Kutch is a heavenly and mesmerising destination in Gujarat, best known for hosting the Rann Festival from November to February. As the largest district of India, Kutch boasts of fantastic landscapes, mind blowing cultural traits, and awe-inspiring history.
Let’s explore this haven of fantastic destinations today and glance at the most alluring places to visit in Kutch.
Natural Landscapes, Lakes, and Beaches
1. Great Rann of Kutch – The star attraction
With Thar Desert on one side and Arabian Sea on the other, Rann of Kutch is a spellbinding marvel of sand and salt. It is the most popular attraction of all tourist places in Kutch. The desert sparkles on full moon nights and offers a spectacular view. A lot of tourists and culture enthusiasts flock here during the time of the Rann Festival.
In fact, winter is a good time to visit Kutch for more than one reasons. This one of the best places to visit in Kutch is also the habitat to Siberian flamingos in winter.
Don’t miss: Rann Mahotsav, camel safari, and camping in tents
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2. Kalo Dungar – The black hill
Kalo Dungar is the highest point of Kutch and offers jaw dropping view of the entire region, especially the Rann and the Indo-Pak border. The highland is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Kutch and can be accessed by buses or jeeps from Khavda. Hiking here is only recommended for professionals and experts.
Don’t miss: The 400 year old temple of Dattatreya- three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva
3. Topansar Lake – The picnic spot
Located at the heart of Mandvi city, the Topansar Lake is one of the mesmerising tourist places in Kutch. The lake area is popular among the locals as as a picnic spot and also for rejuvenating walks and jogs. It is also a bird watcher’s paradise as numerous migratory birds are seen during winter.
Don’t miss: Spotting of black-headed & few brown-headed gulls
4. Kandla Port – The hub of commercial activity
Best known for rich history among Kutch tourist places, Kandla Port is one of the major ports of west coast. It is located by the Gulf of Kutch and is commercially active in trading petroleum, chemicals, iron, steel, salt, textiles, and food grains.
Don’t miss: Operation of commercial vessels and charming view of the Gulf
5. Mandvi Beach – Perfect for an evening stroll
Mandvi is one of the most popular beach destinations of Kutch and offers awesome view of the sea and the shoreline. The beach is clean and the tranquil, perfect for a weekend getaway.
Don’t miss: Camel and horse rides on the shore, and a visit to the Vijay Vilas Palace located by the beach
Historical and Religious Places
6. Kutch Museum – A few pages of history
This is the oldest museum of Gujarat, founded by Maharao Khengarji in 1877. It is one of the best places to visit in Kutch for history buffs. Here you can have a look at the precious collections of Kshatrapa inscriptions, artefacts of tribal culture, Kutchi scripts, and diverse folk arts and crafts like embroidery, paintings, arms, musical instruments, sculptures, and precious metalwork.
Don’t miss: Gallery of Coins, especially Kori- Kutch’s local currency of historical days
Entry fee: INR 5 per person
Opening hours: 9 am – 11:00 am and 3 pm to 5:30 pm. The museum is closed on every Wednesday and 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
7. Dholavira – A historical excavation site
Dholavira, also known as Kotada Timba is one of the historical sites of Kutch area, where relics of Harappan civilization have been found by Archeological Survey of India. In fact, remnants of all the phases of Harappan timeline (2900 BC to 1500 BC) have been found here. And thus Dholavira is a favourite amongst history buffs and students, and also among travelers who love exploring offbeat destinations within India.
Don’t miss: Remnants and excavations of water storage and conservation system, urban architecture and exhumed relics
8. Siyot Caves – A Hindu and Buddhist attraction in Kutch
Siyot Caves are ancient cave that date back to the first century AD. The paintings and folklore of the cave carvings and sculptures depict historical events like Chinese migration to India. They are the key attractions of the cave and and pull history enthusiasts from all over the world to this little known place in Kutch.
Don’t miss: Sanctum and ambulatory depicting Buddhist linkages
9. Bhadreshwar Jain Temple – A famous religious attraction
Bhadreshwar Jain Temple is one of the most ancient temples in Bhadravati and undeniably one of the most awesome places to see in Bhuj and Kutch. The building is presently refurbished and fully renovated to a new complex. The chief temple is extraordinarily stunning- made of all white marble. Also, it boasts of marvellous architecture with engraved pillars showcasing fine artwork. Circling the central temple, there are 52 smaller monuments and tombs and two century old mosques.
