Posted 13 January 2023 in Art and Festival

How to plan a trip to Kutch’s Rann Utsav this year

Are you a beach person, or do you prefer going to the mountains? Why should there be only these two options for a perfect holiday? Say hello to Rann of Kutch. A full moon night, stars above, and white beneath your feet. This is what will greet you at this mesmerising place in Gujarat.

What began as a three-day festival, organised by the Gujarat Tourism in 2005, has turned into a four-month fiesta celebrating culture, nature, and the people of Kutch. Rann Utsav is one of the biggest and longest festivals in India, held in Dhordo, a small village that lies close to the place where the festival is held.

Words are not enough to describe Rann of Kutch, and the only way to experience this festive destination is by planning a trip to Kutch’s Rann Utsav this year. Sure, seeing the popularity of Rann Utsav, chances of getting cheap flights are slim. But you can make advance reservations with IndiGo and fly to Gujarat.

So, what are you waiting for? Here are a few things to know about Rann of Kutch.

What to know about Rann Utsav?

Rann Utsav literally translates to desert festival. It celebrates the stunning salt desert of Kutch. The entire desert shines on full moon nights, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. This is something worth seeing while here.

From the moment you arrive at the Rann of Kutch, you will be greeted with a colourful and vibrant atmosphere. You can stay in traditional Gujarati bhungas with lippan covered roofs (houses of Kutch region of Gujarat covered in clay or cow-dung) and listen to melodic Kutchi folk songs.

Earlier, Rann Utsav was an intimate festival, with locals setting up food and souvenir stalls. Tourists would come and enjoy the pristine white desert, buy local art, and savour Gujarati food. Today, it has boomed into a full-fledged festival, especially with two government-certified partners, The Tent City and White Rann Resort, joining the Gujarat Government.

This collaboration helps tourists get Rann Utsav experience a notch higher by staying in these gated resorts that offer traditional accommodation with a pinch of luxury, adventure activities, cultural programmes, and curated itineraries to get you in a festive mood in Dhordo.

Getting a Rann Utsav package helps you to truly experience the festival; the packages include accommodations, transportation, activities, and even a permit to explore the expansive White Desert. If you do not book a package, you will need to get a permit for the desert; most resorts also provide the permit and transport.

But when is the right time to attend Rann Utsav you ask? Well, below, we’ve mentioned the dates of this festival. 

What are the dates for Rann Utsav?

Every year, the festival is held during the winter months. Kutch Rann Utsav will take place from 26 October, 2022 to 20 February, 2023.

Where to stay in Rann of Kutch?

If you are visiting Gujarat for the first time, it can be pretty confusing to find places to stay. There are a number of hotels and resorts around the Rann of Kutch, mostly tents. This is perhaps the best way to truly soak up the traditions of the state and the festival.

But remember, you can book tents through the official Rann Utsav website or from a travel agent, which can be slightly more expensive. Another option is to book a hotel in Bhuj. There are many options for accommodation apart from hotels, like AirBnB and homestays. The hotel may also provide you with transport since there are not frequent buses to Rann of Kutch.

Apart from the festival itself, there are so many things to do around Rann of Kutch. There are also a few sightseeing places. Make sure to explore them all. 

Things to do in Rann of Kutch?

There is something magnetic about Rann Utsav; it is colourful, vibrant, lively, and packed with tons of places to see and things to do.

The festival has many recreational activities like -

  • Camel cart ride
  • Shopping
  • Gaming zone
  • Spa centre
  • Yoga centre
  • Parasailing
  • Dirt biking
  • Cultural dance performances
  • Live music

There are also sightseeing places like -

  • Kala Dungar, which is the highest point in the Rann of Kutch
  • White Rann dessert to watch the sun set on the distant horizon
  • Visit surrounding villages to learn about the local way of life

How to reach Rann of Kutch?

For an easy travel, packages can do wonders. Truth be told, it is not easy to get to the Rann of Kutch by public transport; you will have to get a taxi instead. Pick-up from either the Bhuj Airport or the railway station is included in the Rann Utsav package.

But if you choose not to take a package and plan to go on your own, you can take an auto or taxi from Bhuj to reach the Rann of Kutch. The time you will take may be around two hours.

Now that we are clear on how to reach Rann of Kucth, there are a few points to remember before planning your trip to this festive destination.

Important thing to note before planning to visit Rann of Kutch

  • Only the official organisers, Rann Utsav, Tent City, and White Rann Resort, offer packages
  • You will need a permit to visit the White Rann or Kalo Dungar
  • Taxis for Rann of Kutch are available from the airport or railway junction

FAQs

Is it worth visiting Rann of Kutch?

Absolutely. Rann of Kutch is one of the best places to visit in Gujarat. It has an expansive white salt desert. Visiting this place during the festival is a good idea as you get to experience the amalgamation of culture and tradition.

What can I expect in Rann Utsav?

You can experience Kutchi culture in the form of dance performances, folk songs, arts, and crafts. You can also get a breathtaking view of the expansive white desert and watch the sunset/sunrise.

Why is the festival of Rann celebrated?

The Rann Utsav celebrates the local people, nature, and culture. It also celebrates the beautiful landscape of the Kutch.

Why do I need permit for Rann of Kutch?

You are required to obtain a permit to visit Rann of Kutch because it is close to the border.

Is there fee to enter Rann Utsav?

If you have Rann Utsav package, you do not require an entry fee. However, if you choose to visit the festival without a package, the fee is INR 100 per adult.

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