About Kutch

About Kutch

  • Kutch (also spelled "Cutch", "Kachh", "Kachch" and even "Kachchh") is a district of Gujarat state in western India. Covering an area of 45,612 km2, it is the largest district in the state of Gujarat and the second largest in India. According to some theorists, the name "Kutch" is a reference to the shape of the area, which when viewed from space, resembles a tortoise. The word for "tortoise" is Kaachbo in the Kutchi and Gujarati languages.

Kutch is divided into 5 distinct regions

  • The Great Rann, or uninhabited wasteland in the north.
  • The Grasslands of Banni.
  • Mainland, consisting of planes, hills and dry river beds.
  • The Coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south, and Creeks and mangroves in the west.
  • loosely, the southern portion of the Rann is considered an island, with seawater inundating the land for most of the year. The mainland is generally plane, but has some hill ranges and isolated hills.

Talukas of Kutch

  • Bhuj, Anjar
  • Mandvi, Mundra
  • Abdasa-Nalia
  • Lakhpat, Rapar
  • Bhachau and Nakhatrana.

Princely Kutch

  • Kutch was formerly an independent state, founded in the late 13th century by a samma rajput named Jada, from which name the Jadeja rajputs derive their patronymic. The Jadeja dynasty ruled not only Kutch but also much of neighbouring Kathiawar for several centuries until the independence of India in 1947. In 1815, Kutch became a British protectorate and ultimately a princely state, whose local ruler acknowledged British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. A beautiful mirror palace, one surviving relic of the princely era is the Aina Mahal ("mirror palace"), built in the 1760's at Bhuj for the Maharao of Kutch by Ram Singh Malam who had learnt glass, enamel and tile work from the Dutch.

Honorary Members

  • Upon the independence of India in 1947, Kutch acceded unto the dominion of India and was constitited an independent commissionerate. It was created a state within the union of India in 1950. On November 1, 1956, Kutch was merged with Bombay state, which in 1960 was divided into the new linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Kutch thereupon became a part of Gujarat state. After the Partition of India in 1947, the province of Sindh, including the port of Karachi, ended up in Pakistan. The Indian Government constructed a modern port at Kandla in Kutch to serve as a port for western India in lieu of Karachi. The epicenter of 2001 Gujarat Earthquake was in this district. It was the most severe earthquake (out of more than 90 earthquakes) to hit Kutch in 185 years. Much of Bhuj was destroyed or damaged as were many villages. Many of the attractions of Bhuj including the Aina Mahal have still not been restored.


  • Extreme climate & temperature ranges from 20 C in winter to 450 C in summer. Rainfall is very less while average annual rainfall - 14 inches. The three main seasons are:
  • Summer, from February to June
  • Monsoon season, from July to September.
  • Winter, from October to January.


  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • local dialects like Kutchi

Best Time To Visit

  • Late October to early April

Wild Life

  • The home of the last remaining population of khur (wild ass) in India. There is also a bird population, particularly of the large flamingos. Both are protected in 5,000 km Little Rann Sanctuary, near Dhangadhra; one has to get permission to enter from the sanctuary superintendent's office in Dhangadhra.

The Kutch Mahotsav

  • The Kutch Mahotsav aptly called the 'Mahotsav' (great festival) is a guided tour of the life and times of Kutch, its beauty, nostalgia, ethos, traditions, culture and spirit. Kutch Mahotsav is usually organized during February and March each year. The festival organized by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, is a six-day tour into the heartlands of Kutch. The tour includes a visit to Bhuj at the heart of Kutch, Mata no Madh, an old temple dedicated to the mother goddess believed to be 1200 years old. Lakhpat, a deserted port transports you to a time when it was once the hub of Gujarat's flourishing sea trade. The Mahotsav also takes you to Narayan Sarovar, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for orthodox Hindus, Koteshwar and Bhadreshwar, also important pilgrimage centres along the Mahotsav circuit. Anjar, the beaches of Mandvi, Dhola Vira's archaeological ruins and the rural fair at Dhrang completes a rich insight into Kutch, its colourful people, historic towns and remarkable handicrafts.

