The Great Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar desert in the Kutch district of Gujarat. The best time to visit the salt marsh from the month of November to February as during winters it is covered in water and as the water evaporates it leaves that salty crust.
We were planning a trip to Rann of Kutch from a long time but were not able to materialize the plan and suddenly on a Tuesday night one of my friends booked his tickets to Ahmadabad for Thursday and said other can join if they want to, well that was all the push that we wanted ans within next two hours all of us booked out tickets and finalized the itinerary and were all ready to meet after an year in Ahmadabad on Thursday morning. We included Mandvi, Rann of Kutch and Bhuj in our plan and decided to go to Mandvi on Thursday and then to Rann of Kutch on Friday and leaving Sunday for Bhuj.
After an amazing experience of some of the unique things about Mandvi beach we started for Dhorodo which is around 140 KM North of Mandvi and hosts the Rann Utsav from November to February. Rann Utsav is organized by Gujarat Government for those who wants to visit Rann of Kutch. Although there are many resorts around Rann of Kutch but the Rann Utsav is the closest and give you a complete package for the trip. We decided to go for the 2 day 1 night package of Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav also arrange you Pick and drop from Bhuj but we had a hired a cab and decided to take the cab with us. We reached Dhorodo at around 4 checked in and were all ready for to visit the White Desert by 5.
Rann Utsav organised some 5-7 camel carts and bus to visit the White Desert which is around 4-5 Km from their Tent City, though there a heavy demand for the camel carts and gets filled very soon we managed to grab one by reaching there around 5:00. If you want to go by camel cart it is recommended that to reach there by 5:15 or else all the carts will be filled. It took around 30-40 mins to reach the Desert, there is BSF post just before the start of Rann of Kutch and you need to get the permission from them to visit the Desert which you can manage to get by asking your resort and for those who are going through Rann Utsav they have included this in the package.
Its around a 5 mins walk from the BSF post to the White Desert. Initially looking from far we were unable to recognize if its a mirage or actually the White Desert but as we went close by there are a sudden change in the terrain and with-in 100 meters there was salt everywhere. It was difficult to separate the horizon and the White Desert. The White Desert spread across more than 50 KM till the India Pakistan Border and also extends in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. As you got farther the thickness of the Salt Marsh starts increasing and it can go upto 7ft in depth. It is not recommended to go too far as after a point the marsh starts softening and at some places the marsh is not dried enough and you can see salt water underneath the layer of sale and its dangerous to go beyond that. At around 5:45 the much awaited sunset began and it was a wonderful view of the sun setting in the White Desert. With the very calm surrounding and the surreal view of sunset it seemed that the time almost stopped . But as all good things come to end it begin growing dark after the sunset and we were called back to return to Tent City. The buses are cart levers at around 6:30 but we were late in returning and unfortunately left behind. We called up at the Tent City and they sent a Jeep to pick us up. By the time we talked to the BSF and they told a lot interesting things about the Rann of Kutch and how they manage to keep a eye on the border even on the salt marsh that is too risky to in.
Although Vising the Rann of Kutch in night is banned but those who visit there on a full moon night are left speechless after experiencing the beautiful phenomenon. Not satisfied with one visit we went to the Desert in the morning again and it give a very different feel in the morning than from evening. After the morning visit and experiencing the largest White Desert in the world we left for Kala Dungar which provides a unique view of Salt Marsh merging with the Arabian Sea.
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