Kalo Dungar Kutch

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1 25 kms from Khavda, i.e. about 45 minute drive from Dhordo, the top of the Black Hils is the highest point in Kutch, at 462m. From here the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, difficult to distinguish between the desert and sky. You see viewing point at Kalo Dungar.

2 Hanumanji at Bediya Bet (In Kutch raised part of land is called BET). Here is story. The area in Pakistan opposite where the current temple exists is called Jat Talai. It is here that the original Hanuman temple existed. This area was part of India before 1965 war. Subsequently India agreed to vacate the Jat Talai area.

3 According to local folklore when troops started moving from that place there was a message from Hanumanji that why are you leaving me behind, take me with you. So jawans carried the murthi and walked for about 27 kms. They spent the night at Bediya Bet. Next morning the murthi stuck itself firmly to the ground and could not be budged. A temple that you see built there.

4 Picture of terrain somewhere near Hanuman Mandir. Note colour of water, salt and sand.

5 Many parts there is sand and sand like you see. Happy to see electricity lines everywhere – good for the Border Security Force who man the area.

6 Somewhere near temple saw these birds. A bit of noise and they fly away. I visited end February so fewer birds. Was told maximum birds come in December January.

7 We drove from Dharamshala to Kalo Dungar. White structure that you see on top of hill is Dattatreya Temple etc. In between the climb got really steep. Kalo Dungar is 90 kms from Bhuj.

8 This is the 400 year old temple of Lord Dattatreya, the three headed incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. According to tradition when Lord Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Because of this, temple priests prepared a batch of Prasad ie fed to the jackals after the morning and evening aarti.

9 Close up of viewing point. On a clear day get a great view of sunset but we were not lucky. Sunrise also is supposed to be worth seeing.

10 Musician at viewing point. Boy on right had come all the way from Hyderabad.

11 You see hills after which is the Great Rann, desert all the way. We drove over 60 kms to the border, quite an experience.

12 Camels trying to kiss each other.

13 Next morning visited villages near Khavda. Village is Dhrobana on Kada Dungar Road. Home of creative Meghwal community. Dress cost Rs 10,000/. Super stuff. Bags, patch works, kutch handicrafts, textile embroidery. Call Narsing Bhai Sanjot 91 99133 95481 or Deva Bhai Sanjot 91 87583 54016. They also put stall at Tent City during season.

14 This is Abdullah Potteries in Khavada. Very nice. Lots of foreigners buy from here. Saw him packing very well so reaches their homes in one piece. He can deliver potteries anywhere. Contacts 91 94275 13585.

15 Shop of Puna Sumar Marvada. We had lunch at his place. He specializes in wood carving, wood furniture, mud painting, and making of Bhunga and sells kutchi textiles. Village Ludiya Gandhi Nu Gam, Po-Khavada. Contacts 91 70693 71081 or 91 94298 80077. Another shop opp this one is Hirenbhai 91 94277 68224. Ditto as Puna. Also offers home stay.

16 Typical Bhunga in the village. Loved the paintings. If you want to buy footwear ask Puna to take you to his brother in law Devabhai village ie Meghpar – Khavda. Contacts 91 94291 70223, 91 87580 35684.

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