Fair of "Mota Yaksh"

  • Fair of "mota yaksh" (at kakdbhit, bhadrapad sud, 15--- sept) This is the largest fare in kutch. 40kms. Far from bhuj, this festival lasts for three days.Its a legend that "yakshas(angels!!)" came here to save the people from cruel rural, and taught them some skills to improvise their life style. Since then people are celebrating this fare near the temple built in their memory. This place is also known as mini " taranetar " (largest fair of gujarat)".

Fair of Hajipir

  • Fair of "Hajipir" (at hajipir(banni), 1st monday of april(chaitra).) This fare is celebrating in the memory of a holy saint "haajipir". This fare represents the true non-secularism of the kutch. Saint "haajipir" was muslim, but this place is as holy for "hindus " as it is for "muslims". He spent his days in the service of people. He died in an attempt to save cows from bandits. He is also known as "zinda (alive) pir". His place is also known as "haajipir" and it is 100 kms. Far from "bhuj".

Dada Mekan Fair

  • Dada Mekan" Fair (at "dhrang", 30 kms. far from bhuj) On very holy festival of lord "shiva","mahashivratri", this fare is celebrated for remembrance of the great saint "dada mekan". He has spent his whole life in desert to help any one lost in the great rann of kutch, with the help of their great partners a dog and a donkey. Gujarat tourism organizes the "kutch festival" during this fare. This fare is also famous its glory of rural tradition and "malakhdo (wrestling)" and "renkda dod (cart racing )"

Fair of Shitla Saptami

  • Shitla Saptami Fair ("saatam-aatham") On the occasion of the birthday of lord "krishna", this fare is celebrated by warm hearted people at "hamirsar lake", bhuj. Its a two days festival, first day is celebrated as "shitla saptami" or "saatam"and another day is celebrated as "janmashtami" or "aatham". On the second day processions for breaking the "mataki (pot)" hanging overhead with milk products and some money. This is done in remembrance of early days of lord "krishna", when he was at "gokul".

Fair of "Jesal-Toral"

  • Fair of "Jesal-Toral" (at anjar, on shravan vad 7th & 8th August.) This fare is celebrated in the memory of saintly couple "jesal" and "toral". Jesal was famous bandit of kutch, and toral was a holy princess. The company of toral changed the jesal and he became the saint. Together they served the people in kutch. This fare is held at "anjar" 45 kms. From "bhuj", this fare is also one of the most famous and worth watching.

Bhujia fair or "naagpanchmi"

  • Bhujia fair or "naagpanchmi" (shravan sud 5, august) At the foot of the hill "bhujia", bhuj, this fare is celebrated to pray "naag dev (snake god)" . The temple of "naag dev" is located at the top of "bhujia" hill". As this land is depending on agriculture, the snacks are serving the purpose of keeping insects and mice away from crop, indians are paying the snacks back by worshiping them.


  • Rabari people
  • Jats People
  • Ahir People
  • Harijans People
  • Villages

  • Bada
  • Bidada
  • Merao
  • Samaghogha
  • Nana Asambia
  • Dumra
  • Motikhakar
  • Rayan
  • Beraja
  • Bhujpur
  • Talukas of Kutch

  • Bhuj
  • Gandhidham
  • Lakhpat
  • Mandvi
  • Mundra
  • Nakhtrana
  • Rapar
  • Abdasa- Nalia
  • Anjar
  • staple food is Rotlas made of Bajri
    The economy of Kutch is still agro-based and therefore in spite of shortage of water lot of emphasis is being laid on agricultural and farming activities. Beside State government, the Non-governmental charitable and research institutes like the V.R.T.I. or Vivekananda Research and Training Institute at Mandvi and its sister concerns is helping the farmers in adopting latest farming techniques. The people of Kutch believe in simple living and high thinking. The staple food is Rotlas made of Bajri (millet) which the local relish with Butter milk or 'Chhas', Butter and Jaggery or 'Gud'.'Khichhdi' made of rice and dal (pulses) is liked by everyone.

    Over a period of time the cropping pattern
    Over a period of time the cropping pattern in Kutch is changing gradually. Gone are the days when Lakhpat area was a rice bowl. Crops requiring less water and yielding more cash are the pattern of the day.

