Ludiya is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages I have seen in India.
About the village-
Ludiya is located 70kms north of Bhuj in Banni districk of Kutch. It is 3 kms from Khawda. The total area of the village is about 5 square kilometers and the population is about 2000 people predominantly Muslims and a few Harijan families. (Harijan, literally ‘child of God’ was a term coined by Gandhiji to refer to the lowest caste people in the Hindu religion hierarchy)
The main occupation of the women folk in the village is making beautiful embroidery work and tradional crafts while the men make decorative furniture.
The village has no streets. The space between two houses is used as a pathway. I was actually looking for one when I entered the village.
The houses of the village have a typical structure called bhunga with intricate decorations both inside and outside. While the outside is decorated with vibrant motifs, the inside has has clay designs with mirror work. These houses are really an architecture marvel. The thick walls keep the house cool even when the temperature reaches close to 50 degrees centigrade in summer. I could feel it when I entered one of the houses. Some of these houses are as old as 100 years but look like new.
The Earthquake Impact
On January 26, 2001, a massive earthquake of 6.9 on the Richter Scale hit Kutch and surrounding areas. It was surprising that most of the Bhungas were not affected while the pucca (the modern ones built with bricks and mortar) were razed to ground.
Well they say, every cloud has a silver lining. The earthquake came at a time when more and more people had started to adopt the so called modern pucca (literally permanent). The effect of the earthquake made them realize that its better to have bhungas. Nevertheless, there are some who still prefer having brick houses.
A lady working on a traditional handicraft.
Who’s that funny visitor?
The handmade wooden crafts
An exquisite patchworked bedspread.
This particular fabric is a product of Pakistan. The government organises exchange fair where craftsmen buy each others goods.
About my journey –
I took a right turn from the main road to go to this village. I asked a man walking the same way about the location. Fortunately, he was an inhabitant of the same village. I offered him lift and he took me there. Incidentally, his house was the most visited one in the whole village.
I was thrilled to see the houses and the craft work and the women wearing traditional jewellery. One of my objectives of my Kutch trip was to take some nice portraits of these women. I asked for permission to take pictures and the man said that they don’t allow to take pictures of the womenfolk any more as visitors come and post the pictures on the internet. I didn’t insist.
After sometime, a group of foreigners came. While I was busy shooting the house, I suddenly realized that these visitors from UK were shooting portraits of women. I came to know that they are charging Rs.300 per click. And you can shoot only the elderly lady of the house. I was surprised.
It is better to take a local guide to go to this village to make things easy for you if you want to take pictures. Being one of the very unique place to be with beautiful houses and women wearing traditional jewellery, they have a lot of foreign visitors.
I stayed for some time in the village and then continued by journey back to Bhuj.
How to go – You can hire a taxi from Bhuj to go around. There are very limited public transport.
Thanksgiving – Visiting around Kutch would have been impossible without help of my friend Linesh Shah who was kind enough to give me his bike for my use. Thank you so much Linesh. I owe this post to you.
You might like to read my previous posts.
Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.
You might like to read the previous posts
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Saurabh Chatterjee