The Great Rann of Kutch
We just came back from our Gujarat trip (Delhi-Ahmedabad-Kutch) and the highlight of our trip was visiting the Great Rann of Kutch and to witness the white desert. We have been planning this trip for the last 2 years but it could never materialize because of the high cost of transportation & accommodation since we were planning to visit during the Rann Utsav & staying in the tent city. In order to plan our trip within budget we simply ditched the idea of visiting during the festival.
Was it a good idea or we made a mistake? Read on to find out…
How to plan a perfect trip to the Rann of Kutch?
- When to Visit
- Research about the places to visit
1- When to visit Kutch/Rann of Kutch?
This is the most important thing which you need to decide before anything else. There are only 2 best options, either visit during the Rann Utsav or visit just before the start of the festival.
The Rann Festival happens every year for 4 months (Nov-Feb) when the weather is much better than the rest of the year. This year Rann Utsav will begin from 28th October 2019 to 23rd February 2020 and you may get all the details of the festival from their official website, www.rannutsav.com
Since the packages offered are quite expensive, we decided to visit in mid-October just before the Rann Utsav, also to avoid the crowd. But we are surely going to visit the Rann Utsav soon.
2- How to reach Bhuj?
There are 3 ways to reach Bhuj from Delhi. First, reach Ahmedabad by flight.
We took a non-stop flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad which was quite cheap & took only 1 hr 30 mins to reach the destination.
Fare- 2200/- per person
From Ahmedabad, there are 3 options to reach Bhuj.
a) By Flight – Very costly (8k per person) but the fastest option available.
b) By Road – Take a cab, hire a self-drive car or take a bus (it will take 7-8 hrs)
c) By Train – We booked an overnight train (1st AC), no ticket for children below 5 yrs (fare- 1500 per person), it was the best option. Time to reach Bhuj – 7 hrs (11.59 pm – 7.00 am)
3- Where to Stay?
Now, if you visit during the Rann Utsav, there are 2 options for stay. Either you book a complete package from the above-mentioned website where you get to stay in the tent city right at the Great Rann (all-inclusive package).
Or, you stay in the resort/hotel near the Rann of Kutch.
Or, you stay in Bhuj and you can visit the festival anytime.
Since we visited before the start of Rann Utsav, which was the low season, we could book the best resort just on the outskirts of Bhuj city. We checked the reviews online and also got recommendations for Regenta Resort, which is a luxury resort in Bhuj. I will do a detailed review post sharing our experience later (which was not as expected).
But yes, staying at the resort was much cheaper as compared to staying in the tent city. So, the choice is yours.
You may also want to read- Where to stay when visiting Pondicherry?
4- What to Pack?
Kutch is hot, very hot. And it may get very old during winter. We did check the temperature while planning our trip and assumed 35 degrees to be moderately hot. But, 35 degrees felt like 45 degrees in October, we were feeling tired without doing anything.
So, pack your bags accordingly. If you visit in Oct-
- Pack light-colored, loose, flowy breathable outfits
- Carry sunscreen, cap or scarf & sunglasses
- Wear comfortable shoes as you may have to walk a lot
- Keep a water bottle with you all the time
- Also, keep some empty space in your bag to pack your shopping bags later on
You may also want to read- What to pack for traveling smart?
5- Places to visit in Kutch?
First things first, plan an easy trip & don’t book any tour in advance. We booked a cab from the railway station to our resort, found his rates reasonable so we booked him for the next day as well. We finalized the place of interest on the same day itself. And we didn’t add more than 2 places to explore in a day in our itinerary.
Note- If you book a package at Rann Utsav, it includes your accommodation, food, transportation and sightseeing. So, you don’t have to worry about a thing.
We had 3 days in Kutch, so we decided to travel & explore the places during the first 2 days and spend the last day relaxing at the resort. But then a friend recommended one more place which we added in our itinerary on the last day. Here’s our easy kid-friendly itinerary-
Day 1– We visited Kalo Dungar & Rann of Kutch
Day 2– We visited a Jain temple, Vijaya Vilas Palace & Mandavi beach
Last Day 3– Bhujodi
Out of all the above places, we would highly recommend visiting Rann of Kutch, Mandavi beach (the private beach), and Bhujodi.
Keep 4-5 hrs in hand to spend at these places and the best time to visit is after 4 pm.
I would request everyone to spend some time on researching about the places to visit, read blogs, check reviews, look at pictures & videos on Google. In short, try to get maximum information about what to expect to avoid disappointment later.
We always plan our trips keeping in mind the interests of our little boy. And, that’s why we avoid exploring temples, monuments, and museums which are of little or no interest for a 3-year-old.
Now the most important thing, if you noticed the first point I didn’t mention anything about the white desert. Because even if you visit during the Rann Utsav there is no guarantee you will get to see the white Rann.
We had no idea that we would find a white lake instead of the white desert in the Rann of Kutch.
We knew the white desert was going to be the highlight of our trip. But we totally forgot to check what to expect in October. We usually call the hotel or the related authorities to check about the place & get an idea of what to expect there.
But this time we assumed a lot of things on our own. So, when we reached the Great Rann, we were highly disappointed to find no white desert. All the ground was covered in water from the season’s rainfall.
We were told that this year Kutch received fairly good rainfall as compared to previous years hence all the water around. But later some of my friends informed me that it happens every year. If you want to see the actual white Rann, you should visit in December/January only after getting confirmation from the trusted sources.
Yes, we got sad to not find what we wanted to see but in the next moment, we were thrilled beyond measure to witness the most beautiful sunset right there in front of our eyes.
Here is the video of our Day 1 & Day 2 in Gujarat, do check it out-
So, that’s all about the Great Rann from our experience. I hope you find this post helpful in planning a perfect trip to Kutch.
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