Essence of Gujarat: Rann Utsav

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The vacations are about to start and all of us have already put on our reading glasses researching on the best places to head to this winter. A major chunk of the tourist junta of North India goes down south during this time of the year. However, it’s time to go unconventional. Instead of taking a trip to the backwaters of Kerala, why not take a trip to the Kutch? The most awaited fest of the state of Gujarat has started. Yes, we are talking about Rann Utsav.

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Rann Utsav | Photo Courtesy: rannutsav.net

Rann Utsav in Gujarat usually takes place every year from December and goes on till Holi in March. However,  Rann Utsav 2015-16 commenced on 18th November 2015 and will last till 29th February 2016. It is a carnival where you get to witness the beauty of the landscape, the traditional music and dance, local cuisine and the Gujarati culture at its best. The fest began way back in 2006 by the efforts of the then CM of Gujarat and now the PM of India, Narendra Modi. This is possibly the best time to book a flight to this region and take advantage of enjoying the warmth and hospitality of the locals. This is the best time experience Khushboo Gujarat ki at its best.

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Enjoy camel rides in Rann Utsav

This fest includes camel cart rides which are perhaps the best thing to experience on a full moon night in the shimmery sands. A visit to Gujarat is incomplete if you do not shop local handicrafts items, jewellery, wall paintings, embroidered garments (Suf, Khareek, Paako) and traditional Bandhani sarees. Apart from this, live music concerts and dance performances take place periodically. The music is definitely one of its kinds, folk with a hint of Sufi. Moreover, there are special arrangements on the New Year’s Eve and Kite flying event on Makar Sankranti.

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Live music concert at Rann Utsav

Activities to indulge in here comprise Helicopter joy ride, star gazing, Tandem Bicycle, Archery, Rifle shooting, Bungee run basketball, Para motoring, ATV (All terrain Vehicle) Ride etc. For the adventure freaks, this is definitely the place to be. The Rann of Kutch is seasonal salt marshland located in the Thar Desert. A part of it lies in Gujarat and the rest of it lies in Pakistan. Kutch happens to be one of the largest salt deserts on the globe and hence, it becomes all the more significant for the curious traveller in you.

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Rann of Kutch | Photo Courtesy: flickr.com

Taste the traditional flavour in the form of Gujarati thali that consists of Kadhi (Yellow coloured curry made out of yoghurt and besan), roti or rotla as its is locally called, khichdi (quite different from the regukar khichdi we have in the North and a lot more delicious) and green chilli pickle served with chaas (buttermilk) so as to neutralize the spice. Sweet dish includes jalebis, basundi (dessert made of thickened milk quite similar to North Indian rabdi), sukhadi or malpua. Vegetarian food is synonymous to the Gujarati clan. Hence, do not expect non vegetarian food in this region.

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Gujarati Thali

It has been rightly described as a riot of colour sprinkled on the white sand. The moustaches, the colourful lehengas, the traditional jewellery, the sumptuous Gujarati thali, the garba and the camel rides, everything is going to sway you away like never before. The Rann Utsav definitely gives a boost to the Gujarat tourism as it witnesses more than 8000 tourists every year.

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Rann Utsav

In order to reach Kutch, one needs to book a flight to Bhuj that is available from all major destinations of India. Alternatively, there are direct buses and trains to Bhuj. When it comes to accommodation, it is recommended that you book in advance. Bookings at hotels in Bhuj can be made at Goibibo.com.

Check out Hotels in Bhuj

Nearby locations to visit include Mandavi Beach (not to be missed), Indo Pak Border, Hodka Artist Village, Ludia Village and Kala Dungar (Black Hill).

So when are you going?

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