nndp87

Well-Known Member
Kachchh, as locals call it is situated in the state of Gujarat. It is one of the most important region in terms of economy (due to presence of 2 major international ports i.e. Kandla and Mundra), it's tourism, art, yummy dabeli, etc. The development came post a devastating earthquake in 2001. Various tourism efforts by Gujarat State Government ensured that it became one of the most visited places in India. Mr. Bachchan helped this cause as well.

Basically Kachchh (Kutch) is a wetland. There are 2 major areas one of which is called Little Rann of Kutch (LROK) (this can be accessed during December to May, when water dries up) and another is called Greater Rann of Kutch (GROK) (only part of it can be accessed from November to February because to the Northwest lies the International Border with Pakistan. There are many types of grassland with their seasonal wetlands which form the outer belt of Rann of Kutch.

I had been to Kutch before with HVK Group in their All India Meet, you can read the details in the below mentioned link.
The Amazing 'Kutch' Road Trip !!!

You had visited Kutch earlier, why again?
My parents and My wife haven't visited this part, + there are amazing roads to drive in this part of the India.
It was 9 days trip crisscrossing various regions of Kutch. More details are coming up in the next post.

Few Teasers for your eyes only

LROK

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Gangto Bet, Rapar

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Fossil Park, Dholavira
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Lakhpat Fort
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Koteshwar Temple
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Swaminarayan Temple, Bhuj
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Jump Jump, GROK
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Local Folk Music
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Justtraveller

Active Member
Hi
I have read your Mughal Road,cliffhanger log as well. Hooked to this one. Waiting for your detailed and informative log as usual.
Regards
 

nndp87

Well-Known Member
Sorry for delay guys, was occupied with work throughout. Lot of writing pending in this TLog and New Himalayan Trip. Anyways let's continue.

D1 / 19th January 2018 / Friday
A trip day at work is just for the sake of attendance, I reached office early in the morning, so I can escape from office as quickly as possible with zero productivity at work. So post work, we quickly left for Ahmedabad around 5 PM, the plan was to touch Ahmedabad by midnight and start next day for the first part of the trip. Drive on NH8 from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is always fun, irrespective of numerous drives. By 12 midnight we were in Ahmedabad, we took an accommodation on Ring Road, so next day one can easily zoom out of the city.

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Palace, Ring Road Ahmedabad.
Location: Google Maps

GMap Link Today: Dahisar East to Hotel Royal Palace

D2 / 20th January 2018 / Saturday
Post breakfast, we were ready for the first part of the trip. So today's plan was to cross Little Rann of Kutch (LROK) and reach Rapar by the evening. From Ahmedabad fast 4 laned state highway will take you to Sanand, crossing Sanand was irritating due to local traffic, animals relaxing on the road and endless speed-breakers, from Sanand again beautiful 4 laned highway will take you to Viramgam, here one is supposed to leave 4 laned highway and enter the Viramgam town, you have option to take bypass as well, but it will hardly make any difference. "If you are running low on fuel, please refill it from Viramgam itself, you will find one big fuel pump bang on highway before getting into the town" we slowly navigated out of Viramgam on to 2 laned state highway towards Zainabad, the scenery had changed by now, beautiful village road made way in place of industrial occupied 4 laned highway. In an hour we made it to Zainabad, the last major village / town before entering Little Rann of Kutch. At Zainabad we went to Forest Department’s office and obtained the necessary permits and moved towards Zinzuwada.

Little Rann of Kutch: The entry point into LROK which we took was through the village named Zinzuwada and exit was through Adesar. Since Little Rann of Kutch is Wild Ass Sanctuary and comes under forest department, legally one is bound to take the permit for driving through the Rann, the permit is available at Zainabad forest department office, however there is no one to check the same, so one can avoid it, however it’s completely your decision. LROK is spread across vast area; one can enter / exit Rann through various points, Like Zinzuwada / Adesar / Palasava / Dharangadhra / Halvad / Radhanpur, etc. The fun part begins as, It’s somewhere between 60 to 80 Kilometers drive through nothingness, no traffic, no phone connectivity, no tarr road, just the Rann, You and Your vehicle, you have to drive ahead only on the basis of tyre marks, if tyre marks go away, it means you are in wrong direction, so stop there and trace back. One has to be very careful here since this is marshy land so there are chances that your car might get stuck in here. The road is motorable only from December till June end, for rest of the period it’s a marshy land and becomes non-mototable.

The Entry Gate at Zinzuwada, known as Madapol Gate.
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Once you go pass through this gate, take right and drive for 1 kilometre and thereafter leave the main road and enter LROK. The drive is exhilarating to be honest, mobile network goes away, zero traffic and one is driving through the trail for next 25 to 30 kilometres. After driving for 25 kilometres you will make it to Vachchharaj Dada Temple.

