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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:36   #46
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Default The Great white Rann - Kala Dunghar

The plan was to get up early and head northwards, to the great white desert.
But we got up late, all groggy and with a headache.
Why?
Because we slept at 3:30am.
Why?
Because there was a marriage going on, and two very besura duet couple were trying to Badnaam the munni and make Shiela young, but all they managed to do was put shiela into old age home with munni in tow.

Nevertheless, we skipped breakfast(bad decision) and headed towards the Rann.
The first stop was a small lake north of Bhuj
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175141703_orvysxl.jpg
Then it was Tropic of cancer Signboard. For the Geography geeks, Tropic of cancer does not pass from here. This board must have been marked a long time back. Tropic of cancer shifts every year. This year its at 23 26′ 16″.

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175161228_z5tuhxl.jpg

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175161266_5hefxxl.jpg

After that it was a small stop for permits. We tried hunting for eggs at Khavda, but the egg man had not come yet. So we proceeded forward.
Before visiting India bridge, we decided to to go up the Kala Dunghar
Around noon we were at the top, right at time for Jackal feast. However, the Dunghar itself was a disappointing experience due to haze and all.

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175144099_ejgprxl.jpg

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175147162_dqrzoxl.jpg

2010 saw excess monsoon, and even winter rains. So the entire Rann was marshy. When its dry you can drive to Dholavira. That said the govt is building a direct road to Dholavira, which will make it a short 20-30km run from Khavda. Till then you drive 200km+
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175147968_nvbqcxl.jpg

That is the India Bridge. Road from here goes to border post of Vigyakot
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175168430_rqpxqxl.jpg

The blue "ocean". Its actually the white run under 4 inches of water
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175171641_4znagxl.jpg

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175172833_53opxxl.jpg

At that moment, we are interrupted by utensil banging. The Jackal feed has been delivered, and soon they should come.
We go to the "viewpoint".
Jackal can come anytime.
Well birds came
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175174753_6g48exl.jpg

Then birds ran away. Why? No not because Jackal came. But because mongoose came
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175177835_5xg4jxl.jpg

After wasting 20 minutes we headed to the temple courtyard to have food

A bird shot
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175174049_ruhxvxl.jpg

The food was simple Dal and rice, but very very tasty. Hunger satisfied we went to the canteen and got 2 cups of tea. They cost 3rs each, and they looked the part too!
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175178311_htr6mxl.jpg

The size is truly humongous, isnt it? I guess Gujrat is the land of milk. Tea is given in small glasses only!

Suddenly we hear a commotion. Jackals have come? Maybe. People are running.
But the 486mm of FZ35 suggested otherwise.
Donkeys and dogs came.

So we saw donkeys, mongoose, dogs, birds, cows, tourists(who were somehow screaming like wild animals!).... but no jackal
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175178249_iyq6ixl.jpg

Time to go. A quick stop to India bridge where the BSF soldier laid on some nice abuses at the police checkpost for charging 250rs for permits to see the Rann.
He told us to click only landscapes, but no pics of the bridge. And we obliged

Here is the "from the bridge" shot
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175149368_c6xtgxl.jpg

It was 1:15am already, and now it was time to race towards the Great White Rann. We were waiting for the Rann. Little did we know that the Rann was also waiting for us, with an evil evil grin on its great white face
... TO BE CONT.......
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:38   #47
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_rocker View Post
When are you going to get stuck? I am waiting for those pics
Patience my friend!
Quote:
Superb travelogue Tanveer and the last set of pics are really beautiful - especially the camel pics with the sun setting in the back-ground - it reminded me of a scene from the movie "Sonar Kella" by Satyajit Ray (though shot in Jaisalmir).
Thanks, thats a truly nice compliment!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:50   #48
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Superb. Little Rann is so awesome.

Tanveer food for your next travelogue. Prepare to run the Rann along the border fencing. How can one get permits for that and do east/west crossing of north Gujrat.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 16:34   #49
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Another inspiring road trip travelogue TSK. You have managed to find wow locations outside of himalayas this time. Waiting for rest of it
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Old 2nd February 2011, 16:51   #50
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

The small island in between that shallow "ocean" is the flamingo island. Huge numbers of pink flamingos converge around here from Africa for annual migration.



The contrast from Kala Dungar sucks due to dusty atmosphere but the sun sets are lovely to watch. This is what I am told. Have seen sunrise but not had opportunity to watch sun set.

