Inspired by the TV commercial of Gujarat Tourism, Swathi Reddy always wanted to relish the charm of the beautiful Rann Utsav ever since Amitabh Bachchan uttered the magical words – ‘Kutch Nahi Dekha Toh Kuch Nahi Dekha’. It was only after her birthday in the first week of December, that an exquisite trip to the Rann of Kutch finally came to pass for Swathi, and here’s what she wrote about her extraordinary experience.
The time only seemed right as the rates for a trip to the Rann of Kutch, which are usually on the higher end, were a bit cheaper during the off season. After a lot of planning and discussion, me and my husband started hunting for travel agencies online and offline.
And we must admit, that post a lot of research, we’re glad that the agents of TravelTriangle came up with the best offers. We put in our requests, and on receiving quotes from the top agents, we finally chose to go ahead with the agent called Diu Holidays who offered us a great package under our budget.
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Snippet Of Our Trip To The Rann Of Kutch
Trip Duration: 3 Days & 2 Nights
Trip Type: A post-birthday trip done right at the Rann Utsav
Trip Cost: INR 27,850
Agent: Diu Holidays
Inclusions: Accommodation in non-AC swiss cottage, breakfast, lunch, dinner, airport transfers, sightseeing, local transfers, and taxes.
Exclusions: Flights, welcome drink, jungle safari, entry tickets, and anything which is not in itinerary
Plan Of Our Trip To The Rann Of Kutch
Day 1: Arrival at the Ahmedabad Airport, train to Bhuj, transfer to Dhordo, check-in at the cluster, lunch, sunset at the Great Rann, dinner, Rann Utsav, stargazing activity, dinner, overnight stay
Day 2: Breakfast, sunrise at the Rann of Kutch, in-house games, trikke cycling, Kala Dungar tour, Gandhi Nu Gam village tour, paramotoring, dinner, overnight stay
Day 3: Breakfast, check-out from Rann of Kutch, Kutch Museum, Sri Swami Narayan temple, Bhujodi handicraft village, shopping at Bhuj market, return journey
Day 1: Hello Bhuj!
On the first day, we arrived at the Ahmedabad airport and boarded a train to Bhuj. Upon our arrival at the railway station, there was a huge tent setup with a waiting hall and restrooms for the guests of Rann Utsav along with which, refreshments were provided as well.
Post waiting for about an hour, we boarded the bus which takes the travelers to the tent city in Dhordo – located at a distance of close to 80 kilometers from the Bhuj station. On the way, we stopped at a local village where freshly made Mawa (Indian sweet made from thickened milk) was being sold and it is a must for everyone to try it when in Dhordo.
Finally we reached the famous Tent City and I must admit that it’s a different world altogether. Post checking-in at the reception, we were taken to our respective cluster that were scattered all over the city (group of 20 tents setup for accommodation) on golf carts decorated with traditional Gujarati handicraft materials.
Each cluster was represented by a cluster head who were very helpful, and catered to all the needs of guests by being available 24×7. Later, we went for a late lunch at the dining hall wherein we were given coupons for the entire duration of our stay. The food was exceptionally good and the quality of the Gujarati cuisine in their buffet system was hygienic, delicious, and impressive to an extent that they had a separate counter for Jain food as well.
Post relishing a delicious meal, our next stop was of witnessing the grandeur of sunset at the salt lands of the Great Rann. In the evening we enjoyed some quick bites of snacks and tea post which we were transferred to the Rann of Kutch on a camel safari (Reach early as the number of carts are limited for camel safari) which was a fun ride too as the local kids were driving it.
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On reaching the Great Rann, we experienced that it was kind of difficult to walk over it as it is a thick layer of salt above a thick layer of quicksand. It’s difficult initially but gets comfortable eventually. All you can see is the never ending land of salt and the blue skies over it. As the sun went down, there was a beautiful reddish orange hue all over the salt bed. The views were just magnificent.
Around 7pm, we were back at the tent city and went for the dinner straightaway. There was an utsav scheduled from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm where the locals of the village put up a great show for the guests. It was indeed a good way of promoting Kutch’s local talent. Apart from that, we concluded the day with an incredible stargazing activity which was a guided and a wonderful experience.
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Day 2: Rising With The Sun At The Great Rann!
Our second day started a bit early in the morning. We noticed that people working at Rann Utsav are very particular about time. They had informed us that they would wake us up at 6 am sharp, and they did exactly that. Post serving the tea to us, we were asked to freshen up and reach the boarding point by 6:30am to explore the different locations at the Great Rann.
