The largest district of India, having more than 2 million population, is Kutch in the state of Gujarat. The district is largely inhabited by Kutchi people and the language which is spoken there is known as Kutchi.
The word Kutch means, a place which gets unknowingly wet and dry. Most part of this district is known as Rann of Kutch because the place is a wetland and is quite shallow. It is one of the best places to visit in Gujarat.
Kutch submerges in water in the rainy season and stays dry for the rest of the seasons. The beauty of the place lies in its white sands that can be seen after the place gets dry. Then, it looks like a snow-covered land!
The district is surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch and also the Arabian sea on two sides. Besides its natural beauty, Kutch is also famous for its handicraft items, embroidery work, Wild Ass Sanctuary, and Flamingo Sanctuary.
Winter is the best time to visit Kutch. Firstly, because the weather during this time is extremely pleasant to wander and explore the place. Secondly, during this time, the nights here look ethereal with the full moon in the sky and the white sand beneath - very surreal and calming experience. Thirdly, the great grand Rann Utsav which starts in winter and adds, even more, to the footfall that this place witnesses.
Kutch is inhabited since time immemorial. The presence of sites such as Dholavira, that belong to Indus valley civilization, emphasize that the place was discovered and settled in prehistoric times. The place also finds its mention in the writings and documents related to Alexender - The Great; the king of the Greek Kingdom, Macedon; and also in the ancient texts of the Mauryan period.
Over time, it has been ruled by various dynasties and empire. By the first century, the place was ruled by the Satraps and later by the Gupta empire. By the fifth century, Valabhi took over and ruled the region until the advent of Chalukyas in the 10th century. Chalukyan rulers successfully administered the place for many centuries and then they were dethroned by the Vaghelas who were later defeated by the Mughals.
In the 18th century, the British East India Company exploited the place to enhance trade with neighbouring countries and later established their rule in India.
After India’s independence, Kutch underwent a lot of industrial development and also thrived as a tourist destination. An interesting fact about Kutch is that there are 97 rivers in the district that flows into the Arabian Sea. There are also numerous dams that together make Kutch a beautiful district.
Great Rann of Kutch. A wonder of sand & salt, it is a perfect delight to the eyes. The great Rann of Kutch is a blend between the Arabian Sea and the Thar Desert which makes it attractive for the visitors. It is a splendid beauty that looks a thousand times more ravishing in full moon nights. During this time the desert shines like a diamond and salt increases the glow.
Kutch Museum. The oldest museum in the state of Gujarat has a lot to feel proud of. It has an ancient collection of coins and Kutchi scripts that are hardly found anywhere else in India. People will find amazing tribal artefacts along with many other traditional paintings, arms, instruments and a lot more that will take you back in the time. It is, undeniably, one of the best places to visit in Kutch.
Dholavira. An archaeological site located in the Kutch District, the site belongs to the Indus Valley Civilization and it dates back to almost 4500 years ago. It is a must-see place in and around Kutch district. J.P. Joshi, an archaeologist of ASI, discovered the site in 1967-68. Since then, it is visited by historians and tourists from across the globe.
Kala Dungar. Go to this highest point of Kutch and explore the beauty of the entire district from the top. Camel Safari here is another major attraction of Kutch tourism.
Rann Utsav. If you have heard of the white desert in Gujarat, then you must also know about the great grand event that takes place here in full Gujarati Style. Any Kutch tourist guide will tell you that the Rann Utsav Festival is a must-attend event. It features cultural performances and handicrafts by amazing artisans.
Tarnetar Mela. This amazing fair is mainly to find your partner but that does not mean it has any less entertainment for kids and married people. The fair showcases the folk arts of the state and there are swings, apparel stalls, food stalls, along with dance, and music performances that are liked by one and all.
Apart from the surreal views of the widespread white sand and infinite blue sky, there is one more thing that will certainly amaze you in Kutch and that is the local food. The food of Kutch has Jain and Brahmin influence on it hence the food available here is primarily vegetarian. If you ever get a chance to visit Kutch, you must try the following dishes: Bajra Na Rotla, Chakri, Papad, Kachumbar, Malpua and Basundi.
Bhuj is the city headquarter to Kutch district and thus people can easily reach here by road, rail or air and then commute to Kutch desert via any local transport. From Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru one is required to travel approximately 1,100, 900, 2,400 and 1,800km respectively to reach Kutch district. Following is the travelling information.
By Air. Bhuj Airport is the nearest airport to reach the district. The airport is located 70 km away from the district and one may cover this distance via bus or a taxi. The airport receives direct and connecting flights from across the country which makes it quite convenient to reach Kutch via airways.
By Rail. Bhuj Train Station is the nearest station to Kutch. From the station, tourists have to travel another 70 km via bus or a taxi to reach their desired location in Kutch. Kutch Express, Bhuj Superfast Express, Dadar Bhuj Express, and Ala Hazarat Express are a few popular trains that tourists may consider to reach Kutch.
By Road. Tourists who are considering the roadways journey to reach Kutch have two options by their side. They can take inter-state or intra-state tourist buses to reach Kutch or may drive their personal car/bike to reach the district.
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