Last edited by sudev : 2nd February 2011 at 16:54.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 16:59   #51
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Wow, another superb travelog from Tanveer. Amazing read and equally amazing pictures, almost feeling like being there. Waiting eagerly for next installment.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:39   #52
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Lovely travelogue!!

BTW, the dogs at the resort looked like goats I actually scrolled back to have a second look!!

You have some lovely shots of the vehicle. Maybe you could try selling them to TATA for their promos
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:54   #53
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Simply awesome Tanveer.

I have been following your logs for sometime now and have been itching to ask you "How do you find the time to do this?"
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:56   #54
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Beautiful pic tsk. Three back to back Tlogs from harsh,ramkya1 and your has made me ever eager to make a Rann trip soon. Keep it coming.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 19:12   #55
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Superb. Little Rann is so awesome.

Tanveer food for your next travelogue. Prepare to run the Rann along the border fencing. How can one get permits for that and do east/west crossing of north Gujrat.
That would be super awesome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Another inspiring road trip travelogue TSK. You have managed to find wow locations outside of himalayas this time. Waiting for rest of it
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
The small island in between that shallow "ocean" is the flamingo island. Huge numbers of pink flamingos converge around here from Africa for annual migration.



The contrast from Kala Dungar sucks due to dusty atmosphere but the sun sets are lovely to watch. This is what I am told. Have seen sunrise but not had opportunity to watch sun set.
Interesting! How do you get to that island...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Wow, another superb travelog from Tanveer. Amazing read and equally amazing pictures, almost feeling like being there. Waiting eagerly for next installment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajman28 View Post
Lovely travelogue!!

BTW, the dogs at the resort looked like goats I actually scrolled back to have a second look!!

You have some lovely shots of the vehicle. Maybe you could try selling them to TATA for their promos
Thanks ajman and kaushik
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Simply awesome Tanveer.

I have been following your logs for sometime now and have been itching to ask you "How do you find the time to do this?"
Well this trip happened after months, I think the last one was spiti trip few months back. I normally go tripping on most long weekends
Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
Beautiful pic tsk. Three back to back Tlogs from harsh,ramkya1 and your has made me ever eager to make a Rann trip soon. Keep it coming.
Thanks v&V. Rann is a great place to run!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 19:40   #56
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Default The Great White Rann ate the Great White Elephant

After seeing the India Bridge, we decide to make a run for the Great white Rann. The Egg man at Khavda had come, and we got some really yucky tasting eggs from there. I wonder how can a boiled egg taste bad....? Maybe it was cold(boiled an hour before).

Wife did some shopping too. That area really has some great handicrafts at great price.

After that it was a pretty sedate run through some village highways to Dhorodo

the actual "White desert" starts 2km later. At the checkpost near Dhorodo, we submitted our permits, and were told that some movie shooting is going on.

The sun was shining, it was high noon, and high were our spirits
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175181949_urktmxl.jpg

Right near the end there was a barrier, but lots of cars were parked after that.
I also bypassed the barrier, and then instead of taking the "normal route" I decided to take the "crow flies" route.
Now the white elephant is no crow, and it does not fly. Even if you rapidly flap the ORVMs it still cannot fly.

The Rann was waiting. It looked so nice, like melted white chocolate. The stuff you love to eat. But the white chocolate was fed up with vegetarian food, and decided to eat the white elephant.

And before I could realize what has happened, we stopped. I was already in 4WD, so it meant we were really stuck.

Well no worry. All you gotta do is rock back and rock forth and you are free?
Right.

Well no rock back and rock forth here.

Here you get stuck means you get stuck.
So the wheels spun aimlessly and we were in the mud.
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1172987461_z2m57xl.jpg

We decide to move towards the parked "crew cars". There was a truck there too, and I hoped to find a showel or something.

No such luck. quite a few drivers came though, got in the slush, got their feet dirty and tried to push the car. But how do you push an elephant. Whats 4-5 people compared to 2.4 tonnes of hulking metal.

she just sat there and spun her wheels.
Lots of ideas were explored. Things like jacking up. But how do you jack up when your feet sink 1 foot into the mud?

Eventually reality stuck in. We were stuck. After almost 63000kms and 2.5 years, I had finally managed to get the white elephant stuck.
Mind you, I have spun wheels in Sand dunes of Rajasthan, almost gotten stuck in Pangong Tso, stuck in a hotel parking lot at Narkanda with almost a foot of snow, but always rock back and rock forth has worked.

Not this time. External help would be needed.

So some friendly tourists gave us a lift till the BSF gate, where the jawans gave me a funny "I told you so" look and some lecture. Anyways, the villagers will arrange a tractor for 500bucks, and it will come from 8kms away.

