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Dholavira Traveller FAQs
I guess you have already checked the posts regarding Bird Watching as well as the main travelogue about the IVC ruins at Dholavira. Now I am trying to construct a comprehensive guide for visiting Dholavira.
Where exactly is Dholavira located?
It is inside an island called Khadir amidst the desolated salt plains of the Rann of Kutch. But it is so remote that it takes a long time to reach it even from Bhuj, the biggest city in Kutch.
How to reach Dholavira?
Dholavira has to be reached by road. But the good thing is that the roads are extremely good. Assuming that you are already in Kutch, you can hire cabs from Bhuj but it is a long way and I personally feel it is a pointless expense. You get buses from Bhuj all the time to a place called Rapar, which is the nearest big town and takes around five hours. From Rapar you get regular government as well as private buses that take around three hours to reach Dholavira, which are actually a small village and mostly the last stop for the buses. You get buses from early morning till late evening.
On the other hand, if you are doing a standalone trip to Dholavira, you don’t have to go all the way to Bhuj. You can directly reach Bhachau on a train, and move to Rapar and so on. Check the map for a better understanding.
Returning from Dholavira
Returning is a bit tricky because the last bus for Rapar leaves Dholavira at 12:30 PM and nothing after that. So, be careful in this regard. You can reach the previous day and spend the night OR reach early morning, hurriedly visit the site and take this last bus.
Mobile and internet network in Dholavira
I think it is generally well connected in terms of mobile phones. Most major SIMs should work. But my internet dongle failed to find anything.
Taking Personal vehicles, bikes and cars to Dholavira
In case you want to drive or ride yourself, you should enjoy it because, as stated before, roads are smooth, straight, and not really crowded.
Nearest Train Stations to Dholavira?
Stations like Bhachau and Samkhiali Junction and pretty close from Rapar. All Bhuj bound trains from other parts of India should stop here. From the you can get buses to Rapar and then to Dholavira. I had a return ticket from Bhuj station but I realized that there was neither rthe time nor the need to get back to that place. So, I rushed back to Bhachau from Rapar and caught the same train after a couple of hours.
Where to stay in Dholavira?
There is practically only one place to stay called the Toran Tourist Complex, which is a government rest house. I have seen some other facilities being built, but not sure how to contact them. As for Toran, one can just call them up for booking (The number I have is 097277 84044, not sure if it has changed now). It has nice cottages built in the shape of traditional huts with both AC and without AC. I paid INR 500 for a night for the non-AC room. Carry your photo-IDs and cash. There are no ATMs out there either but the staff if generally helpful.
Food facilities in Dholavira
Out there, the tourist complex is the only source of food. Menu depends on what is available and what can they cook. If you are not spending the night, carry some light food from Rapar itself.
How to reach the main site at Dholavira?
It is a brisk walk of a Kilometer or so from the tourist complex. Unless you are as adventurous as me, just keep walking through the road till you locate the entry point and the museum.
What other archaeological sites can I visit in Gujarat?
Archaeological wonders of Gujarat does not end with Dholavira although chronologically it is the earliest, along with Lothal near Ahmedabad. If you like history and monuments, there are many other delights scattered across the state. The best known ones probably are the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park and Rani ni Vav of Patan. Here is a great post about both these UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Gujarat for you to read and plan your next trip to this state. Also, in case you think I should explore any other such site in Gujarat, leave a comment and let me know.