Every winter a beautiful natural transformation takes place in a part of Kutch, India. From November to February salt forms a crust over the desert sands here. The entire surface of the sand turns pure white and you would be forgiven if you were to mistake it for being white sand.
During the Monsoon Season (from June to September) the mudflats of the Rann (the Hindi word for desert) fill up with water and dry out over the rest of the year. By December the water has evaporated leaving behind these salt crusts for as far as the eye can see.
This magic of nature beautifies the arid desert, with the clear blue of the sky and the pristine white of the salt complimenting each other perfectly. The winter months of December to February also mean great weather, which is why this is the destination for many, as it hosts The Rann Utsav. The dessert comes alive with tourists flocking to see this phenomenon in the Great Rann Of Kutch or the White Rann of Kutch as it is also known, which is also supposed to be the largest salt desert in the world.
I traveled to the Rann of Kutch in November 2021, on an all-girls trip curated by The Flapper Life.
Best time to visit: The winter months of November to February are perfect the time to visit. However, I would suggest that visiting in December or January would be a better idea as the salt formation would not only be intense but also dry and powdery, making it visually pleasing, and great for pictures. The day we visited, in late November, it had rained the previous day and the salt was slushy.
How to reach:
I flew to Rajkot from Mumbai. The drive from Rajkot to Bhuj was about 8 hours, due to heavy traffic on the highway. The roads are good and the drive is pleasant.
You can drive from or fly in from Ahmedabad too. There are direct flights from Mumbai to Bhuj on certain days of the week as well.
Where to stay?
We stayed in a resort in Bhuj and drove to the Rann and the villages surrounding it. The distances are comfortable. Bhuj is a 100 km away from Dhordo, the last village that is the closest to the Rann
The other option is to live in the Tent City of Dhordo, bang in the middle of it all.
Tips for when you get to the Rann:
Hire a camel cart to take you to the desert. They are colorful, and comfortable and make for great photo ops. A ride cost us 100 Rs per head for a round trip, which includes the drivers waiting for you. Bonus: The Cart drivers and minders take awesome pics.
The best time to go would be early morning or around 5 ish in the evening.
Wear your most colorful clothes and accessories, they show up well against the white salt and blue sky and make for great pictures.
If possible, try to schedule your visit for a full moon night, as the silvery sheen the full moon casts is supposed to be a spectacular sight.
Please do not litter, be considerate travelers.
Don’t forget to carry
Comfortable walking shoes
Water, stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout.
Reasons, why the Great Rann of Kutch is a must-visit
The Great White Rann is an experience like no other, the silence of the desert, the vastness that makes you feel like a speck, the raw beauty of creation, they are all seen to be believed.
It is the largest salt desert in the world and a photographer’s delight.
Even though you may have seen pictures and videos of the same, the 1st time you see the white magic of the Rann, you are bound to be awestruck!
The sunset I experienced was spectacular, turning the sky pink and then lavender.
This part of the country is still relatively untouched and marred by commercialism, the people are simple and warm.
The shopping and the food! There are no stores here, the local artisans create beautiful souvenirs and handicrafts and sell them to you. Enjoy the fresh and simple local cuisine.
The Great Rann was on top of my travel list and it is an experience you must have. I assure you it will be a cherished one.