Rann Utsav: A celebration of all things Kutch
December 18 (TravelAndy): The Rann of Kutch we have all read about in geography textbooks comes alive during Rann Utsav, celebrated during the winter months every year, amid fun activities, and cultural extravaganza, in Gujarat’s Kutch region. This year, the Rann Utsav, that kicked off on November 1, will continue through February 20, 2019.
Gujarat’s appeal as a travel destination grows manifolds during the festival, with people from all over the world pouring in to take a peek and be a part of the Kutchi traditions — a profusion of colours, handicrafted jewellery, textiles, food, folk music and dance, all against the magnificent backdrop of an infinite white desert shimmering under the full moon sky. It is a celebration of Gujarati heritage, powered by Gujarat Tourism.
Visitors to the carnival have an array of activities to choose from, including camel safari, yoga, parasailing, paramotoring, dirt biking, traditional dance performances, live music concerts, and kite flying, among several others. Shopping can be satisfying as Kutch is home to some of the finest craftspeople known the world over for their silver work, mirror work embroidery, hand block textile printing, and wood carving.
Special occasions consist of December 31 for New Year’s celebrations, January 14, 2019 for Kite Flying Festival on Makar Sankranti, Republic Day gala on January 26, Valentines Day dinner on February 14, and Holi in March.
Travellers can also take the opportunity to explore Gujarat’s landscape, wildlife, and culture up close. The Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kutch, the last natural habitat of the Indian wild ass, boasts not just of a diverse range of fauna, but also several indigenous communities that have called Kutch home for centuries now. The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, that nurtures the endangered species of the same name, and the city of Mandvi, a birder’s heaven, are also worth visiting.
Ones interested in the archaeological past of India can visit Dholavira, one of the five largest Harappa sites on the sub-continent. Kala Dungar, or the black mountains, is Kutch’s highest point, and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire stretch of salt flats. Aina Mahal Museum, and Pragmahal Museum are some of the more fascinating places to visit in Bhuj, the most important city in Kutch.