What is Rann Utsav?
Inspired by the vision of our current prime minister honorable Narendra Modi, the iconic Rann Utsav of Kutch can be easily described as a colour filled, vibrant display of the unique culture that represents Gujarat. Amidst the everlasting beauty of one the largest salt deserts in the world, this vibrantly colored fair is known for being the pride of Gujarat. To witness this spectacle people from all over the world gather at this gleaming white landscape to experience the lifestyle, culture and ethnicity of Gujarat and take back home some irreplaceable memories. Each year Rann of Kutch is dressed up in lively colors of blue, green and yellow tents and the entire environment gets drenched in the sounds of Gujarati folk music, traditional dance performances and plays which depict the local life.
Where Does it Take Place?
Rann Utsav is organized completely by the tourism department of Gujarat and takes place during the winter months. This expansive winter wonderland fair takes place in the city of Bhuj in a small village called Dhordo. Located on the northern end of the salt desert this village is situated at a distance of 1.5 hours from Bhuj and is constantly being developed as by the government of Gujarat to function as a gateway to Rann. Being located at the edge of the Kutch desert it is advisable for you to go through Bhuj since it is the closest option which will lessen your travel time substantially. You will also be greeted with a sign which will let you know that you will be crossing the tropic of cancer. Not just this you will also be witnessing other fun and interesting sights which still remains unparalleled anywhere else.
How to Reach:
By Air – The closest airport which can be used to reach Kutch is located in Bhuj and is at a distance of 80 kms from the desert of Rann. This airport caters to almost all the major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata etc. and is well connected with a network of flights. Once you have reached the airport you have the option of either hiring a cab or to book a car or even use local transportation to reach Rann.
By Railway – The city does not contain a railway station of its own however the nearest railway station is at Bhuj. This station caters to a number of trains running to and fro Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad etc. this station has a webbed network of trains that are extremely well connected to major as well as minor cities of India. Once you alight at the station you are required to book a cab or hire a taxi heading towards Kutch.
By Road – This is probably one of the most convenient and hassle free ways of reaching Kutch due to the pristine condition of roads in Gujarat. In case you own a private vehicle or have a personal car on rent it will not only cost you less but will also be a huge asset in getting you around the entire fair. However you can also opt for a local bus ride journey to reach which is also going to cost comparatively cheaper.
Local Transportation – At the Rann Utsav you can travel from one place to another on a cart being pulled by a camel or opt for a jeep ride. If you are looking to explore a few places around the utsav then opting for a journey in the local bus is the wisest decision. Not only will you get an insight into the local people’s living conditions but it also extremely budget friendly and comfortable.
Rann Utsav is popular for its authentic and traditional tent set up which gives you a taste of the life of a local Gujarati folk. If you are looking to have a real ethnic Gujarati time then booking one of these tents will definitely be worth it. These tents are equipped with facilities such as AC, wooden flooring, front porch, double bed, fan, attached bathroom etc. however these amenities depend on the type of tent you have booked which you can choose from Premium, Deluxe or non AC tents.
If the tents seem too pricey for you or in case you are not able to book a tent for yourself then you the option of staying at a nearby local village of Hodka. There are ranges of village resorts available which offer eco-tourism options and you will also have the option for experiencing staying inside a traditional mud hut. These huts are not only budget friendly but are also extremely comfortable.
In order to enjoy good times, good food is a priority. The organizers of Ran Utsav have kept that in mind and you will be treated with a magnificent selection of vegetarian Gujarati food selections. A paradise for every food lover, Rann Utsav presents you with an authentic selection of delicious Kutch cuisines. The Utsav has two grand and massive dining halls that delivers delectable appetizers to main courses and desserts. You will also be able to indulge yourself in some food stalls and other options that are available for eating.
Places to Visit around Rann Utsav:
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at almost a distance of 100 kms from Bhuj, this wildlife sanctuary pans over an area of 7505.22 sq. km. and is famed for being one of the largest saline wetland areas in the world. It is home to a variety of bird and animals species like flamingo, black necked stork, spiny tailed lizard etc.
Considered to be one of the oldest museums in Gujarat, this museum boasts of ancient coins, Kutchi script and other artifacts which catch the attention of every visitor. Also a part of the display is – paintings, embroidery, arms, sculptures etc.
Situated in the Kutch region and close to the magnificent Vijay Vilas palace this beach is known for its glimmering sea and silky smooth sand. You can have a picnic with your family and friends here or even get a camel back ride along the coast.
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
Locally referred to as Lala Parjan Sanctuary, this place was created with an aim of conserving the dwindling population of Bustards. It also houses various other plants and animals like – quails, larks, imperial eagles, jackal, striped hyena fox etc.
Things to Do:
Experience the Full Moon Night: Rann Utsav is also popular for its full moon night when the entire white landscape gleams like a wonderland under the soft lights of the moon. This is one of the most surreal and mesmerizing experiences to have at the Utsav and should be visited at least once your lifetime.
Enjoy a Thumping Display of Culture: Once you are have reached the Utsav venue then the only thing left for you to do is to drench yourself in the vibrant displays of cultural fiesta which takes place on every step of your way at the Utsav and cannot be missed out on.
Unique Experiences: You have the option on either going on solo journeys to the desert on a desert patrol vehicle or a DPV which can be really fun. You also have the option of going on a hot air balloon ride over the landscape of Kutch and have a whole new perspective.
Shopping: Ran Utsav is known for its thriving collection of shopping options. You will be able to have the time of your lives and fill up all your bags with souvenirs and shopping items. These shopping stalls display the local and folk, Kucthi handicrafts, ornaments, silverware and other artifacts.
Club House – A club house is available at the Utsav premises where you have the option of enjoying some indoor games with your family and friends. A great place to keep your kids entertained this club house contains a pool table, table tennis etc.
Golf Cart – Transportation arrangements for the Utsav grounds have been made in the form of golf carts that transfers you with ease from your tent to anywhere else inside this tent city. The golf cart is a better option than walking since it won’t be possible to get everywhere easily on foot.
Meditation Hall – A massive and calming tent hall is created for the purpose of offering meditation options for its visitors. This hall is also used as a business conference hall for performing your business meetings.
Things You Need to Know Before Visiting:
- Be sure to carry along some woolen clothing items since this Utsav takes place during the winter months and it gets extremely cold and chilly during this time.
- It is extremely mandatory for you to carry along an ID for you like Aadhaar card, passport, voter ID or other such ID cards.
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