So with nothing much to do, we walked the 2kms from the checkpost, to the great white Rann, and decided to enjoy the Shooting.

The Great White Rann
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175150986_xrjuuxl.jpg

The funny thing about the Rann is whether you take one picture or you take 100, all look the same. There is this white thingy, which incidently was very wet. Unusual for this time of the year. This thing can swallow tractors too(which I learnt the hard way).
Then there is the blue sky.
But to see white stretching till the end and then blue sky makes you feel you are in Antartica without the cold.
Trust me, if you want to show your friends that you went to Antartica or Arctic circle without actually going there, wear a thick jacket, or a fur coat, pretend to shiver, and get yourself clicked in the Great white Ran
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175152373_uyrrtxl.jpg

We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175155083_rzj5kxl.jpg

anyways, we reached the movie shooting scene. Nobody tried to shoo us away. I guess thats the difference between Kannada film industry and bollywood. It would have been impossible to get within a mile of the set if it had been a hindi movie or something.
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175180469_czv33xl.jpg

Another shot of the heroine.
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175181968_zdhdbxl.jpg

This guy was probably the villain
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175184795_grvvgxl.jpg

This guy was the hero
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175185006_9xtcjxl.jpg

And in the next pic you will see the other shooting going on. A bigger tamasha than the movie shooting
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175185990_heczmxl.jpg

The FZ35 revealed that a tractor was indeed coming and it was time to scoot towards the site
But one final great white Rann pic
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1172986716_8o4hcxl.jpg

We reached the site, the tractor was in place, and even the BSF officer had come to see from the checkpost that where exactly had we managed to get stuck
We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean-1175157140_okrsexl.jpg

the first dialogue that greets us in the "movie" is "Shooting Baad me Dekh lena, pehle Gaadi to nikalwa lo"
Translated : Watch the shooting later, first get your car out.

Meanwhile the Tractor guy is looking at us funny. He is wondering how did we reach there.
Then he tells the officer that his tractor will get stuck.

After some brainstorming they decide that they will first drive the tractor right behind the safari and make the ground level.

Its not easy task, and the poor tractor is spinning its wheels.

Today can be a very long day.

More tourists come. One of them asks "Shooting kahan hai".

The officer replies(on seeing the camera in wife's hand), " Ek yahaan chal rahi hai, or ek wahan chal rahi hai, koi si bhi dekh lo"

i.e. One shooting is going on here, and one is going on there, watch whichever you like.

I get in the car, and more tourists have come. Even the movie shooting taxi crew has come. They are not interested in movie shooting anymore, they all want to watch us.

We were the new stars of the Rann.

So for your viewing pleasure, I present to you, a "White Elephant Picture production"



I guess this video does not need any words, right?
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Old 2nd February 2011, 19:59   #57
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Default Re: The Great White Rann ate the Great White Elephant

I really love the way Tanveer narrates his story.

As usual GREAT pics....

The Rann looks awesome, if not for getting stuck, the Rann could have been the Boneville of India. (he he he.. joking)

About that stucky situation, even the best 4x4's on earth could have failed.

About those Actors.

Actress - Raagini Dwivedi - One of the top actress in Kannada film industry.

Actor - Sudeep aka Kichha. The Best ever Actor Director Kannada industry has, almost beats all top actors in bollywood in terms of technical skills and acting. Has worked in few Hindi movies with Ram Gopal Verma.

Last edited by PAVAN KADAM : 2nd February 2011 at 20:05.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 21:43   #58
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Exceptional narration tsk1979, enjoyed reading every bit. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 21:54   #59
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

I see all 4 wheels spinning in the video. Is this a 4WD? How much would limited slip differentials have helped in this scenario?

Thanks for the great narratives. I can imagine, it would take a lot of effort and time to write this up!!

Cheers
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Old 2nd February 2011, 22:03   #60
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Default Re: We Ran the Rann, and Kissed the Ocean

Lovely pictures there tanveer and have been glued from day 1. What happened to your canon and when did you shift to the Pano FZ35 ? That's some amazing quality of pics you have managed to churn out with the FZ35.
Loved the turn of events and that you ventured into a place where others would have thought a few times. Getting stuck and then wandering around and finally finding help.
The brighter side is that even the movie crew was interested in seeing your Safari getting pulled out, LOL . Wonder what would have been running through the minds of Sudeep and Raagini.

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 2nd February 2011 at 22:06.
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