Rann of Kutch, Gujrat
Kutch was a princely state of India located in the state of Gujarat. The land is virtually 'an island' surrounded by salt water and its shape is similar to a tortoise ‘Katchua or Kachbo’, hence the name Katch. The beauty of this place is the vast white salt flats, a superb sight that shocks and amazes travellers. Kutch is widely popular as ‘Kutchdweep or Kutchbet’. Apart from the iconic geography, the place is also well-known for crafts and embroidery works. The flamingo sanctuary and Wild Ass Sanctuary are the major attractions of the place. The city of Bhuj is the capital and is quite popular among the tourists as a base for both these major attractions with the highlight being to see the rare wild ass in the Rann of Kutch. Tourists at this wonderful desert place also experience activities like desert safaris by jeep and camel rides. The shopping in the bustling markets of the desert land is another wonderful experience and people look for handicrafts. The entire experience of travelling in Kutch is amazing for travellers.
Ahmedabad airport is the nearest airport from where one can take flight to the desired destination. Bhuj railway station is located 1 km from the city and is connected to different destinations. Between Bhuj and Ahmedabad, one can get direct trains too.
The summer season at the place comes with the month of April and lasts till the month of June. The hot and humid climate of the place makes travellers stay away. The day time is scorching but nights bring some relief to the people. The high temperatures remain throughout the summer. The monsoon season arrives in end of June and remains till the month of September. During the monsoon the beauty of the place gets enhanced. The winter season in this beautiful city comes with the month of November and lasts till the month of February.
Kutch Museum: The Museum of Kutch renowned as Gujarat's oldest museum has the largest existing collection of the Kshatrapa inscriptions, samples of the now-extinct Kutchi script and the local currency of Kutch- Kori. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Hamirsar Lake, the Gothic architecture-styled double-tiered building is a compendium of ancient artifacts, folk arts, crafts, embroidered clothes, paintings, arms, ammunition, musical instruments, sculptures, precious metal work along with a picture gallery, an anthropological section, archaeological section and a shipping section as well. The main attraction of the museum is a seven-trunked, snow-white elephant, Airavat, painted in Kamagiri style with flowers and creepers showcasing the 18th-century masterpiece from Mandvi. Other interesting features of the museum are models of wild ass and flamingo, a round silver tray, 20th-century ornamented doors, knives and nut-cutters.
Prag Mahal: It is made up of new marble and sandstone during the 19th century. Durbar Hall and the clock tower are also open to visit.
Aina Mahal: Indian history considers it to be one of the elegant monuments in Bhuj, Gujarat. Aina Mahal is the finest example of Indian palaces that was built with touches of European influences. It was built during the reign of Rao Lakhpatji under the craftsmanship of the famous architect Ram Singh Malam. The real attraction at Aina Mahal is the Hall of Mirrors. The white marble halls covered by mirrors and separated by glided ornaments is one of the most stunning sites to behold at Aina Mahal. The erstwhile palace is now converted into a museum that houses a significant number of rare paintings and collectibles from different parts of the world. A trip to Aina Mahal forms an excellent half day outing and takes one deep into the royalty of the past. Bed room, music room, court room and several other old pieces of arts, paintings, arms, palanquin etc. are displayed to capture the imagination of history enthusiasts, connoisseurs and amateur travellers.
Sharad Bagh Palace: This place was owned by Maharao and later after his death it is turned into a small museum. Tended gardens in this palace are beautiful and spacious. Here one can view the personal possessions of Maharao.