The Great Rann Of Kutch – What is this?
The Rann of Kutch is also popularly known as the “White Desert”, in Gujarat. It is at a distance of about 71kms from the city of Bhuj. It is famous for the white nature of its sand. Now it may be called the white sand but it is actually White salt that has been deposited on the surface.It is stunning to look at when it spread out to miles and it shimmers in the afternoon sun.
Kala Dungar – What is this?
The Kala Dungar aka Kalo Dungar aka Black Hill is the highest point of Kutch, about 460mts high. That may not seem all that high but from this point you get a panoramic view of the whole white desert. Its is at this place that oone can see the White Desert meeting the ocean and the border of India meeting that of Pakistan. It is very peaceful and a must see before you hit the white desert.
CHAI WALA’S QUICK GUIDE OF “I SAYS”
How To Get There I-Say-
It would make good sense to access these places from the City Of Bhuj. Bhuj is the closest “civilization” to these hill tops and deserts. It will take you about an hour depending on what mode of transport you use.
- Gadi-Option-Number-One = Bike
If you know anyone in Bhuj you can borrow a bike from them and drive down. It is a fun-filled and adventurous drive. How The chai wala did it. Now if you do not know anyone in Bhuj you can rent a bike. There is only one Bike rental place in Bhuj called “MK Auto”. He has some decent bikes which will do the job and the person on the desk is quite friendly.
Note- Get there before 10am so all the good bikes don’t get taken away.
MK Auto – 09898983999/09913060136
- Gadi-Option-Number-two= Taxi/Cab wala
Now this is more comfortable and the most commonly used option, There are many cab companies in Bhuj who have experienced drivers and give you a good package deals to take you around and bring you back. Opt for this if you do not like dust flying into your eyes/nose/mouth etc. It is less adventurous and more on the comfortable side.
- Wrong Option Of Transportation= Bus/Mini Bus/ Tempo Traveler
If you are a large group and think it would be fun to take a bus and go, Please do not do it. The bus does not climb Kala Dungar because of its narrow road and steep slopes. The People who come by bus are expected to walk up the hill and it is not a pleasant walk . If you are a large group take multiple Cabs or Bikes.
Paper Work Requirements I-Say – (VERY IMPORTANT SECTION)
You cannot just drive down to Kala Dunger and Kutch, there are a few rules you need to follow.
1. While driving from Bhuj to Kutch, You will cross a board which reads “Tropic Of Cancer Is Passing From Here”. Now, Look out for a police check point on the right. There is only one you will not miss it.
2. At the check point fill in the simple form that they give you stating information about your ID and Car/Bike Details.
3. Go to the window with your form and pay the entry charge. Rs.100 per person. Rs.100 per Car, Rs.50 per bike.
4. Take the Permission letter from the police man and keep it safely.
5. Drink some water, all this work must have made you tired.
NOTE – If you go to the white desert without a permission letter, the BSF soldier at the Desert check point will send you back to the police check point which is a 35km drive in the reverse direction.
This is done because the Gujarat Government wants to earn a few easy bucks(who does not want to?) and also since the border of Pakistan is close by it helps the authorities to keep a track of who is passing through and to ensure your return.
What To Do I-say-
The White Desert like the name suggests, is just a White Desert. Observe the stunning texture of the sand, Get sun-Tanned, Run and Shout like there is no tomorrow, Let the camel take you for a ride (Literally!) , Collect some sand in a bag so you can brag about having been there to your friends, Dance like Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha from The “Saree Ke Fal Sa” song from R….Rajkumar.
After you Cross the check post and take a left from the White desert, You will find some handicraft shops with some unique Kutchi Work. This is unique to this area and you will be impressed with the items you find here. Take some time to explore these small shops.
Bole Tho Fact – If you are the type that likes to shop till you cant shop anymore, You can get all this Kuchi Stuff and more at the Law-Garden-Market in Ahmedabad at Cheaper rates.
When to Go I-Say-Go any time you like, Before 6pm! Except if it is a full moon night then go there during the evening. Kutch is said to be the most amazing during a full moon night.
Oct to March is the best time to go.
If you want to let the Gujarat Tourism pamper you can visit the Runn Utsav that happens end of Dec. every year (Date and time not fixed, refer Gujarat Tourism website)
TRUE STORY – In the year 2013, The Runn Utsav was Delayed because the person who was suppose to inaugurate the event did not show up on time! Call and check before you heard there..
This is tricky, Guju Tourism is all talk and no action. Even though the white desert is such huge attraction there is no place to get some decent food anywhere closeby. Apart from small road side shops with owners only speaking Gujarati, you will feel like Tom Hanks from castaway. Pack some of the local food like Dhokla, Fafda, Jellebi, Packets of chips with you. And carry loads of water you don’t want to be the dramatic thirsty guy in the middle of the desert.
Booz Situation I-say-
The whole state of Gujarat is a Dry state! I KNOW! Its kind of hard to believe at first but it will sink in. All you can drink here is Buttermilk.
Don’t forget to carry these I-Say –
These things will be handy at some point in the trip – A cloth to cover your face like the middle eastern women do, Loads of water, Original ID proof, Passport if you are not an Indian, Packed Food, Energy Bars, A small bag to bring back sand for memory, Will Power and a mind for adventure.
Hope this helps you in your travels. Drop in you Comment below, it will pamper my ego.