Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav :Complete guide

Rann of Kutch


Rann of Kutch is one of the places in India which will give you lifetime memories and Rann Utsav in India is something you shouldn’t miss in India. Attending the Rann Utsav in Rann of Kutch gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy staying in a tent and also explore the colourful and vibrant region of Kutch. Rann of Kutch known as the White desert is one of the surreal places in the world which will take your breath away and the colours of the Kutch region will make your holiday in Rann Utsav absolutely memorable. 

In this complete guide of Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav,  I will take you through the journey of the Kutch region and also share details that will help you to plan your perfect trip to Rann Utsav in Rann of Kutch.

One of your favourite moments for sure will be watching the sunset on the Great Rann of Kutch and one of the best sunsets in the world for sure. I have watched sunsets in places like Santorini in Greece, over the Sahara Desert, near the Pyramids and the sunset in Great Rann of Kutch can easily find a place in the best sunsets of the world.


Rann of Kutch Sunset



The word “Rann” in Hindi means desert. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The Rann of Kutch covers around 26,000 kilometres. The majority of Rann of Kutch is in the state of Gujarat and some parts are situated in the Sindh region of Pakistan. The Rann of Kutch is divided into two main parts Greater Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. The topography of both of them is different and the look of the terrain is absolutely stunning.




    If you are interested to see a Vlog instead of reading then check the video below :



     

     Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav Travel Guide


    The story behind the Rann Utsav


    In 2001, the area of Bhuj in Gujarat suffered a devastating earthquake where it is estimated that between 13805 to 20,023 people died, injured approximately 1.67 Lacs ( 0.16 Million) people, and destroyed approximately 3.4 Lacs ( 0.34 Million) buildings. Not only people but houses, livelihood everything was lost. The earthquake took a heavy toll on the region of Kutch and Bhuj.

    The Kutch area had to be rebuilt and the local and the state government realized that tourism in the region of Kutch and Bhuj could generate revenue and employment for the people and also help in preserving the culture and heritage of the place.

    Thus Rann Utsav started in 2004. Initially, it was planned for 3 days during the Full Moon as Rann of Kutch looks magical during the Full Moon. The festivals got prominence in the festival calendar of the world and soon the festival got expanded for months.

    Now Rann Utsav in Kutch is celebrated from November till February. It is a celebration of culture, heritage, people, food and everything about Vibrant Gujarat. It’s a microcosm of everything about Gujarat and the Kutch region.


    Best Time to Visit Rann of Kutch  


    One of the most common questions people have in mind is when is the best time to visit Rann of Kutch. Read below to know the positives and negatives of every season and what you can expect when you plan to visit Rann of Kutch.

    Visiting Rann of Kutch during November to March (Winter Months)

    November to March is absolutely the best time to Visit Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav begins in November and ends in February. The weather during this time is extremely pleasant with nights becoming chilly where you would require light to moderate winter clothes.

    In fact, this is the Tourist season in Rann of Kutch. Due to Rann Utsav and the influx of tourists, you will find lots of shops by the artisans and artists where you can get crafts of kutch at a deal.

    The Rann of Kutch is dry during the season and it’s not muddy, unlike rainy or months just after rains.
    If you are planning your trip to Rann of Kutch then November to March is the best time to visit Rann of Kutch.

    One important thing you should plan your trip in such a way so that during the Full Moon you stay in Rann of Kutch and the Rann looks like a sheet of silver during the full moon. The beauty of Rann of Kutch during the full moon is absolutely out of the world and something which can’t be expressed in words or pictures.

    During this season you can also stay in Tents in the Rann Utsav.

    Rann Utsav


    Visiting Kutch during April to June (Summer Months)

    You have to keep in mind that Rann is a desert and is close to the tropic of cancer, hence during the summers it gets too hot. I wouldn’t recommend travelling during the summer months.

    One drawback during this season is there is hardly any accommodation in Rann of Kutch and you have to stay near Bhuj and travel to Kutch.

    Visiting Rann during July to September (Monsoon Months)

    The weather is pleasant at Rann of Kutch, however, due to the monsoon you will not get really white desert as the Rann of Kutch gets filled by the seawater from the Arabian sea.

    However, the White desert looks like a mirror due to the presence of water and if you are into photography you will get excellent Instagram worthy Unique shots of the white desert in Rann however it will be filled with water.


    When is Rann Utsav celebrated?


    Rann Utsav starts in November and ends in February. Rann Utsav is celebrated for the period of four months every year. The date varies a little and the best is to visit the Rann Utsav website to get information on the updated dates.


