string(4) "here" array(4) { [0]=> string(19) "discoveredindia.com" [1]=> string(7) "gujarat" [2]=> string(16) "kutch-in-gujarat" [3]=> string(0) "" } Home > Gujarat > Kutch In Gujarat

Kutch In Gujarat

Kutch district (alternately written as Kutch or Kachchh) used to be an independent district in the state of Gujarat in West India. Largest district in Gujarat, Kutch covers an area of 45,612 km², which makes it the second largest district in India after Leh.

The literal meaning of Kutch is ‘that which sporadically becomes arid and wet.’ Rann of Kutch – a large part of the district of Kutch – is a shallow wetland. During the monsoons, this wetland completely immerses in water, whereas in other seasons, it stays extraordinarily dry. In languages which have Sanskrit at their roots, Kutch stands for tortoise. Alternately, Kutch is also used to refer to garments worn while bathing. The Rann of Kutch is well-known for its swampy salt flats and the Banni grasslands, situated in the outer region, for their ecological importance. The salt flats turn a pristine white colour as soon as the water dries up right before the rainy season.

Surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch in south and the wetlands of the Great and Small Rann in the east, the Kutch district has on its western regions the Arabian Sea. The region remains wet and mostly waterlogged for the better part of the year. In fact, it remained waterlogged for almost the entire year till a few years back, when there weren’t many dams on the rivers in the Rann of Kutch.

Location

Complete with stunning views, a healthy profusion of colours, tradition, and healthy fascination, Kutch has a lot to offer to those on the lookout for the next perfect vacation. Indeed, the district of Kutch is strangely blessed: during monsoon, this westernmost part of Gujarat transforms into an island. During this time, the Gulf of Kutch is separated from the Kathiawar Peninsula. The Rann of Kutch forms a division between Kutch and the region of Sindh in Pakistan.

This isolated and distant district is charmingly weird and wonderful, making it the perfect destination for the adventurous, the thrill-seekers, and the nature lovers. Its exotic climate and flora and fauna are a real delight for those who revel in the nature’s bounty.

Kutchis Culture

The culture of Kutch is not much different from a colourful dream. There is the sea on one side, the desert on the other; and both influence the culture in their unique ways. Farming and cattle-raising are as much the staple occupation of the local population as part of Kutch’s culture. Kutchis are a strong and dynamic lot, unafraid to experiment with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Ingenious, level-headed, and humble, the people of Kutch are the crowning jewel of this district.

Thriving, vivacious, and flourishing, Kutch is bound to entice and enthrall its visitors. The authentic experience at Kutch is unmatched!

Kutch Festivals


Rann Utsav

The Rann Utsav, alternately called the Rann Kutch Utsav is a yearly event organized all over the district of Kutch in Gujarat. An initiative of the Gujarat tourism department, this fair is organized to highlight Kutch’s vibrant culture. Famous for their amiable conduct and humble hospitality, the people of Kutch all come together to celebrate this unique festival to highlight the majesty and grandeur of Gujarat in an enriching manner. This cultural extravaganza celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of the district of Kutch.

Every year, the spirit of Kutch comes alive as the residents and tourists gather to celebrate the Kutch Rann Utsav. This three day celebration of everything Kutch is famous for includes music, craftsmanship, celebrations, pageantry, and processions all in the true spirit of Kutch. The zeal, warmth and generosity of the locals becomes apparent even as one enters the festival premises, as they welcomes with love and unprecedented tenderness coupled with a vibrant attack on the senses.

Time of Celebration

The Rann Utsav is celebrated at the end of the year, every year. This cultural extravaganza is organized from 15th December to 31st January on various locations spread throughout the district of Kutch. On a full moon night in this period, the fair is organized.

