A plethora of varied hues. profusion of design. superfluity of culture. cornucopia of music and dance. all together in the arid lands of Kutch creates a mosaic of exquisiteness which reflects the identity and spirit of the region. Kutch. one of the most ecologically and ethnically diverse district of the state is a celebratory land of art. crafts. music. dance. people and nature. During the full moon night of the winters amid the awe-inspiring and contrasting landscape each year a three day festive extravaganza brimming with hospitality. vigor and traditional flavor of the area is hosted and known as the Kutch or Rann Mahotsav.
A carnival of colours. music and dance the Rann Utsav- bedecks this arid land of Kutch at its best. As the full moon pays its most spectacular visit in the winter the entire Kutch brims with festivities that mirror the self and spirit of this land
This month long carnival organized at the various locales within Kutch takes one around the natural grandiose while introducing the visitor to the indigenous cultural and ethnical flavor of the people. Semi parched Grasslands of the Banni hosts the most magnificent display of vernacular architecture as the exhibition platform for the varied range of arts and crafts of the region. While an array of folk music and dance performances organized in the shimmering moonlit landscape provides the most enchanting experience. The colorful fairs held near the beach or the banks of a lake swings one with the spirit of festivity. fervor and flamboyancy while the organized tour around Kutch is an ideal occasion to be part of the region and experience the zeal and uniqueness of the people through a celebration of life!
|- Bhujodi (Craft Village)||02 Km|
|- Mandvi (Beach)||58 Km|
|- 72 Jinalay (Jain Temple)||49 Km|
|- Mundra Port||58 Km|
|- Bhadreshwar (Jain Temple)||48 Km|
|- Anjar||39 Km|
|- Kandla Port||65 Km|
|- Dholavira (Haddapan Village)||195 Km|
|- Kala Dungar||80 Km|
|- Banni Village||80 Km|
|- White Rann (Rann of Kutch)||100 Km|
|- Mata na Madh||100 Km|
|- Narayan Sarovar||165 Km|
|- Koteshwar||165 Km|
The distinctive folk dances and music. intricate arts and crafts. gracious people and nature along with the rich handicraft culture like folk textiles. exquisite embroidery. Bandhani sarees. traditional ornaments and mirror work are some of the specialties of Kutch.
Kalo Dungar [Black Hill] :
Dungar [Black Hill] is the highest point in Kutch. Gujarat.
India. at 462 m. It is located at 97 km from District
headquarters of Bhuj and 25 km from nearest town Khavda.
This is probably the only place in Kachchh from where a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch is possible. Since it is located very near to the Pakistan border. there is an Army post at the top; beyond here. only military personnel are allowed.
The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya temple. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth. he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god. he offered them his body to eat and as they ate. his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this. for the last four centuries. the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad. cooked rice. that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
Another. legend has it that there was once a holy man named Lakkh Guru residing at Kala Dungar and worshiping the Lord Dattatreya. He used to feed wild jackals. There came a day when he found he had no food. so cutting-off a part of his body he offered it to the jackals. saying. "Le ang!" (Take body part). Over the centuries. this got corrupted to "Long".
Recently. strange phenomenon. was observed at Kalo Dungar. when some visitors noticed that their vehicles were hurtling down the hill at speeds over 80 km/h which was very strange. And this too. with the ignition switched off. The phenomenon was brought to the notice of the collector during the recently concluded Rann Utsav. The collector sent his team to get a first-hand experience and after finding that the claims carried some substance. a team of experts from the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) was called to study the phenomenon.
Dholavira (Gujarati: ધોળાવીરા) is
an archaeological site at Khadir-bet in Bhachau Taluka of
The site was discovered in 1967-8 by J. P. Joshi and is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites. It has been under excavation since 1990 by the Archaeological Survey of India. which opines that "Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to personality of Indus Valley Civilization.
Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan culture. dating back to 4500 years ago. While the other site. Lothal. is more exhaustively educated and easier to reach. a visit to Lothal only complements. rather than replaces. a visit to Dholavira. What this site offers you. in the intense environment that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch. is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind. with one of the world"s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world"s first signboards. written in ancient Indus script.
The excavation also tells the story of the 7 stages of the civilization. from development to maturity to decay. the last of which hints at a strange piece of history. with more questions than answers. After the peak of the civilization Dholavira was temporarily abandoned. after which it seems that the settlers returned with a markedly de-urbanized culture. There are hints that they willingly chose to simplify their lives. rather than try to ride the collapse of their once glorified civilization. Here. on the ruins. you will have a chance to contemplate what progress and civilization mean and what. if anything. is truly permanent.
Mata Nu Madh - Maa Ashapura Mandir :
The temple was built in the 14th century by two Karad Vanias.
Ajo and Anagor. They were the ministers in the court of the
father of Lakho Phulani. The temple was damaged by the
earthquake in 1819. The temple was rebuilt by Sundarji
Shivji and Mehta Vallabhaji. two Brahmakshatriya in 1823 (Samvat
1880). The temple is 58 ft. long. 32 ft. wide and 52 ft.
tall. Except that it has a passage for walking round the
deity. it is much the same as the temple at Koteshwar. The
temple was damaged again by the earthquake in 2001but was
repaired again. The image of Ashapura Mata in the shrine is
a red-painted stone. about six feet high and six feet broad
at the base. narrowing to a point in a shape. with some
rough likeness to a human form. It is said to have come from
Jashod in Marwar. Here every year during the Navaratri. the
Rao of Kutch used to offer a sacrifice of seven male
buffaloes.The practice of animal sacrifice has been stopped.
Connected with this temple are two classes of people known as Bhuvas and Kapadis. who; though now very different. are said to be sprung from two brothers. The Bhuvas. though not devotees. enjoy the temple revenues and live a life of ease in the village. They (1827) marry. wear long beards. and eat with all except the lowest castes. The Kapadis are devotees who do not marry. wear no hair on their faces. and eat only among themselves. According to their own account. they came from Gujarat around 1100 CE. and of this. they say. they had evidence as late as the battle of Jara (1762). when. leaving their villages. they lost their records. They are chiefly Lohanas. but all. except outcastes. are allowed to join. Around 1680. the succession to the headship of the monastery was disputed. and. on reference to the Rao. it was decided that one of the claimants should be head or Raja. and the other with the title Rorasi be head elect. This custom has ever since been kept up. The Raja and all. except twenty-five Kapdis. live in one court and take their meals together. The Rorasi with his twenty-five disciples lives separate. but receives every necessary of life from the Raja's house. If the Rorasi dies. the eldest of his disciples succeeds. If the Raja dies the Rorasi succeeds and the eldest of the Raja's disciples becomes Rorasi. The Raja is treated with much respect and had the privilege of receiving the Rao of Kutch sitting. In past. they owned and held the revenues of the villages of Madh. Netraj. Murchbanu. Kotda. and Dedarani. There are also subordinates priests of Chauhan. who performs pooja of the deity.
There is a legend associated with Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro of Sindh. In 1762. when his army attacked this temple. his soldiers became blind by the curse of Ashapura. Then. Ghulam Shah took a swear to set up a huge bell in the temple. Finally. his soldiers regained their sight and Ghulam Shah kept his words. The huge bell still stands there in temple. Jamadar Fateh Muhammad. the military leader of Kutch State. had presented this temple with a deepmala weighing 2 kg silver. and with 41 lamps carved in it.
Thousands of devotee from Gujarat and other states visits the temple during auspicious days of Chaitra Navaratri and Ashvin Navaratri of which the later hold more significance. Camps and relief facilities are set up around the road leading to Mata no Madh. every year for this pilgrimage.