    Rann Utsav in Gujarat




    Where to stay in Rann of Kutch during the Rann Utsav?


    Luxury Accommodation in Tents


    Rann Utsav is held in a village called Dhordo in the Kutch Region. The village of Dhordo transforms during the Rann Utsav as almost an entire city is built up during the Rann Utsav. 

    The city is called Tent City, yes right luxury tents are put up in before the Rann Utsav and for four months these tents accommodate tourists from all over the world. Once the Rann Utsav is over the tents are dismantled.

    The tents are swiss tents with attached bathrooms, a luxurious bedroom, a sitting area from where you can get beautiful views of the tent city.

    tent accomodation in Rann Utsav



    The tent city is India’s largest luxury tent accommodation. 

    During Rann Utsav, many cultural programs are performed at night in the tent city and multiple shops are also put up where you can purchase various handicrafts items directly from the artisans.  

    Budget Accommodation in Rann of Kutch


    There are many resorts and smaller tent cities which have come up in recent times where you can book your stay.

    The most budget-friendly option will be to stay in Bhuj and do day trips to Rann of Kutch. This works great if you are travelling in a group as the transport cost gets split and you can save by staying in a budget hotel.


    Tent City Dhordo – The Perfect Place to stay in Rann Utsav


    You can book various all-inclusive packages for your stay at Tent city Dhordho for Rann Utsav. 

    tent city dhordo



    There are various packages you can select in terms of the days of your stay at Rann Utsav. The packages vary from 1Night/2Days to 3 Night/4Days. Depending on the type of tent and the duration the charges vary.

    Note: Taking the packages is the only option. If you want to book accommodation for a single day or additional days it is not possible. You have to choose from one package. Example: If you want to stay for 4 Nights/5 Days in Rann Utsav then you have to book two packages one for 3Night/4Days and another one for 1Night/2Days.

    The charges start from Rs 4149 per person for a Non-AC Swiss tent for 1 Night/2Days.

    You can find the latest charges on the Rann Utsav website here.

    The tents are divided into clusters like clusters A, B, C, D etc depending on the type of tents. Every cluster has a common area where bonfires and small activities are arranged.

    Rann Utsav Tents



    Stay in Rann of Kutch


    Rann of Kutch Stay



    Tent City Dhordo has activities for all age groups. There are various zones like Adventure Zone, Cultural activity zone, Shopping Zone etc.


    things to do in rann utsav



    Every morning you can start your day with Yoga at the Yoga Zone and rejuvenate your mind and soul.
    If you feel adventurous then try out various activities in Rann Utsav like Zip Lining or just take a cycle and explore the tent city Dhordo on your own.


    Rann Utsav



    The packages include local sightseeing and also will take you to Rann of Kutch.

    So if you are staying at Tent City during Rann Utsav you don’t have to think much as everything will be taken care of in your package.


    Places to Visit in Kutch Region and Things to Do in Rann Utsav


    There are lots of things to do in Rann Utsav and places to visit in the Rann of Kutch region. So let's start with the places, however, these places are given in no order and have been listed randomly.


    Visiting Rann of Kutch or the White Desert


    If there is a list of places which one has to visit before one dies then the Great Rann of Kutch has to be one of the places featuring on the top. It is truly said “ Kutch Nahi Dekha to Kuch Nahi Dekha” which means if you have not seen Kutch you have not seen anything and you can understand why it is said.

    The great rann of kutch is one of the places which are made in dreams. Once you get down on the white desert you will be mesmerized by the whiteness of the desert all through. To make things more beautiful you will be able to see colourful camel carts and it's worth taking a ride on these came carts. If you want to get a glimpse of the Great Rann of Kutch from the top then you can do a gliding on the great rann of kutch.  

    During summers the entire area is under water and once the water dries up you get to see the beauty of the salt flats.


    Sunset in rann of kutch



    The best time to visit the Great Rann of Kutch is during the sunset and sunrise. During sunrise and sunset, you can see the yellow to the orange sun setting on the horizon and the white desert in the front. It’s a photographer’s dream to capture such a beautiful sunset or sunrise. And if you are a little more enthusiastic then you can buy or rent local Gujarati dresses which are extremely colourful and do a photoshoot here which will come out really nice. 


    Rann of Kutch



    Tip: If you don’t want too many crowds then visit the White desert during the sunrise. During the sunrise, the crowds are relatively low.

    Tip: If you want to get good photographs of the white desert then go away from the crowd so that you don’t get footsteps or tyre marks on the salt and you can get a clear view of the white desert.


