Rann Utsav – Its vast and infinite!!!

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Rann Utsav – Its vast and infinite!!!

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The Great Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh situated in the heart of the Thar Desert in the Kutch district of Gujarat on one side and Pakistan’s Sind province on the other. It spans about 7,505.22 square kilometres in size and is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The Great Rann of Kutch, along with the Little Rann of Kutch and the Banni grasslands on its southern edge, is situated in the district of Kutch and comprises some 30,000 square kilometres between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River in southern Pakistan. The area was a vast shallow of the Arabian Sea until continuing geological uplift closed off the connection with the sea.

Rann Utsav is a cultural extravaganza organized by Gujarat Tourism set against the cultural backdrop of the region with vast expanse of white desert. It’s organised for three months from December onwards and the region brims with hospitality, vigour, magic and mythical flavour of Rann. On full moon night during Rann Utsav, the region wakes to an endless cycle of dance, music, food, art, and craft in a celebration. Tourists from across the world visit the fair. An exquisite variety of crafts, embroidery, wood carving and metal crafts emerges from the terrain on the backdrop of this extraordinary fair.

Travelogue

By far this was the most dramatic, adventurous, and exciting road trip that we had done so far. We started two hours late from our schedule plan and left at 3 p.m. from Panvel. Our original plan was to cover the distance till Ahmedabad and overnight stay with early departure so that we can reach Rann of Kutch on time. We started with a thought of covering as much as possible but fate had something else in store for us. We were cruising along the highway and were expecting to reach Ahmedabad by 1:00 a.m. but suddenly everything came to a halt with a heavy traffic jam just before Bharuch. It took four hours to come out of the traffic jam and our entire plan went for a toss. We still targeted Ahmedabad and continued our journey. We crossed Vadodara around 2:30 a.m. and continued towards Ahmedabad via expressway. We took a break on the expressway at a food court for some snacks at around 4:00 a.m. and took a small nap in the car. Since our target was to reach Rann of Kutch on time so we decided to continue our journey. Still 400 Km away the target was challenging but we managed to cover the distance and reached Dhordo Tent City at Rann of Kutch as per our schedule time i.e. at 1:00 p.m. thereby covering a total distance of 1025 KM.

Some pictures of the desert before reaching the Dhordo Tent City…we crossed through desert where by looking the farthest we can feel the round shape of the earth…

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As straight as it can be and it’s only us that were on road but still felt safe…

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The Dhordo tent city was spectacular and magnanimous.The environment was ecstatic and vibrant. We were greeted at beautiful reception lounge where we completed the formalities and marched towards our tent on battery operated vehicles.

An awesome reception area where we completed all the formalities and left for our tent.

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There were around 9 – 10 tent clusters built in a round shape with an activity area in the middle surrounded by open space that gave an awesome feel to the environment. Our tent was in cluster I. Time to relax and indulge in the festive mood of Rann Utsav. A look of the cluster that we were part of…

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A closer look and feel of the cluster…

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Isn’t it relaxing…just sit and enjoy the warmth of sun in winter season…

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If one is amazed by the beauty of the city then the tent from inside was also very nice…

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Shree was bemused by the beauty of the tent…

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We were wondering how the washroom would be but again we were bowled out by the sheer look of it…

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After ending a long journey at Dhordo city we were very hungry and after getting refreshed we went to the dining area for lunch. They served the regional food and had lot of option. The food was mouth watering and superb…We enjoyed the pure vegetarian food in totality…

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After a sumptuous lunch, we took some rest and played football for some time. Now, the most important part of the day was to visit the White Rann and we started our journey towards the same which was just 5 minutes away from the city. The last leap towards the white desert…

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A function organized by the armed forces with decorated camel…

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Before reaching the white desert we crossed this patch where we drove for a while and enjoyed a lot. 

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Here we are at the white desert…it’s magnanimous, beautiful, mesmerizing, and infinite. Shree at her best on the turf of great Rann gave a colour to its rustic look…

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Enjoying the moment…

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Hypnotized!!! A picture perfect!!!

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We have witnessed sunset on numerous occasions but this time it was different. For the first time we witnessed it from a desert and that too white desert. An awesome site…

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After enjoying a beautiful evening at the white desert we headed back to the tent city. Since it has became dark it was hard to navigate through the desert but slowly and steadily we reached our car. It just came through our mind that how beautiful the white desert will look on a full moon night. We were back into the city to enjoy the evening. The city came to life in the evening and we enjoyed every bit of it.

A glimpse of the beautiful city…First time I tried night photography through manual mode and tripod from my DSLR camera…

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A classical and regional touch on a winter evening…

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And people enjoyed the music…

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If you thought evening was good then morning was also equally beautiful…

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There are lot of activities that one can indulged into and we also did some of them. A puppet show, cycling, pool, table tennis, handicraft shops, and many more…

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Tried to re-visit school days with some cycling stints…

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We left from Dhordo Tent city for Kalo Dungar the highest point in Rann of Kutch which was 60 KM away. From Kalo Dungar the vast and endless stretch of white desert can be seen. 

A resort on the way…village like setup and environment…

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We passed through a village where villagers are going through their routine activities. 

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A capture while approaching Kalo DUngar…

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Camel ride to reach the highest point at Kalo Dungar…

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A view from Kalo Dungar with a mix of white desert and clear blue sky.

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The Great Rann of Kutch…

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One of my favourite click from Kalo Dungar…

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Shree wish she could fly…

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The cultural extravaganza of Rann Utsav was an enjoyable experience. The variety that emerges from the enchanting terrain provides a perfect backdrop to this extra ordinary fair. The white desert, tent city, cultural activities, delicious food, and craftsmanship provide an ideal platform for a memorable experience. The landscape is so white and ochre that even a hint of colour adds a fascinating element to the rustic life of Rann. We highly recommend a visit to Rann during winters to enjoy every moment of it.

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