Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Kutch

After the Little Rann Sanctuary visit I have now spent a week (!) in Bhuj, a city in theGirls dressed up for the wedding, Kutch, Gujarat heart of the area known as Kutch. Famous for its handicrafts and the Great Rann of Kutch desert (similar to Little Rann except bigger) it has been through some rough times, including the devastating 2001 earthquake, in which 10% of the city’s population perished. Nevertheless, the people here are enjoying life, they are extremely friendly and welcoming and the ages old traditions of creating the most amazing handicrafts are still strong.

My first full day in Bhuj I spent with Allison and Lloyd (both from USA) visiting some villages north of Bhuj and getting to know the different kinds of handicrafts that people      tKutchi handicrafts, Kutch, Gujarathere create. We saw weaving, embroidery, woodwork and rogan art, which is both a unique and nearly extinct art form. We met a lot of the village people and with our guide who knows their language (they speak their own language called Kutchi) we were able to discuss with them. Allison is doing a “world-wide” study on tattoo art and she was very interested in the tattoos that the village people here have. The women (mostly the older ones, young people are not into tattoos so much) we met in the villages had loads of tattoos on them. You can see some in the pictures I took.

The next day I had a motorbike (which I did not give away until today) and I drove to Anjar, a village South-West of here. Our guide from the previous day is from there and he took me to see a tailor who would be able to get me a maldari outfit, just like the one all the nomadic people here wear. In the evening me and Lloyd went to a wedding in one of the villages where we had been the previous day. It was a great experience and it also felThe groom, Kutch, Gujaratt a lot more authentic than the wedding to which I had been in Hyderabad many many months ago (time just flies, doesn’t it…). We did not get much sleep though since we slept practically outside along with many other guests while drumming and dancing went on right next to us until dawn.

On the third day I did not do much (= no sleep), but the next day I rode up north from Bhuj to the village of Kuran, which is a tiny village really close to the border of the Great Rann (behind which is Pakistan). Apparently this village also had suffered in the 2001 quake as there was a big plaque by the side of the road dedicated to the kind individual who had financed (so I imagined) the relocation of the whole population of the old village to this new spot.

Also the next day I rode, but this time to the south to Mandvi, which is a town by the Arabian Sea (Gulf of Kutch). It has two big sights: a ship-building yard where huge wooden ships are being built by hand, and a grand palace by the sea. The ship-building     wShip building, Mandvi, Gujaratas really amazing and so was the palace. The guards allowed me to stay on the roof of the palace long enough to get to read a few pages of my book and to admire the setting sun.

Yesterday I did my longest (and last) bike ride when I went to Lakhpat, in the far North-Western corner of Kutch (and India). Lakhpat is a cool place because it is an ancient fortified city that used to reside by the Indus river. In an earthquake the river changed its course and is now west of Lakhpat on Pakistan’s side.

This day I am spending taking care of some issues, such as writing this blog, having some pictures printed (need to send some back to the wedding people) and so on. I also went to the post office and sent a package home containing my maldari outfit and a couple of shawls and stuff for presents. Hopefully the parcel gets home safely, since the three copies of the postal information papers were taped to it rather flimsily 🙂 Fortunately the same information is written on the parcel itself with a marker.

Tonight I will take a night bus to Junagadh in southern Gujarat. From there I might go to see some lions in the Gir sanctuary (you are lucky if you see them only with one trek in there though) and then go to the coast to Diu, which is a bit (but only a bit) like Goa: an old Portuguese colony. After this I don’t have a clear plan, except to be in Nagpur on the 23. to see my girlfriend.

Pictures: in the gallery. Take care. Think happy thoughts 🙂

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March 12, 2007 - Posted by | Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India

6 Comments »

  1. Hi Mico,
    how are you doing? I read some of your storys and it already feels realy strange for me becuase i already have my old livestyle back (and i like it and enjoy it). And it seems like i never have been there in india. But there is a strange feeling when i see your pictures.

    Take care
    your friend tobi

    Comment by Tobi | March 25, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hello Toby! 🙂

    Yeah, I remember you saying you went skiing, you got your new laptop and everything and you were so happy to go back to that. And of course I miss my life in Finland as well. But I see it this way: I will soon see Taj Mahal and after that a whole lot of other places, like the mountains in the north etc, and then, in just three months, I will be at the cottage eating grilled sausages and potato salad, having a sauna and a swim and watching TV. I would not call that home sickness, it is just waiting to get home after a great experience 🙂

    I am sure the pictures make you remember how it was like here and maybe you even miss some of the things here, I don’t know, am I right? 🙂

    Comment by murmeli | March 27, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hi Murmeli!

    I found your site by random chance… and Google, of course 😉
    That ship-building picture is very interesting. Could you please send me a high-resolution version of it?

    Thank you 🙂

    Comment by Caliga | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  4. Bhuj is one of the industrial city for gujarat india.

    We can found some traditional environment of KACHCHCHI people.

    I had great experience last months.

    Thank You

    Comment by Junagadh City | May 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hai,

    We are in progress of establish a shipyard in Pulau Indah, Port Klang, Malaysia. The shipyard activities are construct the various types of dredger they are “trailer suction hopper dredger” and “cutter scution dredger”. Besides, we also construct the the commercial vessel, tugs and barges. Feel free to contact me. Thanks you.

    Comment by Azharuddin Abdul Ghani | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  6. Hi Murmeli,
    I have also found stubled upon your site and am interested in the photo you have taken of this ship.

    DO you have any more info on it? ie what is it being built specifically for?

    Thanks and regards,
    Andrew

    Comment by Andrew | March 9, 2011 | Reply


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