|Kutch, Gujara. Ichch|
|Bhuj and other areas., Gujarat Weather-Forecast.com|
In order to remain anonymous and to gather information secretly, MacMurdo got into the Kutch area in the guise of a Hindu monk under the name of of Ramanandi. He resided at Madhavrai's Temple in Anjar which became his center of activities. Obviously, his presence attracted lots of people and his fluency in the local language as well as familiarity with the local customs had an added advantage. People who knew him well called him Bhuriya Bava.
In the 1800s, people in this region were very much concerned about the menace of bandits from Vagad region. Similarly, at sea, piracy was equally disturbing and the owners of mercantile ships wanted this problem resolved soon. It was quite natural, the ruler who was preoccupied with so many administrative problems felt compelled to root out the problems of sea piracy in the Arabian Sea and bandits from Vagad region entering into North Gujarat. In 1816, MacMurdo contacted the ruler Rao Bharmalji II for, EIC and after negotiations, agreed to the suzeranity of the British. Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Bharmalji II (reign: 6 November 1814 − 25 March 1819) was the Rao of Kutch belonging to Jadeja Rajput dynasty. He became the head of Princely State of Kutch one month after the death of his father Rayadhan II.
Driven by greed to control over Kutch, in collusion with some of rebel Jadeja chiefs, the British troops led by Colonel East attacked Bhuj on 25 March 1819, and disposed Rao Bharmalji and his son Deshalji II, a minor was made the ruler of Kutch State. This paved the way for MacMurdo to assume the role of the British Resident at Bhuj in 1819. During Deshalji's minority, the affairs of the State were managed by the Council of Regency, consisting of of Jadeja chiefs under MacMurdo.
During his stay at Anjar, MacMurdo had a bungalow built which later came to be known as MacMurdo's Bungalow. It is famous for beautiful paintings from various episodes of the Ramayana. He developed keen interest in the paintings of the Ramayana, etc ., and invited the local artists to do the paintings on the walls of his bungalow. The themes included, the battle between Rama and Ravana, the burning of Lanka, Sita in Ashokavana, etc. Also included are the paintings of Sri Krishna - the lifting of Govardhana hills, his pranks with Gopis, etc. A surprising fact is the paintings were not done by the Hindu artists, but by the Muslim artists from the local Muslim Community. They did a good job with dedication and accuracy. No doubt, it is now a State Protected Monument. In 1819, the Kutch region suffered major damages and MacMurdo sent detailed reports on the impact of earthquakes in this area to the Bombay Residency. He wrote several books and reports regarding Sindh and Kutch regions.
MacMurdo died on 28 April 1820 at Varnu near Rann of Kutch and was buried close to the temple of Venudada located in the village. The apparent cause of his death was due to Cholera. That time the first Asiatic cholera pandemic was on, affecting many countries. His tomb reads as follows:
Captain James MacMurdo,
Resident in Cutch
Died of Cholera at Warnu
On 28 April,1820."