Visit Kutch

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

Planning a visit to Kutch. Here's few details that will help you with your trip


Make sure you make Bhuj as your base and then plan around your itinerary. Go to Bhuj in cooler months Nov to Feb. Also the Kutch Desert Festival takes place from Dec to Jan. Check dates and book early


Reaching Kutch


Road - Drive from Ahmedabad to Bhuj via NH8 (5 hrs approx.)  Once you reach Bhachau there are 2 routes to reach Bhuj. Via Bhachau - Bhuj bypass (Saves 1 hour) or via Gandhidham route

Bus services from major cities (Ahmedabad / Rajkot / Vadodra) are available

Bus operators: Sahjanand Travels / Patel Travels / Eagle Travels / Somnath Travels


Train - Bhuj has a rail line connected from Mumbai with daily 2 trains and more on others days of the week. Bhuj is the last stop so don't fear missing it. Sleep to your hearts content.

The train halts for 30 mins at Gandhidham for engine change. Post Gandhidham a diesel engine is used to take you further


Flights - Among the costliest route in India. (Thanks to NRI)

Tickets can go upto 15K for the 1 hr journey. Book early or book with Jet Airway miles

Jet & Air India fly to Bhuj from Mumbai

Spice Jet flies to Kandla (Near Gandhidham) from Mumbai


Stay:

There are number of hotels and resorts in Bhuj. Also dormitory style hostels have recently come up. Check travel sites and book


Going around

 

Everything from Bhuj is approx. 50 kms. You can either opt for a private cab, public state transport or private bus services. 

State Transport buses can be boarded from Bus Stand or from Jubilee Circle

Bhuj Bus Station: 02832220002 (Nice helpful staff. Be patient and you will get your info)

Almost every bus enters / exits via Jubilee circle. You need to ask and stand in the route direction

Rickshaws are available. Do sit in a bigger type of rickshaw called the "Chakada" They normally ply of fixed routes on sharing basis


Day trips


Mata Nu Madh - 100 kms from Bhuj


Significance: http://matanamadh.org/madh-history/

Contact: +912832250519



Stopover at Patel Ice Cream in Mankua which is on the way

Next stop is Nakhtrana - Have some lovely dabeli and kadak 

(If you are early have the food items upon return)


You can have lunch at the temple. Nice dal rice is served as prasad with some farsan. If spiritual then get the chunni back which can be asked from the temple priest and keep it at ur home


Head over to Narayan Sarovar which is 25 kms from Mata Nu Madh. Temple.

If requested and have time priest will also cook for you.


Narayan Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary is 15 kms from the place. Accessible only via private vehicles. Don't forget to carry enough food and water


Lakhpat. 28 kms from Narayan Sarovar is Lakhpat. It has fort and Gurudwara


Kalo Dungar


Kalo dungar means Black mountain & India - Pak border are on same way and should be covered on same day


On way to White Rann you will pass by Tropic of Cancer. Stopover and get a few clicks. Remember your Geography lessons


Head over to Kaala Dungar and get mesmerised with the views of the desert. Its lovely to view sunset / sunrise from this point


India Bridge can be seen from here which connects onwards to Pakistan border

Once you are done it would be afternoon


Head over for lunch at Shaam-E-Sharad / Hodko resort - Dhordo Village

Check details here: http://www.hodka.in/shaam-e-sarhad-village-resort/concept/


India - Pakistan Border 


50km from Kala Dungar is the border. You cannot drive there without prior permissions. How to take permission?

You will need to hire a car and get the car number / driver details from the travel agency. Tell them you are taking permissions for the border visit. The same car and driver needs to be accompanying you on the scheduled day.

Need to write to collector of Kutch letter asking permission to visit the India - Pakistan border with below details:

Date of travel

No of passengers

Name and details of each passenger

  • Age

  • Contact No

  • Id proof submitted (Attach self attested id proof xerox. Avoid PAN card)

  • Car model and registration no

  • Car RTO papers xerox

Once permission is granted only the said passengers and car number is allowed to pass all check points and visit the border

Mobiles will have to be kept with the army personals upon entry to the 50 kms stretch going till the border


White Desert 


Check calendars and if possible consider coming around the time when its a full moon night. It would be worth the visit.

