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The Unique Festival of Rann Utsav in Gujarat

By Anusha

India is truly an exotic country, not just the landscape, but also the culture and traditions vary interestingly every few kilometres in the country. One such unique location with equally unique culture is the Rann of Kutch. As the official website puts it aptly; 'Rann is no ordinary land'. The strikingly beautiful Rann of Kutch is a salt desert at the heart of the Thar Desert in Gujarat. The area is surrounded by the striking locations of the Gulf of Kutch at one end, the seat of Indus Valley Civilisation and the Banni Grasslands on other sides. The striking place is beautiful despite its seeming barrenness, and is made extremely interesting by the rather vibrant culture that thrives here!

When does the Rann Utsav take place?

When does the Rann Utsav take place?

The Rann Utsav is an annual event and usually takes place in the months of December to March. This year also saw the festival begin on the 1st of December 2014 and is slated to go on until the 5th of March 2015.

Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Patel

Where is Rann Utsav held?

Where is Rann Utsav held?

The vibrant and exciting Rann Utsav is held against the stark background of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Travellers will need to first head to Bhuj by train, flight or bus and proceed to the village of Dhordo, located at a distance of 86 km from Bhuj.

Photo Courtesy: Anurag Agnihotri

What is the Rann Utsav?

What is the Rann Utsav?

The Rann Utsav is a cultural celebration, that takes place across four months. It is in celebration of the desert way of life, of the beauty of Thar and the contrast of The Rann of Kutch with the colourful people of the region. It is about art, about unique experiences, about being close to the elements and warm people of Gujarat. It is a grand mela of cultural performances, exquisite handicrafts, haunting music and undying hospitality. The festival is held in different parts of Kutch by the Gujarat Tourism Authority.

Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Patel

Seek Unique Experiences

Seek Unique Experiences

There is a little something for every kind of traveller at the Rann Utsav. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of cultural activities, you shall not be disappointed by the dances and music performances. If it is shopping that you are looking for, the adage 'Shop till you drop!' applies very well to the Rann Utsav. Scenic surroundings, camel rides, adventure sports, handicraft workshops, tent stays and many other unique experiences will make your journey memorable. The highlight? Well, the best day to witness the Rann Utsav is when the white desert is illuminated by the full moon, it is an ethereal sight indeed!

Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Patel

Accommodation at the Rann Utsav

Accommodation at the Rann Utsav

The Rann Utsav sees a bevy of travellers heading for the Rann of Kutch, that is in fact a tourism hot spot, this means there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, depending on if you are looking for budget or luxury. You can opt for the rustic experience by staying at the mud huts or opt for the more comfortable Swiss tents. Other permanent resorts are also available in the region. Check on the proximity to the mela and events before finalising on your choice of accommodation. You can look for package options, as this will also take care of your entry permit. Visit the official website of Rann Utsav for more details on the same, here.

Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Patel

For the Foodie

For the Foodie

Enjoy a variety of foods from the simple kichdee, made with rice and pulses to the delicious kadi, chaas and hot jalebis! Of course if you have a sweet tooth the Utsav is sure to pamper you with a large variety of sweets and snacks.

Photo Courtesy: Rishabh Mathur

Preparing for the Journey

Preparing for the Journey

You can travel by train, flight or road. If you choose to travel by train or flight, make sure to check for availability well in advance. The days are bound to be hot and the nights cold, so pack clothes accordingly. Also, carry your sunscreen, hat and shades to ensure you have a pleasant stay. Book accommodation and entertainment package well in advance to make sure you get exactly what you desire.

Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Patel

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