A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE TRADITIONAL GUJARATI HABITAT
The famous MUD-MIRROR ART FROM GUJARAT- is well discussed at OBSIDIANSPACE. This artwork contributes much to India’s rich cultural heritage and being an integral part of folk art it must be taken care of. Lippan and Mud-mirror work together comes out to be an amazing example of Gujarati craftsmanship which not only adds to the folk heritage but also gives local artisans an amazing source of livelihood.
Flourished in the vast stretches of the world’s greatest salt desert, the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, this art is known locally as the MUD MIRROR ART or WORK. Today this traditional work is performed by various communities and all have their own stroke. Modern Bhunga huts are common in Hodka & Dhordo village which are best places to stay during Kutch Rann Utsav.
ABOUT “BHUNGA” –
“Bhungas” are traditional dwellings unique to the Kutch region in Gujarat. These mud-huts are filled with rustic charm and traditional elegance which makes every one of us fall in love with them. Not just aesthetically pleasing, they are examples of climate-friendly structures. They are so well engineered that they keep home cool in summers and warm in winters. They can withstand harsh sun, sandstorms, and even Earthquakes.
“Bhunga” mud houses are well decorated and ornamented with the beautiful work of Lipan. These marvelous structures are –
- Architecturally sound
- Artistically infused with mirror work on the outer as well as inner walls.
Fortunately, I came across some very great art enthusiasts and Lippan work artists from Gujarat – Rucha Ji, Hardik Ji, and their son Rutam working actively in this profession for more than 19+ years now. They are working dedicatedly in the exposure and promotion of this intricate age-old art amongst the local public. As now everyone of us is surrounded by a hectic concrete jungle, their art studio “MUDDITATION“, helps us to relive the craft and traditions from the past creating an utmost ambiance of calm and comfort.
We are delighted to feature the exclusive BHUNGA collection of MUDDITATION. These Bhungas were made for a farmhouse at Rajkot. Here are the glimpses –
“BHUNGA” EXTERIORS –
The Bhunga huts are circular structures with mud walls and thatched roofs. The diameter of a Bhunga is approximately 18 feet and has a depth of foundation up to 24 inches. The walls are finished with Lippan Kaam.
“LIPPAN- KAAM” –
“Lippan” is actually a Gujarati term for the plastering process. In Bhunga huts walls are plastered with cow dung and mud to make them beautiful and strong. Lippan & Mud Mirror Art is basically different but nowadays netizens (especially social media pals) calls both are the same art.
“BHUNGA” INTERIORS –
The inside of Bhungas (mud houses) is adorned with the beautiful work of ABLAS or AABHLAS (small mirrors). These are popular Gujarati mirrors that beautifies traditional Kutchi apparels as wells as Bhunga walls. Aabhlas (Small Mirror) helps in the reflection of natural light, thus limiting the use of artificial light during the daytime. It also gives illusionary depth in a small place plus adds a liveliness when one sees himself in multiple small mirrors.
The wooden doors and windows are beautifully bordered with white color motifs along with the mirrors. These decorations help enhance the beauty of hut interiors altogether.
“BHUNGA” CONSTRUCTION –
The construction of “Bhunga” depends upon factors like –
- Client requirement
- Place of construction
- Motive of construction
- Availability of materials etc.
Traditionally, the people in the desert use local clay for preparing Bhunga structures/ walls. But, these days in cities, mostly clay is replaced by bricks as per the need of the client. Roofs though are still thatched and doors and windows are traditional.
Climate-wise, the following features, makes Bhunga hut unique especially in deserts-
- THATCHED ROOF- a thatched roof is lightweight and thus survives earthquakes.
- MUD WALLS- Helps in maintaining the temperature inside the hut.
- CONICAL CEILING- This creates good ceiling height which makes the central area quite spacious.
- SMALL OPENINGS- The door and window openings are small which is particularly useful during sandstorms.
Thatched roof is made of a wooden top dome using bamboo sticks. These sticks are tied together with dried grass rope. Moreover, a thick layer of grass is placed on the roof. Here the traditional mud wall is replaced with a typical red-brick wall.
WALL FINISHING –
After regular plastering (client requirement), the traditional Bhunga look is created by mixing cow dung with mud for wall plaster.
This LIPPAN KAAM gives an authentic feeling of centuries-old Gujarati habitats coming alive to us in our city dwellings. Here is the refreshing picture of well finished Bhunga hut after mud plastering –
INTRICATE DETAILING INSIDE “BHUNGA” HUT –
Here are some beautiful pics from MUDDITATION showcasing the intricacies inside Bhunga–
Gorgeous, In and Out….
The final touchups include patio seating, plantations, boundary walls etc complimenting the main structure- Bhunga huts. Outside structures are also plastered and painted, fabricating the traditional rustic essence along with modern comfort and luxuries.
FEATURED : MUDDITATION– http://www.mudditation.com/
SPECIAL MENTIONS: Mr. Hardik Goswami Ji
RELATED: MUD-MIRROR ART FROM GUJARAT-
AREN’T BHUNGA HUTS TRANQUELLIZING? HAVE YOU BEEN IN A BHUNGA HUT EVER? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS….. ENJOY READING.