Each year in December, one of India’s most unique cultural festivals is celebrated in Gujarat – the Rann Utsav. The festival will begin on December 15th, 2013 and will continue till February 15th , 2014. The Utsav showcases the myriad arts and crafts of Gujarat, its folk song and dance and the Rann’s natural beauty. The state tourism department is considering holding the festival for 90 days this year, given that there’s a huge increase in the number of visitors and the increasing interest in the festival.
1) What does one expect from the Utsav:
It is a celebration of Gujarat’s rich cultural heritage. Local handicrafts such as embroidery, terracotta, block printing and wood carving are on display here along with Kutchi folk songs and dances are performed with an array of mouth-watering delicacies on offer.
There are a host of activities during the festival, from camel safaris and horse rides to hot air balloon rides and bird-watching, there is something for everyone. The area is also a sanctuary for the endangered Indian wild ass, not to mention the numerous species of birds that come visiting in the winter. The Little Rann of Kutch is also known for its breathtaking natural beauty, with miles of white salt flats as far as the eye can see. A full moon night is the best time of the month to take in the splendours of the region.
3) Nearby sightseeing:
You can visit to the nearby villages of Dhordo or Hodka and get a glimpse of the rural life. You can also head over to the Indo-Pak border, which is quite nearby. There are several temples and museums in the vicinity as well that are worth a visit, as well as an interesting fossil site.
4) Stay options:
There are numerous options to stay during the Rann Utsav. You can choose to stay in a tent or in a bhunga, which is a rustic mud house, or in one of the several hotels and resorts in the area. The luxury tented resort, Infinity Rann of Kutch, is a great place to stay at. It consists of 16 air-conditioned tents with all the amenities of a luxury resort. The resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant, conference room, swimming pool and activity centre.