October 27, 2021
CM Content Team
Gujarat brings to your mind a splash of colour: in the lip-smacking thalis, the mirrored embroidery and in the eye-catching accessories from turbans to lehengas and more. Circle in for a memorable visit to the Rann of Kutch during the famous Rann Utsav or the Rann of Kutch festival that runs from November to February, spanning the winter months.
During monsoon, the Rann is submerged in water. The shallow wetland in the Thar Desert emerges bone dry as the year draws to a close. Winter (between November and February) is the best season for Rann of Kutch festival. During this time you can revel in the burst of colours and joy that fill the air.
Here are five things you must do when you plan your family vacation to experience the Rann Utsav:
Ride the ship of the desert across the expanse of the White Rann. Bedecked with bright tassels and strings, the camel plods along the terrain of the Rann of Kutch. It is a fascinating sight as you focus on the horizon. The intricacies of the 18 tribes that live in the Rann come alive during this awaited festival at the end of the year. You can stargaze at night, enjoy local dance performances in Garba, and taste Kutchi culture at its vibrant best. While you may shop galore for the mesmerising tiny handicrafts, and the bandhani work, the sight of the sunrise and sunset will stay in your mind forever.
While the temperature drops during the night over the vast landscape, the sheer enchantment of waking up at 6 am to witness the golden sunrise, followed by the evening spectacle of the sky painted in hues of crimson and orange, is nothing short of surreal. Remember to pack warm clothing, sunscreen, and binoculars for delightful birdwatching in the Little Rann of Kutch.
On a full moon night, the entire expanse looks surreal, with a dancing light phenomenon called chir batti that takes place.
Dholavira, 300 km from Bhuj, Rann of Kutch, is associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. It stands out as one of the six largest Harappan sites in the Indian subcontinent. If you have a penchant for ancient history, mark a visit to this location to delve into the intriguing ruins. For enthusiasts of awe-inspiring architecture, make your way to the captivating Aina Mahal. This architectural gem showcases stunning Venetian artistry in glass and marble, providing a visual feast for all who appreciate the marvels of the past.
Love beaches and horse riding? Make sure you go to Mandvi, near Bhuj. For your Insta pictures, clamber up to the top of the Vijay Vilas Palace, for a spectacular view of the Arabian beyond the Rann. The porches and domes abound at this stunning palace, where movies including Lagaan and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam have been filmed. Spectacular colours run through the bandhani bazaar here, and while you haggle and net bargains in folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, traditional ornaments and mirror work, drop in at the old Swaminarayan temple.
The Mumbai street food staple of vada pav revs up its mirchi quotient in the spicy pakoras it is served up hot with. You will love the fresh, garam bajra na rotla with curd. Keep slurping on the buttermilk to stay hydrated throughout the day. The bun major in dabeli appears at every nook and corner in lip-smacking renditions. Remember to try the ice dabeli. That’s a local moniker for the dabeli made with chilled curd and fiery chutneys. Speaking of fiery, there is the kadak pav too that must be chomped with chai, along with fried rice-crisps (bhungras) stuffed with garlicky potatoes (lasaniya bataka).
If you get tired there, golf carts are available easily to navigate your way. You can check out Rann of Kutch travel guides to know more about this. Kick in the adrenaline – if kids are happy, folks are happy too – with a spot of rappelling, ATV rides, and even paramotoring when you can fly through the air and soak up the colourful sights of the Kutch Utsav. Looking for a slice of calm? Believe me, closing eyes and meditating as the sun rises, or sets, is a magical experience. Slip into yoga postures, video call with your friends across the globe and click pictures galore.
With several nomadic tribes bringing their own intrinsic flavours to the region, a unique form has evolved as Kutchi music. The folk songs ring through the air to create a festive mood in the area. Various instruments bring alive the cultural heritage of the Rann of Kutch: from the tabla, to the shehnai, the mini cymbals in manjiras, the haunting flute, and percussion specials in the damaru and dholak. Discover the bhorrindo here in the Kutch. It is a quirky, musical instrument specific to the Kutch region. Our desi rendition of the didgeridoo, and emits a sound similar to the wind instruments. The entire air is redolent with song and music.
Rann Utsav in Gujarat is a one-of-a-kind event, and there's no way you should miss it. Rann of Kutch festival makes for a great event to witness, even if you can make it for a day. However, a 4-day trip to the Kutch Region is ideal.
If you are planning to enjoy the Rann of Kutch festival, here a Rann of Kutch travel guide to help you.
To reach Bhuj, Rann of Kutch, you can choose any of the following options:
The nearest airport to Rann of Kutch is the Bhuj Airport, which is approximately 80 kilometres away. Major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad have direct flights to Bhuj. After reaching Bhuj, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Rann of Kutch.
The nearest railway station to Rann of Kutch is Bhuj Railway Station. There are regular train services from major cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Delhi to Bhuj. After reaching Bhuj Railway Station, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Rann of Kutch.
Rann of Kutch is well connected by road to major cities in Gujarat, such as Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Bhuj. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) operates regular bus services to Bhuj from major cities in the state. Alternatively, you can also drive to Rann of Kutch from nearby cities or hire a taxi for a more comfortable journey.
While the Rann of Kutch festival is usually the main reason for people to visit lately, there are many amazing things to do and see in there.
For a distinctive and captivating view of the Rann of Kutch, set your sights on Kalo Dungar, also recognized as Black Hill. Soaring to an impressive 462 meters above sea level, this location provides an unparalleled panoramic spectacle, reaching all the way to the Pakistani border.
You can easily reach Kalo Dungar by going through the charming village of Khavda, which is about 25 kilometres (16 miles) away and roughly 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Bhuj.
Beyond being a gateway, Khavda is a hub of skilled artisans specializing in various forms of block printing, including the renowned ajrakh block printing. Considering the limited availability of public transport, it's recommended to arrange your own means of transportation.
Extend your exploration of the Rann of Kutch to the historic Lakhpat Fort, located 140 kilometres (87 miles) from Bhuj. This ancient fortress not only stands as a testament to history but also provides another enchanting vantage point to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Rann of Kutch.
Explore one of the five holy lakes in India, the serene Narayan Sarovar lake in Kutch. Named after Lord Vishnu, this site holds immense reverence in Hindu pilgrimage. Immerse yourself in the calming blue waters and spiritual ambience.
Embark on a spiritual journey as you visit the temples surrounding Narayan Sarovar lake. Explore Shri Trikamraiji, Laxminarayan, Govardhannathji, Dwarkanath, Adinarayan, Ranchhodraiji, and Laxmiji. These grand temples were intricately designed by Maharaj Shri Deshalji’s queen.
Marvel at the colossal mandirs in and around the Rann of Kutch area, reflecting both architectural brilliance and deep devotion.
Witness the unique design elements crafted by Maharaj Shri Deshalji’s queen. These sacred temples attract thousands of devotees from across India throughout the year.
We hope the above Rann of Kutch travel guide will help you enjoy the destination to the fullest. Remember, your stay is also important as it helps complement your exploration.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.