Spanning 30000 square kilometres between India and Pakistan lies a salty marsh called the Rann of Kutch. This is the largest salt desert in the world. It is made up of three parts: The Great Rann of Kutch, the Little Rann of Kutch and the Banni grasslands. The word Rann is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Irina’, which means desert.
The best time to visit Rann of Kutch is during the Rann Utsav. The famous Rann Utsav in white desert of Kutch is held every year in the winter season. From November through February, the cultural activities at Rann of Kutch Festival enthrall tourists of all ages.
This Marsh can be accessed through the Kharaghoda Village of Sundernagar District. The monsoon rains fill the flat lands of the marsh with water. This land is approximately 49 feet above sea level and has no outer drain and the water stagnates here. During the summer as the hot sun causes the water to evaporate, a bed of minerals and salt is left behind, which creates this unique salty marshland. During exceptionally heavy monsoons, the wetlands extend from the Gulf of Kutch on the west through to the Gulf of Cambay on the east.
Geographical Point of View
Studies have proved that this area was an extension of the Arabian ocean. Seismic activity caused the land to rise near the shore creating a lake. This lake is said to have been in use until the time of Alexander the Great.
The Ghaggar River used to feed the Rann of Kutch until it began to dry out. This happened due to seismic activity, which altered the course of its tributaries to the Indus. The traces of the old delta, the change of river courses and the formation of the Rann has been documented in detail by the Geographical Society of India.
Today the river Luni feeds the Rann of Kutch in from the northwest and the river Rupen from the east and the river Banas from the west.
Being part of a desert, the temperatures are the highest in the sub-continent. The temperature can go up to 50 degrees and higher. However, the winter temperatures can drop equally low with even zero degrees being recorded frequently.
Ecologically Rich lands
The unique nature of the land has given rise to vegetation, which has become home to some varied species of animals and birds. Flamingos and other migratory birds call the Rann their home. As do the Chinkaras, nilgai, wild asses and much more.
Most of the marsh has been marked off as a protected area with limited access to human beings. Several animal sanctuaries have been formed to protect the local species. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Banni Grasslands Reserve and Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve, are places to be visited to get to see the wildlife.
Take a look at our Kutch tour packages and Rann of Kutch tour packages to start your journey.