Spread out over an area of around 5,000 sq km, the Little Rann of Kutch is the part of the Greater Rann of Kutch that sprawls out over an area of around 7500 sq km. The Little Rann of Kutch is located in the Kutch district of the western Indian state of Gujarat. The Rann of Kutch is a large stretch of Salty marshland, also known as the salty desert. The Little Rann of Kutch also boasts of one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries of India known as the Wild Ass Sanctuary. The landscape of Rann of Kutch varies from the barren salty marshlands to the brown soil having sparsely spread diminutive thorny shrubs.
For the most of the people in the world, the beauty of Nature comes alive in the form of lush greenery, beautiful beaches, pretty riverbed, stiff cliffs and hills, pristine white mountain tops or snowy glaciers. Among all the beautiful landscapes of Nature, the beauty of a desert is very less experienced by the nature lovers. If you didn’t visit any desert then you miss out an impeccably beautiful part of Nature. The Little Rann of Kutch is one such tremendously beautiful destination to visit and visualize for a different tourism experience.
The only natural habitat on the Earth for the endangered Indian Wild Ass, the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch where one can get the unhindered sight of the wild Asses. The sanctuary spreads across the entire Little Rann of Kutch in around 5000 sq km of the area. Also known as Ghudkhar (Equus Hemionus Khur) locally, this species of Wild Ass is among the endangered wild species and thus their habitat has been protected as the wildlife sanctuary. With having the shoulder height of above a meter, the Wild Asses found in the Kutch region are very strong and highly agile in nature.
The Wild Asses of the Kutch region can run at a speed of more than 50 km per hour for long distances which is nothing less than the capacity of wild horses. Theses wild Ass species are very beautiful and charming than the other domestic species of Asses found in India. At present, there are more than 3000 wild Asses inhibit the Sanctuary and normally stay in herds and thus can easily be seen during your safari. During the breeding season, in the months of October and November, you can get the sight of beautiful young foals with the herds.
Apart from the Wild Asses, the Sanctuary is also home to around 32 species of other wild animals which are the Chinkara (Indian gazelle), Blackbucks, Two species of desert fox (White-footed and Indian), Jackals, Nilgai (the largest antelope of Asia), Caracals (African Lynx), Indian wolves, Striped hyenas, etc. Due to the proximity of the Gulf of Kutch, the Sanctuary is also a prominent Avifauna destination for the bird lovers. Numerous exotic migratory birds visit the sanctuary from the various parts of the world to feed and breed in. Around 75000 birds nest every year in the Sanctuary.
Visiting the beautiful desert destination of Little Rann of Kutch is very easy with the development of this place as a prominent tourist destination in Gujarat by the tourism department. Here is the detailed information on visiting this salty desert land by all the three modes of transport-
By Road: The nearest towns and cities from the Kutch region are Ahmadabad, Rajkot, Viramgam, and Bhuj. The Little Rann of Kutch is easily accessible by road from these cities through the state transport buses and private cabs. The Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary is around 130 km away from the city of Ahmadabad, 175 km away from Rajkot, 45 km away from Viramgam and 265 km away from the Bhuj.
By Air: The three Airports, the Ahmadabad, Rajkot and the Bhuj Airports, are located at around equal distances from the Kutch region. The airport of Ahmadabad is about 190 km, Rajkot airport is about 190 km and the Bhuj airport is about 200 km away from the Kutch Sanctuary. Among all the three airports, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport of Ahmadabad is among the prime airports of the country so it is well connected to all the major national and international airports. Upon arriving at any of the three airports, you can take roadway transport to arrive the little Rann of Kutch.
By Rail: Ahmadabad Railway station (130 Km), Rajkot Railway station (175 Km) and the Dhrangadhra Railway station (16 Km) are the three nearest Railway stations from the Kutch Wildlife sanctuary. The Dhrangadhra Railway station is the closest Railway station and also very near to the Dhrangadhra entry point for the entry into the sanctuary. You can also find private hotels and government-run guest houses in Dhrandgadhra.