The Great rann of Kutch————“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury. Surely one of the wonders to stuff your eyes with would be capturing astonishing views of The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat. Walking on those crystals of salt that are boundless and watching the sunset and the rising moon, both at the same time is miraculous.
Rann reminds you of the incapability you bear in this world. A thick layer of salt, which is covered by thick sand, allows no living beings to sustain on its premises for miles, just the white barren land, and the clear blue sky. The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat is the biggest salt deserts in the world. It is not only known for its natural grandeur but also for the famous Rann Utsav.
Visiting Rann of Kutch, Gujarat can be a tricky proposition as precise information that concern tourists are not so readily available on the Internet. While I was planning my visit to the Rann of Kutch, I found a paucity of reliable information and facts on planning the trip.
The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
How to reach The Great Rann of Kutch
The cheapest way to reach The Great Rann of Kutch from Ahmedabad is to take a train till Bhuj. Then a shared minibus from Bhuj till Hodka and from there, a shared auto to Dhordo. Dhordo is around 86 kilometers from Bhuj. And it is being developed by the Gujarat government as the Gateway to the Rann. Dhordo is on the edge of the salt desert. It’s more convenient to stay there, or nearby Hodka (17 km from Dhordo).To have a hassle-free visit to Great Rann of Kutch, you can opt for a taxi from Bhuj. Visit IRCTC for train bookings.
The closest airport and railway station to reach the Rann of Kutch lie at Bhuj.
How to reach Rann of Kutch from Ahmedabad
The Rann of Kutch Gujarat is a sensitive area, due to its proximity to the Pakistani border. Therefore, you need a permit to visit the Rann of Kutch. You can get the same on the way at the Bhirandiyara village checkpoint which is around 50 kilometers from Bhuj. The cost is 100 rupees per person and 50 rupees for a car. You’ll need to submit a photocopy of your ID and show the originals. You can also obtain the permit from the Gujarat Police DSP office in Bhuj near Jubilee Ground (it’s closed on Sundays and every second and fourth Saturday). You will need to show the permit at BSF check post to enter the salt desert.
Best time to visit
Almost everywhere on the Internet, the best time suggested is between October and March but I strongly recommend you not to visit Rann before December as the water does not dry up completely. It’s around mid-December the marshy land is dried up completely and you can step down on the salty Rann. You can also visit the salt desert in April and May though, on a day trip from Bhuj. However, it’s very hot during the day.
Note: –Do check for a full moon night over the internet and accordingly plan your itinerary. Check current status on Moongiant.
Places to stay
There are many options to stay in Rann, Gateway to Rann Resort at Dhordo is the popular one. The government of Gujarat has also set up the Toran Rann Resort which is near to the entrance of salt desert. Another option is the Shaam-e-Sarhad Resort in Hodka. All the staying options are expensive, per night it cost around Rupees 4000- 6000 for an air-conditioned double bedroom including meals.
Staying options in Rann
It’s a great option to add Bhuj to your itinerary, not only as it is a gateway to Rann of Kutch Gujarat, but the place offers quite a lot. Bhuj is kind of a historical city. It has a long history of kings and empires. Bhuj is most famous for its handicrafts. You can get a variety of clothes and other things having this kind of artwork. Visiting Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Prag Mahal Palace, and Aaina Mahal are worthwhile. You should definitely taste Kutchi food when you are in Kutch. The market road in Bhuj is the place to taste street food. You will find a lot of stalls serving Dabeli. For detailed Information on Bhuj refer to Wikipedia.
Shree Swaminarayan Temple
Prag mahal Palace
The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
The Great Rann of Kutch is a vast chunk of salt marshes in the region called Kutch, in the state of Gujarat, India and the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometers (2,897.78 sq.m) in size (much bigger than the individual size of 30 countries) and is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The area was once the shallows of the Arabian Sea before a geological uplift closed off the connection with the sea, leaving behind a vast lake which turns into a salt desert. It turns marshy during the monsoons and then back to its brilliant white glory during the winters and summers.
Camel Ride at The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
There are no direct public transports available to reach The Great Rann of Kutch. I took a minibus and reached Hodka in 1.30 hours and from Hodka to Dhordo (19 km) in a shared Taxi.
