Is it worth going for a tour to watch salt flats?
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Rann of Kutch is actually divided into two parts > Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. Rann of Kutch is a marsh wetland covering a large area of the district of Gujarat, and some portion of the Rann of Kutch is also located in the neighboring country of Pakistan. The map here will give complete idea about its location in the state of Gujarat. The area in brown color, in the map, is the Rann of Kutch. Here is the complete map of India showing Rann of Kutch in the state of Gujarat in the west.
A marsh wetland is a piece of land which has shallow water (most of the time), and have only grassy plants, rather than trees or shrubs. Rann of Kutch is filled with water, during the rainy season (Monsoon in India), to make it a marsh wetland, but gradually this water evaporates as the summer season approaches, and then the land here becomes salt flats as mentioned above. Once you stand, at some point in such an area, you will see nothing far and wide except barren land. You can't even see plants and animals, or rivers, or lakes. Almost 7500 sq km area of Rann of Kutch has seasonal salt flats but not all.
You must not visit Rann of Kutch during the rainy season, as salt flats cannot be seen at that time. The whole idea is to experience the scene of land, that looks like covered with snow, when salt flats appear there. Best time to visit the Rann of Kutch would be in the winter season, in the months from November to February, as the temperature is almost 50 degree in summer. In the month of December Rann Utsav is organized by Gujarat Tourism. During the full moon day, in the month of December, the glow of the moonlight, on the salt-encrusted earth, is truly mesmerizing, and its a delight to watch. It would be a heart throbbing experience to spend your time or holidays, at the Great Rann of Kutch. Sunset scene here is also unique, in the sense, that you will see sunset first time at a land, which is even and totally flat far and wide, at an endless distance, as seen from the naked eye.
Rann Utsav is held in the village of Dhordo (somewhere in December month- rannutsav.com) in the Kutch district of Gujarat. Dhordo is also the place where you can experience everything, as mentioned above, as its a gateway to the renowned White Desert (salt flats). So your final destination should be Dhordo village, and you can reach there by hiring a taxi from the city of Bhuj. Dhordo village is on the edge of the Indo-Pak border, and that will also give an opportunity to meet with people from BSF (Border Security Force). Dhordo is also known for its Craft Villages and bird watching. Camel Riding can also be enjoyed.
Bhuj is a very important destination in the state of Gujarat, and flights from all major cities of India to Bhuj can be booked online, on trusted sites like makemytrip.com. Various trains are also available from different cities of India to Bhuj. Visit makemytrip.com to know about the various trains to Bhuj. Enjoy the great trip. Another important thing is to get the written permission, from someone like Gujarat Police DSP, to enter into Rann of Kutch. But the permission can also be obtained on the way at Bhirandiyara village checkpoint by paying Rs.100, but they will ask for identity proof. Permission is necessary as it is a sensitive area of Indo-Pak border. Here is a great video showing Rann of Kutch.
Dhordo Village Photo- Rann Utsav
Written by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )