A Bhunga house with a courtyard
A Bhunga house has low windows for cross ventilation
A cluster of Bhunga houses
Painted exterior walls of the house in the Bhunga cluster
Painted walls of a Bhunga
Low hanging roof shields the walls against the sunlight
Their frugal belongings are neatly stacked inside the Bhunga
Mud-and-Mirror work adorns the interior walls of a Bhunga
Mud-and-Mirror work also accommodates the belongings stored inside a Bhunga
Storage spaces are built into the walls and adorned with mud-mirror work
Spiral frame on top of which the thatched roof is built
A Rabari elder with his grand children inside a Bhunga
Bhungas are traditional houses unique to the Kutch region in Gujarat. The houses are circular walled with thatched roof. They are known for their structural stability in earthquakes and for being climate responsive. It also protects against sandstorms and cyclonic winds.
It is constructed using locally available materials like clay, bamboo, timber, etc. Structurally the roof is placed on two thick wooden posts placed across the circular walls. These two posts bear the weight of the roof. Wooden framed windows are set at a lower level for cross ventilation. The low hanging roofs cover the walls against direct sunlight and add to the insulation from the environment. The thatched roof is built on top of the walls resting on a spiral frame forming a cone.
The traditional bhunga requires periodic maintenance, a regular application of lipai or lime plastering to the walls and floor, and the replacement of the dried grass on the roof. The exterior walls are adorned with colourful paintings while the interiors are decorated with exquisite mud and mirror work.