Picture this! A plain white canvas with a mixture of colors sprinkled all over it; a piece of abstract art. That is exactly what the aerial view of Rann of Kutch looks like during the renowned festival of Rann Utsav!
Gujarat is known for hosting this extravagant carnival, making it one of the best events in India. This 3 to 4-month carnival, with its beautiful art forms, diverse people, and vast culture brings Kutch’s grandiose to life. So before you go pack your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the Kutch Rann Utsav.
During the popular Kutch Rann Utsav, you will be treated to the scenes of various cultural activities and performances by local artisans. The colorful dance and music performances will not only entertain you but also leave you stunned with the cultural aura it creates. Apart from that, you can also go check out the chaotic fair held by the banks of a lake to have some more fun.
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The three-month-long festival of Kutch Rann Utsav is spread over the winter months. The carnival enjoys the elegance of the full moon nights so you can enjoy the sparkling white sand under the gleaming moonlight. For 2023, the Kutch Rann Utsav will begin on the 1st of November and end on 25 February 2024.
Kutch is only accessible by road as it is situated in a desert. If you plan on taking a flight then your place of arrival would be the Bhuj airport. The airport is well-connected with all major cities, so once you arrive you can then take an 80 km cab drive to the Rann of Kutch.
Just like the airport, the city doesn’t have its own railway station. So, the alternative is to take a train to Bhuj train station. From there you can arrange a private vehicle or take a cab or local buses to the Rann of Kutch which is roughly a 1.5-hour drive away.
If you’re planning a long road trip, then you can get your own vehicle or arrange a cab to get to Kutch. You can take the route via Ahmedabad (400 km away) or Rajkot (300 km away) to reach your destination. The best route to reach Kutch would be to take the National Highway 8A.
Designed by the former Chief Minister of Gujarat and the current Prime Minister, this festival was an initiative of Shri Narendra Modi. The logic behind this initiative was to honor Kutch’s traditional culture and glorify the vast white desert.
Located 86 km away from Bhuj, the festival is held every year in the village of Dhordo. To be precise, the venue of the Kutch Rann Utsav is near the ‘The Rann Utsav Tent City’, which is a government set-up. Since Kutch is surrounded by desert the best way to possibly go around exploring the tourist attractions, is to rely on state transport buses, autos, or hire a taxi.
One of the prominent features of the Kutch Rann Utsav is that it brings together various artists from different corners of the state of Gujarat. So, while you’re at this festival you get to witness the culture and tradition of Gujarat through the variety of art forms performed. From the Gujarati folk dance performed in their traditional attire to the catchy and classic musical performances, it is a grandiose event. An evening by the bonfire, dancing to the folk music of Gujarat would be the perfect way to spend an evening at the Rann Utsav.
If you thought this festival is all about showcasing its culture and traditions, you’re wrong! There’s much more to this festival than just the cultural events. At the Kutch Rann Utsav, you are not just a mere spectator, but also an adventurer. With various adventure sports and activities available for you to try, the month-long festival only gets interesting.
Apart from indoor activities like carrom, paintball, chess, there are also many outdoor activities. An insane hot air balloon ride or a thrilling para-motoring experience would be enough to give you the adrenaline rush. Other activities include camel safari, zip lining, or simply star gazing.
A trip to the spectacular Kutch Rann Utsav involves mandatory shopping or window-shopping through the numerous handicraft stores. Studded with fabulous handcrafted items, each item is better than the other. The stores are filled with the works of the local artisans. Shimmering silverware, leather articles, clothes with detailed Kutchi embroidery, and many such items would make you go gaga over them.
If you’re planning to get some gifts and souvenirs home, here are some of the bazaars you can visit - Bandhini Bazar, Rupalee Handicrafts, Khamir Craft Store, and Shrujan - threads of life. You can also attend a live session of the artisans explaining the process of making these pieces. All you need to do is come with your pockets heavy and your bags light.
Is it even a festival if there’s no food around? Not at all and the Kutch Rann Utsav agrees. With over two spacious dining halls and many small food stalls spread all over the area, you will never have to go too far looking for food. Thanks to these arrangements, walking around the Rann Utsav admiring and enjoying the cultural fiesta won’t make you grumpy with hunger. One of the must-try Kutchi specialties to try is bajra na rotla, which is a bread made with bajra served with milk and curd. You can also devour some of the street food like dabeli, bhajiya, chaat, and bhungra with lassaniya bataka.
The best way to truly experience the essence of the Kutch Rann Utsav is to spend a night in the white desert. And, not just an ordinary night but a full moon night. The Tent City near the Dhordo village is a perfect abode for you to crash at after a long thrilling day at the Rann Utsav.
Imagine living in a cozy white tent with warm mood lighting, situated in the sprawling desert with the moon gleaming through the sky. Mesmerizing isn’t it? That is the exact experience you would get by choosing to stay at this well-facilitated place of accommodation set up by the state government. So, make your bookings in advance so that you don’t miss out on a romantic evening under the moon and stars.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Rann Of Kutch?
The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch would be anytime during the months of October to February. The reason being these are the winter months and you could have a pleasant trip and most importantly, this is the time when the famous Kutch Rann Utsav takes place.
How Many Days Are Required For Rann Utsav?
Ideally, a 2-3 day trip would be enough to cover all the prominent features of the Kutch Rann Utsav. However, if you wish to do some more sightseeing apart from the Rann Utsav, then you can extend your stay to a day or two.
What Is Special About Rann Utsav?
The Rann Utsav is a popular tourist attraction in Gujarat, with a three-month-long colorful festival. During this festival, you get to experience the culture and traditions of Gujarat up close, through the dance and music performances, and the handicrafts showcased at the bazaars. You can also be a part of the amazing adventure sports in the desert.
What All Happens In Rann Utsav?
From several cultural events to daring adventure sports, Rann Utsav has it all. Para-motoring, zip lining, hot air balloon rides, and ATV rides on sand dunes, are some of the adventure sports activities you can try. And, if you’re looking for something indoor then chess, carrom, rifle shooting, pool, and archery are some of the options.
Why Rann Of Kutch Is Famous?
The sprawling white salty desert of Rann of Kutch is the largest salt desert in the world. Other than its serene natural landscapes, the annual festival of Kutch Rann Utsav is what makes the Rann of Kutch so popular,
How Can I Enter Rann Utsav?
You can reach Rann Utsav, by taking a train or flight to Bhuj and then availing a taxi or bus to Kutch Rann Utsav. Another requirement to enter the festival is a government pass that you’ll need to collect from the Bhindiyra checkpoint for security reasons as Kutch lies on the India-Pakistan borders.
How Far Is Kutch From Ahmedabad?
Kutch is over 413 km away from Ahmedabad by road and 288 km by flight. You can either take the road or take a train or flight from Bhuj, which is the nearest place to avail train or flight to Ahmedabad.
How Many Tents Are There In Rann Utsav?
In the Tent city set up by the government, near the Rann Utsav, there are over 350 tents for accommodation. However, you need to book the tents at least 2 months in advance so that you don’t miss out on staying in a tent in the white deserts of Rann of Kutch.