    Kalo Dungar or Kala Dungar, the highest point in Kutch


    Kalo Dungar in Kutch region is another interesting place. The name means Black( Kalo) Hill ( Dungar).

    In earlier days when people use to cross the Great Rann of Kutch this hill used to look like a small black dot and hence locals started calling it Kalo Dungar.

    Kalo Dungar is one of the places in Kutch from where you can get a panoramic view of the great rann. Since it’s the highest place in the Kutch region, on a clear day you can see the vast expanse of the white desert and using a binocular you can see Pakistan from Kalo Dungar too.

    Kala Dungar Kutch



    The car or the bus will drop you at the foothills and from there you have to take local transport to reach the top. You have to walk a little to reach the top of Kalo Dungar and climb a few comfortable staircases.

    Once you reach the top of Kalo Dungar and see the White Rann from the top you will forget all the tiredness.


    Gandhi Nu Gaam


    Gandhi Nu Gaam in the Kutch region is the perfect example of what determination can bring out of people. This place was completely devasted during the 2001 earthquake and people lost their livelihood and there was no ray of hope.

    However, the locals and the authorities took up the task to rebuild the entire village part by part. As a part of the project 455 Bhungas ( traditional Kutch houses) were built in Gandhi Nu Gaam along with 3 schools, grass banks, community buildings and places for craftsmen to make handicrafts work.

    Now Gandhi Nu Gaam is a major tourist attraction where one can buy some authentic crafts of Kutch straight from the artists.

    Gandhi Nu Gaam is the perfect place to see a Bhunga. Bhungas are traditional circular shaped houses with thatched roofs. The Bhungas r typical of the region of Kutch and these are earthquake-proof structures. You can see beautiful Lippan artwork on the walls of the houses.


    Gandhi Nu Gaam

    crafts of kutch



    You can meet the famous face behind one of the stamps representing the rural women from four corners of the country, Kheta Ben. The stamp was released in 1997 and she now sells handicrafts items at Gandhi Nu Gaam. Kheta Ben is extremely famous and almost a local celebrity there, and she is ever smiling and ready for a photo opportunity.


    Kheta Ben Stamp of India



    Nirona Village


    The region of Kutch is extremely rich and unique in terms of Crafts. There are some unique crafts which can be found only in the region of Kutch and are practised by just one or two families in the whole world.

    Nirona village in the Kutch region is one such village that is famous for its unique crafts. Visiting Nirona village is a must-do to get a glimpse of the unique art forms from close.

    Rogan painting is one such painting that is practised by only one family of 8 members in the whole world. The painting is extremely unique. 

    Nirona Village

    colours of kutch

    rogan art painting



    We have a detailed post on Crafts of Kutch mainly from Nirona Village which you can read here.
    A few unique crafts in Nirona village which you can see are Copper Bell making, Lacquered woodwork of Nirona village.

    Trust me you will be surprised to see the diverse art forms of the Nirona Village.

    Visit Mandvi Beach


    If you are planning to take a dip in the water and soak yourself in some sun and sand then you can head to Mandvi Beach in the Kutch region. Mandvi beach is a port town where you can also see a 400-year-old shipping yard.

    Mandvi beach can be done as a day trip which is around 58 km from Bhuj and take approximately 1.5 hours to reach. You can hire a car and reach Mandvi or take a local bus from Bhuj to Mandvi.
    You can also see the beautiful and magnificent Vijay Villas Palace here at Mandvi.

    Vijay Villas Palace
    Source : Wikipedia


    Enjoy Cultural Activities & Performances in Rann Utsav


    The Rann Utsav is a plethora of colours filled with various cultural activities and performances. The performances at the tent city of Rann Utsav starts from around 9pm post-dinner time and goes up to 11pm.

    Every day there will be some cultural performances that will portray the culture and heritage of Gujarat.

    One cultural performance which shouldn’t be missed is the Siddhi Dhamal dance by the Siddhi Tribe

    Siddi Tribe in India



    The Siddhi tribe of Gujarat is a very unique tribe that are the direct descendants of the Bantu Tribe in Africa. They were brought as slaves by the Portuguese and finally, they settled here. You can read more about the Siddi Tribe of Gujarat here.


    Travel to Bhuj and Bhujodi


    You can travel to Bhuj and Bhujodi as a day trip from Rann Utsav. A few interesting places you can visit in Bhuj is the Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal which is known for their beauty and many movies were also shot here.

    One town you should visit is the Bhujodi which is located approximately 8 km southeast of Bhuj and is one of the important textile and craft hubs in Gujarat. You can shop your heart out from local Kutch dresses, Shawls, jackets and everything you can imagine. 

