List / Advertise on This Page

About Rann Of Kutch

Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day

Nearest City to Rann Of Kutch: Bhuj (80 Kms), Ahmedabad (413 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Rann Of Kutch: October to March

Peak Season: November to February

State: Gujarat | District: Kutch

At a distance of 80 km from Bhuj, 137 km from Gandhidham, 141 km from Mandvi, 310 km from Rajkot, 335 km from Jamnagar, 345 km from Bhavnagar, 412 km from Junagadh, 413 km from Ahmedabad, 455 km from Porbandar, 471 km from Dwarka, Rann of Kutch is a shallow wetland with marshy salt flats located in the Thar Desert in Kutch district of Gujarat, India. Sometimes described as India's 'wild west', it is one of the top places to visit in Gujarat and among the must include places in Gujarat tour packages.

With Thar Desert on one side and Arabian Sea on the other side, Rann of Kutch is a spellbinding marvel of sand and salt. The name, Rann of Kutch, was derived from the word 'Rann' meaning desert in Hindi and the district it is located in. Covering over an area of 30,000 sq. km, the region is divided into two parts, the Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. The Luni River and River West Banas, drains into the desert in the northeast corner of the Rann while River Rupen drains from the East. Nara Canal or Puran River which is a delta channel of Indus River empties during floods into Kori Creek located in the Great Rann of Kutch.

It lies between the Gulf of Kutch and the Indus River in Pakistan and comprises of flatlands of salty clay located about 15 meters above sea level. These flatlands were once a part of the Arabian Seabed but due to a continuous geological uplift of the region, the land was disconnected from the sea leaving an enormous lake. A large part of the Kutch, commonly known as the Great Rann of Kutch, submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during the winter season. The Rann of Kutch is the only large flooded grasslands zone in the whole Indo-Malayan region.

The Great Rann of Kutch, located in the far north, borders Pakistan and occupies a part of the Thar Desert which also extends into Rajasthan. Spread over an area of 7500 Sq. km, the Great Rann of Kutch, formed of salt marshes, is considered as one of the largest salt deserts in the world and among the most popular attractions in Kutch. Covering an area of 4954 sq. km, the barren land of the Little Rann is the abode of wild ass (locally called khur), as well as bluebells, blackbuck and chinkaras. In this part of Kutch, one can see people pumping up ground water and extracting the salt.

Besides, there are also many places to visit in Rann of Kutch such as Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar & Sanctuary, Kalo Dungar, Siyot Caves, Chhari Dandh Bird Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary etc. Kutch is also renowned for its handicrafts, produced by the very talented artisans in its villages.

During the Rann Utsav, a tent city with hundreds of luxury tents is set up by Gujarat Government at White Desert near Dhordo for visitors, along with rows of food and handicraft stalls. Besides, there are also many stay options around Kutch like Gateway to Rann Resort at Dhordo, Toran Rann Resort, and Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort in Hodka. One can also stay at Bhuj and visit Rann of Kutch as a one day trip.

About 80 km from Rann of Kutch, Rudramata Airport in Bhuj is the nearest airport and is well connected by flights with Mumbai while Ahmedabad Airport is the nearest international airport which is about 413 km from Bhuj. Bhuj Railway station is the nearest major railhead and is well connected by trains with Palanpur, Pune, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Shalimar, and Mumbai. Bhuj is well connected with buses from Mumbai, Dwarka, Ahmedabad, Mount Abu, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Amreli, and Mandvi. One can hire or rent a cab from Bhuj to reach Kutch.

Winters (November-February) are the best time to visit Kutch, mainly because of the full moon nights as the reflection of the moonlight on the white sand turns the place into an absolute paradise. The Rann Utsav or Kutch Utsav is also organised during the same time, and attracts large number of tourists from all over the world. Summers should be avoided as temperatures can go as high as 45C while monsoon season will be suitable for nature enthusiast and wildlife lovers as the rains are not severe and is also the time when migratory birds arrive at Kutch in large numbers.

...read more

Other Info
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 02832
Languages Spoken: Gujarati, Hindi, Sindhi, and Kutchi
Major Festivals: Rann Utsav
Notes/Tips:
Visitors require written permission to visit the salt desert due to its proximity to the Pakistani border. Permission can be obtained at the Bhirandiyara village checkpoint and also from the Gujarat Police DSP office in Bhuj (it's closed Sundays, and every second and fourth Saturday). The cost is 100 rupees per person, 25 rupees for a motor bike and 50 rupees for a car. One needs to submit a photocopy of ID, plus show the original. Do note that the checkpoint may not open until late morning (around 11 AM).

