Handicraft Villages near BhujBhuj is also known as the handicraft center of India and this is principally due to the fact that there are several handicraft villages around Bhuj which house hundreds of artisans. Mirror work, embroidery, cross stitch, block prints, Ajrakh prints, weaving, pottery, toy making, tye and dye techniques and other different kinds of crafts are present in the villages around Bhuj.
The Government of Bhuj has established handicraft tours which take tourists all around the villages of Bhuj to see the handicrafts and witness the lifestyle and unique rituals of the tribes living in those villages.
Northern Villages of BhujThe Banni grasslands of Bhuj form a central meeting point in the Khavda area with the great Rann. Nomads, gypsies, cowherds, migrants and semi nomadic tribesmen reside in these areas. The main occupation of these people was tending to livestock like desert sheep, wild goats and cows/buffaloes apart from camels. There are 40 small hamlets in the northern area of Bhuj and most of them now depend on handicrafts and handloom production for their survival. The unique features of the northern villages is the construction of Bhungas which are circular huts that have sloping roofs and plastering with cow dung.
Dhordo VillageIt lies 80 km North of Bhuj and is the established center of Mutual embroidery. Chain stitch work is the specialty of resident tribes of Dhordo village. The embroidery done here is inset with tiny mirrors and little silver bells.
Chunky silver jewelry and leather work is also famous in the Dhordo village.
Sumrasar VillageIt lies 26 km North of Bhuj area and it is famous for Ahir and Soof embroidery. The Sodha tribes live here and they are experts in asymmetrically embroidered striking pieces. There is a grass root organization called the Kala Raksha center that contains samples of heirlooms that have been created by ancient tribes. Training and empowering artisans is the main objective here.
Loria or the Ludia VillageIts 60 km to the North of Bhuj and it has an interesting collection of little huts which have graphically painted and mirror work enhanced walls. Most artisans in Loria village are engaged in the production of woodcrafts
Zura VillageIt lies 30 km away from Bhuj and is the embroidered footwear producer of Bhuj. Other leather products are also produced here. Copper crafted bells are also a specialty of this village.
Nirona VillageIt lies 40 km to the north western direction of Bhuj. The tribal’s in this village produce embroidered products, lacquer enhanced woodwork, carved wood products. Iron rods are used to paint fabrics and this style is known as Rogan painting. Nirona is one of the few villages that are connected directly by bus from Bhuj. Approximately 1.5 hours is all you will need to visit Niroona.
Nakhtarna VillageThis village lays North West to Bhuj and is also called the Craft center of Bhuj. Tye and dye work and Bandhni is produced in this village. There is a sanctuary called Chinkara near Narayan Sarovar in this village
Hodka VillageThis is an artisan village which lies 63km of Bhuj. It is the established center of a tourism project supported by the Gujarat Government. A selection of small bhungas lie here and they are built and co-owned by village cooperative societies and hospitality staff.
You can buy handicraft products at very reasonable prices here.
Dholavira VillageThe excavation site of Dholavira is a major tourist draw near Bhuj. This Harappan town dates back to 2500 BC and is believed to be bigger than mohenjodaro by many archeologists. Its relatively new site as excavatory work had begun in the year 1990. If you drive a jeep through the Great Rann to this excavatory site you will find dazzling salt patches on both sides which shine like silver in the day light.
Southern Villages of BhujIt will take you two separate days for looking at and appreciating all the handicraft villages centered around Bhuj if you want to do it properly. You can reserve one day for the Southern belt and one for the Northern. The southern belt of Bhuj has lots of craft hotspots like Bhujodi, Padhdhar, Dhamanka, Anjar etc.
Padhdhar VillageThis village lies 22 km to the South of Bhujodi and it is the main center of Ahir embroidery which uses round cut mirrors inset with floral patterns and striking geometric arrays. Dhaneti is the name of the local center which specializes in Ahir and Rabadi embroidery.
Anjar VillageThis is a village which lies 22 km to the south of Bhuj. It was famous for being an early Jadeja capital of the Rann of Kutch. There is a shrine is this village called the Jesal-Toral shrine which is built in dedication to the love between Jesal (an outlaw king) and Toral (a local girl). Metal crafts like white metal jewelry, betel nut crackers and ornaments are produced in Anjar.
Kera VillageThis village stands on the banks of Nagmati River. It lies about 22 km south west of Bhuj and was earlier known as Kapilgram. There is a fort here called Kapilkor or Kera fort which was the seat of erstwhile rishi Kapilmuni. The shivalay which originally belonged to Lakeshwar was constructed here. This Shivalay contains beautiful and intricate structures which are major tourist attractors. The Kanbi and Khoja tribes who are progressive farmers populate this area. Kera has been granted protection by Archeology department of Gujarat
How to reach Handicraft Villages near BhujAs all these villages are on the outskirts of Bhuj and require some effort to reach it’s not worth it to go and visit all these villages individually. Its better that you hire a guide and take any one guided tour and visits all the villages near Bhuj in one or two days. You can contact the Gujarat Government Tourism department website or the Bhuj tourism department for seeking information of tours and travels who will take you on guided handicraft tour.
Matsyacrafts, Nivalink and Gatha are examples of craft tour organizers who specialize in introducing and sensitizing patients to the wonderful craft forms of 16 different types of Bhuj tribes.