Rann of Kutch
The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometres (2,897.78 sq mi) in size and is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world.This area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people.
The Great Rann of Kutch, along with the Little Rann of Kutch and the Banni grasslands on its southern edge, is situated in the district of Kutch and comprises some 30,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River in southern Pakistan. The marsh can be accessed from the village of Kharaghoda in Surendranagar District.
In India’s summer monsoon, the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, which average 15 meters above sea level, fills with standing water. In very wet years, the wetland extends from the Gulf of Kutch on the west through to the Gulf of Cambay on the east.
There are sandy islets of thorny scrub, forming a wildlife sanctuary and a breeding ground for some of the largest flocks of greater and lesser flamingos. Wildlife, including the Indian wild ass, shelter on islands of higher ground, called bets, during the flooding
This is one of the hottest areas of India – with summer temperatures averaging and peaking at 49.5 °C. Winter temperatures reduce dramatically and can go below 0 °C (32 °F).
The Government of Gujarat hosts an annual 3 month long festival during winter called the “Rann Utsav festival of the Rann” where tourists can see the various sights of the Rann.
Rann Utsav gives visitors not only a chance to experience full moon on salt deserts but also get a taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house tourists to give them a taste of local traditions. Many adventure clubs and travel clubs organize expeditions.