Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. Kutch is the largest district in the state of Gujarat as well as in India. The region is spreaded around an area of about 7500 square km. It is also known as Asia's biggest tent city. This area has been largely inhabited by the Kutchi people. The northern boundary of the Great Rann of Kutch forms the International border between India and Pakistan. The area rich in natural gas was once a part of dispute between the two countries. We will see some of the more important points about Great Rann of Kutch in below section.
Great Rann of Kutch - Largest Salt Desert in the World
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- Great Rann of Kutch is the World's biggest white desert.
- Bhuj is the closest air and rail connection to Rann of Kutch at 85 kilometers distance.
- By the end of October, Rann completely dry up and converted into a majestic white beauty. The area is 15m above the Sea Level.
- Rann Utsav is the most popular festival here where tourists comes from all over the world every year. Initially in 2004, the festival started for 3 days but eventually it is now being celebrated for 120 days from November to February.
- Visitors can witness various programs in Rann Utsav like BSF Camel Show, Hot-air Ballooning, camel-cart excursion, paramotoring, golf carts, ATV rides, yoga and meditation. Apart from this, tourists can also enjoy various local cuisines, the display of local art and culture, hand made embroidery etc. More on Gujarat tourism official website.
- The climatic conditions are usually harsh in this place with an average temperature of 41°C during summer and close to 0°C during winter. The area is considered as one of the hottest place in India.
- 'Bhoonga(hut)' is an ancient culture in Rann of Kutch. It does not get cold in winter and warm in summer. It is also earthquake proof hence largely preferred by locals.
- 30 different types of Grass can be found near the regions of Great Rann of Kutch.
- "Kala Dungar" is the highest point in Kutch.
- Salt has been forming in this area from past 200 years.
- The entire region was once part of the Arabian Sea. But after 2001 earthquake, this region was changed into a big bowl. As a result water comes inside during the high tide but never goes out.
- Kutchi Shawls and Bandhani are few of the famous specialties of this region.
- Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary, Banni Grasslands, Chari Dhand Wetland Reserve, Narayan Sarovar and Kutch Bustard Sanctuary are the famous wildlife sanctuaries in this area.
- Some of the famous rivers flow in this area are Luni, Banas and Rupen.
- The Ghaggar river which presently terminates into semi-desert of Northern Rajasthan was once used to flow in the region of Great Rann of Kutch.
- An unexplained strange dancing light phenomenon called Chir Batti is quite popular in this region.
- It is the breeding ground for some of the largest flocks of greater and lesser flamingos.
- Sir Creek is the main disputed territory between India and Pakistan for which many rounds of talks have been taken place since 1969.
- The Little Rann of Kutch in the east of Rann, houses the only remaining population of the chestnut-coloured Indian wild ass (khur), as well as blue-bulls, blackbuck and chinkara.
- The area once known as worthless has now become the largest tourist attraction in Gujarat. The tourism promotion done by the Indian government has only made this place more famous and simultaneously provided tons of opportunity for locals to show case their skills and hospitality who once were trying to flee this place.