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Old 6th February 2015, 11:52   #1
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Default The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

Team-BHP was invited to drive the Honda Amaze as part of the Discover Amazing India media drive.

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-amaze1.jpg

This is a four part web series which explores some of the most beautiful places in India. These episodes are being developed after identifying locations through a contest, inviting participation from viewers. The first episode featured Chetan Bhagat visiting the Holy Rosary Church at Shettihalli village in the Hassan district of Karnataka, which is submerged in the waters of the Hemavati river.

My round entailed driving to the Rann of Kutch, India's salt flats and exploring the famous Rann Utsav.

A total of 9 cars were allocated to us for the drive. Out of these, one was an automatic and the remaining were manuals - 4 diesels and 4 petrols. The manual cars were the recently launched VX (O) grade, featuring A/V Navigation and positioned above the existing VX grade. This variant also has white illumination for the speedometer with blue gradation and new electrically-folding ORVMs. The rear defogger is now available from the SX grade upwards.



Team-BHP has a dedicated thread on this variant. Read more here (Honda launches new top variants for the Amaze and Brio!).

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:14.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:53   #2
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The plan was to reach Ahmedabad early in the morning, where Honda had arranged a press conference at the Gateway Hotel:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-5.jpg

After breakfast, we were briefed on the route we would be taking - drive to Bhuj, with a stopover for lunch on the way and then reach the Rann Utsav, which is around 80 kms further up:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-1.jpg

The drive would cover around 450+ kms of smooth roads, all through Gujarat. With the briefing completed, we were handed over the keys to our respective cars. Each car was shared between 3 journos.

The line-up at the hotel:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-2.jpg

Flag off:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-4.jpg

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Wonderful roads all through Gujarat. I should say, I can't remember seeing a single pothole all the way!!!
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-013.jpg

We stopped to get some pics of the car by the sunset:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070204.jpg

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Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:14.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:53   #3
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After a few hours, we reached our destination - Tent City at Dhordo, where the Rann Utsav was scheduled. It was nearing 10 pm:
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Parked our cars in the open but safe lot:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_211738_hdr.jpg

The entrance to the Rann Utsav:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_212755_hdr.jpg

Huge reception area for the check-in formalities:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_213249_hdr.jpg

Check-in done, we had to leave our bags at the reception and head to dinner.

The Rann Utsav has 9 clusters. Each cluster houses 60 tents which are fully furnished with an air-conditioner, round the clock electricity, hot kettle for coffee and a proper bathroom:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_214157_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_214210_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150113_214242_hdr.jpg

I was tired and sleepy, as my flight from Bangalore to Ahmedabad was at 6 am that morning and I was up since 2 am. The bed was comfortable...I quickly fell asleep.

Last edited by GTO : 7th February 2015 at 14:53. Reason: Air-conditioner, not cooler :). Thanks to Gannu_1 for reporting
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:53   #4
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Good morning.

Remember I mentioned 60 tents in a single cluster? This is how big it gets, and there are 9 such clusters:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-pano_20150115_080148.jpg

The weather was dry and cold, but after a quick (cold) shower, I headed to the massive dining area for breakfast:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_092330_hdr.jpg

The walls of the Rann Utsav were beautifully painted in all its traditional glory:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_102812_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_102853_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_102929_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_102938_hdr.jpg

We then drove to the White Rann - a vast area of salt flats, which one has to really see to believe. The drive was through a massive desert land of soft sand:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_113201_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_113244_hdr.jpg

BSF personnel keeping a watch. The border is just 150 kms from this place:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_113253_hdr.jpg



The White Rann. It was like nothing I had ever seen before:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070425.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070346.jpg

There was salt all around and as far as I could see. I could feel the salt crunching under the car's tyres and under my feet. Here is how it looks:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_121710_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070371.jpg

Some parts of the White Rann still have puddles of water:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070408.jpg

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The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070410.jpg

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The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070266.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:12.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:53   #5
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After our shoot at the White Rann, we returned back to the Rann Utsav facility, which was just a few kilometres away. It was lunchtime and I was craving for some Gujarati fare.

