Saturday, 17 May 2014

Kutch, "Kutch nahi dekha to kuuch nahi dekha"

As avid travelers we were aware of the unique landscape that Kutch has to offer, so we kept Kutch in our itinerary. Kutch was the last destination that we intended to visit in this Gujarat trip.


Sunrise shot of a flock of Flamingo
  From Gir we went back to Ahmedabad. We had already booked our stay with Bhavana Resorts and Farms(http://bhavnafarm.com/index.html) in Little Runn of Kutch which is about 90 km from Ahmedabad.

  There are two Ranns of Kutch, the Greater Rann of Kutch(GRK) and the lesser Rann of Kutch(LRK). The advertisement in which you see Mr Bachchan walking on the silvery white land under a full moon is shot in GRK(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PHfcd9AZ6s). GRK is famous for the stunning white ground that looks out of the world on full moon nights. A lot of birders also flock to GRK since a variety of birds and small land predators are found there. The Rann Utsav is held every year in GRK.


  The LRK on the other hand, is closer to Ahmedabad and is famous for its Indian wild asses and water birds. Since we were more eager for wild Indian asses we decided for LRK.

  Our package at Bhavana included two safaris, the evening safari(on the same day) and the morning safari (the next day). The resort is very beautiful. There are nice cottages each with its open front balcony and a swing. The outer walls of the cottages are plastered with mud and decorated with mirrors and painting to give them a bucolic look.

  Our dedicated driver for both the safaris was Ali Bhai. He is someone extremely patient and knowledgeable about the birds and their habitats. He can be reached at 9427456592.

  In the evening safari Ali bhai first took us to a salt factory. We saw heaps of unprocessed salt outside the factories. They look like big grey crystals. We were taken inside a factory where we saw salt processing and packaging.


Salt Factory

Salt Crystals

Huge heaps of salt
  From there we were taken to the Rann. We saw a few water bodies mostly dried up because of the dry months, but were full with birds and ducks. There were flocks of flamingos and cranes. We took some photos but did not wait much, anyway the next day safari was for bird sighting. Today we must not miss the wild asses.


Wild Ass


  On reaching the Rann we were taken to a barren place where you can see miles in the distance and there is not much vegetation nearby. The earth is parch and barren with beautiful crack patterns on them.There we saw about twenty wild asses. The beautiful creatures were simply standing and doing nothing. We moved a little closer to them but they still remained stationary.
We stayed and clicked them for almost an hour. Then Ali told us that he will take us to some place to see the sunset.


Taking eye level shot of the Wild Asses
  He took us to a place called sunset point. There was already over a hundred people who had come to see the sunset. Since Ali understood that we are very much interested in taking perfect sunset clicks so he stopped the car a little further from the crowd where there was no people. We fixed our cameras on tripods and waited for the sun to get down.

  The sunset was really beautiful. The sun looked like a huge red egg yolk and slowly it sank below the horizon. The texture of the earth, the colour of the sky and the huge red sun gave us some outstanding shots.


Sunset

Sunset

  After witnessing the sunset we got into our car and headed back to our resort. The temperature dropped drastically and it was so cold. Luckily for us, Ali told us to carry jackets and mufflers at the time we stepped out for the safari. In LRK the day is hot and the nights very cold.


During Sunset

Star Trail at LRK
  The next day we headed for the birds. At our resort gate we saw two colourful indian rollers. Then we saw some francolins running on the fields on either sides of the road. Ali bhai took us to a large water body and told us to wait. The sun still has not come out and we were waiting in our car. Within five minutes we saw a huge flock of flamingos descend before us. There were at-least two hundred of them.


Indian Roller
  Both me and Ankur were moving very systematically towards them, we were taking a few shots and them moving a few feet towards them so that even if the birds fly away we will still get some progressive close up shots. We came very near to the periphery of the water and at a very short distance from the birds. The birds also took us for granted and did not move away when all of a sudden three naughty dogs came from nowhere. They just came with the sole intention of scaring away the birds and deriving pleasure from there. They just did that and went away. I feel they do this quite regularly and it is one of their favorite plays. Sadly for us the birds were gone.


Flock of Rosy Pelicans

Greater Flamingo
  Ali bhai took us to another place. There were birds; but they were very far away. So again he took us to a different water body. Here we got some different birds. We saw a big imperial eagle at a distance, sarus cranes, northern pintails, stilts, ibis and ducks. We also saw a beatiful brown shoulder kite.

  But we were still not happy. We still need pelicans and flamingos. Though we have already photographed flamingos at Nal sarovar but what about the rosy and dalmatian pelicans? Sensing this, Ali bhai took it as challenge. He told us that he will take us to another spot a little far where people mostly don't go and try to see if anything is there.

  On reaching there we understood why people mostly do not go there. There are two connected water bodies guarded by thorny bushes! We cautiously made our way through the bushes and then what we saw was a pelican and flamingo paradise. There was a thin channel of water that was connecting both the water bodies and we decided that we will cross it over to get as much close to the pelicans.


Rosy Pelican

Flock of Rosy Pelican

Flock of Rosy Pelican

Crane

Saras Crane


 Both of us held our hands tight, each supporting the other. Soon I realized that the depth of the water is not very less, its at half foot lesser to my waist. Moreover the clay was sticky and slippery. I almost toppled but luckily managed to save myself and the camera.

  The effort payed off well. Since the birds do not find much disturbance here they were not intimated by us and we got some satisfactory shots. We again crossed the water channel and the bushes. Both of us were half covered in mud clay. Our sneakers were oozing mud water in every step that we took, but luckily Ali was carrying a big can of water. We did some initial cleaning and got on our open jeep.

  Every child in the village will wave at you if they understand you are a tourist. Such incredible warmth and such an incredible place. We are sure we will come back to Gujarat again and again.

4 comments:

  1. We saw the pictures of the whole school! All 20 teachers enjoy spectacular views of your images. They are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is wonderful indeed,thank you so much :)

      Delete
  2. Really its amazing.Now I also want to go Kutch.

    ReplyDelete

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