January 23, 2020 : Culture, Handicrafts and Salt Flats
We have a very full day today exploring villages and the farthest north part of the state which is a huge salt flat known as the Great Rann of Kutch. It lies on the border between India and Pakistan, and we actually have to bring our passports and pass a border control point before we are allowed out onto the salt flats.
We start the day visiting a small village with excellent examples of bhunga dwellings. Bhungas are traditional houses unique to the Kutch region. They are circular walled with thatched roof. They are known for their structural stability in earthquakes and for being climate responsive. It also protects against sandstorms and cyclonic winds. They are also stunningly beautiful.
Next we visit the village of Nirona to see an art form that is practiced only here but probably originated in Persia. Rogan is a form of textile painting which uses a rich, brightly colored paint made from castor oil and natural colors. The artist uses a metal rod to drag a viscous line of color into a pattern. The demonstration we saw was amazing, and of course we had a chance to purchase some wonderful examples of this art form afterwards.