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The Rann of Kutch

About the place: 

The Rann of Kutch, also known as the Great Rann of Kutch (there's a Little Rann of Kutchas well), is a remarkable place to visit in Gujarat. Much of it consists of the world's largest salt desert, measuring around 10,000 square kilometers. What makes it even more amazing is that the salt desert is underwater during the main monsoon season in India. For the remaining eight months of the year, it's an enormous stretch of packed white salt. The vast and arid expanse that is the Great Rann of Kutch lies to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, at the top of the Kutch district. It's best approached via Bhuj. Dhordo, approximately 86 kilometers from Bhuj, is being developed by the Gujarat government as the Gateway to the Rann. Dhordo is on the edge of the salt desert. It's most convenient to stay there, or nearby Hodka.

The desert-like Rann Of Kutch occupies a big part of the region. Mostly marshy, the Rann runs into the horizon. During summer it is dry and has a white coating of salt. In India's monsoon, the flat dessert of salty clay and mudflats, averaging 15 meters above sea level, fills with standing waters, interspersed with sandy islets of thorny scrub, breeding grounds for some of the largest flocks of greater and lesser flamingos. The Rann Of Kutch is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Migratory birds deem it an abode during diverse weather conditions. The Rann is also famous for the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, the Little Rann of Kutch, where the last of three species of Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus khur or khar) still exists along with wolves, foxes, jackals, chinkara gazelles, nilgai antelope and blackbucks as well as 13 species of lark.

The Rann of Kutch is a seasonally marshy saline clay desert located in the state of Gujarat, India.

Kutch is famous for its handicrafts, hills, white deserts, beautiful virgin sea beaches, various forts and above all Dholaveera, one of the five largest Harappan sites and among the most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Bhuj with a population of more than 1.5 lakh (147123 as per Census Report of 2011) is a major city of the region. Mandvi and Pingleshawar are famous for sea beaches. The Black Hills (Kalo Dungar), 25 kms north of Khavda, are a good vantage point to see the vast expanse of the white desert. The top of the Black Hills is the highest point in Kutch, at 462m. From here, the entire northern horizon vanishes into the Great Rann, the desert and sky often becoming indistinguishable.

Tourism

City of tents during Rann Utsav

The Government of Gujarat hosts an annual 3 month long festival called the Rann Utsav (festival of the Rann), where tourists can see the various sights of the Rann as well as get a taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house tourists to give them a taste of them.[21] Many adventure clubs and travel clubs organize expeditions.

Handicrafts

The unique handicrafts of Kutch are world famous.[22] A lot of women and young girls make their living by selling different types of embroidered cloths. The embroidery is of various styles such as Rabari, Ahir, Sindhi, Banni, Mutwa, Ari and Soof - and some styles include mirror or bead inlay.

Region or Zone: 
West
State or Union Territory: 
Gujarat
How to reach: 

By train

Kutch Express (Daily) and Sayaji Nagri Express (Daily) from Mumbai via Surat, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham to Bhuj.

Ala Hazrat Express(Daily) from Delhi via Jaipur, Ajmer and Palanpur to Bhuj.

By bus

State transport and private buses available for Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Jodhpur.

By air

There is a daily flight of Jet Airways from Bhuj Airport for Mumbai. A daily flight is started for Mumbai from Kandla Airport near Gandhidham town by Air Deccan.

Best time to visit: 
January
February
March
October
November
December
Location Map: 
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