Tuesday, February 22, 2011
If you don't feel ready to embark on a seabound voyage anytime soon, visiting a historical port town may at least bring you closer to understanding the way people and goods used to move around the planet (and 95% of world trade still does!). Here in Mandvi, the principal port of Kutch and of Gujarat for hundreds of years until the rise of Mumbai, visit the shipbuilding yards along the Rukmavati River where wooden ships are still built by hand. Stand at the Tower of Wagers, where wealthy shipowners would gather in May to scan the horizons, awaiting the return of the trading fleet from East Africa, and bet on whose would arrive first. Wander around the Vijay Vilas Palace and marvel at the items brought from far-off ports, and the architecture itself that shows a global awareness in its mixture of styles. Or recreate your favorite scene from Lagaan or Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, both of which have scenes filmed at the palace.
Try Mandvi's famous local double rotis, also known as dabeli. Or, if you simply want a place sit at the ocean, let the salty breeze wash over you, and swim in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, Mandvi's several quiet, clean beaches with flamingos and other migrant birds will surely do the trick.
In a walk around Bhuj, you can see the Hall of Mirrors at the Aina Mahal; climb the bell tower of the Prag Mahal next door; stroll through the produce market; have a famous Kutchi pau bhaji for lunch; examine the 2000-year-old Kshatrapa inscriptions in the Kutch Museum; admire the sculptures of Ramayana characters at the Ramakund stepwell; walk around Hamirsar Lake and watch children jumping into it from the lake walls as the hot afternoon sun subsides; and catch the sunset among the chhatardis of the Kutchi royal family in a peaceful field outside the center of town.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
A plethora of varied hues, profusion of design, superfluity of culture,
cornucopia of music and dance, all together in the arid lands of Kutch creates a mosaic of exquisiteness which reflects the identity and spirit of the region. Kutch, one of the most ecologically and ethnically diverse district of the state is a celebratory land of art,
crafts, music, dance, people and nature. During the full moon night of the winters amid the awe-inspiring and contrasting landscape each year a three day festive extravaganza brimming with hospitality, vigor and traditional flavor of the area is hosted and known as the Kutch or Rann Mahotsav.
This three to four day carnival organized at the various locales within Kutch takes one around the natural grandiose while introducing the visitor to the indigenous cultural and ethnical flavor of the people.
Semi parched Grasslands of the Banni hosts the most magnificent display of vernacular architecture as the exhibition platform for the varied range of arts and crafts of the region.
While an array of folk music and dance performances organized in the shimmering moonlit landscape provides the most enchanting experience. The colorful fairs held near the beach or the banks of a lake swings one with the spirit of festivity,
fervor and flamboyancy while the organized tour around Kutch is an ideal occasion to be part of the region and experience the zeal and uniqueness of the people through a celebration of life!
When Full moon night in the month of December
Where The celebratory festival begins in the Bhuj city and goes around the district with a grand finale again being held at the preliminary destination. Whome comes The festival is visited and enjoyed by more than 8000 tourists from all over the world. This is one time when natives of the region and traveleArs along with Government administrative officers all together come along to celebrate the mystical magic of Kutch and its diversity.