Mahefeel-E-Rann

Mahefeel-E-Rann

Mahefeel-E-Rann is one if the early stays which came up in Kutch.
Starts from Rs 3,500/ Night

Mahefeel-E-Rann is one if the early stays which came up in Kutch. Built in 2013, it is a brain child of 6 families who put have put in their blood and sweat in making it one of the most comfortable stays near Rann today. The idea was to create a homely stay for the travellers who came to visit Rann, and if you happen to stay here, you are sure to feel this homely vibe. All the people working in the stay are family members of Salam bhai, the host. The whole place is constructed in a way that it continues to generate income each year - the lipan work, mud-work and painting on the walls which need to be redone anually. This way, the traditional crafts of the area don't get endangered due to lack of employment. In a conversation with Salam bhai, he recalls how many builders and designers have suggested him to get his stay Concretized, for easier maintenance, but he refused, identifying the advantage of this annual generation of income associated with mud work.
The whole premise has three types of accommodation - traditional bhungas, tents and a family room. These house a common gathering space amidst them, with seating areas. There is also a dining hall, and an attached kitchen. It is close to the Rann of Kutch, and all the people working there are sure to make your experience memorable, with their humility.

The accommodation is in three different sort of facilities - traditional bhungas, tents and a family room. The bhungas are circular houses which are the oldest housing type found in this area. Their shape is in response to its ability to nullify the lateral forces of the earthquake, and prevent the structure from collapsing during an earthquake. The bhungas have a conical roof, giving the space a feel of vastness. With a rural aesthetic, the house is suited to all modern needs. There is a provision of adequate charging sockets, AC and a 24 x 7 hot water facility in an attached bathroom which has modern appliances. There is an open-to-sky transition between the room and the washroom, housing the basin area. This not just makes the who space dynamic, but also gives you an opportunity to sub-consciously connect with the nature multiple times during the day, without actually going out of the house.
There is a tent accommodation too, with attached washroom with fans, storage areas, and hot water facility. Each tent is provided with adequate linens to help you keep warm during the cold Rann season.
For those travelling as a large family, and wash to stay together, there is a family room. It houses about 5-6 people, with a facility of extra mattress if required. It has an attached washroom, along with a powder room. The house opens up to it’s personal verandah, overlooking the other houses, and a green common area outside.

The day starts with a masala tea, or coffee, and a mesmerizing sunrise. Follow the chai with yet another cup while you savour a breakfast of various options like Bread butter and honey, or poha, upma and savoury 'sewaiyan'. The lunch is in Gujarati style, comprising of 2 vegetable curries (called 'shaak' in local dialect), Dal, rice and steaming chapatis. It is accompanied by fresh buttermilk, pickles, green salad and papad.
The dinner is prepared in local Katchi style. It has the much appreciated garlic chutney, served as a side to kadhi and khichadi. For those who like their dinners more wholesome, bajra 'rotla' is also a part of the meal, along with two kutchi style sabzis. It is accompanied with buttermilk, pickles and papad.

Mahefeel–E–Rann aims at making your visit to the Rann fulfilling and more wholesome by introducing you to the regional crafts and embroidery work. On your demand, the host himself will be happy to take you to his village, where you can witness the vast array of bead work, leather work, embroidery and a detailed collection of clothing made regionally. The villagers will be happy to even teach you how it’s made. This is a perfect chance to get souvenirs for your loved ones, right from where it’s made! The homestay also has a green lawn with benches where you can unwind in the evening hours, watching the sun set in the backdrop of Thatched roofs. The host, Salam bhai is a connoisseur of crafts and art of Kutch, and hosts several folk artists to perform local songs for you at night. The music, and the bonfire, and the starry night will be an experience you shall cherish for a long time!
Apart from the property, Rann of Kutch is about half-an-hour drive from her. You can also visit Kala-Dungar, from where you can view Pakistan (India Gate). It is a good place to trek, or pack a picnic.

By flight: The closest airport to the village stay is ‘Bhuj’ airport. From the airport, you can take an auto and reach the bus-stand in Bhuj and take a bus going towards ‘Khavda’. This route doesn’t have a very good frequency, and the buses run about 3-4 times a day. After taking this bus, after a journey of about 2 hours, you shall reach the Check-post from where the Hodka village is towards the west. The bus shall continue ahead, an you can request the host to pick you up from here.
Else, you can take a direct bus to Hodka village (which you will have to pre-book), but the frequency of these busus increases only during the Ran Utsav season. Another easier option is to hire a car or a ‘Chakda’ or an Auto which shall take you till the stay directly. This could cost you around 2000 rs.
By Train: The nearest station is ‘Bhuj’ station, and from there, you could directly hire an auto or ‘Chakda’ to the stay, or follow the options as given above.

Salam bhai is an influential man in the Kutch region. His grandfather was called the ‘seth’ of the region, and he himself has been the ‘mukhiya’ of the Hodka village several times. He is a very knowledgable man, and has deep insights into the cultural heritage of the area. You can strike a conversation with him over a cup of tea, and like a human library, he will enlighten you with the science behind mythological tales, history of Kutch and a lot more. The people of Kutch have survived earthquakes, droughts, and the extreme climate, and still stayed put. They did not migrate, or change their ancestral occupations and Salam bhai is a living testimony to these hardships and values of Kutch. He is a man of exceptional principle, and has worked all his life for the betterment of his community. Even as his village stay progressed, he worked hard and extended exceptional help to his fellow-village mates to get their own homestays set-up and registered. Ethically clear, culturally intelligent and humble in his behavior, Salam bhai is more like a friend, than a host.

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