Every year in the winter months, a tent City is created near Dhordo village for the Rann Utsav. With no scope for any agriculture or animal husbandry, locals had almost no source of income and it was very tough for them to sustain. It’s been a blessing in disguise that they found out such an ecosystem can be used to develop tourism. Every year tourists from all over the globe visit Kutch to participate in the Great festival called Rann Utsav. It offers access to the true culture of the desert district. You can enjoy the various music concerts, Sindhi Bhajans, and Langa Desert Music.
For more details, you can check Gujarat tourism official website.
Stay options in Rann
Stay options in The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
Just before the entrance to the salt desert, you will find a BSF check post where you need to show the permits. The officer on duty at that time was very friendly and I had a good long chat with him and we became good friends soon. Seeing me travel alone, he asked a local to drop me to the salt desert which was around 4 km from check post.
BSF check post
Wowww!!! Just the feeling I had my first glimpse of the white land. It looked so surreal. To put an end to all the questions about the salt I had over the years, I tasted it and to my surprise, it had almost the same savor and aroma. Yeah more dirty, though.
I was so busy in capturing the breathtaking views of the endless white land, that I didn’t realize that how quickly the time had passed. It was now the time for the sunset glimpse. Splendid!!! I am short of words to describe such a view. The whole sky turned into an orange color.
Sunset view at The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
Under the moon and over the white salt, the feeling of the immense endlessness of whiteness will leave you stunned. As I lay down, I could witness an infinite black sky with more stars than I had ever seen in my entire life.
The Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat
The Rann of Kutch Gujarat is a place that needs time and due to lack of time, I could not visit 2 highly recommended places that are Kala Dungar (offers a panoramic view of Rann from 458 meters above sea level) and India Bridge (the last civilian point for Indians). Also as stay options were quite expensive in Rann, I decided to return to Bhuj. After capturing some best moments of my life, I headed toward the BSF check post where my newly made army friends helped me to board a bus which was going all the way to Bhuj.
To read more refer Great Rann of Kutch Wikipedia.
Always nice to click photos of Locals
Mandvi Beach and Vijay Vilas Palace
The next day plan was to leave early in the morning and visit Mandvi Beach and Vijay Vilas Palace. I decided to stay overnight at the station itself as there was no worth finding a hotel for 4-5 hours.
After having spent a mesmerizing day at Rann of Kutch Gujarat, the journey had still something great to follow. The beach is huge, clean and empty and one can walk for miles. The water here is calm and shallow that one can walk into the water for quite a distance. And the water will still be below the waist. Vijay Vilas Palace is another 7 Km from the beach.
Mandvi Beach Gujarat
Vijay Vilas Palace
Note:- The expenditure of the trip is from Pune to Pune
I used the following backpack during this trip and will highly recommend it. (Quechua Forclaz 60 Backpack)
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I planned to visit rannotsav last year but could. Now Do not know if it will happen this year. I very much doubt. Hope for the next year. Nice to see the enthralling images of the rann of kutch. Never though the desert can look so beautiful
Resp Abhi, we will come to Kutch on 13thJan20 as we had booked Gateway to Rann Rrsort for one day… So can u pls guide us online permit for both the days i.e. 13th & 14th Jan20?? Or just one day i.e on 13th only…. Pls help in this..
Very good read. Do we have to get the permit before hand or can we get the permit on our way to Dhordo. Is there in general long que for the permit.
You can get the permit on your way to Dhordo!! Not so long queue!!
if i want to stay over night at rann of of kutch in my own tent. Is that allowed?? or any other special permit need to be taken for staying at own tent for 1 night.
Any nearest local People allow to stay and provide food if pay them
Please confirm am planning accordingly
Probably staying overnight in your own tent won’t be allowed at Rann as its a border sensitive area. You can try at the nearby villages for stay and food options to find cheaper options, sorry currently I am not aware of any such place.
Thanks for all a very useful info. However I am planning somewhere between 19th Jan-22nd Jan,2018 for a couple/2 couples trip from Ahmedabad.
