When it comes to experiencing the raw and rustic beauty of Gujarat, the Rann of Kutch stands in a league of its own. Stretching endlessly, this remarkable landscape dotted with fascinating places to visit in Kutch is truly a sight to behold.
As the home of the renowned Rann Utsav, India’s largest salt desert transforms into a magical landscape during the White Desert Festival. The Rann of Kutch is a mesmerizing region of natural beauty and cultural heritage. It offers a unique travel experience that will surely leave you spellbound.
Whether you’re visiting during Rann Utsav 2023 or any other time, there are many places to visit in Kutch and a plethora of attractions to explore to make your trip absolutely worth it. Let’s check them out!
1. The Great Rann of Kutch
The jewel in the crown of Rann of Kutch packages, the Great Rann of Kutch is an unmissable natural wonder. Imagine miles and miles of pristine white salt desert stretching as far as the eye can see. During the Rann Utsav, this barren land turns into a cultural funfair and attending it definitely tops the list of top things to do in Kutch! This cultural extravaganza that happens annually, witnesses the entire region coming alive with music, dance, folk performances, camel safaris, and so much more.
Planning to attend the Rann Utsav 2023 and wondering how to do the Rann Utsav bookings?
Well, mark your calendars because the Rann Utsav 2023 is expected to take place from November 10, 2023, until February 24, 2024 and promises to be even more spectacular than its previous versions! For your convenience, please make sure you complete your Rann Utsav bookings well in advance to grab the best deals on cheap flights to Kutch and secure comfortable accommodations during this bustling festival time.
2. The Little Rann of Kutch
While the Great Rann of Kutch is celebrated for its grandeur, it’s little known counterpart, the Little Rann of Kutch is equally enchanting. This is where you’ll find the Wild Ass Sanctuary, home to the endangered Indian Wild Ass. The sanctuary also offers opportunities for bird watching and wildlife photography. If you are on the lookout for underrated tourist places in Kutch to add to your Gujarat tour packages, then this is it!
3. Kala Dungar (Black Hill)
With a height of 1400 feet, the Kala Dungar (Kalo Dungar), also known as the Black Hill, is the highest point in Kutch. It provides a panoramic view of the entire Rann right up to the India-Pakistan Border. You’ll also find the famous 400-year-old Dattatreya Temple here which is a prime spot to witness jackals and humans coexisting in harmony since hundreds of years. The colorful sunsets and the magnetic hills in the region, where vehicles seem to defy gravity and roll uphill on their own add to the mystical charm of this place.
4. Dhordo Village
Located at the heart of Gujarat, Dhordo Village – recently included in the United Nation World Tourism Organisation’s list of the ‘Best Tourism Villages’, is an oasis of tranquility. Known as the ‘Gateway to Rann’, Dhordo has to be among the places to visit in Rann of Kutch during Rann Utsav as it comes alive with cultural performances, and bustling markets during the festival. If you wish to have a truly immersive experience, skip out on the hotels in Kutch and stay at the Dhordo tent city.
5. Mandvi Beach
Located on the Arabian Sea, Mandvi Beach offers a quiet escape from the salt flats. A welcome addition for visitors to the area it is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunset. The beach huts and different activities like camel ride, balloons in the sea shore, desert mini Jeep ride, water sports, etc. will keep you on your toes. Its proximity to the Vijay Vilas Palace, pristine waters, and fine sands, makes it a top pick among Kutch tourist places.
6. Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
If you’re a nature enthusiast, then the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary has to be on your list of places to visit in Kutch. This sanctuary is a haven for various species of animals and birds and a paradise for nature lovers. You can spot the Indian porcupine, desert fox, flamingos, pelicans, wild asses, and a variety of migratory birds. It’s an excellent destination for wildlife photography and a must-visit for birdwatchers.
7. Narayan Sarovar
For a spiritual experience, visit Narayan Sarovar, one of the five holy lakes in Hinduism. It’s a significant pilgrimage site with a beautiful temple complex dedicated to Lord Shri Trikamraiji. Holding great spiritual and historical importance, it is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Kutch.
8. Vijay Vilas Palace
If you are a movie buff, the Vijay Vilas Palace may seem familiar at first glance as it has a Bollywood connection. Featured in movies like ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Commando’ which simply adds an extra layer of allure to it, makes it one of the top tourist places to visit in Kutch. With exquisite architecture, this stunning palace, built in the early 20th century, offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the former Maharao of Kutch.
9. Aina Mahal
An 18th-century palace located in Darbargadh, Bhuj, the Aina Mahal was built by Rao Lakhpatji of Kutch around 1750. The palace is also known as the ‘Palace of Mirrors’ because of its intricate glasswork and mirror decorations. The 2 storied palace has been converted into a museum that includes a collection of clocks, mechanical toys, paintings, and pictures and is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Kutch.
10. The Kutch Museum
Located in Bhuj, and established in 1877 by Maharao Khengarji III, the museum houses an eclectic collection of artefacts, including textiles, weapons, silverware, sculpture, wildlife, geography, and dioramas of Kutch tribal costumes. The museum is home to the largest existing collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions, dating back to the 1st century AD, as well as examples of the extinct Kutchi script. One section of the museum is devoted to the vibrant tribal culture of the region.
Once a bustling port city, Lakhpat is now a ghost town with well-preserved structures. Featured in the movie ‘Refugee’, this last town on the western end of India close to the Indo-Pak Border is the meeting point of the Kori Creek and the Rann of Kutch. The Lakhpat Fort and Gurudwara, with its historical significance, make it a unique stop.
Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or cultural explorer, Kutch will captivate your heart and leave you yearning for more.
Plan your visit during Rann Utsav 2023 to witness the salt desert come alive and do not miss the chance to stargaze at this captivating region, a true gem of India’s tourism landscape. The clear, dark skies of the Rann are perfect for stargazing. Simply lay back and gaze at the endless sea of stars under a moonlit sky while enjoying the serene atmosphere of the desert.
Kutch is waiting to offer you an experience like no other. Ready for your trip and embark on an unforgettable journey to this enchanting land?
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