Dholavira:Ancient Harappan Site With Rann On Both Sides


I take a quick selfie @ Rapar - Dholavira Road
To know what I wore,here top by Myntra,click here

My brother said that even if he throws a stone,it wouldn’t drown in these craters due to excessive salt content but the moment he threw one,it submerged.This road was a stretch just before Dholavira.Long stretch perfect for your drive of a lifetime.Be it bike or car or by public conveyance.But apart from this long stretch of road on both sides,was there anything else to see?The answer is yes.

Watch the video below to get a hint:

Bhuj To Dholavira[218 km,4 hour 16 min] via Bhachau Hwy 

This stretch of road would be your best drive in India
For previous posts on my 3 day trip to Rann,click below

 My mom claimed that this stretch of road was far more impressive and worth visiting than Lakhpat and decided to go for a long walk along the road with white rann on both sides.Random crater like water holes welcomed us along the road at certain places while at others you can walk in and go all along the white rann as long as you want to.

The best part is there ain't many people who go there
And there isn't a permit required.

The same feeling of eternal prevailed again,this time,it was a territory not visited by many.A few times,we wondered if these craters were deep,considering the fact that on the map,this stretch is located on Khadir bet island of Kutch,which means that it may have proximity to the Gulf of Kutch,the sea.

Awesome Twosome.I told you,I just can't get enough of it!
Add dholavira in your 3 day itinerary next time.

Dholavira is one of the two well preserved largest harrappan sites in India.

Dholavira:Are permits required? 

 The answer is no.Being close to Pakistan at borders,we wondered if we again have to apply for permits,which we figured out that no,Dholavira doesn’t require permits of any sort.While driving down this road,which is a little offbeat,you would cross many small villages,barely few cars on road,bop’s(Border outposts) on your right and left within few kilometres but no permits are required to visit the touristic sites of Dholavira.

Dholavira:Essential to keep in mind 

3G's don't work after a point
While coming back from Dholavira to Rapar,you would find that your 3G’s aren’t working,the network even is not there.Since we weren’t aware of the fact,and were solely dependent on our google maps,we missed the cut for little rann of kutch from Rapar.But if you do have adequate time,it comes 25-30 km ahead of Rapar and can be easily visited enroute.In whichever case,while going to Dholavira,carry a print of maps or a saved map on your phone.As when we stopped at Rapar and asked people where was the little Rann Wild Ass Sanctuary,they were unable to understand.Dad forcefully said once "Jaha Gadhe Milte Hain" and got response "Han Kahi To Hai" with a clueless look.Last weekend we went to Little Rann of Kutch and I must say,Its worth going!
Guide upto you
As you enter they request you to take a guide.You can park the car at the compound.We didn't take a guide because we thought it was quite walkable.But guides are available in case you are interested in knowing more than a little detail which is written there.

Bhuj To Rapar Drive [ 127km, 2 hours 22 minutes] 

 Now,these days the world is such that we depend so much on internet that every word said we assume is true.Sometimes the information conveyed is time bound.Like while doing my research for Dholavira,in lot of websites its written that the stretch of road is very bad at times,so we were concerned if we would again bump into road similar to last stretch of Bhuj.Google map was showing us two directions SH51 via Bhachau taking 4 hours 21 minutes,and other NH 15 taking 5 hour 2 minute.

 As we talked to a few locals before taking the cut for Rapar,they confidently said the road ahead via Rapar has been repaired and you must take this route.The drive was pleasant throughout.So we took Route 1(SH 51) of Google map to save time and trusting what others told us to.

Bhuj To Rapar:Stop At Rapar 

The fafdas are fried

 Internet says,that there isn’t plenty of options to eat while driving down from Bhuj to Dholavira except Rapar.Rapar comes 2 hours after Bhuj.So it was our first pit stop where most of the shops were just opening…

And made

As other days,we also had fruits and Khakras and packed Parle-G’s with us.But as we saw a little activity in one of the hotels,we decided to stop and ask. So we asked them,as a regular any Indian can we get any vegetable gravy with Chapati or Puri,to which we got a reply Fafdas with Jalebis is all you get at this time.As I haven’t had tried this combo before and we were all hungry,we had to say yes.Happily,we ate,as for the first time,I realised that fafdas can go well with Jalebies and green chilies and chatni and chai.Watch the video to know how it was made.

To have it with Jalebis,Mirchi,Chutney,

 As we travelled ahead of Rapar,we found there were some other small villages with a few shops.So Rapar is not the last point where you get food.There are though very few places where you can find something.This route is a little offbeat,that passes through villages but the roads are nice so there was nothing to worry or complain about plus it was shorter.

Rapar To Dholavira 

 In between Rapar to Dholavira comes this stretch of road with White Rann which could be easily be 4 km or may be more.After the drive are small villages you pass through.There isn’t many options to stay in Dholavira except Toran which I am not sure is good or bad,but hasn’t been appreciated much online,many reviews even suggesting it to avoid if you can.
Toran is the name of Gujarat Tourism's Resorts,Stay Options,Cafes
You would see that at every Touristic Site in Gujarat
While Toran at Rann is said to be good,Dholavira has below average reviews
For those who do not know:
The word Toran comes from a decorative for doors famous from Gujarat

Photo from Indianetzone
Many people if they want to stay in Dholavira station themselves at Rapar,but its upto you how you want to do it.We chose to not stay.Leaving early,you can even come back to Bhuj or Ahmedabad .

