Lakhpat Fort Kutch

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1. Left Dhordo about 9 am, stopped at Haji Pir, Chhari Dhandh Bird Sanctuary, lunch at Nakhatrana, stopped at Mata Na Madh to reach Lakhpat by 4ish. Had lovely tea made by Shri Goswami at stall on right of pic. His son is a travel guide but was not there so he asked a local to show us around.

2. Earlier pic is explained here. It was the toll booth and customs from visitors and traders for access to the town. Original fort wall made by Rao Lakhpatji in the 18th century. Fateh M expanded it to its current dimensions in 1801.

3. Map from a book published by Gujarat Tourism gives you an extent of the size of the fort. Book is authored by Deepak Goswami. He doubles as a tourist guide. His no is 91 99138 73522.

4. Till the earthquake of 1809 the river Indus flowed to Lakhpat from where it entered into the Arabian Sea (see map on right of pic carefully) as against flowing through Sindh in Pakistan today. Lakhpat was a prosperous port near its river mouth.

5. View of fort wall south west side. Most of the wall is very much intact.

6. Evening view inside fort, wall and beyond that marshy land.

7. Taken from view point ie at one end of the fort.

8. Canon at watch point. Beyond this is the Great Rann of Kutch.

9. View from view point. White structure is a old Shiv temple. At times water fills up. During high tide in Koteshwar sea water enters Rann of Kutch and low tide stays in the Rann. When water evaporates the residue is salt hence we have White Rann or Salt Desert.

10. Typical view point. Not too many people live in the fort today. Tourists who come spend the night in the Gurudwara (ie very comfortable) and have meals there. There are no hotels.

11. Sunrise. Was told it is spectacular on most days.

12. Fort wall. Mornings and evenings got to see lots of peacocks.

13. We visited Old Customs House, Akbani Mahal, Hatheswar Temple and a tomb. Traders would pay duties here before taking goods to Kutch. In its heyday it saw a revenue of 1,80,000 Koris a year.

14. Extract from a book published by Gujarat Tourism gives you an extent of the size of the fort authored by Deepak Goswami. Gives you a sense of life those days.

15. Area was called Bada Bazaar. Constructed mid-19th century. It was one of the main administrative officer of trade in Lakhpat up to the 1980`s. Plinth of the building was raised to take care of loading and unloading. Thanks to these towers phone and net connectivity was super.

16. Akbani Mahal belonged to the Memom family who originated from Sindh. Board says it all.

17. Pictorial presentation of Akbani Mahal excerpt from book by Gujarat Tourism. The complex consisted of 5 interconnected single and double storey houses. It was a wood and stone-carved housing complex.

18. Entrance to Akbani Mahal, gives you a sense of the grandeur. It is next to the Customs House.

19. Ruins of Akbani Mahal.

20. Motif at entrance of Akbani Mahal.

21. Father of guide and book author Deepak Goswami. Has a tea stall next to entrance. Nice and helpful person not to forget lovely tea that he made for us.

22. Entrance gate to fort - south west side. Actually gate takes you to an old temple but not in good condition.

23. Gurudwara inside fort. Guru Nanak and his son Baba Sri Chand stayed at Lakhpat. Gurudwara has their wooden footwear. Offer my pranams.

24. Locals outside entrance to fort. Generally found people in Kutch to be smiling and happy.

25. . Board about Ghosh tomb says it all.

26. Tomb referred to in earlier.

27. According to local tradition the water colour of pond changed after it was blessed by Ghosh M. Since then it is supposed to have medicinal properties for those who bathe in it.

28. Board about Hathkeshwar Mandir. Current temple small one so not showing picture of temple.

29. Excerpt from book shows Heritage Walk Lakhpat. Do call Deepak Goswami - he would help you enjoy the walk.

30. Sunset at Lakhpat. Loved it. Lots of fields outside the fort.

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