The city of Bhuj, Gujarat, plays host to a 3-month-long winter festival called Rann Utsav every year. It is set up along the Rann of Kutch – the surreal salt desert that glistens under the moonlight. For the next five years, it will commence on November 1 and end in February the following year.
The Gujarat Tourism website and several travel companies offer packages for visitors. This usually includes tent accommodation, cultural performances and food. (A small tip: enjoy the camel rides here, avoid buses and cars).
Aside from the natural beauty of the white Rann, there’s a lot to look forward to at the festival:
1. The Local Cuisine
Travellers love the local Gujarati food prepared right before your eyes.
There are two big dining halls serving Kutchi delicacies like Kharibhat, Dabeli and Chakrada Pakwan, at meal timings as well as odd hours of the night!
2. Cultural Performances
Curl up by the bonfire on a cold winter night and enjoy the colourful song and dance performances by the local folk artists.
These guys are truly talented and a platform like Rann Utsav gives them an opportunity to showcase it.
3. The Full Moon Night
Rann of Kutch, which is also the largest salt desert in the world, is submerged in water all through monsoon. It’s beauty surfaces in winter when the salt marsh is visible.
Travellers especially recommend the full moon night, as the moonlight reflects off the sand, making it shine.
4. The Nearby Gems of the Desert
The tourism board organises several excursions for guests everyday. From desert safaris to birding and wildlife tours, visits to historical monuments and beautiful lakes, there’s something for every kind of explorer.
The nearby villages of Bhirandiyra, Khavda, and Gandghi-Nugam are a must-visit as they conduct workshops for amazing handcrafted textiles and fabrics. You could also check out the Mandvi Beach.
5. Beautiful Handicrafts
Craftsmen and artisans from all over Gujarat show up at Rann Utsav and display their works for sale.
Support the local art and pick up some souvenirs or products like leather bags, silverware, Kutchi embroidery, and handmade ornaments.
The 2017 edition of Rann Utsav will be on from November 1 until Feb 20, 2018. For details on future editions, click here.
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