Khadir in Kutch – An open-air Social Studies Textbook!

For a heritage lover, Khadir is synonym with Dholavira, the largest Indus Valley site in Gujarat, for a naturalist, the island is synonym with flamingos, the largest nesting ground for this migratory species in India and for palaeontologists, Khadir is synonym with Jurassic wood Fossil Park, again one of its kinds in India. The list goes on… for anthropologists it is the colourful ethnic communities inhabiting this secluded region that make Khadir iconic in the rural tourism map of India. So much diversity in one region, it looks like an open air Social Studies text book for school students and each of these components are nothing but its visual chapters.

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But the harsh reality is that Khadir is amongst nature’s most hatred child, where the temperature normally shoots up to 50 degree centigrade in summer. Throughout its history it has suffered badly by earthquakes and you ask every adult – he/she would share the experience of the most recent one, the 2001 earthquake.  Its land is barren, miles and miles of no man land, busy, salt marsh and low barren hills that characterize its arid landscape.

I have been visiting Khadir every year from the time I arrived in Gujarat in early 2000. Yet every visit brings me new surprises. There are fresh folk stories of its people, how their ancestors came here by herding, how the region has gone through so many changes in recent years. I have visited army camps of Border Security Force to listen their version of Indo-Pak relations, climbed to the highest point in the island, where every rock tells a story of tectonic activities in the past, spent hours watching serene looking Rann from the top of Khadir and also sunsets, a visual treat to eyes.

I have rambled through the ruins of Dholavira at least a dozen times.

The bhungas of Meghwal   have been always a major attraction for me. They amongst the most beautiful ethnic houses made entirely out of surrounding natural resources.

Khardir is truly magical. This is my humble photo gifts of Khadir to all my friends and well wishers.

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