A Photo Essay Of The Great Runn Of Kutch

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.

We walked around 4 Kms into the desert, and then set our tent up amidst the white desert in the dying light of the day. Now we had to wait for the moon rise

PRESENTING THE WHITE DESERT ON A FULLMOON NIGHT

When the moon rose in the eastern sky the entire landscape underwent a dramatic transformation. The entire desert reflected the moonlight with brilliant sparkle as if it itself was the moon. Our sight was intercepted by nothingness, and it seemed we could see almost across the desert

Though it was very cold outside but we continued to enjoy the scenery.

Though it was very cold outside but we continued to enjoy the scenery.

A view through my tent when I woke up next morning

A view through my tent when I woke up next morning

The view of the white desert the next morning after Sunrise

The Rann of Kutch is actually a marsh land formed when the sea water enters this vast stretch of land during the monsoon. After the monsoon when the sea water recedes the marsh gets cut off from the sea. Over the next few months the remnant water evaporates, leaving a thick coat of salt over the land. And this is how the White Desert is formed!  We cam across this place further inside the desert which was still damp

The Rann of Kutch is actually a marsh formed when the sea water enters this vast stretch of land during the monsoon. After the monsoon when the sea water recedes the marsh gets cut off from the sea. Over the next few months the remnant water evaporates, leaving a thick coat of salt over the land. And this is how the White Desert is formed! We came across this place further inside the desert which was still damp

Like all deserts the WHITE RANN isn't any less cruel. When the Sea water evaporates it leaves the fishes to die a cruel death. now almost fossils

Like all deserts the Rann Of Kutch isn’t any less cruel. When the Sea water evaporates it leaves the fishes to die a cruel death.

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On our way back, from the Ekal ki Rann to Bhuj we came across these intriguing people of Kutch.

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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.

The following day we went to The Great Rann Of Kutch, But this time through the Dhordo End.

Sun Set over the Great Rann Of Kutch. Dhordo End

The Tent City

The Tent City

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.

Road Map From Ahmedabad to Ekal Ki Rann

Road Map From Ahmedabad to Ekal Ki Rann

About Arindam

I'm still discovering myself. I wouldn't say its an identity crisis but my quest for the real myself has been getting deeper and interesting with time, travels and more people I come across. I consider myself to be among the few with esoteric tastes. I enjoy music of a broad genre and like discussing history and cultures of different countries. I Like trekking, long drives, reading and writing. Photography has been a passion and now i strictly concentrate on travel photography. I think there is no joy, like the joy of witnessing a new sunrise on a new horizon everyday of your life and in pursuit of it, if life permits, I would surely become a vagabond travelling through out the world. My travels have made me realize that one half of the world doesn't know how the other half is living. My work a small endeavor to bring both the halves together. Happy travelling!
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