WildZests: Mesmerizing Rann

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mesmerizing Rann

The Rann of Kutch was always on my list of places to visit. I had planned to do a trip in 2010 but that couldn't be worked out since I tried to cram in too many things in the agenda. So this time, we wanted to cover fewer places and spend more time at each place.

The Rann is a vast expense of salt flats which get submerged under water during monsoons and have small elevated land masses which emerge as islands called "bets". Post the monsoons, the water recedes and what is left of it is a dry flat land with very minimal vegetation along the shorelines and as you move a bit interior to the Rann, all you'd see is flat parched land in all directions. It's an amazing feeling to stand in the middle of the Rann with absolutely nothing around you for miles. It has quite a few uncanny similarities (barring the altitude and terrain) with the Ladakh region for the sparse population, untouched open areas, hard lives of the locals and most importantly warm people who are wanting to make you feel comfortable all the time.

The shallow saline waters provide an excellent habitat for the Flamingos who are regular winter migrants to the Rann. The Asiatic Wild Ass is another species that is found only in the Rann and have been revived from the brink of extinction. Apart from these two major attrations, the Rann has a lot of other things to offer in terms of landscapes, a very rich bird life, lots of nilgais, cute little desert foxes, golden jackals and the elusive desert cats.

The Rann is divided into two parts, Little Rann and Greater Rann. The Little Rann spreads around 5000 sqkms and is home to the the Lesser Flamingos while the Greater Rann hosts the Greater Flamingos. In terms of other geo differences, the Greater Rann has a lot more salt deposit, dips atleast a couple of degrees lower than the Little Rann and has a lot of area in the restricted zone due to proximity to the Indo Pak border.

Gozu had a fair share of off-roading into the Rann and the black beast loved every bit of it.

Tech Specs:
Canon 7D + Canon 24-105 F4 L IS
Shot at 24mm, 1/50s, F14 at ISO 200

The Beast on the Rann Highway

PS> I'm going to try and catch up on the backlog and get current on my updates going forward.

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