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Zainabad Tourism and Travel Guide

History of Zainabad

Zainabad derives its name, from Nawab Zainkhan, who ruled the region about a century ago. The Malik family, ruled Dasada for nearly 500 years, from the mid 15th century to 1947. Descendants of a famous religious leader of Multan,Zainabad the dynasty was founded in the 15th century, when the descendants of this great leader came down towards Cambay, from where they planned to embark on a journey to Mecca. As fate would have it, they killed a sacred cow/nilgai at Patdi. Angered, the Rajputs put the entire caravan to sword. But a little boy survived, who grew up to become a member of Sultan Ahmed Shah's army. He was given the Jagir of Dasada, in return for services in various conquests and crushing revolts of chieftains. Relics of our ancestors can be seen in Dasada like the carved wooden Darbargadh fort facing the lake, the dargahs and tombs of early rulers, British colonial period Fatima Manzil. It was much later that Zainabad separated from Dasada, with Dasada retaining its cultural ethos.

How to Reach Zainabad

By air, Ahmedabad is the nearest airport at 100 Km and is well connected to different parts of the country.

By rail, the nearest railhead is at Viramgam at 33 Km from Viramgam there are frequent buses to Dasada. But the convenient railhead is at Ahmedabad at 100 Km, which is well connected to Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi.

By road, Dasada is 33 Km from Viramgam and 93 Km from Ahmedabad by road.

Shopping in Zainabad

Zainabad being a little town close to the remote Rann of Kutch, which has a tremendously rich tradition of art and craft. Vibrant color and intricate details characterize the handicrafts of this region. The tribes inhabiting this region are skilled in making fantastic pottery, terracotta toys, which make for wonderful shopping in Zainabad.

Embroidery is a quintessential handicraft in this area. The womenfolk in the region create exquisite embroidery on clothes. Besides, they excel in patchwork and appliqué too. Mirror work on fabric is also an outstanding specialty. Pick Zainabadup garments, decorative curtains embellished in such handicrafts while shopping in Zainabad.

The furniture and woodcrafts of the region also gained fane. Wooden sofa sets, chairs, centre tables are popular items for those who want to do some shopping in Zainabad.

You may not find plush shopping joints in Zainabad. But there are several cooperatives and guilds formed by the local artisans. The government also runs Emporia for selling the art and craft works of this region where you would get wonderful variety and authentic articles.

Culture of Zainabad

The culture of Zainabad has a blend of both, Saurashtra and Kutch, making it very unique. This is reflected in the architecture, arts and crafts of this region. The people are warm and friendly and farming is the main occupation. It is endowed with rich and diverse tribal culture. Colourful pastoral communities like the Rabaria / Bharwads can be seen herding cattle, milking livestock and churning butter. The region also has semi-nomadic Bajanias, the Sidi families of Abysinnian origin and the Padhars. Each year, this region also plays host to many nomadic tribes like the Jat who come from the western most parts of Gujarat with their camels and the Halaris who come in from the Southern most parts of Gujarat with their sheep. All these tribes wear beautiful embroidered clothes and exquisite silver jewelry. Handicrafts like pottery, handloom weaving, embroidery etc can be witnessed in this region.

Monuments of Zainabad

The Wild Ass Sanctuary
The Little Rann of Kachchh, spans an area of approximately 4850 sq.km. Most of the sanctuary consists of salt plains, caused by flooding of the Rann, by sea, river and rain water. These plains are punctuated by highlands called beyts, above the monsoon flood mark, where scrub flora and grasslands offer a refuge to wildlife. The Asiatic wild ass is a handsome chestnut brown member of the horse family (Equus), with striking white underparts and a deep mane. Well muscled and a powerful runner, it is generally seen in small bachelor herds, but occasionally you can see a lone male or a female with its young. During the monsoon-breeding season, fights break out among the males, with plenty ofZainabad kicking and biting. Chinkara-the graceful Indian gazelle and the Nilgai also thrive in the Little Rann. Both desert and Indian foxes, Jackals, the Indian blacknaped hare, and the pale and long eared hedgehogs are also found. Bird life is prolific in the Little Rann of Kachchh. The spotted and Indian sand grouse, Hubara, lark, desert warbler, desert wheatear, pied wheatear, Indian courser, quail, falcon, gray francolin, vultures, harrier, short toed eagle and the aquila eagle are the interesting birds found in this region.

Modhera.
Modhera is famous for the sun temple. The Modhera temple has resemblance with the Konark and Khajuraho temples in architectural style. Built in 1026-27 by King Bhimdev, it was partially damaged when Mahmud of Ghazni raided it. The Sanctum Sanctorum, was designed such, that the rays of the rising and setting sun on the day of equinox, fell on the bejewelled statue built by the Suryavanshi Solanki Rajputs, in honour of their ancestral God. The sculptures on the walls of the temple resemble the Konark and the Khajuraho temples.

DHRANGADRA, HALVAD & VADHVAN - The historic Jhala Rajput capitals, still retain their old monuments. The fort of Halwad, with its intricate jarokhas, facing the lake, and the chattries of the Jhala Rajputs, are worth a glimpse.

JHINJUVADA - The old fort of Jhinjuwada, is strategically situated. It must have protected the Solanki Rajput kingdom, from invaders travelling across the coastal creeks and saline plains of the Rann of Kutch.

PATAN - Established during the Solanki era, this town is famous for its architectural wonders. A pretty town with lots of old walls, gates, temples and monuments, the greatest reminder of the golden period of Gujarat, is the Rani-ki-vav step wall.

PATDI - One of the few Patel family ruled states in India, Patdi was the 12th century capital of the Jhala Rajput rulers,before they moved to Halwad following a peaceful firman, issued by the Sultans of Ahmedabad.

VIRAMGAM - Medieval fort walls surround Viramgam town. The town features in the history of the Solanki Rajputs, the Gujarat Sultanate, the Jagirs, old houses and Havelis can be seen in the town.

NALSAROVAR BIRD SANCTUARY
More than a 100 sq Km in area, Nalsarovar is a birdwatchers paradise, with home to numerous migratory and indigenous birds. The huge lake and its islands, attract huge flocks of bird, especially in winter. Padhars and Bharwads have settlements along the lake. The nearby fields are good for seeing sarus cranes, quails and partridges. One can take a taxi or bus to watch the Ducks, Geese, White storks, Rosy Pelicans and Flamingoes at the sanctuary. Two ancient temples of interest are also located within the sanctuary.