I went back to Kutch in Gujarat for the third time in 2018. You may ask why do I keep going back to the same places? The answer is that I get to see only so much on one blogging trip and there is always more to explore on subsequent trips! My 2018 (and 2016) trip to the Rann Utsav was sponsored by the Gujarat Tourism Board!
This time I was staying in the Tent City at Dhordo and it was my first stay with them! The tent city is huge with a lot to do within the campus itself. When you book your stay in the tent city you can choose a 1, 2 or 3 night package. I was on the 3 night package but I did only some bits of the itinerary and customized the rest of it.
The Experience of Staying in the Tent City
The Tent City is a great place for families or large groups as everyone can be accommodated at one place and they can have a good time together. The area is divided into different clusters with the amenities located nearby. Each cluster is allocated a particular dining hall, where you can have all your meals. You will be given meal coupons at check-in, keep them safe.
There are shops and fun activities within the premises. The excursion to the Rann at sunrise and sunset are arranged. This year here were adventure activities within the premises. There are cultural programs at night.
I quote liked the shopping within the tent city premises. Kutch is another region which stirs the dominant shopper within me. I bought two shawls, dresses and stoles and narrowly missed buying a patchwork quilt!
I will add a word of caution about the charging points in the tent city, do take a good look as the charging points are temporary before you plug in your gadget. Avoid using the same socket as the room heater.
The Sunrise at White Rann
Both sunrise and sunset at White Rann are magical! At sunrise the place is less crowded though. At the sunrise I went up the watch tower to click my pictures! The camel carts also make for an interesting foreground for the pictures! It is cold in January in the mornings. So do wrap yourself well, or you would not enjoy the sunrise!
A Day Trip to Mandvi
As the part of the 3 night itinerary there is a day trip to Mandvi included in the package.
It includes a visit to Shyam ji Krishna Verma Memorial, Vijay Vilas Palace, the private beach and the lunch at the beach.
For me the highlight was the private beach at Mandavi. I had about 2 hours there with just 30 odd people at the beach. I loved to relax and catch the sunset.
To know more about this part of my journey do watch the video. The video was made for me by a team of professionals working for Gujarat Tourism Board.
Will I Go Back Again?
I wold go back running to Kutch again if I get an opportunity because I am sure there is much more to explore than what I have been able to cram in my three trips!
PS. My trip to Kutch was sponsored by Gujarat Tourism Board
I think I can last for one more sky watch on the back of my Mandvi Beach pictures! I usually do not get so many usable pictures from one location. Mandvi sunset was really special. So, here I go again.
The idea of being out at sunset immensely appeals to me, as these days I spend it in a car, driving back from work. But there were days (college days) when I was not even bothered about sunset! I have to say it is the Sky Watch theme that really made me appreciate skies in the end and made me nostalgic about it.
Ideally this is how one should spend the sunset at a beach, playing around in water! Unfortunately cameras and water don’t get along and I get to face the flak. As I was traveling solo there was no place to leave the camera. And after my last fiasco I would dare not take it into the water. So I had to be content clicking pictures, I did not even get my ankle wet!
This post is part of Sky Watch Friday. You have to check them out.
Mandvi was on my radar on this visit to Kutch because I wanted to go near the sea. The Vijay Vilas Palace (post pending) was a bonus for me. I just spent one night there but then most of my vacations are like that, so I am not going to complain. I just made sure that I got to spend the evening at the Mandvi beach so that I could catch the sunset. And I have been rewarded with many beautiful pictures.
Before the sunset I actually waked away from the crowds on the beach. For half a kilometer, where people converge the beach is littered. It is not too bad but it is not clean as well. Hence I walked away half a kilometer and enjoyed the clean stretch of the beach. But I knew that at sunset I would get better pictures on the beach as there were horse buggies, camel men and people around.
As I was clicking the first camel, there came another camel across my frame. As I was using a heavy 75-300 mm lens on a tripod I could not do much. I managed only a partial capture before the second camel man stopped some distance from the first one. Later in the evening I was thinking I am now prone to turning my holidays into work as well with lenses, tripod and pictures to worry about. But for quite sometime I don’t think I am going to get detached and be happy just to watch a sunset!
Soon another camel came into the view. As they stood next to each-other and started chatting I got an opportunity to change the lens and click all of them together. And while I am writing this I am thinking lucky are those who sit and just stare at sunset without worrying about f stops, ISOs and silhouettes. Like in the picture above how I wish I moved a little so that glow line of the sun was separate from the legs of the camel! Well, there is going to be a next time!
This post is part of Skywatch Friday. Do check them out. I have now been doing these posts for years, it is so addictive.