March 6, 2013

Kutch nahin dekha to Kuch nahin dekha

Chhatardis of Kutch

From the streets of Mumbai and Delhi let me take you to Bhuj in Gujarat. With Rann of Kutch on it was the best time of the year to visit and explore this arid and dry place celebrating the colours of Kutch. So we drove down the smooth and wide Gujarat highways (another check on our road trip list) to explore this unknown but emerging city.

Bhuj is a peaceful yet resilient city protecting our borders and standing strong in the aftermath of earthquakes. Chhatardis of the Kutchi royal family are set in a peaceful field outside the centre of town around Hamirsar Lake .

Chhatardis or umbrellas or canopies are a significant part of Indian heritage appearing in both Mughal and Rajput architecture. They are mainly found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and are used to signify pride, honour in palaces, forts, or to mark funeral sites. The Chattardis of Bhuj were severely damaged in the 2001 earthquakes. But one can still capture some of their past glory in what remains.

Evening is the best time to catch these Chattardis as their beauty magnifies in the varied hues of a setting sun

See the shadows of dancing girls holding hands in the backdrop of setting sun.

Stone inscriptions and images are simple yet strong

Round dome structure shows a strong influence of Mughal architecture

All I can say is that the over hyped tourist advertisements of Gujarat are not entirely false. So say with me… 
Kutch nahin dekha to Kuch nahin dekha!!

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