Kutch is a place of endless expanse of white desert, and a colorful culture rich with art and craft. Kutch is also a home to many wildlife species that are rarely seen in India. Rich as it is in its natural beauty, the people here are also very welcoming. The food is delicious and the handicraft is worth taking home for displaying or just as a souvenir.
The place is a desert, so the best time to visit will be in the colder months i.e. October to March. If you can plan your visit to coincide with the full moon then you are in for a treat. White desert stretching beyond the horizon under the white moonlight will take you into another world where only beauty exists.
Then there is the Rann Utsav (festival of the desert) which is held every year between December and January.
Still wondering why you should visit the Rann? Read on:
#1 Little Rann of Kutch is not far from Ahmedabad
The Little Rann of Kutch is where you should stay for at least 2 days in your visit to Kutch. It is popularly known for the Wild Ass Sanctuary. There are also a whole bunch of migratory birds that you can see here. The water bodies in the area become red in the migratory seasons due to all the flamingoes that flock to the area. There are salt pans that you can see, where salt is extracted from the soil.
#2 Kutch is a Visual Treat
The Great Rann of Kutch stretches across India and Pakistan. Most scenes in the movie Refugee were shot here. It is inspired by the book “Love across the Salt Desert” written by Keki N. Daruwalla. As I mentioned above, the moonlit nights in the desert are beyond description. Kala Dungar is the highest point in Kutch. On a clear day, the sun set point here offers breathtaking views of the Rann. You have to see it to believe it. Do not miss Chari Daand sanctuary. It is home to a lot of birds that flutter around the water at dawn. Not to forget the colorful attire of the locals and their works of art. Almost everything about Kutch is a pleasure to see.
#3 Kutch has a History
An excavation in Dholavira has lead to its classification as part of the Indus Valley Civilization. Dholavira is something every archeologist will find interesting. Even us normal people will be awed by the planning of the towns that existed nearly 5000 years ago.
In recent history, the earthquake in 2001 nearly flattened Bhuj. But since then the people there have rebuilt it. It was also the main shooting site for the Oscar nominated film Lagaan. The Prag Mahal being the main focus. There is also the Aaina Mahal nearby which is worth a visit for it’s Royal Tomb. The Chattris in the center of the city are beautiful examples of Minakari work.
#4 Relax with Nature
The beach in Mandvi is a great place to relax. The windmills and the birds circling above the water are soothing sights. If you take a short camel ride then you can reach Vijay Vilas Palace. If you are here around the noon you can also watch the temple priests feed the jackals. The weather here is nice throughout the year and you will want to spend at least one full evening here.
#5 Experience the Local
Spend at least one night in the local mud houses, Bhungas. These houses are decorated with glass and mud art. Too quench the thirsty adventurers there are plenty of activities like: Rann Riders, Desert Adventures in Little Rann and Shaam-e-Sarhad, Devpur Home Stay in Great Rann and Bhuj.
The trip will be incomplete without a little bit of shopping for the local handicraft items. Nirona has Rogan Art, Copper Bells and Lac Work. Nakhtarana is known for its Tie and Die work. Khavda has unique pottery. Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur are known for Block Printing. And Hodka and Dhordo have Leather, Quilts and Mud mirrors.