Rann Niwas Homestay

Rann Niwas Homestay

Rann Niwas Homestay is traditionally designed with a large veranda, the rectangular rooms made with mud and gobar for a comforting insulation during the extreme climates of Kutch.
Starts from Rs 3500/ Night

Located in close proximity to the White Rann, in the village of Dhordo, Rann Niwas Homestay is traditionally designed with a large veranda, the rectangular rooms made with mud and gobar for a comforting insulation during the extreme climates of Kutch. VeerabhaiKhoyla started this homestay with his blood and sweat, with the support of his extended family. The stay is managed by Veerabhai alone, with assistance from his own little boy, Sunil, and his nephews who are frequent faces you’ll see around the property: they may not be of service, but they’ll cheer you up. The homestay is fortunately located very close to the traditional hamlet of the Khoyla family, which makes for a fascinating visit. Even though the family has spent years keeping their traditional craft and culture alive through kutchi embroidery and leatherwork, they’ve struggled to make a comfortable life for themselves and it’s Veerabhai’s dream to provide better for all three of his children by serving tourists.

The guidance of his brothers, who have been running homestays of their own for years, echoes in the making of Rann Niwas Homestay. The 4 mud cottages are a traditional kutchi design: thick walls made of organic materials like gobar and mud, with minimal use, if at all, of cement and bricks. All rooms have a sturdy double bed molded out of mud again, with a foam mattress, pillows and beautiful, warm hand-stitched comforters for cold nights. The bathrooms are western style, with a shower and hot water facility. All the mud houses are tastefully decorated with hand-painting and mud work that is unique to the kutchi community, thereby giving you a glimpse of a heritage that’s fed and defined generations so far, and will continue doing so – in the four walls of your room. The room also offers a nice seating area next to the window, overlooking the veranda that is bestowed with the setting sun’s mellow light.

Rann Visamo is entirely run by VeerabhaiKhoyla and his family and you’ll enjoy meals that are cooked with utmost care in the same kitchen as the family’s food. The day begins with a breakfast of either pohaor upma, or bread and butter to be enjoyed with a hot cup of chai or coffee. Lunch comprises of the Gujarati thali of dal, bhaat, rotlo(wheat bread), with saag(vegetables in curry), and a dessert of either sheeraor suji ka halwa. For dinner, dal and rice are swapped with kadiand khichidifor a kutchi style thali, with green vegetable sabzi, a shaak(curried vegetable) and halwaor sheerafor lunch. Although the family doesn’t cook non-vegetarian food, it can be arranged for at the guests’ request.

As previously mentioned, the host’s kid and his boisterous nephews keep frequenting the homestay. Hours elapse as you sit with them and let them teach you their local games: which you surely will not understand as they wouldn’t stop giggling, but it’s a heart-warming experience nonetheless. Generations of the Khoyla family have lived in the same village, around one another and as tradition goes – all of their houses have connected in a way that it’s formed a hamlet (colony of houses), which makes for a really fascinating walk around. A visit to the family house is highly recommended, where the host’s mother, wife and daughters will present to you all the beadwork and embroidery work they’ve been tirelessly toiling over for months. Each product takes days to make, some pieces of clothing take months since they’re all intricately hand-stitched.
The host can also arrange for a cultural program at a nominal price to appreciate the time and efforts of the local artisans: the prices of these show rely on the artist and the group size, but usually fits within Rs.1500. For anyone interested in learning the art of beadwork or mudwork, they could give it a try under the tutelage of locals with an expertise of decades, for a mere Rs. 600 – Rs. 800.

By train: The nearest railway station is Bhuj, from where you can take a chakra to the bus station. The 2 hours long bus journey to ‘Khavda’ is the cheapest option, with less than Rs.100 for the fare. The frequency is at 3-4 buses a day, for Khavda, and hourly for a nearby village called Bhirandiyara. Another option is a direct bus to Hodka village (which you’ll have to pre-book), but the frequency of these buses only increases with the peak of the Rann Utsav.From the Bhirandiyara check post to Rann Niwas Homestay in Dhordo village, one can easily find Bolero campers that run on a sharing basis at the price of Rs.70-100 per seat.
The easiest, most hassle free way to get here is by hiring a chakra or a car, which will drop you at the stay, for a price of Rs.2000-Rs.3500, subjective to the vehicle and the season.
By air: The nearest airport to the village stay is Bhuj. From here you could take an auto or a chakra to the stay or follow the instructions as mentioned above.

VeerabhaiKhoyla is a quiet, genial and respectful man. He studied until the 6th standard and began doing leather work quite early in his life, which he learned mostly from his uncle BasarBhuraKhoylaji who’s also received an award for his work. He has grown up in difficult times where his father would have to walk for 3-5km a day for water. Recalling his childhood, he says that the family, although respectable artisans, had gone through some struggle to secure food on some days. With utmost gratitude today, he counts his blessings, sans any complains and only wants to provide a better, more comfortable future for his children. He loves and appreciates leather work and to this day, spends about 8 hours every day working at it.

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