Witnessing a desert, a sea or a forest on a full moon night is an experience that one would cherish for a long time and witnessing a white desert could be even more exciting, in fact it’s an experience of a life time! The idea of passing a night in the Great Rann of Kutch on a full moon night had always amazed me, but at the same time, there were two challenges that had always thwarted the idea. First, aligning a travel plan to a full moon night of the winter months and second, finding a suitable entry point and camping spots in the desert, due to it’s proximity to the international border. It took me a good while to discover the Ekal Ki Rann, another entry to the white desert – other than the most commonly used entry through Dhordo, named after Ekal Mataji Temple, situated on the fringe of the southeastern side of the desert. And when I visited this Ekal Ki Rann it turned out to be one of nature’s best kept secret, as unlike the Dhordo end, there were not a single soul other than us for the entire time we spent there.
The journey to Ekal Mataji Temple is an adventure in itself, unless you make full proof arrangements till the last mile. Lost in the remoteness, this place is devoid of any public transport and it took us almost the entire day from the Bhachau railway station to reach the temple. Nevertheless, the temple authority was generous enough to lend us food and a guest room, which helped us to refresh and preprape for the cold night ahead. We started by late afternoon for the desert, and a 15 minutes walk, through an arid trail brought us to the edge of the white desert.
On our way back, from the Ekal ki Rann to Bhuj we came across these intriguing people of Kutch.
The following day we went to the White Rann through Dhordo. The Tent city is located at this part where the Rann Utsav is celebrated every year from Mid-December to Mid-March.
Ekal Mataji Temple is situated around 50 kms from Bhachau. You can reach Bhachau (around 250 Kms from Ahmedabad) by a train from Mumbai, Ahmedabad or through road on way to Bhuj.