Forget the Bolivian salt fields of Salar de Uyuni , we have here a perfect competitor ,our own salt fields right in the westernmost region of India – Rann of Kutch. Positioned between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the River Indus in western India ,the ‘Rann of Kutch’ is a vast area of salt marsh lands located in the bio-geographic area in Kutch district of Gujarat, India from where it has derived its name -‘Kutch’ .The other word ‘Rann’ means the “salt marsh” .This awe-inspiring natural wonder remains seasonally marshy round the year ,but before the onset of monsoon, its shallow marshy pits dries up ,turning the whole vista for miles into a dreamy ,snowy white flat lands.
Pic Credit-Roaming Clan
November is the month,when this majestic natural wonder plays host to the annual event of Rann of Kutch festival .Otherwise known as the Rann Utsav ,it is unlike any run-of-the-mill tourist event ,but is an experience of a lifetime. This 3 months long festival showcases a magnificent kaleidoscope of Kutch region that brims profusion of nature’s beauty, culture and tradition .The distinctive folk dances , soul touching music of Kutch and great food amid the vast desert expense are some of the many prime attraction of this festival . During the full moon nights of the winters under the awe-inspiring and distinctively contrasting landscape ,this festive extravaganza brims with hospitality, vigor and rich aroma of the area.
Pic Credit-FootLoose Dev
The affluent handicraft culture of the region like folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, Bandhani sarees and traditional ornaments will definitely dazzle everyone. Much akin to Kutch culture these intricate arts and crafts showcases Kutch’s brilliance of diversity .
The finale of the Rann festival is put up in a make shift tent-city near a small village called Dhordo .The wonderfully arranged tent city at Dhordo provides every possible amenity that one can think off.It comprises of more than 400 AC and non-AC Swiss tents that it caters for the massive accommodation needs.There are lot more on offer for it’s visitors, than these Swiss tents .
The Swiss tents
Inside the Luxurious Swiss Tents
Pic credit-Rann Utsav – Choice Tours & Travels
The massive areas has its own adventure zones ,a huge market place inside an equally huge exhibition center and two enormous dining hall that serves super delicious foods and beverages.The sea of extraordinary choices will leave it’s visitors dazzled and confused at the same time .It is here everyone celebrates the festival of life and not everything that is seen can be described ,in few finite words .The whole experience of being a part of the festival vibe and experiencing the rich culture along with great food and a great travel partner, in itself will be something that will definitely be close to every one’s heart.
So when are you planning to visit and embrace “Khushboo Gujarat Ki”?
Fact Files On Rann Utsav
– The festival is organized by the Gujarat Tourism .
– The best time for experiencing Rann Utsav is from the month of November till early February.
– Special full moon night packages are available on request . Visit here to know more .
How to Reach
To reach Rann of Kutch one has to reach the city of Bhuj which is at a distance of around 425 km from capital City of Gujarat, Ahmedabad and 75 km from its closest domestic airport ,Bhuj. Flights to Bhuj airport are not many but have a good connectivity with all major Indian airports.Once in Bhuj city you can hire a private taxi to reach Rann of Kutch . The schedule and timing of the flight details to Bhuj can be found here.
1) Great Rann of Kutch – A large area of salt marshland, is located in the District of Kutch
2) Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary – approx 100 km from Bhuj, this sanctuary is the largest seasonal saline wetland areas. Amust visit place for a safari.
3) Aaina Mahal – Otherwise known as ‘Hall of Mirrors’ is a beautiful 18th century palace which houses a handicraft museum . 56Km from Bhuj city center.
4) Prag Mahal – Located ajacent to the Aaina Mahal it is a palace built in Italian Gothic style that looks more appropriate in France.
5) Hamirsagar lake -An excellent place to cool off on a hot afternoon . 56Km from Bhuj’s city center .
6) Narayan Sarovar – It is said to be a combination of 5 holy lakes of Hinduism namely Man Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar, and considered to be the most significant religious sites for Hindus. 135km from city center.
7) Siyot Caves – Buddhist caves which lies 127 km away from bhuj city center. Near Narayan Sarovar .
Featured Image credit-www.rannutsav.com