A Bike Ride to Great Rann of Kutch – Day 1

Over the last 3 days, I have travelled 1,200 km riding pillion on my father’s Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. It was my Rann of Kutch ride. I am a new resident of Gujarat and had heard a lot about the Rann and the wonders it has to offer. A visiting family friend had recommended the famous Rann Utsav. So when my father suggested a 3 day trip to the Rann of Kutch, I immediately agreed.

A Bike Ride to Great Rann of Kutch - Day 1
Image Credit: Harshita Chaarag

I was prepared for a broken back, terrible connectivity which would leave me dead to the world for these 3 days and hunger pangs to rival the mythical Kumbhkaran. But what I encountered was the exact opposite experience.

A long yet pleasent journey

We started at seven thirty from Ahmedabad and six and a half hours later we reached Bhuj. Along the way we passed by Morbi, which is popular for its windmill. Being a big fan of sustainable development, the sights of more than a 100 windmills was a heavenly one for me.

Immediately we set off for the White Rann and we made it there in an hour and 45 minutes. The roads weren’t half as shabby as I had expected; in most places they were rather good.

A vibrant welcome at Rann of Kutch

When we entered the White Rann, we were surrounded by local men and women in traditional Gujarati clothes. They had with them carts for carrying passengers pulled by horses and camels.

A Bike Ride to Great Rann of Kutch - Day 1
Image Credit: Harshita Chaarag

The carts were colorfully done up with traditional decorations. I had a sense of having traveled back in time. The only thing missing was the flora. The White Rann has very little to no vegetation.

Beauty in the Barren

As we walked from the entry point to the main viewing area, the landscape gradually changed from brown to white land. 

Correction: white salt land. There was no sand or mud. It seemed to be an endless expanse of crystallized salt and nothing else.

There is a triple story tower to allow the visitors to see farther into the White Rann. Standing atop it, the wind was so strong that I couldn’t get one picture without my hair blowing into my face.

We decided to walk into the Rann as far as we had the energy to and see where it took us. The viewing tower was jam-packed with people, so going into the wild, with nothing except each other for company seemed the correct decision.

A Bike Ride to Great Rann of Kutch - Day 1
Image Credit: Harshita Chaarag

And what a wonderful decision it was. As we walked farther away and the number of people in our vicinity thinned, we entered a part of the Rann which was untouched.

Untouched by lovers who had scratched each other’s names into the surface (an ever present feature in Indian monuments) and desi uncles who spit chewing tobacco (another ever present feature). This part of the Rann was nothing short of beauty.

An endless expanse of crystallized salt making for a white surface that crunched under the feet met us.

After walking for about 45 minutes we reached a small water channel.

A Bike Ride to Great Rann of Kutch - Day 1
Image Credit: Harshita Chaarag

The water here was green and oh, so beautiful! The water channel made it impossible for us to walk any further. We spent about half an hour there, enjoying the silence and breathing in the beauty of the Rann.

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Going back was easily one of the most difficult decisions. The time constraint combined with the howling winds that threatened to take me with them was the deal-breaker. With heavy hearts, we made it back to our residence for the night.

The Rann of Kutch taught me 2 things. That there is beauty in even the barren and that solitude teaches you to discover yourself. 

In the next post, I will talk about the adventures of my second day at Lakhpat.

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