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Old 11th January 2022, 14:39   #1
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Default Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

We bought our car in July 2021 and have been itching for a nice, multi day long drive since then. We have been to multiple day trips already, had just completed 5000 kms. Our initial plan was for a Nashik-Saputara trip from Vadodara, with some friends coming over during the Christmas-New Year break. But then, Omicron started happening all across, and their trips got cancelled. We, me and my wife, decided that the trip must happen, but maybe somewhere else. The top candidate was the Rann of Kutchh and that is where we planned to go.

The post will be a long one, have a few photos within to keep you entertained, so, let's go!

Day 1


Our trip began on the cloudy and dark morning of 28th of December, 2021 at around 0630h. Google maps said it would take about 8.5 hours of driving to our destination, we were expecting around 10 hours total. Our breakfast stop was planned near Viramgam. There was a hotel which provided good food and had clean toilets, so, that was the spot. The traffic on the NE1 was moderate and there was quite a bit of weaving involved throughout, but since it is an expressway, the general speed of the traffic was about 70kmph +, so, not a lot of issues there. We arrived at the breakfast spot, Hotel Sahyog at about 0930h. 150 kms in about 2.5 hours, not bad.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-en-route.jpg
Our objective was to be consistent in the drive to be able to extract maximum efficiency from the car. After having breakfast, utilizing the toilets and giving the car a quick wash, we were on our way at about 10 am.

We arrived at the edge of the Rann of Kutch, past the small town of Balasar at about 1500h. This is where you get the first glimpse of the beautiful Rann (Desert, in local language). My wife had been itching for her share of the drive and I wanted to take some photos and videos, so, we switched seats and off we went. The roads are simply wonderful and a driverís pleasure. From the edge of the Rann to our resort in the Khadir Bet island, it was about 20 kms and we savoured every bit of the drive. There were patches which had dried sea bed on either side to times where there was water. One has to be there to experience it and I dare say, words or photographs do not do enough justice.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-first-glimpse-rann.jpg
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-tuhina-driving.jpg
A point of caution, the town of Balasar is where you find the last of petrol pumps. Google maps may show a Reliance Petrol Pump in the Khadir Bet Island, near the Dholavira Metropolis site, it does not exist. We arrived at the Khadir Resort close to 1530h and had some food. On the way, there was a viewpoint named Chipper Point, which we had planned to check out on the next days, so, after a quick refresh at the resort, we headed towards the Sunset Point at the edge of the island. Again, one must say, that the roads are amazing. Even at a village level, the roads are paved, even though single lane, yet clean, and well maintained. Being a border road may have some merit though. Anyway, at the sunset point, there is a newly erected White Rann Tent City, a sister tent city of the one at Dhordo and offers similar experiences on this side of the Rann. We watched the sun set into the sea, while being absolutely swept by the howling wind.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-sunset-point.jpeg
We returned back to the resort, quite cold, but happy at location and the facilities available. Now, to combat the lack of petrol pump issue, most, if not all of the resorts maintain a stock of fuel with them in 1 litre bottles. Our resort also helped us to a few litres to top up for next day, we would embark on an unique kind of trip.
We had freshly baked Rotlos (bigger and stouter cousin of Rotis) made of Bajra, Kadhi, Khichdi, Chutney and a lip smacking potato curry for dinner and turned in for the night. We were tired by the drive and excited at what was coming up next day, so we slept almost immediately.
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Old 11th January 2022, 14:45   #2
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Default re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

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Originally Posted by NovemberKing_91 View Post