Don’t miss: Parshwanath idol- as old as 500 BC
Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm. The temple is closed on Sunday.
10. Aina Mahal – Stunning mirror work
Aina Mahal or Palace of Mirrors is one of the spectacular attractions of Kutch. Known as the Madan Singhji Museum, the palace comprises of various types of mirror work with a combination of Venetian glass, marbles, mirrors connected by sprinkled jewellery, and reflective lighting. The entire artwork is a reflections of Indian and European patterns of design. Besides, the palace showcases various antiques like pictures, mechanical toys, and sculptures.
Don’t miss: Pleasure Pool, Dutch Clock, and English and French globes
Entry fee: INR 10 per person for Indians | INR 100 per person for foreign nationals
Opening hours: 9 am – 12 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm. It is closed on Thursday.
Suggested Read: 10 Famous Festivals In Gujarat Celebrated With Joyous Fervor
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
11. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary – A day with the wild
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is one of the most interesting places to visit in Kutch (the Little Rann). Sprawling over 4954 sq km, the sanctuary is the habitat of the Indian Ass, locally called ghudkhar or khur, and other animals like Chinkara, hedgehog, fox, desert cats, jackal, jungle cats, wolf, and blue bulls. Here, you can also find numerous species of birds, reptiles, and crocodiles.
Don’t miss: Spotting of Wild Ass and birds like Bustard and falcons and exploring the salt pan (largest in the country)
Entry fee: INR 250 per person for Indians & INR 280 for foreign nationals (Weekdays) | INR 1200 per person for Indians & INR 1500 for foreign nationals (Weekends)
Opening hours: 5 am – 7 pm round the year except during monsoon.
12. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary – Home to the Great Indian Bustard
Lala-Parijan sanctuary or the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful Kutch tourist places known for conservation and preservation of India’s heaviest flying bird- Bustards. They are among the most endangered species and are locally called Ghorad.
The sprawling area features diverse vegetation, semi-arid grasslands and swamps, and one can spot various types of other birds and animals here.
Don’t miss: Take the safari to spot chinkaras, jungle cats, Nilgai, harriers, common cranes, black partridges, sand grouses, black and grey francolin, spotted Indian sandgrouse, quails, larks, shrikes, coursers, plovers, Stoliczka’s bushchat, white-naped tit, flamingos, herons, egrets, sandpipers
Entry fee: None, but safaris and guided tours are chargeable
Opening hours: 6 am – 6 pm
13. Marine National Park – Unravel the mysterious marine life
Marine National Park is the first marine reserve of India, located in the southern coast of Kutch in Jamnagar district. The marine park features saline grasslands, swampy tracts, marshy shores, along with rocky outcrops, estuaries, and mudbeds.
Don’t miss: Spot marine organisms like darter and black-necked Ibis, phalaropes, gulls, kingfishers, osprey, avocets, terns gangetic dolphins, painted stork, giant crabs, beluga whales and giant leatherback turtles
Entry fee: INR 150 per person
Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm. The national park stays closed on Sunday.
14. Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary – A photographer’s delight
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is another one of the popular places to visit in Rann of Kutch region for wildlife lovers. Spread over 2797.7 sq miles, this biosphere reserve has rare as well as almost extinct wild animals like chinkara, jackels, wild boar, porcupine, desert fox, and spiny tailed lizard.
Don’t miss: Flamingo city for feeding the bird
Opening hours: 7 am – 5 pm
15. Narayan Sarovar – Explore the wild side of Kutch
Narayan Sarovar is again one of the popular places to visit in and around Kutch. It comprises of water reservoirs, mangrove forests, and two ephemeral streams – Kapurasi and Kali that flow through the sanctuary. Numerous fauna and almost 252 kinds of floral species can are seen here, including gorad, babul, kerdo, among others.
Don’t miss: Carry the camera to spot and click chinkara and cheetah
Suggested Read: Top 10 National Parks In India: A List You Just Can’t Ignore
With this quick list of tourist places in Kutch, you are all set to plan a trip to Gujarat’s desertland and explore the magical beauty that it mesmerizes with.
Further Read: 10 Incomparable Places To Visit In Gujarat
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