Little Rann of Kutch

I have a strange attraction for Gujarat, the western most state of India. Beyond Gujarat lies the Arabian sea. Driving along the Gandhi Nagar – Sarkhej  highway westward on a bright sunny Gujarat December morning fills my mind with an undescribable feeling of anticipation. In addition to being the land of Dwarkadhish, Lord Krishna, Gujarat has many interesting places to visit. We decided to visit Gujarat in December of 2012. Our first stop was Little Rann of Kutch last December. Little Rann is a salt desert, and home of endangered wild ass, along with other animal species.
We flew from Delhi to Ahmedhabad. After an overnight stay at  Ahmedabad we drove to Dassada village. Rann Rider runs a resort in Dassada and organizes trips to Little Rann. In the resort there were several independent adobe huts. Huts are furnished with basic amenities, like bed, study table, easy chair. Huts have electricity, airconditioner, and attached bathroom with running water.  

The resort provides three good meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner in their community dining hall. 

in the afternoon, post lunch, we took off for a visit to the Rann. We had booked an open jeep for the purpose before hand. At least two other jeeps accompanied us carrying more tourists. Rann is vast expanse of empty space. It gets filled up with water during monsoon season. In December, when we vistied, Rann had patches of water. There were a large number of migratroy birds and local birds flocking the wet land. In most places, desert floor had cracked because of lack of moisture. There in the midst of no where, we saw herds of wild ass. We were told, Rann was one of the natural habitat of the ass. It has been declared a sanctuary for wild ass. 

We also were fortunate to view a desert fox. The fox alsmost camoflaged itself with the sorroundings. Only trained eyes of our guide could locate the fox. Very agile and very shy, it vanished into a concealed fox hole. 

We also saw a herd of nilgais. A male Nilgai posed for the camera, while the herd moved one.

We saw one salt harvesting pond on the Rann. It was run by local villagers. Villagers trap the salt water that flood the Rann during monsoon, and let it dry under relentless sun of the Rann. Many consider, such activity is detrimental to wild life of Rann. Conservationists believe that many such salt harvesting ponds are appearing all over Rann. Again conflict between human activity and wild life.

We had a good view of the setting sun on the Rann. As the sun set, temperature immediately started to come down. It is advisable to carry wind cheaters, if one plans to spend evening on the Rann. I heard, one can take beautiful shot of moon on the desert. We returned to warm comfort of our resort. After dinner, we went to bed as we had to move on next morning. I plan to go back for a longer stay on the Rann. 


Tags: Gujarat, Dassada, Little Rann of Kutch, Rann Rider, Wild Ass, Desert Fox, Nilgai, Salt Farming

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