Little did I realize that while I had posted about this resort from a magazine, way back in 2007 and the subsequent posts about NGOs working in Kutch, that I was actually laying invisible foundation stones for a trip to Kutch, Gujarat in December 2011, a good four years later.
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Shaam-E-Sarhad is a eco-resort built in a Kutchi village-style setting using locally sourced materials and crafts of the region. It is owned and managed by the Hodka village community and is open only from October to March.
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The resort promotes Endogenous Tourism where one travels not just for pleasure, but also to appreciate local community and their life in rural Gujarat.

"The Endogenous Tourism Project in Hodka village seeks to promote local culture and craft based tourism for sustainable livelihoods and integrated rural development. Its aim is to improve the local people's quality of life, by creating more livelihood options, while preserving and allowing the community to develop their unique culture and share it with visitor."~ hodka.in
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The reception area is adorned with 'Chittar Kaam' patterns and designs in earthy colours.

The use of local architectural style, the intricate art & crafts is very evident as soon as one enters Shaam-E-Sarhad (translated 'Sunset at the border')
Hodka village is not very far from the Rann of Kutch region which shares the border with Pakistan.
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The dining area is below a multi-hued canopy of bright local fabrics patches...
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A sit-out made out of a mixture of smooth mud and dung. Beautiful patchwork quilts made by local artisans spread their colours on an otherwise neutral colour-palette.
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A Kutchi cloth doll with traditional dress swings gently in the breeze from the wooden poles..
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Even the switch board is made using locally crafted wooden plank.
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There are a few Bhunga mud houses and many tents where you can experience sustainable living.
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Orange dawn from our tent on the first day of our stay at the resort.
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The next day we moved to the Bhunga house:-) The resort is very popular with travelers who come to visit the White Rann of Kutch, Dhordo, Hodka and the wildlife sanctuaries.
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This is Pandhi Bhai with another local gentleman. Pandhi Bhai plays the Morsing on cold star-studded winter nights sitting on that 'charpouy' in the previous photograph.
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Bhunga is a house that is circular in design, made of mud plaster, dung and twigs, it has a light dome-shaped bamboo and thatched roof. A glorious mud structure that is resistant to high windspeed and earthquakes.
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The thick walls keep the interior cool when the temperature rises to 46 degrees celsius in summer and warm when it drops to two degrees in winter.
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A fabulous example of Kutchi architecture and eco-living.
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The 'Chittar Kaam' or Mud paintings convert the exterior of the Bhungas into art canvas' as well.
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The 'Lipan Kaam' or the sculpted mud-mirror work frame the wooden windows.
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'Lipan Kaam' at the entrance to our Bhunga with lacquer work wooden door.
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The interior of the Bhunga with stunning patchwork bedspreads and curtains.
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The purple seating glows as the light filters in.
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Utterly, deeply and completely in love with the woven curtains.
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The intricately carved wooden window shutters.
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Sitting under the canopy of rainbow colours, watching the dusk envelope the Bhungas at Shaam-E-Sarhad, we sat sipping our hot Khullad chai and just being in the moment.

(images by Arch, the last one by Mr. Husband)
 
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