A small town 8km southeast of Bhuj, Bhujodi is a major textile centre in Kutch, Gujarat. As of today, it is inhabited by 1200 weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of whom belong to the Vankar community. These inhabitants are the reason why the textile handicraft production is still alive as an occupation. If you lurk around and are interested; these people let you watch them work and weave magic with colours.
It’s a town which is completely about art and craft, so much so that about a kilometer from Bhujodi, a corporate non-profit wing called the Ashapura Crafts Park, helps artisans display and sell their work and organise dance and music events on weekends. Shrujan is another local non-profit organisation that was set up 40 years ago to allow women to market their work better and earn a living from it. The Shrujan campus makes for an interesting place to visit: with all the embroidery exhibits, a production centre and excellent examples of local architecture.
The most prominent of them is the Vande Mataram Memorial built by the Ashapura Foundation. Again a non-profit initiative of the Ashapura Group; the primary structure of the museum is modelled on “Sansad Bhavan” (Indian Parliament Building) and was constructed over 4 years ago with a mélange of inputs from prominent historians, architects, sculptors and artists.
The Vande Mataram Memorial is a unique national monument seeking to immortalise the most important episodes in India’s freedom struggle from the British Rule. Vande Mataram uses a combination of art; architecture and technology to create an immersive experience which helps us re-live the journey to independence first-hand. It is a must visit for every traveller who wants to understand history at a deeper level and is all for national pride and belonging.