Some History about Vachchharaj Temple:
According to history, Vatsarajsinh Solanki a Rajput by caste was getting married, when he was taking the feras, he heard the news that some dacoits were looting and taking the cows of village. He left the marriage ceremony in the middle to fight the plunderers, in which he attained martyrdom. It is believed that his head was severed in the fight by sword of an enemy, but even after that his body fought against the people and killed them all. In veneration of his heroic sacrifice, a temple was later built in his memory.

The temple has accommodation option as well, though very basic in terms of facilities, besides temple there is big cow shed, which houses many cows.

After quick darshan at the temple, we made our way ahead; the tricky drive starts from here, the road from Zinzuwada till Vachchharaj Temple is marked, so one will not encounter any problem, however the road further is unmarked for most of the part, so one has to rely on tyre marks and sixth sense. I had the phone GPS working throughout which helped enormously in addition to that a week before a member from HVK Forum has crossed it successfully; his inputs of avoiding the marshy place with marking on GMaps were priceless. The drive was full of fun, anxiety, surprises, mirages of landscapes, etc. In next 2 hours we made it to Varnun other side of the LROK, I was immensely happy and relieved. It was already 3 PM and we didn’t have our lunch since there was no option inside the Rann, finally found a roadside dhaba with delicious food. Post lunch the drive to Rapar was easy and smooth. By 6 PM we made it to Rapar for the night halt. Rapar is small bustling town in the Kutch region of Gujarat, this town was completely destroyed during Gujarat Earthquake but today it’s completely different. Evening was spent roaming around the small market of Rapar and having roadside food.

Accommodation: Suvidha Guest House And Restaurant
Location: Google Maps

Road from Zinzuwada to Vachchharaj Temple
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Vachchharaj Temple
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Cowshed besides Vachchharaj Temple
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Rajput Horse
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Landscape inside the LROK
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Pirate Posing inside LROK
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People posing inside LROK
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That structure indicates you are on right path near Varnun
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End of LROK
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Dhaba Lunch
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Another article on BCMTouring which helped me in planning the Rann part:

Crossing Little Rann of Kutch - LRK ...

Another article on Zigwheels by Ajay Jagga helped me in planning the Rann part:
Crossing Little Rann of Kutch - The Little is actually not Little - ZigWheels Forum

My Inputs on Crossing LROK:
1. Once you enter LROK, there are no roads at all.
2. The initial patch of 2 to 3 kilometers once you enter the LROK is little bad, post that dirt track with white polls will accompany you all the way till Vachraj Temple and it’s fun to drive.
3. From Vachraj Temple take right turn behind the bushes towards Adesar / Palasava straight road would be towards Zinzuwada the one where you came from, Vachraj Temple to Exit point of Rann is again fun to drive, however you need to be careful here and ensure that you don’t run into the Marshy Land, follow the fresh tyre marks.
4. Also en-route you will meet few vehicles, so stop them and confirm that you are going in correct direction.
5. Finally you will come across a track having red flag and pole, it’s an indication that you are going in correct direction.
6. After few kilometers you will come to a point where there is RCC structure with roof, post that you will see 4 arrow mark board, take right at this point for Adesar and you will be out of Rann.
7. Once you are out of Rann, roads would be bad till Varnun Village, post that decent road till Adesar, where you touch National Highway.
The Rann has been dug up at various places, I was not able to understand why, but the pattern showed that it has been dug up for passing the water lines.
8. GMaps Link: LROK - Google My Maps

GMaps Link for Today (Ahmedabad to Zinzuwada): Hotel Royal Palace to Zinzuwada
GMaps Link for Today (Zinzuwada to Adesar): Refer Point No. 8
GMaps Link for Today (Adesar to Rapar): Adesar to Suvidha Guest House And Restaurant (I took longer route via Chitrod because it was four laned)
 
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nndp87

Well-Known Member
D3 / 21st January 2018 / Sunday
The street opposite to our Guest House suddenly appeared very delicious, idli / dosas / dabeli / garma garam vada & bhajiya / chaas / tea. The breakfast was equivalent to lunch. When we started from Rapar, I thought it would be a relaxed day and a small drive to Dholavira but God had totally different plan for us. Our hotel guy suggested us to visit Ravechi Temple on the way to Dholavira. So we started lazily around 9.30 AM and drove towards Rav Village, first we visited Ravechi Temple located inside the Rav village. I always have a habit of looking at Google Maps and since yesterday evening I was seeing something called as Gangto Bet, so I checked with shopkeeper outside the temple and they told me that there is white rann near Gangto Bet and Temple of Ravechi Mataji on the hilltop. I was like lets go and check out. So we started driving slowly towards Gangto Bet with the help of Navigation in GMaps and after 4 kilometres we were surprised by the view in front of us, everyone excitingly shouted, "wow, White Rann". We kept driving till the point there was block on the road. We all got down and started enjoying and admiring the beauty of White Rann, after 15 minutes a Tata Sumo passed by and went straight towards the Gangto Bet, I was surprised and immediately went running to check the trail through which Tata Sumo passed. The road was of course motorable and we immediately got inside the car and started moving towards the Temple uphill on Gangto Bet. The road was rough all the way up to the hilltop. A beautiful Ravechi Mata Temple located on the hilltop looked mesmerizing with no one around except the people from Tata Sumo, even people from Tata Sumo were surprised on seeing us, because except locals hardly anyone is aware of this place, in addition they also told us about the history of the place as well.