The story of Koteshwar begins with Ravana. who won a boon from Lord Shiva for an outstanding display of piety. This boon was the gift of a Shiva linga of great spiritual power. but which Ravana. in his arrogant haste. accidentally dropped and it fell to earth at Koteshwar. To punish Ravana for his carelessness. the linga turned into a thousand identical copies (some versions of the story say ten thousand. some a million; suffice to say it was quite a lot.) Unable to distinguish the original. Ravana grabbed one and departed. leaving the original one here. around which Koteshwar Temple was built.
Narayan Sarovar :
In a land replete with
pilgrimage sites. Narayan Sarovar is a different kind of
holy experience. At almost the westernmost point of land in
India. it can only be reached by traveling over 100 km from
Bhuj across the barren scrubland of Kutch. A journey after
which the appearance of a vast lake will
surprise you even though you have come to see it and its
spiritual significance will be tangible.
Narayan Sarovar Lake is one of the 5 holy lakes of Hinduism. along with Mansarovar in Tibet. Pampa in Karnataka. Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa and Pushkar in Rajasthan. The lake is associated with a time of drought in the Puranic area. when Narayan (a form of Lord Vishnu) appeared in response to the fervent prayers of sages and touched the land with his toe. creating the lake. now revered as holy to bathe in (though this is not recommended).
There are temples to Shri Trikamraiji. Laxminarayan. Govardhannathji. Dwarkanath. Adinarayan. Ranchodraiji and Laxmiji. built by the wife of Maharao Desalji. These are of more interest to those on religious pilgrimage here; other visitors are likely to find Koteshwar a more interesting option.
At the far northwest corner of Kutch. facing north across
the Great Rann towards Pakistan. stands Lakhpat. once an
important port city but now virtually abandoned for almost
200 years. A place where you can imagine the rise and
decline of a great port city. and simultaneously contemplate
the vast emptiness of the desert and the sea.
When the 1819 earthquake sent the Indus River on its present course to the west and the Great Rann dried up. so did Lakhpat. It was left a humble town around the ruins of its former grandness. now only with Kori Creek that still flows into the Rann . Though it requires a long journey to reach Lakhpat. the intrepid traveler will be rewarded. The 7 km fort walls. erected in 1801 by Jamadar Fateh Muhammed. are still nearly intact. and offer tremendous views out over the Rann. Due to the extremely clear desert air and remote location. the night sky is spectacular (visit near the new moon for best stargazing) and sunrise or sunset in a landscape of such endless horizons are not to be missed.
Lakhpat has religious significance for three of India's most populous religions: Guru Nanak. the founder of Sikhism. reportedly camped here on his journey to Mecca. The site later became a gurudwara. which holds some of Nanak's possessions; Pir Ghaus Muhammed. a Sufi mystic who from the age of twelve devoted himself to spiritual practice and reportedly practiced half as a Hindu and half as a Muslim. is buried here in Lakhpat. His tomb is a stone construction with very complex carvings and a water tank that is said to have healing properties for skin problems; Sayyed Pir Shah's nine-domed mausoleum has intricate carvings. doors. windows and jaalis.
Lakhpat has very few services for visitors; you can buy tea. coffee. and a basic lunch. but do not count on being able to find any other supplies. The only accomodation is in the gurudwara. which is meant more for religious pilgrims than general tourists. Lodging is in the gurudwara dormitory; there are no private bedrooms or bathrooms. For most visitors. spending the night in Narayan Sarovar is recommended. unless you are returning to Bhuj.
The first thing most people think of when they visit Mandvi
is visiting the seashore. Mandvi Beach is the closest to the
town center. across the bridge to the east side of the
river. then down the road past a place called Salaya.
accessed from just near the Kashi-Vishvanath Temple
(sometimes the beach is called Kashi-Vishvanath Beach.) Wind
Farm Beach is 7 km west of town. named for the windmills
that line it to generate electricity for the area. You can
get fresh coconuts and other snacks. swim in very pleasant
water. and enjoy a nice view of the coastline.
