Handicrafts of Kutch: Great Travel Souvenirs and Retail Therapy - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Handicrafts of Kutch: Great Travel Souvenirs and Retail Therapy

The colorful women of Gandhi nu Gram village, Kutch

The creative artisans of Kutch possess magic in their hands and oodles of imaginative power in their heads. Their work is reason enough to plan a trip to the white salty desert, which we all know as the Rann of Kutch. Not only do we get to enjoy some stunning creations of mother nature in Kutch, we also get to experience and appreciate the creativity of the people of this land. And the icing on the cake is that we can bring home these handicrafts either for ourselves, our family and friends or for somebody else as a unique and special gift. In essence, we get a great holiday, interact with some amazing people, indulge in retail therapy and bring something truly special back home. Sounds like a perfect holiday, right?

From scarves to stoles to wall hangings, Rogan art make for great gifts

If you are one of those who like cultural or handicraft holidays, love retail therapy and one of those who pick up souvenirs from your travels, the below photo story is just for you as it gives you a sneak peek into the colorful and diverse handicrafts of Gujarat’s Kutch district. You can experience this cultural side of Incredible India, bring it to your home and in the process, help these artisan villages of Kutch keep their skills alive.

Rogan Art

The stunning tree of life Rogan Art that can be seen in the White House

A 400 year old traditional oil painting influenced by Persian art, the Rogan art is made by only one family in the entire world. This skill passed down the family for close to eight generations is so special that one of their creations can be seen hanging in the white house. This work made from castor oil and natural colors takes different forms. It could be either a decorative wall hanging or a fashion accessory such as a scraf, shawl or stole. This Khatri family can be found in the Nirona village of Kutch.

Copper Bells, Wind Chimes and more

The hand made bells of Nirona, Kutch, Gujarat, India

They turn scrap metal into melodious musical instruments. The Hussain family of Nirona village make handmade copper bells and musical instruments that are not only fantastic handicrafts in itself, but will help with vaastu planning for your home. A fabulous experience to see and an even better handicraft to treasure.


A Nirona kid and her colorful puppet dolls, Kutch, Gujarat, India

The artisans of Kutch make very colorful toys and puppets using cotton, wood, beads and/or wool. These vibrant toys make for great gifts for the young ones.

Applique Work

The man from Bhirandiyara and his handicraft collection

Bedsheets, Bedspreads, table cloths, wall hangings, blankets, quilts, and many other household decorative items are made by the Kutchi artisans using applique patches of different colors, shapes and sizes. These products with beautiful designs are another avenue for interesting retail therapy.

Leather Goods

Applique and more designs at Bhirandiyara village, Kutch

While a lot of the handicrafts are made by the women of Kutch, the leather handicrafts are usually made by the men. Made from camel, lamb or goat leather, the male artisans of Bhirandiyara village specialize in making footwear, belts, hand bags, wallets, purses and more. The men create the main leather product, while the women of their family add designs and colors to these leather goods to make it an awesome buy.


Jewelry handmade by the women of Bhirandiyara, Kutch

Traditional designs, bangles, necklaces, ear rings, nose rings, bracelets, anklets and so many more items of jewellery are created by the artisans of Kutch. The designs are so intricate and gorgeous that women would want to buy almost everything.

Wall Hangings

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

An eye catching handicraft that is bound to add a lot of color to your living and bed room, the wall hangings of Bhirandiyara village are an absolute treat to the eye. Rich colors, stunning designs, beads, mirror work, colorful stones, amazing thread work and beautiful patterns make these wall hangings a total stunner. The good ones are pretty expensive, but they are certainly worth the price.

Wood Carvings

The famous wood work of Gandhi nu Gram, Kutch

In the Gandhinugram village of Kutch, the men do beautiful wood carvings. Trays, decorative elements, show case items and pillars are some of the items that they make. While the chemical varnish tarnishes their look, I would certainly recommend buying the wood in its natural form.

Lacquerware Kitchenware

Pakistani art form lives in Nirona, Kutch - handmade lacquerware

Quite similar to the toy artisans of Channapatna in Karnataka, there is a family in the Nirona village that makes beautiful lacquerware by hand. Their women make the raw materials – they collect the gum resin from the bark of the babool tree in the forest, heat it to make laak, the critical raw ingredient and then add natural colors to make the base. Then men then use this different colored gum resin on neem, teak or silver oak wood using a hand run tool to create colorful designs of kitchenware. They make wine glasses, beer mugs, spoons, spatulas, bowls, belan (roller to make rotis) and more.


Lakshmi Bain - the master weaver from Nirona, Kutch, Gujarat

Using traditional looms and local designs, the artisans of Kutch create vibrant shawls, towels and scarves that are so good that you are bound to buy some for yourself. They come in many sizes and are usually made using cotton, silk or wool.

Pottery Work

Pottery Tortoises created by the artisans of Kutch

Kutch is also known for its pottery and clay work. Paper weights, lamps, pots, bowls and more are on offer. Or you could give in your own designs and ask the pottery artisan to make it for you.

Glass Work

Colorful Kutchi Glass work showcased at Rann Utsav Tent City

Last, but not the least is the mirror and glass work of Kutch wherein, the artisans stick glass pieces, mirrors and colorful stones on wooden boards or card boards to depict images from mother nature (leaves, plants, birds, animals), traditional art designs or pictures of popular monuments such as the Taj Mahal or life forms.

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