Kutch: Salt Serenade
Femina|November 24 2015
Kutch: Salt Serenade
Kutch is full of astonishing sights: from the vast, surreal white salt desert and carnivorous jackals that eat jaggery and rice to an eerie ghost village abandoned 200 years ago and a bustling port where ships have been built for centuries. Deepa Suryanarayan is gobsmacked.
Deepa Suryanarayan

Sometimes, the most incredible, naturally beautiful landscape lies waiting undiscovered right in your backyard, while you dream of exotic, faraway destinations. I have a confession to make: I had heard of the breathtaking Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat, before I heard of the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. But once I saw images of the vast white expanse of the Rann, there was no stopping me. I packed my bags and camera, waited for the monsoon to end and headed straight to Bhuj, the easily accessible capital of Kutch and an excellent base for exploring the entire region.

Luxury tents set up at Dhordo village.

Amitabh Bachchan, Gujarat Tourism’s brand ambassador for the past five years, intoning the catchy tagline ‘Kutch nahi dekha, toh kuch nahi dekha’, has played an important role in luring tourists to the state. If you’re planning a visit, we’d suggest you go in winter. By October, the Rann of Kutch begins to dry up, steadily transforming from a marsh land into a surreal salt desert. Plus, there is the Rannutsav or the Kutch Festival, a three-month-long carnival that does a fine job of introducing the visitor to the indigenous culture of the region. The highlight of the festival is the chance to stay in one of the luxury tents set up near the Gateway to Rann Resort at Dhordo village, along with rows of food and handicraft stalls. This time, the festival will be held from November 9, 2015 to February 23, 2016. Time your visit to coincide with a full moon night—the vast white Rann of Kutch on a full moon night in winter is an awe-inspiring sight.

The grand Vijay Vilas Palace

SCALING THE DARK PEAK

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November 24 2015