The Maharao's private beach. behind Vijay Vilas Palace. is 8 km from town. and requires a small fee (the other beaches are free and open to the public). More secluded than the others. the Vijay Vilas Beach has nice white sand. lovely places to swim and accommodation available in air-conditioned tents along the shore.
Vijay Vilas Palace: The center of attractions at Mandvi is the Vijay Vilas Palace. a Royal abode set in the middle of well-laid gardens with water channels and marble fountains. The architect and craftsmen from Jaipur designed and constructed the palace in 1920 AD. The palace has all the elements of Rajput architecture and draws largely on the plan of palaces of Orchha and Datia. The central high dome on the pillars. the Bengal domes on the sides. the windows with colored glass. carved stone 'jalis". domed bastions at the corners. extended porch and other exquisitely stone-carved elements. make the palace worth visiting. The Vijay Vilas Palace has its own private beach which offers air-conditioned tented accommodation. Being private with conditional access it is a must visit for all beach lovers who want to enjoy their solitude and admire its Eco-friendly pristine beauty. For these reasons. this palace has been used as the set in many Hindi films and has now become a popular tourist destination.
Mazar-e-Noorani: Here is the resting place of the 37th Dai-al-Mutlaq (vicegerent) Syedna Noor Mohammad Nooruddin (R.A.) of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. a subsect of Shia Islam. People of Dawoodi Bohra Community come here in large numbers for Ziyarat (a kind of paying tribute).
Swaminarayan Temple at Mandvi: This scenic temple is on the main road of Mandvi - Naliya.
The Wind Farms Beach and Wind-mills. which line the horizon of Mandvi. offer a spectacular view from the Mandvi sea-beach. The Wind mills projects running in this beach was Asia's 1st Wind-Mills Projects in 1983.
Rukmavati bridge: The bridge on the Rukmavati River was built in 1883; it is the longest existing structure of its kind in India today. This bridge was built by Vishram Karman Chawda of Chandiya belonging to the Mestri community.
Topansar Lake: Sitting in the heart of the city. this lake forms and important landmark.
Bandhni Bazaar: Mandvi is known for the production of its famous Bandhani (tie-dye) and other country crafts.
Traditional ship building: Mandvi is also a 400-year-old ship building centre. The ships built here used to sail up to England and return. Even today. master carpenters build fishing boats by traditional techniques.
Shyamji Krishna Varma Smarak: The smarak (monument) is located near Lohana Mahajan Wadi. Shyamji Krishna Varma was a scholar and freedom fighter. He established India House in Britain to support Indian student going UK for studying. eventually India house become a foreign hub of nationalist activity for freedom of India. Shyamji Krishna Varma was born in Mandvi.
Kranti Trith : The Smark of Shyamji Krishna Varma was newly built just 3 km away from Mandvi on Mandvi-Dharbudi Road. This is Gujarat's 2nd Kranti Trith.
Kasi Vishvanath Beach. Salaya: This is another beach near Mandvi. It derives its name from a Shiv temple nearby.
Shitla Mata Temple: The famous Temple of Goddess Shitla. Its situated in Layja Road.
Mandvi Port: Mandvi Port is a Port where loading & unloading of ships takes place.
Light House : Newly contracted Light House for Country Craft Sea Transportation. these structure newly contracted after earthquake.
Amebdham - Godhara Village [Disct. Mandvi Kutch] :
Ambe temple lies in its name Godhra Village (Godhra in
Panchmahal district and the Ambe dham Godhra is the two are
Different.) Is a small village in the region. so no one
knows all Ambe dham. Here Arashpahan Ambe mata temple is
built. The Temple Gate. veranda. roof. pillars is Arasa
everything. Tiger two brass statues set on the verandah of
the house. which immediately draws attention. Mata would be
fun to do. Tourists are coming here for more than a servant.
Here is a temple complex is huge. There are many other temples in the complex. Behind the main house is India"s biggest idol. Next to it is an exhibition room. The second is a small pool filled with water and a stone float on water. This is an example of a stone on the water to swim. Listed Ramayana story. Lord Rama to go ahead by a stone bridge. built over the sea.
