If you don’t know what Rann Utsav looks like, imagine hundreds of shadows, flickering on a white, salty desert patch, dancing under a full moon to music so mesmerizing that you lose yourself. Imagine days coming alive with people coming adorned in colorful turbans and lehenga cholis, painting rainbows in an otherwise dry land.
A land that turns into an oasis that attracts travelers from far and wide.
With this extravaganza running until February 23, 2016, you just can’t miss it. But this is going to be a tough nut to crack as planning a trip to Rann is a big deal in itself. So take my hand (read read) and I’ll take you to the center of all the action at Rann.
Read also: Jammu & Kashmir – The 5 Senses Trip.
Rann Utsav dates -> 18 November 2015 – 23 February 2016
How to get there?
Ahmedabad and Bhuj have the nearest airports and railway stations to Rann. You will need to take a taxi from there to reach the Utsav premises. While there are a few luxury options to stay in the area like Rann Riders, you might as well head to Devpur for something more convenient for a budget trip. Book a homestay here and you’re all set for a great time.
What makes Rann Utsav worth running to?
Visit Gujarat as I hail Rann Utsav as the event of the year. You get the exclusive, once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with the artists and see them at work. While most fairs feature exorbitantly priced handicrafts and local produce, Rann Utsav organizes several NGOs that promote local arts and sell things (ethnic style embroidery, patchwork, terracotta, penknives and nutcrackers being the most important) almost at cost price.
Once you’re done with the shopping and usual photography tour, you can check out an amazing variety of dishes from rural Gujarat. Have a cupchai and wait for the moon to turn the expanding white to blue. With a light squeeze of the air that will soothe with that headchai, merrily crackling bonfires will give you good company. Nights usually see folk dance performances coupled with some mesmerizing strumming iktaras and folk songs.
What should you not miss on this trip?
I agree that some nights in Rann are good enough, but there is more to discover around Rann. As they say, reach for the eye of the hurricane and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Since Rann is the hurricane’s eye, you’ve got the can’t-miss old sight of Dholavira(think connecting the Indus Valley!), Lothal, Wild Ass Sanctuary (Little Rann, with luck, you can see Flamingos here!), Dhordo and Hodka (the craft villages) and Devpur to explore.
With a little more time in hand you can also cover Devpur which is home to some of the oldest haveli in the region. Considering that you will be near Bhuj , you should not skip the Kutch Museumand the architectural marvels scattered here. While the 2001 earthquake destroyed many of the monuments in Bhuj and the surrounding area, there is an oppressive air of lost history in the crumbling environment.
Things to do:
Camel ride, chakda ride, para car ride and much more.
I leave you on that terrifyingly seductive note and set out to write and travel some more. Don’t hesitate to write back for any suggestions, questions, ideas, or anything containing the word “travel”. Drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Until then, happy