    Crops of Kutch
      Crops of Kutch
    • Cereals - Bajri (maximum), Jowar, Wheat and Rice (negligible).
    • Pulses - Moong, Moth, Udad, Black gram, Beans.
    • Oil seeds - Groundnut, Mustard, Sesaum (Til), Castor, Sunflower and Cotton seeds.
    • Others - Guvar, Cattle feed , Cotton (Gossipium), Sugarcane, Dates, Isabgol.
    There were many forts in Kutch. Today some are in ruins and some are still in good condition.
    Kanthkot (P) : Population 2,246.
    Kanthkot is an old fort about 5 km circularly situated on the top of an isolated rocky hill. This place was the capital of Kathis in 8th century and it was taken from them by the Chavdas. After the Chavdas, the Solankis came and after them the Vaghelas. Mod befriended Vaghela who not only gave Kanthkot but also his daughter in marriage to Mod’s son Sad. Sad lived in Kanthkot and made it his capital. Sad’s son Ful named the fort Kanthadurg. Bhimdev sought shelter from Mahmud of Ghazni in 11th century at Kanthkot. In 1816 it surrendered to the British who razed it to the ground. On the hill are remains of three temples of which one is dedicated to the ascetic Kanthadnath, the second a Jain temple and the third a temple of the sun.

    Roha Fort:
    Roha fort is situated on the hillock
    Roha fort is situated on the hillock of the same name, 50 km from Bhuj. It’s height is 500 feet from the ground level and 800 feet from the sea level. Roha was the leading Jagir of Kutch state and there were 52 villages under this Jagir. Rao Khengarji I (1510-1585) established Kutch and became a ruler of Kutch. His brother Sahebji set up Roha village and died after a battle with Raysinhji Zala of Halvad. After his death his successor Jiyaji built two big tanks on the Roha Hill. His son built a fort on Roha hill. Thakore Kalapi was famous poet in Gujrat. He wrote romantic poems at Roha hill because atmosphere of Roha was peaceful and close to the nature with many peacocks and other birds which can be seen here even now. Roha is called Sumari Roha after the princesses of the Sumara state Umarkot in Sindh. Fleeing Allaudin Khilji the princesses sought asylum with Abda, who died fighting Allaudin. Consequently the princesses took Samadhi at Roha. The present Thakore of Roha, Thakore Virensinhji Saheb lives in Bhuj and would like to develop the Roha hill as a tourist point.Tera lies 85 km west of the town of Bhuj.

    Tera Fort:
    Tera Jagir
    Tera Jagir consisted of 41 villages and was one of the largest Jagirs of Kutch state. There are Ramayan wall paintings in the Tera castle. There are elaborate carved and beautiful paintings on glass in the Jain temple. Bandhani (tie & dye), Block printing, mirror work, Jats embroidery are the main crafts of this town. There are many of wild life animals chinkara, Blue Bull, Wild Boar, Hyena, The Great Indian Bustard, Peacock, Black partridge, etc. A very famous Mahadev temple Pinglaswar is 35 km far from Tera.
    made of rice and pulses
    The people of Kutch believe in simple living and high thinking. The staple food is Rotlas made of Bajri (millet) which the local relish with Butter milk or 'Chhas', Butter and Jaggery or 'Gud'.'Khichhdi' made of rice and dal (pulses) is liked by everyone.

    Milk based items
    If you visit any house first a glass of water is served as a custom. Tea which was unknown 60 years ago has become the universal drink among all classes of people. Milk based items like curd and ghee are very common in food preparation. Ground nut oil and ground nut is generally used to make the food more exotic.

