Rann of Kutch is an unusual marshland spanning an area of approximately 10,000 sq. km and separating Gujarat from the Sind region in Pakistan. The dry season is extreme as it dries out the marshland leaving isolated salt islands on a vast plain. The monsoon is no different in extremity, as it floods the marshland and the whole area is transformed into a vast inland sea.
The salt plains seen here are caused by flooding of the Rann by sea, river and rainwater. It is punctuated by highlands called bets, which have scrub flora and grassland vegetation offering refuge to wildlife. It is located northwest of Gujarat in the Thar Desert. The Rann of Kutch is divided into the Greater Rann Of Kutch and the Little Rann Of Kutch.
The Greater Rann Of Kutch: As the name suggests the Greater Rann Of Kutch spans an area of 7505.22 Sq. km and is comparatively larger than the Little Rann Of Kutch. The greater Rann Of Kutch is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Migratory birds deem it an abode during diverse weather conditions. Read More...
The Little Rann Of Kutch occupies 4,953 sq. kms and is spread out in the districts of Surendranagar, Banasakantha, Patan, Kutch and Rajkot in Gujarat. It is well known as The Wild Ass Sanctuary, named after endangered Ghudkhur (Equs hemionus khur), that is seen here in large numbers. Established in 1972 the sanctuary came under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1973.
Though the Ranns of Kutch are prominent wild life attractions in Gujarat, there is much more to the dry arid place than that. The Kutch Mahotsav is a vibrant festival celebrated with much gusto, attracting tourists from all over.
Kutch is the largest district of Gujarat wherein as many as 18 varied tribes live harmoniously, inspite of their distinct language, culture and customs. This is what makes it a paradise for cultural tourist worldwide. And we suggest you visit the place during the Kutch Mahotsav which is organized during February and March every year to promote tourism in the region.
The Kutch Mahotsav or the great Kutch festival offers access to the interior and beautiful recesses of the desert district of Gujarat. The Kutch Festival is celebrated in Kutch, near the days when Shivratri is celebrated in Gujarat, India. During the celebration of Kutch Desert Festival, colorfully attired dancers, music concerts, Sindhi Bhajan performances, Langa Desert Music and shops selling traditional Kutchhi embroideries and jewelry are too, the hallmarks of the Kutch Desert Festival, being celebrated in Gujarat, India.
While being there to attend the festival you may take a look at the beautiful palaces, forts and bird rich marshes. You may all visit the Rann of Kutch to get a glimpse of the colorful and vibrant lifestyles of the people of Kutch.
Kutch is also famous for exquisite crafts like embroidery, applique work bed sheets and cushion covers. The ever so popular Bandhani (tie and die) fabrics, enameled silverware and other handicrafts are also found here and are a thing of interest for tourists.
So if you want to get a feel of vibrant Gujarat, make sure to visit the Rann of Kutch - a tourist destination par excellence.
Kutch Desert wildlife Sanctuary is divided into the Little Rann which has a 4,950 sq. km Wild Ass Sanctuary, created in 1973 and the Greater Rann which is a 7,850 sq. km desert wildlife sanctuary. Together they form the largest adjoining tracts of wild life territory in India.
The wildlife Sanctuary includes forest area, wasteland and territorial area of the Arabian Sea. The bird population includes spoonbill, stork, crow, sparrow, osprey, and vultures to name a few. The most prominently seen animals include nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, porcupines, fox, wolf, jackal and wild ass. Reptiles like snakes and wild lizards are also seen here.
Tourists from all over India visit the Rann Of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary. Foreign tourists have also taken keen interest in the desert sanctuary. It is advisable to visit the sanctuary during the months of October and March and avoid visits during the monsoon season.
Summers are more preferable as the floods from the sea which dampens the soil, gets dried up giving rise to salty crusts which harden enough for a jeep to be driven on it. The climate is extreme with an average temperatures ranging from a maximum of 42-degree C and a minimum of 7-degree C. A visit to India is incomplete if you have not been to the Rann of Kutch as it epitomizes India’s incredibility and vibrancy.
