My first thought on meeting LRK( Little Raan of kutch)- By all evidence we are in this part of the world to do nothing…..We encountered Nothingness the moment we stepped into the Raan…It felt so silent….It was kind of scary !
Welcome to The LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH – the word ‘little’ is a misnomer as this (Raan) desert is not at all little ! LRK is a marsh land in Gujarat…It is famous for its Gaddhe or Wild ASS( Khur). It is the only place in the world,where this handsome animal is found galloping around in glory…..
The area is plain dry, vegetation is sparse..Flora is almost zero,but the place is rich in Fauna..Specially during winters our (videshi feathered mehmaan) migratory birds troupe the place…waterbirds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards. It is also home to various unique mammals apart from wild ass such as the Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), desert fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) and nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)….
I shall share the details of how and what to see at Little Rann of Kutch…We started our new venture early as the distance between Ahmadabad and Little Rann of Kutch is around 180 kms. We were on road at around 5:00 Am and reached our destination enjoying a lazy drive at around 11:00 AM. We crossed a place called Patdi, Fort wall remains and grand archaic gates advocated its royal past…On returning back, thanks to (Google baba) I found the following…Patdi is a town and former princely state on Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat. Patdi used to be an estate in Jhalawar prant of Eastern Kathiawar under the rule of (rare) Kunbi Chieftains, styled (Desai) Darbar.source-Wikipedia
Moving ahead,….Our First destination…
Rann Riders(http://www.rannriders.com/). It is a Motel…The only place that we could locate ,where decent food(non veg)/Water/Restrooms/Rooms were available..It is a themed resort…the cottages are made like ‘Kuba’ houses( Huts made of mud)..one can get a feel of real life of a kutchi…(unfortunately I lost most of the pics…courtesy my toddler..She does not let me touch my phone these days..She has denied me access to my own mobile phone..)
Kuba house @ Rann Riders..
Anyways I was lucky, as my husband clicked a few pics of LRK from the ordinary camera that we own…We took the lunch buffet ..After (pet pooja), we were becoming impatient for the safari to start..It happened around 3:00pm…Open Jeeps are available with them, We hired one from Raan Riders @4550/- (Advice – Make pre booking with rannriders for food/safari)
Second destination – zaniabad village...
Before entering the desert, One has to take permission from a govt check post located in this village. After doing all the formalities and paying a sum of 500/- we entered the ‘ not so little Raan’….
There we encountered a mob ( all pretty little girls)..They were all so curious and chirpy. They wanted to know my darling’s name..in seconds the air around was filled with their echos.. MISHI… MISHI… MISHI !!! ( I was happy to see them so happy !)
Third and our final destination LRK…
we kept taking pics to our hearts content !
Long sheets of Cracked parched land was all that we could see…Occasionally we could spot a few cactus species sprouting ..That is the main source of food for Nilgais and Wild Ass..
I kept nagging that I could see huge water body at a distant end, where the land was touching the sky..My driver simply told me ‘Madam you are experiencing chalawa( Mirage)’
Little Raan of kutch has a light brown , to be precise sandy shade unlike Great Raan of Kutch..that is completely white ! This part of land has its own beauty ….You will feel ‘Nothing’ in front of the huge empty before your eyes . It is indeed an unique occurrence
No car honks, No planes, No pollution, No human over-explosion, No buildings, No cars, No roads,No vegetation…The feeling of nothingness is what we experienced at this Rann…The feeling to be alone and be content with your past ,present and future…and while all this was brewing inside us and we were trying to quite my overexcited daughter so as, not to spoil the tranquil outside….She was the first one to spot it ..She referred to it as HORSE !!!( That is the only word,till date that she uses to call any animal).
we got the darshan of The great Indian WILD ASS ( My daughters horse !)
We spotted a few Nilgais…saw few birds( migratory ones ) at a distance…Satisfied we were back to our Camp site by 6:00 Pm. Had a little snack and it was time to go home….
There is a famous hindi proverb “mushkil ke waqt gaddhe ko bhi baap banana Padta hai”..Sadly the common donkeys( gaddhe) have a very low status in our society ( compared to other four legged animals)…Certainly these donkey’s of LRK belong to a different world…and it was worth spending on these handsome Gaddhes…