1. What are the affordable stay options ?
1.1 Do we need to book in advanced ? OR Can we get once we reach there ?
2. Is it recommended to visit Raan Utsav too ?
3. Are 2 days enough ?
4. Should we take go for train->mini_bus->shared_auto OR by car ?
Hey Supal, thank you so much. That’s great to hear that you are planning a trip to Rann of Kutch.
1) As its, the time of Rann Utsav, staying at Rann is very expensive.
2)Yes, you would need to book in advance as the place is flooded with tourists during the Utsav.
3)Yes, 2 days are good enough.
4)You can take a train to Bhuj and from there hire a taxi.
You can opt to stay in Bhuj and explore Rann on a day trip if you looking for Cheap stays and a budget trip.
Hope that helps. Happy travelling!!
What could be the best option to stay if we want to enjoy the full moon view and also the sunrise at runn?
we will be visiting mostly in the start of feb or jan end with a group of at least 5-6 people.
Staying at Rann is very expensive. If you fine with budget, you can stay in tents near to the white rann. If you are on budget trip, you can opt to stay in Bhuj and visit Rann on a day’s trip. Hope that helps. Happy travelling 🙂
When is the last bus from rann of Kutch to Bhuj ?
When is last bus from rann of Kutch to bhuj? I plan to do solo trip for a day at rann of kutch this weekend ?
Hey Namita, its great to hear that you are planning a solo trip to Rann of Kutch this weekend. As such, there is no public transport available up to Kutch. But since its a festival time, you can hitchhike as there will be a lot of people commuting back toward Bhuj.
Need to know if we go directly for Rann of K utch utsav is it possible to get a tent directly by going there.Can we get a good deal???.
If you are going on the eve of Rann Utsav, I highly doubt that you will get a good deal as everything is highly overpriced there.
Can I bring my own tent to stay at Salt Dessert.
I am not sure on this, but most probably it won’t be allowed as it is a border sensitive area.
The best write I have read on Kutch, thanks for penning it from a traveller’s perspective. Meanwhile, do we have to book in advance or just look for accommodation after somehow managing to reach Hodka or Dhordo ? Cant afford to be heartbroken to see a better one next to mine once reached
Thank you so much for your appreciation. Stay is quite expensive in Rann especially at the time of Kutch Festival. When are you planning to go? There are many accommodation options which have opened off late, so you don’t need to worry, you will surely find a good one once you reach Rann.
Am booking permit for rann of kutch in rannpermit. Com, but the site asking for four wheeler details which is not confirmed yet because we are planning to take taxi please advise
Drop a mail to [email protected] or you can directly call at 02832-251007, 02832-230832. Ask them what should be done for the same.
First, 3k pune to pune is commendable!
It would be helpful if you can include the dates / month you visited the place.
Thanks for appreciation 🙂 Yes I will keep that in mind for upcoming posts. I visited Rann of Kutch somewhere in mid-November for 2 days and the views were absolutely breathtaking.
What’s up,I log on to your new stuff named “The Great Rann of Kutch” on a regular basis.Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about تحميل مهرجانات.
Thanks a lot 🙂 Yes I will surely have a look on your website.
Nice and very informational blog. Only thing I want to add is that permit can be obtained from the building just before the BSF check post as well. I visited this place a week back. very b’ful and mesmerizing experience
yes thanks for providing the info 🙂
Nice blog.. Already being there !!
hope you enjoyed your time out there 🙂
I am planning to go to Bhutan in April. Is it the right time to go to Bhutan.. And i need some guidance from u for the trip. So can u please help.
Yeah you can visit Bhutan at any time.Can you be more specific on the queries?
very informational post. I am always confused about the stay at Rann of kutch. Can you pls suggest some good options, I would like to stay for a night.
Hi Neha ,there are many options to stay in kutch but almost all are very expensive.May i know in which you are planning to go there?
Very informational and beautifully written
Thanks a lot 🙂
Sunset View at Rann is amazing ….thanks for info its quite good.
Thanks a lot 🙂
Wow!! I will definitely visit this place some day?
Yes you should visit 🙂
Thanks for sharing the info about a wonderful place! I would like to go too?
yes you should definitely visit once 🙂