Rann of Kutch LocationThe vast expanse that is the Rann of Kutch borders the top of the Kutch district. It's best approached from Dhordo, approximately 86 kilometers from Bhuj, which is being developed by the Gujarat government as the Gateway to the Rann of Kutch. Dhordo is on the edge of the Rann of Kutch. It's a good idea to stay there, or nearby Hodka, to conveniently make the trip.
Rann of Kutch Accommodation Options
The most popular choice is the Gateway to Rann Resort at Dhordo. It's made up of characterful Kutchi Bhungas (mud huts), traditionally crafted and decorated with handicrafts. Expect to pay around 3,500 rupees for an air conditioned double, per night with meals included.
Another recommended option is the Shaam-e-Sarhad (Sunset at the Border) Village Resort in Hodka. Hodka is one of the top rural tourism destinations in India, and the resort is owned and managed by the local residents. You can choose to stay in tents (3,200 rupees per night for a double) or traditional Bhungas (4,800 rupees per night for a double), and both have attached bathrooms and running water. Visits to local artists villages are a highlight.
Best Time to Visit the Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch begins to dry up in October every year, steadily transforming into the desolate and surreal salt desert. The tourist season runs until March.
It's best to head out into the Rann of Kutch only in the early morning or evening, otherwise the salt can be blinding. The full moon is the best time of month to see it, and cultural programs are usually held at Dhordo then. A moonlight Rann camel safari is magical.
For a real cultural extravaganza, visit during the month-long Rann Ustav, which usually begins in mid-late December. The government sets up hundreds of luxury tents on the edge of the Rann of Kutch for visitors.
Permits for Visiting the Rann of KutchThe Rann of Kutch is quite a sensitive area, due to its proximity to the Pakistani border. Therefore, written permission is required to visit it. This is obtainable from the Gujarat Police DSP office in Bhuj near Jubilee Ground (it's closed Sundays, and every second and fourth Saturday).
Reaching the Rann of Kutch
The resorts mentioned above will arrange transport for you from Bhuj. There are a couple of ways of getting to Bhuj.
- If taking a train, it's most convenient from Mumbai (15 hours).
- Flights to Bhuj are also available from Mumbai.
- Buses to Bhuj are available from many places in and around Gujarat, and the road is in good condition.
Other Ways to See the Rann of KutchIf you want to see the Rann of Kutch from a different perspective, the Kalo Dungar (Black Hill) offers a panoramic view from 462 meters above sea level. You can see all the way across to the Pakistani border. Kalo Dungar is accessible via the rather uninteresting village of Khavda, which is 25 kilometers away, and around 70 kilometers from Bhuj. It's best to take your own transport as public transport is infrequent. The old Lakhpat Fort (140 kilometers from Bhuj) also provides a fabulous view of the Rann of Kutch.
Rann of Kutch Tour Companies
Kutch Adventures India are based in Bhuj, and are involved in rural and responsible tourism in the area. They can help you with your itinerary and travel, and also put you in touch with local artisans (which the area is renowned for).