If you are reading this article then you would surely have a plan to or had already visited this paradise called Rann Of Kutch. Myself, along with my regular bunch of friends have always pondered over itinerary to visit the white desert, especially during the Rann Utsav for last 4 years. Each time the roadblock we faced was the exorbitant cost involved for this trip. Because you cannot agree less every tour package for Rann revolves round the tent stay in the Tent city of Dhordo. Now everything with the tent stay is hunky dory except when the price of the stay comes into picture. I would not go into the details of the price and different variants of tents available.
We used to think that staying in the tents is the only option available when visiting Rann. This was until I stumbled upon an article online about other option to stay in Rann. After reading the article I realized that Rann of Kutch was not exclusively about staying in the tent. So with that out of picture, we could now plan a budget trip to this amazing place, so much endorsed by the Gujarat tourism and also who can forget the “Kutch nahi dekha tho kuch nai dekha” tagline in Amitabh Bachchans' charismatic voice. I would say this tagline absolutely does justice to the marvel that this place is.
Rann of Kutch ( White Desert)
For the unversed Rann of Kutch is a 30,000 sq km white salt desert in the Kutch district. It stretches from the Gulf of Kutch to the mouth of the Indus river in southern Pakistan. The nearest railway station is Bhuj and is around 80 kms away from Kutch.
It is a blinding white expanse of salt in winters and turns into a swampy, muddy land in summers and monsoons. This crazy geographical phenomena makes it a natural wonder. It is also called the largest area of nothingness in India, and I must agree it’s a gem at that. From a distance it would feel like an ocean which is visible as far as your eyes can reach.
Now before I go into my experience in a chronological fashion, let me first cut the chase and go to the cost drill down to engage you further!
1. Train(both ways) :- Mumbai to Bhuj(22903) – Fare Rs 1,210
Bhuj to Mumbai(19116) – Fare Rs 435
2. Bike from Bhuj to Rann :- 1600 for 2 bikes and 900rs petrol for both bikes (could we shared if have a pillion as in our case) So 2500/3 = Rs 833
3. Rann permit :- Rs 100
4. Home stay at Goriwali village :- Rs 1200 (per person with breakfast, lunch and dinner)
5. Camel ride :- Rs 100
6. Auto for Bhuj city tour :- 750 / 3 = Rs 250
7. Vande Mataram Memorial entry fee :- Rs 100
Total = Rs 4,428