Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shaam-E-Sarhad, Hodka Village, Kutch.

Little did I realize that while I had posted about this resort from a magazine, way back in 2007 and the subsequent posts about NGOs working in Kutch, that I was actually laying invisible foundation stones for a trip to Kutch, Gujarat in December 2011, a good four years later.

Shaam-E-Sarhad is a eco-resort built in a Kutchi village-style setting using locally sourced materials and crafts of the region. It is owned and managed by the Hodka village community and is open only from October to March.

The resort promotes Endogenous Tourism where one travels not just for pleasure, but also to appreciate local community and their life in rural Gujarat.

"The Endogenous Tourism Project in Hodka village seeks to promote local culture and craft based tourism for sustainable livelihoods and integrated rural development. Its aim is to improve the local people's quality of life, by creating more livelihood options, while preserving and allowing the community to develop their unique culture and share it with visitor."~
The reception area is adorned with 'Chittar Kaam' patterns and designs in earthy colours.

The use of local architectural style, the intricate art & crafts is very evident as soon as one enters Shaam-E-Sarhad (translated 'Sunset at the border')
Hodka village is not very far from the Rann of Kutch region which shares the border with Pakistan.

The dining area is below a multi-hued canopy of bright local fabrics patches...

A sit-out made out of a mixture of smooth mud and dung. Beautiful patchwork quilts made by local artisans spread their colours on an otherwise neutral colour-palette.

A Kutchi cloth doll with traditional dress swings gently in the breeze from the wooden poles..

Even the switch board is made using locally crafted wooden plank.

There are a few Bhunga mud houses and many tents where you can experience sustainable living.

Orange dawn from our tent on the first day of our stay at the resort.

The next day we moved to the Bhunga house:-) The resort is very popular with travelers who come to visit the White Rann of Kutch, Dhordo, Hodka and the wildlife sanctuaries.

This is Pandhi Bhai with another local gentleman. Pandhi Bhai plays the Morsing on cold star-studded winter nights sitting on that 'charpouy' in the previous photograph.

Bhunga is a house that is circular in design, made of mud plaster, dung and twigs, it has a light dome-shaped bamboo and thatched roof. A glorious mud structure that is resistant to high windspeed and earthquakes.

The thick walls keep the interior cool when the temperature rises to 46 degrees celsius in summer and warm when it drops to two degrees in winter.

A fabulous example of Kutchi architecture and eco-living.

The 'Chittar Kaam' or Mud paintings convert the exterior of the Bhungas into art canvas' as well.

The 'Lipan Kaam' or the sculpted mud-mirror work frame the wooden windows.


'Lipan Kaam' at the entrance to our Bhunga with lacquer work wooden door.

The interior of the Bhunga with stunning patchwork bedspreads and curtains.

The purple seating glows as the light filters in.

Utterly, deeply and completely in love with the woven curtains.

The intricately carved wooden window shutters.

Sitting under the canopy of rainbow colours, watching the dusk envelope the Bhungas at Shaam-E-Sarhad, we sat sipping our hot Khullad chai and just being in the moment.

(images by Arch, the last one by Mr. Husband)


Corners and Moments said...

Ohh - It took my breath away. So pretty. That purple couch totally stole my heart. Rajasthan - what a beauty ! Thanks for sharing Archana. :)

vk said...

This is awesome Archna :)..loved every bit of it.. the place.. your photos.. your words...!!!!!! --Vani :)

Archana Srinivas Pottery said...

Corner and Moments~ Glad you liked the post. It is in Kutch in Gujarat not Rajasthan.

Sum said...

Lovely pics!

sangeeta said...

So loved this place...could get the smell of the air there :-)

Sunita Mohan said...

Loved this post, Arch, and the pics are outstanding! I'm all for this kind of tourism ... it's almost like keeping the faith!
You can keep all your sanitised carbon-copy hotel rooms, give me a room (or a tent) which sings of the flavours of the land!

roses said...

What a place.....

Prachee said...

Looks like a very interesting quiet place, would love to visit it someday!

Deepa Gopal said...

It is fabulous!!! Beautiful place and amazing arty crafty region. Would surely love to visit the place, sometime...

Anonymous said...

breathtaking Archana...had to get down and comment this time n stop being the lurker...Kavitha.:))

Praba Ram said...

Hi Archana,

Lovely would be an understatement. I have been hodka's website a gazillion times to soak in the beauty. My architect has told us so much about the place. He was involved with some projects there. I can't wait to go there some day! Triggered memories of my travel to Jaisalmer back in 1998.

How are you? Let's touchbase via email. I am back in India.

My Dream Canvas said...

This is stunning!

Amtrips said...

speechless..! you are the best arch in narrating some travel place!

lovelifeunderthesun said...

fabulous post!beautifully presented and extremely informative....the images have done complete justice to your presentation...loved every bit of it and now i am planning to have a'dekho'!

Sudha said...

this place is stunning..had seen a coverage on travel channel three years ago and have marked it for a visit...thanks for such awonderful tour archana..your pics are breathtakingly beautiful :)

Shanthi said...

What a lovely place Arch. May be I should cancel my trip to Andamans and go here. Every bit is so ethnic and calling. Thanks for the blog world we get to experience all these things :-)

Anonymous said...

i am stunned....!!! for minutes... i time travelled to Kutch...

Unknown said...

A very informative post Archana. Your travels always make us aware of these amazing places in India. These are hidden gems of India. Love it.

Corners and Moments said...

Oh Sorry Archana. Clearly my geographic memory has faded over the several years of living abroad. But thanks for bringing the beautiful corners from India to my life. :)

Bhavna Bhatnagar said...

Sounds and looks like a fabulous vacation Arch! I have had Gujarat on my wishlist for the longest time and your photographs over the past couple of weeks have firmed up my resolve to plan a trip this year :)

Akansha said...

beautiful tour of rural are simply superb and the art work simply mesmerising i love the multicoloured and different fabric canopy which truly brighten up the place. Excellent pictures Archana thanks for sharing rural beauty!!

bhumika said...

Lovely pics and a beautiful place to stay in.

Praveen Nair said...

Super place! Thanks for sharing:-))

A Sunny Yellow Window said...

Fabulous, especially loved the cloth laden ceiling! Am thoroughly enjoying your Kutch chronicles, Archana, must have been an unforgettable trip.

Archana Srinivas Pottery said...

Thanks everyone:-)

It was a trip of a lifetime.

Just visit:-)

Unknown said...

Archana! Your pics are lovely! I wish I could completely absorb myself into them! It brightens my day to see your blog :)

Vineeta said...

LOVED the Lippan kaam work & that switchboard picture so rocks!!! Not to mention the the picture by mr. husband :) :)
I'd love to go to Shaam-E-Sarhad some day. Till then, your pictures will lay foundations to my dreams :) :)

Sneha said...

Absolutely breathtaking... your pics and post really inspire me to explore my dormant (for quite some time) passion for travelling.

Thanks for your lovely pics.

Raj Jani said...

Hi Archana, I loved your blog on interiors wid lovely pics and traveloques...and out of all my fav. is your hodka images/text, the project of which i was a part of.. once upon a time:) huh..time flies by! anyway, thanks for refreshing my memories!!!

Indu Seela said...

'Lipan Kaam' - I always loved it. Lovely as always Archana. You are a gifted writer and photographer indeed

Unknown said...

veru nice collection