Renowned as the largest marshy area, Rann of Kutch is one of the most iconic attractions and the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India. This hugely spread white desert area is spread over an area of almost 10,000 square kilometers. Except for the monsoon months, this dessert looks like a hugely stretched salt desert and during the monsoon season, it looks more stunning when it goes underwater. Scroll down the page and get the most detailed information of Kutch as the article compiles all the required information of Rann of Kutch. I am sure that after reading this article you are surely going to plan a Kutch tour.
History of Kutch
This popular city is quite old and dates back to almost prehistoric times and its shreds of evidence have been witnessed from the traces found in the Indus Valley Civilization. According to the historical shreds of evidence, the great king Alexander has mentioned about Rann of Kutch in his writings and in that he had stated that the region was under the complete control of Greek rulers before it came under the rule of Mauryan Empire. Later on, for a period of time, it came under the control of various other dynasties like Chalukyas, Chavdas, Guptas, Western Satraps, and Jadeja brothers. Rayadhan II was the last ruler of Kutch and it is believed that Kathiawar was also discovered by his ancestors only. Later in the year 1819, Kutch came under the control of Britishers after getting defeated in the battle. Before getting declared as a separate state in the year 1950, Kutch was called as “dominion of India”. Also, in the year 1956, the region got merged with Bombay state and then finally in the year 1960, when the two different states of Gujarat and Maharashtra were formed, Kutch was declared as the part of Gujarat and got separated from Bombay.
This huge white salt desert is located in the north direction of Tropic Of Cancer and at the topmost location in the Kutch district. Tourists who are planning to visit this destination are advised to approach this place via Dhordo which is at a distance of almost 1.5 km towards the north of Bhuj. Also, the Gujarat Government has taken various drastic steps to develop Bhuj as the gateway to the Rann of Kutch. Dhordo in Bhuj is located on the banks of the salt desert and this is why it is believed to be the best accommodation option near the salt desert.
Best Time To Visit Rann Of Kutch
Being a dry region, Rann of Kutch is not an ideal destination to visit throughout the year. One needs to check the weather updates before planning their visit to this desert land. Tourism rate in Gujarat starts rising up in the month of October and goes on till the month of February.
Kutch In The Summer Season
Summer knocks the door in the month of April and continues till the month of June. Being located in the dry region, Rann of Kutch is not an ideal destination to explore during this hot season as the sun doesn’t show any pity on the travelers and even the temperature reaches up to 50 degree Celsius during the mid-day time. However, the nights are pretty cooler as compared to daytime. Also, you are not going to witness vegetation in the field as the lands become very arid and barren and this is also the region of no calmness in the region.
Kutch In The Winter Season
This is the most preferred time to plan your Rann of Kutch visit as the destination witnesses pretty pleasing and favorable climatic condition during the winter months. Also, this is the time when the district gets its full glory of unexplainable hues. The other reason to plan your Kutch visit in the winter months is the festive season of Rann Utsav which is celebrated between the months November and February. One can enjoy the camel rides and horse rides in this grand festival and also get the chance to know about the rich culture of tribal communities, folk songs, and dance, etc.
Kutch In The Monsoon Season
Kutch starts receiving rainfall in the month of June which goes on till September. However, rainfall in this region is not much severe but still, it gives a bit relax from the scorching heat of the sun. The best thing about this season is that the district welcomes a number of migratory birds which is quite soul soothing and eye-catching to the tourists. It is a perfect time to plan your visit to the popular wildlife sanctuaries in the state. Although, it all depends upon the road connectivity as waterlogging may hinder your plan.
How To Reach Rann Of Kutch?
The most preferred and the convenient mode of transport is the roadways as there is no connectivity of this desert destination with railways and airways. Kutch doesn’t house any specific railhead or an airport and so is not connected directly via airways and railways.
Reaching Rann of Kutch by flight
Bhuj Airport is the nearest airport to Rann of Kutch which is located almost 80 km away from the destination. This airport in Bhuj is well-connected with various other major cities in India and there are regular flights flying from Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, etc.
Reaching Kutch by Road
In other words, one can say that this is the only option to reach the desert land very conveniently and easily. After reaching Bhuj, you can either take a cab or a taxi to reach Rann of Kutch. Also, if you are traveling with your personal vehicle from Rajkot (approx. 300 km away from Kutch) and Ahmedabad (approx. 400 km away from Kutch) then you can reach the destination directly.
Reaching Kutch by Rail
The city doesn’t have a specific railhead of its own. However, various trains come to this railway station from the major cities in India including Ahmedabad, Mumbai, etc. From this railway station, you need to hire a taxi or take a cab to reach the destination.
Places to Visit in and Around Kutch
Kutch boasts a number of travel destinations and is renowned as one of the most preferred destinations to visit in Gujarat. So, plan at least 2 days long tour in Kutch so that its iconic attractions must not be missed out.
Great Rann of Kutch
A large marshy land area, Great Rann of Kutch is the landmark of the Kutch district. However, the place is famous for offering various experiences and watching the sunset view is one of the most mesmerizing ones. The popularity of this beautiful place can be seen in Bollywood movies as there are many movies which have been picturized here like Refugee, Goriyo ki Rasleela Ramleela, etc. The picturesque landscapes and the astonishing surroundings of this place make it quite alluring and inviting to the tourists flocking every year.
