November 25, 2016


It’s one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The great Rann of Kutch in the Gujarat state of India is known not only for its natural beauty but also for what its inhabitants have created – The Rann Utsav. The rann of Kutch, covered in white sands and salty marshes, is home to this magnificent event -“KUTCH RANN UTSAV”. It is a three month long festival. It is seeped deep into the colorful culture and heritage of the Kutch region of Gujarat. The white sands of the desert turns this place into a canvas for the festivities to fill the colors into. Opulence in a desert is unheard of but this place is truly an exception!

Make the best of your first time at the Kutch Rann Utsav festival. Here are some details on how to make that one trip to Kutch your most memorable one ever!

DATES OF THE EVENT: Organized by the Tourism Department of Gujarat, Rann Utsav is a grand winter rendezvous. It takes place when the air is crisp and the moon is at its fullest. The year 2016-17 version is scheduled from Nov 1st – Feb 20th.

WHEN TO BOOK : The bookings for this place are done between November and February every year. However, it is advisable to make the bookings at least 45 days in advance to get better accommodation and facilities.

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  • The temperature is usually extreme between day and night. Pack your bags according to the temperatures.
  • A Govt. pass is required to visit Kutch due to the border proximity. You can easily get these passes from the check post at ‘Bhirandiyara’ by producing your I-card.
  • It is best to arrange for a private taxi to reach the venue comfortably.
  • Do keep a ear out for the announcements at the venue which are made in Gujrati and Hindi.


IDEAL TIME TO VISIT: The ideal time to visit the city of Kutch is during the former months (Nov,Dec),  for sun might be a little sharp during the latter month (Jan,Feb) of this festival.


Aina Mahal Bhuj

Known as the Jaiselmer of Gujarat, Bhuj is the most important city in the Kutch region of Gujarat. The capital of Kutch is an interesting city, mostly resurrected following the massive 2001 earthquake that destroyed most of the places. Bhuj is an ideal springboard for visits to the surrounding villages, and textile tourism is attracting visitors from around the world. It sells amazing varieties of handicrafts which includes Kutchi embroidery with mirror work, bandhini, hand printed textiles and saris etc. This place is also known for amazing historic buildings. The ‘Aina Mahal is one such monument that possess mesmerizing beauty. The Jadeja Rajputs who took control of Kutch in 1510, made Bhuj their capital 29 years later. It has remained Kutch’s most important town ever since.

Experience the grandeur of the KUTCH RANN UTSAV at the tent city of DHORDO!

Starting in Bhuj, the festival covers the entire district. And the grand finale is put up at a small village, Dhordo. This place is easily accessible from the Bhuj Airport, being at a distance of 86 kms. It is also known as the tent city. Being a first-time visitor, you will be surprised to see a beautiful city having accommodations made up of tents. These tents are fully furnished and air-conditioned. You can experience the entire carnival, music and dance right as you step out of your room.

Kutch RANN Utsav

The place during these months is thronged by migratory birds from the farthest corners of the world. It is an ultimate birdwatcher’s haven, as it welcomes lots of birds from Siberia, central Asia and Europe.  The smooth white sands of these deserts truly adds to the aura and beauty of this place. This place is also a famous spot for auto-mobile enthusiasts to test their rides and experience some adventure. DHORDO sees a lot of action happening around, from locals and tourists alike!



The Kalo Dungar is the highest peak in the KUTCH area in Gujarat. It is the perfect spot to see the whole of Rann in a panoramic view. The Dungar is also popular because of the famous ‘Dattatreya Temple’, which is of immense importance because of the traditional beliefs attached to it. While driving to Kalo Dungar, make sure an experienced person is behind the wheel as the path to this place is extremely rough. There are ghat-like sections to reach the highest point at 462 meters from sea level.

