Riding in Bhuj and Beyond Continues…

Riding in NO MANS land set out to give an adrenaline rush… Crossing miles of land with only buffalo’s & cows to overtake, passing by those dry thorny scrubs guarding the marshy lands… We were enjoying every bit of it… 🙂 🙂 If u have read our previous trail in Bhuj… Read here!  U will know its our 3rd day in Bhuj and we are all set to ride towards “The Great Rann of Kutch”… Rann lie around 80 kms from Bhuj city…

Unlike other Highways, this was not desolate of vehicles…with sight seekers either coming from or going to the Rann of Kutch. Cruising our bike in full speed for another 90 kms… within 2 hours we reached Kalo Dungar. It was a pleasant ride with straight well laid concrete furrows, however last few miles were vicious… the hilly and stark terrain with steep roads led to the parking lot.

Kalo Dungar is highest point, about 458 metres above Rann of Kutch…  Top point can be reached on a camel ride, but we enjoyed our walk to overlook the Rann and surrounding landscape. This place provided a great panoramic view of Rann of Kutch. The white salt desert and silver lined sky, both becomes unidentifiable. Dattatreya Temple also stands on this point. This was second place where we were served free food. We had our lunch in the temple itself and started towards Dhordo. It was afternoon and the sun shining brightly right above our head, glad we planned our trip in winter!! 😛

Overlooking the Great Rann from Kalo Dungar

Kala Dungar to Dhordo is around 48 kms. Halt breaks to capture pictures and enthral the serene beauty was indescribable. After a lazy ride of about 1 hour we made our entry to The Great Rann of Kutch in Dhordo village. The Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh located in Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat which is about 7500 sq. kms in size and reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. This is one place on planet where White desert forms once water dries up. The geographical phenomenon offers an extraordinarily rare experience, during full moon nights when the bright glow of the moon merges with the infinite white landscape.

The Great Rann is renowned for its marshy salt lands which get converted into snow white land after the shallow water dries up in the heat before the monsoon rains. In winter season, every year “The Rann Utsav” or “White Rann festival” is organized which goes on for approximately 3 to 4 months from November to February. This rann utsav held at Kutch has enormous cultural events, folk dance, shopping fairs and many programs which attracts tourist to stay at Kutch, Gujarat. There are many rann utsav tour operators who organize tents and accommodation to stay under white rann. Even the Government of Gujarat come up with Home Stay policy and created the theme based city called the Tent City. Tent city has numerous accommodation options in tents with best amenities available to enjoy the raw desert feel on the White Rann.

As we entered the White Desert

Tent City, Dhordo is the last motor-able point in Rann. Id proofs and few are information needs to be detailed on the entrance of Rann. Only buses are permitted to ply far possible and beyond a point one can opt to walk or can enjoy rides in camel/horse carts. After clearing all formalities we boarded the bus. Then we kept on walking and walking. All we wanted was to enjoy the sunset! 🙂 Almost tired, but it was only after our heart and mind filled… we sat to wait for the sun got dissolved in the White land… The tranquil and serene view was breath-taking.

The theme pavilion and library in Kutch festival provided much information relating to Bhuj, Kutch and Gujarat… After the sunset, we went to the exhibition halls and fairs in Tent City. Stalls with Kutch handicrafts filled the expanse of the shopping complex. One could find tie and die scarfs to wooden toys, metal bells to embroidered bags. Folk art and folk songs whilst the imperturbable tranquility created a completely different atmosphere.

After the magnificent landscapes and splendor handicrafts exhibition, we were ravenously hungry… We decided to explore some dhaba on the highway. As we left the Tent City canopy, we found many private home stays, pitched in one of them for authentic Gujarati food. The food… from Khichdi to Jowar Chapatis with varieties of curries was finger licking delicious.

Then was the turn to traverse back to Bhuj. We could hear vehicles from far but it took minutes to pass us at its full throttle – such silent the night was – calm and serene. Before we could realize, we were seeing city-lights on the horizon. What an amazing ride it has been so far! Read More…

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