- On October 25, 2017
- In Rann Utsav
Rann Utsav: What to Expect at Gujarat Biggest Desert Festival
Organized annually by Gujarat Tourism, between November and February, the Rann Utsav of Kutch has been scaling popularity charts among Indian and foreign travelers alike, in the last few years.
Though it’s surely an attention-grabbing effort allowing individuals to revisit the desert region of Kutch – that was left devastated by the 2001 earthquake – by creating a travel story linking to Kutch’s geographical and cultural distinctions, the value for money, that it offers… is unfortunately pretty discouraging.
To own a sleeping place (a Premium Tent) that comes with complimentary meals and a 1 night/2 days package. For every additional person, within the tent, you pay four thousand (and a lot of taxes). This means that a family of 3 will end up paying over fifteen thousand Rupees for one night in Rann Utsav.
You can moreover purchase longer-length packages, that takes you around a few places in the nearby town of Bhuj, additionally to the customary sunsets/sunrises within the White Desert. However contemplate that an even costlier and sillier deal!
To be honest… a large tented town, a little bit of chaos and the numerous neatly staged cultural experiences!
The tent city of Dhordo, where Rann Utsav takes place is moreover walled as a result of the tourism department needs to stay those away who failed to pay for their stay. A total turn off!
I felt that thanks to lack of knowledge out there online, concerning the complete Kutch region and its amazing natural White deserts, Gujarat Tourism has clearly seen it as a burgeoning industrial opportunity to make cash. Sorry for a rough tone, but that’s truly true.
Moreover, given the facts that Rann Utsav didn’t facilitate single occupancy booking; the White Desert around Dhordo was perhaps the most crowded and dirtiest as compared to other White Desert locations I’d visited; the visit to White desert, from the tent town, is in buses rather than camel carts as otherwise advertised; and staying there’s super expensive – it would not be wrong to say that the Rann Utsav, is a total rip off.
Getting to the Big Picture
One simple inspiration for folks to go to Kutch, from as far as outside of India, is to explore its two natural landscapes: one is that the While Desert, which comes with all those dramatic sunsets and full-moons we have a tendency to end up here trying for; and the other, the vast barren flatlands (or the crack-lands).
Throughout my twenty five days of backpacking across Gujarat, out of which a fair share was spent in exploring the Great and Little Rann of Kutch, I found some spectacular and offbeat sites – that were way higher than the Great Rann of Kutch located close to the tent town of Dhordo. The White Rann close to Dhordo, as I discovered, was crowded and has been turned partially brown (from white) thanks to its overexposure to tourists. It was moreover impossible to hear the silence here and get pleasure from the moment on your own, as I apparently did within the additional isolated and offbeat corners of White Rann.
So What To Do, If Not Visit The Rann Utsav?
In one sentence… plan your own itinerary! Particularly if you’re alone, and are more or less inquisitive about exploring the natural landscapes of Gujarat, over a crowded can-be-experienced-anywhere-in-the-world type of honest – which Rann Utsav, in reality, solely is.
If you’re not flying directly into Bhuj, and are driving from Mumbai or Rajasthan, drive all over the center of the Little Rann of Kutch, also called the Sanctuary of Wild Ass. Do not waste your effort in exploring wild asses, as a result of they more or less look just like those you can find in just about any corner of India.
At the Little Rann of Kutch, you may see spectacular barren crack-land, unfold over a distance of five thousand square kilometers. Other than the crack-land you’ll visit the numerous salt farmers and even spot some migratory water birds like cranes, pelicans and flamingos. If lucky, you can even come across some interesting wild life here, including the ugly desert fox and the Indian wolf.
To get the most effective experience of driving through the White Desert, head straight to Dholavira. This is where you may return across a seven-kilometer straight road that passes through the White Desert on its either aspect.
An additional offbeat location of ‘Ekal Ka Rann’ located around one hundred kilometres east of Bhuj (almost the identical distance as Bhuj-Dhordo), is maybe a higher option for those wanting for one thing more romantic, because of its isolated location.
Still if you think that the White Rann close to Dhordo is one thing you’d a minimum of want to explore, thanks to all the hype it has gathered throughout the years, you can invariably build a day tour from Bhuj. And it takes just a little over four hours for a spherical trip to Dhordo (from Bhuj). If you are doing not book an accommodation in Dhordo, you can’t access the premises of tent city, where the Rann Utsav takes place, however that does not stop you from visiting the White Rann and testing the nitty-gritty of a local marketplace located in Dhordo.
Moreover, build positive you’ve got your own mean of transport. As the state transport buses don’t go all the approach to Dhordo and leave you somewhere in the center of Bhuj-Dhordo. To rent a motorcycle, you will notice solely one search within town of Bhuj, or you can create a pander to a native and rent theirs for daily – just the means I did!