Top Things To Do In Bhuj And Around1:12 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.
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
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
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)