Kutch (also spelled "Cutch", "Kachh", "Kachch" and even "Kachchh") is a district of Gujarat state in western India. Covering an area of 45,612 km2, it is the largest district in the state of Gujarat and the second largest in India. According to some theorists, the name "Kutch" is a reference to the shape of the area, which when viewed from space, resembles a tortoise. The word for "tortoise" is Kaachbo in the Kutchi and Gujarati languages.
Kutch is divided into 5 distinct regions :
- The Great Rann, or uninhabited wasteland in the north,
- The Grasslands of Banni,
- Mainland, consisting of planes, hills and dry river beds,
- The Coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south, and Creeks and mangroves in the west. More
loosely, the southern portion of the Rann is considered an island, with seawater inundating the
land for most of the year. The mainland is generally plane, but has some hill ranges and isolated hills
Talukas of Kutch :
- Bhuj, Anjar
- Mandvi, Mundra
- Lakhpat, Rapar
- Bhachau and Nakhatrana
Princely Kutch :
Kutch was formerly an independent state, founded in the late 13th century by a samma rajput named Jada, from which name the Jadeja rajputs derive their patronymic. The Jadeja dynasty ruled not only Kutch but also much of neighbouring Kathiawar for several centuries until the independence of India in 1947. In 1815, Kutch became a British protectorate and ultimately a princely state, whose local ruler acknowledged British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. A beautiful mirror palace, one surviving relic of the princely era is the Aina Mahal ("mirror palace"), built in the 1760's at Bhuj for the Maharao of Kutch by Ram Singh Malam who had learnt glass, enamel and tile work from the Dutch
Recent history :
Upon the independence of India in 1947, Kutch acceded unto the dominion of India and was constitited an independent commissionerate. It was created a state within the union of India in 1950. On November 1, 1956, Kutch was merged with Bombay state, which in 1960 was divided into the new linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Kutch thereupon became a part of Gujarat state. After the Partition of India in 1947, the province of Sindh, including the port of Karachi, ended up in Pakistan. The Indian Government constructed a modern port at Kandla in Kutch to serve as a port for western India in lieu of Karachi. The epicenter of 2001 Gujarat Earthquake was in this district. It was the most severe earthquake (out of more than 90 earthquakes) to hit Kutch in 185 years. Much of Bhuj was destroyed or damaged as were many villages. Many of the attractions of Bhuj including the Aina Mahal have still not been restored.
Extreme climate & temperature ranges from 20 C in winter to 450 C in summer. Rainfall is very less while average annual rainfall - 14 inches. The three main seasons are:
- Summer, from February to June
- Monsoon season, from July to September,
- Winter, from October to January.
- local dialects like Kutchi
Best Time To Visit :
Late October to early April
Wild Life :
The home of the last remaining population of khur (wild ass) in India. There is also a bird population, particularly of the large flamingos. Both are protected in 5,000 km Little Rann Sanctuary, near Dhangadhra; one has to get permission to enter from the sanctuary superintendent's office in Dhangadhra.