By Air: Ahmedabad is the nearest airport. Besides this the sanctuary is also accessible from Bhuj and Kandla airports.
By Rail: Ballarpur railway station, which is about 197 from Bhamragarh is the nearest.
By Road: The sanctuary is directly connected from the Ahmedabad city by direct bus services.
Government guest houses are available for lodging at Dasada.
Rann Riders situated in Dasada.
The special features are that the resort provides Jeep and Camel cart safaris in the Rann of Kutch. Village safaris by vehicle are also provided. Serves continental and Indian Cuisine
You may stay at the private lodges and guest houses bordering the sanctuary, which cater the accommodation and dining needs of the tourists.
The state of Gujarat is as famous for its prominent Wild Ass population, as it is for the Asiatic Lions. Little surprise then, that a sanctuary to protect and provide refuge to this species is present in the state. It is situated at Dhrangadhra in the Kutch district of Gujarat. The Little Rann of Kutch is referred to as the “Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary�?. Covering a total area of over 4953 sq. km the sanctuary was created to offer protection to more than 2100 wild asses inhabiting this area. It lies at the end of the Luni River, which drains the Aravalli Hills.
The inward flow of sea water into the Rann of Kutch makes it a marshy land, enabling a wide variety of animal species to dwell in these plains. The intermittent grasslands are otherwise known as baits that form the main vegetation especially during Monsoon. During the dry seasons the wild asses moved to areas where there is perennial supply of water. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and May.
The sanctuary is home to endanger Ghudkhur (Equs hemionus khur) which is a distinctive feature as it is not found anywhere else in the world. These wild asses represent the horse tribe in India and are extremely strong with high stamina. These members of the wild horse family are tall, chestnut brown and white in color, and are exceptionally fast. They are capable of marathon runs at a pace of about 24 km/h for as long as two hours, reaching up to a top speed of 70 km/h over short distances. During the mating season the stallion will put up a brave fight for possession of a mare, thereby exhibiting great valor.
Apart from the Wild Ass, the wildlife in the sanctuary consists of Blue – Bull, Chinkara, Hedgehog and carnivores such as Panther, Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Jungle and Desert Cats. Houbara Bustard, Falcons, Cranes and Flamingoes constitute the avian species seen in the sanctuary. The reptilian variety includes snakes, tortoises and lizards.
In a place like Kutch, exploring the beauty of the wild on a Jeep can be worthwhile despite the rough path. The sunrise and sunset exhibit a convergence of the sun’s hues thereby making it a spectacular sight to behold. Viewing wildlife is indubitably a thrilling adventure but the best part of the safari is observation. Careful surveillance gives an insight into the food habits and behavioral patterns of the life in the wild. The safari includes trips to ancient monuments and inland salt works. It may also include places of interest situated nearby. The anecdotes and explanations during the safari keep one enchanted by the radiance of the wild.
Rajkot: It was formerly the capital of this region and is famous for its Association with Mahatma Gandhi.
Modhera: Famous for its temples built of artistically carved stone.
Patan: It is one of the oldest cultural centers and famous for its Patola saris.
There are some other national parks in the region including the Marine National Park and Nal Sarovar Park, which are rich in flora and fauna and are really worth a visit.
By Air: Bhuj which is situated around 150 km is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Dhangadhra situated around 22 km from the sanctuary and 130 km from Ahmedabad is the nearest railway station.
By Road: The sanctuary is well connected to the other important places in the state by State Transport Corporation buses as well as luxury coaches operated by private companies.
The Rann of Kutch is accessible via Dasada village, 93 kms from Ahmedabad.
Regular Hotels or village resorts where traditional Koobas are available.
There are Government guest houses in Aram Garh Dasada, Fatima Manzil at Dasada.
Accommodation can be found in places like Dhrangadhra, Zainabad, and Bhuj.