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Old 17th September 2007, 11:11   #1
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Arrow Bit Of Off-roading On The Scorpio

Hai TBHPrs,

Today got a chance to do a little bit of off-roading on the salt
plains of Kutch and also on the secondary villagle roads. The Rann
of Kutch is the only place in the world where you can see the Wildass
(the animalkind); we could see only a solitary one, others were
too far off where the scorpio could not go.

The 5+5 kms into the salt plains was a great experience on the
Scorpio, there are no roads, just grass / mud / sand / plains and
shallow water. Our guide did not allow us to go beyong 5 Kms without
a 4x4 into the Rann for fear of getting bogged; recent rains have
left the ground still wet. Planning to go in Nov/Dec when
reportedly, one can drive at lest 50 Kms into the Rann and see lots
of animals and see miles and miles of salt mountains!!!!

The secondary roads were hell in some sections and the 10 Kms into
the salt plains felt like a tenns ball being hit by Boris Becker!!!
I could not have imagined doing this trip on a Sedan.

Hail The Scorpio!!!!!!!

The trip logs are uploaded here:

http://www.geocities.com/ramkya1/tri...esadaKutch.htm

Some photos of the trip:

Picasa Web Albums - ramky - DASADA & SAL...

Happy Driving,

--Ramky

Last edited by ramkya1 : 17th September 2007 at 11:13.
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Old 17th September 2007, 11:43   #2
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Good trip, Ramky. I never realised that you were so close to the Rann. Is the hotel good for a stay - and what are their tariffs and contact info? Any permits needed to get to Rann interior?
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Old 17th September 2007, 12:01   #3
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Arrow Hotel At Daseda

Hai Kumar,

I didnt realize it myself, hardly 2 hours away!!!! This place is actually the Little Raan of Kutch, the real Raan is about 100 Kms interior. Our guide said it stopped raining only 10 days back (usually it stops by end June)has spoilt the entire sarari business, even 4x4 could not go far as the ground has not firmed up. He said in December, they take the groups up to 100 KM insde, the water would dry up, salt plains would be on full swing & tractor trails would be available for driving in. He said only tractors and light 4x4 vehicles would go, they use the Gypsey only.

The hotel gets lots of foreigners, more are coming now-a-days. The tariff for the huts, with 24 hr A/C + all food varies between 1500/- to 3000/- per pax. Since we did the day trip and I knew them, they gave a guide + veg. lunch for 4, cost us Rs.1000/- for the package, was well worth it. Will mail you the number & address later.

No permits needed, better to take the guide, they know the way around and work hand-in-glove with the salt plain gangs. It's an organized gang thing, better to invest in a guide and pay the hidden "protection money".

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
====================

Last edited by ramkya1 : 17th September 2007 at 12:08.
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Old 18th December 2007, 00:26   #4
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Civilians are not allowed across 'India Bridge' which is around 20km from Khavda in Great Rann.
Bhuj is a comfortable place to stay for this trip.
GPS is must for this trip as the great salt waste donot have any navigational aid.
Always reduce tyre pressure before entering Rann to get better grip.
Tow rope should be a standard accessory on board 4x4.
Best season to enjoy trip is winters.
Carry plenty of drinking water as you dehyderate very quickly and drinking Rann water if available is inviting trouble for tummy.
Finally, wash your jeep thoroughly after the adventure as the properties of Rann are known to be metal eaters.
Posting my own photo along with my wife and son infront of our MM550 in the Great Rann (note the lack of navigational aid behind me).


Last edited by Samurai : 18th December 2007 at 07:34. Reason: expanding pic
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:21   #5
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Must have been an enjoyable trip,ramky.
I've always wanted to visit the Rann..wonder when that would happen.

Major saab..good summary of the essentials!
Bhuj has a couple of places that are worth visiting. I recollect my cousin telling a bit about the city. (He used to be posted at the Air Force base in Bhuj for a couple of years. )
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Old 18th December 2007, 03:30   #6
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Umm, this thread is confusing SEVERAL items.
a. India bridge is the GREATER RANN, some 500km from ahmedabad. What susan says is right, whereas ramkya went to LITTLE RANN, dasada <100km off.
b. This place like ramkya said is good in winters. However his info is completely off:
- The salt business is prevalent all over. You just need to follow the truck trails. You DONT need a 4x4 for those roads. only danger: see for wet patches/sinkholes. They can trap any vehicle. heck, can get humans. so please don't bother for a 4x4 unless you want the locals to make money.
- The people are helpful. Have done the kharaghoda section about 5-6 times, crossed from Tikar SOLO with a hired guide as pillion. If that gangs bunkum was true, my remains would've been rotting away in the rann. The very thought of protection money is hilarious - anyone committing crime in rann, where ~5km visibility is there? ha ha.
- The 'hotels' i know are rann runners/desert coursers et al . have stayed at latter, which is run by ex nawab and has superbbb service!
- For most people, about 4-5km into rann is fine along the main track. You have the white evaporation tower in sight so no guide is needed. Just don't run over any salt pan channels. First time we did take a guide - old man charged 150 bucks for 3+ hours. Even 100 would do easily. locals would ask money depending on how rich you look
- The route in kharaghoda is simple, offroad at last railway crossing just before the train station. there, on right side is truck track leading CLEANLY into rann, no slush nothing. AVOID speeding in rann - if you hit slushy patch you are stuck - keep eyes open for color of terrain

