Probably one of the most unique "hotels" I have ever stayed in!
Shaam-e-Sarhad is a tent village located in the Kutch Desert in Gujarat. There are two types of accommodation, tents and bungas. The tents are comfortable but spartan, with attached bathroom. If you make arrangements, the staff will bring you tea in bed each morning. The bungas are a little more upscale. We stayed in a tent.
In February, with clear skies, it was cold at night. However, this allowed for some spectacular stargazing. It had been a long time since I had seen the Milky Way in all it's glory. With the assistance of Starwalk on the iPad we were able to identify tons of stars and planets. Every evening we were entertained outdoors by local musicians, next to a roaring fire.
The food is good, however, as this area is vegetarian there are not a lot of choices available. We stopped on our way out of Bhuj, the nearest big city, for eggs to bring with us for breakfast. The staff was happy to boil them for us. Also, this is a dry state, so no alcohol is available. You are on your own. Hint.
Every morning we rose early and as it was the right time of year we were treated to huge flocks of geese winging their way across the rising sun. From time to time we could hear the Indian Army artillery practice. This camp is very near the Pakistani border.
Security is provided by Uncle Bhandi who patrols the compound at night with a rifle on his shoulder and a gentle tune on his lips. A sweet man! I left him my fingerless wool gloves and my travel binoculars. To help him keep us safe!
My only regret is that we did not travel to White Desert, which is nearby.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Visitors: Shaam-E-Sarhad is an eco-resort built in a Kutchi village-style setting using locally sourced materials and crafts of the region. It is owned and managed by the Hodka village community and is open only from October to March. The resort promotes Endogenous Tourism where one travels not just for pleasure, but also to appreciate local community and their life in rural Gujarat. "The Endogenous Tourism Project in Hodka village seeks to promote local culture and craft based tourism for sustainable livelihoods and integrated rural development. Its aim is to improve the local people's quality of life, by creating more livelihood options, while preserving and allowing the community to develop their unique culture and share it with visitor."~ The use of local architectural style, the intricate art & crafts is very evident as soon as one enters Shaam-E-Sarhad (translated 'Sunset at the border'). Hodka village is not very far from the Rann of Kutch region which shares the border with Pakistan. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Shaam-e-Sarhad Rural Hotel Hodka Village
- Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort Hodka Village, India - Gujarat