With a plethora of festivals and weddings in India, the year-end is usually as celebratory as it gets for the country. While there is a wave of festivity everywhere, Gujarat particularly stands out on the map during this time, especially beginning November, owing to one of the most coveted festivals of India, The Rann Utsav. After all, it’s not every day that India witnesses the glory of the ‘Tent City of India,’ built on the gleaming Salt Desert, bordering the panoramic White Rann on one side and the verdant greens of the Wild Ass Sanctuary on the other.
Truly an experience to be added to your Travel Bucket List, the Rann Utsav has a little something for everyone- from adults to children and solo travellers to couples. The holy grail of all things Rann Utsav, the article tells you everything you need to know about this cultural revelry, right in the heart of a beautiful Indian desert. Read on.
Glamping Dreams Come True
Glamorous camping… Well, almost! Guests get to live in fancy tents set up by the organizers and they have everything to meet the needs of travellers. To accommodate the fluctuating moods of the desert, these tents are well-equipped with air-conditioners and heaters for the day and night respectively. Comfortable beds, an attached toilet and a desk and chair to go with it, the tents vary in size and facilities depending upon your budget and the number of people you are travelling with. You can book these tents for even a night if a quick weekend trip is what you have in mind.
Shop Till You Drop
One aspect of the Rann Utsav that travellers love and vouch for is the shopping here. There is a separate section, a group of tents, dedicated to traditional Gujarati handicrafts that people visiting the festival can pick, for their loved ones. Ranging from the authentic Gujarati embroidery work to the traditional hand block printing, wood carving objects to silver jewellery, people are spoilt for choice and have a wide range of goodies to choose from. Another specialty from Bhuj that makes its way to the Rann Utsav is the seashell toys. Carved in different shapes and forms, these are so attractive that you can’t help but buy. The prices too are fairly reasonable, not letting you burn a hole in your pocket.
It’s All Fun and Games
The recreation center is one of the most loved areas of the Rann Utsav. With so many adventure activities under one roof, people don’t want to step out of the tent city. For people who love a great rush of adrenaline-para-motoring, giving a splendid view of the Gujarat skyline, zorbing, wall climbing and zip-lining are available at one place. ATV rides, paintball and a watchtower to see the colours of the rising sun shining over the desert, entice people equally.
Once you’ve had your quota of adventure, stop at the Club Spa in the vicinity, where guests can indulge in ayurvedic spa treatments and massage facilities. A bout of relaxation post this exciting time ensures guests get the best of both worlds at one place.
Oh, The Gujarati Food Delight
Foodies are in for a treat at the Rann Utsav with two dining halls serving food from all around the world. As delectable as the food from international cuisines is, something that stands out is the Gujarati food served here. Since Rann Utsav is all about the colours of Gujarat, guests looking to delight their taste buds with some amazing Gujarati dishes will not be disappointed. These meals are a part of the packages you book usually.
Influenced by Sufi and folk songs, the performances at the events section of the festival have renowned dancers and performers from around the state gracing the occasion of the Rann Utsav. You will find people from local Gujarati tribes too, performing to the tunes of folk music. A dance style, specifically enjoyed by people is the Kachchi Ghodi dance. Children too, enjoy puppetry, a common feature at the event area.
Around The Rann
It isn’t just the festival, but the tourist attractions in Kutch and around Dhordo also that attract visitors. One of the most popular of these is the White Rann, and for all the right reasons! A sea of pure white sand emerging with the colours of the rising or the setting sun creates an illusion of being into another world- a world far, far away from the one we live in.
The second most popular attraction here is the Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann. What is particularly unique about this place is that it still houses the world’s last population of Khur- a sub-species of the Wild Ass.
Here’s a bonus tip for you- You should visit the Rann Utsav on the full moon night in December. Thank us later!
For more information on Rann Utsav, visit Gujarat Tourism