Since 2006, when the Rann Utsav truly began its journey, this desert festival has been drawing tourists from all over the world. Considered one of the biggest desert festivals in theworld, ther eis so much one can do at this truly mesmerizing spot. While there are activities galore, the best way to enjoy the Rann Utsav is to actually sit by yourself and take in the beauty of this heaven on earth…
THE ‘Rann Utsav’ or the Carnival of Music, Dance & Culture of Gujarat is celebrated every year from November in the Kutch region of Gujarat and these celebrations continue till Holi (March). The Rann Utsav is celebrated in the Dhordo Village of Kutch which is 85 km from Bhuj. This district is famous for its various cultural traditional shopping activities like authentic handicraft items, Bandhini (tie and dye) sarees, traditional ornaments and many more items which are unique and traditional to this region. Furthermore, visitors can live in luxurious tents, set-up by the Government of Gujarat and truly enjoy a traditional experience.
Furthermore, travellers can enjoy a variety of activities at the Rann Utsav such as ethnic dances, cultural acts, camel safari, traditional folk music, shopping for handicrafts and textile, as well as living in tents and many more activities. Every year, these activities are organized with the support of Gujarat Tourism. Visitors can experience the breath-taking beauty of the Rann especially on a full moon night wherein the moon light simmers on the beauty of the white desert sand. The white milky colour gives a glimpse of heaven on earth. Added with the cool breeze and light of the full moon, any tourist can truly experience a scene that promises to be etched in one’s memory forever.
There are also other places to be visit during Rann Utsav like historical sites, wildlife sanctuary (famous for the Wild Ass – Located about 150 km from Bhuj is the Wild Ass Sanctuary. Spread over nearly 5,000 sqkm, the land is largely parched waterbed and is home to herds of the highly endangered wild ass as well as blackbuck.
Over two lakh birds are known to congregate during the monsoon and winter. The place is home to flamingoes, cranes, spoonbills, painted storks.), Great White Rann of Kutch, Museums, Palaces, and Forts etc.
One can also visit smaller localities and villages Ludiya, Khavda, Bhirandiyara and Hodko to watch artisans carve wood, make terracotta articles and embroider leather artefacts. Kala Dungar (this place is otherwise called Black Hill.) is the highest point in Kutch, and one can visit it for a panoramic view of the area.
BEAUTY OF THE KUTCH:
Kutch, located in the State of Gujarat, is blessed with one of the most ecologically and culturally abundant landforms. Considered to be the largest salt desert in the world, the White Rann, an endless salt marsh, was also a bit frightening. Stretching for more than 7,500 sq km, and almost uniformly barren of anything else. The brimming profusion of nature’s beauty, culture and tradition, superfluity of colours and celebration, cornucopia of joy and beauty, all together reflect the magnificence of the kaleidoscopic Kutch. Particularly, the spectacular sight of boundless white desert under the moonlight presents the stunning creation of nature, unique to this world.
The distinctive folk dances and music, intricate arts and crafts, gracious people and nature along with the affluent handicraft culture of the district like folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, Bandhani sarees, traditional ornaments and mirror work are some of the specialties of Kutch, Gujarat, India.
AT A GLANCE
Bhuj, at about 80 kms, is the nearest town to access the White Rann.
The year 2018-’19 version is scheduled from Nov 1st, 2018 to Feb 20th, 2019.
HOW TO REACH
TRAVEL -Bhuj has a few flight connections from Mumbai. A better option is to fly to Ahmedabad and take a train or travel by road to Bhuj.
STAY – During the Rann Utsav, the Tent City comes up near the White Rann.
Packages start from 27,900 per person per night. Refer to the website – www.rannutsav.com for more details.
EAT – Kutchi food is simple but delicious and is largely vegetarian. Khichdi,
kadhi, bajar na rotla (bajjar roti), chatni (paste of garlic and chilli powder) khaman dhokla and subji form the staple.
SHOP – Block printed and intricately embroidered garments, tapestries,
leather footwear, embroidered handbags and pouches, artefacts, and handpainted terracotta tiles.
SPECIAL FESTIVE ACTIVITIES
PERFORMED ON SPECIAL DAYS:
31st December Night – New Year Celebration
14th January – Special arrangement for Kite Flying Festival
26th January – Special arrangement on Republic Day
14th February – Valentines Day’s Special Gala Dinner on White Rann.
March – Holi Festival Celebration