The experiences you gather from a visit to the Kutch region of Gujarat lingers in your memory for many days to come. The sights, sounds and flavors of Kutch are many and that makes Kutch a unique treasure trove for tourists from every part of the country and globe. Vast expanses of the shimmering white sand desert and magnificent architecture of the Mahals out there will simply fascinate you. The pristine beauty of the desert land with its true colors, flavors and cultural vivacity offers tourists with innumerable must-do activities that keep them thoroughly engaged and entertained. When you are in Kutch, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the activity options the desert land offers you with. Read on to learn more:
11 Best Things to Do in Kutch
1. Visit the Kutch Festival
Visiting the Rann Utsav held on the Rann of Kutch is one of the most notable, not-to-be missed events of the region. During the festive times the otherwise arid, barren expanses of the salt desert liven up to new life with ceaseless cycles of music, dance, craft and art. An unparalleled cultural extravaganza coupled with amazing hospitality, delicious food and luxurious tent stays makes you pick an experience of a lifetime.
2. Shop at Kutch
Shopping at Kutch is indeed a one of a kind experience. The bazaars and markets of Kutch are replete with marvelous artworks, handicrafts, embroideries, silver junk jewelries and homemade commodities. By shopping at Kutch, you can lay your hands on these unique handicrafts crafted by the local artisans and take them home as souvenirs.
3. Explore the Beauty of Rann on a Moonlit Night
The beauty of the Rann on moonlit night is truly inexplicable. Vast expanses of sequin-like sparkling salt mixed sand create an ambiance that’s surreal and out of this world. The moonlight drenched sparkling white desert looks magical and spell-bounding.
4. Camel Safari on the Rann
Camel Safari on the Rann is an exciting adventurous activity that most tourists opt for. A journey through the vast expanses of undulating, sparkling salt desert on camel back introduces you to many sights and sounds of the desert, apparently unseen and unheard.
5. Reach the Summit of Kalo Dungar
Trekking the trails of the Kala Dungar dune to reach up to its summit is an activity that most tourists indulge in while at Kutch. This gives you the opportunity to explore the beautiful scenery around, catch a bird’s eye view of the entire Kutch region from the hilltop and visit the most ancient and revered Dattatreya temple upon the dune’s summit. A visit to the temple may allow you to catch a glimpse of the jackal feeding ritual undertaken by the temple’s priest at noontime and evening each day. Apart from trekking, you can also hire jeeps and cars to reach the dune’s top.
6. Sample Local Kutchian Cuisine
A rich blend of tastes and textures makes the authentic Kutchi cuisine a true delight for the foodies’ palate. Try out the sweet, sour and pungent Kutch Dabelis, Khari Bhaat and other such authentic food items that make the Kutchi cuisine close to the heart of food lovers from various corners of the country and globe. Sampling these local foods of Kutch is indeed an experience in itself.
7. Take a Stroll on Mandvi Beach
Mandvi beach is one of the most scenic beaches in the Kutch region of Gujarat. It is positioned on the Northwestern shore of the state. The tranquil ambiance of the beach allows you to spend some lazy hours slouching on the sand or to go on a romantic stroll hand in hand with the person you love. Exciting camel rides can add to the joy of the outing.
8. Go Back in History by Visiting the Bhuj Museum
Bhuj museum is the oldest of all museums in Kutch region and offers one with a glimpse of the rich historic past of the region. Maharao Khengarji founded this museum around 1877. The various exhibits in the museum like rare Metalworks, sculptures, arms and ammunition, tribal artifacts, Kshatrapa inscriptions, Kutchi scriptures, folk arts, musical instruments, paintings, embroidery work. A visit to the museum will let you gain in some knowledge about the variegated past of the region.
9. Explore the Wealth of Archaeological Relics at Dholavira
When we delve deep into history, many gems come up from the past. Dholavira is one such exciting relic from the Harappan phase of civilization. Dholavira is an archaeological excavation site, nearly 4500 years old, located in vicinity to Kutch. Ancient citadels, drainage systems, beaded and metallic ornaments, earthen potteries, intriguing scripts, dry wells, ancient seals etc constitute the remains at Dholavira telling the tale of a centuries-old, mature civilization lost to antiquity and oblivion. Today the site looks like an eerie ghost town which was once upon a time home to a flourishing, thriving civilization.
10. Enjoy a Day Out at the Handicrafts Villages
There are many artisan villages in and around Kutch. Artisans specializing in various unique crafts reside in these villages. A fascinating tour of these villages will let you get a sneak peek into the rich crafts and culture of the region. By visiting these villages you can see them at work and can even buy few artifacts directly from them. While touring the craft villages of Kutch, make sure to visit the villages like Anjar, Lilpur, Dhamanka, Bhujjodi, Dhaneti, Padhar. Wool weaving, cotton weaving, Ahir embroidery, block printing, tie and dye are some of the typical crafts these villages excel in.
11. Staying in Eco Resort or Home Stays
Staying in eco resorts and home stays is indeed an experience in itself. Such earthen houses with mud walls, thatched roofs and beautiful decorations on the walls come with a unique rustic charm. Stay in these typical Kutchian Bhungas, the name that defines such houses in the Kutch region and enjoy the comfort of living naturally amid boundless hospitality. Mud art and glass engravings on the walls of the Bhungas are sure to steal your heart. Devpur homestay, Shaam-e-sarhad, Rann Riders are some of the well known home stays of the region.