While many of you must have heard or read it somewhere, for those who haven’t, what best describes any traveller’s theorem is- “Kutch nahi dekha, toh kuch nahi dekha.” (meaning you haven’t seen anything if you haven’t seen Kutch). There isn’t a single characteristic of Kutch, in Gujarat, that works against this famous phrase. If you ever happen to visit this splendid section, you will be a witness to this amazing piece of geography that turns marshy during the monsoons and then back to its brilliant white glory during the winters and summers.
Kutch has been a conflux point for people of various castes and creeds. Although the salt desert better describes Kutch, the hospitality and the warmth in the conduct of its people is also well known. Religion and religious fairs are interwoven in Kutch’s culture. The culture of Kutch is so prosperous, vibrant and authentic that it will surely spellbind you in every way. Imagine how wonderful it would be to just see white salt as far as your sight reaches.
Witness bright yellows and blues while passing through the highways in complete contrast to the white sands of the desert. There is something poetic about this place that will catch your attention in a way you won’t be able to forget it for the rest for your life.
Coming to the vastness of this place, it runs on a stretch of 16,000 sq. kms, thus becomes the largest salt desert in India. Rann of Kutch is divided into Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. Both of them are quite similar to each other, yet so different.
The Little Rann of Kutch is home to the last remaining population of the Ghudkar- the Asiatic wild ass and to more than 140 species of birds including migratory birds like flamingos. It spreads across 5 districts- namely, Rajkot, Kutch, Surendranagar, Jamnagar and Banaskantha. The wild ass sanctuary in Little Rann of Kutch offers exciting cross desert safaris, superb wildlife viewing opportunities and is lined up with colourful villages on the edge of the deserts.
Two of the most exotic fairs and festivals of Kutch are Rann Mahotsav and the Ravechi Fair. Rann Mahotsav is organized every year at Dhordo village in Kutch and the festivities run for a month and a half. During this time Kutch becomes extremely colourful and adds new charm to the white land of Dhordo village. It begins on a full moon night of December following which the extravaganza attracts people from all over the globe. Similarly, the fascinating Ravechi fair is celebrated with great pomp every year between the months of September and October. This land of vast emptiness sees the maximum number of visitors during the time of these festivals wherein they all stay in tents and witness the lives and religious culture of the locals. Both of these witnesses activities like folk dance, desert festivals, camel safari, live-in tents, musical moments and many more exciting events. Be a part of this festival and witness Kutch weaved in a beautiful dream.
On full moon nights, the sky is clear and the moon is bright, the white sands light up radiantly. For those nights, the moon becomes the Earth and the sight is worth a million bucks! But before visiting The Rann of Kutch, there are a few precautions you will need to take so as to make it a smooth journey for yourself.
– Make sure you obtain permits before entering the Rann.
– Don’t forget to carry your identity card wherever you travel.
– Another thing is, that the salt in the desert looks like a normal rock salt that we usually eat, but don’t eat it there! We know a few people who tried doing so and came back with a burnt – mouth for the rest of the days!
Watch the sunset from the pristine white desert which also happens to be one of the most picturesque sights in the world. There are usually very few places that catch your attention in such a way that you can’t get over the fact that you too have been there, and Rann of Kutch is surely one of those places. It’s wonderful to see how a land with plain white salt becomes so beautifully wonderous.