Rann of Kutch was next on our itinerary after a visit to the amazing Rani Ki Vav. Rann – the white desert, as it is popularly called is one of the largest salt deserts in the world.
We left from Ahmedabad in a hired Mahindra Marazzo (SUV) at 10 am in the morning. We had a long distance to travel to reach Bhuj where we had planned our next night halt. Fortunately, the roads are good and with not much of traffic, the drive was comfortable. The road was flanked by green fields of castor, cotton, mustard and wheat giving a soothing feeling. As we neared Bhuj, vast salt pans and giant wind mills replaced the green fields. But I must accept that the wetlands were as beautiful as the agricultural land. The variety of birds was added to the exoticness.
We reached our place of stay at Bhuj at around 6 in the evening as the sun was just getting ready to set.
The next day…. added shopping….
I had been to Rann of Kutch in 2009. But due to other commitments had missed out on spending a night in the awesome desert. This time around I did not want to miss out on witnessing the beauty of moonlit white sand. Rann is located approximately 85 km from Bhuj. So, we decided to start from our room at 3.30 pm. To occupy ourselves till lunch, we had a leisurely breakfast and set out on exploring the shopping avenues of Bhuj. While I successfully navigated my wife away from some but the display of amazing handcrafted Ajrakhpuri prints on silk and cotton, put up by Musa Bhai Khatri put all my efforts of diversionary tactics to nought. I have to admit, that man has class and certainly has a way with words. The visit added 10 kgs of additional weight to our luggage.
The Kalo Dungar….
Post lunch, we started on our journey to Rann. We first headed for Kalo Dungar, the highest point of Rann which overlooks the Rann of Kutch lake. It is nearly 90 kms from Bhuj and takes about 90 mins of driving time to reach. On way to Kalo Dungar the vehicles crossed the Tropic of Cancer. The view point effectively dominates the surrounding area and provides a lovely view of the lake and the surrounding broken ground.
After a good photo session, we started for the amazing white desert. The 45 mins of drive from Kalo Dungar to the Tent city was simply mesmerising. The setting sun and the vast open wet lands presented an amazing picturesque setting.
We hit the Rann at 6 pm in the evening. The white sand (salt) spread for miles presented a stunning view. This was something we had not been privileged to see ever before. The setting sun further set the beauty on fire. The awesomeness leaves you speechless. I just stood there absorbing the beauty in silence as the sun continued on its journey down the horizon.
The Tent City….
The Gujarat government hosts an Annual three month long ‘Rann Utsav’ from Dec to Feb every year. The Tent city is set up to accommodate the tourists willing to stay there. The city provides five star rated tented accommodation and entry is only open to those preferring to stay there. The festival provides a visitor an opportunity to experience the culture of Gujarat, specially the Kathiawad region.
We returned to our rooms post-midnight after relishing a sumptuous regional platter and enjoying the cultural programmes hosted at night. Every minute spent in Rann of Kutch was worth the effort.
Please enjoy the slide show, hopefully it will give you a good view of the beautiful Rann.