Next to it is prerna dham. Here the idol of Mahavir and events to suit a variety of jungle animals. etc.. and is a replica of the statues. Next to it is an exhibition center. Here are the events in our religious texts as the figurines are made to see that these events will be fresh in the mind. It seems like more than one foot. standing pole. etc. Hiranya kashyap slay the Lord Narsimha.
The next stone and clay are scored using the Kailash Mountain. Lord Shiva is seen sitting on top of it. The mountain is very nice and worth seeing. It grabs the audience's attention from a distance. Enter the cave in the mountain. twisted cadhan vala road again. back on top of the sign. There are way too many gods and idols of the den. Cave formation is very attractive and stunning. Shankar on top of the image of God. I could be watching closely.
All these temples are at the gardens and trails. It rises through the charity kitchen. Charity kitchen diner arrangements for tourists are coming here. There are no meal charges. Cleanliness of the kitchen and dining hall is a very striking way. See the whole Ambe Temple area is very clean. Not like to sit in the garden or in the house or office area that would like to have a little rest and replaced. The whole place is so nice to sit here and wanted to see everything. Ambe Mandir three hours has passed. even slightly. This is really a spectacular place.
Bhuj - Kutch :
Bhuj. formerly sacred to the snake Bhujang. was established
by Rao Hamirji in 1510 and was made the capital of Kutch
State by Rao Khengarji I in 1549. Its foundation stone as
state capital was formally laid on Vikram Samvat 1604 Maagha
5th (approx. 25 January 1548). After 1590. when Rao was
forced to acknowledge Mughal supremacy. Bhuj was known as
Suleiman Nagar among Muslims. The walls were built by Rao
Godji I in 1723 and the Bhujiya Fort by Devkaran Seth in Rao
Deshalji I's time (1718 - 1741).
Bhuj has been attacked six times. In two cases the defense was successful and in four it failed. In 1728 an attack by Sarbuland Khan. Mughal Viceroy of Gujarat. was repulsed by Rao Deshalji I. and. in 1765 Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro was. by a timely display of the strength of the fortifications. induced to withdraw. During the civil troubles of the reign of the Rao Rayadhan III. Bhuj was thrice taken. by Meghji Seth in 1786. by Hansraj in 1801. and by Fateh Muhammad in 1808. On the 26th March 1819. the hill fort of Bhujia was captured by a British detachment under Sir William Keir
In 1818. Bhuj had population of 20.000 people. The earthquake on 16 June 1819 destroyed nearly 7000 houses with a loss of 1140 human lives. About one-third of the buildings that escaped ruin were much shattered. and the north face of the town wall was leveled with the ground. Bhuj is home to one of the first Swaminarayan Sampraday temples. built in 1822. In 1837. Bhuj is said to have had a population of 30.000 souls.
After independence of India in 1947. Kutch State acceded unto the dominion of India and was constituted an independent commissionaire. Kutch State. In 1956. Kutch State was merged with Bombay state. which in 1960 was divided into the new linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. with Kutch becoming part of Gujarat state as Kutch district. Bhuj is the district headquarters of Kutch District. the largest district in India.
On 21 July 1956 as well on 26 January 2001. the city was struck by a major earthquake which caused a great loss of life and property. Many parts of Bhuj were demolished due to the extensive damage whilst others were repaired. There has been a great progress in the city since the 2001 earthquake. with considerable improvements to roads. transport and infrastructure.
Culture - Bhuj Kutch :
Bhuj is a famous destination for shopping of handicraft work
like bandhni (tie-dye) and leatherwork. Artists of nearby
villages bring their artwork for sale in Bhuj haat which is
situated near jubilee ground. Bhuj is famous for the jolly
nature of its citizens. who usually go to the surroundings
of Hamirsar lake to relax.
