Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kutch

Kutch



Way :
Ahmedabad - 400 KM
Kutch Kutch
Kutch Kutch
Photo Gallery
Geographically, slightly separated from the rest of Gujarat, it is the biggest district of the state, though not in terms of population. Most of its area is occupied by desert sands, where naturally population is sparse. However, the land, history, people and their culture of Kutch provide a fascinating story. Although a part of Gujarat in all these fields, Kutch has its own special personality. Situated on the borders of Gujarat and Sindh, the two areas and their cultures, lifestyles, dress and often language too, get intertwined quite visibly in life of Kutch.

In Sanskrit the term Kutch denotes 'island'. In prehistoric times it is likely that Kutch area was indeed an island. We get this feeling even today as soon as we cross the creek of the ocean to enter it. During high tides the base of Kutch and Gujarat is filled with sea water and gives out an impression of a vast ocean there, though it does not last long any more. The references to Kutch have been as old as the Puranas. Today the region has acquired importance also in terms of strategic region in our military and also diplomatic relations with Pakistan.

The history of Kutch is colorful - it has legendary rulers of valor and nobles of intrigues; the Barbhaya experiment of autocratic rule, brave and philanthropic people like the Fakir Mamad Arab, the famous artist Ramsinh Malam and other stories of people doing wonderful jobs at sea voyages and so on. The works of Dulerai Km'ani and Ramsingh Rathod have brought these within reach of everyone by their collection and editions of books on these topics. These books must be read to enjoy the flavor of the culture.

But today we are going to make an acquaintance with the Kutch in present times. On its west coast, at the last edge of the land of India, is the famous, sacred and beautiful lake called Narayan Sarovar. This place has been mentioned even in the Purana literature. The main city of Kutch is Bhuj, and this lake is about 125 km away from Bhuj, near Naransar village. It is a vast, but is not very deep, lake. Pilgrims take a holy dip here and then offer their worship to the seven temples in the center of the village. A surrounding wall protects these temples. The temples of Laksminarayan, Trikamji, Adinarayan and Govardhannath are found here besides those of Dwarkanath and Lakshmiji. A later temple is of Kalyanrai. Another site at the coast is the temple of Koteshwar that is built on a small hill. Another temple of note is that of Nilkanth.

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