Celebrate India – Rann Utsav with Yatra.comIt has been a while since Mr. Amitabh Bachchan first appeared on TV endorsingGujarat Tourism. It doesn’t look good if an elderly person has to ask you to do thesame thing again and again; therefore I finally gave in, packed my bags and headedstraight to Gujarat during the Rann Utsav.Now, let us digress for just a minute. I amsure most of you remember that scenefrom the movie Munnabhai MBBS wherethe foreign tourist visits the Dhobi Ghaatto capture in his camera the ‘True India,Hungry India, Poor India’. Well, I saybring the man to the Rann Utsav and lethis dream be shattered because trust me,his ‘True India’ and the one on offer hereare worlds apart.Rann Utsav is organized with the sole purpose of celebrating the rich culture andheritage of Gujarat, no strings attached (except that it’s organized during the fullmoon). And, the best place to stay during the festival are those fancy tents erectedin the Dhordo Village in Rann (just make sure to get your bookings in advancebecause the tents are in short supply). But, as they say once you are in, ‘YOU AREIN’.Gujarat is one of the most flourishing states in the country and I experienced it first-hand during this festival. The handicrafts deserve a special mention because it isone of the most integral parts of the festival. All the handicraft specialties likehandloom weaving, pottery, Bandhani (tie & die) fabrics and many more areavailable in abundance during the festival. The best part was that I even got to see alot of artisans at work, thus making the entire experience very special and personal.I also indulged myself in a plenty of other activities that just kept the feel going forthe 3 days of the festival and even after it was over. To begin with there were over30 local troupes performing folk dance and music, under the open sky, on a moonlitnight accompanied by the winter breeze. Honestly, it was magical. It definitelyoutshined every other aspect of the entire festival but that does not mean thatthe rest was boring. The fairs held near the beach or the lake offer such a profusionand plethora of colours and variety that it is literally overwhelming and that is how Iended up buying more souvenirs than I actually needed.Apart from all the above mentioned stuff (as if all this wasn’t enough for 3 days) Ireally enjoyed doing the usual touristy stuff for a change i.e. sightseeing. I wassurprised to discover the kind of variety on offer. There was the famous bird
sanctuary of Chari Dhand, the thousand year old Kera Shiva Temple, archeologicalsite of Dholavira, the White Salt Desert (can’t miss it) and much more. I couldn’tpossibly see them all so I picked the sanctuary and the archeological site. I took ajeep for the first one and a guide (essential) for the latter and loved the contrast thatthey gave to the entire experience.At the end of it all when I looked back I felt that I did the right thing to follow Mr.Bachchan’s advice. Gujarat surely has a credible experience to deliver to all thosewho come looking for wonders. If not for him, you owe it to yourself to visit thisfestival and gain once-in-a-lifetime experience.This is Joy signing off,May the lord point your feet in the right direction and also give you a little nudge fromtime to time,Travel happy and travel safe always,Ciao.