Kutch region in Gujarat, which is one of the major tourist spots in the state as well as the country, has an impression of being a distinctive land. It is a region that differs in celebrating prosperity on an exceptional parameter. Divided into two sub-regions, Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch, this fine-looking destination can be ideal for holidaying in India.
Visiting here would mean to transport oneself to a new world; where a wide ocean of salt surrounds one and not so high Aravallis create a mesmerising backdrop. Kutch is a treasure trove of culture that has branches of exquisite handicraft and melodious folk songs and foot-tapping folk dance. The delicacy at Kutch is such that it has a long-lasting impression on gastronomists. The flavours of Kutch are one of those that leave an indelible mark in one’s memory.
Overall, Kutch is a fascinating destination that boasts of a unique blend of scenic landscapes, rich heritage, and colourful traditions. The diversity of its landscapes, people, and customs is what makes Kutch an incredible destination that truly captivates the senses.
If you haven’t thought about visiting this beautiful destination in India yet, it is time that you should! Here is a guide to visiting Kutch and Bhuj which includes the list of things to do and see on your holidays and we hope it will enhance your Kutch experience.
Summary of The Top Things to Do in Kutch with The Names of The Places:
|Things to Do
|Where to Experience?
|Witness the Gorgeous White Salt Desert
|Great Rann of Kutch
|Visit the Highest Point in Kutch Region
|Go Back in History at Bhuj
|Witness the Rich Heritage of Kutch Region
|Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal
|Visit the Famed Film Shooting Location
|Vijay Vilas Palace
|Enjoy Camel Ride
|Experience the Interesting Mélange of Religion and Nature
|Trace the Evidences of One of the World’s Oldest Civilizations
|Find the Real Beauty of Kutch Culture in its Handicraft Village Tour
|Dhordo and Hodka
|Witness One of its Kind Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
|Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch
|Spot Black-headed and Brown-headed Gulls
|Visit The Medieval Capital of Kutch
|Spot Great Indian Bustard
|Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
|Visit The Largest Periodical Saline Wetlands
|Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
|Shopping Handmade Articles in The Markets of Kutch
|Bhujodi, Nirona, Dhamkada and Bhachau
Also Check Out Popular Gujarat Tourism Packages
Witness the Gorgeous White Salt Desert, Great Rann of Kutch
Sprawling in an area of 7,000 sq km, White Salt Desert in Great Rann of Kutch is a magical place as well as the top tourist attraction. Situated about 100 kms from Bhuj city, this white desert seems like a surreal place. One can enjoy camel riding here or else a long walk is enough to get one all excited. A relaxing place for the locals and one of the best romantic places in Kutch, you can see the local boys playing cricket here, whereas the couples enjoy walking hand in hand for a couple of miles. Watching the sun go down is probably the best thing to do here; the evening shots are simply worth capturing. The ideal time to visit the Great Rann of Kutch would be during the Rann Utsav, a state fair that celebrates the spirit of the Kutch region between October and February.
Note: Permits are required to enter the desert and the area nearby. Do not forget to carry sunglasses; it will help you see better when the sun is over the head.
Also Read: Popular Weekend Getaways in Gujarat
Visit Kala Dungar, the Highest Point in Kutch Region
At a short distance from Great Rann White Desert is Kala Dungar, another popular tourist destination in Gujarat. Also known as the Black Hill, with a height of 462 metres, it is the highest point of the Kutch region and it offers a panoramic view of the desert. Atop the hill is a Hindu temple known as Dattatreya that dates back to 400 years old. The top of the hill makes a wonderful vantage point to get the picture of the Great white desert, which by the way looks like an ocean from this point. Thus, if photography is your main motive, Kala Dungar is a must-visit in the holiday trip to Kutch.
Note: Kala Dungar or Kalo Dungar or Black Hill is probably the best spot from where you can capture the panoramic views of the Great Rann of Kutch. To avoid crowds, reach early in the morning.
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Go Back in History at Kutch Museum at Bhuj
If you are seeking additional knowledge on the history and culture of the Kutch region, then the place to visit on your Kutch sightseeing tour would be the Kutch Museum in Bhuj. Centrally located in the city, Kutch Museum is the oldest museum in Gujarat that was established in 1877. The museum has the largest collection of Kshatrapa inscriptions that date back to 1st century AD. Also, one can witness extinct Kutchi script and an attention-grabbing collection of coins (including the kori, Kutch’s local currency.) A small section of the museum is also devoted to tribal cultures; here ancient artefacts, folk arts and crafts and information about tribal people can be found. The museum exhibits embroidery, paintings, arms, musical instruments, sculpture and precious metalwork that once prevailed in the Kutch region.
