White Desert, Bhuj Overview

Also known as the Great Rann of Kutch, the White Desert is a vast area of pristine white salt desert often explored for its natural beauty and ecological importance. It is also called the world's largest salt desert which stretches from the mouth of River Indus to the Gulf of Kutch.

The contrasting landscape of the White Desert is one of a kind in India and draws tourists in large numbers. Besides being a filming location for several Bollywood movies, the White Desert of Kutch is strongly scrutinised as it lies on the northern India-Pak border. The White Desert is cited with numerous sanctuaries for wildlife, floral and wetland preservation.

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Rann Utsav at the White Desert of Kutch

Generally celebrated between November or December and February, Rann Utsav is more of a cultural welcome into the new year. A colourful festivity attracting over 8000 to 9000 tourists globally, the Rann Utsav is not only a platform for vibrant cultural performances but an extravagant carnival in itself.

Numerous travel packages are available during these three months, especially for the newlyweds. From camel rides and concerts to exclusive children's play arena and shopping, the Rann Utsav also opens up to adventure sports such as paragliding and ATV. The festival also lays out an array of sightseeing packages that would cover most of the prominent parts of the city. 

The Ecological Significance of the White Desert

Encompassing the Great Rann of Kutch, the Banni Grasslands and the Little Rann of Kutch, the Kutch district expands between India and Pakistan with a landmass of about 30,000 sq. km. The White Desert of Kutch, a part of the Thar Desert in Kutch is famously known as the Rann of Kutch. It is a combination of both the Great Rann and the Little Rann of Kutch.

A basin for river Indus, the White Desert of Kutch evaporates between November and February, thus giving way to its extensive salt-induced land. It is during this white-washed period that the famous Rann Utsav is held on the White Desert of Kutch, which is also among the largest salt deserts of the world. 

Since the White Desert here has a cyclical change of soil, vegetation is quite inconvenient and cannot be actively carried out throughout the year. The women of this part of Kutch make money out of jewellery making and embroidered clothing, which is sold as the fashionable Kutch attires. 

How to Reach the White Desert of Kutch

The White Desert of Kutch is quite far off from the city centre, about 45 to 54 km, which can be accessed via approximately an hour-long drive. The closest airport to the desert is the Bhuj Airport, which is around 83 to 85 km away. This distance can be covered by an hour and a half drive.

The nearest railway station is also located in Bhuj, about 85 km from the White Desert. Travellers can reach the desert via a 90-minute taxi or self-drive from the Bhuj Railway Station. There are a couple of bus stands in Bhuj, all of which are at least 80 km away. Some of the bus stations are found at Ghanshyam Nagar, Sanskar Nagar, Madhapar, Lal Tekri and Gayatri Colony. 

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