Kutch is a fascinating land and no visit to Gujarat is complete without a sojourn to this peninsular district. Its remoteness has kept it a place apart for centuries. The people are very sturdy, business minded and seafaring. Kandla a major seaport of the country with its single point-mooring facilities happens to be the only free trade zone of India. Kutch produces some of Gujarat's most exquisite crafts like embroidery, tie die fabrics, enameled silverware and other handicrafts.
The great and little Rann of Kutch are the breeding ground of Flamingo, Pelican & Avocet and the home of the rare Indian wild ass which is now a protected species. When it comes to speed and stamina few acn match the wild ass. It is a marathon runner. If lucky you could see this sturdy beast gallop untiringly for hours, reaching a top speed of 70 km/h over short distances.
Kutch is also the largest district in Gujarat. The Great Rann of Kutch lies to the north and the Little Rann of Kutch to the south. In the west its shores are lapped by the Arabian sea and tidal marshes and creeks here from part of the Indus delta.
Bhuj the capital of the former native state of Kutch is now the head quarter of the Kutch district. Bhuj was chosen by Rao Khengarji I as his capital in 1549. The great earthquake in 1819 destroyed nearly 7000 houses and killed 1140 people. The city wall, thirty five feet high and 4 feet thick with towers at irregular intervals was formerly armed with fifty one guns. Gandhinagar, named after the father of the Nation is the new capital city, It is the second planned city in India after Chandigarh and presents a spacious, well-organized look of an architecturally integrated city. The famous Swaminarayan temple of is built here. There was, however, tremendous political pressure to make Gandhinagar a purely Indian enterprise, partly because the state of Gujarat was the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Kalia illumines Kahn's early influence in the city and his replacement by Doshi and then by American-trained H. K. Mewada, who had apprenticed with Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Kalia shows that, unlike the other two cities, Gandhinagar would become emblematic of Gandhian ideals of swadeshi (indigenous) goods and swaraj (self-rule).