However, the BEST view is from kharaghoda side. dasada has lots of shrubbery/bushes that one must pass which can leave scratches on SUVs (narrow road it is). kharaghoda has a clean route leading into rann. Don't worry, just drive!

Last edited by phamilyman : 18th December 2007 at 03:31.
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Old 18th December 2007, 08:53   #7
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Ramky, thank you, esp for the point about the guide. I want to visit Kutch before I return from Gujarat.
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Old 25th December 2007, 21:40   #8
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Arrow Going Again To Check Out Deep

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Umm, this thread is confusing SEVERAL items.
a. India bridge is the GREATER RANN, some 500km from ahmedabad. What susan says is right, whereas ramkya went to LITTLE RANN, dasada <100km off.
b. This place like ramkya said is good in winters. However his info is completely off:
- The salt business is prevalent all over. You just need to follow the truck trails. You DONT need a 4x4 for those roads. only danger: see for wet patches/sinkholes. They can trap any vehicle. heck, can get humans. so please don't bother for a 4x4 unless you want the locals to make money.
- The people are helpful. Have done the kharaghoda section about 5-6 times, crossed from Tikar SOLO with a hired guide as pillion. If that gangs bunkum was true, my remains would've been rotting away in the rann. The very thought of protection money is hilarious - anyone committing crime in rann, where ~5km visibility is there? ha ha.
- The 'hotels' i know are rann runners/desert coursers et al . have stayed at latter, which is run by ex nawab and has superbbb service!
- For most people, about 4-5km into rann is fine along the main track. You have the white evaporation tower in sight so no guide is needed. Just don't run over any salt pan channels. First time we did take a guide - old man charged 150 bucks for 3+ hours. Even 100 would do easily. locals would ask money depending on how rich you look

However, the BEST view is from kharaghoda side. dasada has lots of shrubbery/bushes that one must pass which can leave scratches on SUVs (narrow road it is). kharaghoda has a clean route leading into rann. Don't worry, just drive!
Hai,

You're right, Daseda is 100 kms from A'bad, its the Little Rann; GREATER RANN is 400 km away from where we went.

The salt business is run by cartels, dig deep or talk to the salt factories, you'd find out. They are known to "crowd" others for whatever they can eake out. I don't dig the fun when it comes to taking risks with ones family, better to be safe than sorry (not a personal comment).

The Raan Riders was run by a friend of mine, Takkar, now given back to the owners, Nawabs, know them well too. They are good, rates OK, they know the Raan pretty well.

The guides, IMHO is a must, they know the routes, specially as there are no visual navigation aids, its just dead plain flat lands. The prospect of getting lost inside is a night-mare. Know of an adventerous photographer friend who went on a gypsey, got off the know trails and got lost; was de-hydrated and shaken when he found his way back. He has spent large amount of time taking films and photos for TV Channels.

If you go without a guide you would need 4x4, some sections are bog. Even if you go with a guide who would show firm ground, there's no way he can guarantee anything. I'd not venture out without a 4x4 wihout a guide.

Will be going with a gang in one of the week-ends coming up, will post a detailed travelogue.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
==========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 25th December 2007 at 21:45.
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Old 25th December 2007, 21:49   #9
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Arrow Join us for the Ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Ramky, thank you, esp for the point about the guide. I want to visit Kutch before I return from Gujarat.
Hai Condor,

You can even join up with us for the ride, will let you know how things pan out, one of those 2nd or 4th Saturdays in Jan. We need to stay for the night if you have to catch the migratory birds, they are seen around early morning or late evening.

--Ramky

=====
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Old 27th December 2007, 18:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai Condor,

You can even join up with us for the ride, will let you know how things pan out, one of those 2nd or 4th Saturdays in Jan. We need to stay for the night if you have to catch the migratory birds, they are seen around early morning or late evening.

--Ramky

=====
Those flamingoes are a must to see and make videos if you are there in the right season....These migratory bird come here to breed during winters.
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