Top Things To Do In Bhuj And Around

1:12 PM

The Other Swaminarayan Temple Near Prag Mahal That We Accidentally Bumped Into
To read previous posts on my 3 day venture in Kutch:Click here
I extended my trip to Little Rann Of Kutch and Nalsarovar this weekend.

Recalling the series of blogposts from Mridula sometime back,which formed a significant part of my research along with other sources online,I pretty much figured out that the Bhungas or the tents at the Tent City,Rann of Kutch were overpriced and not at all pocket friendly considering we were family of 4.Talking to a few locals we were told that the best bet is to stay at Rann till 11 pm and return back to Bhuj the same day.Since the drive was a convenient 2 hours away,with smooth road as baby’s bottom,we chose to keep base at Bhuj on all three nights.

Ahmedabad To Bhuj : The Drive(330 kms,6 hours)

Windmills along the road : Ahmedabad To Bhuj

Thanks to Google Map,life has become easier.If you recall the last time our family headed out to the big adventure was when we did an All India Road Trip on Maruti 800,which got us straight into deemed great pages of Outlook traveller.Yes,that same old sturdy Maruti exists and is my brother’s favourite.Getting into it is no less than adventure,when he drives past in a speed that lags behind tolls after tolls,roads after roads as we hold onto our seat belts as tightly as possible.

                          I love the contrast on how nature,smoke and sunset comes together

The whole stretch of road from Ahmedabad to Bhuj is a mixed bag.While the first 200+ is with 6 lanes,4 lanes,super wide lanes;the last stretch of 100 km is what saps all your energy and patience out.As we started late from Ahmedabad at around 3pm due to my brother’s office,the potholes at night and the headlights of the trucks coming from opposite end on a two way street with no dividers,wasn’t as pleasant as we got nearer to Bhuj.

Random cows crossing the highway:Ahmedabad To Bhuj

Salt and How It Is Made at Ahmedabad - Bhuj road;
The Salt Process
Will be discussed when I talk about Little Rann Of Kutch

Meanwhile,the drive from Ahmedabad to Bhuj will be having you pass by several windmills on both sides of the roads,salt pans where salt is collected and processed,mustard fields, a chain of hotels named ‘Honest’ etc.As you arrive Bhuj,you would be crossing this Tap fountain with no visible pipe going in.

The tap I spotted just as we enter Bhuj
The secret as my dad told me is,the same pipe goes in as it comes out
Look closely,you can see the pipe going in

I was told that the similar one is in Ahmedabad which I spotted yesterday near the Law Night Market.As per indiamike,you would be crossing several villages along this drive with speciality as Block printing techniques.Since we wanted to reach Bhuj by night,sadly,we had to skip the visit to interior villages along the way.

Bhuj Attractions : Top Things To See In Bhuj

As it was hot outside,and we all were a little tired from the drive the previous day,we decided to divide half a day into Bhuj and half a day for exploring Rann of Kutch.We thought Kutch would be unbearable during day time,as we knew it is a vast expanse with no scope of shade,we explored Bhuj for the time it cools down the Kutch.By the name itself of Bhuj,I had an image of a town,almost destroyed by the earthquake.I couldn’t find a trace of the so called earthquake except this one which came on the way.I found out Bhuj has bounced back from the tragedy quite well.

I wonder what that was

After dad asked a few locals,we were told the best places to see are Swaninarayan Temple,King Palace(consisting of Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal),Kutch Museum etc.

Swaminarayan Temple:The Double Parody 

 We knew for sure that this wasn’t the one,but no one was complaining.It had the same board of Swaminarayan Temple,but the nearest landmark of Bus stand was something we couldn’t spot,but we could see the Prag Mahal.Nonetheless we loved the colors.There were separate sections for women.Later we got to know there are two Swaminarayan Temple in the city,the one that is famous and most visited resembles the Akshardham temple.

