Bhirandiyara: The Embroidery Village of Kutch - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bhirandiyara: The Embroidery Village of Kutch

Colors, mirrors, rich weaves and more - the handicrafts of Bhirandiyara, Kutch, Gujarat, India

You have to love India for keeping its ancient creative traditions alive. For that offers a fascinating perspective in modern day’s fashion and a pleasing experience for the off-beat countryside traveler. One of India’s creative hubs, the villages in and around the largest salt desert of India, the Greater Rann of Kutch are such stunning destinations.

The man from Bhirandiyara and his handicraft collection

Not only are the Kutch people colorful in their attire, but their work is an absolute treat to the eye. Each village in Kutch is home to some amazing creative work. One such village is Bhirandiyara, that falls enroute during a road trip from Bhuj to Kala Dungar (the highest point in Kutch) or to the Rann Utsav Tent city at Dhordo and to the White Rann.

Gorgeous wall hangings hand made at Bhirandiyara village

Consisting of 20 something houses, this village made up of the Meghwal community is known for its fine embroidery work, its beautiful mud houses or bhungas and for its maavo dessert. Nearly every one in this village is some kind of an artisan. While the women rule the work with threads and mirrors, the men work with leather. While the women create colorful, vibrant, intricate and absolutely fascinating designs of clothes, bedsheets, wall hangings, table cloths, jewellery, toys, hand bags and more, the men create footwear, leather bags, umbrellas, leather wallets, leather bracelets and some more. The raw materials they usually use are cotton, silk, wool and leather (camel mostly, but sometimes lamb or goat).

Colorful handmade toys of Kutch

The women usually work inside the village, while the men travel outside to do all the sourcing, exhibiting and selling. Agricultural avenues are pretty much limited due to the brackish soil, so most of the time is spent nurturing their creative skills. Most families also own cows and goats to give themselves a healthy supply of milk and that’s why this village churns out some of the best maavo dessert (thickened, condensed and sweetened milk) in Kutch, which tastes best when fresh and hot.

Jewelry handmade by the women of Bhirandiyara, Kutch

While it is certainly fascinating to pay a short visit to this village and see them work at close quarters and even buy some embroidered souvenirs for back home, I think the best kind of offbeat rural holiday is when you stay in one of the bhungas with the local Meghwal family, interact with them, get to know their practices, culture, food habits, favorite past times and then see them work on their different creations. May be, if you find their work to be interesting and if you have something specific in mind, you could request them to design that product for you. That I think would be a sweet souvenir and that one would treasure for a lifetime.

Beautiful creations of Bhirandiyara, Kutch

Bhirandiyara, the embroidery village of Kutch packs a serious punch when its comes to authenticity, humility, creativity and is one amazing destination for an incredible India rural holiday. Do make sure it is a part of your Kutch holiday itinerary the next time you are headed to either the Rann Utsav or the White Rann.

Women weaving her magic at Bhirandiyara village, Kutch

How to reach Bhirandiyara:
The nearest airport is Bhuj and the nearest railway station is also Bhuj. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to cover the 52 km distance from Bhuj to Bhirandiyara. This usually takes an hour of commute time.

Applique and more designs at Bhirandiyara village, Kutch

Nearby Attractions:
The spectacular white rann salt desert, the Kala Dungar view point and the surrounding other creative villages of Kutch.

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