Gujarat is famous for its many cultures and traditions. Festivals of Gujarat are one of the best things which happen from September to February. These include Navratri, Rann Utsav, Utarayan, among others. But the most attracted and famous festival which most Indians know is Rann Utsav.
The vast desert of salt looks like the end of the Earth. The Great Rann is part of the Thar desert. About 90% of the Rann is in India and 10% falls in Pakistan. In summer and monsoon season, the land becomes marshy and of no use. To give a boost to this region, the Gujarat government started the Rann Utsav (Festival) in 2005.
Rann Utsav happens every year which starts from November and ends in February. Lakhs of people visit this place to witness the vastness of the Great Rann. Many cultural activities take place all around the Kutch region. The government of Gujarat and Gujarat tourism set temporary tents somewhere around hundreds of tents come up with the area called the tent city.
Every night different types of cultural programs take place. Right outside the gate of the Great Rann, you will find a market where vendors sell traditional clothes, souvenirs as well as some good Kutchi snacks and meals at affordable prices.
There are some famous Dhordo, Hodka villages who offer typical Kutchi homestays. These villages are still untouched and you will feel like you are still living in the 90s. No network, limited electricity, limited resources; but the hospitality is one of its kind.
People of the village and their food is on another level. The food is such that you won’t get such tasty things to eat anywhere in Gujarat. If you’re lucky, you will get to see the daily life or struggle of the villagers. Though now, the government and tourism is helping them to earn a side income during the tourist season time.
There are some housewives who sell handmade traditional clothes but these are slightly higher priced because of the genuine material. Also, the work takes long hours and hard work. This also helps them to make some extra cash.
Dholavira dates back to the Harappan civilization and is a part of the Indus Valley civilization. It is located 450 kms from the Kutch headquarters, Bhuj. The place shows how the Harappans planned their city with unique water distribution system in a desert where rains are not that good as compared to the other parts of India.
It’s a one day trip, though it’s tiring but worth a visit. There you will find government or archaeological survey of India authorised guides who charge somewhere around ₹200 to ₹400 depending upon the season time. There is a museum which has the ornaments, utensils of that period. You can ask to see a documentary for a better understanding of the place which is available free of charge.
It’s a one time experience and worth a visit on the full moon days. The Rann is lit with the light of the moon and looks amazing. The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch is from November to January, though the festival ends in the last week of February, but it starts getting hot.
Kutch is a must-visit place in India.