Prag Mahal:Where Sequences of Lagaan was shot 

The view of Prag Mahal from the Big Bang Tower

 She felt proud as she spoke about the room in Prag Mahal with big chandeliers where the cricket deal for the movie Lagaan was shot.On Internet it is also written that some shots from movie ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ was also shot in Prag Mahal.

It was written that colours have faded on the old photos
but the diamonds are still shining!

 As we drove near Prag Mahal,we saw the dandiyas and the music of Bhuj at random. It costed us around Rs 20 for entry in Prag Mahal and Rs 50 for the camera.

Gothic Style In Indian Soil

Prag Mahal was build in Gothic style with beautifully decorated interiors in Italian style with a grand darbar hall and spacious room and verandahs.The Pragmahal was built by British Artitect ,Henry Wikins.The building is built mostly on red sandstone and white marble.

 Aina Mahal,just adjacent to Prag mahal was closed due to weekends(It is closed on public holidays and Thursday).Even though the name sounded interested enough we had to skip,may be next time someday!

Prag Mahal And The Big Bang Tower 

 From the top of 150 feet high Bing Bang Clock Tower where you can see city skyline of Bhuj city and Hamirsar lake with Flamingos.

There are only two of its kind in India

There are only two of its kind in India - one in Bhuj at Prag Mahal and another in Mumbai.The clock works on weight system.By giving key with handle after seven days to lift weights and then weights come down slowly.One weight of 150 kg is of clock and another weight of 350 kg is for ringing bell per hour and third bell is for 350 kg ringing at an interval of every 15 minutes

Bhujodi Village(8 kms from Bhuj):Shoppers Paradise 

Village Nirona is 40km from Bhuj

 As we talked to a few locals,we got to know that the stuff at Rann Utsav is excessively priced(we were told a cup of coffee costs us a damn 40 bucks there);and we must shop at Bhujodi village which has a manufacturing unit of Kutchi style items and handicrafts and supplies to all of Rann.While walking down the streets of Bhujodi,even though just for a while,I realised the prices were similar to Ahmedabad;hence considering it a little waste of time,proceeded ahead.It could also be that since we were walking past with cameras in hand,,we got the quote of special price.Do avoid shops that are seemingly posh and do get in ones that looks more local and bargain hard.Locals also told us Vania Vadi which is 2kms from Bhuj is even cheaper than Bhujodi where the tradesmen are more honest and give more discounts,even Rs 50-100 lesser than Bhujodi.So if we had a day more,I would have loved to shop at all these villages we were told to visit,but no,this time,we had other plans.

Bhujodi Village : Designers come here often

Keep a day off for shopping if you are with ladies,because getting lost in the colourful Kutchi handicraft and design is very easy! 

 After you go ahead and to the end,you will see Bhujodi Craft Park for local handicrafts.We didn’t go in.Just there is Dora - N - Maani where the locals told us we would get sumptuous food.We even saw the locals making food in front of us,but since the service was a little slow and there was a queue,we left ahead for White Rann on a full moon night.

Enjoy the local food in Bhujodi

Bhuj : Where To Eat 
The best places to eat in Bhuj are these

 Hotel Prince is very famous for great food which serves Thali for 100 Rs.We had food at Hotel Dollar near the railway station but I would stay best avoid that,because every dish tasted the same :(.

Bhuj : Where To Stay
To know the reviews of each hotel,click here on tripadvisor

There are plenty of options to stay in Bhuj.Hotel Shiv located in the center of the city costs Rs 1000,Hotel Oasis and KBN costs Rs 2000.

Bhuj:How To Reach

The most convenient way to reach Bhuj is by overnight train from Ahmedabad

You can also take overnight volvo/sleeper buses from Ahmedabad to Bhuj from here

Blogs:That Contain All Information On All Circuits

Thinking Particle Blog(Including Car and Bike Rentals and How Much Does It Cost)
Indiamike Forum

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  1. Excellent and informative! Some of the highways here are quite industrially packed so a boredom to drive through.

  2. I am heading to Bhuj this weekend! Thanks for all the tips! :)


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