Traveling in a difficult topographical conditions, be it a desert or Rann of Kutch or mountains is different than traveling in normal places. In one of my blog, I have given my experiences traveling in Thar Desert, Rajasthan. .Here is my experience traveling through the Rann of Kutch during 1965.
Rann of Kutch is a unique geographical feature on Earth. It is the largest salt desert in the world- flat desert of salt clay spread thousands of Kilometer squares in area and large in length in East West direction while less wider in North South direction. There are no road, no sign posts or marks to guide the route of our travel; no trees, no bushes , just flat deserted topography.
It was around May in 1965 when I was supposed to take some ONGC vehicles ( jeeps ) after getting them repaired from Anjar to Baroda . One of Auto mechanic and one Jain family expressed their wish to travel with me to visit Shankeshwar Parasnath Temple in Morbi.Morbi is on the other side of the Rann We were supposed to travel through Rann of Kutch, I thought a local family from Kutch and an Auto mechanic would be good help and guide for this part of the journey., so I found this a good opportunity to take them along. I felt save and secured in the company of these local people.
We started our journey around 10 AM in the morning, reached Bhachau by road . The rann starts right from Bhachau ; Government has put a big warning sign board saying that now the Rann starts,; you are at your own risk to be lost on the way as there are no roads, no guiding signs or land marks etc; take enough water as it would be very hot and dry during the journey; store enough petrol in case you are lost on the way and you have to extra miles; get out of the Rann area before the dark especially if you are traveling during high tide period as the land might become wet and marshy and it would be difficult for you drive;
We started our journey with fear and excitement. We had no cell phones or means of communication in case we need to call some one for help. Well, these local people might have traveled a few times before, had some rough idea of the direction though not sure.
There is nothing to describe of the Rann ecxept the feeling that we were traveling in wast and wide area with no boundaries; the day was very hot; the land was almost flat and the same during the whole journey. It is really scary in case you are lost without navigational and communication means. Once lost, difficult to know as where you are? and how to get out; or if there is breakdown of the vehicle ?? For our good luck, we could cross the Rann before the dark and not very much out of the way to catch a road for our onward journey.
Of recently, Government of Gujarat has introduced ” Rann Utsav”
you may find details: http://www.rannutsav.net/rann-of-kutch/
There are several tourist agencies who conduct tours tours through the Rann. They have guided tours, modern facilities of hospitality and many other site seeing; in another picture, you may see a Rann Riders Resort in Dasada.
Picture above shows our family friend, Janak Patel who recently visited Rann of Kutch
(Februray, 2015); Perhaps he was very near to some village.
I must thank Dr Janak Patel for sending these pictures of his recent visit to Little Rann of Kutch.
Rann of Kutch – see the meeting of the sea with the land .When the high tide is there every evening, then the water enters the land; Here a boat also has entered the land; next morning , the water recedes and land looks like that. Here the boat is stuck on the land.