SHAAM E SARHD TOURISM CENTRE

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[one_half_last][alert-success]Architect: Sandeep Virmani[/alert-success]

Sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and implemented by the District Collector of Kutch, in collaboration with an NGO, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, this project was an attempt to have the people of Hodka show case their traditions, culture, region and history directly to the tourists. The Banni region is a vast grassland and a confluence of rich crafts from Islamic, Hindu and nomadic traditions. The challenge and opportunity for HSF was to not only use these crafts in the making of sham-e-sarhad, but involve their master artisans in the designing process as well.  Sham – e- Sarhad is owned and run by a village committee set up by the Panchayat. The local skills of various artisans were incorporated in the making of this facility.

The Utak, is the largest and most elaborateBhunga (circular room) in the hamlet. This is pride of place where the pastoralists treat their guests. Sham-e-sarhad is designed as the 13thhamlet of Hodko village, an Utak for the guests! A typical hamlet is a series of connected courts on an elevated plinth that houses the lineage of a single family. Typically, life is lived on the plinth with independent rooms to store belongings and sleep in the winter nights. The Meghwals (the Hindus) are the builders for the Muslim pastoralists and in return they get milk and leather that they craft into beautiful products.

Their elders tell us, the Bhunga was invented after the 1819 earthquake. The circular form works as an arch in the lateral movements of an earthquake strongly holding the walls together! As the sun baked earth bricks complete the plinths and rooms, the women embellish the space with mud murals, colored earth paintings and mirrors.

Sham-e-sarhad is an expression of the various artisans of Banni region. The project brought together the master artisans in wood carving, rounded lacquer, lime, thatch, weaves, and earth. The artisans in workshops reinvented their craft to design new products and embellishments to build Sham-e-sarhad.

Services provided included: Design of the resort; workshops with master artisans to design new building components; social facilitation with the Hodko Panchayat, Pariyatan samiti, and master artisans; construction and project management of the resort.

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