Places to Visit in Kutch


Narayan Sarovar

Multiple fresh lakes and refreshing scenery is the USP of Narayan Sarovar. Venerated by the Hindus, Narayan Sarovar is at a distance of 125 kms. from Bhuj. This westernmost point of India is an ancient spot and has special religious importance with the Hindu community who worship the lakes. The holy lakes, or sarovars, are all fresh water bodies located a mere 2 kms. from the salty waters of the Gulf of Kutch. Narayan Sarovar is counted as one of the five holy lakes in the country. The others are Lake Mansarovar in Tibet, Lake Pampa in Karnataka, Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan, and Bhubaneshwar in Orissa. There is also a temple complex in the vicinity which houses numerous temples. Shri Trikamraiji, Govardhannathji, and Laxminarayan are some of the gods worshipped at this temple which is famous for its ancient architecture.

Wild Ass Sanctuary

The Wild Ass Sanctuary is a one-of-its-kind sanctuary in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Established in 1972, the sanctuary covers an area of 4953 sq. km. and is located at a distance of 268 km from Bhuj - the westernmost point of the country. As the name suggests, the sanctuary is exclusively for the protection of the Wild Ass which is a classified endangered species. It provides shelter and a thriving ecosystem for this animal, known to man as one of the strongest in the world. The Wild Ass belongs to the family of horses, zebras, and donkeys. Locally known as the Hud Khar, the Wild Ass has a shiny white body with light brown patches and can run at a speed of 60-70 km per hour. They are exclusive to the Rann of Kutch and are not found anywhere else.

Chinkara Sanctuary

A short distance from Narayan Sarovar, and approximately 210 kms. from Bhuj is the Chinkara Sanctuary. Home to the Indian Gazelle (Chinkara), this century attracts a lot of tourists, both Indian and international. Blue bull, wild boar, and spotted deer can also be found at Chinkara Sanctuary, along with a large variety of smaller wildlife.

Kutch Museum

Established in 1877, Kutch Museum is the oldest museum in Gujarat. The museum is especially famous for its collection of Kshtrappa inscriptions which date back to the 1st century AD. A special section in the museum is entirely devoted to tribal culture and has on display various cultural artifacts. From paintings to arms, from musical instruments to precious ornaments, and from embroidery exhibits to textiles, sculptures, and precious metalwork, the museum is home to an extensive variety of items on display.

Beaches

Conveniently located at the western tip of the country, the Rann of Kutch merges with the Gulf of Kutch, giving rise to a number of exotic beaches. Mandvi beach, Pingleshwar beach, and Wind Farm beach are some of the popular tourist hotspots in this area. The beach at Ahmedpur Mandvi is a real paradise for aficionados of water sports and has provisions for activities like water skiing, parasailing, water scooting, and speed boat trips. Approximately 300 kms. from Ahmedabad, this is one of the finest beaches in the country.

Best Time to Visit

The Kutch region is located in an arid region of India. Due to this, the region experiences extreme climactic variations: while it gets excruciatingly hot in summer, winters are equally cold. In fact, the entire state of Gujarat experiences a severe summer with low to nil rainfall. During the rainy season, rainfall is low and the wetlands experience heavy water-logging.  Since the days in winter are pleasant and bearable, the best time to visit Kutch is between November and March. It is advisable to carry adequate woolens.

How to Reach

Kutch is accessible by rail or road. The closest airport is Bhuj, but it is advisable to opt for either road or rail to effectively enjoy the wonderful vistas offered by this region.

By Air – Bhuj, the central town in Kutch has daily flights from Bombay. Average flying time is 40 minutes from Bombay to Bhuj.

By Rail – From Bombay up to Gandhinagar via Ahmedabad, a special train called Kutch Express is available. From Gandhinagar, the destination is accessible via road

By Road – Accessibility via road is easy. Buses, both private and state transport, are available from Ahmedabad.

Where to Stay

Numerous hotels and resorts in Kutch provide a wide variety of housing options. Here are some suggestions:

JP Resort Kutch : Located in a serene corner of its own, the JP Resort provides a luxurious experience to it guests. It also features a conference hall and a restaurant and is perfect for official retreats.

Hotel Surbhi : Hotel Surbhi is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and those on a budget-holiday.

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