While looking around for places to stay in and around Bhuj, I chanced upon Devpur Heritage Homestay in Darbargadh around 40 kms away. After poring over the map and distances with my geographer friend, it appeared that this would be a central location for us to explore the Great Rann of Kutch, Mandvi and Lakhpat areas. The reviews on the net were near perfect and the hosts – Jadeja family with a royal lineage were unanimously appreciated. On a warm and brightly sunny December afternoon, we landed at the Homestay to be warmly welcomed by Yashodhara ji (Mrs Jadeja) who instantly made us comfortable and showed us our room. At first, I was a bit unsure since this place seemed to be a little far out, but the picture of Mother Goddess in the room was indication enough that we were indeed in the right place. A nearly century old heritage house re-modelled with modern amenities, it was a pleasure to spend a few days with Krutarthsingh ji and family. He is an engineer turned educationist managing the adjoining White Eagles School established by his family years ago, primarily catering to local children. He gave us invaluable inputs on sightseeing and the local villages and NGO’s where we could visit to see artisans and craftsmen in action. The food was authentic Kutchi and specially the spicy chicken curry served one evening remains etched in my memory. Someone from the family was always around to take care of our needs and he would personally call us over for meals or for the evening bhajan session in his family temple.
I fondly remember the evening conversations on travel, culture and spirituality and I am grateful to him for introducing me to the book “Apprentice to a Himalayan Yogi” by Spiritual Master Shri M, which triggered off plans to explore Rishikesh and beyond. If you are comfortable waking up to sounds of chirping birds, innocent laughter and hurried footsteps of young feet then stay in Verisalji Suite. He has 3 other rooms as well one with a high raised royal bed and the other with 16 pillars and painted a soothing blue. All the rooms have a collection of carefully selected books on Kutch history and culture which made our stay all the more interesting. I am not aware if destiny will take me to Bhuj again, but it is comforting to know that there is a Home away from Home in Bhuj.
If you are visiting the area, you can contact him and book your stay through the following link:https://sites.google.com/site/devpurhomestay/Home