One of the most vibrant and effervescent states in India, Gujarat celebrates its annual extravaganza of music, dance, culture and entertainment between November and February. The festival is called the Rann Utsav and is dedicated to the celebration of the Great Rann of Kutch, one of the biggest salt deserts in the world as well as to the lifestyle, culture and traditions of people who inhabit the region. Held in the winter months, the festival lures visitors from around the world with its promise of a sensory overload.
Beginning on the 1st of November this year and continuing till 20th February 2018, the Rann Utsav will be held in the small village called Dhordo. Easily accessible from the Bhuj airport, Dhordo will see over 400 standard and luxury tents being set up to host travellers from around world for the course of this 3.5 month long gala.
Although there’s plenty to do and see at the Rann Utsav 2017-18, here are the top things that you absolutely can’t miss:
Stargazing Under the Clear Skies
There won’t be many moments in your life when you’ll find yourself staring at the clear sky, adorned with bright stars while you bathe under the glow of moonlight, surrounded by vast expanses of a white-sand desert. So when faced with the opportunity at the Rann Utsav 2017, grab it with both hands. Stargazing is organised on full moon nights for visitors, complete with romantic dining experience and a stroll under the moonlight.
The Rann of Kutch is a as beautiful by the day as it is by the night, which is why, we recommend that you explore its vastness through a desert safari. Ride an ATV or a Desert Patrol Vehicle through the twists and turns of the desert and feel the fierce wind blowing through your hair, giving you an adrenaline rush and filling your heart with joy.
Shop till You Drop
Kutch is known for its unique handicrafts that are exported worldwide from here. Exotic handcrafted leather articles fill the tents here as do clothing items replete with exquisite Kutchi embroidery ranging from styles such as Rabari, Ahir, Sindhi, Banni, Mutwa, Ari and Soof. As you hop from one tent to another, be sure to look for some exquisite souvenirs to take back to home with you including bags, paintings, skirts, jewellery and other decorative items.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
So you’ve bathed in the moonlight while lying on the white sands of the Kutch and you’ve also explored the splendid desert aboard an ATV, and you already can’t stop gushing about the immense beauty that surrounds the great ‘Rann’, it’s time you hold your breath for yet another astounding view of the Rann of Kutch. Take the hot air balloon ride that flies you over the desert, and offers panoramic vistas of the vibrant hues of the desert. It’s an experience so astounding that you’ll remember it for years to come.
Witness the Folk Performances
Folk artists from all corners of Gujarat reach Rann of Kutch for the magnificent Rann Utsav, hence, turning the festival grounds into live stage where music, dance and other folk art performances are held throughout the course of the festival. One can also light a traditional bonfire in the desert and gather for a live performance under the night sky.