We wanted to experience Kutch with all its flavors and during some extensive web search I came across Shaam e Sarhad, a village resort on the border of Great Rann of Kutch. This resort was in Hodka Village, built, managed and maintained by local villagers who take turns to work there during the tourist season. They are supported by UNDP as one of the projects supporting livelihood in the local area. The actual sand desert is about 10 kms away but the ambience, comfort, food of this quiet resort was everything that we were looking for. I booked online and the response was prompt and professional, far more than any star category resort. We received a call on the morning we were to arrive to enquire when we would tentatively be there and the person on the line assured that in case it was beyond meal time they would prepare fresh stuff for us. What more can a weary traveler roaming around in the desert ask for?
As soon as we arrived, we were offered water, our stuff was put away in the tent and we were served mouth watering hot pakodas. The all men staff were extremely polite and courteous and put 2 women to ease immediately. The resort is a vibrant patch of colour, decorated with ethnic handicrafts.The tent was sheer luxury, the king size beds were made of mud and had attached side tables of mud too. The side tables had paper lamp shades which were connected to conveniently located switches. A thick mattress was laid on the bed which was covered with a beautifully embroidered bed spread and had a folded mosquito net hanging from the roof. The attached tent had the toilet and a bathing area which had a touch of modern for hygiene without compromising on the eco-friendly standards. They also have a few bhungas or mud houses which are traditional houses of the region.
The food was vegetarian but super delicious. You have to be there at the stipulated time to have the warm food since they cook, heat and reheat on coal fire. In the evening at around 8pm, some of the local villagers render sweet melodies of the region which have the rustic touch that tugs at the heart strings. We were there on a full moon night and I remember lying outside conversing with the moon. During the day, it is too hot to venture into the desert so it is best to visit the local villages for handicrafts, for a quick chat on the way of life or a visit to India bridge. Some of these experiences complete us in many ways which our city bred life styles fail to offer. Our 2 day stay ended too soon and if I were to visit the region again, it will surely be “Shaam e Sarhad” which when translated means Dusk in the Border !!
For Bookings http://hodka.in
Located about 50 kms away from Bhuj and 350 kms from Ahmedabad