I had always seen that famous Ad where Amitabh Bachchan glorifies Kutch and says this tagline. I always thought that Kutch was no big deal. But you wont know what Kutch is unless you actually visit it!!
It was on our minds to go to see Rann of Kutch since a long time. I had read so many blogs and seen so many pictures of this white Rann that I knew where exactly we had to go and what all pictures I had to click. Yes, you call me an advanced travel planner ????
I had been dreaming about going here since very long and finally this dream came true..My happiness had no bounds!!
And guess what..we did an epic road trip from Mumbai to Kutch in just 5 days..wohoo!! Isnt it fabulous? Thanks to my ever enthusiastic and equally travel crazy husband who is always game for any travel plan that I make and who agreed to be the solo driver on this crazy road trip from Mumbai to Gujarat!! This was also a nice family trip where we tagged along my In-laws who are as crazy and super cool and who happily agreed to be on this journey with us ????
So there we started on this crazy roadtrip from Mumbai at dawn and taking small breaks for breakfast and lunch, managed to reach our first destination in the afternoon.
So here goes our travel map for the destinations we covered:
Mumbai to Dasada- (611 km)
Dasada to Dholavira – (266 km)
Dholavira to Hodka- (274 km)
Hodka to Dhordo- (49 km)
Dhordo to Hodka – (46 km)
Hodka to Ahmedabad via Bhuj – (391 km)
Ahmedabad to Mumbai- (517 km)
We covered almost 2500 kms in this entire roadtrip!! And we are super proud that we planned this trip all on our own, doing our little research on roads, distance covered, accomodation, food to eat and also on shopping in RannUtsav. So yes, we had everything ready when we set foot on the kutch sand! That’s called some awesome travel planning ????
So let us take you to the places we visited, feel the vibe of the place and get lost in the beauty called Rann of Kutch ????
We always love to take a path less travelled, a place less visited, hence we decided to visit Dasada. A quaint little town in the district of Bhuj famous for the wildlife safari and its migratory birds! And yes we definitely got to witness the sight of the famous wild asses of Dasada as well as the beautiful flamingos and other migratory birds on our early morning safari which is a must do!
The Early morning Safari ride..totally must do!
Reasons to Visit:
1. Dasada is located on the edge of little Rann of Kutch, which is an extension of the Rann of Kutch onto Saurashtra.
2. Dasada is an ex-Ahmedabad getaway being just 90 kms away and a major bird watching destination.
3. Dasada is known for bird watching and only place in India where wild ass can be found.
4. There are several bird watching sites around the area. Lesser Flamingoes are found here in winter in large numbers.
5. Besides bird watching tribal heritage of the area, craft villages and rural character is an attraction for guests looking for an authentic rural India experience.
6. Dasada today has emerged as a major bird watching centre (Oct- March is the best season) and a popular getaway that is visited all round the year.
Dholavira is very popular UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan culture, dating back to 4500 years ago. What this site offers you, in the intense environment that comes with being surrounded by the Great Rann of Kutch, is a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient Indus script.
The excavation also tells the story of the 7 stages of the civilization, from development to maturity to decay, the last of which hints at a strange piece of history, with more questions than answers. After the peak of the civilization Dholavira was temporarily abandoned, after which it seems that the settlers returned with a markedly de-urbanized culture. There are hints that they willingly chose to simplify their lives, rather than try to ride the collapse of their once glorified civilization. Here, on the ruins, you will have a chance to contemplate what progress and civilization mean and what, if anything, is truly permanent.
Dholavira, known locally as Kotada (which means large fort), sprawls over 100 hectares of semi-arid land at the north-west corner of the island of Khadir, one of the islands in the Great Rann of Kutch that remain above the flood-plains in months when the rest of the desert is submerged by the monsoon. Dholavira has two seasonal nallahs, or streams: Mansar in the north, and Manhar in the south. The journey to Dholavira itself is beautiful, taking you through the saline desert plains of the Great Rann, where you can spot wildlife such as chinkara gazelle, nilgai (blue bull, the largest antelope in Asia), flamingos and other bird life.
The site was unearthed by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1967, but has been systematically excavated only since 1990. Artifacts include terracotta pottery, beads, gold and copper ornaments, seals, fish hooks, animal figurines, tools, urns, and some imported vessels that indicate trade links with lands as far away as Mesopotamia. Also found were 10 large stone inscriptions, carved in Indus Valley script, perhaps the world’s earliest signboard. These are among the most important discoveries about the Indus Valley Civilization, but remain tantalizingly undeciphered.
A Surprising fact lesser known is that one end of the White Rann is near Dholavira and you can witness the vast white expanse on the way to Dholavira as well as in Dholavira. Resorts in Dholavira are situated right near the white rann which gives you a million dollar opportunity to have your own private experience on the White Rann.
Check out our photos on our own private White Rann where we went berserk ❤
And some more..because you just cant get enough….
3. Kalo Dungar, Dhordo
Kalo Dungar or Black Hill is the highest point in Kutch, Gujarat, India, at 462 m. It is located at 97 km from District headquarters of Bhuj and 25 km from nearest town Khavda.
This is probably the only place in Kutchh from where a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch is possible. Since it is located very near to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed.
The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya temple. Legend says that when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.
Its also a perfect spot to watch the sunset with the backdrop of the beautiful white Rann.
The magnificient Kalo Dungar..the point from where you see the expanse of White Rann
The White Rann, Dhordo…super crowded and overhyped!
This photo only to show you the crowded, over rated Rann in Dhordo!
Rann Utsav is an awesome festival of Kutch, Gujarat, India. It is a Carnival of Music, Dance, nature beauty of White Rann and much more then that. People usually visit it during the Full Moon night where the white sand glistens under the moonlight! Kutch Rann Utsav is the shimmering landscape that gives the enchanting moments of this Fest, which feels like a Heaven On Earth during Festival Time. In fact, it’s a Family holiday destination to explore fun moments and build memories of a life time.
Its a good place for the local artisans to exhibit their culture and handicrafts! Some of them are pretty overpriced and you can find same things in Bhuj or Ahmedabad at lower prices!
The distinctive folk dances and music, intricate arts and crafts, gracious people and nature along with the affluent handicraft culture of the district like folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, Bandhani sarees, traditional ornaments and mirror work are some of the specialties of Kutch, Gujarat, India.
You can get to stay in the Tent City at Dhordo to experience all this at a luxurious price. But we preferred to stay in Hodka in a very humble Bhunga (local hut) resort. In this way, we got to experience the local culture and stay and live like a local for few days!
We felt RannUtsav is definitely overrated and overhyped. Its a totally commercialized trap for people to spend their hard earned money. We anyday prefer saving money and spending it in the right place. Thats why we preferred to live a little away from this tent city!
On the way back we visited Bhuj, where we shopped for the local eats. Bhuj is also popular for number of another places like Prag Mahal, Aaina Mahal etc. but this time we decided to skip these places. We took a break at Ahmedabad to relax for a day and left for Mumbai early morning next day in order to reach home by early evening.
What a fabulous roadtrip we had! Memories to cherish for a life time! ❤
For more information, contact us, and we are always happy to help ????
PS: Massive Credits to Akshay for these beautiful shots !! ❤