You may have travelled to snow laden hill stations, ancient rock cut temples and deep jungles. But have you seen the full moon rising upon the white sands of Kutch sparkling it like millions of little diamonds?
Rann of Kutch is one of the most remarkable places on planet earth. It has received less attention from tourists than it deserves. However all that is changing, thanks to the Kutch Rann Utsav.
Rann Of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is a strange land. It is the largest salt desert in the world. Spread across miles upon miles – all you see is white sand and arid land. Actually this is a salt marsh. It covers a huge area encompassing the Thar Desert and about 10,000 square miles in Gujarat and reaching up to the Indus River.
But not every part of this land is dry. In certain areas one can find hills, bushes and other desert vegetation. The Rann of Kutch also prides to have its own mangroves lining the shore of Gujarat and the Arabian Sea. Actually it is quite surprising to find mangroves and desert in one area.
Rann of Kutch has its own kind of plants and creatures that have adapted to its climate. The wild ass of the Rann of Kutch is one of the most precious species in India.
The salt desert is home to the tribe of Kuttchis. These people have lived here for thousands of years, developing their own colourful culture and lifestyle.
Crisscrossing this white sand land are numerous rivers of Rajasthan and Gujarat. They flow into the Rann of Kutch and immerse in the Arabian Sea.
Although the Rann of Kutch is an exceptional place for the tourists, not many have got the chance to explore it. The Kutch Rann Utsav, an initiative by the Government of Gujarat is a great opportunity to experience this unique landscape.
It is said that nature turns more beautiful at night and it is certainly true at the Rann of Kutch. People speak of admiring the white marble of Taj Mahal on a full moon night, but Rann of Kutch will probably win.
When you visit the Rann of Kutch, first make time for the sunset. Take a seat and you can see the sun go down and the moon rise in one frame. As the colours of the sky change, the land reflects it making it look like one big painting.
As the moon rises in the sky, the white sands which are in fact salt particles start to shine in the moonlight. Millions of tiny diamonds scintillate under your feet. And if it is the full moon, the night will be speechless for you. It truly is once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Rann Of Kutch Utsav In Full Moon
The Rann of Kutch Utsav runs in the winter season when the temperatures are cool in daytime and the tourist can enjoy the landscape and adventures. It runs from November to February and if you plan to visit here are the dates for you:
1st November 2018 to 28th February 2019
1st November 2019 to 28th February 2020
1st November 2020 to 28th February 2021
1st November 2021 to 28th February 2022
This festival has gained popularity among Indians as well as among foreign tourists. Celebrations and tourist rush is at peak during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Although the favourite tourist activity is to watch the breathtaking sunrise and sunset in the Rann of Kutch, but there is a much more for the traveller.
The Kutch Rann Utsav is a melody of colours, culture and art. Traditional folk artists perform song and dance. The Kuttchis display and sell their beautiful handmade crafts. Local artists perform various feats for the tourists.
An exotic fair runs throughout November to February. There is a lot to take back home – right from locally handcrafted jewellery in gold and silver to perfect wood crafted figurines. Gujarati craft artists are world famous for their mirror work on fabric and in this fair you would get designs worth a royal party. It a nutshell, it is a wonderful exhibition of ethnic culture.
There is a lot of scope for adventure in the Rann of Kutch Utsav. Go for a hot air balloon ride. This would a breathtaking and faster way to experience the Rann of Kutch. The landscape makes wonderful photographs.
The Rann of Kutch Utsav gives you the chance to have adventurous activities in the white desert. You can go for paramotoring above the white sands. If you have always wanted to ride a Trikke, here is your chance to ride the three wheeled vehicle.
Want to see Rann of Kutch closely? Go for a leisurely camel ride across the white desert. If you want it faster and more excitement, get an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) and ride freely on the wide terrains of Kutch.
Tents are made for the tourists in the Rann of Kutch Utsav. These tents can give you everything from comfort to luxury. These beautiful tents are thoughtfully constructed around a theme each year. The interior is decorated in traditional fine arts and painting. The tents are so artistically done that it will surely win a tourist’s heart. Cost of tents range from Rs. 3900 to Rs. 8100 depending upon the type of tent, from Non AC, Swiss Premium to Rajwadi Suite options. You can also go for a Rann of Kutch Utsav package depending on your holiday.
The Rann of Kutch Utsav also gives you an opportunity to plan your special events there. You can celebrate birthdays to weddings in this unforgettable setting.
Rann of Kutch Utsav celebrates nature and humanity harmoniously. While you enjoy the natural beauty of the white desert, you also enjoy the indigenous art and tradition. Tourists from all over the world enjoy an unforgettable event.
There are also sightseeing opportunities nearby. Visit the Kutch Museum, the oldest museum in Gujarat. It was made by Maharao Khengarji. This museum houses some very rare scripts and valuable pieces of tribal history. Do not miss the magnificent Vijay Vilas Palace.
Pay a visit to the Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial built in the memory of the great freedom fighter and social reformist.
If you want more adventure go climb the Kala Dungar, the highest point in Kutch. It is a long way to cross the dunes and scale the bush covered hill but the view from the top is worth the effort. Do watch the sunset from the zenith.
Not very far in the Kutch region is the Mandvi Beach. This beach is near to the Arabian Sea, set on the banks of the River Rukmavati. Mandvi Beach is serene and calm like no other.
Gandhi Nu Gam is a must visit for all tourists. One can see how the tribal people have been building earthquake resistant huts for centuries. Their simple hut with thatched roof and beautifully paintings and mirror art have become world class examples of prudent building and architecture.
How to reach Rann of Kutch?
If you want to visit the Rann of Kutch, avoid summertime as the temperatures get too high. November to February, the duration for the festival is ideal for tourists.
To reach Rann of Kutch, you have to travel till Bhuj. Bhuj is well connected by train from Maharashtra, and a few from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. There are also a few flights to Bhuj by Jet Airways and Air India Regional. Kutch is 73 km away from Bhuj. Take a local transport or hire a cab from Bhuj.
The Rann of Kutch Utsav is generally held around Dhordo. Dhordo is the gateway to Kutch and there are a few home stays available for the tourist.
If you want to book a package in the Rann of Kutch Utsav, click here.
Image Credits: www.gujarattourism.com/fairs-festivals/cultural-festivals/rann-utsav, Nat Geo Traveller India