Hey its that time of the year – the time for Rann festival at Rann of Kutchh!
Panchii Nadiyaan Pavan ke jhoke…
Koi sarhad na inhe roke..
Remember the famous song from the movie Refugee. The love in the movie blossomed in the white sands of Kutchh. Winters are coming and so is the Rann Festival. I have been waiting for the entire year to plan my trip to the Rann of Kutchh. What could be the better time than the winter season to do it!
Rann of Kutchh or Great Rann of Kutchh as it is referred to stretches from India to Pakistan and is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The wide expanse of salt gets drenched in water during the rains. But you can walk on it during the rest of the seasons. Rann of Kutch is the second most visited place in India after Leh-Ladakh and thousands of tourists flock here during the Ran festival.
Let us explore this place in our today’s blog:
Best time to visit:
This year the Rann Utsav starts from 28th October 2019 and is until 23rd February 2020. This place has very extreme weather – brutally hot in summers and chilly cold in winters. These extreme weathers need to be avoided. Also check that the water of the rains has dried up so that you would be able to step in the white sands.
How to reach:
Bike rides are the most sought after way to reach here although there are other options too. The nearest airport is Bhuj. There are direct flights from Mumbai to Bhuj. Another option is to reach Ahmedabad by either flight/bus/train and from there travel to Bhuj by train or bus.
As the Rann of Kutch is along the Pakistan border, it is considered as a sensitive area and hence a permit is required to enter into it. There are two places to get the permit. You can either get it at Bhirandiyara village checkpoint which is about fifty kilometers from Bhuj or from the Gujrat Police DSP office in Bhuj near Jubilee grounds. For the permit you need to submit the photocopy of your ID and the originals too. Hence carry a valid photo id. Another way to get the permit is to get it online. Visit the below site for the same: https://rannpermit.com/
You will need to show the permit at BSF check post to enter the salt desert.
What to expect:
A white expanse of clear white sand is what people come here for. It is one of the biggest salt desert in the world. All you see is endless expanse of pure white salt.Wait for the sunset and probably it would be the best sunset you would have seen in your life. The whiteness would make it look surreal. People love to visit this place on a full moon night when the place shines in full glory of the white light.
Rann Utsav is special as it adds colours to this white desert. There are several cultural shows, traditional dances and activities like camel safari,dirt biking and parasailing. Enjoy these at the Rann festival.
There are a few other places which you must visit here
Kala Dungar: To get a panoramic view of the White sands and the wide expanse of mountains,do visit Kala Dungar.
India gate: The last stop of India on the India – Pakistan border is the India gate.
Where to stay:
There are many options to stay especially during the Rann Festival.But what one must not miss is the experience of staying in a Bhunga or a mud-house .The Bhungas are beautifully decorated with glass work and mud
Rann Riders, Desert Adventures in Little Rann and Shaam -e-Sarhad, Devpur Home Stay in Great Rann and Bhuj are some of the most popular ones in the area.
Keep some money aside for shopping as you would be tempted to buy loads of stuff from the local artists that come here to sell their stuff.Remember that due to the harsh conditions here there is no possiblity of agriculture and the only way to make the living is this Rann Utsav when the artists get a chance to sell their stuff.
Other places to visit:
Dholavira has been rexcavated and identified to be a part of Indus Valley Civilization. It is in the corner of the Great Rann on the island of Khadir Bet. Visit this place to see the intelligence of our ancestors, check the town planning that existed around 5000 years ago.
Bhuj can be a pit-stop for your journey to Rann of Kutch. This city has a lot to offer. Visit the famous Aaina Mahal, Prag Mahal palace and the Swaminarayan temple. Shop for the handicraft and binge on the street food. Dabeli of Kutchh is very famous and not to miss street food.
A few things to remember:
- Rann of Kutchh is a village. There is no internet connection here.
- Carry cash as there are no ATMs nearby.
- If you are on a bike trip remember to have enough petrol as there are not many petrol pumps in the area.
There are a few places which leave a imprint on your mind and Kutchh is surely one of them Do plan a trip here and let us know your comments if you already have done a trip here!