The white desert of Kutch- a photo feature

The white Rann of Kutch, salt marsh in Thar Desert
Image courtesy: ©Gujarat Tourism Board

Northern Gujarat is a very desolate place, with huge empty spaces between towns. It’s where the barren Rann of Kutch, the white salt desert, is. From November to February, the Rann dries up and presents to us this endless white landscape. It’s during this time in winters, when the well-advertised Rann Utsav is held at the tent city next to the salt flats.

Besides the Rann of Kutch, you can also visit one of the only 5 Indus Valley sites unearthed – in Dholavira. The others are in Pakistan and 1 in Haryana. En route to Dholavira, you will cross more of the barren white desert with acid lakes, flamingos and beautiful villages which clearly have more of a Rajasthani influence than Gujarati.

Northern Gujarat can be accessed via Bhuj, which in itself is a fascinating city to visit. It has recovered from its horrific earthquake of 2001 and hosts the beautiful Bhuj Palace which has the stunning hall of mirrors. The Bhuj Fort is a place you shouldn’t miss, especially at sunrise.

Visit Northern Gujarat through these photographs; then set out and see it to believe it.

Also Read: Jaisalmer- the famed golden city

Also Read: Offbeat weekend escapes from Delhi

 

Vantage point at Kala Dunger near the desert
Vantage point at Kala Dunger near the desert
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
Acid pools en route to Dholavira
Acid pools en route to Dholavira
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
Walk around the coarse white salt desert
Walk around the coarse white salt desert
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
Flamingos on a salt diet
Flamingos on a salt diet
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
Sunrise at the Bhuj memorial for 2001 earthquake victims
Sunrise at the Bhuj memorial for 2001 earthquake victims
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
The Bhuj old town
The Bhuj old town
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
The Vijaya Vilas Palace at Mandvi in Kutch district
The Vijaya Vilas Palace at Mandvi in Kutch district
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola
A golden sunset like no other
A golden sunset like no other
Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola

The villages dotted across Kutch’s arid landscape are home to a jigsaw of tribal groups and subcastes that produce some of India’s finest handicrafts, above all, textiles that glitter with exquisite embroidery and mirrorwork. In spite of the mammoth earthquake in 2001 that completely destroyed several villages, the residents of this harsh land have determinedly rebuilt their lives and are welcoming to visitors.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Nitin Gairola is an adventurer & travel writer and a keen student of earth science, history, world cultures & the environment. He has travelled to many parts of the Earth, across 6 continents & around 80 countries in his personal quest to know more about the planet & the inhabitants. More on: www.facebook.com/NitinGairolaPhotography