As our car made way to the Little Rann of Kutch, it was evident that this is a unique and eclectic piece of India. LRK (as locals refer to it) is spread over 5000 square kilometres in Gujarat. The word ‘Rann’ refers to a salt marsh and the word ‘Kutch‘ denotes something which gets wet or dry very quickly – aptly named as LRK remains submerged during the monsoons and becomes arid and dry during the summers. Interestingly, ‘Kutch’ is also the Sanskrit word for a tortoise – with the flat region appears tortoise-shaped when viewed aerially.
So, here are my top things to do in Little Rann of Kutch. First things first, book your flight to Ahmedabad city and start planning your holiday.
Ancient Ruins at the entrance of the Little Rann of Kutch / Gitika Saksena
Top Things to do in Little Rann of Kutch
1. Chase the relentless mirages
As I made my way into the Little Rann of Kutch, the vast expanse appeared infinite in all directions. It is recommended that you explore Rann of Kutch with an experienced guide or local, otherwise once inside the desert, there are absolutely no landmarks for you to navigate your way through and back.
The unyielding expanse of the LRK / Gitika Saksena
The best time to visit is sunrise or sunset when the stretch is covered in a golden hue. The sights left you spellbound, invoking a sense of introspection on perhaps how insignificant we are in this universe.
I booked a guide through Bhavna Farms & Resorts near Little Rann of Kutch. The guide cum driver took the group for a two-hour long safari on a pick-up truck. Amazing fun!
2. Spot the Salt Pans
On our safari, we came across various salt mounds painstakingly ploughed by the locals.
Ploughing the salt / Gitika Saksena
In LRK, underground water reacts with the mineral-rich soil to produce salt of the highest (96%) purity. While salt production has sustained the local livelihood for many centuries, it gained prominence during the British Raj which used the revenues to fund its military expenditure.
3. Capture the elusive wild ass, desert fox, hyenas and jackals on camera
The Little Rann of Kutch is as famous for its landscape beauty as it is for housing diverse wildlife. A trip itinerary to LRK should include the wild ass sanctuary. Migratory birds, especially flamingos, pelicans, cranes et al also visit the region every winter, it serves as a breeding ground.CC BY-SA 3.0 / Asim Patel
4. Have a Dekko at the Chakkdo (or if adventurous, hitch a ride)
Chakkdo is an ingenious local invention! The eclectic contraption of a Royal Enfield bike and a vividly coloured bullock cart is used as a common mode of transport in these parts.
The brightly painted Chakkdos, as well as the colourful clothes worn by the locals, lend a bright, vivid contrast to the dry brown landscapes.Aboard a Chakkdo / Gitika Saksena
5. Meet the nomadic Rabadi tribes and admire their exquisite Rabari Bharat embroidery work
Your guide can help you plan a visit to the villages. I was warmly received by the families who proudly showed their handicraft work to me. The designs typically have an array of bright solid colours, with mirrors stitched in to ward off evil or bad luck. I could not resist picking up a piece.Rabadi Bharat embroidery. / Gitika Saksena
Tips for travelling to Little Rann of Kutch
Extend your trip to Rani ki Vav
About 100 km away is the Rani ki Vav – a heritage stepwell, famous for its exquisite stone carvings. Another must-see is Lothal – a Harappan period archaeological site. It was a major city of the Indus valley civilization in 3700 BCE. Lothal is about 130 km away.
Best time to visit
Where to stay
How to get there