How to Reach Rann Of Kutch

By Air

Nearest Airport: Bhuj - Rudra Mata Airport (80 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Bhuj Railway Station (80 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Bhuj (82 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

Nature

#1 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 5 km from Rann Tent City and 6 km from Dhordo Village, the Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marshy land located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. Located in the far north of Gujarat, it is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world and among the prime places to visit in Rann of Kutch as part of Gujarat trip.

Covering an area of about 7500 Sq. km, the Great Rann of Kutch borders Pakistan and occupies a part of the Thar Desert which also extends into Rajasthan. The Great Rann of Kutch is known for its white desert, the most popular attraction of all tourist places in Kutch. A large part of Great Rann of Kutch submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during the winter season, leaving a vast expanse of salt land, which dazzles like a diamond under the scorching sun and appears like an eerie under the bluish glow during the night hours. The Rann of Kutch is the only large flooded .....

...read more

Wildlife | Pilgrimage

#4 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 116 km from Great Rann of Kutch and 160 km from Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar or Narayansar is a village in Lakhpat taluk of Kutch district in Gujarat. Situated near Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, it is considered as one of the places of pilgrimage for Hindus in India and among the must visit places in Kutch.

The village got its name from the holy Narayan Sarovar Lake. Narayan Sarovar Lake is one of the 5 holy lakes of Hinduism, along with Mansarovar in Tibet, Pampa in Karnataka, Bindu Sarovar in Gujarat and Pushkar in Rajasthan. According to the Hindu mythology, the lake is associated with a time of drought in the Puranic area, when Lord Vishnu appeared in response to the avid prayers of sages and touched the land with his toe, creating the lake, now revered as holy to bathe in.

There are seven stone temples surrounded by the lake namely Sri Trikamraiji, Lakshminarayan, Govardhannathji, Dwarkanath, Adinarayan, Ranchodraiji and Laxmiji, built by the wife of Maharao Desalji. .....

...read more

Wildlife

#8 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 5 km from Fulay village, 30 km from Nakhtrana and 61 km from Rann of Kutch, Chhari Dhand Bird Sanctuary is a wetland conservation reserve situated near Fulay village in Kutch district of Gujarat State in India. Located on the edge of arid Banni Grasslands and the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch, it is one of the popular wetlands in Gujarat and among the best places to visit in Kutch.

The Chhari Dhand is a seasonal desert wetland and only gets swampy during a good monsoon, receiving water from the north flowing rivers as well as from the huge catchment areas of many surrounding big hills. Chhari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland in local Kutchi language. The wetland was originally spread over 227 Sq. km, out of which 80 Sq. km was the water filled area. This place is a paradise for bird watchers and ornithologists as this seasonal desert wetland attracts nearly 200 species of migratory birds every year in the monsoon and winter seasons. Due .....

...read more

Miscellaneous

#10 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

Kutch Rann Utsav is an annual festival celebrated in White Desert of Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Also known as Kutch Festival, it is one of the popular festivals of India and among the famous annual festivals celebrated in the Kutch region of Gujarat, India.

Rann Utsav is organised by the residents of Kutch in collaboration with Gujarat Tourism every year. One of the biggest salt deserts in the world, the Great Rann of Kutch celebrates this desert carnival in order to showcase the culture and tradition of Gujarat. This 3 months long festival starts on 1st November 2018 and ends on 20th February 2019 every year but the best time to visit this festival is during December, when the attractions will be at prime energy.

The festival is a complete bliss with warm hospitality, folk performances, adventure sports, and ethnic demonstrations. Camel Safaris, Local art and handicraft bazaar, meditation and yoga center, live music concerts and folk dance shows are the main activities .....

...read more

Nature | Pilgrimage

#2 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 46 km from Great Rann of Kutch, 48 km from Dhordo and 89 km from Bhuj, Kalo Dungar or Kala Dungar is a hill located near Khavda town in Kutch district of Gujarat. It is one of the most famous attractions in Great Rann of Kutch that can be visited as part of Kutch Tour.

Situated at an altitude of 458 m, Kala Dungar literally means Black Hill in Gujarati language is the highest point of Kutch and offers jaw dropping view of the entire region, especially the Rann and the Indo-Pak border. The hill is also the site of a 400-year-old temple of Lord Dattatreya, the three-headed incarnation of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in the same body. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and noticed many hungry jackals and offered them his body to eat. When jackals started eating Dattatreya's body, his body automatically regenerated. The practice of feeding jackals is still followed by the people. Priest of the temple prepares .....

