RUNN-WAY OF SALT IN GUJARAT IN INDIA

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Last week I told you about white beaches of Boracay Island in Philippines, and this week I would like to unfold the mystery of our own White Beach of India actually the salty run way – Runn of Kutch, which very few of us know is located in northwest of Gujarat in Thar Desert, India. The Rann of Kutch is divided into the Greater Rann Of Kutch and the Little Rann Of Kutch. The fact that the area has desert on one side and the sea on the other makes the Rann of Kutch an interesting region for tourists from all over the world.

Breathtakingly beautiful, ravishingly white, unbelievably exciting – Runn of Kutch!

Known as Runn of Kutch is an unusual marshland spanning an area of approximately 10,000 sq. km and separating Gujarat from the Sind region in Pakistan. The dry season is extreme as it dries out the marshland leaving isolated salt islands on a vast plain. The monsoon is no different in extremity, as it floods the marshland and the whole area is transformed into a vast inland sea.

The salt plains seen here are caused by flooding of the Rann by sea, river and rainwater. It is punctuated by highlands called bets, which have scrub flora and grassland vegetation offering refuge to wildlife.

It is divided in two parts:

The Greater Rann Of Kutch: As the name suggests the Greater Rann Of Kutch spans an area of 7505.22 Sq. km and is comparatively larger than the Little Rann Of Kutch. The greater Rann Of Kutch is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Migratory birds deem it an abode during diverse weather conditions.

The Little Rann Of Kutch: It occupies 4,953 sq. kms and is spread out in the districts of Surendranagar, Banasakantha, Patan, Kutch and Rajkot in Gujarat. It is well known as The Wild Ass Sanctuary, named after endangered Ghudkhur (Equs hemionus khur), that is seen here in large numbers. Established in 1972 the sanctuary came under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1973.

What would add to the excitement of your trip to Rann?

• An interesting feature for adventure lovers is a jeep or camel safari in and across Rann of Kutch with tented camps on the baits. These trips add more thrill as they last for about a week.

• For photography enthusiasts, special rides and camouflaged boats are provided

• A trip to a typical Saurashtra village and an insight into the art of handloom weaving and Dyeing Units can be enticing due to the vibrantly colored dyes and the exquisite craftsmanship. The age old craft of pottery can also be viewed from close quarters.

• Tribal life is best experienced with the tribal people and there is no substitute for a stay at the typical tent. These camps are organized between July and September.

* Around the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, you may shop for Patola Silk Sarees, Bandhanis, Ghagra-cholis and marriage costumes. You will also find interesting wall hangings, embroidered quilts, cradle clothes, cloth toys, embroidered footwear, lacquer furniture and curious.

Rann Mahotsav

This month long carnival organized at the various locales within Kutch takes one around the natural grandiose while introducing the visitor to the indigenous cultural and ethnical flavor of the people. Semi parched Grasslands of the Banni hosts the most magnificent display of vernacular architecture as the exhibition platform for the varied range of arts and crafts of the region. While an array of folk music and dance performances organized in the shimmering moonlit landscape provides the most enchanting experience. The colorful fairs held near the beach or the banks of a lake swings one with the spirit of festivity, fervor and flamboyancy while the organized tour around Kutch is an ideal occasion to be part of the region and experience the zeal and uniqueness of the people through a celebration of life!

Located in Kutch region of Gujarat:

Kutch is also famous for exquisite crafts like embroidery, applique work bed sheets and cushion covers. The ever so popular Bandhani (tie and die) fabrics, enameled silverware and other handicrafts are also found here and are a thing of interest for tourists. o if you want to get a feel of vibrant Gujarat, make sure to visit the Rann of Kutch – a tourist destination par excellence. lethora of varied hues, profusion of design, superfluity of culture, cornucopia of music and dance, all together in the arid lands of Kutch creates a mosaic of exquisiteness which reflects the identity and spirit of the region. Kutch, one of the most ecologically and ethnically diverse district of the state is a celebratory land of art, crafts, music, dance, people and nature. During the full moon night of the winters amid the awe-inspiring and contrasting landscape each year a three day festive extravaganza brimming with hospitality, vigor and traditional flavor of the area is hosted and known as the Kutch or Rann Mahotsav.

The Kutch Mahotsav or the great Kutch festival offers access to the interior and beautiful recesses of the desert district of Gujarat. The Kutch Festival is celebrated in Kutch, near the days when Shivratri is celebrated in Gujarat, India. During the celebration of Kutch Desert Festival, colorfully attired dancers, music concerts, Sindhi Bhajan performances, Langa Desert Music and shops selling traditional Kutchhi embroideries and jewelry are too, the hallmarks of the Kutch Desert Festival, being celebrated in Gujarat, India.

While being there to attend the festival you may take a look at the beautiful palaces, forts and bird rich marshes. You may all visit the Rann of Kutch to get a glimpse of the colorful and vibrant lifestyles of the people of Kutch.

I am going…are you too?
Gujarat Tourism makes elaborate efforts to ensure comfortable and enjoyable stay for tourists. For details, visit: http://www.gujarattourism.com

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