Off-season travel guide to Rann of Kutch: A journey to Remember

Updated: Jan 14

Introduction to Rann of Kutch

A salt marsh in the Thar Desert in Kutch district of Gujarat is one of the largest salt desert in the earth (area 7500 Sq Km). People of India generally remember this place from Mr. Amitava Bachhan's Gujarat tourism ad on Rann Utsav but very few people eager to visit the place.

Although there's always rush during Rann Utsav the natural serenity of this area is little compromised due to crowd. So if you are a serenity seeker this blog is the guide for you.

This blog is not about what to do and how to go, this is about how you can remember your trip to one of the most surprisingly beautiful arid land of India.

The transition of Gujarat: on the road

Travelling is not only about the destination but also about the journey. The memory of a journey is not only the selfies we took in front of some monument, the memory we cherish in reminiscence is the new friends we met on the road, the taste of roadside dhabas, the smile of an unknown guide or the kids who love to wave. We like to own priceless moments of sunset on hilly road rather than buying some expensive souvenir from shop. We have started the trip from greenly South Gujarat to finish at deserted Rann of kutch. The transition of the Gujarat was amazingly spectacular as well as it's road condition. This road may not be listed among the top 10 road-trips due to lack of publicity but believe us you will revitalize your wanderlust self.

And finally when we have parked our Nexon next to a camel in the Rann of Kutch we realizes this journey will be remembered lifelong.

Early Bird: worth it?

Rann Utsav is famous all around the world. If you want to enjoy the festive mode with lot of cultural carnival and handicrafts it's the best time to visit Kutch. But if you want to be early bird to avoid the crowd and permit queue starting of October is the best time to visit the Kutch. Desert almost dried up that time after monsoon, Flora and Fauna will never disappoint you. Most importantly no litter will be there!

Way to Rann of Kutch

The best place to stay during off season is in Bhuj. There's sufficient and different transport facilities available from Ahmedabad to Bhuj. From Bhuj you can visit easily to Rann of Kutch and other places.

Rann of Kutch: The white desert

Salt! Salt Everywhere.

Whenever you see this for the 1st time, astonishment is guaranteed. The long walk in search for our lost soul is important at some part of our life. This realizes us no matter how much materialistic possession you have or how much poison your lungs have taken from your city life, you can't take anything after your life journey. So enjoy these small things in the vast life, like a little breeze in the salt desert.

Rann of Kutch: A walk to remember

Rann of Kutch: Salt! Salt everywhere

Rann of Kutch: The little things

Rann of Kutch is incomplete without sunset and moonlight. Full moon at Rann of Kutch is close to the unbelievably beautiful, but the starry sky is no less. So don't wait too long like your college goa trip to visit Rann of Kutch and consider yourself among the luckiest if you witnessed the full moon Rann of Kutch.

The natural white background make the landscape stunning and magical. There's no doubt if world has a serenity cafe it is here. No snack shop, no hawker to disturb your showtime with your loved ones. Just grab a flask of coffee, get lost in the salty world, bless your inner self to took over you.

Rann of Kutch: A sunset to remember

Kalo dungar, India bridge are other important places to visit during the trip. From Kalo dungar you can view from the top. The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya temple. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti. India bridge and BSF memorial you can add to your itinerary.

Nexon and Camel: Just for contrast

Bhuj: The snake & earthquake

If you are planning to stay at Bhuj, then you must roam around there. There's something special in each corner of the city which distinguishes it from other cities of Gujarat.

Bhuj was founded by Rao Hamir in 1510.

"Legend says that the earth rests on the head of a snake. The first king chose a location on which he wanted to build his empire. He began to hammer a nail on the chosen spot to make the earth stable on the snake's head. One of the king's courtiers asked the king if he was certain that the chosen spot was placed on the head of the snakes. The doubtful king began to remove the nail. As he did so, the ground began to bleed, this is when he realized he had in fact dug a nail into the head of snake. So he dug the nail deeper into ground little knowing the snake had moved. The earth was now fixed onto the tail of snake. The people of Bhuj believe that the constant movement of the snake causes earthquakes in this region."

Indeed a funny story we have seen at Prag Mahal in Bhuj, there's evidence of earthquake at the same palace. Bhuj have witnessed major earthquakes frequently since it's establishment. But people of Bhuj are so strong and determined they not only survive but also thriving with their enriched culture.

Prag Mahal: Palace of Bhuj

Prag Mahal: Ruined due to several earthquake

Prag Mahal: Darbar Hall, a fusion of Indian & western architecture

Aina Mahal: situated near prag mahal, a must visit place

Aina Mahal: the color of Bhuj

Aina Mahal: the mirror art

Bhuj: Culturally unique enriched

Bhuj is the cultural capital of kutch district. Kutch carries a different culture & taste inside Gujarat. With different communities enriching their own traditional craft generation after generation Kutch created a brand of uniqueness by itself. It can be visualize in their hut, their crafts, unique embroideries.

Best thing about Kutch is that they are never shy to retain their uniqueness and show those to the world. Although there are many shops and organization who directly promotes and supports the local artist, there's a particular organization which caught our eyes and opened a new dimension to look at the Kutch. There's always a reason to fall in love, Shrujan LLDC made us fall in love with this 5000 year old Kutch craft culture.

They aims to train, educate and support craft-persons to practice their traditional crafts for contemporary markets so that they can earn a dignified and prosperous livelihood.

Here's the link of their website:

Mandvi: The wind-turbine beach, seaside Palace & wooden shipyard

Geologist believes that Kutch was born in the sea and rose from it. The unique geographic diversities make Kutch unique. The Kutch is probably only place in the world where Arid desert ecosystem has a mangrove ecosystem as a neighbor. So we took a 60 Km journey to visit our last surprise of this magic land.

Mandvi Beach: A beach with serenity. Beautiful, unique and clean

Seaside palace: Vijaya Vilas Palace

A still active wooden shipyard- The must visit area of Mandvi to witness during the tour.

Memories: A pinch of salt

Although there's no deficiency of salt in Rann of Kutch, but there's a pinch of salt in our trip. We missed so many places like-

Ghost town- Lakhpat

Excavated city- Dholavira

We hope that we will cover these in our next trip.