Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Mandvi, an important port in Kachchh, is an old centre of boat building. Wooden boats are still built in traditional styles for customers in the gulf. Traditionally, Kachchhi sailors would use these boats to sail to Africa, carrying spices, coconuts, gold, silver and at times even cattle. They would wait there until the winds changed direction and then return to India.

The royal family still retains its palace and private beach (stated to be the only private beach in the country). They have converted a part of it into a hotel, with luxury tents that perch at the edge of the beach. The beach itself is long, flat and shallow for at least half a kilometre into the sea. The sand is dark and soft and the water during most times (except the monsoons) is tranquil. It was appealing not just to us, but to a number of birds and to the stray camel as well!

(Pictures courtesy M.S. Madhusudan)

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