Although the whole salt desert looks the same, there was a tower located to view the sunrise. Unfortunately, the sun didn’t show up when we were at the tower and we had to head back to the tents to resume the activities scheduled for the day. Nonetheless, I managed to get a few clicks from the bus as the sun came out gleaming on our way back.
Post relishing a delicious breakfast around 10 am, we had few hours of leisure time to our disposal during which we enjoyed the in-house activities. We played various indoor games like carrom, chess, table-tennis, badminton, etc. for free at the club house. Other outdoor activities like paintball, archery, trampoline, etc., were also available but on a chargeable basis.
Paramotoring was also available but the wind was not favorable at that time so we were asked to get back to them later. I went for a trikke ride which costed me around 300 INR for 10 minutes. Later enjoyed cycling to the core and went around to see how vast the tent city was. Later we had a hot-piping lunch and boarded their bus to explore Kala Dungar along with a guide.
A tour to the Kala Dungar was included in our package and it was a great experience as it is the highest point of Kutch. It offered amazing views and on the way, we also explored the handicraft village ‘Gandhi Nu Gam’ which was destroyed in the 2001 earthquake and was rebuilt by the VSF group. People here make their living by selling handicrafts which were priced at a very reasonable prices and the variety was good to choose from.
We returned to the cluster at about 7.30 pm and while we were on our way for dinner, we got a call from the reception informing that the wind was favorable for paramotoring. We paid an amount of INR 3200 per person in cash for the paramotoring experience wherein a jeep took us to the grounds outside Rann Utsav to the planned site.
Since I had already done paragliding in Kamshet, there was no sense fear but only excitement to fly high in the darkness. It was one heck of a ride. The view of the whole Rann Utsav was totally lit and beyond beautiful. For me, this view was more mesmerizing than the sunset at Great Rann. Though cameras were not allowed to be taken during the ride, i was fortunate enough to have got some shots clicked by a volunteer who was clicking for fun.
Day 3: Sightseeing, Shopping, And Safe Journey Back Home!
As much as we were sad that it was the last day of our trip to the Rann of Kutch, we still had other things to experience before we could end this beautiful journey. Post breakfast, we bid goodbye to the Great Rann and boarded the bus to Bhuj. On our way, we explored the Kutch Museum and visited the famous Sri Swami Narayan temple in the limited time frame.
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Since we couldn’t reach the temple before 1pm which happens to be the closing time, we just clicked some pictures as we went around the temple. Later, we were taken to the handicraft village and craft park at Bhujodi where we enjoyed some shopping. Due to the time constraints, we decided to stick to the shopping area and later, we were dropped back at the Bhuj station at around 3pm.
Since our train to Mumbai was around 10pm, we kept our luggage at the Rann Utsav tent in the railway station and went ahead with some more shopping at the Bhuj market which was just 4 kms away. Post that, we went to the Swami Narayan temple for darshan and later in the evening, returned to the station by 7pm and had dinner at a nearby hotel.
In short, this trip was a great stress buster for us. The tent city of Rann Utsav is so massive and so well-built that you cannot complain about a single thing. From the tents to the club house and the roads, everything was convenient and the staff were well-trained too. Also, the itinerary was nicely planned in a way to make our experience a memorable one.
Highlights Of Our Memorable Trip To The Rann Of Kutch
- Riding on the golf cart
- Sunset at the Great Rann of Kutch
- The entertainment show of Rann Utsav
- Stargazing Experience
- Trikke Cycling & Paramotoring
Overall Experience With TravelTriangle
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My overall experience with this place has been a pleasant one. Great Rann is a one-time visit but a mandatory one. Our trip to the Rann of Kutch and being a part of the Rann Utsav is something that made the whole trip fun and memorable. I would love to take another vacation after a few years and would definitely recommend this place to my friends and family as well.
Tips For Future Travelers
- Do carry enough cash as it is the only source of payment taken in the villages and there are no working ATMs available around the tent city.
- Swiping machines are available but would fail to work due to network issues within Rann Utsav.
- Wherever possible, try some authentic Kutchi food.
- Buy handicraft in Kutch as this is not found outside Gujarat easily and there is no guarantee on the authenticity of the product.
- Do carry warm clothes as the temperature drops in the evening.
- Non-AC tents are recommended as there is no point in paying extra when there’s no need for an AC.
Want a similar experience? Book a delightful Rann of Kutch tour package with TravelTriangle and make your holiday, a memorable one too!
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