonies of tribal communities living there in Kutch so you get the chance to learn not only the ancient cultures of the tribes but also you can come to know the present cultures which the tribal people are following. The splendid Hamirsar Lake is situated very near to the museum so tourists can get the experience of art and culture accompanied with scenic beauty of the lake.
One of the most mesmerizing tourist destinations in Kutch, Topansar Lake is situated at Mandvi. The place explored by locals for walking, jogging and is the on the top of the list of picnic spots in Gujarat. During winter you can spot many local birds as well as the birds migrated to this place especially black headed gulls and even brown headed gulls. If you are a camera lover then Topansar is the perfect place to click some beautiful pictures as a memory of Kutch. There are benches fixed on the coast so that tourists can get relaxed and can experience the fresh and cool breeze coming from the lake. Food lovers will also not get upset as there are numerous stalls selling lip smacking dishes of Gujarat. Myriads of bird species and people feeding them can be spotted at the lake.
A port holding the great significance and is considered as the 11th most important port of the country. The port is also named as Deendayal Port and Kandla Port Trust which is situated near Gandhidham. If we go through the reports then we can come to conclude that it due to the participation of the private sectors, the port has become one of the busiest ports of India and is holding a great capacity of substantial cargo handling. The port was earlier limited to the imports of only crude oils but now it has expanded to handle the non-POL Cargo too which includes the imports of chemicals, petroleum, iron and steel . The climate of Kandla is usually dry as the place doesn’t get much rainfall. You need to seek permission to enter the port and after entering the port you can get to watch the ship from a very decent height.
Gujarat is situated on the coastline and so holds numerous fascinating beaches. Amongst all the beaches there is a beach which comes first on everyone’s mouth when we talk about beaches in Gujarat and that is the beach which is located in the middle of the city named Mandvi Beach. Couples spending their beautiful moments with their partners can be witnessed anytime but it’s not like this that the beach is limited to only couples, people tired from their hectic day schedule, local ladies gossiping with each other can also be seen here. Children playing with sand and making temples or any design on the sand take you back to the memories of your childhood. Various water sports including scooting, speed boating, parasailing are some of the enthralling attractions of the Mandvi Beach. Tourists love walking on the beach and swimming in the water body.
Bhadreshwar Jain Temple:
Not located so far from Bhuj, Bhadreshwar is a pilgrimage dedicated to Jain devout. According to the Historians the origin of this temple is around 2500 years old which means it was constructed after 45 years of Lord Mahavir’s death. There are many ancient temples standing in Bhadreshwar which are dedicated to Jainism including Vasai Jain Temple, Bhadreshwar Jainism Temple. In Vasai Temple, non-Jain devout are not allowed to enter the premise of the temple but keeping such limitations apart the carving done and the scriptures of the temple gives an eye treating and soul enriching view. The original idol of Lord Parshwanath which was discovered during 500 BC is the major attraction of this temple. Bhadreshwar holds many ancient temples, mosques and historical sites as tourist spots.
This glimmer palace was constructed during the reign of Lakhpati Ji which was around 18th century. It is also called as “Hall of Mirrors” by many of the people. You can visit a museum inside this palace where you can find many handicrafts related to Kutch. The palace is a Beautiful compilation of antique clocks, glimmering glasses and non-native tile works but had lost its charm for some time after the devastating earthquake that hit Bhuj in 2001. However the renovation has been done to regain the beauty of the palace. The carvings done on the walls, beautifully designed window panes and airy balconies enhance the charm of the palace at a greater extent. The Hall of Mirrors and a huge collection of art and old fangled pieces are the major attractions of Aina Mahal.
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary:
The establishment of Wild Ass Sanctuary was done in 1973 with a motive to provide protection to the endangered Indian Wild Ass. The sanctuary is spread over an area of around 5000 sq. km. in Little Rann of Kutch and covers a great part of other regions including Sundernagar, Rajkot, and Patan. This sanctuary is considered as the largest sanctuary in Gujarat. Wild Ass Sanctuary is not only a home to Indian Wild Ass but also serves as a shelter to around 32 species of mammals like Chinkara, Desert fox, Jackals, Nilgais etc. The bone rattling experience of the Jeep Safari and getting the glimpse of numerous wild animals from Jeep is a major attraction of the sanctuary.
The town was found during 650 AD and is so termed as the oldest town in Kutch. This westernmost state of India has witnessed earthquakes several times and has ruined several regions and Anjar is also one of those regions. Jesai Toral Fair is the auspicious fair celebrated here by different Communities and is celebrated as a remembrance of the popular couple Jesai and Toral. Eye catching handicrafts of markets compel tourists to fill their baggage with the beautiful handicrafts showing the art and cultures of Kutch. Madhavrai Temple, Bhureshwar Mahadev Temple, Swaminarayan’s Temple and Ajepal’s monastery are some of the major attractions of Anjar.
Hello reader, I am Sakshi. I am a perpetual book worm, a foodie by heart, avid reader and a part time explorer. i love writing about various different destinations at Gujarat expert. if not writing i can be seen watching thriller movies, listening to rock music or cooking up some new dishes.