10 Must Do’s on a Trip to Kutch, India

The Land of the White Salt Desert and exquisite art and craft, Kutch is a quiet haven though often overshadowed by neighbouring Rajasthan. If you are looking for lots of colour, generous doses of history, exquisite carvings, intricate art, flaming flamingos, flying cranes and different migratory birds, then Kutch, India is the ideal place for you !! The pristine beauty of nature comes alive in the warmth of the people, the delicious food of the land, colourful handicrafts and the haunting Kacchhi melodies.

The best time to visit is October to March and preferably plan the trip such that you are in the Great Rann of Kutch around the full moon. The white desert comes alive under the moonlight and the unending horizon merges into the moonlight. Rann Utsav is held every year between December and January portraying Kutch culture. In 2016-2017, Rann Utsav will be held between 25th Nov 2016 and 26th Feb 2017 and the 4 full moon nights are 29th November 2016; 29th December 2016,  28th January 2017 & 26th February 2017.

  • Wild Ass SanctuaryLittle Rann of Kutch is not too far from Ahmedabad (just about 2 hrs) is famous for the Wild Ass Sanctuary and the migratory birds from all over the world who arrive in droves in winter. The otherwise dull surrounding acquires a flaming red along the water bodies when the pelicans decide to flap their delicate wings. A 2 day visit to Little Rann is a precursor to the natural and man made wealth that lies ahead in the Kutch Region. Riding around the Rann, you will see the salt pans where salt is being made from the rich deposits in the soil.


  • Great Rann of KutchKutch is synonymous with the Great Rann of Kutch which stretches across India and Pakistan. “Love across the Salt Desert” which inspired the Bollywood movie Refugee is a nice read for anyone intending to romance the virgin white desert that stretches towards infinity. A moonlight night on the Kutch can perhaps unlock the answer to your existence in case you are seeking one. Visit the other nearby sanctuaries specially Chari Daand at dawn to watch the birds playfully move around in water.


  • Aaina Mahal BhujBhuj was nearly flattened by the devastating earthquake in 2001 but has bounced back beautifully. The entire area was the filming site of Oscar nominated Lagaan specially Prag Mahal. Nearby Aaina Mahal is a fading memory of one time grandeur. While most people tend to miss it,  make a stop over at the Royal Tombs or the Chattris in the middle of the city which are beautifully carved with minakari work. Hamirsar Lake may not be a hot favorite any longer but the migratory birds still find it attractive.


  • Mandvi-GujaratWalk on the beach in Mandvi, watch the birds and windmills rotating in circles above the cool water. Take a short camel ride towards the Vijay Vilas Palace and unleash the romantic in you. I dont particularly intend to hurt animals but some times these rides ensure that the animal is fed and taken care of.  The weather is great through the year and is a great place to spend half a day


  • Dholavira RoadDholavira has been recently excavated and identified to be a part of Indus Valley Civilization. It is in the corner of the Great Rann on the island of Khadir Bet. A visit to Dholavira is an archaeologists dream and for lay men it is an eye opener for the town planning that existed 5000 years ago. The black tarred road to Dholavira through the milky white Rann is a journey to remember. Stop if you can and feel the whiteness permeate through your being.


  • Kala Dungar KutchKala Dungar is the highest point in Kutch. On a clear day, the sun set point here offers breathtaking views of the Rann. If you are here in the morning, wait until noon to watch the Jackals being served by the temple priest. Combine a trip to Kala Dungar with India Bridge the closest border with nearby Pakistan and a visit to some of the handicraft villages on the way.


  • Kutch Fossil ParkKoteshwar, Narayan Sarovar and Fossil Park are towards the extreme west. The temple on the sea in Koteshwar and the Narayan Sarovar Lake have many legends associated. Koteshwar will remind you of Kanya Kumari in the extreme south of India though a little less crowded and with Naval forces presence. The Fossil Park closer to Bhuj in Nakhtarana is a great place to know about Kutch Fossils


  • Shaam e Sarhad Hodka, KutchStay in Eco Resorts and Home Stays and atleast one night in a mud house or Bhunga as it is locally called. The Bhungas are beautifully decorated with glass and mud art and some of them also have imprints of leaves and flowers that are made with cow dung. Rann Riders, Desert Adventures in Little Rann and Shaam -e-Sarhad, Devpur Home Stay in Great Rann and Bhuj are some of the most popular ones in the area. 


  • Rabari Woman EmbroideryVisit Handicraft Villages: A trip to Kutch is incomplete without a visit to a few handicraft villages and workshops. Some of the must visit places are Nirona (Rogan Art, Copper Bells, Lac Work), Nakhtarana (Tie and Dye), Khavda (Pottery), Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur (Block Printing), Dhordo and Hodka (Leather, Quilts, Mud Mirror). The women of the area weave magic with their fingers creating embroidery with such finesse that would put modern machines to shame. I did not know the variety and type of embroidery until I visited these places. Kala Raksha, Shrujan, Khamir are NGO’s who are specifically working in the region to revive and encourage art and craft.