    Bhuj



    Bhujodi is a shoppers paradise looking to buy authentic kutch handiwork items. Be ready to lose some weight off your pursue after you have shopped in Bhujodi. The prices are extremely reasonable in the town of Bhujodi.

    Kutch Museum


    Kutch is one of the oldest museums in Gujarat which was founded in the year 1877. 

    The Kutch museum holds many artefacts related to the life of the Kutch people. The Kutch museum also has a great collection of antiques like coins, weapons etc related to the history of the Kutch people.


    Little Rann of Kutch


    Little Rann of Kutch is approximately 200 kilometres away from Greater Rann of Kutch however offers a completely different view compared to Greater Rann of Kutch. If Greater Rann of Kutch is known for Salt flats, the Little Rann of Kutch is known for earthy coloured cracked soil and is also home to Wild Asses.

    Little Rann of Kutch can’t be done as Day trip, you need to stay there at Little Rann of Kutch to enjoy the beauty.

    Little Rann of Kutch Wild asses



    How Many days are enough for Rann of Kutch? 

    How many days should I stay in Rann of Kutch?


    If you want to enjoy Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav to the fullest then stay for 4 Days & 3 Nights or 3 Days 2 Nights. This way not only you can relax and travel to various places however you can go to the white desert multiple times to take memorable moments from Kutch for your life.

    Don’t go for 2 Days 1 Night as you will not be able to able to enjoy the Rann Utsav and the Kutch region to the fullest.

    How To Reach Kutch?

    If you are coming from any big city in India, unfortunately, there is no direct connectivity to Kutch. You have to reach Bhuj and from there you can hire a cab or take the free pick up and drop services of Tent City Rann Utsav to reach Kutch.

    How to Reach Bhuj by Flight?

    Bhuj has a small airport which is called Rudra Mata Airport ( BHJ). The flight connectivity is extremely infrequent. 

    You might get 1 or 2 flights from Mumbai and the cost is 3 times the flight cost to Mumbai Ahmedabad sector. 
    For example for the month of Jan’2022, the flight ticket from Mum to Bhuj price is showing as Rs 9,739 and for the same date, Mum to Ahmedabad flight ticket costs Rs 3,409.

    So reaching Bhuj by flight is not recommended, till the time is avoidable majorly due to unavailability of flights rather than the cost of the flight. 

    How to Reach Bhuj by Bus or Car?


    If you are planning to reach Bhuj by car or Bus it will be a long drive, however, the drive is extremely nice. From Ahmedabad, it takes approximately 7-8 Hours to reach Bhuj.

    If you are planning to reach Bhuj by Bus then you can get Private and Government buses.  

    The Government buses to Bhuj run by Gujarat State Bus Corporation are extremely clean and is a cheaper option too. You can find both semi-sleeper and sleeper buses from Ahmedabad to Bhuj. The cost ranges from Rs 400- Rs 800 depending on the Bus you are choosing. The cost of Private buses is a little higher.

    Tip: Suggest taking an early morning Bus so that by afternoon you can reach Bhuj and explore the town of Bhuj before travelling to Rann Utsav or rann of Kutch the next day. This was you will save on days.

    If you are travelling in a group of 4 then taking a private car will come out to be a better option rather than taking a Bus.

    The private cars operate on per hour basis or they will charge flat rates for travelling between Ahmedabad to Bhuj. If you are lucky sometimes though rarely you can get a shared private vehicle also. Suggest speaking with various travel agencies or at your hotel for a good deal.

    reach kutch by road



    How to Reach Bhuj by Train?


    Reaching Bhuj by train is one of the most convenient options. You need to get down at Bhuj Railway Station. There are multiple trains from all major cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara etc which ends of passes through Bhuj.

    From Bhuj Railway station you can get local transport easily to your destination address in Bhuj. From Bhuj railway station, the Dhordo village or the tents of Rann Utsav is approximately 80 kilometres so you can easily hire a car or take the free pick up and drop service of Rann Utsav from the Railway station.


    How to Reach Kutch from Bhuj


    Reaching from Bhuj to Kutch doesn’t take much time as the distance is approximately 80 Kilometers. You can take various options for reaching Kutch from Bhuj. The issue becomes when you are on the budget and you have booked a stay on your own as the transport can turn ut to be a little costly.

    Free Pickup and Drop Service of Rann Utsav


    Travelling from Bhuj to Kutch is easier and ost friendly if you have booked your stay at the tent city in Dhordo.

