If you’re planning to visit the historic city of Bhuj, the period from November till March is considered to be the best time for a holiday. The rainy season showers are over and the temperature in Bhuj ranges from a minimum of 8C to a maximum of 33C during this time, but the average is likely to be around 27C which is warm and pleasant. However, flights and accommodation are more expensive during this peak season, as several Hindu festivals take place including Navratri in October or November, Rannotsav in December and Makar Sankrati in January. If you’d like to be a part of the festive celebrations, it’s best to book flights to Bhuj well in advance as demand is likely to be high.
The shoulder season months of October and April are worth considering as the rains are not quite as heavy as they are during July, August and September and humidity and temperatures are lower. The low season is from June till September and temperatures are at their highest in May and June at around 38. July is the wettest month and the monsoon rains and humidity mean that Bhuj tends to be less busy at this time. However, if climate is not really an issue, there is still plenty to see and do, and cheap flights to Bhuj are more readily available.
Bhuj is an attractive holiday choice for many reasons, and the city certainly has something to appeal to everyone. If you’re interested in history and culture there is much to discover, while nature lovers who travel on flights to Bhuj can take advantage of the city’s proximity to numerous wildlife reserves in the beautiful Kutch region.
Bhuj is located in the far north-west of India’s Gujarat state and it was founded by local landowner and ruler Maharao Hamir in 1510. Just 30 miles (48 km) from the border with Pakistan, Bhuj is a picturesque and friendly destination. During the colonisation of India by the British, the city was an independent princely state and only officially became a part of India following independence in 1947.
The Pragmahal Palace dates from the 19th century, and it’s a magnificent example of Italian Gothic style architecture. Designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, the palace cost 3.1 million rupees to build and dozens of Italian craftsmen and artisans were involved. Be sure to visit Aaina Mahal in the palace compound, this exquisite ‘palace of mirrors’ has been fully renovated and it houses a crafts museum where arts and crafts from all over the Kutch region are on show. Bhuj is rightly noted for its wares and people come from all over India and further afield to buy beautifully embroidered clothing and slippers and a wide range of woven goods.
Hamirsar Lake in the centre of Bhuj is a delightful place to just sit and pass the time with locals and visitors, and the lake has served as the backdrop in several Bollywood movies. You must visit the Shree Swaminayam Temple near the lake; built entirely from marble, this shimmering white building is exquisite and a major attraction in the city.
Wildlife lovers will be in their element in Bhuj, and the city is the perfect base to explore the many sanctuaries and reserves in the Kutch including the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Wetland Conservation Reserve, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary and Banni Grasslands Reserve.
Bhuj is not a huge city so it is quite easy to walk around the centre where many of the famous attractions are located. One of the most popular ways to get around Bhuj is by auto-rickshaw or tuk-tuk and they can be found almost anywhere. You might like to hire a local taxi driver to act as your guide but do bargain to get the right price, particularly if it’s your first time. There are also bicycle hire stores around and cycling is a fun and effective way to see the city.
Bhuj Airport (BHJ) is located just over 3 miles (5 km) from the centre of the town. Although the airport is classed as domestic, there are two flights to Bhuj from Mumbai each day, allowing international travellers to reach the city easily. It is simple to get into Bhuj from the airport, and though there is no car rental or bus service, there are plenty of inexpensive taxis just outside the terminal. Although taxis into the city are relatively cheap, different drivers can tell you a range of fares so do agree what you are willing to pay before accepting the ride.