The Great Rann of Kutch: A Land of Many Hues

The first thing that strikes you on your travel to Rann of Kutch is the miles of intransigent nothingness. Then, you are left dumbstruck with the sheer beauty of these arid, lonely lands. But Rann of Kutch is so much more than just a geographic phenomenon. Named after the humble tortoise, ask any Kachchi about his native land and he will tell you with much vigor and emotion that it truly is blessed by god.

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Rann Utsav

Kutch has borne many natural calamities with a resilience that can only come from a deep spiritual place. Massive earthquakes and heart wrenching poverty put Kutch years back in development resulting in a sort of isolation from the rest of the country. Unmoved and irrepressible, it bounced back to its refreshingly rural warmth and gave us the fascinating Rann Utsav ; a festival that celebrates the uniqueness of Kutch tourism.

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Rann of Kutch
For a few months in the year during winter, this barren brown landscape metamorphoses into a sparkling white salt desert.  On a full moon night, the Great Rann of Kutch shines bright as it is bathed in the warm white light of the moon. The white salt flats come alive and give the whole place an awe inspiring feel. Till wherever your vision can stretch, all you see is the brilliance of an illuminated land. An unparalleled sight, the stark white of the salt gives the region a heavenly appearance that is surpassed by words. A seasonal phenomenon, the salt marshes are revealed after monsoon when the region is flooded with seawater, transforming the lifeless land into the Great White Rann of Kutch. It is simply amazing to see an inhabitable desert exude such surreal beauty. The unmitigated white of the desert is set off by the rainbow of happy colors of the Kachchi culture.
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White Desert
The Rann Utsav celebrates the colorful spirit and the distinctive culture of this region. It gives visitors a spoonful of Kachchi hospitality that is legendary because of the humility and smiling welcome of the tribes. Every mile, one can see a distinct new sub caste inhabiting small villages with charmingly conical, mud plastered, earthquake resistant huts.
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Rann Utsav
Almost everyone in Kutch seems to be gifted with immense craftsmanship and talents! You will encounter glittering fabrics adorned with mirrors and multicolored threads, quirky handicrafts and beautiful wall pieces. And those selling these handicrafts would perhaps be the most charming yet astute salesmen in the whole country. Good luck getting a bargain from these guys!
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Rann Utsav
In the middle of the desert, miraculously appears a tent city complete with well-appointed tents, a spa & wellness center, leisure and adventure zones, cycling tracks, shopping centers, cafes and dining halls. Set in the remote village of Dhordo which acts like a base to explore the rest of the region, Rann Utsav instills life and enthusiasm in this otherwise abandoned land. Color surrounds you everywhere you look; batic printed fabric for your beautiful tent, graphic Gujarati prints and colors on charming golf buggies and makeshift cloth walls make you feel like you are in a fantasy, make-believe land.
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Rann Utsav Tent City
 Lip smacking undhyo (a traditional Gujarati winter preparation) , crusty bajra rotla that is drenched with luscious ghee (apparently a Kutchi discovery) and specialties like tamatar nu sev  beckon you with their enticing aromas, revealing an appetite you never thought you could have.
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Kutch food
Kutch is transformed into a dreamland every winter.  Camel carts and smiling faces abound, you will be treated like a king, yet youre sure to come out feeling humbled by the sheer unadulterated beauty of the landscape and innocence of emotions in Kutch.

Rann Utsav is an extremely well-managed and grand effort made by the Gujarat tourism department to promote and celebrate the glorious Kutch region. It highlights Gujarats exotic best and gives you a taste of authentic Gujarati hospitality. Ideal for a family getaway or even a solo sojourn, Rann Utsav is probably Indias most colorful winter carnival.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RESHMA DEWDA RESHMA DEWDA

A hippie hiding in civilized clothes, a borderline feminist and a dreamer stuck in a practical avatar, Reshma is an incorrigible idealist who lives in a black and white world. A robin hood in her own right, she loves to come to the rescue and most times , she ends up rescuing herself in the bargain.

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