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Monday, March 18, 2013

A Tour of Bhuj

A few months ago my external hardrive crashed, and with it, all my photos from India. I have been mourning the loss for awhile. Then, like a ghost speaking to me from the beyond, I realised I had a few photos uploaded but not published on this blog, a pending post on Bhuj.

So here they are, the ghost of photos lost.

A tour of Bhuj.

In the old city, there are many winding streets with stalls selling fruits, chips, and other goodies. The city itself is a mix of old and new, having been largely destroyed during the 2001 earthquake.

In the summer these fruits were being sold everywhere. I am not sure what they are called in English and am having trouble remembering the name in Gujarati (anyone?) but they are slightly bitter and your mouth feels coated by tannins after eating them. they are supposed to be very good for your health.

I love all the hand-painted advertizements around the city. It feels like public art, not visual pollution.

I am slightly suspicious of this carousel for kids (the cars seemed pretty rusty), but I saw families using it frequently. My favorite part was the blond-haired doll in the middle who had been dressed up to be more Indian (bindi and all).

Roadside nimbu-panni (lemon water) and "cold drink" (soda) stand.

Remnants of the earthquake -beautiful and sad.

In the old vegetable market, vendors are lined up seated on a platform selling veggies. I miss those white cucumbers with chili powder and salt!

I had never had a fresh date before India - they come in many colors and are generally delicious! A local juice store also sold fresh date juice, which tasted like a milkshake.

Panni Puri! This street snack is one I only had a couple times because it features water - a dangerous substance for a non-native. They are pretty tasty, though. A fried shell filled with differently flavored water (herbs, spices, sugar). You eat them in a succession of five or six, ending with a sweet one.

Debating prices to take rickshaws was never something I got the hang of our particularly enjoyed. I preferred walking or taking shared rickshaws, where there was a standard price of 5 or 10 rupees to go as far as an hour away. That is how I would get to work if I missed the Khamir car.

I enjoyed how people decorated their rickshaws to indicate their personalities.

This stopped me in my tracks, I just though it was so beautiful.

More earthquake remnants.

Outside the Old Vegetable market!

Upstairs in the Prag Mahal, one of the old castles that was still being reconstructed post-earthquake.

From the roof of the Prag Mahal.

Apparently royalty came here?

A sweet little part where only senior citizens were allowed. It was very, very small. Which, as one of my friends pointed out, made sense, as they mostly just sat inside.

Part of the old palace.

Outside the entrance to the palace.

I had heard rumors of camel milk ice cream from my earliest days in Bhuj and was ecstatic to finally try it. It tastes much like cow milk ice cream, but more watery. It is supposed to be healthier.

Selling women's housedresses on the street.

The entry to Swaminarayan Temple, built after the earthquake. It is a huge complex, housing monks, a school, and a beautiful temple on the water.

A main road in Bhuj.

Riding in a rickshaw usually means multiple people per seat. Often hanging off the sides, requiring hanging on to the roof for support.

There was a military base of some kind in the city. I presume it is connected to Bhuj's proximity to Pakistan, but I never quite figured it out.

Public religious art care of Swaminarayan.

Hospital road - one of the first places I went in Bhuj. This is where some of the only chain restaurants are -including Saffron and Uncle Sam's Pizza.

Along the sides of most roads are slums with homes made of tarp, wood, and stone. In Bhuj many of these people are migrant labororers. Hunar Shalla does a fair amount of work with these slum communities.

A Shared rickshaw! This space would likely have at least ten people in it. Personal space simply has a different meaning.

The new vegetable market.

Collecting trash to reuse.

Public space in Bhuj is pretty male-dominated. I mostly felt pretty safe though.

A Muslim temple on a hill slightly outside town. It has a lovely view.

The juice shop! This shop had all local, organic juices for fairly cheap - about 80 cents for a cup of hand-squeezed juice. My favorite was mango/guava/grape. It comes all layered in a cup, and is beautiful.

At the top of Bhujia fort overlooking the city.


  1. Dear Raina
    I was just packing up my things to go on a trip to Bhuj tomorrow and while doing some final information checking, I came across you lovely blog!!! Great information about Bhuj! I really want to try the camel milk ice cream! By the way, my name is Juliana. I am from Brazil, but live and work in Mumbai with my husband. All the best for you!

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