Type Cultural Festival Time 4 Months From November–February Location Dhordo, Gujarat One of the largest salt
Type Cultural Festival Time 4 Months From November–February Location Dhordo, Gujarat
One of the largest saltdeserts in the world, the Rann of Kutchh has a fascinating topography – vast, empty swathes of salt flats that become wetlands during the monsoon season. The region, known for its unique indigenous communities, rare wildlife, colourful handicrafts and eclectic cuisine, has a lot to offer to visitors, but was never a part of the tourist trail. Consequently, the Gujarat government started the Rann Utsav to improve accessibility and amenities and thus, promote tourism in the region. The results have been spectacular – over the years, visitors have arrived in droves and experienced the wonders that the Rann has to offer.
Tip Try to visit on a full moon night when the desert glistens
Things to See & Do
The hub of the Rann Utsav is Dhordo, a village located on the edge of the salt flats. The tourism department sets up a ‘tent city’, where accommodation is provided in tented cottages and bhungas (traditional mud houses). Here, one can enjoy camel safaris, birdwatching, horse riding, ATV rides, archery, cycling, music concerts and dance performances. Dhordo makes an excellent base to explore the various attractions of the Rann.
Wild Ass Sanctuary
The Little Rann of Kutchh is home to the last surviving population of the Indian wild ass, locally known as ghudkhur. The beasts are one metre tall and can run at very high speeds (as fast as 80km/ hr, according to some reports). It is also home to mammals such as the chinkara, desert fox, jackals, African lynx, nilgai, Indian wolf, blackbuck and striped hyena.
About 48km from Dhordo, one comes across Kala Dungar (literally ‘black hills’). The summit of the hill, located at an altitude of 428m, is the highest point in the Rann of Kutchh. At the top, there is a 400-year-old temple dedicated to Dattatreya and a dharamshala (rest house) for visiting devotees.
You will most likely pass through Bhuj on your journey to Dhordo. Most of the attractions in the city – Aina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), Prag Mahal, Sharad Baug Palace, Kutch Museum, Ramkund Stepwell, Swami Narayan and Ram Dhun Temple – are clustered around the Hamirsar Lake.
Where to Stay & Eat
There are 350 luxury cottages in the tent city. Gujarat Tourism offers packages for 2D/ 1N (Tariff: ₹5,000–9,100 per person on twin sharing basis, includes meals, transfers from Bhuj and sightseeing) and 3D/ 2N (Tariff ₹9,000–16,000). For details, check with Gujarat Tourism (see details alongside). Information is also available on W rannutsav.net, Tel: 079-40051456, 18002702700.
Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL)
HK House, Ashram Road
Tel: 079-26578044/ 46, 26589172
STD code 079
Air Nearest airport: Bhuj (90km/ 1hr from Dhordo). Taxi costs around ₹1,800. Tent City and White Rann Resort arrange a free pick-up for guests
Rail Bhuj is served by trains from all major cities and towns
festivals of India