The Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is India’s most beautiful, yet very little known place outside the state. An extended Thar desert into Gujarat, the Rann of Kutch is also the world’s largest salt desert. Stretching upto 26000 sq.km, the Rann of Kutch can leave you spellbound with its white expanse of a desert . Below is my experience and also a detailed Rann of Kutch itinerary.
Best time to Visit Rann of Kutch
Rann of Kutch Formation
Located at the mouth of the ancient river Saraswati, the river water flows into the marsh lands of the Great Rann(desert) during monsoon season. This submerges the whole Rann of Kutch. During summer season, the water evaporates leaving the salt crystals behind on top of the surface, creating a massive salt desert.
Hence The perfect season to visit Rann of Kutch is in Winter , between Nov to Feb (Only!).
- Monsoons from July to Oct , and the whole of Rann with all the salt will be submerged in water with the heavy rains
- Summer – March to June – With high temperatures soaring across the land, this can make it really tough to explore the area. Besides, there’ll be almost no activity in this region, so might as well see it later in the year.
How to reach Rann of Kutch
- Nearest Airport : Bhuj. However there are mostly flights only from Mumbai and hence not an ideal option
- Nearest Railway Station : Bhuj. There are many trains from Ahmedabad and Mumbai. So best is to either fly down to Ahmedabad and drive to Kutch directly, or take a night train (6-7 hours) to Bhuj station
Bhuj to Kutch : Most tent companies offer free pickup and drop from Bhuj to Kutch (and vice versa) at designated times. It’s a total distance of 72 kms . This is included in your package as well.
Bhuj to Kutch Day trip
In case you are staying at Bhuj and prefer going on your own as a day trip from Bhuj to Kutch (72kms) , these are the options :
- you can drive down from Bhuj using a rental bike (if you have come alone or just with one another person)
- or take a self-driven car
- or rent a cab to the hotel
The cabs would charge you close to 4000-5000 INR for the 150kms distance (up & down) to Kutch
Accomodation at Kutch
There are various types of accommodations in the Kutch region for all budgets. Most of these offer a 2-3 day package including To & Fro from Bhuj. The most recommended accommodation would be inside the Tent City at Dhordo. The Rann Utsav, organized by Gujarat Tourism is celebrated here. Check out www.rannutsav.net for the package details
You can also opt for any of the budget accomodations at Kutch or even prefer a nice homestay with all meals.
Meanwhile do check out this website for tips on selecting cheap accomodations.
Rann Utsav, Tent City, Kutch
With more than 400+ tents across various categories ( in VIP, Premium & Swiss Cottage tents), they offer a complete package for travelers including all meals & transportation and plenty of adventure activities as well.
The tent city is like a complete vacation on its own. From shopping to luxury stays, short sightseeings, food expeiences and even music/dance festivals, you don’t even feel the need to step out of this place (apart from visiting the Great Rann of course). Everything a modern day international traveller, the Tent city provides with great style.
Facilities in Tents:
The tents at Tent city include all the below facilities
- Luxury Double bed with nearby charging points
- Private Bathroom with heater
- Coffee Table Area
- Sit out area
- Tea & Hot Water Kettle
- Airconditioning or Fan (Depending on Category of Tent)
- Complimentary Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Hi-Tea as per the duration of your stay package
Things to do at Rann Utsav (inside Tent City, Kutch)
- Have a gastronomical experience of delicious Gujarati cuisine
- Adventure Activities : Paintball , ATV Rides & Zip lining
- Shopping for Handicrafts & Accessories
- Get a spa done to relax those muscles
- Go for an early morning sunrise / sunset at Rann of Kutch
- Moongazing experience on full moon night
Rann of Kutch itinerary
Day 1 at Kutch
Arrive at Bhuj and take a shuttle to Tent City at Dhordo region (roughly 72kms from Bhuj). Check in to your tent and experience a super delicious Gujarati dinner at the main dining area.
Day 2 at Kutch
Post breakfast, visit Kala Dungar, the highest point at Kutch. This will give you magnificent views of the Great Kutch region and helps you understand the panorama of the region. The coastal lines of the salt lands is also visible here. Along the Kala Dungar pathway, you have many shops selling cute accessories , bags, shoes and shawls. So don’t forget to give a sneak peek
After a lunch back at Tent City, head to the main Rann of Kutch . The salt dessert can enthrall you at first glimpse. A massive land surrounded by glistening salts from the sunshine, this can definitely blow up your Instagram page. Stick around till Sunset, where the sun sets in the background with a fascinating view like below.
If time permits, also do Paramotoring to witness the grand landscape from a far distance .If you are looking to explore a bit around towards late evening, do check out Urban Kutch at Dhordo. A lovely food court of all cuisines, with some nice art performances in one corner, handicraft shopping in the other side
Day 3 of the Rann of Kutch itinerary
Post breakfast, shop around the area for nice accessories, handcrafted jewellery, bags, shoes and beautiful keychains. These are made by the artisans from the nearby villages and most designs are hard to come by.
Indulge in adventure activities inside tent city such as
- Adventure Rock Climb etc.
Try visiting the nearby villages as well, famous for their arts & handicrafts especially Nirona Village & Gandhi Nu gram. At a distance of just 70kms from Dhordo (Tent City), you find the city of Nirona famous for several art work including
- Copper Bell making workshops
- Rogan Art
- Lacqured Woodcrafts
Gandhi nu gam is another village , just 25kms from Dhordo, famous for its leather bags, shoes, pillow covers, quilts and ethnic jewellery
Day 4 : Return back to Ahmedabad ( and on the way , do cover Modhera Sun temple and Pathan city , famous for its saree making workshop)
Do let me know your thoughts and if you require further information on my Rann of Kutch itinerary