When someone mentions magnetic hills, the first thought that enters our mind is Leh, Ladakh. However, the most underrated magnetic hill in India is probably the one in Kutch, Gujarat.
Entering Kutch – the largest district in India
My journey starts from Mumbai. After riding from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, and spending a day in Ahmedabad, I was ready to begin my series Run to Kutch. We left for Kalo Dungar from Ahmedabad early in the morning.
The combination of cool wind and warm sunlight reminded me how much I missed during the lockdown. The route we took was through windmills in Sanand. Passing through Dhangadhra and took a break at Malia. Stopped for a quick brunch at AFM Honest foodcourt. Then kept moving towards Samakhayali and Bhachau to reach Bhuj.
Bhuj – a devastated paradise
Bhuj, the district headquarters of Kutch, has a fascinating history. As we entered Bhuj, the roads and geography changed completely.
Bhuj still homes African families who had moved here in the 1500s.
The historic earthquake of 2001, shattered Bhuj to the ground. You can see the reconstructed town with gentle reminders of the unfortunate event in form of ruins.
We rode through Indian Air Force Campus, Rudramata, which has another significant story. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, 300 Bhuj women risked their lives to rebuild a bombed airstrip in 3 days, and helped them win the war.
The cute little bazaars in Bhuj are famous for intricate handicrafts and jewellery work. Aina Mahal, Kutch Museum, and Hamirsar Lake are some of the other tourist destinations.
The best time to visit Bhuj is from October to March, mainly winters.
Things to keep in mind before applying for Vighakot Permit:
- Involves a serious set of documentation
- You need to apply at least a week in advance
- You need to show your original photo ID and RC book
- It takes 2-3 days for the process to complete, or you can hire an agent
Finally reaching Kalo Dungar
After riding for around 400 KMS, we reached Kalo Dungar at the most perfect time. We were famished, but the view made us forget the whole ride.
The sun was setting on one side and right opposite we could see the moon rise – at the same time. We couldn’t decide if we wanted to see the sun set or moon rise. And with this view our ride ended and we had our meals.
Kalo Dungar or the Black Hills is to the north of Khavda village. After Bhuj, we took a small break at Brindhiari checkposts to arrange for Rann of Kutch permits. Kalo Dungar is the highest point of Kutch. At 462 meters, the hill is also famous for a 400-year old Lord Dattatreya temple.
A short drive from the hill was the India bridge. A National Security area that comes under the jurisdiction of the army. So we were basically a few kilometers away from the Indo-Pak border.