Mud Painting Bhungas Kutch

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1. Kutch is famous for its Bhungas–a circular mud home with thatched roofs and paintings on walls of Bhungas. U see entrance to Shaam-e-Sarhad (Sunset on the Border) village resort at village Hodka, about 30 minutes before Tent City. It is located in the BANNI grassland, right on the edge of the salt desert-the Rann.

2. Village Ludiya Gandhi Nu Gam near Khavda. House of Puna Sumar Marvada & brothers. Outer walls painted with mud colour motifs by women of the house every year during Diwali. “Cylindrical shaped mud walls helps protecting from direct sunrays and hence keep the home cool from inside in the summer. And the cow dung helps resisting the cold during winters.”

3. Inside Puna’s Bhunga. Left is locker in brown and nicely carved wood line the inner walls inlaid with mirrors. “These traditional bhunga always reacts as an arch against the forces applied from any direction during the earthquake. Since they are in the circular shape, they are more stable in earthquake situation. Circular shape also helps by not obstructing the wind movement & hence they do not create big pressure and helps during cyclones.”

4. Puna’s shop is outside his home. He specialises in mud painting, mud work, wood carving, making of Bhunga & specialist in Wood Furniture. He told us that during peak season has no time to eat even & added that ever since Rann of Kutch festival started large number of tourists visit.

5. Wall on either side of door painted – Puna’s family home. His son goes to school and saw him studying books written in English. Had lovely lunch with Puna. During off season Puna works in towns as a carpenter. His contacts are 91 94298 80077, 91 70693 71081.

6. Loved this. “Rabaaris decorate the insides of their mud-and-thatch huts with ‘lippankam’ or mud-mirror work; Bharwaads are seen in their exquisitely embroidered dresses and clothes; Meghwals decorate the exteriors of their mud huts with alluring patterns; nomadic Jats whose subgroups include the graceful Fakirani Jats, live in huts made of coloured reeds”

7. Wall on either side of door. “The traditional bhunga requires periodic maintenance, a regular application of lipai or lime plastering to the walls and floor, and the replacement of the dried grass on the roof.” Village Ludiya Gandhi Nu Gam has about ten homes. Walls of every home are nicely painted. Everyone sells Kutchi craft.

8. Love the originality. Owner of this home had lovely paintings. He insisted we buy something but had already bought lots from other shops earlier.

9. Puna’s home wall. He was constructing a kitchen with asbestos ceiling. That would make it really hot in the summers I asked. Silence! During 2001 earthquake it was the Bhungas that stood firm.

10. This painting reminded me of Bastar Craft. On mud painting guide Pramod Jethi wrote, “Clay is missed with camel dung & kept for a few days. It is kneaded to obtain sufficient plasticity & designs are worked on the mud wall using this clay mixtures. Designs of peacock, elephant etc are depicted. Tiny mirrors are set in between the designs. After drying the wall is washed with white earth colour.”

11. “A traditional Kutchi house is in a circular shape and made of mud walls and a thatched roof. Diameter of a Bhunga is approximately 18 feet and has depth of foundation up to 24 inches. Thatched roof is made of wooden top dome using bamboo sticks. These sticks are tied together with dried grass rope. Moreover, a thick layer of grass is placed on the roof.”

12. Painting inside Hirenbhai’s Bhunga. “Walls of a Bhunga are also made of bamboo sticks which are tied by grass ropes. Then cow dung and mud are used as the wall plaster to make them beautiful and strong.” He offers home stay & specialises in textile embroidery, wood/leather/patch/mud work, making of traditional Bhunga. Contact 91 94277 68224.

13. Another Bhunga in same village. Residents of this village belong to the Meghwal community, originally from Rajasthan. Very creative & loved all their work. Their craft skills used to make products that are source of income. To read a good blog on bhunga http://www.kutchtourguide.com/blog/traditional-bhunga-huts-of-kutch/

14. After visiting village Nirona went to village Jhuria. Whilst searching for a home we walked into a Meghawal home to see mud work painting. They also do leather work. To read about Lipan Kaam i.e. mud and mirror work http://engrave.in/blog/lipan-kaam/

15. Terrain enroute from Khavda to Dhordo. Roads are very good. You have sand and sand all around. For a senior & super Kutch guide call Pramod Jethi 91 93742 35379. For car hire call Narendra Bhai 91 9925440072 or Meet Bhai 91 88661 94748 or 87803 77140 whom I used.

16. We went to village Hodka. Shaam-E-Sarhad is on the main road. We went inside village. Lots of homes of Meghwal community. All deal in crafts. One ran a very nice home stay. Pics with Amitabh Bachhan were on display means he had visited.

17. Previous pic and this are home of Karsan Devraj Gordiya. Entrance to a huge hall where they sell their products. They deal in traditional Kachchhi Patchwork, Cushion cover, Ajrakh block print bed sheet, Kambhira and Quilts.

18. Another wall. Side room has tailors. From there you enter a huge courtyard that has homes of atleast ten Meghwal families. Missed taking the courtyard pic. Ladies do not allow you to click their pics.

19. Same home. Locals said that ever since Rann of Kutch festival started so many resorts have sprung up in Hodka and on road to Dhordo. All offer stay in traditional Bhungas. It has generated employment and demand for Kutchi craft.

20. Quilt made by Karan Bhai family. They are such good sales people, the Meghwal community. Admire the talent.

21. About 20 kms from Narayan Sarovar is Rodasar Lucky village inhabited by Fakirani Muslims (are Jats). This is a typical traditional home.

22. Inside home. Cool and colourful.

23. Fakirani Muslim lady. Women in Kutch do not want themselves clicked esp. face because many sell pictures or then pics all over the net. Since it is the silver bracelet that she wore mattered clicked only that.

24. Fakirani Jat home painting. Wall made of brick.

25. Since toilets very much in the news asked him who made toilet. He said government. So asked him to show and if it worked. He said all ok.

26. Government officials inspecting house under construction in the same village. These are being made under the Prime Minister’s program.

27. Bhungas at Shaam-E-Sarhad. Venture is promoted jointly by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, United National Development Programme & facilitated by Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan in partnership with local NGOs. Their web site is www.hodka.in, email [email protected] You can book online.