  • Mandvi-GujaratEat Local : The cuisine of Kutch is an offshoot of Gujarati but has its own distinct flavours devoid of the overt sweetness of the traditional Gujarati dishes and overuse of tomato and onion like in the case of the other North Indian dishes. Indulge in local food specially the spiced chilly that is served with most meals and while your tongue may be on fire for a while but it will soon be tempered with the variety of curries and dals and the juicy jalebi. Try Osho in Mandvi for a first hand experience.
Travel Tips & Permit
  • Start the trip in Ahmedabad or Bhuj. All the sites mentioned here will take around 10 days to complete.
  • Ahmedabad to Little Rann via Patan and Modhera – Hire a Car for 2-3 days
  • Bhuj – Continue with the same car until Bhuj or come back to Ahmedabad and take a train/Volvo bus from Ahmedabad to Bhuj and then hire a local car for Bhuj and surrounds
  • If there are 3 or more people hire a car for the entire trip.
  • Being a border area, you need a permit to enter Great Rann of Kutch. The permit is available depending on the number of days stay at the check post on the way to the Rann after filling in a simple and submitting a copy of an identification document and showing the original for verification.
Travel Booking:

For Kutch Trip – Book Your Flight Tickets to Ahmedabad or Bhuj with Make My Trip

Related Posts for Kutch Details:

81 thoughts on “10 Must Do’s on a Trip to Kutch, India

  1. Pooja

    Hi Sangeeta, Really nice article. We will be travelling from Dwarka to Rann of Kutch then we will continue to Mount Abu. So should we stay in Bhuj/Hodka or is there any possibility to stay near Rapar? Also, we are planning just 2 days in Rann of Kutch, will that be enough?

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hi Pooja,
      Thank You for reading my blog. I would suggest you stay as close to Rann as possible since you have only 2 days in hand. Try for Shaam e Sarhad, Hodka or Toran. 2 days will be good for Rann of Kutch, Handicraft Villages and Bhuj Sightseeing and maybe a quick trip to Mandvi. The palace in Mandvi is awesome and you can watch Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam come alive from the terrace.
      Hope this helps.


    Hi Sangeeta..its my first time writing to U…Actually me and my husband are planning to visit kutch for just 3days..What do u suggest us to visit..??

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hi Nilakshi,

      Thank You for writing in. I assume you are referring to Great Rann of Kutch. It is not clear when and where you are landing. If you are flying or driving or taking a train to Bhuj then – spend the day around Bhuj, shopping in Bhujodi, Shroff Bazaar and travel to Mandvi in the evening. The beach is lovely and so is the food in Mandvi. Next morning drive into Great Rann of Kutch via Fossil Park, Nakhtarana and Nirona villages. Evening spend on the Rann of Kutch. Next day you can drive to India Bridge, Khavda etc and return to Bhuj for onward journey.


  3. Asgar

    Hey Sangeeta! Thank for Nice Post!

    Kutch is one of the best destination in Gujarat to visit. it’s a amazing place in gujarat. when we were at the white rann ok kutch its seems that land is covered by a big white “chaddar” 🙂

  4. Akshatha Bhat

    Hi Sangeeta,

    I am planning to travel to ahmedabad in october during navratri. I want to plan my trip with the minimum number of days possible. I want to visit rann of kutch n see flemingos. could you please suggest the best plan.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      I am not sure you can see Flamingo’s in October. The best place to see them is in Wild Ass Sanctuary – Little Rann of Kutch which is not too far from Ahmedabad. If you have time then visit Modhera and Patan during the day.
      Day 1 – Ahd to LRK via Modhera and Patan. Stay in Rann Riders or similar resort
      Day 2 – Morning drive to Wild Ass Sanctuary for Flamingo’s and Wild Ass
      Afternoon drive to Bhuj
      Day 3 – Bhuj to Great Rann of Kutch with Bhuj sightseeing or handicraft villages. Evening, in Great Rann of Kutch (White Desert)
      Day 4 – Great Rann of Kutch to Ahmedabad ( 7 hrs ) approx.
      Hope this helps.

  5. Varsha Pal

    Hello Sangeeta

    We are planning a trip to Rann Of Kutch in the month of November. Can you Please suggest us some good places to see there and What is the best time to visit Rann of kutch.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Thank you for visiting my blog. The best time is definitely around a full moon night. There are lots of places to visit around GRK and most of them are listed on my blog. Mandvi, Bhuj, Koteshwar, Narayan Sarovar, Dholavira, Handicraft Villages, Little Rann et al.