The place is buzzing with tourists and locals during the Kutch Rann Utsav or the Kutch Desert Festival 01st Nov 2018 - 20th Feb 2019)

Check multiple times before booking tents etc during the festival. Multiple privates resorts have come up around the area and are active during the festival


Mandvi


Start early and head to Mandvi. The ship building town


Places to visit

Vijay Vilas Palace. Also has a private beach which has a fee. Worth paying and wandering around

Check the ship building yard as you enter Mandvi


On way back from Mandvi to Bhuj stop over at 72(Bauter) Jinalay. It's a Jain temple


Food


Lunch at OSHO Dining Hall is a must when in Mandvi. Nice Gujarati Thali

Phone: 09879194555


Head over to Pratapsinh Peda wala and try out the sogatia pedas. (Small rolled pedas).Bet you wont stop at having just one


Loved the Dabeli and want to make it when back home. Do carry the ready made masala (spices) to make Dabeli. Ask for "Betu nu Dabeli Masala"

Tips from mom: Don't buy "Chandu nu masala" because they have lemon seeds


For evening snacks try Ragda pattice in Old Mandvi


Bhuj City 


Swaminarayan Mandir




Amisar Lake


Take a stroll late evening around this lake. Sit and enjoy a ice cream or some snacks




Kutch Museum 


The oldest museum in Gujarat founded in 1877.

Timings: 10 am - 1pm / 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm | Closed on Wednesdays

Do call and visit | Phone: 096757 96178


Prag Mahal / Aina Mahal


Both are in the same campus.Do take photography tickets as you would wanna take pictures

9:00 am - 12:00 pm / 3 pm - 6 pm

Don't miss out on the amazing food options to cater your taste buds while you are in Bhuj


Food


Most fast food joints are placed around Bus Stand


Dabeli

  • Mandvi Dabeli wala

  • Binharif Dabeli wala















Joshi Dahiwada 


  • Mix dahi vada (Mix means with added spicy potatoes)

  • Dahi pudi


Ask owner to make the things for you. Tell him have come from Mumbai and you are highly recommended and see him smile with joy


Shankar Vada Pau

  • Vada pav

  • Marcha pav ( Its capsicum so relax )

  • Bhajia plate

For lunch/dinner


Annapurna Lodge / Restaurant


Its a thali place located at Sarpat Naka. Desi Gujarti food such as rotla, kadi, kichdi etc

Full thali with all items will be served. You will have to remove what you don’t want. Tell him to make rotla for u.

Sit in right side section. Left side serves only Punjabi.

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/t86yYh4brcG2



Sweets and snacks to carry back home

  • Khavda Sweets

  • Sheerji Sweets

Take masala Pakwan


Bhudia Farm

Nice juice & pulps shop. Its near to Amisar Lake

Try out different varieties of juices

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Zh3JfobCNqz


Ashaura Temple


Temple of Maa Ashapura


Dhoravira


It's a 2 day trip to Dhoravira which can be covered either before entering Kutch or via exiting by road


250 kms one way but worth visit if u have time. Will have to make a stay over at the place and return back next day


Anjar (Optional)


If going back to Ahmedabad vis road take the Gandhidham route and pass via Khedoi Buy kharek (Dates) & chikoo

Next town would be Anjar

Its known for the best knifes. Folding handmade knives. Also hand printed dresses and bedsheets are famous from this city



Other Tips 


Late evening at Bhuj headover at Atmaram Marg. It’s right below Bhujio Dundar (Mountain). Bhuj is in shape of saucer and you can see full city from top. Worth the view in evening


Shopping


Shop for handicraft and hand printed dress items when in Bhuj

Kutch Bandej (Address: Anam Ring Road )

  • Bandhni and all local stuff

Kutch handicraft (Address: Anam Ring Road )

  • Bandhni and all local stuff

Streets of Darbar Gadh for old vintage stuff


Bhoomi Handicrafts on Bus Stand will be preferred by all but you will pay a premium for the proximity of the shop where as the same things are at lesser rates in the above mentioned store


Image courtesy:

By Meena Kadri [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bhargavinf [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Raman Patel [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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