Note: Kutch Museum remains open from 10:00 am to 1:00 am and 2:30 pm to 5:30 and the entry fee is INR 5. The place remains closed on every Wednesday and public holidays.
Also Read: Top Temples to Visit in Gujarat
Witness the Rich Heritage of Kutch Region at Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal at Bhuj
Not so far from the Kutch Museum are the royal heritages called Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal, the two best places to visit in Kutch. The two distinct buildings have the potential to take one back in history. Maintaining its royal look, these palaces are done in Indo-European style of architecture. The Aina Mahal as the name suggests has a hall that is replete with a number of giant size mirrors, each done exquisitely whereas, Prag Mahal is known for its Bell Tower and an incredible view of the surrounding from the top. Both the palaces are open for public viewing and have numerous items and photographs that suggest a lavish life of the then ruling family.
Note: Aina Mahal remains open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM; closed on Thursdays. Prag Mahal remains open from 9:30 AM to 5:45 PM every day.
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Visit Vijay Vilas Palace, the Famed Film Shooting Location in Kutch
One of the popular points of tourist interest, Vijay Vilas Palace is situated in Mandvi, which is about 65 kms from Bhuj city. This scenic town was once the hub for ship building industry, however now, it boasts of its rich heritage and beautiful beach. Sprawling across a land of 450-acre, the Vijay Vilas Palace is the highlight of the town and this has also earned it the benefit of being the film shoot location for many bollywood movies; the most prominent being Lagaan, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and R Rajkumar. The palace is a two storey building along with Chhatri of Vijayaraji. The view from the terrace of the palace has a panoramic view of the surrounding which is simply beautiful. If you interact with one of the caretakers, they will narrate a story or two of the film shoots that have taken place here.
Note: Vijay Vilas Palace remains open from 8 AM to 6 PM every day. The entry fee is INR 10.
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Enjoy Camel Ride on Mandvi Beach
Situated at a short distance from Vijay Vilas Palace is the Mandvi Beach. The beach is often quiet and thus is a great place to spend time in solace. However, your unperturbed situation can be disturbed by the people who offer rides on a camel for merely INR 10 or 20. The deal is not at all bad and therefore their offer should be accepted, as in return of this small sum you can get a pleasant memorable camel ride along the beach. Other top things to do here is horse riding, which is also available at the beach and so is the water scooter ride. While you choose your ride in Mandvi, do not miss out on taking pictures of the pelicans that stroll along the beach as well.
Note: The best time to visit Mandvi Beach is between November and February if you want to be mesmerised by the enthralling views of the azure waters.
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Experience the Interesting Mélange of Religion and Nature at Narayan Sarovar
Narayan Sarovar is indeed a must-see place while exploring Kutch. It is a wildlife sanctuary situated in the village Narayansar, which is situated at a distance of about 150 kms from Bhuj city. The place is most noted for being a holy Hindu ground and is in close proximity to an ancient temple called Koteshwar. Narayan Sarovar or the lake is amongst the five holiest lakes in Hinduism, making it an obvious choice of pilgrimage destination in India. The sanctuary here on the other hand is the home of a rich variety of birds and animals; there are about 112 species of residential birds whereas 38 species of migrant birds can also be spotted here along with 14 species of mammals. Since the destination has a good blend of nature and religion, it becomes one of the best places to explore in Kutch.
Note: April to May and November to February are the two best seasons to visit Narayan Sarovar as two-yearly fairs happen during these seasons. November to February is also an ideal time to visit the lake to spot migratory birds. The wildlife sanctuary is home to a number of chinkara along with many endangered species like three types of great Indian bustards, black patridge and lesser florican which you can spot during your Kutch Gujarat tour in this place.