Bhuj is also famous for its food. especially pakvans. dabelies (a local burger stuffed with mashed potato. cooked with masala curry and serious chutneys). Bhuj is famous for its Gujarati thali which is unlimited Gujarati food. Hotel green rock near bus station is a good place to have Gujarati thali and famous shop for handicraft is Adarsh Store near old vegetable market.
Main Festivals :
The Great Rann of Kutch festival or Rann Utsav ('Rann' meaning desert and 'Utsav' meaning festival) in December - This is a three month long carnival filled with music. dance and handicrafts which attracts tourists from all over the globe. The White Desert is nothing but a vast salty land. And yet. it is a top ranked tourist attraction. especially during the winters. This Kutch festival is also promoted by Gujarat Tourism ambassador. Amitabh Bachan. as a celebration of joy. excitement and festivities. in one of his many advertisements.
Makar Sankrati in January
Navratri in October or November (check Hindu calendar)
Janmashtami in August or September (check Hindu calendar)
Chhari - Dhandh Bird Sanctuary :
The Chari-Dhand wetland conservation reserve is located on the edge of arid Banni grasslands and the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch in Kutch District. Gujarat State in India. It is currently legally protected under the status as a Protected or Reserve Forest in India. Chari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland. Dhand is a Sindhi word for a shallow saucer shaped depression. This is a seasonal desert wetland and only gets swampy during a good monsoon. receiving water from the north flowing rivers as well as from the huge catchment areas of many surrounding big hills. It is spread over an area of 80 km. It is in Nakhtrana Taluka. 80 km south west to the city of Bhuj. about 7 or 8 km from Fulary village and 30 km from Nakhtrana town. It is home to nearly two lakh birds with migratory and endangered species of birds flocking into the area in thousands during monsoon and winters.
Ports on Kutch :
In 1994. the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) approved setting up a captive jetty at the Port of Mundra. In 1998. a joint-sector company. the Gujarat Adani Port Ltd.. was incorporated and multi-purpose berths 1 and 2 at Terminal I began operating. In 1999. multi-purpose berths 3 and 4 opened at Terminal I.
In 2001. the Port of Mundra signed a concession agreement with GMB for development. operation. and maintenance of the port at Mundra. Also in 2001. the private Mundra - Adipur railway line was completed and in 2002. it was integrated with the Indian Railways.
In 2002. Guru Govind Singh Refineries Ltd. signed an agreement with the Port of Mundra to handle crude oil in the port. In 2002. additional agreements were signed with Indian Oil Corporation Limited to set up a single-point mooring facility and handle crude oil at Mundra. In 2003. a sub-concession agreement was signed to add a container terminal in the Port of Mundra. and the terminal began operating that year. In 2005. Adani Port Limited and Gujarat Adani Port Limited were merged. In late 2005. the Single-Point Mooring became operational.
The Mundra Special Economic Zone was incorporated in 2003. It became India"s first multi-product port-based special economic zone. Two new berths at Terminal II became operational to handle bulk cargo. A double-stack container train began to operate. The Mundra Special Economic Zone Ltd. and Adani Chemicals Limited were merged with Gujarat Adani Port Ltd.. and the company name was changed to Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited (MPSEZ) in 2006.
In 2007. two more berths for bulk cargo were added at Terminal II. and the terminal trial run operations began. A service agreement was signed with Tata Power to produce power for handling coal cargo imports. Also in 2007. equity shares in MPSEZ were offered to the public and employees and were listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange. A service agreement was signed in 2008 with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. to handle exports of automobiles. MPSEZ expanded its port operations and changed its name to "Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited" (APSEZ) on January 6. 2012.
