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THE DEVPUR HOMESTAY

 

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The Thakore of Devpur and his family are delighted to invite you to join them at Darbargadh – a charming Heritage Homestay that is the village fort and private residence of the Thakores of Devpur (Kutch.) Dating back to 1905 and built of local sandstone in the classically ornamental Kutch style, the fort complex consists of porticos, courtyards and stucco pavilions, as well as White Eagles, the local school. It is listed as a member of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, due to its historical and artistic importance.

 

There are three well appointed, comfortable rooms for a traditional Kutch home stay, each with a double bed and private western style bathroom. Traditional meals are served in a vintage rasoi (dining room), where guests can learn or watch the preparation of meals with their hosts. There is a pleasant verandah from which to enjoy the sunshine, and plenty of farmlands and orchards to roam on evening walks.

 

Kutch is the second largest border district in the Indian subcontinent and is all but isolated from the rest of Gujarat – indeed, many people regard it as an entirely separate state from the rest of Gujarat. For the few tourists who do make it this far, it is undoubtedly one of India’s most fascinating and unspoilt destinations. There is in fact a scant infrastructure for tourists, but whilst Devpur can facilitate transport by car, jeep or motor bike (along with a guide), there can be no better way to experience Kutch than as the personal guest of one of its founding families.

 

 

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Devpur is the ideal location from which to explore the region’s many and diverse attractions. The vast desert salt plains of the Rann of Kutch lie to the north, whilst a long coastline of pristine beaches border the Arabian Sea, and the Black Hills of the Tropic of Cancer rise above an arid landscape of shifting sands. There are also numerous lakes, beaches and sanctuaries to discover, making it a rare delight for bird watchers, trekkers and holidaymakers alike. The former medieval capital of Kutch – parts of which are still being rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 2001 - is a fascinating city to explore, with impressive palaces, museums and archaeological sites standing testament to the economic power it once was. In the countryside around Bhuj, there are many specialist handicraft villages, rich with strong folk tradition, and set amongst a landscape dotted with ancient fortresses and temples.

 

Unsurprisingly, there are an overwhelming number of excursions to take part in around Devpur – such as a visit to India’s only private beach at the Maharao’s summer retreat in Mandvi; the sea fort of Lakhpat; artisan villages where traditional style weaving takes place on sunken looms in decorated mud houses; bird watching at flamingo and bustard sanctuaries; traditional Rabari tribal communities unchanged for centuries; climbing expeditions amongst the famous Black Hills; and an overnight excursion to an excavated desert city from 5000 BC.

 

The climate in Kutch is generally delightful all year round, except for a few weeks in May and September. Winters can be cool at night and but days can be relied upon to be clear and sunny. Whatever your interests, your charming host family at Devpur will be happy to put together a personalised itinerary for you, and to ensure that your Homestay in this very special and unspoilt part of India is a truly memorable one.

 

 

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Please click on this link to make enquiries about your trip – more information on the family’s history and a full list of excursions are available upon request.