Dholavira:What To See And Avoid 

 Harappan Site:Must 

I thought its going to be nothing,but its so well preserved

 I am no big fan of history.My mom is.But over the last two years,the places which I have seen let me admit were rather fascinating.Civilizations that lived and existed before us,had much more structure and were more organised that us.For example the water system for Harrappans are known world over.I thought the Harappan Excavated site must have been completely damaged but what I saw was rather beautiful.The similar cut rocks with which the homes and the citadels were made still remain.With the view from the top was white rann yet again.

Oldest signboard with letters yet to be decoded.
What do you think it is?

 Harappan civilisation is one of the world’s first great civilisations ,which dates back to 3rd millennium BC.Discovered in 1967-68,this major Harappan city is spread across the area of 100 hectares,one among the biggest Harappan sites in the Indo-Pak continent.

The citadel,middle and the lower town.

The excavation bought into light the remarkable city of exquisite planning,aesthetic architecture and amazing water management system.The spectacular city of Dholavira was in the form of parallelogram guarded by a fortification.The area measuring 770 metres in length and 616 metres in width encloses three principal division ie. the citadel,the middle town and the lower town.

 The citadel standing majestically on the south consists of two fortified divisions.The castle in the east and the bailey in the west.The middle town,also fortified lies to the north and is separated from the citadel by a long and wide ceremonial ground.The lower town was laid our within the general fortification in the east of the middle town.In the citadel and middle town area,interesting network of drains,both small and large are discovered.

The unique feature of Dholavira is the occurrence of series of reservoirs,of which three are now exposed.These reservoirs were used for storing fresh water,possibly filled with water diverted from a nearby seasonal nullah.These reservoirs are partly excavated into the bedrock and partly built on masonry.There is provision of steps to reach the water level.This system of reservoirs provided fresh water to the flourishing Harappan city in a region,where the present day rainfall averages from 300 mm to 400 mm.Very often many seasons may go without rains.This achievement is a high watermark of Harrapan enterprise.

A large number of antiquities were unearthed from the site.Noteworthy among those are graduated scale made on a charred rib bone of an animal.A number of seals and dealings,beads of semi precious stones,gold,copper,shell,terracotta etc.Among the terracotta figurines,the unicorn animal figure is an important discovery of it kind.Gold,silver,copper,shell and terracotta ornaments were in use at that time.A vessel of chlorite and some other antiquities of west asian origin indicate its link with the mesopotamia.

Fossil Park:Avoid 

 As per reviews of trip advisor,Fossil Wood Park is also one of the recommended site in Dholavira which I would say completely avoid.If we hadn’t bumped into BOP Karni by mistake,this journey would have had been pain.Just as you get out of Harappan site,go towards the helipad,take a left and its complete offroading on kacha road.Someplaces there are tyre marks,some places there aren’t.Google map doesn’t work in the area so it was easy to get lost.We saw a board somewhere in the off road as around 5km ahead for Fossil Park, which we kept on going in search along the kacha road with frequent up and down.We could see,fencings and walls,so we didn’t know if we were crossing anywhere to Pakistan by mistake or if we weren’t.There was simply no one to tell us.As after the bumpy ride of the 5 km which took us more than half a hour,we saw a board on our right,so ancient we couldn’t understand where it led to.

BOP Karni to find our way for fossil park
Though we could capture so much,this site needed a 360 degree panorama with rann on both side of temple and the island at far.It was beautiful

So we head straight to the BOP outpost to ask the soldier and the tea seller on where the hell was the fossil park.BOP Karni was by accident but it was a pleasant site,there is a temple,white rann and an island we could see.I wondered what the island was,and belonged to which country.Any ways,we head back on their recommendation on the same sign board we missed,the soldier told us to not drag our car lest it might get stuck.So once you cross any signboard that looks even more antique than the fossils,drive through.It takes you to another roller coaster obviously with the view of rann,and stops midway.That meant the car cannot go further with stones stopping the way and you have to walk down.

Looking down,we chose to skip,there were few stones kept at the base from where Rann started.Mom told she’s been to other fossil parks,and the wood becomes so old,it feels like stone.The site didn’t interest either of us,so we chose to head back,and that is where our car got stuck.The road ahead was narrow and very steep uphill.The car started going back,and my brother told us to get down.After he drove for a while then we got in.What an adventure you must avoid.Had it not been for BOP karni,we would have been very very disappointed. Please do not search for BOP karni though :) ,it is quite far from Harappan site,and unless you have adequate time to wander around in the hope that the fossil park might be good,head back to Rapar and little Rann of Kutch on the way.Google maps don't work in this site.

Useful References on Dholavira
Thinkingparticle(public conveyance,eatery etc to Dholavira)

I hope you liked my series on Rann of Kutch,if there's anything you'd like to know more,do give me a buzz.Next week we'll talk about Little Rann Of Kutch(Another interesting site which can be accessed while coming back from Dholavira),Nalsarovar,Modera Sun Temple,Thol Bird Sanctuary,Rani Ki Vav and Adalaj.We will also hear stories on why sarees are used as fences,what makes little rann of kutch not so white,where sonia gandhi favourite patola sarees are made and why rani ki vav is the new unesco heritage site.

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