En route we visited Handicraft Village “Gandhi Nu Gaam”. This is the handicraft village where one can purchase intricately designed objects of daily necessities at a very cheap rate.
Embroidery and woodwork at Gandhi Nu GamThe first thing that strikes you when you walk into Gandhi Nu Gam, apart from the artwork that adorns the wall, is the exquisite jewellery and traditional Kanjari blouses that the womenfolk wear. We were greeted by little girls dressed in a traditionally embroidered ghagra choli, running after a lone goat and sweeping the little thing off the ground to cuddle it in their arms, once they caught up. On sale are beaded necklaces, armbands, embroidered purses and wallets for as little as ₹100. The embroidery is done in bright colours and can also be found on bed covers, cushion covers, dupattas and dress materials. Don’t miss the colourful hair ties that the little girls will easily convince you to buy. The accessories are made by the women while the men busy themselves with creating carved wooden furniture. A patriarch of the Meghwal community twirls his white moustache and tells us how his ancestors were originally from Jodhpur, Rajasthan but the community made Kutch their home decades ago. The traditional bhungas (mud huts) are decorated with bright painted murals on the outside and mirrors on the inner walls. The village had been completely recreated after the earthquake caused havoc in the state.Getting there: Gandhi Nu Gaam is 59km or 1 hour 30 minutes away from Bhuj.Mata Ni Pachedi in Ahmedabad
Gandhi Nu GamThere is more to Kutch than the Rann, though, and if you are here for the festival, you cannot go back without buying a few handicrafts from here. Gandhi Nu Gam is a village nearby that you can visit to look at the traditional arts and crafts of the area. From mirrored walls to copper utensils, from wooden crafts and intricately embroidered clothes, everything is available here. The interesting thing about Gandhi Nu Gam is that it was destroyed completely in the 2001 Bhuj earthquake, and has been rebuilt from scratch.
On way back we decided to stop by in Khavda to take some portraits of villagers. Here, the men usually wrap a colorful scarf in their necks and seen wearing kurta's. People of Kutch look at you with an undisturbed gaze, the confidence in their eyes is applaudable, maybe because they are so used to getting clicked by tourists all the time. Later, we went to Gandhinugam village where there is a huge set up of textile and craft items handmade by the villagers. We had the fortune of meeting Khumbha Bhai's super sweet family. His warm hearted kids and wife allowed us to have a look at their mud work inside their Bhunga, chatted with us for one long hour and offered us to stay with them over the night. I took photographs of the dressed up Kutchi Family and they didnt back out from any of it.