The multi-purpose terminals contain nine berths of a total 1.8 thousand meters long with alongside depths ranging from 9 to 16.5 meters. Berth 1 is 275 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters and can accommodate vessels to 75 thousand DWT. Berth 2 is 180 meters long with alongside depth of 13 meters and can accommodate vessels to 30 thousand DWT. Accommodating vessels to 60 thousand DWT. Berths 3 and 4 are each 225 meters long; Berth 3 has alongside depth of 14 meters. and Berth 4 has alongside depth of 12 meters. Berths 5 and 6 are each 250 meters long with alongside depth of 14 meters. and both can accommodate vessels to 150 thousand DWT. Berths 7 and 8 are each 175 meters long with alongside depth of 12 meters and can accommodate vessels to 40 thousand DWT. The Barge Berth is 80 meters long with alongside depth of 6 meters and capacity for vessels of 2500 DWT.
The Mundra Port offers 21 closed dockside warehouses with capacity for 137 thousand square meters to store wheat. sugar. rice. fertilizer and fertilizer raw materials. and deoiled cakes. The port offers 880 thousand square meters of open storage for steel sheets. coils. plate. clinker. scrap. salt. coke. bentonite. and coal. An additional 26 thousand square meters of open storage is available alongside the railway. The port also offers a wheat-cleaning facility with capacity to handle 1200 metric tons per day and a rice-sorting and -grading facility that can handle 500 metric tons per day.
Kandla Port :
Kandla. also Kandla Port or New Kandla (Gujarati: કંડલા) is a seaport in Kutch District of Gujarat state in western India. near the city of Gandhidham. Located on the Gulf of Kutch. it is one of major ports on west coast. Kandla was constructed in the 1950s as the chief seaport serving western India. after the partition of India from Pakistan left the port of Karachi in Pakistan. The Port of Kandla is located on the Gulf of Kutch on the northwestern coast of India some 256 nautical miles southeast of the Port of Karachi in Pakistan and over 430 nautical miles north-northwest of the Port of Mumbai (Bombay). It is the largest port of India by volume of cargo handled. Kandla history kandla Port Trust. India's busiest major port in recent years. is gearing to add substantial cargo handling capacity with private sector participation. The west coast port handled 72.225 million tonnes of cargo in 2008-09. over 11 per cent more than 64.920 million tonnes handled in 2007-08.
Even as much of this growth has come from handling of crude oil imports. mainly for Essar Oil's Vadinar refinery in Gujarat. the port is also taking measures to boost non-POL cargo. Last fiscal. POL traffic accounted for 63 per cent of the total cargo handled at Kandla Port. as against 59 per cent in 2007-08.
KPT is also moving towards building dedicated container handling capacity. At the moment. container trade is insignificant-138.000 teu in 2008-09. down from 165.000 teu in 2007-08. There is currently one container terminal that is under private operatorship of ABG Heavy Industries Ltd. The port trust's plans include setting up a dedicated container terminal with two berths (No.11 and No.12 of the port) on BOT basis. The Rs 330-crore project is expected to annually handle 0.6 million teu of container traffic.
The clean cargo and container berths form only a small part of KPT's expansion plans through private enterprise. Other aspects include berthing facilities off Tekra (Tuna) that is expected to boost cargo by12 million tonnes. an offshore liquid terminal. bunkering facilities and a ship repair and building yard.
Kandla Port has shown buoyant growth in cargo handling in the recent past. In 2008-09. its total traffic grew by 13.6 per cent to reach an all-time high of 72.225 million tonnes. The port's share in traffic handled by all major ports has risen steadily over the years. peaking at 13.6 per cent last year (see table). Earlier projections made by the port indicate an annual capacity handling target of 100 million tpa by 2012.
The Port of Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) was the first special economic zone to be established in India and in Asia.Established in 1965.the Port of Kandla SEZ is the biggest multiple-product SEZ in the country. Kandla is the first Export Processing Zone in India. Covering over 310 hectares. the special economic zone is just nine kilometers from the Port of Kandla. Today. the Port of Kandla is India's hub for exporting grains and importing oil and one of the highest-earning ports in the country. Major imports entering the Port of Kandla are petroleum. chemicals. and iron and steel and iron machinery. but it also handles salt. textiles. and grain. A town has grown up on the port with a school and hotel etc.