One day trip to Kutch is impossible? Are you the one who thinks that? Well, then you are at the right place. Kutch is highly promoted by Gujarat tourism in some or another way and Amitabh Bachhan- one of the finest actors in Bollywood is the brand ambassador for promoting Kutch. Kutch is a massive land of a desert on one end and sea on the other. The amalgamation of both is what we call Kutch. Kutch is a diverse land and I decided to take one day trip to Kutch because of the sung Rannutsav that held every year for a specific period. It usually starts in November and ends in February. People from around the globe visit Tent city just to enjoy the marvellous hues of colour that the natural beauty of Earth creates. I don’t know, how was it unnoticed to date. Gujarat needs more tourism awareness to divulge such splendid spots that lays in its womb. As is the tagline for Kutch, ‘Kutch nahi dekha to kuch nahi dekha’ and trust me it is apt. when you land onto the salt that spreads on the unending land that meets paradise, you feel an armistice of mind and you would easily spend hours there to get a glimpse of the sun and the moon.
The tent city is erected for a specific period, later which there is nothing but infinite land and hot air. However, hypothetically Kutch is supposed to be visited for a specific period only. You would not find any habitation at all. During the month of the monsoon, the land is engulfed by the Arabian sea later which is a surreal experience. The place where you once stood and captured lifetime moments is submerged in the sea. This experience gives goosebumps for sure. If you want to plan an easy one day trip to Kutch, you can opt for Rannustav that allows you peace of mind, only if you want to enjoy the festival. But I am a kind of adventurous person trips are not memorable if you just have to relax, enjoy and get set for your routine. I wanted to see other beauties as well. So, we planned to stay in Bhuj. It is one hour and 42 minutes drive from the White desert of Kutch. Trust me, the drive was all worth it. You can spot the grazing land of the cattle that are mostly buffaloes, sheep and goats. Cows are depleting from the dry land slowly.
However, it is mandatory to get a permit to enter the desert area. Well, we wanted to visit kalo dungar too. A physical check post is set up at Bhirandiyara village but due to heavy rush, the queue was long which further probed them to go for an online permit. You can get your permit online through www.rannpermit.com. There is a minimal fee of INR 100 for people adults and INR 50 for kids below 12. Also, a minimal charge of 50 for a four-wheeler is taken. After giving the required documents and charges you can enter the desert area that covers many villages and most importantly white desert. Check post timings are 10 am to 5 pm.
We had to manually take the permit as we were not aware of online but online saves time. You must do that if you are visiting the Desert area.
The first point to visit in Desert- Kalo Dungar (Black mountain)
Before heading for the White Desert, we wanted to visit Kalo Dungar as it is a place that is not supposed to be missed at any cost. You pass many villages like Khavda and Ludiya that are well known for handicraft. But if you are having limited time, head straight forward to Kalo Dungar. After driving for a while, you will see a notice board that says “TROPIC OF CANCER IS PASSING FROM HERE’. Don’t miss that board on your way to Kalo Dungar. The board is utter pleasing because we have only read in Geography books till date, isn’t it? Later, the climb of the hill is steep and the driver needs to be cautious enough.
A most important point of Anti-gravity
People have experienced this. Vehicles would tend to run at the speed of 80 kph, I say 80 because we experienced 80 kph against gravity. Our car climbed hills at that speed on neutral. You can try this. Turn off the engine and stand at the place where it is said anti-gravity point. You would notice vehicles running backwards and that too climbing slopes. This is something magical but it is said, there is a magnetic field that pulls vehicles. Well, there are differences in opinion for scientists too but this is a point to experience.
The rider would enjoy the feel of the hill and the stormy cool wind. Kalo dungar has a sight to behold. I never wanted to live in that place but the time frame was all we had. Take your vehicle to the last point where you can. You can take it straight away to the spot where the Dattatreya temple is rooted.
Dattatreya temple and the story behind
Dattatreya temple is a 400-year-old temple. There is a legend that says God Dattatreya stayed there and during his stay he used to feed jackals with food. Following the same ritual to date, priests prepared offerings of cooked rice for jackals for centuries. However, if you are lucky enough you get to spot the jackal eating the prasad. Temple is well maintained and gives you divine energy when you step in it. As it is said, every particle speaks, a place gives you peace of mind. This place does. Well, you would be greeted by many local folks who would run behind you for turban tying. If you want to enjoy the local feel and enjoy the moments, you should try. It cost INR 20 and you can grab some beautiful moments. Camel ride can be enjoyed at this place too. The way to the viewpoint has many stalls that sell local crafts and also you would find few stalls that offer Maggie and ganne ka juice. (sugar cane juice).
The viewpoint is amazing and doesn’t forget to take a selfie with the guy who sits on the steps playing the sitar to give you instagrammable picture/ selfie. He is quite famous on Instagram. Ah! the breeze I felt on reaching the top was stunning. You can spot the last army post as Pakistan is the next destination and also you can catch the glimpse of the India bridge that is just a few kilometres away. Wait, if you cannot spot with your naked eye, you would see guys with binoculars running behind to help to enjoy the view. A charge is minimal and if you are a group, they even bargain. Time? The time, they give is unlimited.
Take magical pictures, capture moments and enjoy the breeze. Well, Kalo dungar is the highest peak of Kutch.
Later, head straight away for White desert
You can make sure to visit the White Desert by 4 or 5 o clock as before that it would be really hot. You would notice BSF checking your permit at entries and later, you would be headed to the desert. Don’t forget to take a camel cart or horse cart. They will take you a lit bit deeper and it is the most convenient way. I know, most people are courageous enough to walk down to enjoy the peace of nature and the desert but that would be amazing when you go in but when you are supposed to come out it is all dark everywhere and you would repent. We took a ride mid-way because we were enthusiastic enough to walk but trust me it is a bit deeper than it looks like.
Take a camel cart ride which goes around INR 800 for the whole cart. It is a two-way ride. You can enjoy your moments in the desert and call the man when you want to live. We met the happiest old man there.We stayed till the sunset as we wanted to see the moon rise. I saw the size of the moon as if I am watching it from somewhere in space. It was massive. You can check the moon rise in the place and direction to spot the very rise of the moon. Don’t leave the salted desert before watching the moon rise. You if do, you are missing major sight.
We covered both of these amazing spots in a day and returned to Bhuj by night. Kutch is amazing but if you have less time in hand, these are the places in Kutch that are not to be missed at any cost.