After having a humid day we had a chilling night, so cold that we had to bury ourselves under double blankets. The next day started with having a delicious breakfast and packed lunch for the day.
Our first destination for the day was Mandavi Beach which was almost a 25km drive from our room. If you want to enjoy the fullest at the beach, my recommendations are that you start early in the morning, otherwise, the scorching heat spoils the fun. You might be thinking why not go in the evening, the simple reason is that you should keep the evening free for Rann Utsav. It’s a beautiful and clean beach but if you like some privacy, there are some virgin beaches, which you can reach by driving 6-7 km off the route with the help of locals. At Mandvi beach, you can enjoy scooter boat rides, camel rides & ATV rides as well.
The other places to visit if you have time in hand are Aina Mahal and Bhujodi. Aina Mahal, as the name suggests is a palace made with glass and tiles in the 18th century Lakhpatji. It is an Indo-European-style palace built next to Prag Mahal. You will be amazed to know that, factories for glass and china tiles were specially established in Bhuj. The timing for visitors at Aina Mahal is from 0900h-1200h & 1500h-1800h except on Thursday.
After visiting Aina Mahal we still had 4-5hr in hand before moving for Rann Utsav at Kutch. We decided to go shopping in the local market. One of the most recommended shops was Bhoomi Handicrafts for bhujodi work (Bhujodi, the name given to local textile work done in Bhujodi village) But my personal recommendation are the shops adjacent to Bhoomi Handicrafts as they had a better collection of kinds of stuff at a lesser price. After shopping, we moved towards Rann.
The first and foremost recommendation for Rann Utsav is to be an early bird and witness the white desert as a white desert, not a brown desert. The second is to book your accommodation well in advance, by which I mean 2-3 months prior if you want to have a safe and comfortable stay or else you can drive down & pitch your own tent. The Gujarat Govt established a proper tent city but with limited rooms. Even private organisations set up tents around Govt setup. For those who don’t want to stay in a tent, hotel rooms are available at Bhuj.
You can enjoy the beautiful sunset at ‘Kala Dungar’ which is the highest point in the vicinity or at Rann itself amidst the cultural events at Utsav. We decided to witness the sunset at the latter location. Rann Utsav is about cultural events which start at dusk, lots of shopping, and delicious local delicacies.