The Legend of the Black Hills: Kala Dungar, Gujarat

Bhuj, Gujarat

Kala Dungar also known as Kalo Dungar is the highest point in the Kutch district situated in Western Gujarat. Kala Dungar literally means Black Hill in Gujarati and is situated at a height of 1516 feet above sea-level. Kalo Dungar lies in close proximity of about 25 km from Khavda village which is the closest settlement from these black hills.

Public transport to Kala Dungar is highly unreliable. The most preferred mode of transport to reach Kala Dungar is by hiring a vehicle from Bhuj which is at a distance of 75 km.

For cheaper options one could take a local bus from Bhuj to Khavda village and then hire or share a jeep to Kala Dungar. It should be kept in mind that this option may vary depending on the availability of jeeps from Khavda. It is recommended to make prior bookings for vehicle and accommodation if one wishes to spend the night at Kala Dungar.

It is best to visit Kala Dungar before sun down to avoid getting lost on the secluded roads leading to these hills. A day trip from Bhuj to Kala Dungar is more than sufficient to explore around the hills.  

One can also reach Kala Dungar from Ahmedabad and Mumbai by road or by rail. The nearest bus stop and railway station are both situated at Bhuj. The nearest airport is also situated in Bhuj.

The most famous attraction here is the 400-year-old highly revered Datatreya temple where the main deity is that of Lord Datatreya who is considered to be an incarnation of the Hindu holy trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

As per the legend and local beliefs, when Lord Datatreya walked on earth he rested on these black hills where he encountered a bunch of hungry jackals to whom he offered his body as food. As these jackals started feeding on the lord, his body kept regenerating. To mark this phenomenon a temple was built honouring the sacrifice of Lord Dattatreya.

In order to continue this practice, the temple priests over the last four centuries have been feeding the jackals every day at noon. To mark the start of the feeding session the priest intimates the jackals by banging on a plate with a huge spoon.

To this date there has never been a single recorded incident of these wild jackals harming any human near the temple area. Plenty of travellers visit the Kala Dungar every noon to witness this unnatural event.

Another attraction on the way to Kala Dungar is the magnetic field where one can stop their vehicle at a specified spot and witness the vehicle moving against the gravitational force, up the slope at a speed of 20 km per hour.

Kala Dungar is nothing but a number of small black hills covered in thick forests and hence there are no major settlements near these hills. There is one dharamshala as an accommodation option for people who wish to spend a night where only basic food such as rice, roti, dal and vegetable are available.

Kala Dungar gives a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch which adds to the beauty of these magnificent hills. It is a must visit destination for anyone visiting Kutch.

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