Ravechi Temple (Gangto Bet): Ravechi Temple is located in Village named Rav (this is arrangement made, so that Goddess can be worshipped throughout the year), The Original Temple is located in Gangto Bet (an island) on the hill top, it was built by Pandavas and was destoyed by Babi dynasty. The route for the temple is as follows, one has to take left from Ravechi Temple located in Base village of Rav and continue on the trail all the way till the point where you see White Rann, thereafter one straight arrow type road will take you in Gangto Bet, than starts the climbing for approximately 1 kilometer to reach the original temple, follow the same route back to touch the Rav Village. Road from Ravechi Temple located in the Base Village of Rav to Gangto Bet is pure off-road, all cars can do it, however sedan / hatchback will have to be careful, since underbody may hit the ground. View from the top is amazing. You can enjoy the beauty of White Rann without any disturbance. Before going to this place, it is better to check with locals whether it is accessible during particular time of the year.

GMaps Link: Google Maps

The View of White Rann from Ravechi Mata Temple:
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My parents and wife were extremely happy after this temple visit, they got even happier as someone from Tata Sumo guys told us that "Jab Mataji ka hukum hota he tabhi bhakt uske dar par aa sakta he, aap log naseeb wale ho" meaning "you are able to visit goddess only when she calls you, you guys are extremely lucky"

Well it was time for the return journey and believe me, none of us wanted to leave but with heavy heart we moved back to Rav Village and than towards Dholovira, it was already 2 PM and we were hungry, the problem here was that next best option for food would be quite far i.e. Dholavira, so en-route we stopped at small roadside stall and enquired about food, he immediately invited us inside his shop and started preparing food, the place wasn't luxurious, it was just roadside stall, however when he started serving the food, we realized that food has amazing aroma and we started eating. For next 15 minutes we didn't even looked at each other and were busy hogging.

It was 2.30 PM and we had lot of places to cover. We quickly moved towards Dholavira, the road was amazing all the way, en-route Dholavira you pass through Khadir Bet, a bridge which connects Dholavira Island with Main Land, it has amazing views of White Rann on both the side of the road.

We made it to Dholavira by 3.30 PM and straightaway went to see IVC Metropolis Excavation Site, we were again awestruck by the planning of ancient age, people in those age thought very well ahead of their time. A guide helped us in understanding entire history of the site, about future discovery of excavation sites, etc. Next place of interest was Fossil Park, initially I wasn't interested in Fossil Park but my wife persuaded me and we went to Fossil Park, I was awestruck on the first look of it The place appeared straight out of the sets of Indian Games of Thrones.

By 5.30 PM, we wrapped up at fossil park and moved towards Border Outpost (BOP) Karni, one can see amazing sunset from BOP Karni, Besides BOP Karni, there is Dattatray temple as well and it looks amazing post sunset. After a wonderful day, we moved to our accommodation, there was light chill in air and delicious gujarati food made us feel like home.

Accommodation: Flamingo Resort, Dholavira
Location: Google Maps

Four Wheel Drive Jeep
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Ravechi Temple, Rav
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White Rann, Gangto Bet
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Poser Daddy Cool
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Mera Beta Cool (Sumo in the background)
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Bahu bhi Cool (Sumo in the background)
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Original Ravechi Temple, Hilltop, Gangto Bet
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Sanctum of Temple
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Campus of Temple
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Some more of White Rann
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Footprints
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The road towards temple
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Posers
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The beautiful lake just before Rav Village
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Khadir Bet en-route Dholavira
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Wifey posing
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IVC Metropolis Excavation Site

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The Indian Games of Thrones, Fossil Park,

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Somewhere in the distance lies the International Border with Pakistan.
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Some random clicks at Fossil Park
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We click pictures everywhere
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BOP Karni, Dattatray Temple, Sunset
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The Bhanjano Hill
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GMaps Link for Today: https://goo.gl/maps/8j5jb9r94ZKozEHx6
 
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