Rann of Kutch: Travel Tips

As narrated to us by our field lead Vishakha Agrahari.


When I decided to travel and explore the world, I had one thing in mind – to go to all the places that did not make it to the popular travel lists. In order to truly understand how the world works and how communities vary from region to region, I built this mindset.

Such an outlook took me to the Great Rann of Kutch. Owing to its beautiful salt deposits, it is also known as the White Rann of Kutch, or the Salt Swamp.


Rann of Kutch: Travel Tips


Before going, I had to find out the perfect time to be there. This research was important for many reasons – I did not want to end up with nothing to do. Remote places usually don’t have good facilities for tourists, so one has to make plans in advance. Moreover, I wanted to see the Rann of Kutch at its best.

After a little scouring on the internet and asking around, I found out that the perfect time to visit the place is anytime between late September and March. Beyond these eight months, either the salt swamp is under water during monsoon, or there are not many resources available to get there. You wouldn’t really have anything to do there either.

If you want to see Kutch in all its glory, you should visit it between December and January when the Rann of Kutch Festival is underway. Understandably, this is the time when the place receives the highest footfall.


Rann of Kutch: Travel with Me


In order to get there, I had to first reach Bhuj, which is accessible via various means of transportations including buses, trains and flights. Beyond that point, I had to wade through the vast desert to reach Dhordo. I would recommend you to travel in groups or make arrangements for a cab prior to the journey itself.

One thing you should keep in mind is that during off-season, many general facilities are almost completely absent from the area, including good cell service. Your first course of action when you reach Bhuj should be to get a local sim with a good network, preferably BSNL or Jio; both of them have good connectivity in the area.

The guest houses, traditionally known as Bhungas are usually fully open during festival season. But don’t worry, there are some stays open all year round and are easy on your pocket as well.


Rann of Kutch: Travel Tips


I would like to again emphasise the fact that you need to make all your reservations before you reach– cabs, hotels and everything else that you can plan. Call the right people and confirm your booking as well so that there is no miscommunication.

When you are all set to explore, make sure you have a bag full of basic necessities because you won’t be finding the usual kirana stores around the corner. Keep your sunscreen, insect-repellants, band-aids, sanitizer, towels, and everything else that you might need in the summer. This could be your very own Nat Geo adventure!


Rann of Kutch: Best Time To Go


There is usually a lack of local transportation and this will result in some issues because the villages are far off from each other. You can strike up an arrangement with a local who owns a vehicle and get exploring that way.

It is highly likely that you would want to explore the salt deposits, unless you have a sweet tooth (bad joke, sorry). I recommend going there either early in the morning or during evenings. The afternoons are blistering and I would say you stay put in your room and take a nap after a hearty meal.

Travelling around at night should be avoided unless you are being chaperoned by a local whom you trust.

The locals, as they usually are in close-knit communities, were very hospitable. I was warmly welcomed by them, and so I wanted to tip them in return. However, the sense of Athithi Devo Bhava (A guest is akin to God) still runs strong in India, and they refused any tips. I found a loophole and decided to extend my gratitude by buying their handicrafts.


Rann of Kutch: Handicrafts and Traditional Art


The Art! My favourite part of it all. If you are also an art enthusiast who likes to explore traditional heritage crafts, you would love the Rann of Kutch. There are different communities whose livelihoods depend on extremely niche, folk art and crafts including leatherwork, embroidery and mud-work.

So while you might find sombring sights of salt deposits and sandy surroundings, don’t worry, there is much colour in the lives of the people here!


Rann of Kutch: A Vibrant Culture



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