Rann Utsav: Gujarat’s Annual White Desert Carnival
A rendezvous with the moon amidst a spread of culture!
Imagine the moonlight spreading a silvery glaze on the white sands of the Kutch. This warm and subtle light is all the illumination that the Rann of Kutch needs. The cool air caresses your face as you slide in closer to your loved one and your eyes sparkle as they reflect the soft light of the moon. Rann Utsav is a spectacle of colours, a rich spread of culture; laying out a feast for the eyes, soul and the stomach.
The pearlescent glow of lit-up tents ornaments the milky desert of the Kutch during the Rann Utsav. Attended by people from all over the world, this time of the year is all about discovering the Kutch culture, experiencing their way of life and delving into their local indulgences as well as their day to day habits.
The Great Rann Utsav gives you a peek into the very essence of the Kutch and its people. The White Rann is best experienced during this festival when the air is stimulating and the moon, full. So, do visit this salt desert because it is gleaming during this time of the year. While the festival kicks off in the city of Bhuj, its grand finale takes place at a tent city near Dhordo village. This festival is held during the months of November to February. If you are wondering what is in store for you this time around, do read on!
1. A desi gala around the bonfire at Rann Utsav
Imagine the untamed yet practiced and soul-riveting voices of folk artists filling the air with melodious tunes and warm tones. The ever-so-bright and soothing bonfire is not the only source of warmth in the night-time. The raw and versatile voices of these folk artists cut through the biting cold and warm your soul. You will get a flavour of the Kutch culture as you listen to its many local instruments that create beautiful music in unison. Some of them are the Daklu, Damaru, Dholak, Duff, Flute, Ghaghar, Khanjari, Manjira and Jhanjha; the magic of which will make you forget about the loud, thumping and monotonous music played in the city. Good music gives birth to some good dancing moves and no, we are not talking about Bollywood songs and head-banging electronic dance music. As beautiful as Kutch’s music is, so is it’s folk dance that expresses various phases of Kutch’s history. Even though the cold may send shivers down your spine, these folk-dance artists will still not miss a beat. So, head to the Rann Utsav and take in the many songs, tunes, and moves that will remain etched in your hearts forever.
Imagine being wrapped up in a blanket of diamonds in the night-time as you gaze at the rich spread of stars twinkling above you. In a world where the stars have somewhere been lost behind towering buildings and city lights; Rann Utsav gifts you with big open skies as the stars compete with the moon. The endless, white ocean of the Rann desert amidst the shimmering stretch of stars painted in the night sky is indeed a sight to behold. If you are a nature-enthusiast, the starry night sky will surely take your breath away. Hustle around a bonfire with your family and share a tale or two as the stars gaze down upon you. The endless white expanse shines as it reflects the light emitted from many a star. If you are somebody who likes to capture life as it is in the moment; you are in for a treat. Get a click of the never-ending white marshy desert as you marvel at some mystical winter stars shooting in the sky. The silence is so deep, you can almost hear the soft thumps of your heart as it beats. With such a beautiful and clear night sky, Kutch has surely become every stargazer’s favorite destination in India.
3. Pump up your adrenaline!
Rann Of Kutch is not only about the soothing silence of the night but also about heart-racing adventure sports that will fill your heart with thrill and excitement. If you wish to know what White Rann looks like from the sky, do engage in some Para Motoring to feast your eyes. Get a mid-air view of the staggering Rann of Kutch as you drift closer to the clouds. This winter season, dash not through the snow, but the white sands of Rann in an ATV bike! Book an ATV at the Rann Utsav on this salted, flat surface which makes it extremely easy to ride on. If you have always been a rebel and wanted to challenge the status quo, exercise this characteristic of yours at the Rann Utsav. Take part in the gravity-defying activities at the Skyzilla- the 60 feet Adventure Tower as you feel the cool air rush past you. Push your fears away as you engage in enthralling activities such as the Sky Fall, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Pendulum Swing along with 18 different rope courses. Bring out the hunter in you as you engage in some Rifle Shooting and make sure you hit the bull’s eye!
Simple, with a taste that lingers in your heart forever; this is how you define Kutchi cuisine. Indulge in the heart-warming and comforting meal of Khichdi, deemed to be the staple food of the region. Kadhi; a subtle and light flavoured yellow gravy made with yogurt reminds you of ghar ka khaana and makes you feel at home amidst the endless white ocean that is the Rann desert. If you wish to add a little spice, do try the green chilli pickle along with some lip-smacking buttermilk. If you want to indulge a little bit, do try the local fast food of the region – Kutchi Dabeli. This dish is potato stuffed in bread; seasoned with chutneys and roasted with butter on both sides until is turns golden and crispy. How can one forget the small, round rotis prepared from the goodness of methi? Yes, theplas, those bite sized morsels that range from sweet to sour and spicy as you bite into them. These taste best when served with pickles, fried chillies and a bowl of curd. Another dish that will give you the much-needed warmth in the harsh cold of Kutch is Lilva Kachori; flour balls stuffed with green peas and deep-fried to perfection. You can enjoy this snack with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. However, if you are looking for a light snack to munch on as you go about your day, do try the Locho. This street food is a must-try and resembles dumplings, served hot with onions, garnished with some coriander and sev and dipped in green or imli chutney.
Can’t wait to step into this carnival of music, culture, food and adventurous activities? Head to the Rann Utsav for an experience you will never forget and witness the rich colours of the Kutch culture. A feast for the eyes, soul and stomach; the Rann Utsav fascinates you in ways more than one. Visit the Thomas Cook website right away to plan your this star-filled, adrenaline-pumping, musical expedition!