Bon Appétit - The jalebis were so yummy that they were treated like the main course instead of dessert . Crispy, hot & lip-smacking!
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_141621_hdr.jpg

We went out to a sunset point nearby. Kalo Dungar is apparently the highest point in Kutch. More information about this place can be found here. We parked the cars and walked around waiting for the sun to set:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070601.jpg

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One of the many two-seater open-top vehicles available for a ride:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070554.jpg

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The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070567.jpg

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The vast expanse of the salt flats:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070602.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070603.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070610.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070614.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:10.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:54   #6
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The next morning, a delicious Gujarati breakfast again :
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150115_081721_hdr.jpg

We were led to an open area behind the parking lot of the Rann Utsav grounds. Honda had set up an obstacle course of sorts - orange traffic cones that we were supposed to drive through in a zigzag manner. I was wondering what the importance of this was, since the sandy area wasn't the best place to test a car's handling or body roll. Nevertheless, we had fun:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070428.jpg

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Just as I was wrapping up, I noticed these ATVs having a blast:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070769.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070791.jpg

The Polaris ATVs are rented out to those who want to explore the sands of Kutch. Rs. 2,500 for 30 minutes. Expensive, yet must be fun!! Am sure one can bargain down the price:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_100208_hdr.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:09.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:54   #7
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Some random shots from the Rann Utsav.

Getting ready for a performance:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-img_20150114_102841_hdr.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070865.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070867.jpg

Cycles to explore the vast grounds:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070877.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070879.jpg

Tandem cycling, para-motoring & ATVs - What's your thrill?
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070884.jpg

A temple on the grounds to offer prayers:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070892.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070893.jpg

And a well-stocked library too:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070895.jpg

The road that leads to the Utsav:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070641.jpg

Electric 3-wheelers are used to ferry guests around:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070624.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070626.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070630.jpg

Motorickshaw Jugaad - A wonderful thread on this breed of vehicles:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070636.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070638.jpg

The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070639.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:08.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:54   #8
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And finally, before winding up, it was time to hit the sands again and have some fun:
The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze-p1070815.jpg

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Here is a video:


All you need to know about the Amaze: Link (Honda Amaze : Official Review).

Disclaimer : Honda invited Team-BHP for this drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this event.

Last edited by GTO : 6th February 2015 at 13:07.
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Old 6th February 2015, 13:19   #9
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Default Re: The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th February 2015, 04:50   #10
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Default Re: The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

Hi Aditya,

As a newbie this is my first comment and let me be the first one to take this opportunity to thank you for this thread and pictures. The beauty of the white desert is something which cannot be described in words, excellent narration and picture. A must visit to explore the white desert on a FULL MOON DAY.

Please keep up the good work.
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Old 7th February 2015, 09:01   #11
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Default Re: The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

Great pictures and interesting narration.
The picture of the camel with the caption made me
How was the weather? Did it go sub zero in the night?
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Old 7th February 2015, 09:26   #12
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This looks like fun. Till when is the utsav on? Can we take our own cars there?
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Old 7th February 2015, 20:56   #13
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Default Re: The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

Thanks for sharing the experience. You've obviously had loads of fun! The Rann Utsav has been on my bucket list for some time, though I don't foresee a visit there very soon. That's one part of Gujarat I haven't been to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
The jalebis... were treated like the main course instead of dessert . Crispy, hot & lip-smacking!
Jalebis (and gulab jamuns) in Gujarat are neither main course, nor dessert. They are actually starters! And combined with fafda and very milky chai, they become breakfast, or even high tea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
Cycles to explore the vast grounds:
That is interesting. Wonder if cities in Gujarat are also making bicycles available for rent and going green lately.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
Motorickshaw Jugaad...
It's actually called the chhakda.
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Old 7th February 2015, 23:15   #14
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Nice pictures and the facilities look good. Thanks for sharing! Will try to plan a trip sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polo_ankit View Post
This looks like fun. Till when is the utsav on? Can we take our own cars there?
Just saw the ad on TV that it will run till 6th March.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Jalebis (and gulab jamuns) in Gujarat are neither main course, nor dessert. They are actually starters! And combined with fafda and very milky chai, they become breakfast, or even high tea.
True! Had been to Ahmedabad on Dusshera day, and there were long lines early in the morning to buy fafda & jalebi before stocks run out.
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Old 9th February 2015, 07:04   #15
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Default Re: The Rann of Kutch - In a Honda Amaze

LOvely...heading that way soon. Will camp out in white rann under a full moon sky.
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