The Enchanting Beauty of White Desert (Rann) – Kutch (Part 1)
Rann of Kutch - The White Desert of India
White Rann (White Desert) is located in Kutch, India’s largest district and is located in the western state of Gujarat. White rann is a seasonal salt marsh that glows like crystals. In the rainy season, the region is covered in water, and during winter, the water evaporates leaving a salty crust. The water dries up by end of December. So if you are going there before then you are most likely to get mucky.
The magnificence and pageantry view of White Rann (White Desert) left me awe-inspiring. The mystical white carpet, seamless horizon and indistinguishable sky make for a stunning view and an enthralling experience.
It seemed as if I were in a different world with some infinite skyline and emptiness all around me. The silence and the feeling of embracing emptiness were totally priceless.
It’s one of those prodigious place on this earth where the sun sets and the moon rises at the same time and makes it feel like no less than a fantasy. Walking on those crystals of salt endlessly and capturing the view till you can stretch your eyes is one the phenomenal experiences I have had.
I started dreaming about White Rann /Salt desert since I saw the ads by Mr. Amitabh Bachhan. Since then I kept planning this place and added in my bucket list and wanted to witness this white beauty. Finally, a week ago my wish came true. This entire ROAD trip to Kutch was planned in an impromptu way and we clubbed it with our Religious trip. (More about the detailed trip in my upcoming posts)
It was the second day of our trip and we reached Hodko village at around 2.30 pm after a 6 hours drive from Jasdan- a place where we had our religious visit. We had booked a 2-night stay at “Royal Home Stay” that is exactly 18 km away from Rann. We had a delicious though spicy lunch at our Hotel and went to our Hut that’s called a “Bhoonga” (muddy houses of Kutch) to freshen up.
More about our stay and how hospitable the people are in my upcoming posts.
It was December first week and desert is supposed to be cold this time of the year so we all had to carry a light jacket and a shawl for the evening. Now as per the suggestions by our friends the best time to visit Rann was from 4 pm till 8.00 pm. We reached Rann at around 5.30 pm and the sight that we encountered was simply thrilling, there were lots of enthusiastic people around, camels carts and camel dressed up like a bride and few horse carts as well. In the barren land stretched till your eyes can see the vision there was nothing but white space covered with salt, that looked like snow.
The vast expanse of the White Desert.
What all you need to carry inside the Rann:
Carry a light jacket, shawl, and a cap as it will be cold.
Please carry enough water and small packets of biscuits or wafers especially if you have kids along with you as nothing is available in the desert.
What to do at Rann:
Sit down on the crystals of salt and gaze at the setting sun, ogle at the rising moon and stare at the star-filled sky.
Just relax and feel the beauty of the Rann as if time has stood still for hours and there is no one around.
Finally click lots and lots of pictures to take back memories home.
Sunsets with a brilliant blaze of colors.
Posing in the White Desert as the Moon rises in the background.
The White Desert glows at its best on a full-moon day.
What to expect at Rann Utsav –
The Rann Utsav is celebrated in the district of Kutch that is immensely rich in culture and heritage.
The Rann festival starts from November and goes on until February month.
All types of local handicrafts are exhibited, Kutch folk songs and dances are performed and an array of staple delicatessen are on offer.
There is a host of activities and this place has lots to offer during the Rann festival – right from horse riding to camel safari, hot air balloon rides to bird-watching.
The area is also a sanctuary for the endangered Indian wild ass and the numerous species of birds that come migrating in the winter like flamingos and cranes.
Also known as Tent city there are over 400 tents available with different facilities and budgets to suit your pocket.
You will find folk singers engaged in singing and performing. They also help tourists to click pictures with the pagri, turban, and traditional Kutchi outfits.
A traditional Camel Cart.
Points to remember before visiting Rann:
You need to take a permit before you enter the Rann at a place called Bhirandiyara.
You’ll spot the check post on your right just before you take the left turn for Dhordo.
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