Great Rann of Kutch (Jan 2017)

Duration : 4 days, 3 nights

Starting Location : Ahmedabad, Gujrat

Destination : White desert of kutch, Bhuj

Mode of Travel : Bike (Rented from Ahmedabad)

Route : Ahmedabad -> Bhuj -> Dhordo -> Kanjarkot Fort -> Dhordo -> Kala Dungar -> Bhuj -> Ahmedabad

Background

I had been on various bike trips so far, but all were in hill areas. This time we choosed plains, that too the Great Rann of Kutch (White Desert). This time we were 6 – Myself, Ankur Nishad, Pranjal Tiwari, his brother Parag, Himanshu Pandey and Gaurav Shukla.

We started of from Lucknow by train and reached Delhi by night, around 11 PM. We had next day early morning flight to Ahmedabad. Spent all night roaming the streets near airport. None of us got any sleep, except whatever we got in flight.

We boarded early morning flight and fell asleep as soon as we settled down.

Flight reached Ahmedabad in no time and everyone of us was looking tired, due to lack of sleep. We freshen up at airport and headed to get bikes.

Day 1 (Ahmedabad to Bhuj)

Took us some time to find bike rent place but eventually we found it. Checked bikes, completed paperwork and soon we were on our way to Bhuj, our stop for the day.

Roads were smooth and we found no hiccups but it was not as exciting as you see feel while riding in hilly areas. It was plain highway ride, except few wrong turns 😉 When you drive at good speed, you tend to miss turns. We were following google navigation but at some places due to slow network map loaded slowly and caused us to miss turns but not mush harm done finally.

By evening we reached Bhuj without any issues. Looked for decent and reasonable hotels in main city but found none. Some were too costly and others were, simply not good enough. We come to outskirt of city, towards Dordo, and found one roadside hotel. We decided to crash there as its just on our way and won’t take much of our time inside city.

We spent rest of our night exploring surrounding areas and gathering information about White Desert.

Day 2 (Bhuj to Dhordo to Kanjarkot Fort to Dhordo)

We all were pumped up next morning. We hit the road early in the morning.

Our target was not far enough so we were not in any hurry. Had some play with the Sun, bike and camera on the way.

By noon we reached our destination, tent city of the Rann Utsav. We went in and looked for some accommodation, but came back surprised. Rates were too high for our liking. Just 2-3 tents were free and that too costing us around 15000 for 2 person. We decided to explore nearby villages for some reasonable stay.

After exploring for around 1 hour, we found a partially build hut. It had two huts and lots of empty space to enjoy. Rates were cheaper, compared to tent city. It cost us around 8000 for 2 huts, including foods and bonfire 🙂

There was nothing to do there in afternoon. You can enjoy White Desert in morning or at evening, as in noon its too hot to handle 😉 We had time and to kill it, we decided to visit Kanjarkot Fort. We didn’t had any permits, which you can get form Bhuj, but decided to go any ways. On reaching there we requested army personals and they issues temporary permits.

As this fort is hardly 400-500 meters away from International border between India and Pakistan, you are not allowed to carry cameras, mobiles or any other electronic items. It took us continuous driving of around 1 hours from initial check post to fort. Army persons at fort were very helpful and they explained everything about fort, border, flag meetings and other stuff. They had binoculars, which they gave us to have a look at border.

We came back on time to reach White Desert for sun set view. It was a mesmerizing view.

We enjoyed sun set and came back to Rann Utsav for night life. There was festive mood all around.

Came back to our place of stay by late night and had a awesome dinner. A proper desi style dinner.

Post dinner we sat around bonfire, talking, laughing and listening to stories from locals.

Next day we had to reach White Desert before sunrise so we had to get sleep, even though we didn’t want to 😛

Day 3 (Dhordo to Kala Dungar -> Bhuj)

We got up early, very early and reached to checkpoint to enter White Desert as sson as possible. We were the first one there. We didn’t wanted to miss the sunrise.

We clicked some truly amazing photographs there. I recorded time lapsed video of sunrise, which comes up good 😉 Click here to see that in you tube.

Apart from that, we had fun trying different poses.

After hours of photography, we had some rest and enjoyed camel ride. Sun by this time was pretty high in sky. It was burning hot now so we decided to say good bye to White Desert.

We came back to our huts, had some breakfast, packed our bags and headed towards Kala Dungar, highest point in Kutch. It gave us some good views of salt marsh.

There was nothing much left in the area to explore so we started our return journey towards Bhuj, our stop for the day. We crossed Tropic of Cancer on the way towards Bhuj.

We reached Bhuj by evening and stayed in the same hotel, where we stayed on our way to Dhordo.

Day 5 (Bhuj to Ahmedabad)

Next day was uneventful and was pretty much straight drive to Ahemdabad. At some point, there were wind mills in the area. We don’t see them in this big numbers too often.

We reached Ahmedabad in good time. Gave bikes back and reached airport in time without any issues.

Afterwords

Return journey is always painful, specially when you have to wait for plane/train. Our return from Ahmedabad was tiring. First we reached Delhi and then got into train to reach Lucknow. Next time hoping to plan in better way 😛

 

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