Enlisted among most ancient monuments of Gujarat, Kutch Museum is situated in the heart of the Bhuj district. Maharao Sir Khengarji III established this museum in the year 1877 but named it as a school of art. The structure which sees at present used to serve as a place where the expedition of the king’s wedding gifts was organized and later on it was named as Fergusson Museum. The structure has been designed in a typical Italian Gothic Style by the experienced masons of Kutch.
Mandvi Beach, Bhuj
One of the most pristine and tranquil destinations in the state of Gujarat, Mandvi Beach is located in the Kutch district. Its calm and serene ambiance makes it a perfect place for planning a peaceful getaway from the urban lifestyle. There are various windmills established on this beautiful beach and its smooth and silky carpet of sand makes it an ideal place to plan your picnic. One can also indulge themselves in the adventurous water sport activities and also the camping.
Also called as “Hall of Mirrors”, Aaina Mahal was constructed during the reign of Lakhpatji in between the 18th century. He had selected Ram Singh Malam as an engineer, embellisher, and an architect as he was believed to be the most genius artist. In the year 2001, when a devastating earthquake attacked the land of Bhuj, this stunning architecture was shaken and damaged badly. It suffered a big loss but very soon it was renovated and it regained its original charm and became safer to visit.
Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Bhuj
After driving for a distance of almost 125 kilometers away from Bhuj, one can reach Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary. This huge sanctuary is spread over an area of almost 444 sq. km. and is renowned as one of the destinations with varied eco-system in the state. Also called as Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary, it is a habitat to various species of mammals like the endangered Indian Wolf, Honeybadger, Chinkara, wild boar, and desert foxes. It is also home to a wide species of birds including black partridge, lesser florican, Indian bustard, Houbara Bustard, etc.
Rann Utsav of Kutch
Besides being popular for its rich ecology, beautiful topography, and mesmerizing tourist destinations, Kutch is also popular for the grand celebration of Rann Utsav. This 3 days long festival is celebrated in the city with great pomp and much fervor. People from different corners of the country gather here and show their talent of artworks, handicrafts, etc. dance and music performance is the additional charm of this place which showcases the beautiful profusion of cultures, natural beauty, traditions, and artworks of the region.
Major attractions of the festival
- One can witness some really amazing and outstanding artworks and handicrafts including embroidery and mirror work. Bandhani Sarees are the most sold products in this festival.
- The celebration is spread over a huge area and for the guests, there are numerous tents installed for their accommodation. All the tents are equipped with big dining areas and are designed in C shape.
- Heartwarming and eye-catching music and dance performances, camel and horse rides, paramotoring, etc. are the activities which one can enjoy in this festival.
- People participating in the celebration of this auspicious festival engage themselves in various activities which includes playing indoor games like ludo, chess, carom board, etc.
- Savoring the mouth-watering Gujarati cuisines and also the traditional recipes of Kutch.
Shopping in Kutch
This white salt desert is really a true wonder with which India is blessed beautifully. Besides being popular for housing numerous travel destinations, Kutch is also popular for shopping where tourists can bargain with the shopkeepers for buying craft business and also some of the most beautiful and finest artworks. If you are in love with the embroidery works then Kutch is the place which offers you the best embroidery work and also the unique handicrafts. According to a survey, there are more than 65 villages and approx. 11,000 women who are engaged in the homemade business in the Kutch district. Sarees, Jackets, carpets, clothes, and bed sheets are the other highly demanded and sold products in Kutch.
Food and Accommodation in Kutch
Kutch is mostly known for serving vegetarian dishes as the place holds a religious symbiosis of both Jainism and Buddhism. The dishes offered here do not contain cloves of garlic, yam, potatoes, and onion too. Bajra na Rotla is the most popular delicacy served in the Kutch district which is also served with the popular beverage Lassi, Buttermilk, or Chaach likewise other dishes in the region. You can also opt for the relishing and lavishing Gujarati Thali which includes Kachumbar, Dhokla, Papad, Chakri, Fafda, Khandvi, Sev, Khakra, and Khaman. Ghevar, Basundi, Malpua, and there are many others in the list of Gujarati sweets.
Travel Tips for Rann of Kutch
Likewise, every other travel destinations, one needs to keep certain things in their mind while traveling Rann of Kutch.
- You are traveling a dry region, so always carry a water bottle with you to keep yourself hydrated.
- Liquor is not allowed to carry in this state, so take proper permission before taking it. You can buy it from some of the hotels or restaurants in Bhuj.
- Carrying an identity card while visiting Rann of Kutch is mandatory.
- Visiting this white desert land early in the morning is the best idea as compared to the other half of the day.
- Be wise and do the hotel bookings in advance or else you might not get a hotel all at a sudden during the peak season of Gujarat tourism.
- Booking a private taxi or hiring a cab from Bhuj is the most convenient and a hassle-free way to explore the beauty of Rann of Kutch.