Kutch Tourism

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Rann At Dhordo

Kutch

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The Kutch Museum

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Review and ratings (39)

Read 39 destination reviews with average rating of 4.2/5, out of 522 Kutch reviews
Amit si

Amit siratingratingratingratingrating5.0/5

3 reviewsPosted 2 years ago
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Perfect Winter Holiday for solitude

Why should you travel here?

1) The people are way too lovely.

2) The perfect break from your urban life.

3) Old Palaces, lakes, temples which can be covered in less than a day.

4) An endless white stretch of land, blessed with peace and solitude.

Which places are must visits?

1) White Rann of Kutch - afternoon to evening

2) Kalo Dongar - mornings

3) PragMahal + Aaina Mahal during a clear sky

4) Hamirsar lake in the evening

5) Bhujia Fort during a clear sky - preferably in the morning

6) Swaminarayan Temple - in the afternoon

7) Museum of Archaeology - in the afternoon

Local Food:

1) ONLY VEG Food. Of course! In the land of Gandhi, peace extends to all living beings.

2) Except for the Noorani restaurant, there wasn't a place where we could find non veg. The food here is okay and is reasonably priced. The staff is pretty courteous and will ask you to rate you on this site.

3) We had dinner at Hotel Green Rock - pretty good place, though the price is a bit on the higher side.

4) However for morning breakfast do spend your pennies on this small shop near the bus stand named "Maharaja" Pav Bhaji. I had the most sumptuous pav bhaji and pulao there. Do not forget to have this experience.

5) In Kutch you will have dinner options only at the Tent City and personally it sucked.

6) While on a stroll near the lake do try out the lakeside stalls offering a plethora of snacks from golas, to pani-puris to chocolate pizzas.

Shopping:

1) If you want to buy the colourful dresses for women, or the pathanis for men, then Bhuj is good. ,

2) In the tent city, you will find a few handicrafts from the local artisans. However, it would do better for you to explore the nearby villages. We didn't get to do it.

3) Look out for the wind chimes that apparently consist of the five elements of nature. Forget the element part, the sound itself is magical. Save a 1000 bucks for it. Worth a buy.

Activities:

1) Climb up the hills at Kalo Dongar - it is a small hill with a spectacular view spanning the desert.

2) White Rann - we spent close to 5 hours at this white pristine endless land. We reached at around 4 and left at around 9. You cannot miss seeing the sunset here. Do not go unaccompanied by your cameras. Too many serene moments to capture. Once the sun sets, and the orange evening hue gives way to the pitch black sky sprinkled with the stars, its simply a magic to see. You will just want to stand there and look endlessly at the vast expanse of the sky. Take as much time as you want here. Back in your urban jungle, covered with smoke, you will never be able to even get a glimpse like this.

3) Walk around the bus stand area and complete Aaina Mahal, Pragmahal, Hamirsar lake, Museum of archaeology, Swaminarayan temple by foot.

4) Take a rickshaw ride to Bhujia fort. This is a dilapidated fort which overlooks the entire town of Bhuj. Climb it up in the morning and sit there admiring the small little town with beautiful folks residing within.

Advice:

1) Choose a place to stay near the bus stand. Almost every place worth seeing, is centered around it.

2) You can book a private taxi from Bhuj to Kutch. Pick up taxi from near the petrol pump and not from the bus stand. The ones near the petrol pump are much cheaper.

3) If you can walk, then walk. Everything of interest is close by. Rickshaw rides are cheap, but distances are pretty short.

4) There is only one state transport bus from Bhuj to Kutch which leaves by 1030. If you miss it, then you can either take a rickshaw or a taxi (preferable)

5) Avoid going to India bridge. Nothing much there to see, unless you want to have a bit of chat with the BSF folks guarding the borders there.

6) Visit it only in winters - preferably between October and February. We travelled on new year's eve. Post Feb, you will be roasted.

7) Only if you want to have that experience of staying inside a tent, should you shell out the bucks at Rann festival. Else, get a cheap lodging at Bhuj and travel to Kutch. You will save way too much money. I would advise, avoid the tent thingy.

8) Tell the taxi driver clearly that you intend to not return before 12 if you really want to stay late. A few taxi drivers will say that they will charge extra post 8 pm. Avoid them. You will always get folks, who will be willing to stay till 12 for no extra charges.

9) Carry your identity proofs. You will need those to create the permits at Kutch. No big deal.

10) Winters are insanely cold post the sunset. It hits you while travelling. Hence wear or carry light weight warm clothes. If you are travelling by bike, then carry warmer clothes.

11) Avoid night travelling on two wheelers.

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Apoorva Bhardwaj

Apoorva Bhardwajratingratingratingratingrating5.0/5

9 reviewsPosted 2 years ago
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Rann of Kutch- the Infinite Streak!

The Rann of Kutch has stood the testimony of time for centuries now, with ancestral heritage ruins and ancient deserts that refuse to acknowledge worldly rhythms. Barren land for miles, Rann of Kutch has an old world appeal with virgin, untouched territories spanning as far as one can see and quaint, beautiful villages that exist in oblivion. If seeking peace of mind, a conversation with the stars and introspection Rann of Kutch is the path that will lead you to it and here are a list of absolute Must Do's in my humble opinion that must be added to your bucket list immediately!

