Shaam E Sarhad village resort & Hodka village visit

Posted on May 1, 2019 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

 

Unexpectedly, on the edge of the desert region lies a wonderful eco-friendly and rustic village resort owned and run by the Village Tourism Committee of Hodka village. The village is believed to have been set up by the 'Halepotra' clan from Sindh (now Pakistan) who were cattle herders and eventually settled in the grasslands of Banni. The name 'Shaam E Sarhad' means 'sunset on the border'. There are a number of Bhungas, tents, and family cottages that are crafted with indigenous resources based on traditional architecture and design.

Bhungas are circular mud huts made of water and cow dung. The huts have sloping roofs that are typical of the Banni region. They are made of grass thatch which is an indigenous invention that tackles the extreme climate. The Bhungas keep cool during the hot Kutch summers and warm in the cold desert winters.

 

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

 

We did not stay at this resort, but we came here for lunch during our day excursion in the area. I fell in love with this resort as soon I stepped in. I particularly love all the colourful textiles covering the ceiling of the communal/dining area. Bold indigenous patterns can be seen on walls and mirror work is also incorporated in the design. I would love to stay here next time if I get to return to the region again.

 

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

Shaam E Sarhad village resort

 

We enjoyed a leisurely vegetarian lunch before heading off to the nearby village for a visit. We were told that the village is not a 'tourist' village where all the tourists flock to, but rather an authentic and hospitable one where it receives few foreign visitors.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by some villagers and were then led into the village. The village has a number of round and rectangular bhungas, while sheep, cattle, goats and horses can be seen around the village.

 

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

 

Since it was the first time for me to visit a tribal village in India, I had no idea what to expect. I have had negative experiences before in other countries where locals kept asking for money when we visited local villages, so I became slightly weary when I arrived. Yet the hospitality and warmth we received from the villagers truly blew me away. No one asked for money, and the villagers seemed genuinely happy to see us. All of them, including the children, looked content and at ease.

They were also eager to show-off their traditional embroidery work which features small mirrors. These mirrors are adorned on women's costumes and sarees so that they can be spotted in the desert when they reflect in the sun. I was fascinated by their colourful outfits, which are conspicuous against the dry landscape and bhungas.

 

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village  hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village  hodka village

 

Most of the men in the village were out herding, so only women and children were left in the village during our visit. I have travelled extensively over the years, but I have never encountered a nationality that loves being photographed as much as the Indians – honestly, they genuinely love to be photographed and would even pose for you without you telling them to do so. This is ideal for me because I love taking photographs of people. In this village, the children were excited to be photographed and rejoiced when they saw the results.

I asked the locals for permission to look inside the huts, and they did not hesitate to let me in. Aside from vibrant textiles, there are also many colourful wardrobes and cases decorated with motifs, birds and flowers. I felt like I was intruding as when I saw the elderly napping inside the huts, but they didn't seem to mind me poking my head into their bhungas.

 

hodka village

hodka village

hodka village  hodka village

hodka village

hodka village  hodka village

hodka village

hodka village

 

As we were were leaving the village, many of the villagers came to wave us goodbye. The village experience was extremely memorable and heartwarming, and it reminded me how preconception can be quite misleading sometimes. Although daily life in the village is simple and frugal, I felt that the villagers are happier and more generous than many city dwellers in wealthier countries. I am sure we can learn more from them about the wisdom of true happiness than from self-help books bought from Amazon.

 

 


This post was posted in Food & dining, Architecture, Travel, Nature, Design, Textiles, India, Indian design, embroidery, Kutch and was tagged with Food & dining, architecture, nature, embroidery, India, Indian design, Kutch, Indian textiles, Kutch textiles, Indian craft, Shaam E Sarhad village resort, Hodka

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