Kalo Dungar or Black Hill
Kalo Dungar is the highest point in Kutch, Gujarat, India, at 462 m. It is located at 97 km from District headquarters of Bhuj and 25 km from nearest town Khavda. 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. Two ranges are available in the Black Hill: Kala Hill and Gora Hill (White Hill). Kala Hill is the northern hill and Gora hill is the southern hill.
As per the legend and local beliefs when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. 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. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
Another legend is that, Kala Hill was named after a saint whose face was blackened by the cruelty of a woman’s wicked eye.
This is probably the only place in Kutch from where a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch is possible. Since it is located very near to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed.
The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya 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.
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.
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. The team of experts from the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), and Institute of Seismological Research, Gandhinagar and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur studied the phenomenon. It is concluded that the vehicle hurtle down fast due to the more gradient of the slope.
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. Sunsets are most cheering of all, as the temperature drops and the crying of the winds take over, once the sun dips into the land.