During the winter months, the marvel of this desert is the festival 'Rann Utsav'.
Christmas and New Year are not the only events that define the year-end months in India. With all the festivals and various events that take place all over the country, these winter months becomes the most celebrated in our country. One such event being The Rann festival in Kutch.
Located in the western region of India in the state of Gujarat (district of Kutch), Rann lies at the border of India with Pakistan. During the monsoons, this place is immersed in water, but for the rest of the year, it is a huge expanse of white salt desert.
During the winter months, however, The Great Rann of Kutch turns into a massive spread of white desert as the salt in the sands forms a crystal. Apart from that, the marvel of this desert is the festival ‘Rann Utsav’. It is celebrated by the government from November to February every year. For this year, the Kutch Rann Utsav Dates: November 1, 2017, to February 20, 2018. The three months long Kutch Rann festival brings out the colorful culture and heritage of Gujarat and the white sands of the desert, that turns into a canvas for the festivities.
Where to stay?
The Rann festival is known as one of the greatest desert festivals in Asia. The celebratory festival begins in the Bhuj city and goes all the way around the district. The finale of the festival is put up at a tent city near a small village called Dhordo, easily accessible from the Bhuj airport.
The temporary tent city is established just 1-2km from the white desert. There are around 400 AC and non-AC tents set every year, equipped with all amenities needed, starting from room heaters, ample supply of warm water in the middle of a desert, shopping complex, exhibition center, and dining halls.
What to do there?
Though this place is filled with events all the time, the cultural fiesta hosting folk artists from all corners of Gujarat is sought-after. The image of a bonfire in the desert with folk dance artists to the tunes of true folk music comes true here. Arrangements such as cultural festivities, distinctive folk dances, and music, artisan craft shops, including the handicraft industries like folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, and traditional ornaments are established in the tent city.
Among other experiences in this place, do not miss the camel ride especially by the Mandvi beach during the Rann Utsav in Rann of Kutch. Desert safari is another exhilarating activity to look out for. However, for the extra edge experience, you can take the hot air balloon ride, that overlooks the vibrant hues of the white sand right from the top.
While there is a lot one can do amid this white desert, it is highly recommended to visit this place during the full moon period. Along with the cultural fiesta, Rann of Kutch is a breathtaking serenity, under the full moon with the white expanse of serene sand at night.
Other attractions include a visit to the nearby villages of Khavda, Bhirandiyra, and Gandhi-Nugam as they arrange workshops for amazing handcrafted textile and fabrics. Shopping items include handcrafted Gujarati articles, leather products, silverware, Kutchi embroidery, and ornaments.
Cost for it
The prices for this place varies depending on the month you are traveling. Normally it ranges from Rs. 14,000 to 22,000 but for the month of December in the last weeks, it will cost you around Rs. 24,000 for 3 nights and 4 days.
Overall the experience from sunrise-sunset and the full moon in the desert will leave you wanting more.