“Kutch Nahi Dekha to Kuch Nahi Dekha”
We have all heard (well, maybe not all) Mr. Bachchan claim this in the Gujarat Tourism advertisement for The Great Rann of Kutch, in Gujarat. Honestly, as much as it sounds like a cliché, I am going to support this claim.
The Rann of Kutch in Gujarat has become quite a tourist spot these days, thanks to the efforts of the Gujarat Tourism combined with the local people. The 3 month long festival known as Rann Utsav is organised during winters (November-Jan/Feb) when the desert is accessible, due to less/no water on the surface. The festival is organised very close to the desert, involving stay at luxurious tents, cultural programs, desert safari’s (ooh the best being Moonlight safari). Its a full cultural travel package, which does benefit the local people as well.
The Great Rann of Kutch (Great, cause there’s a little Rann of Kutch, as well) is a salt marsh, located in the Kutch district of Gujarat. The place, is a barren land often inaccessible during monsoons as in the wet season the vast plains turn into an impassable shallow marshland.
How did it come to exist? Discovery of several sites of the Indus Valley Civilization have now firmly established that in the ancient times the eastern branch of the Indus emptied itself into the Rann, making Kutch a kind of an extension of Sindh on the other side of a large freshwater lake that could be easily crossed. However, due to some seismic disturbance, sometimes in the eleventh or twelfth century, the main body of the Indus water began to move from the eastern to the western branch. As a result the freshwater lagoon dried up, and salt water began to seep in. (Source)
Rann is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. Did you hear that?! Isn’t that reason enough for it to be a part of your travel bucket list?
Absolute nothingness…Is that what it is? Well I think it more to be an amazing backdrop for a photograph 🙂