Kutch district (also spelled
as Kachchh) is
a district of Gujarat state
in western India. Covering
an area of 45,652 km²,it is
the largest district of India.
The population of Kutch is
21 Lakh, literacy rate is
59.79%. People of this
region are of very low or
low income class. It is also
earthquake prone area.
Divided in tw0
Rann of kuchchh – wet
and dry region
settlements. Salt flat
lands in summer and
flooded in rainy
Kuchchh – Dry area
with settlement both
Topography -Whole Kutch region is flat with grasslands, not much vegetation.
Ruins of Indus valley civilization are found in some regions of Kutch.
Massive stone fortification, Harappan pottery, two script bearing seals, one of
steatite and other of copper were also found; terracotta sealing was also found.
rural house in
What is Bhonga?
The Bhonga is a traditional construction type in the Kutch district of the Gujarat
state in India, which has a very high earthquake risk. A Bhonga consists of a single
cylindrically shaped room. The Bhonga has a conical roof supported by cylindrical
walls. Bhonga construction has existed for several hundred years. This type of house
is quite durable and appropriate for prevalent desert conditions.
Masonry wall is made
of adobe blocks and
plaster is also from
mud covered by cow
dunk, lime etc.
Roof is made of
Vertical wooden post
Vertical wooden post
Inner diameter ranges from 3 to 6m.
The thick walls, made of mud, keep the interior cool when the
temperature rises to 40+ degrees Celsius in summer and
warm when it drops below 5 degrees in winter.
Culture is revealed in
the decoration of the
Bunga (outside as well
Painting on exterior walls Glass designing on interior walls
It performed very well in the
recent M7.6 Bhuj earthquake in
2001. Very few Bhongas
experienced significant damage
in the epicentre region, and the
damage that did occur can be
mainly attributed to poor
quality of the construction
materials or improper
maintenance of the structure. It
has also been observed that the
failure of Bhongas in the last
earthquake caused very few
injuries to the occupants due to
the type of collapse.
2. Circular closed space
3. Open gathering space
Room for men
design Plinth(otla) –
• Define the domain of the home and the place for outdoor
• Water does not enter in house in rainy season.
• About 500mm high.
Rooms are not attached to avoid cracks because cracks may
cause serious damage during earthquake.
ConstructionTechniques generally used “COB”. In these
methods a large Lump is roughly moulded into the shape of a
huge elongated egg.
The usual size is anything between 12 to 18 inches. 30-40cm long and 6 inches in
A row of these cobs of mud are laid nearly side by side. Preferably somewhat
pressed together. Then another row of cobs is laid on top.
When three or four courses have been laid, one above the other, the sides
are smoothened over so that the holes and cracks disappear.
Placing wooden beam Setting kingpost on
Placing the rafters
Filling bamboo rafters Setting the thatched roof Securing the roof with rope
Keeping building typology in
mind people are using modern
materials and construction
techniques , making it more
Local resorts are of same
Providing multiple floors
and function to it.
The architecture of Kutch region relates to the socio-economic
setup, the cultural identities and a good climatic responsiveness.A
good number of climate responsive design features are revealed
during the study of the traditional architecture including
temperature control, enhancing natural ventilation, protection from
natural calamities such as flood, earthquake etc.
However certain features that lack in the traditional housing are
mostly fire proneness and termite infestation due to usage of non-
treated material and lack of damp proofing.