    Rann Utsav tent city of Dhordo provides free pickup and drop service and there are approximately 3-4 buses that run from Bhuj to Kutch at different times. The only thing you have to keep in mind is the timing, you have to reach Bhuj in such a way that so that you can take the bus or else you might have to take your own transport or spend a day in Bhuj.

    Just enquire about the pickup and drop timings when you book your stay at Rann Utsav at Tent City Dhordo.

    Travelling from Bhuj to Kutch by Car


    You will get various agencies which provide you transport services to Kutch from Bhuj by private cars.

     However, there is no standard rate and it varies from agency to agency. You have to bargain a little to get the best price. All the transport providers will charge for both ways even if you are travelling one way.

    The cost varies between Rs 3000- Rs 5000 for pick up and drop or one day tour of Kutch.

    You can also look at renting a bike or scooter for a day or renting a self-driven car.


    How to Get Permit to Visit Rann of Kutch


    You will require a permit to visit Rann of Kutch as it is close to the Pakistan border.

    However, if you are booking your stay at the Tent City of Rann Utsav you don’t have to bother as they take the permits o your behalf.

    You have to take the permit for Rann of Kutch from the Bhirandiara Check post. The Bhirandiara check post is approximately 55 kilometres from Bhuj and getting a permit is easy. The permit is given for a day, however, if you can show your stay booking voucher you can easily get the permit for 2-3 days.

    You need to show an original Government-approved identity card and also submit a photocopy of the same.

    The charges of the permit to visit Rann of Kutch is extremely low. The permit will cost you approximately Rs 100 for an adult and you have to take a permit for the vehicle also which is approximately Rs 50.

    You can take the permit to visit Rann of Kutch online as well. Visit the Go Kutch website to get the Online Permit.


    Mobile Network in Kutch


    If you are dependent on High-speed internet connectivity then you will be a little disappointed. Since the region of Kutch is near the border and the area is huge you will find patchy network. 

    In some places, you will get 4G connectivity and in some places, you might not get any Data connectivity at all.

    Public wifi is not present unless you are staying in a Tent City in Dhordo where they give you free wifi. However, the speed of the wifi ranges between 4-10 Mbps.


    What to Eat in Rann Utsav or Kutch


    One thing you must try is the Kutchi Dabeli which is a version of Burger or Vada Paw from the region of Kutch and it's delicious. The Kutchi Dabeli has unique flavours which can’t be compared with any other version of Burger or Vada Paw.

    At the tent city in Dhordo, you will get to taste various Gujarati cuisine and the speciality of the Kutch region as well.

    Gujarati Food



    If you are a non-vegetarian like me then you have to get converted into a vegetarian for your stay in the Kutch region. 

    You will not find any Non-vegetarian food here, however, trust me you will not be disappointed as the Gujarati vegetarian options are enough and delicious too.

    Gujarati Kadhi is another dish you should try. It is not like Punjabi Kadhi. Gujarati Kadhi is white in colour and is a little sweet with the right amount of Chilli.

    Gujarati Food



    Is Rann Utsav Worth Visiting?


    There is no doubt about it that Rann Utsav is absolutely worth visiting and is a lifetime experience. It gives the best way to see the vibrant culture of the Kutch region and get an insight into the unique lifestyle and crafts of the Kutch in Gujarat.
    Trust me if you visit Rann Utsav you will cherish this for your entire life.

    What will be the cost of Travelling to Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav?


    Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav is not meant for backpackers as it is not a budget-friendly tour.

    If you are planning to stay in the tents of Rann Utsav then you should budget at least Rs30000- Rs 35000 for a couple for 3 days. This is excluding the airfare from your city.

    If you want to stay in a hotel in Bhuj and travel to Rann of Kutch then you can deduct approximately Rs 10000 from the above budget and the cost will come to approximately Rs 20000 - Rs 25000 for a couple for 3 days.


    Rann of Kutch



    Lastly, I must say that travelling to Rann of Kutch and experiencing the culture of Vibrant Gujarat was always on my bucket list and thanks to Gujarat Tourism, Ministry of  Tourism and Tourism Office Mumbai that this dream came true.

    I enjoyed every moment of my travel to Vibrant Gujarat and would surely plan a trip soon again to explore other parts of Gujarat.

    If you liked this complete guide to Rann of Kutch and Rann Utsav would request you to share it among your friends and family and if you have any questions you can email me or drop me the question in the comment section below.


    Rann of Kutch Travel Guide Rann Utsav Travel Guide





    Shoestring Travel

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Instagram

    Discover latest Indian Blogs