it is also strategically important from defense and security point of view.
Kutch lies rather isolated from the rest of Gujarat and is divided into three main parts, the central main habitable land, Little Rann and Big Rann.
The nomadic pastoralists are certainly the most interesting and their links can be traced on one side to Marwar and Mewar (regions of Rajasthan), Saurashtra and, on the other side, Sindh and beyond to Afghanisthan, Iran and Central Asia.
The total population of Kachchhis around the world is around 1 crore 10 lakhs (11 million) spread out in India, Pakistan, Africa, US, UK and Canada.
In Kutch, after the monsoon rains and their year’s wanderings, they celebrate all marriages on one day only, that of Gokul Ashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Presenting a fascinating amalgam of Indian and Dutch styles of architecture, the Aaina Mahal is definitely worth a visit.
The walls of the main hall are covered with mirrors all around, and except for a narrow strip used for walking, the entire space has been beautifully utilized to form a pleasure pool.
The last day of the fair coincides with the Shivaratri festival, for which a grand fair is organized at Dhang.
Here local people, dressed in colorful, traditional costumes, congregate to pay homage at the shrine to Mekan Dada, which incidentally, or rather curiously, has a Shivalinga on its premises.
The other main group of pastoralists consists of two dozen nomadic and semi-nomadic Muslim groups who trace their roots from Sindh and beyond. The others are smaller and live in Banni area, a low-lying, sixteen hundred square kilometers pastureland close to the salt marshes of the Great Rann of Kutch, and also in the surrounding areas.