An advertisement caught my sister’s eye in November and in February we were in the City with rich culture and heritage. We wanted to experience everything authentic in the city and there you go Rann of Kutch Utsav fulfilled it.
Day-1 of RANN OF KUTCH:
We reached Bhuj a day before we went to the Rann Utsav camp. So Bhuj is that city which faced a massive earthquake in 2001 and trust me it’s got a complete makeover now. We explored the streets of Kutch to experience the local food and local market, The Kutch centre, Bandhej and other shops which has a great variety of clothing, accessories and some amazing dabelis, pani puri and other Guajarati chats on the streets.
Day-2 Rann Utsav
We could experience the best hospitality. We were given clear instructions from start to finish; well-trained tourist guides helping us with the history and significance of the places we visited. There was a pick up point and a temporary structure as a lobby and our baggage were tagged to avoid confusion and the same was boarded in the bus to reach the Rann Utsav camp. The camp was set up in the city of Dhordo.
On the way to Dhordo, we stopped at a village where they make hand-made Khova by the villagers; we went gaga over the taste and bought some for our families back home. We even bought some namkeen (chips) which was from a local manufacturer, Trust me it was better than Lays, Pringles and other wafer brands. After a small stop over we were taken to the UTSAV where we stayed. Once we reached the Utsav check-in formalities were done and we were escorted in colourful buggies to our tents. Oh there you go an amazing tent with good sanitation facilities. It was Lunch-time when we reached the Utsav and we had some delicious all vegetarian authentic Gujarati Food. Options of Jain and Non-Jain food was present, a beautiful spread of soups, starters, curries and rotis (main course) and dessert.
We filled our stomach till we were tired of eating and headed to WHITE DESSERT to experience SUNSET in camels. It’s about 20 minutes’ ride and then you can walk inside the White dessert till your legs stop you from walking any further. Farther you go thicker the white sand. At about 6 PM the sunset is experienced. It is an absolute treat to the photographers to experience the sunset in WHITE DESSERT on a Full Moon day especially. We came back to our accommodation to eat dinner quite early to attend the dance performance, puppet shows and souvenir shops etc. Mind you, this is not a leisure trip, there would be events happening one after the other! The variety of tea stalls in the Utsav is a must try. It makes you feel warm as the temperatures dip down below 15 degree Celsius. We had a good night sleep as we had to experience sunrise at around 6:00am and we had to report at the pick-up point latest by 5:15am. The entire area is secured with the border security forces and it can be an all-girls adventure because of this reason. It is said that it is the border of India and on the other side is our neighbouring country Pakistan. Now you get Goosebumps standing on the WHITE DESSERT!
We experienced SUNRISE in the white dessert and had good breakfast which had a variety of south Indian and Guajarati breakfast to fill our stomach. Later, we went to Gandhi nu gham which is a village. We bought bed linens in abundance and jewellery with beautiful intricate work. Every piece of art is so beautiful and we wanted to buy the entire collection. Well restricted to about 8 bed linens. We did parasailing (as I fear heights and I thoroughly enjoyed it) and ATV rides in the Rann Utsav camp which was an amazing experience. Parasailing is a must try sport where you can see the complete Arial view of Dhordo tent city and White Dessert.
There are so many stalls and activities in the Utsav which is very interesting and that will take a day to go around the premises. We went to Kala Dungar another view point to experience Sunset. After Sunset, we had dinner, and then Campfire was set up just in front of our tents later we retired to bed as we were very tired.
Last day in the Mela we had breakfast and checked out of the tents. We came back to Bhuj and visited Swami Narayan Temple.
We had plans of staying a day in Kutch to see tourist places not covered in the Rann Utsav package. We went to Hira Lakshmi Park which is a Government owned theme park wherein weavers ,artisans from different part of Gujarat come and stay in the infrastructure provided by the Government of Gujarat and they sell their goods for a month. You can buy bandhini sarees, salwar suits, kutchi work salwar suits, hand-made dolls.
We ended our day by shopping for around 5 hours where the men in our group had lost all the patience in the world! We ate some berries which were sold in the mandis in order to gain some energy till we reach our hotel. We had booked Hotel Mangalam and the rooms were very comfortable, economical and they would serve freshly prepared food as an when you order. The pakodas and the tea served are my personal favourite.
There ends a complete package of fun, excitement, never seen views of sunset and sunrise, parasailing, staying near the international border experience, Authentic Kutchi culture, food and loads and loads of memories to cherish.
- Sun Screen Lotion
- A scarf-To cover yourself in the scorching heat
- Hand Sanitizers
- Aloe Vera gel-For sun burns
- Warm clothing for the night
- A good pair of shoes to walk
- Shopping bags
- An extra baggage