Kutch is a district in the Indian state of Gujarat and is popular for its Banni grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands. It is beautiful yet peculiar location as most of Kutch is known for its dry lands which are submerged in shallow water during the rainy season.
Most popularly, Kutch is known as The Rann Of Kutch because of its marshy salt flats which become snow white after the seasonal water that the land is submerged in dries up during the summer or winter. Divided into two sub-regions, Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch; this fine-looking destination can be ideal for holidaying in India.
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The salt flats make gives it a glossy look and makes it seem like an endless stretch of land in the horizon which has a different thrill in it. Quite rightly it is a great spot for a weekend getaway trip as it is an amalgamation of beauty and bewilderment.
Here is a list of our top 10 tourist destinations in Kutch which are sure to have you mesmerized.
1. Great Rann of Kutch
Sprawling in an area of 7000 sq km, White Salt Desert in Great Rann of Kutch is a magical place. Situated about 100kms from Bhuj city, this white desert seems like a surreal place. One can enjoy a camel ride here or else a long walk is enough to get one all excited.
Watching the sun go down is probably the best thing to do here and the desert sparkles on full moon nights and offers a spectacular view. The ideal time to visit the Great Rann of Kutch would be during the Rann Utsav, a state fair that celebrates the spirit of Kutch region.
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2. Kala Dungar
At a short distance from Great Rann White Desert is Kala Dungar. Also known as the Black Hill, it is the highest point of the Kutch region and it offers a panoramic view of the desert. Atop the hill is a Hindu temple known as Dattatreya that dates back to 400 years old.
The top of the hill makes wonderful vantage point to get the picture of the Great white desert, which by the way looks like an ocean from this point. Hiking here is specially recommended for professionals and experts.
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3. Kutch Museum
It is the oldest museum in Kutch which is located near the Hamirsar Lake in Bhuj. The museum is divided into floors and it consists of various articles and artefacts from different historical eras. Some of which are stone writings from ancient times, obituaries of nobles and some superbly carved figures of local tribes. Beautiful Bandhani clothes ranging from purses to large coats and sarees, small interesting artefacts like hairpins and vessels and also old weapons used by the kings in ancient times can be seen.
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4. Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal
Not so far from Kutch Museum are the royal heritages of Kutch region called Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal. The two distinct buildings have the potential to take one back in history. Maintaining its royal look, these palaces are done in Indo-European style of architecture.
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The Aina Mahal as the name suggests has a hall that is replete with number of giant size mirrors, each done exquisitely whereas, Prag Mahal is known for its Bell Tower and an incredible view of the surrounding from the top.
5. Vijay Vilas Palace
The Vijay Vilas Palace is the highlight of Mandvi town and this has also earned it the benefit of being the film shoot location for many bollywood movies. The view from the terrace of the palace has a panoramic view of the surrounding which is simply beautiful.
The palace is surrounded by beautiful greenery, there is a private beach a few meters from the palace and the dome shaped ceiling and minute architectural designs make it a grand spot, rightly associated to the Kings of the past.
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6. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is one of the most interesting places to visit in Kutch (the Little Rann). Sprawling over 4954 sq km, the sanctuary is the habitat of the Indian Ass, locally called ghudkhar or khur, and other animals like Chinkara, hedgehog, fox, desert cats, jackal, jungle cats, wolf, and blue bulls. Unlike most other sanctuaries, this reserve is a desert with parched grasslands that are just right for the animals who reside here.
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This site is considered as the slice of the Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan Civilazation. The ruins throw light on the culture of Harappa and reveal their excellent knowledge of planning and constructing a sound infrastructure. One can find the evidences of well-built harvesting system, network of tanks and sewage system.
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A small museum located at the entrance of the site houses artefacts that reflect the lifestyle during the Indus Valley Civilisation. One can also see the progression from mud and basic tools to iron and copper implements, gold jewellery and cooking vessels.
8. Narayan Sarovar
The place is most noted for being a holy Hindu ground and is in close proximity to an ancient temple called Koteshwar. Narayan Sarovar or the Lake is amongst the 5 holiest lakes in Hinduism, making it an obvious choice pilgrimage destination in India. Numerous fauna and almost 252 kinds of floral species can are seen here, including gorad, babul, kerdo, among others.
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9. Mandvi Beach
Mandvi is one of the most popular beach destinations of Kutch and offers an awesome view of the sea and the shoreline. The beach is clean and tranquil, perfect for a weekend getaway.
You can even get a pleasant memorable camel ride along the beach apart from horse riding and water scooter ride. While you choose your ride in Mandvi, do not miss out on taking pictures of the pelicans that stroll along the beach as well.
10. Bhadreshwar Jain Temple
Bhadreshwar Jain Temple is one of the most ancient temples in Bhadravati and undeniably one of the best places to see in Kutch. The chief temple is extraordinarily stunning- made of all white marble. Also, it boasts of marvellous architecture with engraved pillars showcasing fine artwork. Circling the central temple, there are 52 smaller monuments and tombs and two century old mosques.
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Thus, as you can see above, Kutch is a place which has it all, from historical monuments to wildlife and nature to religious places. So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip, pack your bags and get exploring! This guide to the best places is sure to be your aid in planning the trip of a lifetime.