Day 1

Day 2



29th of December began with early morning tea being served. While the hosts were cooking up Poha, we made acquaintances with the other families which had arrived there already. Our itinerary for the day was one that would take us to two unique geographical features, through one of the most scenic routes ever imaginable.
At around 0945h, we were on our way towards the White Rann of Kutch, through the Rann of Kutch lake. This road is formally known as the Aadhav-Dholavira Road, more commonly, as the Road to Heaven. It is a 10 feet wide, under construction road that cuts across the lake joining the landmass near Khavda (where there is a petrol pump) to Dholavira. With water or dried sea bed, depending on the season, on either side, driving on this road is a pleasure to the senses.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-road-heaven.jpg
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-nexon-rth.jpeg
The dried sea bed is white, due to the salt and it is so close to the road that I could actually get down and touch it. Since it was not completely dried out, the land is a bit mushy and you will sink a bit, so any thoughts of taking your car on to the Rann at this place, kindly throw it out immediately. Anyway, through this amazing road we went and arrived at the Khavda petrol pump.
Our car being the only petrol car waiting in line, got served quickly and we were on our way towards the White Rann, near the tent city of Dhordo. There is a road which borders the Rann, with absolute emptiness on either side from a little south of Khavda to effectively the gates of the White Rann, we found and took it. While the road surface is awesome and invites high speed driving, please be careful since it is also a single lane road and you have to move away from the road to the shoulder to give way for oncoming traffic, and the shoulder is a couple of inches below the tarmac, so caution is advised. There is a BSF checkpoint at the entrance to the White Rann where you must show your pass, which can be obtained online easily, or there itself at the checkpost. Past that, we arrived at the White Rann of Kutch.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-salt-wrok.jpeg
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-tuhina-wrok.jpeg
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-nexon-wrok.jpeg
As far as the eyes could see, right upto the horizon, it is white. The entire ground is white with salt crystals and quite a bit of crowd around. Despite the crowd, the Rann is so huge and space is so plentiful, it is easily possible to avoid fellow humans in the background of the photos if so desired. There are options to go into the Rann upto a few kms using camel or horse drawn carriages. There seemed to be provisions of driving on the Rann too, but I was not interested in that, so didnít explore further. Toilet facilities are lacking at this spot. There is a toilet block nearby though, which is still in construction phase and lacks water supply, hence cleanliness. Toilets are available at the border check point and the tent city though, which should be accessible.
Next up, we had a 85 kms long trip to the next destination. En route, we stopped at the location where the Tropic of Cancer passes through and took a few photos.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-us-toc.jpeg
Our destination was the Khari river canyon. This is a river canyon or gorge of sorts made by the Khari river. At its deepest, it is about 50 ft deep. While it is not as big as the famed river canyons, it is still an unique feature and a first for us, so naturally, we were thrilled to see it. We took photos to our hearts content and now, we turned back.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-khari-river-canyon.jpeg
En route, we had a quick lunch at a roadside dhaba and were looking at a drive of about 200 kms back to the resort. One can go back the way they came, across the lake, we took the conventional route through the outskirts of Bhuj, Rapar, Balasar to reach our destination. Off course, night fell before we were anywhere near the resort. The roads are quite empty, which, provide you the confidence of driving quickly, also make you wary of the surroundings. Uneventfully, thankfully, we arrived back at our resort. The place is so pristine and has such little light pollution, stars are visible even in the dashcamís video. We went out for a bit, switched off our lights and got off to admire the beautiful skies around, could identify a couple of constellations, saw a shooting star, then we felt cold and could hear foxes close by. My wife, not being fond of furry things, pets or otherwise, urged me strongly, to get back in the car, and hence we returned to the resort.
The second night, we stayed at the Flamingo resort, which was about 200m from the Khadir resort. The hosts are amazing and the fact that the stay at Flamingo caters to the residential school being run makes you feel good. After a hearty meal, we retired for the night. Next day, we would be visiting the nearly 5000 year old metropolis of Dholavira in the morning, and then drive back home to Vadodara. Long day ahead!
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Old 11th January 2022, 14:49   #3
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Default re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

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Originally Posted by NovemberKing_91 View Post

Day 2


Day 3



Our final dayís trip began with Poha and tea. A few photos at the Flamingoís premises and off we were towards Dholavira site. Today, we had decided, until it gets too crowded, my wife would be at the wheel, then I shall take over if required.
The Dholavira site is nothing short of a wonder. We all know of the Giza Pyramids, what if I told you, that here in Dholavira, people from the same age had homes with attached kitchens, had amphitheatres, had a complex multilevel water filtration plant, lived and traded and buried their dead. Without trying to take away the Pyramidís thunder, I am simply saying, please come visit Dholavira. It used to be the biggest metropolis in what we know now as the Indus-Valley civilization. With a few hectares of space which has water tanks, wells, upper-middle-lower towns, houses, a common playground and stadium, this place is not just a bunch of ruins from the past. In fact, this town a few millennia old is in better shape than a few forts we trek to near Pune. You can see the indentations made by repeated use of ropes, pulleys, earthen pots, etc. For someone who is remotely interested in the history and off course has the patience to hear the guides out, this place is simply mesmerizing. We spent almost 3 hours here for the tour of the upper and middle town areas and then we were on our way back.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-dholavira-1.jpeg
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-dholavira-2.jpeg
The route back was the same route as we had taken on the first day, we stopped at the same place again, utilized its resources, and were back home by about 2100h. In all, the car had run 1456 kms and the average calculated was 19.1 km/l. There was no physical fatigue, no joint pains or muscle cramps, but we both slept for at least 10-12 hours a day for the next two days, not complaining!
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-end-stats.jpg

