Hodka is one such Banni village bordering the marshes of the Rann of Kutch. Entering this tiny village came as a wonderful surprise, with the most vibrant mud huts decorated with fabrics, paints and mirrors. Scattered across the village were girls and women of different ages clothed in traditional Kutchi gear, going about their daily work of stringing together beads, sewing, knitting, dyeing and more, all the while maintaining a style that is distinctively their own.
Night had fallen and we quickly made it to our hotel room bed, in no time we were taken away by deep slumber. Next morning, We were jumping in excitement to reach Kutch. Booked a cab for two days from Bhuj and we were off to Hodka village, where our 2 nights stay was booked at Kutir Krafts. Hodka Village is around 17kms from Dhordo where the RannUtsav was set up. Also, White Rann is also in the vicinity of the Utsav.
This is a village at the heart of the Banni grasslands, famous for its Banni handwork as well as a famous bird spotting destination during the post monsoon. Unfortunately for us, lack of rainfall meant there was no migration this year. The landscape as you cross the military establishment outside Bhuj changes from low lying desert shrubs, making their way for the dry sands of the desert (Rann). You are most definite to come across herds of camels with their shepherd’s; and the really experimental ones can ask for a trial of camels milk to the most willing tribesman (Tip: they might ask for 10 or 20 bucks, but that’s nothing compared to this experience) Before entering Hodko, you will need to take permission to enter the Rann (being a sensitive area due to its proximity to the Indo-Pak border) at a border check post just past a town called Bhiriyandara on the Bhuj-Dhordo road. All you need to do is submit your Id proof and vehicle number, and the charges for entry are Rs. 100 per person per day. This town is famous for its Mawa cake, and is a must try. Bhujodi - Hodko - Approx 90 Kms Travel time - 1hr30 mins approx.