The Great Rann of Kutch, is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India
The name "Rann" comes from the Hindi word ran meaning "desert". The Hindi word is derived from Sanskrit/Vedic word Irina attested in the Rig-Veda and Mahabharata.
The Great Rann of Kutch, along with the Little Rann of Kutch and the Banni grasslands on its southern edge, is situated in the district of Kutch and comprises some 30,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq. mi) between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus in southern Pakistan. The marsh can be accessed from the village of Kharaghoda in Surendranagar District.
In India's summer monsoon, the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, which average 15 meters above sea level, fills with standing water. In very wet years, the wetland extends from the Gulf of Kutch on the west through to the Gulf of Cambay on the east.
The area was a vast shallow of the Arabian Sea until continuing geological uplift closed off the connection with the sea, creating a vast lake that was still navigable during the time of Alexander the Great. The Ghaggar River, which presently empties into the desert of northern Rajasthan, formerly emptied into the Rann of Kutch, but the lower reaches of the river dried up as its upstream tributaries were captured by the Indus and Ganges thousands of years ago. Traces of the delta and its distributary channels on the northern boundary of the Rann of Kutch were documented by the Geological Survey of India in 2000. The Luni River, which originates in Rajasthan, drains into the desert in the northeast corner of the Rann. Other rivers feeding into the marsh include the Rupen from the east and the West Banas River from the northeast.
There are sandy islets of thorny scrub, forming a wildlife sanctuary and a breeding ground for some of the largest flocks of greater andlesser flamingos. Wildlife, including the Indian wild ass, shelter on islands of higher ground, called bets, during the flooding.
Kutch Museum is the oldest Museum in Gujarat that was built in the year of 1877. The museum is the largest compilation of Kshatrapa inscriptions. A separate section in the museum is made that devotes the tribal culture of the place. Here, tourists will also get to see amazing artefacts and rich examples of folk and dance. The museum contains examples of embroidery, arms, paintings, textiles and sculpture.
Prag Mahal is a wonderful destination that is located next to Aaina Mahal in the same walled compound in Bhuj. The palace comprises spellbound beauty especially the Corinthian pillars and Jali work. The architecture of the place leaves a wonderful impression on travellers here. Inside the palace tourists get an opportunity to climb a 45 m high bell tower. The surrounding of the Prag Mahal is also very attractive and provides a calm atmosphere to travellers here. The mesmerizing beauty of the palace and a small stone carved temple in the courtyard makes this an enjoyable experience.
Aaina Mahal is an old palace that was built in the 18th century. The Aaina Mahal built under the rule of Lakhpatji. This old palace reflects the riches and the strong power of the ruler. The rich and well preserved heritage at the palace is quite incredible. This is one of the oldest buildings of the old part of Bhuj city and is located near Hamirsar Lake.
Stunning views of salt, sand and sea:
At the indo -pak border lies the Great Rann of Kutch - with its white sand (sea salt) ans sea and our neighbour not so far away. On a full moon night, watch the light reflect off the sea salt making it shine like diamonds... Taste the salt,,,,walk on it barefoot
The sea retreats in the winer months to reveal this celetial spectacle...
White Dessert (Moon On The Earth):The destination where you are one with your thoughts with no one else as far as the eye can see.
You can stay at one of the villages or bordering accommodations around the White Rann.
You can walk for miles on the salt plains or just drive along if you have a four wheel drive. Consider going here early to catch the sunrise for an uninterrupted and surreal experience.