  6. harsh

    Hi sANGEETA.. v ELOBORATIVE .. can u suggest if I should do my own bookings and itinerary or take a package from rannutsav.net

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hey Harsh,

      I had decided my own itinerary and got bookings done through an agent. It totally depends on what you are looking for. I like my own freedom during travel making changes when required


  7. Sachin

    Hi Sangeeta,
    Thanks for such a lovely information.
    We are 3 people and planning a road trip to Kutch for 6 days from Delhi in the mid of September 2016,
    Kindly suggest how should we plan our trip to get most out of it.


    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hi Sachin,

      Thank You for writing in. I assume you are driving all the way from Delhi. Drive straight to Bhuj with a stopover in Rajasthan.
      1. Spend 1/2 day exploring Bhuj and then spend an evening in Mandvi exploring the palace and beach. Stay at Mandvi
      2. Drive to Koteshwar-Narayan Sarovar-Mata No Madh and reach GRK by evening. Spend the night in Dhordo or Shaam e Sarhad
      3. Next morning drive to India bridge, Kalo Dungar and head out to Little Rann of Kutch
      4. Spend the morning in the sanctuary for the wild ass and salt farming, not much birds at this time time of he year. Return to Ahmedabad after visiting Rani Ki Vav and Modhera.If you are okay to skip ahmedabad, head out to Delhi
      5. Ahmedabad City

      Warm Regards,

  8. Anju Rai

    Dear Sangeeta, Very informative article. I live inDdelhi. We ( self and husband are planning a trip to Ahmedabad and Kutch in late Jan 17. we plan to fly to Ahmedabad, and then hire a taxi which then drops us back to Ahmedabad airport.We plan to spend 3 days in Ahmedabad and have 3 -4days for kutch. I am very keen on shopping for textiles and the lovely embroidery work of Bhuj. Could you suggest where to stay, Bhuj or mandvi, and a rough itineary that covers all the must see things.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hi Anju,

      Thanks for writing in. I would suggest 2 days in Ahmedabad, 1 day in Little Rann of Kutch and 3 days in Bhuj-GRK.
      Day 1 – Ahd Arrive and Sightseeing
      Day 2 – Ahd – Take the Ahd City Walk from Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur in the morning. Sightseeing
      Day 3 – Ahd to LRK via Modhera and Patan (Check out the Patola Saree Workshop). Stay in Rann Riders
      Day 4 – Wild Ass Sanctuary and Birdwatching in the morning. Leave for Bhuj after lunch. On the way stop at Bhujodi Handicraft village for shopping. Stay in Bhuj
      Day 5 – Half Day Bhuj Sightseeing (Swaminarayan Temple+Mahals). Drive down to Mandvi and watch sunset in Mandvi. Return to Bhuj for night stay
      Day 6.- Bhuj to Great Rann of Kutch via Nirona Village and Kala Rakha/ Shrujan etc for handicrafts. Spend the evening in Rann of Kutch and stay in Shaam e Sarhad
      Day 7 – GRK to Ahd airport about 7 hours.

      Hope this helps. Regards,

      Day 5 –
      Day 4 –

  9. Argho Roy Choudhury

    I want to visit Kutch in march.Is everything better there during that time?can you please tell me the places for bird-watching in Kutch?.

  10. Ali Tinwala

    Hi Sangeeta
    Wonderful post! remember me joyful evening in Rann Utsav heald on 2014 🙂 Very glorious festival at Kutch. This year Kutch Festival will be starting on 1st November 2016 To 19 Feb 2016; I would like to suggest you to publish post about how to reach in Kutch Festival and places to visit during Kutch Rann Utsav. Here is Official Website for Rann Utsav http://www.rannutsavonline.com/

  11. Nilanjan Pande

    We are four person, from Kolkata planning to visit Kutch in this year during mid october preferably in a full moon. Could you please chalk out a trip plan for three days.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      This is an exhaustive plan for Kutch. You can drop what you want to

      Please plan your trip around 16th October if possible since it is Full Moon and Kutch Rann will be beautiful. 1 day sightseeing in Bhuj (Prag Mahal, Aaina Mahal), Museum, Bhujodi Handicrafts, Chhatris etc. Day 2- Do a day trip to Mandvi via the Jinalaya. Day 3- Travel to Koteshwar, Lakhpat, Mata No Madh, Narayan Sagar and on your way back turn into Great Rann of Kutch via Nakhtarana. You can visit the Fossil Park as well. See the beauty of Rann in the evening. Next day visit Nirona and other villages for handi crafts as well as Chadi Dand. Enjoy Rann in the evening. Next day leave for India Bridge and head to Bhuj. Happy to help if you need other information. Shaam e Sarhad, Toran, Dhordo Resort are places to stay in Rann of Kutch. If you are not into handicrafts then reduce 1 day in Rann of Kutch and travel to Dholavira.