In all, the car went through some amazing roads to places with no roads and only rocks. There were patches which felt like they would kill the suspension, to getting stuck on a sand bank thanks to a wrong turn. In each of the situation, the car performed as good as it could be imagined and delivered what was expected out of it. By the end, I am hearing a faint rattle from the left front door and seats squeak a bit. The second service is due this Friday, hopefully the issues will get sorted out with no issues and the service centre guys do not curse me on account of how dirty and grimy the car has become.

To conclude, I will echo the tagline for Kutch, Kutcch nahi dekha toh Kuch nai dekha ( If you havenít been to Kutcch, you havenít been anywhere).

Your comments, questions and suggestions are welcome and eagerly awaited.
Cheers!!
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Old 12th January 2022, 17:20   #4
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

Thanks for being a Guest to "Panjo Kutch"!

I guess you must have had time constraints, since you have skipped multiple interesting locations here. Kalo Dungar being one of them.

Nevertheless, the photographs & write-up were brilliant!

Acho Kutch!
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Old 12th January 2022, 21:27   #5
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

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Originally Posted by urbanzameendar View Post
Thanks for being a Guest to "Panjo Kutch"!

I guess you must have had time constraints, since you have skipped multiple interesting locations here. Kalo Dungar being one of them.

Nevertheless, the photographs & write-up were brilliant!

Acho Kutch!
Hi,

Thank you

Yes, we were a little short on the available time since we wanted to wrap up before 31st Dec. Anyway, we plan to return to Dholavira soon, with some more people too. So, probably in the next trip, we ll check out more places.
Could you please pen down the places which are must visit? Mandvi beach, Narayan Sarovar, etc. were on the cards, but we skipped over them intentionally.
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Old 12th January 2022, 22:38   #6
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

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Originally Posted by NovemberKing_91 View Post
Could you please pen down the places which are must visit? Mandvi beach, Narayan Sarovar, etc. were on the cards, but we skipped over them intentionally.
Do ping me next time you visit Kutch.

As per our standard kutch itinerary, we arrange the Sightseeing for our guests in this order:

Day 1:
Arrival at Bhuj/Kandla Airport. Check-In at Rann Village Resort. Visit Rann Utsav & White Desert after Lunch. Enjoy cultural program at the desert along with various activities. Return to resort and relax.

Day 2:
Visit Mandvi for day trip. Sightseeing at Vijay Vilas Palace, Shyamji Krushna Verma Memorial, 72 Jinalay Jain Temple, Ambe Dham Temple, Windfarm Beach. Return to resort.

Day 3:
Visit Dholavira for day trip via the new road. Visit IVC Metropolis, Fossil Park, Museum. Lunch at Rann Resort Dholavira. Return to resort, visit Kalo Dungar, Guru Dattatreya Temple & Magnetic Point enroute.

Day 4:
Today, visit Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar Mahadev, Lakhpat Fort, Mata No Madh (Maa Ashapura Temple) and back to resort in the evening.

Day 5:
Check-out from resort and proceed to Bhuj for city tour at Prag Mahal, Aina Mahal, Swaminarayan Temple, Kutch Museum, Chhaterdi, Vande Mataram Memorial

Drop at Airport/Railway Station/Bus Port.

In between, we arrange for a handicraft village tour near to our resort at the guest's convenience.

Last edited by urbanzameendar : 12th January 2022 at 22:39. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 13th January 2022, 12:02   #7
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

Much thanks for penning this down here. Comes in right on time when I am planning my next trip.

A question on the new road between Aadhav and Dholavira. I had seen few YouTube videos of people riding on bikes on this road and few cars could be seen in those videos. Also, the road looked good enough for cars. Since you drove on it, what percentage of the road is complete or is it a total mud road itself? Also, any bad patches as such on the road to be noted?

