White Desert of Kutch(Kuchchh)
Gujarat is the western most state of India and has two fascinating sights to see in its Kuchchh (kutch) region.
- Great Rann (White salt desert)
- Little Rann (Wild ass sactuary and migratory birds)
There is nothing like these sights in the world. Kuchchh is an extremely dry part of India. The 7500 square kilometer white Rann is a huge white salt desert between India and Pakistan. The little ran is misnamed. It is 5000 square kilometers of dry desert with salt pans and natural flood plains that attract migratory birds like flamingos, Cranes, etc.
You can visit these places from Bhuj. Flights to Bhuj are expensive and route you through Mumbai. This is why most people fly to Ahmedabad or Amdavad from Delhi. You can save one day off your trip if you fly into Bhuj from Mumbai. The trip to Little rann though will now be out of your way and is 5 hours each way from Bhuj.
The White Desert of Kutch from Delhi in five days
Travel map for White Desert
5 day itinerary for Kutch (Kuchchh) from Delhi
How to see Kutch?
I’m using the simpler spelling of Kuchchh now. The sights in Kutch are easy to see if you have your own car or rent one from various providers. We traveled as a family of 8 and decided to rent a tempo traveller. It was convenient and had a good driver. There are many places that rent tempo travellers. Be sure to ask for the following when you rent a vehicle with a driver
- Year of make of the vehicle
- Number of kilometers driven
- State of air conditioning of the vehicle
- State of the tyres
- Ask for pictures of the inside of the vehicle
- Make sure all parking, permits and toll fees are included in your quote. There are many tolls on the road to Bhuj from Ahmedabad.
- What language will the driver speak?
Our tempo traveller was not new but it served us well for the trip.
Why go to Kutch?
- There is nothing like the white desert or the little rann.
- Like the Taj Mahal in Agra – they do not disappoint.
- The sunrise and sunset at the white rann are beautiful.
- The shadows can’t be longer. The horizon can’t be flatter.
- The scale of the place is amazing.
- The night sky at the little rann is beautiful.
- The birds in little rann are great to see
- The cracked earth reminds you of every nat geo picture of a drought ridden place
- The salt pans and how salt is crystalised is eye opening
- The kutch handicrafts are a great buy. Beautiful embroidery and handloom work.
- The local villages are beautiful
Where to stay in Bhuj?
We recommend staying at the Hill view resort or the Regenta resort. They are easy to book online or over the phone.
When to visit Kutch?
It is best to visit during the kutch festival called Rann Utsav from November to February each year. You dont have to book from Rannutsav. Many hotels in Dhordo and Hodka close down after the festival. However, you will always be able to find a place to stay in Bhuj or on the road to Dhordo. It does get very hot even in December so dress in layers. The nights get cold and need a jacket.
How to find Kutch handicrafts?
Some of the best handicrafts in India are from Kutch. The embroidery and handloom work is exemplary and all hand made.
I recommend the following villages to see when in Kutch:
There are many others but all need 2-3 hours of exploration. So, if you really care about handicrafts than add a day or two in Bhuj to see the villages and explore each villages work.
Almost all famous shops also sell their wares in Delhi Haat or the Surajkund Festival. So, if you can’t make it to kutch, you might be able to see some of their work in Delhi. There isn’t a real price advantage in buying items from established shops in Kutch. You either have to buy in bulk or take the time to find an upcoming craftsman, who wont mind selling for cheap.
What to see in Kutch
Kalo DungarFrankly, I think you can skip this sight. You see a dusty view of the kutch from the hill top
The White Rann of Kutch or WRKThe white rann is stunning. Its just like visiting the grand canyon in the USA. You only see a little bit of it but it impresses you none the less.
What to see in MandviMandvi is a small beach town in Gujarat. It has cheap watersports for kids and is a typical crowded family oriented beach in India. Lots of local people. Completely dressed and often in the water with almost all clothes on. This is not like a beach in Europe or sunny California. See the Vijay Vilas Palace and the beach.
Little Rann of Kutch Safari(LRK)There is a lot to see here and the least you can do is to take a 3 hour safari from Bajana forest office. It will cost around 3500 for a car of 8 people.
We rented a jeep to take the 8 of us to on the safari of the LRK
Visiting the statue of unity
We also decided to visit the Statue of Unity outside Baroda.
This was 4 hours from Ahmedabad. We bought the 1000 rupee “Express Tickets” to skip the lines and they were well worth it. Its nice to see the statue but I wouldn’t want to see it again.
A nice surprise was that cotton fields were blooming in December and we were able to stop and see cotton being harvested. Here are some pictures.
I did not know that cotton looked like this on the plant.