Panoramic View at Kalo Dungar

It is said, that when Lord Dattatreya walked the Earth, he stopped at Kalo Dungar and met with a band of hungry jackals. Seeing their plight, he offered his body for them as their feast. Since then, his body regenerated and fed the jackals daily. For four centuries now, the officials of the temple keep out some food for the jackals, which is prepared with a lot of respect, to keep the old tradition alive. The place surely offers a breathtaking view of the white sand desert at a length.


Kutchi Cuisine Thali

Foodies, here comes the treat for you! You will surely want to jump on the food as soon as you get here. Surprisingly, people who aren’t ‘foodies’ are also quite prone to doing the same thing as a matter of fact. The enormous dining halls serve scrumptious authentic Kutchi cuisines and delicacies. Foodies will want to indulge their insatiable appetites and hungry taste buds at all hours, being at this place. You have food corners where you can indulge yourself even at the most odd hours possible. And after all, the fabulous and mouth watering food options here just complete the metaphor of completeness.


Cultural Performance in kutch

Experience the cultural art of Kutch, which is attractive, impressive and earthy to the core. Whether it’s the musical notes of manjira in the air or the clay and camel dung paintings on Banni houses. Kutch is an epitome of ethnic diversity in itself. The evenings are for you to truly soak in the culture of Gujarat. It is a perfect time to enjoy the brilliant performances by the local artists. They perform almost everywhere and every moment at this utsav. You can actually live those imaginations of a bonfire in the desert while you dance and sing to the tunes of true folk music. You will surely carry the beautiful memories and tunes in your heart for long afterwards. All of this is spread over a large area of 1.5 million square meters. It’s a perfect combination of the modern, traditional and rustic cultures all together at one place.


HandiCraft in Kutch

The market here can make any shopaholic go crazy. It is because the variety of extraordinary choices that leave you so dazzled and confused at the same time. You are free to feast your eyes and shoppe on the exquisite hand crafted articles of GUJARAT. Tourists can find plenty of unique and intricate Kutchi embroidery all around. Gorgeous block-printed fabrics,  stunning silverware and well crafted ornaments are also to adore. Either let them feast upon your wallet or allow your eyes to have a feastful time while watching them!

5. SIGHTSEEING & Other Activities:

The tent city does symbolize the spirit of Kutch but there is so much more to it. You will never understand this until you have explored the corners of Kutch and seen things with your own eyes. The Rann Utsav has plenty to offer to the visitors. You could go for a tantalizing camel safari and explore the desert from the top of a camel. Apart from this you can surely try to experience a solo ride on the desert on a DPV (Desert Patrol Vehicle). It’s like riding a snazzy bike among the white sands into the sunset and getting lost in the beauty of this place. It is one of the outstanding experiences.

Camel Safari

Next, is the Kutch carnival, which is an event not to be missed. It is special because it is more colourful than you can imagine. Every vibrant hue that forms life in this magnificent white sand desert. You may take a day trip to the beach at Mandvi and see the blue water horizons kiss the sky. Do visit the India-Pakistan border and do not forget birdwatching at Narayan Sarovar and Chari Dhand. You can spend an entire day visiting nearby villages as well. Bhirandiyara, Khavda, Gandhidham or Hodka, they are all known for their amazing workshops and other specialities!

6. Have a mesmerizing bird eye view of the RANN OF KUTCH

Kutch Runn Utsav

Another great experience that will leave you speechless is this. Take a hot air balloon ride and we dare you to recover from this awesome experience! These are available for all tourists and is recommended not to be missed. The feeling of overlooking the vibrant hues of the salt sand from the top is enchanting and magical. It will truly leave you in awe of its beauty. A must thing to try to have this memory edged in your hearts forever.


Moon-Light view of runn in kutch

Lastly, do make sure you spend a part of the night outside your tent under the moonlight. The Rann of Kutch on a full-moon night is a true epitome of natural beauty. This is an experience that will change your life forever and leave you spellbound. No camera, no artist, no genius can reproduce a moon washed salt desert like that of the Rann of Kutch. It truly beats replication !

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