A flawless mosaic of traditional culture, amazing folk music and dances, colourful attires, sand that shines an eerie white glow and arcade of tents. Rann Utsav is like an incredible painting painted on the canvas of Kutch in Gujarat. From hospitality to the festive zeal, everything is just so perfect. Envision women wearing traditional Gujarati 'Chaniya Choli' and dancing barefoot on the blanket of white snow. Witness the perfectly aligned tents covering a hug area such that it look like a tent city. Nothing in this world is as beautiful as the sunrise and sunset at the Rann of Kutch. Not only the beauty but fun, adventure, shopping and royalty has been redefined by this Utsav.
Time of the year
Although people visit Gujarat throughout the year but it is in winters that this state becomes even more vivacious. Rann Utsav attracts avid travellers from far and near and thus increases the head count. The dates for the year are 1st November 2017 and will continue impressing people till 20th February 2018.
Rann Utsav is truly a fiesta that celebrates the different art forms and handicrafts emerging from diverse parts of Kutch. The festival of dance, music and folk performances take centre stage. Time flies in a vibrant flash of sounds and colours that get imprinted in the hearts of the visitors forever. New Year, Makar Sankranti (for the Kite Flying Festival), Republic Day, Valentines' Day and Holi add a charm to this festival.
Local art and handicraft bazaar, Camel Safaris, meditation and yoga centre, a spa, live music concerts and folk dance shows are the highlights of this festival that keep the visitors fascinated and energetically busy with the Kutch legacy.
About a decade ago, Rann of Kutch was considered as the backward area of Gujarat. Road connectivity and civic infrastructure was very poor. But it all changed dramatically in 2005 when current PM, then CM of Gujarat, Narendra Modi hosted a yearly Rann Utsav (Festival of Rann) and endorsed it via a very innovative and top notch advertisement campaign. Amitabh Bachchan anchored this campaign on TV and other media.
Due to this initiative, the very salt desert emerged as a hotspot for tourists. Even the natives were astonished since nobody ever dared to enter into the salt desert, and surely not at night. Nobody believed that this is going to succeed. But due to the dedicated efforts of Modi, this campaign was a great success. He not only inaugurated the Utsav but also experienced camping here. This was the game changing factor that drew people from far and near. Funds reserved for Gujarat's backward coastal regions gave a new ray of hope to this wasteland.
Where to go
Once in the festival, you won't wish to go anywhere else. But, if you still have some extra time you can visit the following attractions of Bhuj.
- Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
- Aina Mahal
- Mandvi Beach
- Pirotan Island
- Prag Mahal
- Hamirsar Lake
Rann Utsav has started! What are you waiting for? Come and spend some time here as they say “Kuch Din to Guzaaro Gujarat Mein”.