During a recent visit to a Gurudwara, as I knelt down in prayer, I was reminded of my visit to yet another Gurudwara in the western tip of India which is located within the ruined Lakhpat Fort. Lakhpat or Millionaire Town nearly 2 centuries ago is now reduced to ruins and rubble. The once bustling town is now a deserted and dry area which sometimes comes to life with the visitors in the Gurudwara located inside and the footsteps of the Border Security Forces who stand guard day and night protecting the western border of India.
While on a trip to Kutch, we drove towards the westernmost point of India from Bhuj in search of the Lands end of our country when we reached Lakhpat. Once upon a time this dry area was a fertile green land which earned one lakh coins ( 10lakhs =1 million) on a given day through its crops. One of the boards at the entrance distinctly spoke about the advanced water management techniques deployed centuries ago through rain water harvesting, waste water management and the like. The fortunes of this flourishing town changed after the earthquake nearly 200 years ago when the river Indus changed its course.
After paying our respects at the Gurudwara which is located close to the entrance, we decided to go towards the wall that once defined the fort. This gurudwara is famous for being the point where Guru Nanak, the Sikhism proponent stopped during his visit to Mecca. 2 small boys who were visiting the Gurudwara ran ahead of us in search of the sea along the fort wall only to be disheartened by the miles of sand that greeted them. We were disheartened too and then walked up the stairs along the wall to get a better view into the infinite area ahead that merged into neighbouring Pakistan. The BSF (Border Security Force) jawan was standing in attention with his gun which he kindly allowed us to touch and feel but pictures were a strict no-no. While walking back, I stopped near the tomb of the Sufi Saint Kamal Shah who had a quaint story associated with him.
The current state of Lakhpat Fort is yet another reminder of the impermanence of life. When I look at the sky every morning from my room, I often wonder how it would be 100 years hence, the sun will rise, the moon will shine, the clouds will float around but will this house remain, will the birds make their home on the tree and little children swing on its branches on their way to and from school !! May be yes or may be no and lost in the pages of history !!
Day trip from Bhuj. Ideally recommended as a trip to Koteshwar, Mata No Madh, Narayan Sarovar and Lakhpat. Will appeal to travellers looking for off beat path or the religious inclined.