    food item
    The usually Kutchi Cusine consists of Roti or Rotlas, Curd, Butter milk, Dal, Curry, Vegetables, Papad, Kachumbar. Dry rotlis or Theplas and Khakras and Sev (of Gram Flour) are made and stored as food during travelling etc..
    Now a days, food values are becoming more tasty and palatable than nutritious. The main delicacies in food items are- Khaman dokla, Gathia, Undhia, Muthia, Raita, Dahi wada, Kachori, Bhajia, Bhaji made of brinjal, bitter gourd and lady's finger,etc.. As a change from normal food, Dabeli, Puri Shak, Pav Bhaji, Bhakarwadi, Papdi, Kadak, etc. have crept in.
    There are many varities of sweets like- Adadiya, Gulab Pak, Son Papdi, Mohan thal, Pedas, Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Jalebi, etc.. Seeds of Dhaniya or Dhana dal, Betal Leaf or Pan with Supari is served after food as the last item.
    Equas hemionus Pallas
    Wild ASS:
    Equas hemionus Pallas (Khar Gaddha)—Kutch is well-known for its wild ass. This interesting animal is restricted to the fringes of the Little Rann of Kutch, more so on the southern side in Surendranagar district and around Jinjuvada. According to a rough ocular estimate made by the well-known conservationist Mr. E. P..
    Gee in 196the population of wild asses was in the neighbourhood of 870. An aerial census of their population was made in October 1969 by the State Forest Department and their number was provisionally estimated at 362.1 Wild asses have been recently bred in a couple of zoos in the country. This will ensure the species from becoming extinct. The Rann is characterized by flat grassy expanses known as ' bets ' in which coarse grasses spring up vigorously with the monsoon inundations. When the tracts get flooded, herds of .
    wild asses keep to the higher and drier portions on the ' bets ' moving freely from one elevation to another. As summer approaches and the grass in the ' bets ' withers, the wild asses shift to other ' bets ' which have perennial water supply and some green grass throughout the year and congregate in such places in large numbers. They are sturdy and well-built creatures and can gallop at about 50 km. per hour over considerable distances. It is difficult to catch them and more so to keep them in captivity. Young ones can be easily tamed. It is thirteen hands high. has a light brown neck and body, a black stripe down the back, and a white belly. Like the tame ass it has long ears, but its limbs are stronger and better made. Generally moving in herds of ten to fifty, it is sometimes found single or in pairs. According to the local belief, there are, in every herd of wild asses, besides young ones, several grown up animals both male and female. The former Gazetteer records that as each young male comes of age, he fights the head of the herd, and the loser is mutilated and becomes the victor's follower.

    Black Buck-Antelope
    Black Buck-Antelope Cervicapra (Linnaeus)(Kaliar):
    His variety of deer is to be seen occasionally on alluvial sands along the shores of the Gulf of Kutch, while the Common Red Antelope-Gaz:ella henetUi ( Chinkara ) is found in the same places in much larger numbers. A fine male antelope of the Indian plains has long spiral horns. The older animal becomes deep black on the upper parts, in strong contrast with its white throat, belly and legs. Sought after by sportsmen and some of the villagers, its number which was once a justifiable pride of Kutch, has sadly diminished today. Bucks were plentiful on the low lying saline flats of Banni which provide grazing for the cattle raised in this area. Bucks need to be carefully husbanded so that their number can once again be an attraction to the tourists. Black bucks can run very fast and escape enemy by swift running.
    Fleeing Allaudin Khilji the princesses sought asylum with Abda, who died fighting Allaudin. Consequently the princesses took Samadhi at Roha. The present Thakore of Roha, Thakore Virensinhji Saheb lives in Bhuj and would like to develop the Roha hill as a tourist point.

    Fox-Vulpes bengalensis
    Fox-Vulpes bengalensis(Shaw)(Lonkadi):
    Three varieties found in Kutch are (i) common grey Indian fox;(ii) white with black belly and legs, and (iii) large English-like fox of a light brown colour with a white point to his brush. Known as lonkadi it is quite active. This animal is normally found in burrows in fields and open lands. In Kutch it is common in the shrubby open lands but not in the desert. It lives on frogs, reptiles, birds, insects, etc., also feeds on fallen fruits and berries and is a menace to melon plantations. These animals have notable speed which helps them in their defence against other animals.
    Aina Mahal:
    The heritage of Kutch art and culture is displayed in the Madansihji museum (Aina mahal) Bhuj. The last ruler of Kutch Maharao Madansinhji established the "Maharao of Kutch Aina Mahal Trust on 1st January, 1977. Aina Mahal means a mirror palace. It was created by the artists Ramsinh & Gaidhar Devshi in the period of Maharao Lakhpatji (1752-61).
    In 1757, Rao Lakhpatji visited the emperor Alamgir in Delhi. He was graced with the title of Mahi Maratib. He welcomed foreigners in his court. Fortune brought him a man named Ramsingh malam who specialized in Kutchi architecture, enamel work, jewellery, tile work and interior decoration.
    Aina Mahal
    The great master piece of Ramsingh is the Hall of Mirrors in the Aina Mahal. The walls are white marble covered with mirror which are separated by gilded ornaments. The hall is lit by elaborate pendant candelabra with shades of Venetian glass. The hall of mirrors is on the second floor of the Aina Mahal but Ramsingh devised ingenious pumps and siphons to raise up water to fill the pleasure pool and to operate fountains which cast spray in an intricate variety of patterns charming the eye and cooling the air.
    The small state apartment, carpeted with exquisite Kutchi silk embroidery, its walls paneled high with the same priceless fabrics still contains Maharao Lakhpatji’s bed. The hall is filled with a miscellaneous collection of objects; a Dutch Clock, English and French celestial globes, some antique pictures, mechanical toys, glass and china. On the walls of the corridor are a variety of pictures, some European and many Indian. The Aina Mahal alone cost eight million kories and was only one of the many enterprises which the Maharao and Ramsingh undertook together.