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Trace the Evidences of One of the World’s Oldest Civilizations at Dholavira
Visiting the Kutch region gives history lovers a great opportunity to visit ancient sites like Dholavira. One of the top attractions of Kutch in Gujarat, this site is considered as the slice of the Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan Civilization. The ruins throw light on the culture of Harappa and reveal their excellent knowledge of planning and constructing a sound infrastructure. One can find evidence of a well-built harvesting system, network of tanks and sewage system. The ruins here are divided into three zones: the citadel (where the rulers or high officials inhabited), the middle city and the lower city. One very interesting find here is an inscription with 10 large signs, which is estimated to be one of the first pieces of evidence of a written language. A small museum located at the entrance of the site houses artefacts that reflect the lifestyle during the Indus Valley Civilisation. One can also see the progression from mud and basic tools to iron and copper implements, gold jewellery and cooking vessels.
Note: Dholavira became the 40th site from India to get enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2021. It is one such site among the Harappan sites where people can witness the entire trajectory of the rise and fall of the civilisation.
Also Read: Best Places to Explore in Gujarat
Find the Real Beauty of Kutch Culture in its Handicraft Village Tour
Handicraft is an important part of Kutch life. And while you are holidaying in Kutch, you can take advantage of the art and enhance the charm of learning the skills. There are two must-visit places in Kutch near the Great Rann White Desert that have been in enough limelight. Known as Dhordo and Hodka, these villages are the face of Kutch handicraft (for the record, there are about 32 villages in the Kutch region that indulge in the art of embroidery). Visit Dhordo to witness Mutua embroidery, which includes chain stitches inset with small mirrors, leather embroidery and silver jewellery. In Hodka village, the skills of the local Rabari, Meghwal and Maldhari communities can be seen. Apart from the embroidery, you can spot Bhungas (huts) which are decorated by the village craftsmen. So, you can expect some interesting visual treats while taking the tour of handicrafts villages in the Kutch Region. Apart from Dhordo and Hodka, Sumrasar, Loria, Zura, Nirona, Nakhtarana, Bhujodi, Padhdhar, Dhamanka and Anjar are the handicraft villages in the region.
Note: It is believed that there are many legends of Ramayana and Lord Krishna behind the source of the Kutch embroidery. Apart from this, the art is also inspired by the Persian and Mughal styles. However, Dhordo Village distance from White Desert is 5 kms whereas Hodka Village distance from White Desert is 22 kms.
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Witness One of its Kind Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary in Little Rann of Kutch
Located in the Little Rann of Kutch, Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is one of the major tourist places in Kutch. It is the only place where the Indian Wild Ass or Ghudkar still inhabit. The sanctuary is also the home of 32 mammal species and is an important breeding site for birds. Unlike most of the wildlife sanctuaries in India, this reserve is a desert with parched grasslands that are just right for the animals who reside here. The grasslands are said to feed at least 2,100 animals. It can be an out of box experience for wildlife lovers, as this sanctuary differs in several aspects like landscape, flora and fauna for that matter.
Note: Apart from spotting Indian wild ass this place is also a paradise for birdwatchers. Migratory birds flock here during the winter. So, November to February is the ideal time to visit this place.
Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Gujarat
Spot Black-headed and Brown-headed Gulls in Topansar Lake
A picnic spot for local people, Topansar Lake is one of the best places to visit in Bhuj, around 150 kms from the Great Rann of Kutch. Apart from the local, it is definitely a popular destination for birdwatchers due to the variety of bird species that can be found there. The serene beauty of the surroundings, the clear blue water of the lake, fringed by lush green trees and shrubs, create a peaceful atmosphere here which attracts a variety of birds as well as their admirers from around the world. Spotting the black-headed and brown-headed gulls is considered one of the best things to do in Kutch Gujarat on a birdwatching trip in winter. It is a chance to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of these remarkable birds. Anyone interested in birdwatching should definitely consider visiting Topansar Lake for a chance to see these and other bird species up close.
Note: December to February is the best time to visit the lake to spot migratory birds. To avoid crowds, visit the place in the early morning or late afternoon.
Also Read: An Insightful Guide to Polo Monuments and Vijaynagar Forest in Gujarat
Explore Anjar, The Medieval Capital of Kutch
Anjar is a small but vibrant historical city located in the western part of the Kutch district. Once known as a thriving city for art and culture and now established as a major manufacturing hub, Anjar is one of the best places to visit in Gujarat with family. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and scenic beauty. The city is home to many popular tourist places in Gujarat, including temples, ancient buildings and sites. Some of the remarkable among them are Madhavari Temple, Kalya Mahadev’s Temple, Bhareshwar Temple, Bhavani Temple and many more. Another must-visit place in Anjar is Jesal-Toral Shrines, which is dedicated to a couple who have a strong influence on the works of art and cinema.
