A seasonal salt marsh situated in the Thar Desert, the Great Rann of Kutch covers 7,505 square miles in area. It spans between the Kutch district of Gujarat in India and the Sindh province of Pakistan and its northern boundary forms the International Border between the two countries. It is said to be one of the biggest salt deserts in the world. The Tropic of Cancer passes a few miles from the Rann of Kutch.
Due to it being a marshy area, Rann of Kutch makes for a breeding ground for large flocks of flamingos and also provides shelter to wild animals including the Indian wild ass.
Even though the marsh is in a protected area, it is still susceptible to losing its natural resources to grazing and salt extraction. To keep the flora and fauna preserved, various Wildlife Sanctuaries and wildlife conservation areas have been set up. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Banni Grasslands Reserve, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary are a few of those and are approachable from the city of Bhuj.
White salt desert speckled with an array of colors, distinctive shades of tradition and culture, a plethora of festivities all around!
Days are filled with a display of bright shades and designs in the form of the beautiful costumes the locals wear, from the women dressed in the most gorgeous of lehangas and arms adorned with silver bangles to turbaned men in either loin cloths or short skirts, this is a sight that will find a place in your heart and rest there forever. Evenings bring a multitude of colors as the sun sets followed by a star-lit sky – the stuff that dreams are made of! The heart melting notes of the Surando make the experience mystical.
The world around us is full of awe-inspiring and seemingly magical phenomenon. From stones sailing on dried mud to flowers blooming in the middle of a desert, there are many such fascinating occurrences that baffle our mind and compel us to take notice. Here are a few of such phenomenon from different parts of the world:
Flowering desert – Every few years, the barren desert of Atacama in Chile is bathed in the most beautiful colors of pink, purple and white amongst others when flowers bloom here. It happens due to a climatic process when unusually high rainfall leads to the water reaching the seeds and bulbs otherwise latent or dormant. This takes place between September and November.
Pororoca – Literally meaning ‘Great Roar’, Pororoca is a tidal bore that travels as far as 500 miles inland upstream on the Amazon River. It occurs when the tides of the Atlantic Ocean meet these roaring waves at the mouth of the Amazon River. These waves, that get as high as 4meters, are getting increasingly popular with surfers. The best time to witness this phenomenon is February and March.
India is known worldwide for its rich history, culture and traditions. People from many countries visit India to experience a different kind of life, a life that is racy in a relaxed sort of way. It has also become a hub for many adventure sports, especially white water rafting, wildlife safaris, trekking and mountaineering in the Himalayas, amongst others. While these adventures are done for the thrill and adrenaline rush, there are a few that one does only for the experience. Adventure Nation picks five such off beat Indian adventures for you that are not to be missed.
1. Snorkeling with Elephant Rajan in the Andaman – There was a time when swimming and snorkeling elephants were a regular sight in the Andaman Islands but now 63 year old Rajan is the only elephant left there that swims and snorkels in the sea. He is popular all over the world and has also featured in a Hollywood film called The Fall. People arrive at Havelock Island from world over to be a part of this enriching and unique experience. Rajan, like most other elephants, loves water and swimming with him is described as a magical experience by many. He is also a favorite subject for underwater photography.
Watch this video of Rajan swimming.
2. Road Trip to the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh – Located 27 kms from the city of Leh on the Leh-Srinagar highway, ‘Magnetic Hill’ has become a major tourist attraction. There is a signage on the roadside that asks people to park their vehicles in the box marked on the road. Once parked (engine off and in neutral), vehicles start to move uphill defying gravity. The hill is believed to have magnetic properties, so much so that it is said that aircrafts increase their altitude while flying above it. Even though scientists call it an optical illusion, it doesn’t stop the curious adventurous souls from wanting to experience it firsthand.
Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D’Souza, the Bangalore husband-wife pair, have redefined teamwork in motorsport by being the only couple to consistently win rallies across the country. Most recently, the duo topped the Rally Ndure (TSD) category at the 12th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm.
While India’s champion TSD rallyists could not find a strong footing at the Desert Storm, they were able to race on a sure pitch from the opening day – this, then, was a triumph based less on flamboyance than on endeavour and strategy. From the first stage of the six-day motorsport marathon, Satish and Savera worked on building up a strong lead and regularly left their competition far behind – by the time the last stage got under way, there was little chance of them getting caught.
Top honours in the Desert Storm made for a welcome change after a string of runner-up finishes in 2013, including in the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, the Mughal Rally, and the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare. So what made the difference in the sands of the Thar Desert? “The X factor,” said Satish, matter-of-factly. “Sometimes it makes you win. Sometimes nothing seems right.”