Colours of the white desert

Issue 06, 2020

Colours of the white desert

India Perspectives |author

Issue 06, 2020

The annual Rann Utsav that is held in the salty marshes of Gujarat’s Kutch district is a spectacular display of the state’s indigenous art and craft, cuisine, folk traditions and traditional way of life

A panoramic view of the tent city at Dhordo, a small village situated on the edge of the Rann of Kutch. Semi-luxurious with such amenities as air conditioners, heaters and state-of-the-art restrooms, these tents host guests attending the Rann Utsav

A bright mela (fair) is organised to celebrate the annual festival near the tent city. This fair offers guests a glimpse of Gujarat’s vibrant culture, indigenous decorative arts, cuisine and handloom traditions

Local women apply a fresh coat of mud to a hut in the Dhordo village. As a part of the overall Gujarati experience, visitors are offered accommodation in these traditional circular thatched huts known as bunga or bhunga

The bunga huts are painted with bright colours that present a contrast to the surrounding landscape. The roofs are constructed with bamboo sticks tied with dried grass rope and topped with another thick layer of dried grass

Gujarat’s myriad folk traditions are one of the highlights of the Rann Utsav. Artistes from across the state attend this festival to showcase their rich folk culture, art and traditional costumes

As beautiful as they are from outside, the interiors of bunga huts boast ornate decorations and comfortable sitting arrangements. These huts are considered as engineering marvels as they control the internal temperature – keeps the hut cool during summer and vice-versa

Figurines of flamingos welcomed visitors to the fair area of the 2015-16 edition of the Rann Utsav. The greater flamingo, the state bird, breed in the Great Rann of Kutch  in August

A beautifully-decorated chakda. A three-wheeled mode of transport,  it is popular in the villages of Kutch and Saurashtra and can carry more than 10 passengers at a time. A ride on this indigenously-crafted vehicle is an experience not to be missed at the festival

Gujarat’s  annual International Kite Festival also coincides with the Rann Utsav. Rann of Kutch is one of the several venues of the kite festival. For more information on travel, visit:

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