Kadiya Dhro: The hidden Grand Canyon of India

Kadiya Dhro in Bhuj, Gujarat, was not on Google Maps until The New York Times selected it as one of the ‘52 Best Places to Visit in 2021’. For centuries, the Bhaiad River has cut across layers of shale and sandstone to create this beautiful canyon

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Kadiya Dhro: The hidden Grand Canyon of India

Kadiya Dhro: The hidden Grand Canyon of India. Pic: Gujarat Tourism

About 32 km from Bhuj in Gujarat, Kadiya Dhro (also Mamai Dev Kaliya Dhrow) is a hidden gem where history, geology and nature come together to create the ‘Grand Canyon of India’. This place was not on Google Maps until The New York Times selected it as one of the "52 Best Places to Visit in 2021".

Surrounded by dry deciduous forests, Kadiya Dhro was discovered by traveller Varun Suchday during the lockdown in 2020. He later entered it in a New York Times competition about unknown places. Kadiya Dhro was selected and featured in the publication and that’s when the world began to learn about it.

A canyon is a deep cleft between cliffs formed due to weathering and erosive activity of rivers over hundreds of years. At Kadiya Dhro, Bhaiad River and its tributaries have cut across layers of shale and sandstone over many years, resulting in a beautiful landscape. 

Kadiya Dhro is to India what the Grand Canyon is to the USA -- one of the most beautiful examples of arid-land erosion.

The layers of eroded sandstone and shale have resulted in a mélange of colours. As the sun shines on them, the colours look vibrant, ranging from yellow to orange and blue. The layers also create interesting patterns on the water-carved walls of the rocks at this offbeat tourism destination. 

Also Read: Wari Chora: Meghalaya's unexplored canyon

An artisan's carving

The Bhaiad River flows for about five to six months in a year and then turns into small ponds scattered across Kadiya Dhro. These ponds are well-known for being homes to fish and also crocodiles, which can also live in saltwater. So a dip in the waters can be dangerous.

The word Kadiya Dhro is derived from two Kutchi words -- Kadiya means an artisan and Dhrow refers to a small pond. With its landscape replete with colourful shale and sandstone, Kadiya Dhro definitely seems like an artisan’s work.

Also Read: Kalo Dungar: Gujarat’s magnetic hill where vehicles go up the slope

Kadiya Dhro was discovered in 2020. Pic: Gujarat Tourism

While  Kutch has been on the global tourism map for many decades, Kadiya Dhro remains pristine and untouched by travellers. It is not only an interesting site for lovers of nature and geology but also offers ample scope for trekking. 

It is devoid of pollution and population. Local tribal people have been living in nearby villages for centuries in harmony with nature.  

The ideal time to visit Kadiya Dhro is from November to February as the sun is warm and the weather supports a day trip. With Bhuj being just about an hour’s drive from Kadiya Dhro, tourists can visit other attractions in the area.

The famous Rann Of Kutch, Hamirsar Lake, Aina Mahal and Mandvi Beach are among other places that can be explored along with Kadiya Dhro.

Also Read: The abandoned mansions of Sidhpur

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