Rann Utsav: Kutch at its best

| Last Updated: December 16, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Rann Utsav 2011-12

Rann Utsav 2011-12

It’s that time of the year again! Rann Utsav in the arid Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, kicked off last week near Narayan Sarovar. It is the perfect opportunity to experience Kutch at its colourful and exotic best. Kutch or Rann Mahotsav is a unique showcase and celebration of the Kutchi land and way of life. It is ideal to witness the creativity of the artisans and craftsmen, a different and rare genre of folk music, mixed representation of culture and communities, along with a vast diversity in ecology.

Kutch is one of the most geographically, ecologically and ethnically diverse districts of Gujarat. An erstwhile princely state, Kutch is the largest district of the state of Gujarat and the second largest district in India. The land gets its name because it is virtually ‘an island’ resembling a tortoise “Katchua or Kachbo”, surrounded by seawater. The Great Rann of Kutch and the Little Rann of Kutch are often completely submerged by floods during the monsoon season. This is also why the nation’s salt industry is almost singularly run out of here.

Historically, Kutch connects you to a range of civilizations and important events in South Asian history through prehistoric archaeological finds, remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization, a few places associated with the Mahabharata and Alexander the Great’s march into India. Presently, as many as 18 varied tribes have made Kutch their home. And the 45-day Rann Utsav celebrates the art, crafts, music and dance of these colorful Kutchis.

The 2011 edition of Rann Utsav (began on December 9) and will be underway till January 15, 2012. Beginning in Bhuj, the festival goes around the district and the grand finale will be held at the preliminary destination.

The festival is visited and enjoyed by more than 8000 tourists each year from all over the world. . This year too, Gujarat Tourism is hoping for a big turn-out.

Tourist Packages

Gujarat tourism department has a couple of package options for tourists. There is a 2-night 3-day option and another of 3-night and 4-days. The tourism department is providing tented accommodation as part of the package to give tourists a real Kutch experience.

Both packages include guided tours to visit special destinations like Narayan Sarovar, Indo-Pak border or the Mandvi beach near Bhuj. In the evenings, they are treated to special cultural programs as well. In addition, handicraft demonstrations, some special Kutchi delicacies are also on offer. Tourists also get to visit Hodko, Bhirandiyara, Ludiya and other nearby villages that are famous for their handicrafts. On the last day, they get to visit Kala Dungar, the highest point in Kutch at 462 meters. Kala Dungar is a truly special place that allows the tourists to experience the edge of the earth, where incomprehensible vastness makes the desert and the sky indistinguishable!

First Published: December 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM

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