Each year during the winter, Kutch in Gujarat hosts the ‘Rann Utsav’, which literally means ‘Desert Festival’. With the white saline desert of Kutch as the backdrop, the Rann of Kutch festival showcases the colourful culture and simple lifestyle of the land and its people. The annual event will end on March 4, 2018, giving you plenty of time to be plan your visit here; take a look at what Amisha says about some of the most interesting experiences at this cultural festival.
Rann Utsav showcases the best experiences of Rann of Kutch festival through impressive, state-of-the-art arrangements and a well-planned itinerary. Here, your days are filled with sightseeing, art workshops, fun shopping, adventure activities at the venue, brilliant desertscapes, and visits to participating villages, while a glistening moonlit desert under clear, starry skies make your nights magical. Here are a few remarkable things about Rann of Kutch festival, which make the experience a memorable one.
Modern Yet Village-Like
The venue of the Rann of Kutch festival offers visitors an opportunity to explore the region’s ethnicity while in the lap of luxury. Dhordo, where the enormous ‘tent city’ is built, is famous for its Swiss-style luxury tents, decorated using some ‘Gujarati and Kutchi’ design elements. There are also typical Kutchi ‘bhunga’ (huts), built with a traditional theme, to remind you of the simplicity of the Kutchi people.
The village-like setting in Rann of Kutch festival has a welcoming appeal, and the availability of the choicest curios across the venue give the entire place an interesting vibe. Even the sprawling dining hall and the beautiful exhibition centre are designed to look like part of a village.
Insta-Worthy Sights In Rann Of Kutch Festival
Each location and each event on the Rann Utsav itinerary promises awe-inspiring sights. Some of them are so gorgeous, you can never have enough pictures of them!
The grandeur of Aina Mahal at Bhuj, the colours of art at Banni, the panoramic view from ‘Kala Dungar’, the migratory birds at Narayan Sarovar, all of these are click-worthy and promise to make you instantly popular on Instagram. Besides these, you will also love the sublime sunsets at Mandvi Beach and the range of collectible hand-made souvenirs. The captivating performances by folk dancers and local singers at the Rann of Kutch festival will surely win your heart.
A Cultural Extravaganza At Rann Utsav
The evenings at Rann Utsav are the best time; lit bonfires and energetic performances by local folk singers and dancers make for an enthralling festive experience. The appealing sounds of traditional musical instruments like ‘bhorrindo’ and ‘manjira’, and the sight of Kutchi men and women clad in colourful costumes, dancing to rhythmic folk songs, will envelope you in a world of splendour and awe, where you are oblivious to everything else.
Besides this cultural concert, you can also stroll around the exhibition centre at the Rann of Kutch festival venue, which is a beautiful showcase of the ethnic customs and rich history of Kutch.
Rann of Kutch festival allows you to enjoy its desert setting in all possible ways; with adventures at the venue and in the desert being one of the main activities. Imagine soaring into clear skies in a hot-air balloon, para-motoring with some breathtaking views, or explore the unending desert while riding a powerful Desert Patrol Vehicle.
Kids also have some unique experiences in store for them, with camel safaris in the desert and flying amazing kites during ‘Uttarayan’, the kite flying festival held on January 14th-15th every year.
Fabulous Shopping Options At Rann Of Kutch Festival
What’s a holiday without an opportunity to go shopping! Several villages showcase their wares at the Rann of Kutch festival; you can buys some amazing items from villages like Bhirandiyra, Hodka, Bhujodi, and Khavda. At this shopper’s paradise, you can also attend workshops and learn how they design textiles.
You can buy ethnic silver ornaments and hand-crafted jewellery, interesting curios and even leather items, which are made and sold here. Beautiful block-printed fabrics and purses, ballet flats (mojdi) and clothes with Kutchi embroidery are some of the best-selling items here. Pick some wearables or curios for yourself and take home souvenirs that remind you of your exciting Rann of Kutch festival experience.
Not Only Gujarati Food
Food, yet another area where the Rann of Kutch festival excels! Most guests come expecting the wonderful Gujarati thali for meals, and they aren’t disappointed, but many are often taken by surprise when they find continental fare on the menu.
The Rann Utsav venue also houses sprawling dining halls, where guests can come, relax and enjoy an elaborate Kutchi meal. If you are not in the mood for an elaborate thali, you can also opt for dishes from the international menu or visit the many ‘Food Corners’. These are open at all times and sell some of the popular regional snacks, like ‘Kutchi Dabeli’ and ‘Lasaniya Bataka’.
The Rann of Kutch festival welcomes tourists from all over the world and is the best way to experience Kutch and the desert! Experience it first-hand with your friends or family; Rann of Kutch festival started in November 2017 and will go on till March 4, 2018.
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Amisha likes to explore lesser-known places and this she does by studying maps. Once at her destination, she digs out eateries serving local food and soaks in the culture through the region’s cuisine. Being a sea person, most of her trips are to beach destinations and she intends to cover destinations along India’s coastline.