Note: Apart from being a historical place, Anjar is also a popular place to try out foods of Gujarat. Gher and Dabeli are two of the must-eat dishes in Anjar.
Also Read: Must Visit Museums in Gujarat
Spot Great Indian Bustard at Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, also known as Lala Parjan Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in the Kutch district. One of the best places to visit in Rann of Kutch for travellers who want to explore the wildlife attractions of Gujarat, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is a must-visit place for them. The smallest sanctuary of the country, it was established in 1992 and covers an area of approximately two sq km. The main objective of the sanctuary is to protect the Great Indian Bustard, which is a critically endangered species of bird. Visitors to the sanctuary can enjoy bird-watching and nature walks. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and the migratory birds arrive at the sanctuary. There are also basic accommodation facilities available for visitors who wish to stay overnight.
Note: Kutch Bustard Sanctuary remains open from 8 AM to 6 PM and it is around 100 kms from Bhuj city.
Also Read: Gir National Park Information
Visit The Largest Periodical Saline Wetlands, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering an area of 7505.22 sq km, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India. The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife including the Indian Wild Ass, desert fox, wolf, caracal, chinkara, striped hyena, and various species of birds. It is also the world’s largest periodical saline wetlands which makes it look like a pure white surface. The sanctuary is a popular destination for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts as it is home to over 200 species of birds, including the Greater Flamingo, Demoiselle Crane, Indian Skimmer, and the Steppe Eagle. Known as the “Flamingo City,” Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is the only active breeding ground for the flamingos in the world.
Note: The sanctuary remains open from 6 AM to 6 PM. The entry fee for Indians is INR 250 whereas for foreigners, it is INR 1200. Also note, as this sanctuary lies on the border of India and Pakistan, so there are many areas restricted to the public.
Also Read: Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in Gujarat
Shopping Handmade Articles in The Markets of Kutch
Kutch is known for its vibrant and diverse handicrafts, and shopping for handmade articles in the markets of Kutch can be a memorable experience. With the popularity of Kutch’s handicrafts, there are also some mass-produced items in the markets. You can find authenticity in these items if you look for the “Gujarat Handicrafts” or “Kutch Handicrafts” labels. Apart from the world-famous Kutch embroidery works, you can also buy bandhani sarees, dupattas, and dress materials, leather handbags, wallets, brass and copper items, hand-carved wooden furniture, and souvenirs made of mud.
Note: Some of the noteworthy markets in Kutch to buy handmade articles are Bhujodi, Nirona, Dhamkada and Bhachau.
Also Read: Saputara – A Beautiful Hill Station in Gujarat
If you have already visited Kutch, we’d like you to share your experience with us and other travels but if it is still on your bucket list, make sure you cross it off your list by planning a trip here soon. And, we hope this blog will definitely help you to planning a trip to Rann of Kutch and its surrounding tourist destinations. However, you can also contact us any day any time to know details like where to stay in Kutch, when to visit, the budget, etc. We will make your trip to Kutch hassle-free and a memorable one.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top places to visit in Kutch Gujarat?
Some of the top places to visit in Kutch are Great Rann of Kutch, Kala Dungar, Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar, Dholavira, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and more.
What is the best time to visit Kutch for a holiday vacation?
The best time to visit Kutch for a holiday vacation is from November to February when the weather is pleasant, and the temperature ranges between 12°C to 25°C.
How many days are needed to explore the best of Kutch tourism?
It is recommended to spend at least 3 to 5 days in the region.
What are the top historical sites to visit in Kutch?
Some of the top historical sites to visit in Kutch are Dholavira, Aina Mahal, Prag Mahal, Vijay Vilas Palace, Lakhpat Fort, Kera Shiv Temple, Anjar, Kutch Museum and more.
What are the popular adventure activities to do in Kutch?
Some of the popular adventure activities to do in Kutch are camel safari, paramotoring, desert camping, ATV ride, birdwatching, etc.
What are the top must see festivals and events in Kutch?
The top must-see festivals and events in Kutch are Rann Utsav, Kite Festival, Bhujia Hill Festival, Modhera Dance Festival, Kutch Mahotsav, etc.