Adding an image to confirm this is the road you are talking about.
Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon-aadhavdholavira.jpg
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Old 13th January 2022, 16:02   #8
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

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Originally Posted by urbanzameendar View Post
Do ping me next time you visit Kutch. .
.
.
.
In between, we arrange for a handicraft village tour near to our resort at the guest's convenience.
Thanks for the detailed itinerary. We are planning to do 5 day trip from 26 to 30 Jan. Hopefully we can!

What would be the cost of entire package for family of 2 adult and 3 year old kid having personal car for all the travels?!

Last edited by aah78 : 13th January 2022 at 17:57. Reason: Quote trimmed. Please quote only relevant sections of posts. Thanks!
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Old 13th January 2022, 17:36   #9
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Originally Posted by zurura023 View Post
Much thanks for penning this down here. Comes in right on time when I am planning my next trip.
Hi,

For your reference, Honda City and Fluidic Verna travel comfortably on this newly opened road.

Approximately 35 kms of the stretch is unpaved and mud, although its driveable by most cars.

Advice:
Don't forget to top-up fuel from either Khavda or Rapar, whichever side you are accessing the road from. Also don't forget to check your spare tyre, keep it well inflated. You wont get fuel or puncture shop in between.

Last edited by aah78 : 13th January 2022 at 17:57. Reason: Quote trimmed. Typos fixed.
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Old 13th January 2022, 20:16   #10
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Originally Posted by n33rav View Post
What would be the cost of entire package for family of 2 adult and 3 year old kid having personal car for all the travels?!
Accommodation should cost you around 4-6k for Deluxe Tents per room per night while Craft Villa (Kutchi Bhunga as locally known) would cost you around 5-7k per room per night. All meals are generally included with the room tariff as complimentary in the White Rann area (Bhirandiyara, Hodka, Gorewali & Dhordo villages).

Chain hotels such as Regenta by Royal Orchid, Fern Residency, Clarks Exotica are present in Bhuj (80 kms before Dhordo). Also there are plenty of standalone budget properties at Bhuj.

Bhuj being situated exactly at the center of Kutch district, most of the places of interest are at an hour's drive and doable as day trips.
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Old 14th January 2022, 00:54   #11
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Brilliant write-up. Your post is sowing seeds in my mind to plan a trip to the Rann!
Awesome pictures, and nice details of the places you visited.
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Old 14th January 2022, 17:58   #12
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Wonderfully written with great photographs. Rightly brought out and am quoting your words -One has to be there to experience it and I dare say, words or photographs do not do enough justice. Also the road is a pleasure to the senses. Brings me back in time to the year 2004 when an official trip to Jamnagar got me to Dholavira. It was a lesser known place and those reading excavations would visit. Took a bus to Bhuj and got down in between. Hired a jeep to Dholavira and caught the same bus in the evening. Sadly photography was not allowed in the site and what I saw was mesmerizing. The big earthquake ruins were there all along the road. It was really lonely and I had water at the BSF post from a earthen pot . The guard at the site then acted as a guide and it was surprising how much he knew. The site had was being dug up and it a treasure to all historians. Thanks for bringing it alive once again. I think the village name read as Dhoravira though it is famous as Dholavira.
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Old 17th January 2022, 11:51   #13
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Default Re: Vadodara to the White Rann of Kutch, via Dholavira | Tata Nexon

Quote:
Originally Posted by zurura023 View Post
Much thanks for penning this down here. Comes in right on time when I am planning my next trip.

A question on the new road between Aadhav and Dholavira. I had seen few YouTube videos of people riding on bikes on this road and few cars could be seen in those videos. Also, the road looked good enough for cars. Since you drove on it, what percentage of the road is complete or is it a total mud road itself? Also, any bad patches as such on the road to be noted?

Adding an image to confirm this is the road you are talking about.
Attachment 2259288
Hi,

I am sorry for being a bit late.
The entire road is still a dirt road. Compacted dirt road. Good enough for cars to travel at speeds of around 30-40kmph. You should have no issues driving there. There are multiple culverts, some you go around, some you climb. In either case, kindly honk a few times as you cross them. Other than this, no issues at all.
Hope you have a wonderful trip.
Cheers!
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