Trailing Gujarat: Bhuj, Capital of Kutch

Getting budget accommodation in Bhuj is a bit tricky. Couple of cheap hotels lies closer to Bhid Gate and I lodged in one of those. Oddly enough, Bhuj was quite different than my imaginations. Unlike other desert towns, Bhuj is more developed, bigger and full of multistoreyed buildings which indeed made me disappointed in the beginning. My first night in Bhuj went after turning the pages from my subconscious… some from the far-fetched memory.. Tried to see the things behind the moon but I slumbered…
Road to the North of Bhuj
                                            Road to the North of Bhuj
Unlike Northern India, Sun rises little late in this part of Gujarat and so is the day. I woke up at the usual time and it was all dark so I got one rare chance of morning walk in Bhuj. From the morning walk, Bhuj looked like an idiosyncratically outlined town perhaps because of the impact of Earth-quake on its social surroundings. Later as Sun comes up, people started catching up with their respective routines and I hit the vegetable market to find the guy who was supposed to rent me a bike.
Prag Mahal Bhuj
                                                           Prag Mahal Bhuj

==============================================
Hiring Bike in Bhuj: Hiring a bike in Bhuj is not as easy as mentioned in most of the Guide books.  There is barely one Garage in the town which is still renting bikes. Unlike other popular tourist towns of the country, you will have to pay a hefty amount as deposit for getting a bike. Bikes can be hired from MK Auto (09898983999/09913060136) opposite to Chhathibari. He charged 5000 INR as deposit (Refundable) and 500 INR per day.

Accommodation in Bhuj: After recovering from earthquake of 2001, Bhuj has got plenty of high end options those are scattered around the town. Most of these hotels lie on the station road and near Vegetable market. I enquired the quotations in most of the hotels and it ranges from 600-800 INR per night. Budget hotels are in scarce in Bhuj but one can find some near Bhid Gate and Bus stand.  These budget hotels are generally occupied with traveling salesman and nasty in its way.  The cheapest room with no attached toilet will cost 300 INR per night.

Eating options in Bhuj: Getting food is not a problem in Bhuj. Restaurants are in surplus and situated everywhere in the town. Snack stalls offer Jalebi, Dabeli, and Fafda throughout the day. All the restaurants offer Gujarati Thali which is delicious and healthy. One can find Punjabi and south Indian Cuisines as well in some of the restaurants. I got a hunch that there is a lot for Non-Vegetarians as well.

Public Transport from Bhuj towards Northern Kutch:
     - One Gujarat Tourism Department Bus travel to Dhordo (Via Loriya, Hodko) and returns back. It starts 
       at 10:00 AM and charges 70 INR for the whole tour.
     - Frequent busses are available till Khavda (Via Loriya, Bhirandiyara, Ludiya). Beyond Khavda, you are
       on your own.
     - From Bhuj, there is a bus to Kalo Dungar every Sunday.

Public Transport from Bhuj to Southern Kutch:
   - State transport busses (hourly, 58 INR, 60km, 90 minutes) ply between frequently between Bhuj and
      Mandvi. One can also get shared Jeeps (Toofan) between these two cities.
============================================

Clock Tower Prag Mahal
                                                   Clock Tower Prag Mahal
There was nothing much to do in the morning because whole market was closed so we decided to do some city sightseeing in Bhuj. We walked towards Prag Mahal which is one of the popular buildings of Bhuj. Prag Mahal is also adjacent to Aina Mahal, another historical building of Kutch. Prag Magal was built in 1865 A.D to 1875 A.D by Maharaj Shri Pragmalaji. Design of palace is prepared by British engineer and constructed by Kutchi Masons known as Sampura. Pragmahal is constructed in localy available hard stones of Villages of Andho near Khavda and red sand stones of Villages of Rajpar and Meghpar of Mandvi. Pragmahal comprises many halls like Divankhand, conference room, court room, library room, pantry room etc. Pragmahal Tower,which is 150 feet high, is the most fascinating facet of the building. Upstairs, there is one long wooden pillar which once hosted the flag of Kutch state which mark of "Courage and Confidence".
Landscape around Bhuj
                                                Landscape around Bhuj

 

                                                         Bhuj City Sightseeing

Name

Time

Closed/Remarks/Fee

Pragmahal

9 AM to 12:15 PM
3 PM to 5:45 PM

20 (Indian), 50 (Foreigners), 50 (Camera)

Aina Mahal

9 AM to 12 PM
3 PM to 6 PM

Thursday and Public holidays

Saradbag Palace

9 AM to 12 PM
3 PM to 6 PM

Friday and Public holidays

Kutch Museum

10 AM to 01 PM
2 PM to 5 PM

Wednesday, 2nd and 4th Saturday & Public holidays.

Asapura Temple

6 AM to 12 PM
5 PM to 9 PM

 

Swaminarayan Temple

7 AM to 12 PM
4 PM to 08:30 PM

 

Chhatardi

7 AM to 7 PM
 

 

Ramkund

 

7 AM to 7 PM
 

 

Bhujia Hill

7 AM to 7 PM
 

 

Just for the heck of curiosity, we also entered to Aina Mahal but retreated after finding bus loads of school kids blocking the aisle. The next challenge was to get a bike on rent so that we can hit to farther destinations towards the edge of Great Rann.

 

Trailing Gujarat Series: In Chronological Order

Trailing Gujarat: Train to Bhuj

Trailing Gujarat: Bhuj, Capital of Kutch

Trailing Gujarat: Northern Kutch, Dhordo and Kalo Dungar

Trailing Gujarat: Western Kutch, Lakhpat and Narayan Sarovar

Trailing Gujarat: Southern Kutch, Beachline of Mandvi

Trailing Gujarat: Eastern Kutch, Splendor of Rapar and Dholavira

Trailing Gujarat: Dhrangadhra, a lesser known delight of Gujarat

Trailing Gujarat: Little Rann of Kutch, Salt Plains and Heat Mirage

Trailing Gujarat: Jamnagar and Marine National Park, Narara

Trailing Gujarat: Dwarka, Where Pilgrims meet the end of earth (Read: Sea)

Trailing Gujarat: Junagadh, City of archaeological attractions

Trailing Gujarat: Gir National Park, last home of Asiatic Lions

Trailing Gujarat: Diu, Real thirst-quencher

Trailing Gujarat: Alang, Where Ships come to die

Trailing Gujarat: Champaner and Pavagadh

Trailing Gujarat: Ahmedabad and Lothal

Trailing Gujarat: Patan, Modhera and Separation

Dear Frends, I Hire

Dear Frends, I Hire bike From joy Rides in Bhuj For Tourism purpose. Get Good Experince with joy Rides Young Owner mr. Anki Gor And Also There Rate is half Compare To Other Bike Rentals in Bhuj.

Thanks for adding your inputs

Thanks for adding your inputs Rohit.. Very useful for fellow travelers.

+- Vishnu

Recently I visited new

Recently I visited new startup at Bhuj for hiring bikes on rent.
Bike was good and his young owner was very friendly.
You can reach him at
Joy rides
9033836979

Thanks for sharing the

Thanks for sharing the number. it will be very useful for other travelers.

+- Vishnu

Do u have any package to

Do u have any package to visit islands near kutch

Do you mean  Dholavira ?.

Do you mean  Dholavira ?. Sorry, we do not sell any package.

Package tours!! that was

Package tours!! that was funny!!! but i must say your blog has been very helful. hope things wont be very different two years later.

Thanks.. Keep dropping by. +-

Thanks.. Keep dropping by.

+- Vishnu

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