...read more

Heritage

#3 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 110 km from Great Rann of Kutch and 148 km from Bhuj, Siyot caves are the ancient rock cut caves located near Siyot village in Kutch district of Gujarat. Also referred as Kateshwar Buddhist Caves, it is one of the popular places to visit in Kutch and among the popular tourist places in Gujarat.

Dated around the first century AD, the Siyot Caves are a group of five rock-cut caves. The main cave has east facing sanctum, ambulatory and space divisions which suggests a Shiva temple from the first or second century. The cave was used by Buddhists later which can be concluded based on the seals found herein and the traces of Brahmi inscriptions. Other caves are simple single cells. The folklores suggest that Siyot Caves were among the 80 monastic sites reported by the travellers from China during the 7th century at the mouth of the Indus River. Local people believes that these caves were used by dacoits to hide things looted from .....

...read more

Pilgrimage

#5 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 2 km from Narayan Sarovar, 15 km from Lakhpat, 119 km from Great Rann of Kutch, Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located at the western tip of India in Kutch district of Gujarat. Situated near Narayan Sarovar, it is one of the sacred pilgrimage sites in Gujarat and among the top places to visit in Rann of Kutch.

Also known as Kotilingeshwar temple, Koteshwtar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was constructed in 1820 by Jetha Shivji Brahmashaktirya and Seth Sundarji. Koteshwar literally means 'ten million gods'. As per the legend, Lord Shiva had granted a linga full of religious power to Ravana in appreciation of his devotion. Ravana accidentally dropped it here. To punish Ravana for his carelessness, the linga turned into a millions of identical copies. Unable to distinguish the original, Ravana grabbed one and departed, leaving the original one here, around which Koteshwar Temple was built.

Built by stone, this temple stands on a raised .....

...read more

Heritage

#6 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 33 km from Narayan Sarovar, 100 km from Rann of Kutch and 138 km from Bhuj, Lakhpat is an abandoned town in Kutch district of Gujarat. At the junction of Kori creek and Rann of Kutch, it is the last town situated at the western end of India, on the India - Pakistan border and among the popular places to visit in Kutch.

Lakhpat derives its name from the prosperous maritime trade which generated a daily income of One Lakh Koris, a Kutch monetary unit. According to another legend, the town was founded by Rao Lakha, so it was known as Lakhpat. Lakhpat is a fortified town with high walls, several gates and bastions made out of hard stone. The 7 km fort walls, erected in 1801 by Fateh Muhammed, are still nearly intact, and offer tremendous views out over the Rann.

Lakhpat was an important port city during the 1800s which had a population of about 15000 people. History suggests that before the earthquake, the Indus River used to flow right next to the town and connected .....

...read more

Pilgrimage

#7 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 77 km from Rann of Kutch and 101 km from Bhuj, Desh Devi Maa Ashapura is a popular Hindu temple located in Mata no Madh town of Kutch district in Gujarat. It is one of the significant temples in Kutch region and among the popular places to visit as part of Kutch Packages.

Mata no Madh temple is dedicated to Maa Ashapura, the household deity of former Jadeja rulers of Cutch State and she is also considered the patron deity of Kutch. The goddess is also referred to as Desh Devi, meaning the Goddess of the people. The temple was built in the 14th century by two Karad Vanias, Ajo and Anagor, the ministers of the father of Lakho Phulani. The temple was damaged by the earthquake in 1819 and was rebuilt by Sundarji Shivji and Mehta Vallabhaji in 1823. The temple was damaged again by the earthquake in 2001 but was repaired again.

Mata no Madh is a good illustration of traditional Indian architecture with elaborate and intricate carvings. The image of Ashapura Mata .....

...read more

Wildlife

#9 of 13 Places to Visit in Rann Of Kutch

At a distance of 42 km from Gateway of Rann, Banni Grassland Reserve or Banni Grassland is natural grassland located on the outer southern edge of the desert of the marshy salt flats of Rann of Kutch. It is often referred to as the largest tropical grassland in Asia and among the well-known places to visit in Kutch.

Spread over an area of 2500 Sq. km, the Banni Grassland Reserve is known for rich wildlife and biodiversity. The word 'Banni' comes from Hindi word 'banai', meaning made. The land here was formed from the sediments that were deposited by the Indus until it changed its course due to the 1819 earthquake. Banni Grassland having numerous large, medium and small sized wetlands attracts migratory birds to breed and rest in winter. The Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary which spans over an area of 380 Sq. km and the recently notified 227 Sq. km Chhari Dhand Conservation Reserve are part of the Banni Grasslands.

Banni is home to great biological diversity, having 37 grass .....

...read more