Rann Utsav, a cultural extravaganza carpeted on the sandy dunes of Kutch, Gujarat, is a 3 month long festival and is a fusion of heritage, arts, music, literature and celebrations put together under the blue shades of the full moon. Step into this New Year with an enthralling experience as the festival holds your hands to make your way for a glorious New Year.
About the Place:
Rann in Hindi means the desert; contextually a ‘Marsh of Salt’; Thus, Rann of Kutch is a vast expanse of salt marsh and is a part of the Thar Desert, with some part of it extending into Sindh, Pakistan and is essentially divided into Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch.
Every year, travelers from across the globe flock between varied periods of this festival to become a part of this vibrant extravaganza. Every traveler with his own reason; some for the New Year celebrations and some for the Kite Festival and some, for the Desert Safaris and Camel Rides.
The Rann Utsav 2015 begins from 01 December 2014 and will continue up to 07 March 2015. The three month long festival hosts numerous events such as New Year celebrations in December, Kite Festival in January, and will culminate with the Holi Celebrations (The Festival of Colours) in March. Here’s what you can consider doing while you plan to spend your New Year on the ‘Rann.’
Go for a Camel Safari:
Enjoy the misty dunes along with the chill of the air as you shake your body with the camel rides. Camel rides are an essential part of this tour as the most traditional way of moving around in the desert.
Feel the Adrenaline Rush with Adventure Sports:
Camel is not the only means of transport here. If you are not the ‘slow and steady’ type, then don’t worry. There’s something for you too. Pump your spirits with the dirt-biking and parasailing activities here.
P.S. I can see that smile on your face already!!!
Shop till you drop:
Time for that ‘souvenir’; Kutch is known for its handicrafts and for majority of the locals, it is a tradition passed over from one generation to the other. Not only is it a part of the Indian homes, but also adds to the glory of the houses overseas. Intricate and exquisite, every piece is crafted with genuine involvement and care, with the family traditions and culture poured into them.
Hunt for the hand-woven embroideries, hand block prints such as Ajrakh, Batik and Rogan prints crafted out on wall hangings, rugs, carpets and cushions. Take home a masterpiece by looking out for some delicately carved out wooden artefacts such as the wooden utensils, furniture, show pieces, jewellery boxes made of Teak wood and the local Bahuv wood.
Gift your loved ones this year with some exclusive silver items, pen-knives and nut-crackers, iron or copper show pieces or sea-shell toys; and finally, do not forget to grab and take home the colourful Bandhini Sarees, a style which this region boasts of.
Relax and Rejuvenate at the Yoga and Meditation Centre:
Tired of carrying all the shopping bags; then take a break and go relax and rejuvenate yourself for the better part of the journey at the Yoga and Meditation Centre.
Try your hands on the traditional Gujarati dresses and taste the exotic cuisines. The food is essentially vegetarian and people here practice strict vegetarian food habits. Tea is enjoyed by all irrespective of caste, creed or social status; however, black tea is only consumed during mourning practices.
Go Camping and Bonfire:
With more than 350 camping sites available at the festival venue, Rann of Kutch can be like being on a desert hike trip for you. And especially in the evenings, as the full moon spreads its bluish hue across the sky, the chill in the air, the music and dance, form a perfect reason for a bonfire. Keep your cameras ready as you will never get this silhouette again.
Shake to the tunes of music as the chill air is filled with the melody of Sufi and Folk Songs. Get to know the traditional percussion and musical instruments of India such as the Bhorrindo, Manjira, Morchay, Jodi Pava and Rava.
Participate in the traditional dances like the Dandiya Rass and the Garbha dances and be a part of the live musical concerts.