  12. Dipesh pandya

    Hi I want to visit kutch in the month of October. Is it possible for you to let me no how I can plan my trip, we are group of 15 people, and we would like to plan our trip for 4 night 5 days. All of us will be coming from Mumbai.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Please plan your trip around 16th October if possible since it is Full Moon and Kutch Rann will be beautiful. Please take overnight train or flight to Bhuj. 1 day sightseeing in Bhuj (Prag Mahal, Aaina Mahal), Museum, Bhujodi Handicrafts, Chhatris etc. Day 2- Do a day trip to Mandvi via the Jinalaya. Day 3- Travel to Koteshwar, Lakhpat, Mata No Madh, Narayan Sagar and on your way back turn into Great Rann of Kutch via Nakhtarana. You can visit the Fossil Park as well. See the beauty of Rann in the evening. Next day visit Nirona and other villages for handi crafts as well as Chadi Dand. Enjoy Rann in the evening. Next day leave for India Bridge and head to Bhuj. Happy to help if you need other information. Shaam e Sarhad, Toran, Dhordo Resort are places to stay in Rann of Kutch. If you are not into handicrafts then reduce 1 day in Rann of Kutch and travel to Dholavira.

  13. Vineet

    Nice compilation. As it is said, the true beauty lies deep beneath the body. I feel it is truly a gem which is overlooked by many. Anyway !!! It is never too late to explorer.

  14. Gayatri

    I am planning to visit Kutch. I am travellign from pune and reaching Ahmadabad in morning. since that day I have 4 days.After that I want to return to Ankaleshwar, to visit relatives.

    Can you please list some places I must/can visit during journey to kutch from Ahmadabad?

    or any travel agency who can best plan my tour?


    1. Sangeeta Post author

      I am so sorry, just saw your message. Not sure if your trip is already over. You can contact North West Safaries – I had planned my trip with their help. Contact PH : 079 – 26302019 – 26308031

  15. Vinay Panchang

    Hello Sangeeta….
    I am Vinay, from Pune. I plan to drive to Kutch… can you please elaborate on the permit you mentioned about to enter the Rann of Kutch? I plan to go with my wife and my 8 month old baby boy.

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Hi Vinay,

      The permit is very simple. You can take the permit in your name. They require a photo id and a photo copy of the same. Unless it is a weekend, the queue is not that long. You will need to take it at the entry point of Great Rann of Kutch.

  16. Arun

    Nice Compilation , Really Nice to read through. i was in Gujarat Last feb and must say Kutch is one of the best places ,i have been to ..

  17. Arun

    We did rann of kutch, little rann of Kutch this year.. Here is the video documentary of it. This might be of interest to you

  18. shilpi

    V nice tour
    Thanx for such good info
    Is dere any travel agency u can sugest will plan my dis trip in frst week of march
    Wud like to explore kutch for sure

  19. AnujDeo

    First of all Thanks for this helpful post.
    I am a Solo traveler and I will be visiting Kutch-Rann for 2-3 days. I will hire a bike on rent from Bhuj.
    it would be great if you could suggest me the places to see nearby Great Rann in 2 days.
    I have also heard that there isn’t much to see & stay for 2 days, so is there any other place I can visit?
    I am mostly Interested in Dholavira & Wild Life Sanctuary.


    1. Sangeeta Post author

      Dholavira is very far from Great Rann and you will spend the day driving back and forth. You can drive around the Great Rann visit handicraft villages, India Bridge etc. For birding I would suggest Chadi Dand and Kutch Bustard, Narayan Sarovar, Banni Grasslands etc.

  20. Ankur Bhartia

    I and my few friends are planing to visit rann but i can only find that we need to do all the pre booking thru the travel agents by any chance can we do the booking directly or from where we can get the best deal.

    Please advice

    1. Sangeeta Post author

      I guess you mean Great Rann. Please book in Shaam e Sarhad, Dhordo or Toran Resort. All can be booked on line. The issue is sending a draft to them since they do not have Online Bank Transfer.

  21. Gauree

    Hi, can you tell me the an estimated budget for this trip? I’m a student and I want to explore Rann of Kutch on my own or with a few friends.

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  23. Anjali Dhingra

    First a fall, I would like to tell you that you have done a wonderful task and your write up seems to be amazing. Keep it up.
    Little Ran of Kutch: It is one of the best place to visit at least once in your lifetime.
    Planning to there and experience it all by myself. If anybody is interested please let me know. We can plan something out. Between I found this good deal online. Check it out.


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