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Old 3rd January 2010, 15:10   #1
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Default Fun in the Rann - New Years at Rann-Way!

This New Years was going to be different. I had a strong feeling! Ever since I saw fellow Bhpian Genesis' travelogue on Kutch, I knew I had to go there. And what better time than New Yrs! Away from the jostling and loud Goa, different than all the hill resorts, as isolated as Leh and as special as Thar Desert - The Little Rann Of Kutch!
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Old 3rd January 2010, 15:19   #2
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Nice pics! Keep them coming.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 15:34   #3
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Excellent pics. Want to visit the Rann someday, it will surely be different from the beaches and the hill resorts.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 15:46   #4
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hey.. even we did a trip to rann this new year. mumbai-kutch and back, 3000kms in punto 1.4. details of trip and car on the way
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Old 3rd January 2010, 16:37   #5
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Rann rocks

I wanna go back there someday!
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Old 3rd January 2010, 16:48   #6
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Mighty impressed with what Kutch had to offer on paper, me and my girl packed our bags lightly for a 3 days Kutch visit. The plan was to stay two nights at Desert Coursers at Zainabad.

Starting from Surat, the distance to be covered was a paltry 380 kms, and with great roads right upto Ahmedabad (250 kms), it was a breeze. We started at 7.00am from my home in Surat, and found the traffic to be thin right upto Baroda. A non-stop drive of 3 hours and 40 mins helped us touch Ahmedabad ring-road. The ring road is a bliss for people who have no work in the city, because it helps in avoiding the horrific traffic of Ahmedabad. We drove towards Viramgam (75 kms from there) through Sarkhej, and the roads were a mix of great to good to OK. From Viramgam, its another 55 kms to Zainabad. (Whoever needs a detailed village-to-village route-map can please ask me for it ). It was at around 1 pm that we touched Desert Coursers, with a bit of asking around - Just in time for hot lunch served in Buffet!

The staff seemed to be very courteous, and by the first look of the camp area, it seemed to be a supremely basic, close-to-nature and serene setup. We checked into our mud cottage, and after freshening up, pounced upon what turned out to be one of the most delicious authentic Gujarati cuisine I have ever had - and mind you, I have Gujarati food very frequently! Devoring numerous bajri ni roti and sev tamata + reengda, we were informed that our Jeep for the first Safari would be ready in an hour. These guys offer one complimentary Safari per day, and since we would be staying for two nights, we would be entitled to two such Safaris - One to a pond near the Rann, and another into the Rann itself.

The Jeep was a basic Mahindra open top one, in rugged condition, but it was my first real topless experience, and boy, what an experience it was! Who needs luxury when one can get such wind-in-the-hair feeling, driving into wilderness. It was a 10 km drive on paved roads and then another 10 on no roads! The first sight of the pond made me stare at it with my jaw dropped - it seemed like a mirage, but with a zillion flamingos....and various other birds like kingfisher, siberian and common cranes, etc.

There was no one else there, but the three of us, and these birds, for miles that I could see. Walking in the Rann made us feel so small against the nature. It was a true sight to behold. I will now let the pictures do the talking.

- To Be Continued -
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Old 3rd January 2010, 19:31   #7
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Continued-

We spent good 3 hours at the pond (Called Nava Talav), bird-watching and seeing the sun set in its full splendor. Clear skies and the orange ball made for some sight! It soons started getting dark and was time for us to head back to the camp area.

It was a chilly night, and the moon was out. The guys there lit up a bonfire, and Mr. Dhanraj Malik, the owner of the place and Nawab of the village Zainabad, narrated stories of past and present. He has been running the place for 25 years, and has driven through the Rann right upto Bhuj (260 kms on road)!! Such was the serene atmosphere that it seemed like an entirely different planet -!

Dinner had been served, and it matched the lunch taste-wise and variety-wise. We were happy to have made the correct choice of staying here over for New Years.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 19:52   #8
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One of the places on my list to visit, I hope it will be soon. Till then I guess Ill see Rann thru your lens and thru your narration.

Thanks and regards
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Old 4th January 2010, 08:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
One of the places on my list to visit, I hope it will be soon. Till then I guess Ill see Rann thru your lens and thru your narration.

I'll try to narrate it as well as I can, and post all the good pictures out of the 500 odd I clicked
Thanks and regards
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Rann rocks

I wanna go back there someday!
It does Rock, Completely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankursharma View Post
hey.. even we did a trip to rann this new year. mumbai-kutch and back, 3000kms in punto 1.4. details of trip and car on the way
Cool. From the distance, it seems you went to Bhuj. Looking forward to your travelogue too!

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Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
Excellent pics. Want to visit the Rann someday, it will surely be different from the beaches and the hill resorts.
Thank you

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Originally Posted by asethi View Post
Nice pics! Keep them coming.
Thanks. I shall do that.
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Old 4th January 2010, 09:07   #10
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Early next morning, we walked upto a small twin pond to catch some birds and the sunrise. It was a short 10 min walk to the place, and was completely isolated because of the chill. We braved our way to the best spot for photography and settled down, and as you would see from the pictures, it was worth it.

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The sound of absolute silence, except for the occasional chirp, gave a feeling of peace. The sun slowly started emerging from behind the pond, and the birds began to disperse too.

Fun in the Rann - New Years at Rann-Way!-dsc01726.jpg

We walked back to our cottage, and after getting ready, it was time for fresh fruits from the owner's orchards, pohas and sandwiches for breakfast. I was all excited for the real thing that was coming - The Rann Safari! I had opted for an extra excursion to Bajana Camp Wild *** Sanctuary, as people had told me that it was an even better option for wildlife spotting. So, in less than an hour, we would be leaving for Rann at Bajana Camp, and in the evening there would be another Safari to the conventional part of Rann that these resort people take you to.
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Old 4th January 2010, 09:50   #11
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Great photos!
A few doubts - from Sarkhej, how do you link up to the Viramgam road? I know that the Ring Road continues to Gandhinagar, etc, is teh Viramgam a branch off at Sarkhej or further down the Ring Road? Is the A'Bad-Viramgam road now a 4-lane road? Thanks in advance
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Old 4th January 2010, 10:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Great photos!
A few doubts - from Sarkhej, how do you link up to the Viramgam road? I know that the Ring Road continues to Gandhinagar, etc, is teh Viramgam a branch off at Sarkhej or further down the Ring Road? Is the A'Bad-Viramgam road now a 4-lane road? Thanks in advance
Thanks
As you turn on to ring road before the end of expressway, you continue towards Sarkhej till about 500 metres before Sarkhej Chowk. From there, you turn left for Sanand Road (That's where Ring Road ends).
Ahmedabad-Viramgam is in the process of 4-laning, but its only partly 4-lane till Sanand, and from there till Viramgam its under-construction.
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Old 4th January 2010, 11:02   #13
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umm, correct me if I'm wrong - ahmedabad viramgam was always a 4 lane highway!!

and i'm talking 2005-2006
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Old 4th January 2010, 12:08   #14
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Great shots! Specially of the single birds and the sun. Need to visit this place someday soon!
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Old 4th January 2010, 13:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
umm, correct me if I'm wrong - ahmedabad viramgam was always a 4 lane highway!!

and i'm talking 2005-2006
It isn't. But it is under progress. Only uptil Sanand (8 odd kms from Sarkhej) is it 4-lane, partly. Here are the latest pictures of the road condition.
Attached Thumbnails
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