Photo diary: The colours of Kutch

Intricate handicrafts, magnificent old palaces, pristine beaches, and of course the endless white salt plains of the Great Rann are just some of our memories of Kutch.

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A few years ago, my wife wanted to visit Kutch in Gujarat as a sourcing trip for her ethnic gifts business, so we decided we would turn it into our annual new year’s holiday. We spent close to two weeks in Bhuj and its surroundings (home to arguably India’s highest concentration of high-quality textile handicraft producers), investigated lots of towns and villages, and took in India’s great white salt desert, the Great Rann of Kutch.

These are some memories of our visits to Bhujodi, Nakhatrana, Ajrakhpur, Mandvi, Lakhpat, Khavda, Ratnal, and countless other little towns and villages whose names I, for the life of me, can’t remember; and our stays at Bhuj, Devpur Homestay, the Khamir Craft Resource Center, and the Gateway to Rann Resort in Dhordo.

Also read: Eight reasons why you should visit Rajasthan, the ‘land of kings’

In and around Bhuj

Gujarat_Bhuj_HamirsarLake_Pelican - The colours of Kutch
The resident one-winged pelican of Hamirsar Lake
Gujarat_Bhuj_Pragmahal_Sparrow - The colours of Kutch
Sparrow (one of many) at the Prag Mahal palace
Gujarat_Bhuj_Pragmahal_Chipmunk - The colours of Kutch
Curious chipmunk at the Prag Mahal palace
Gujarat_Bhuj_PragMahal_Cornices - The colours of Kutch
A pillar’s cornice at the Prag Mahal palace

Gujarat_Bhuj_Ainamahal - The colours of Kutch
Looking up at the Aina Mahal palace
Gujarat_Bhuj_Catnap - The colours of Kutch
Cat nap, as seen from our lodge
Gujarat_Bhuj_RestingCow - The colours of Kutch
Resting cow on the road
Gujarat_Bhuj_KhamirCraftResourceCenter_DoggieOnKhat - The colours of Kutch
Dreaming at the Khamir Craft Resource Center

Gujarat_Bhuj_KhamirCraftResourceCenter_PupsPlaying - The colours of Kutch
More pups, in the sunset at Khamir
Gujarat_Bhujodi_RamjiVankarsLoom - The colours of Kutch
The loom of a traditional weaver called Ramji in Bhujodi
Gujarat_Bhujodi_TeaStallAtBusStop - The colours of Kutch
This tea stall owner at the Bhujodi bus stop seemed happy to be photographed while turning his bellows
Gujarat_HiralakshmiCraftPark_Weavers - The colours of Kutch
Proud weavers at Hiralakshmi Craft Park, Bhujodi

Gujarat_HiralakshmiCraftPark_CoffeeTables - The colours of Kutch
Unfinished at Hiralakshmi Craft Park
Gujarat_HiralakshmiCraftPark_Door - The colours of Kutch
A blue door – Hiralakshmi Craft Park
Gujarat_HiralakshmiCraftPark_CowBell - The colours of Kutch
Cowbells at Hiralakshmi Craft Park
Gujarat_HiralakshmiCraftPark_Shawl - The colours of Kutch
A tassled shawl (which we later bought) at Hiralakshmi Craft Park
Gujarat_Bhuj_RepurposedTaurus - The colours of Kutch
An old Enfield Taurus motorcycle repurposed as a three-wheeled taxi in Bhujodi

The Great Rann of Kutch

Gujarat_GreatRann_LonelyWalk - The colours of Kutch
Striding through the endless salt desert
Gujarat_GreatRann_Feet - The colours of Kutch
Quite a feet!
Gujarat_GreatRann_DoubleTrouble - The colours of Kutch
Double trouble
Gujarat_GreatRann_SunsetReflection - The colours of Kutch
Reflected sunset

Gujarat_GreatRann_SaltCrystals - The colours of Kutch
Salt crystals
Gujarat_Kalo_Dungar - The colours of Kutch
Lookout at Kalo Dungar
Gujarat_Kutch_RannUtsav - The colours of Kutch
Embroidery in the at the Rann Utsav festival in Dhordo
Gujarat_Dhordo_NightSingers - The colours of Kutch
Band of night singers

Mandvi and the beach

Gujarat_Mandvi_ShipBuilding - The colours of Kutch
Work in progress at the ancient Mandvi shipyard
Gujarat_Mandvi_Transport - The colours of Kutch
Transport, both old and new
Gujarat_Mandvi_Flamingoes - The colours of Kutch
Flamingos fish in a canal
Gujarat_Mandvi_GreyHeron - The colours of Kutch
Grey heron in the surf on Mandvi beach
Gujarat_Mandvi_Beach - The colours of Kutch

Khavda and its pottery

Gujarat_Bhuj_PottersHouse - The colours of Kutch
A potter’s home in Khavda
Gujarat_Khavda_LadyinYellow - The colours of Kutch
Lady in yellow
Gujarat_Khavda_familyHome - The colours of Kutch
Family home
Gujarat_Khavda_ModelTruck - The colours of Kutch
DIY toy truck

Generations in Ratnal

Gujarat_Ratnal_HappyKids - The colours of Kutch
Happy youngsters
Gujarat_Ratnal_RabariMatriarch - The colours of Kutch
Rabari matriarch
Gujarat_Ratnal_Peekaboo - The colours of Kutch
Shy girl

…and more

Gujarat_Nakhatrana_LeatherWallHanging - The colours of Kutch
Intricate leather wall hanging (now in our bedroom) in Nakhatrana
Gujarat_Nakhatarana_AhirMatriarch - The colours of Kutch
Ahir matriarch – Nakhatrana

Gujarat_DevpurHomestay_DevparYaksh - The colours of Kutch
Our cottage at Devpur Homestay in Devpar
Gujarat_DevpurHomestay_Entrance - The colours of Kutch
The entrance of Devpur homestay looks misleadingly spooky at night
Gujarat_Ajrakhpur_BlockPrinting - The colours of Kutch
Block printing in progress at Ajrakhpur
Gujarat_Ajrakhpur_PrintingBlocks - The colours of Kutch
Old Ajrakh printing blocks

Gujarat_Kutch_Sacredtree - The colours of Kutch
A sacred baobab in the middle of nowhere
Gujarat_LakhpatFort_Tomb - The colours of Kutch
The intricate tomb of Sufi saint Pir Ghaus Mohammad, inside Lakhpat Fort
Gujarat_LakhpatFort_Doggie - The colours of Kutch
Territorial doggie on the ramparts of Lakhpat Fort

Also read: This is what it’s like to visit the Charminar early in the morning

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