India is truly a land of breathtaking landscapes. Every state has some unique locations to enchant us. Rann of Kutch is one such picturesque destination. Located on the far Western side of Gujarat, it is a magnificent place of dazzling white salt encrusted desert plains. This vast landscape, which is one of the world's largest seasonal wetlands during monsoons, turns into a salt-impregnated flat land during winter. And winter (November - March) is the best time to visit Rann of Kutch. More specifically, on a full moon night, when the white desert appears to be shimmering! The state's government even organizes an annual festival, called Rann Utsav (or 'Rannotsav'). This year it is being held from 01st Nov 2016 until 20th Feb 2017.
Coming to our experience of visiting this beautiful off-beat destination. And the way our journey began added to our joy and excitement!
Five of us were to take a train - Kutch Express - from Borivali (Mumbai) to Bhuj (Gujarat). The train arrived at Borivali and only two of my fellow wanderers were present at the platform, while the remaining three (including yours truly) were still on the way, scurrying from different directions with our respective luggage. We managed to board the train in the nick of time (a la Jab we Met). And incidentally, the last wanderer to board had the ticket printouts for everybody!???? And thus, we were off to exploring one more unique place.
It was an overnight journey, following which, we reached Bhuj around 9 a.m. We had booked a vehicle in advance and it awaited us as we reached the station. Our accommodation was about an hour's drive from Bhuj, so we decided to have breakfast somewhere nearby before proceeding. We visited a small eatery not far from the station, and had fresh, mouth-watering fafda and jalebi, with yummy papaya chutney!???? This typical Gujarati breakfast provided us a glimpse of the delicacies awaiting us!
We then resumed our journey, and reached Dhordo. We had booked a couple of cottages, which turned out to be prettier than we had envisioned. Oh, and did I mention that it was the festival of Holi the day we reached?! So, obviously, we played with colors, and our driver was kind enough to play songs on the car stereo, while we danced! And then it was time for a refreshing shower, followed by sumptuous lunch (especially bajra roti, garlic chutney and white jaggery).