I took a pinch of it and tasted… Yes the salt was literal rather than proverbial.
The great white desert of the Rann of Kutch have been overexposed and over publicized of late. I had seen far too many photographs and adverts to expect any novelty from the place. I was just there to add one more important point to my traveller’s CV. But when I finally arrived there, left my car and plunged into that sea of whiteness, it took me some time to get accustomed to it. It was a view so unlike anything I’d seen before that my senses required some time to grasp the full extent of this terrain.
I had already seen the aerial view from the Kalo Dungar. But now I was right in the midst of the White Rann. The car passed the Dhordo village and the large complex of permanent as well as temporary accommodations recently built for the Rann Utsav and finally after the security clearance, we hit a patch of road that looked more like the runway of an airport. This strip lets you drive through the rann for a while and eventually ends at a broad platform after which nothing but the white desert if visible till the horizon.
I guess they used normal soil to build this road. So, on the edges of the road, the soil mixed with the salt created a reddish brown hue.
Anyways, after the initial exhilaration, I was no longer too kicked by the whole experience. Firstly since it was a hurried trip and I could never get to any of the local villages. Secondly, the whole Rann Utsav, a festival designed to boost tourism looked awkward to me. Too many man-made structures and too many people just failed to provide the epic desolation I was hoping for. This is why I am also not writing lengthy details or guides for visiting the place as I usually do. Nevertheless, it was not the main objective of my trip. I’m glad to share that I had a more interesting trip to Dholavira and I’ll be back with the details soon.
The The Great Rann of Kutch: Postcards from the White Desert by The Travelling Slacker, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.