1. Lesser Rann: I have to admit I highly underestimated the Little Rann as I had no idea what to expect from this place. A potential Biosphere reserve, the Little Rann is rich in Biodiversity and considered to be the last reserve for wild asses all over the world, having a population of over 5000 wild asses, Nilgais, Foxes, wolves, etc. When in Little Rann, it is highly recommended to stay at Mr. Devijibhai Dhamecha's Home-stay, also called the Eco Camp which is located in the sanctuary itself. The Koobas (Huts) are gorgeous, food authentic and the best part is one has the opportunity to simply walk out exploring into the sanctuary at any given point of time. 14 13 2

Mr. Dhamecha is a wildlife photographer himself and a conversation with him can give one great perspective about how the rest of the trip should be planned. The route to Eco camp is tricky, but worth the detours! The evening safari is an absolute must do! The jeep drives you into the depths of the desert and gives one amazing opportunities to capture wildlife at its best. Sunsets over the lesser Rann are brilliant. I would personally recommend a good camera to be carried along. Other than that one needs nothing else. For as far as one can see, there is not a soul in sight, the solitude is enchanting and it is a great time for introspection as one drives through the gruelling dry desert.The flamingo nest is a highlight here as it consists of several mounds containing eggs which may or may not have hatched yet. This view is stunning, as is the sunset over the Lesser Rann, the animals against the marshy backdrops and the incredible view of the sun and the moon over the desert in one frame.

2. Dholavira: Dholavira, Like Mohenjo Daro and Harappa was once a city part of the Indus Valley civilization. You know you've got to sit up and listen when is the ancestry that talks to you. Dholavira itself is an archeological site of the Mohenjo daro and Harappan civilization and exhibits spectacular insight that our ancestors had in terms of planning and resource utilization. The site/ city ruins lies in the middle of nowhere, atop high ground with no access to water and the survival story of this city that sustained in the absence of water is an architectural marvel. The incredible detailing that is evident here with respect to water conservation, drainage, storage, reservoir planning, water filtration and recycling can only be believed when seen! the basics of the modern-day water systems lie here, and the secrets to an age that existed thousands of years ago and saw multiple cities transition into one another lie in the heart of the site -the Citadel.

Dholavira has a small village located close by, and for expert knowledge on the site one can get in touch with Mr. Jamal, the tour guide who even arranges for lunch and refreshment in the area which is a major plus as there is no civilization for miles around the site.


Another reason to do Dholavira is the road journey to this place! for about 80 Kms all one sees on either side of the excruciatingly straight road is farms and barren land when all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE comes the salt desert! Suddenly, for a miraculous 3-4 Km stretch all one can see is white on either side of the road, the contrasting landscape changes with the equally surprising weather change and within seconds, this becomes the Best Road-trip you might have ever done in your life.

3. India Bridge and Kalo Dungar: Kala Dungar is a black stone hill located in the Rann of Kutch and is the highest point of Kutch, Gujarat offering panoramic views of the white desert. However, I would not recommend a visit to the Kalo Dungar if you're only objective is to catch a glimpse of the view as the view is average and not very satisfying. A good eye can spot the India bridge from here but other than that, I would suggest to spend some time taking in a view of the beautifully decorated camels, eat some Gujarati style papdi bhel and kachodi, and see the 400 year old Dattareya temple that houses a statue of Lord Dattareya, who as per legend cut off parts of his body to feed hungry starving jackals once upon a time. These jackals can still be spotted here when they come to eat prasad fed to them after the 5 pm evening prayer. Another mystical fact associated with kala Dungar is the strange effect it has on cars by pulling them down the slope with uncanny strength even when the engines are off. The magnetic entities dominating this phenomenon are currently under study.

Highly recommended is a trip to the India bridge, just a few kilometers ahead of the Kala Dungar. The India bridge is the last point where the advent to the Pakistan border begins and the territory is under the control of the Border Security Force, Indian army. Photography is not permitted here but the experience is incredible. On request, the BSF may allow you to go 12 Km further up till the War Memorial where the last village of India is located 68 Km from Pakistan. The 12 Km stretch provided stunning views of the white desert, army bunkers, shooting ranges and war scenes. An absolute yes to this!

4. Great White desert: The primary reason why I wanted to visit the Rann of Kutch was to experience the solitude which is only born out of a union with nature, but I ended up getting much more. Accommodation while in Rann is primarily village housing and home-stays with a few dependable ones being the Rann Rajwadi, Toran resort, Hotel Desert Kind, etc; The white desert seems to be located at the end of all civilization where you seem to be leaving all behind as you walk deeper into the white marsh. Once part of the Arabian sea bed, this is the largest salt marsh in the world taking up 30000 Sq Km of the Thar desert. While is has several rivers draining into it carrying water from Rajasthan, the marsh is covered in water throughout the year except in the winter months of November-February when the water evaporates leaving behind salt that hardens because of the cold. This phenomenon is surreal. It is unbelievable to experience something as seemingly impossible as this, and yet as one walks deeper into the desert away from all signs of civilization you cannot help but realize that there is way too much to take in than you thought possible. The view is stunning, with white on all sides till as far as the eye can see. The skies are clear, stars are bright and close and the sun set over the Rann is magical.

5. Moon Rise over the Great White Rann: It is the first time that we ever witnessed a Moon rise, and that too over the Rann- it did not disappoint. Moon- rise occurred as expected at 7:19 PM and from the moment that it began it was difficult to take our eyes off it. Initially appearing as a faint flicker of scarlet, a blood moon slowly and steadily rose from behind the clouds and over time escalated to deliver the promised view of the silver desert in the Moonlight. The last time I have witnessed Moonlight strong enough to cast Moon shadows was in Ladakh and I dare say, the Moonlight over the Great Rann blew my mind! We spent a good 4 hours out on the desert, even helped pull out an army officer's vehicle stuck in the desert, walked for miles into the unknown and took our time taking in the incredible expanse!

Rann of Kutch in one word is surreal. Welcome to the 'Infinite'- surpassing Time, distance and everything in Between.

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