Kutch, India’s largest district is a home to one of the biggest salt deserts in the world, the Great Rann of Kutch. But hold on that’s not the only thing for which Kutch is famous for, it is now mostly known for the vibrant and spectacular Rann Utsav – The Desert Fest. The Rann Utsav is a colorful carnival of Music, Dance, Nature, Beauty of White Rann and much more than that when visiting under the full Moon.
Starting from November 1st, 2018 and lasting till February 20th, 2019, it is all set to take over Gujarat for a full 112 days with a riot of vibrant activities and festivities. Traditional Cultural Dance, Cultural Act shows, Camel Safari, Musical Moments, intricate arts and crafts, gracious people and much more. For those who haven’t yet witnessed the magnificence of the Rann Utsav, here’s all you need to know about it to pack your bags and head to its 2019th edition.
When & Where Does It Take Place?
Organized and Managed with the help of Gujarat Tourism, Rann Utsav is a Winter Jamboree. This grand fiesta takes place when the air is dry, the moon at its fullest and stars sprinkled all over the dark sky. The fest begins in Bhuj and covers the entire city with festivities and the finale of Rann Utsav is put up in Dhordo, profoundly called as The Tent City. Dhordo city is a home to over 400 AC and non-AC tents, where tourists can stay during their visit and that’s the reason behind the name The Tent City.
What to Expect?
The Great Grand Fiesta
A flat, endless bed of sparkling white sands that’s what the Rann of Kutch is known for right! During Monsoon, the entire land is covered with serene Arabian Waters and later in the winters, only the white bed of salt remains. The Gujarat Tourism ensures a trip full of experiences and memories to cheer to the tourists by offering them Shopping, sightseeing, handicrafts, folk dances, star gazing, magical sunrise and sunset views and several other adventures.
With numerous things to do and enjoy, Rann Utsav offers luxurious, deluxe and also standard tents to live in, at the wonderfully arranges tent city at Dhordo. Tents comprising of every single amenity from Room-heaters to air-conditioners, from cozy bedrooms to living rooms, and from Dressing Rooms to Well-furnished Rest Rooms. Matching your standards and requirements, you can choose from The PM Suite, The Darbari Suite, The Rajwadi Suites, Premium Cottages, Deluxe AC Swiss Cottages, and Non-AC Swiss Cottages.
Things to Do in Rann Utsav
Now to answer the million dollar question, raised by a large number of tourists; What exactly do after reaching the Rann Utsav. Well, here’s a complete list of Things to do at Rann Utsav.
Plan a Date With Moon
The best day to visit the White Rann is during the spectacular Full Moon night. Spend you’re an overnight surrounded by the white deserts and under the sparkling sheet of stars and twinkling Moon. Well, the actual view is more romantic and peaceful than words.
Try-on Adventurous Rides
Apart from roaming around the white desert, and witnessing the endless beautiful white sand stretches, tourists can also indulge themselves in the fun-filled and adventurous rides and activities in the tent city. To start with, you can go for Para-motoring, ATV Riding, Rifle Shooting, and Archery. But the must try-on’s are Rock Climbing, Rappelling Walk, Pendulum Swing, Zipline Tower. And for an ultimate fun and to witness Kutch from a bird’s eye view, enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride, priced differently by various operators.
Enjoy the Cultural Performances
Attending the Gujarati cultural performances is a must if you want to hear, watch and enjoy the Gujarati Music. At the Event Stage, beautiful women performing in traditional Chaniya Choli and men sitting with their musical instruments with a turban on the head and Dhoti Kurta as the attire. The fun thing is, you can also join them and dance to the tunes of true folk music.
Savor the Authentic Gujarati Food
‘You don’t need a silver spoon to eat good food’ – Paul Prudhomme.
Well, Paul’s quote is the best match for authentic Gujarati cuisines. Gujarati people say and believe The real feel and taste of Gujarati Food comes with hands and not a spoon. Cause you can’t taste a finger-licking food with a spoon, right!
At the tent city, indulge in their finger-licking and insatiable Gujarati delicacies, exclusively served in its the two enormous dining halls. Apart from these, you’ll find several food corners or hawkers serving palatable snacks, even at the odd hours.
Shop Handcrafted Kutchi Articles
Get dazzled and confused at the same time, when you’ll feast your eyes on the handcrafted Kutchi and Gujarati articles. Splurge on plenty of intricate Kutchi embroidery all around, gorgeous block-printed fabrics, beautiful leather articles, stunning silverware and deftly crafted ornaments or let your eyes have a feastful time and capture those moments in your camera.
Explore Rann and Around
Besides, shopping and enjoying the fun activities, don’t forget to explore this great city holding some spectacular landmarks, beautiful beach, serene hills and historical places. First come the Black Hills of Kalo Dungar, to witness the panoramic views of Kutch and a 400-year old Dattatreya Temple. Then, comes the beautiful Mandvi beach, where you can spend a day watching the clear water, birds, windmills at the beach, visit the majestic Vijay Vilas Palace and Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial.
Tips to Remember
- Make your bookings 2 months Prior to the fest.
- Get a government pass to visit Kutch, as due to its proximity to the border. The passes can be easily availed at the check post in Bhirandiyra.
- Try to visit during the Full moon nights, as the atmosphere is more romantic and serene.
- The Transfers are provided for Sunrise and Sunset views, make sure to reach there on time, or you’ll miss the transportation.
- Make sure you carry Woolen Apparels along, as Desert gets chilly in winters.
- It is necessary to carry all your relevant ID cards such as, Driving license, Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter ID and other such documents are accepted as ID cards, as they’re supposed to be presented in check posts.
- Reserve an affordable non-AC tent. As the Rann Utsav is celebrated in the winter months, so anyways, you may not need an AC, and heaters are provided for chilly nights. Mornings are way sunny, but the tents are cooler.
As, now we’ve done our part, all you need to do is to bookmark this comprehensive compilation of Rann Utsav activities and plan ahead to set out for the most unforgettable visit with your loved ones. So, go witness the spectacular Kutch, because Agar Apne Kutch nahi dekha toh kuch nai dekha!!!