    The Kutch Museum:
    The Kutch Museum
    The Kutch Museum at Bhuj initially formed part of the School of Art established by Maharao Khengarji on 1st July, 1877. It is the oldest museum of Gujrat. At the time of Maharao Khengarji’s marriage, an exhibition of 5897 items were exhibited and items worth Rs. 3300 were given to the Museum which necessitated the construction of a new building.
    Accordingly, on 14th November, 1884, the foundation stone for the present museum building was laid. The building consisting of 2 floors cost Rs. 32000. The museum is situated almost on the banks of the beautiful Hamirsar lake and just opposite the Nazar Baugh garden.
    Tera lies 85 km west of the town of Bhuj. Tera castle on the western edge of the state of Gujrat dominates the plains of Kutch from its position on the banks of Tretara (Three lakes) namely Chattasar, Sumerasar and Chatasar.

    Bharatiya Sanskruti Darshan:
    Bharatiya Sanskruti Darshan
    Mr Ramsinhji K Rathod a scholar of the folk art of Kutch and winner of many state Government awards has created an excellent museum in Bhuj which is called Bharatiya Sanskruti Darshan.
    he museum epitomizes the rustic life styles of the Kutchi villager containing around 4500 exhibits. Also, there are more than 1500 rare books on art and culture.This museum has five major sections. In the Ethnological section, Sahitya Chitra, in the central hall can be found rare works of literature. In other sections are interesting artifacts such as leather embroidery, wood work, wood carvings, terra cotta, wall paintings, bead work, stone carvings, musical instruments, knives and swords and silver work.Inside one of the huts is the intricately designed "Kothala" (the treasury). In olden times, ornaments money, and other valuables of the royalty were kept in the "Kothala".
    Kutchi Costumes are unique and some of the embroidered are very costly. The mirror work and embroidery work forms an integral part of Kutchi Handicrafts irrespective of the community or ethnic group to which they belong , however the workmanship differs. In fact the various communities can be identified by the pattern of handicrafts and dress or costumes they were. For instance, the Garacia Jat women wear only red or black chunis while Rabari women wear black open blouses or cholis with odhnis to cover head.
    women wear Chaniya choli
    In the rural areas women wear Chaniya choli during the whole year, Chaniya choli's are of many designs and fashion. Typical Kutchi costume is incomplete without 'Abha' or 'Kanjari'. 'Abha' is the name of the typical choli worn by women folk and 'Kanjari' is a long blouse beautifully embroidered and with mirror work. Most men in Kutch wear loose trousers, a long-sleeved under-jacket, a short coat,. a plain or silk-bordered cloth. Normally men prefer white clothes except the Muslims who prefer colored clothes.

    • Dress Jat's DressThey wear red or black cloth commonly known as 'GAGA'.
    • men wear Khamis and Lungi Jat men wear Khamis and Lungi.
    • whites except during the festivals Harijan males are normally seen in whites except during the festivals.
    • women's dress Ahir women's dress Young women wear gathered skirts of red, green, blue, orange or brown tie and die cloth with rich embroidery. Older married women wear plain black cotton tube skirts and simple decorated cotton or plain mashru blouses in subdued colors.
    • dress of harijan lady The dress of harijan lady mainly consist of cotton, silk or satin printed matrials skirt, blouse and chuni. However the style change in subgroup.
    • Rabari female dress Rabari female dress includes long black woollen skirt-'Ludi' and backless blouse-'Kapadu'. The veil-'Odhani' is of black wool with tie & dye pattern.