THE NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE OF KUTCH – Kutch in Gujarat is one of India’s largest districts.Surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the salt-coated desert wilderness of the Rann of Kutch,this district is the last frontier of many crafts and traditions that have changed little over the centuries.
Best described as a “Cradle of Craftsmanship”,Kutch is the land of weaving,block-printing,bandhani tie-and-dye,Rogan-painting,and various styles of embroidery,leather work,pottery,wood-carving,metal-crafts,and other handicrafts.
The district also has a long history dating from the Harappan Civilisation that thrived at cities like Dholavira in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC to the Jadeja Rajput rulers who reigned from the 1540s to the merger of states in 1950s and endowed their princely state with forts,palaces,temples,and other monuments of historic and religious importance.
For those interested in natural history,Kutch is the habitat of the endangered and interesting wildlife species like the Indian Wild Ass. This district is widely reputed as a paradise for birdwatchers. Besides the reservoirs in the state that are important habitats for birds,and flyways for migrating birds,Kutch is also the breeding ground for critically endangered birds like the Indian bustards and the Lesser Flamingos.
This attractive district known for its colourfully dressed people,rich handicraft traditions and natural wonders welcomes visitors to witness the heritage of Kutch at Hodka village,one of the famous craft villages north of Bhuj. On the night of full moon,when the white salt-encrusted landscapes of the Rann look splendidly attractive,enjoy cultural of the region,and participate in the lifestyle of the pastoral,nomadic and semi-nomadic people of the district.