A bright start to 2018 with Super Moon in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

New years are special, what could make it more special? A full moon. A Super moon? The largest and brightest super moon of the year on the New Year day! Which is very rare and super special, and it deserves to be celebrated in an equally unique and intriguing way. We decided to go to one of the most unique places, where all can come together. So we packed our bags and set on to the place we’ve been waiting to go for a long time. The one and Only Great  Rann of Kutch ! It was the perfect place as everything aligned properly for the unforgettable New Year beginning!

Rann means Desert, The Rann of Kutch is a large area of salt marshes located mostly in Gujarat, India and the southern tip of Sindh, Pakistan. It is divided into two main parts; Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch. Together it is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. In India’s monsoon from June to September, the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, fills with standing water which then gets evaporated for the rest of the year. The saline crust then crystallizes and forms the never ending Salt desert. This makes the Rann a very unique place. This is one of the hottest areas of India as the tropic of cancer passes through from a few Kms of the Rann of Kutch.

On New Year day we were travelling for about all night and finally by noon checked in at our resort where the rooms are actually Kutchi Bhungas. The dry hot landscape and the mud bhungas are just brown. And they are decorated with colorful paintings and inlaid glassworks which truly represents the Kutch. Everyone and everything is dressed in bright colors and shiny embellishments. By evening we reached the Rann just in time for the sunset and Moon rise.

It is about two kms from the entry point and we could see that there was just a distinctive white line against the brown muddy land with a lot of dots as we entered the path that leads to the white Rann. There are Camel/Horse carts available for those who cannot walk for a mere fifty rupees per head for one way. As we got closer, we could see that those dots are actually people against the White Rann. It was indeed surreal to witness the shear simplicity of the place where everything is just white.

The immaculate white land stretches as far as eyes can see, making it seem like there is just the blue sky and the white stretch below. Then the sunset starts. The Sun goes down in all its glory by splashing the hues of reds, oranges and yellow over the sky. It slowly turns purple and eventually into nothingness and the white salty land and the sky turns grey as the light disappears from the horizon. Everything becomes darker by the minute. There is not much to do when you are left with no Phone signal aka No Internet or connectivity, at a desert. Phones are majorly used as a torch apart from the use of camera as there is no light, natural or artificial. As it grows quiet and cold, time slips and slowly the mottled moon rose over the horizon in a very very subtle and calm manner in a stark contrast to the grand sunset which happened just a while ago. The flashes from the mobile phones and camera shutters faded away along with the human silhouettes and moon drew our complete attention. It was a sight to behold. The time and the world around you would melt away and it would feel as though its just you and the Majestic moon and Nothing else exist or matter.

The temperature drops dramatically after the sunset and before long you are cold and taken out of your daze from the moonrise. We reached back to our warm Bhungas and settled in after a warm Kutchi Meal.

The next day morning, we rose early and reached the Rann, this time we chose to walk the stretch as it was comparatively less crowded. After about 10 to 15 mins walk, all bundled in our winter wear, the moon began to set as we reached the White Rann. It was amazing to witness the calming moon slowly fade away and set on one side and in the exact same time the spectacular sun rising from the horizon and fill the land with its golden light. we felt the sunlight enveloping around as we feel its warmth.

No amount of words can describe it except to actually experiencing it. The landscape tests your mental and Physical limits with the coldness and the No connectivity and forces you to reevaluate your priorities and retrospect as you walk on the crunchy salt. After all It was an experience of a lifetime.

It is very essential to pack all your winter essentials along with sunblock and moisturisers as its a dry cold desert. Drink plenty of water in sips and dress up in layers. The weather can be extremely hot during summer and bitter cold during winter, so Its advisable to pack accordingly and check the weather forecast before packing.

All images and content are copyright protected to Travel Tales by Srivatsan.

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