An interesting way to celebrate full moon nights in winter is the Rann Utsav in Kutch, Gujarat. Imagine an uninterrupted vast expanse of sky above you brightly lit with a full moon as you sit on the charpoi outside your tent with white salt around as far as your eyes can see.
The Rann Utsav begins from November 1st and usually ends by the end of February next year or the beginning of March. The upcoming full moon dates 4th November and 3rd December 2017, 2nd and 31st January 2018. Therefore the ideal dates for Rann Utsav packages would be 3-5th November, 2-4th December, 1-3rd and 30th January – 1st February to get a full moon experience of the celebration.
One can either opt for spending all 3-4 days in the glorious tent city of Dhordo living in one of the 400+ tents there or the traditional Bhunga hut in the village. Alternatively, accommodation can be taken in Bhuj itself, and a trip to the tent city can be made on the day of the full moon. The other days can be spent visiting Kalo Dungar (Black Mountain), the Dattatreya temple near it, the Swaminarayan temple, the Kutch museum, Bhujhaat, etc. One should also consider the 2h travel time taken from Bhuj airport or railway station to Dhordo while planning their trip.
What to Expect
Winter is when several birds migrate from colder parts of the world like Siberia and Europe to Kutch. Birdwatchers are in for a treat at the Rann Utsav spotting birds with the backdrop of the white salts. Expect a lot of international and domestic tourists from all over India attended the live music shows, cultural events, driving or motorbiking in huge groups to socialise under the full moon with folk dance and music, handicrafts and Kutchi cuisine. Kutch is famous for its silver work, bandhini art, embroidery work such as Pako, Khareek and Suf, beautifully carved woodwork and furniture, all of which can be seen on display at the Rann Utsav. There are also a plethora of adventure activities and games such as camel safaris, paramotoring, paintball, ATV rides, etc. Other than the full moon nights, the Utsav makes it a point to take the celebrations a notch higher during Children’s Day, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s, Uttarayan and so on. Kite flying is one of the highly recommended activities to do here in the daytime.
This is everything you need to know about celebrating a full moon in Rann Utsav under the Kutch sky. Due to the increasing popularity of this festival, advance bookings are highly recommended.