Monday, April 3, 2017

B is for Bhunga(s) of Banni #AtoZChallenge

"Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture." 
Lydia M. Child
When Apu, my travel guru and guide, mentioned that we'd be staying in a bhunga in Kutchh, I found myself mouthing the word again and again. Try it -- say bhunga aloud (the u sounds like it does in put). How does it sound to you? To me, it sounded like the buzzing of a bee. The song 'Bhumro, Bhumro' kept popping in my head. 

Bhungas are circular mud huts.

This was in February of 2017. But before we slept in one, we saw a few bhungas on our way to the Runn of Kutchh. The road trip was tailored around visiting as many villages in Kutchh as possible to see the artisans and craftspeople I'd heard so much about. The thing that struck me the most was that Kutchhis don't create beautiful objects just to sell, they live in them, they wear them and they decorate their homes with them. Their earthy wisdom is palpable in everything; from their beautifully dressed children to their elegantly decorated homes. No sir, no one in the family's ever been to an Art school.

"They have divine grace in their fingers." said the guide at Calico Museum when she showed us pieces of Kutchhi handiwork. And I agree. Everything they create shimmers with their proximity to their roots, their earth and their mud.
 When the ceiling is so colourful, can you imagine how warm the people who live in these bhungas must be?
This is a shop in a bhunga. The village women use Ajrakh fabric to make quilts and bedspreads with  running stitch (all done by hand).
The men sell these and other hand embroidered wares like bags and cushion covers.
Perfectly balanced colours and composition
We stayed at the Gateway to Runn Resort This resort is run by the villagers of Dhordo. The place is beautiful BUT a word of warning: go easy on the chachh (buttermilk). We had a few cases of tender tummies in our group!
I couldn't resist using this 'bird on a bhunga' shot on my 'B' day:) 
Plus, it's one of my only bird shots that looks decent.

The people of Kutchh are hardworking and proud. Every Kutchhi I met, whether he was a weaver or a housewife who embroiders or a herdsman who works as a waiter in a resort during high season has these qualities. 
The older ladies may not be able to read and write, but they rule. 
She is the matriarch who sells her wares with immense charm and gentle persuasion.
When you look into those eyes, you know she doesn't need any meditation class to find her peace. She lives and works and in her free time she creates beautiful patterns with threads and needles and fabric and mirrors.
The quote I used to start this post describes the spirit of the  people of this region perfectly. If you read about their history, the climatic changes faced by them and the earthquakes that destroyed so much so many times, you'll find that the men and women of Kutchh are great builders and weavers and embroiders because they believe in themselves, their art, their land, their people and their heritage.

I want to be like them when I grow up.

What's the one thing you've done (recently or not so recently) with your hands to make your home more beautiful? 
I'd love to find out:)

Check out Architectural wonders to find out more about Bhungas and the people of Kutchh from Banni region.

I'm tempted to promise a post about their colourful's a C you say? I know! 
But I'm travelling and the Internet may not be on my side, so we'll see. 
Ciao for now:)


  1. So colorful and beautiful...Love the photographs too which has made the read really eye catching Launching SIM Organics

    *Menaka Bharathi*


  2. Beautiful! Your post makes me want to go for the Rannotsav more than ever before:-) Inshallah, next winter.

    1. You'll love Kutchh more than Rannotsav. Go for it. xx

  3. Have been there, done that but your words transported me to a complete different world of 'Bhunga'. Looking forward for 'c'.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you:) So happy to see you here. Will be hopping across to your blog once I'm back home next week.

  5. Your greeting from Croatia hooked me. I love 2Cellos. In fact, they're doing a concert here in Denver in July and I've got tickets. And you sent me to Wikipedia to find out where Kutchh is. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you Claudia. I'm travelling in Croatia at the moment, so my internet access is limited to when I'm back in my room. Hence, apart from writing and posting, I haven't been able to visit any blogs. I do hope to visit you when I'm back home.

  6. I'm working a few posts at a time to visit all the days I've missed. It is a joyous exploration.

    I love making things. Sewn, crossstitched, drawn, wood, tile, paper, rock,, shell. The most recent projects were two trivets I made out of natural stone and shell tiles left over from my kitchen re-model.

    1. I'd love to see what these trivets look like Sue.


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts and comments here.