Kutch is an arid region in the westernmost tip of Gujarat. It covers an area of 55,000 sq. km and has a population of about 3 million. Kutch is also one of the most ecologically sensitive zones in India i.e. the number of some of the species of plants and animals are limited, so they’re being protected by the Government.
Located at the edge of the Great Indian Desert and with a coastline that stretches for more than 450 km, Kutch is home to several species of birds and animals, including the Asiatic lion and red fox. Culture-wise, Kutch has some wonderful surprises in store for you! The region is famous for its rich culture and traditions, which are still practiced today. Let’s take a closer look:
Kutchiyar is a cattle breeder in Kutch, Gujarat. Traditionally, the Kutchi people are cattle farmers and earn their livelihood by rearing and milking cattle. The Kutchi cattle are famous for their long, skinny legs, known as the “Kutchi breed” of cattle.
Kutchiyar people speak the Kutchi language. They are also known as Halayia, Halay, Halaiya, Halai, Khavasya, Khavas, Vaghia, Vagh, Vag.
Kathak is a form of dance originating from the Indian state of Gujarat. It combines Hindustani classical music, Bhartendu’s folk music and modern Kathak dance. Kathak is a traditional form of dance which has been practiced in Gujarat since the 16th century. Kathak is a dance form that is closely associated with the Vaishnav
(Hinduism). Both men and women traditionally perform Kathak. It uses hand movements, footwork, and rich, vibrant clothing. Kathak is closely associated with the Vaishnav culture of Gujarat. The instruments used in Kathak are the Tanseni (small cymbals), the pakhavaj (a kind of drum), and the manjiras (small cymbals suspended from a string). This ancient and traditional dance is practiced by many people all over the country and in some other countries.
Kolam – The Colourful Floor Painting
The kolams, or rangoli, made on the floor of houses in the coastal areas of Kutch, Gujarat, during the monsoon season, are colourful designs made from different types of rice, or other coloured materials like lentils, or coloured rice. They are made with rice powder, which is coloured with natural dyes like turmeric or madder (a red dye obtained from the roots of the Rubia plants)
The kolams are made when the monsoon has just arrived, and the weather is moist so that the colours don’t dry out. The designs are intended to bring good luck and prosperity to the family. In Kutch, the kolams are made in such a way as to ward off evil spirits, as well as bring very good fortune to the family. This kind of rangoli is also made all over the country on the festival of diwali also with the use of colourful flowers.
Dhol-Maruah-Dhruv: Three Types of Marriages in Kutch
The Dhol-Maruah-Dhruv: Three Types of Marriages in Kutch are celebratory practices performed during weddings in Kutch, Gujarat. The Dhol is a large two-sided drum. The groom’s party joins the bride’s party with the Dhol drummers playing the Dhol.
The groom’s party breaks a coconut with a wooden sword, and the bride’s family welcomes the groom by sprinkling turmeric and vermilion (a bright orange-red powder) water on him. The Maruah is the tying of the groom’s wrists with a string of flowers by the bride’s father. This signifies the two families becoming one. The Dhruv is when the bride’s parents place a vermilion mark on the groom’s forehead.
Bhenda: A Celebration of Bandhu and Bhaiya in Kutch
The Bhenda: A Celebration of Bandhu and Bhaiya in Kutch is a unique ritual in Kutch, Gujarat. Traditionally, the Bhenda was celebrated as a thanksgiving ceremony when the monsoon would begin. This is a unique ritual where the host offers food to his guests and then feeds it to his cattle as well. This is a symbol of gratitude as well as a symbol of sharing with all living creatures.
This is performed in a community hall where the people are seated on the floor around the cattle. Each guest is given a large wooden bowl in which the host serves them a sumptuous meal. Once the guests have finished eating, they put some more food in their bowls. This is then offered to the cattle, signifying that all living beings deserve to be treated equally. The host then asks his guests to feed the cattle by holding the bowl near a cow’s mouth.
Ghoomar: The Last Dance Before a Wedding in Kutch
The Ghoomar: The Last Dance Before a Wedding in Kutch is a celebratory practice performed during weddings in Kutch, Gujarat. The Ghoomar is the last dance performed in the marriage ceremony. It symbolizes the coming together of the bride and the groom.
The traditional attire for the Ghoomar dance is a brightly coloured skirt and heavy golden ornaments for the bride and a colourful turban for the groom. The bride and groom start the dance together, holding hands, and then move apart. The groom then moves towards the bride and spins her around before bringing her back to him. This dance symbolizes the couple’s acceptance to each other.
Kutch is an arid region in the westernmost tip of Gujarat. It covers an area of 55,000 sq. km and has a population of about 3 million people. Kutch is also one of the most ecologically sensitive zones in India. Located at the edge of the Great Indian Desert and with a coastline that stretches for more than 450 km, Kutch is home to several species of birds and animals, including the asiatic lion and red fox.
The region is famous for its rich culture and traditions, which are still practiced today. If you are looking for an ancient traditional place with a rich culture, then Kutch is the place for you!