December 2021 has proved to be an eventful month for me – both personally and professionally. On the professional front, there has been a major change. If you follow me on LinkedIn, you probably know about it. Personally, I have been travelling a lot. I had spent some time in Lucknow attending a family function and just a few days back I came back from Gujarat where I was invited to attend the Largest Blogger’s Meet organized by Gujarat Tourism and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
The whole Gujarat trip was quite eventful, one thing that I experienced there was Rann Utsav. I also stayed at Rann Utsav Tent City and I had an incredible experience.
What is Rann Utsav?
For the unaware, a large part of North Gujarat is filled with white salt marshy land known as the Rann of Kutch. The major portion of it lies in Gujarat while Sindh, Pakistan has some of it. Kutch is the land of varied hues, diverse cultures with plenty of folk music and dance. You can experience local Kutchi culture which includes fine handicrafts, embroidered fabrics, traditional attires, folk music and obviously the food.
Rann Utsav started as a 3-day event in 2005 and now is a 4-month long event that starts around November and goes until February every year. It’s a carnival of dance and folk music along with delicious food. The festival is held in the backdrop of the massive White Rann to showcase the beauty of the place. The highlight obviously of the Rann Utsav is the stay at Tent City Rann Utsav. And I’m going to share my incredible experience of staying at the Rann Utsav Tent City.
What is Rann Utsav Tent City?
The Tent City in Rann Utsav is THE place to be during the Rann Utsav. The massive makeshift tent structure is one of the major attractions of the Rann Utsav. Spread over an area of 5,00,000 sq. mt, the Rann Utsav tent city is an engineering marvel. It has more than 350 tents spread across 9 clusters. Apart from that, there are a lot of facilities within the tent city that I’ll talk about below.
Staying in the lap of luxury
Case of my missing bag
We had reached the Rann Utsav tent city around 10 in the night. As soon as we reached, we had the concierge folks coming in and tagging our luggage. We were then headed to the reception area where the tents were allocated to us. Post that we headed to our tents where we found our bags kept outside the tent. Albeit mine. My bag was misplaced as it wasn’t in front of my tent. I had a mini heart attack, however, the team was so helpful that swung into action to help me locate my bag. Eventually, after an hour, they located it. It was placed in front of another tent.
My stay at the Premium Tent
The tent city in Rann Utsav has a variety of tent options to choose from. I’ll talk about them in detail in a later post. The entire tent city is divided into clusters. Each cluster has about 30 tents depending upon the type of tent. I was put up in the premium tent which is nothing short of luxury. The premium tents at Rann Utsav tent city are quite large and spacious. There’s a porch that is exclusive to you. A relaxing chair there is just perfect for you to relax and soak in the vibes of Rann Utsav.
On the inside, is one large hall that has a double bed along with a cosy sitting area. The premium tent also has a walk-in wardrobe and a full-fledged bathroom with hot water. The tent also has a tea/coffee maker for the beverage aficionados and an AC for polar bears like me. Trust me, even though the weather outside was chilled, I had the AC on for my entire stay.
In terms of the stay, I’d say it’s pretty good. It’s a rather peaceful place and cosy at the same time. Once you are inside the tent, you’re literally cut off from the outside world – except the occasional voices of people roaming outside of your tent. Also, there’s no lock for the tents you stay in. And the security officials say there are CCTV cameras everywhere and your belongings are safe. For someone like me who cannot sleep in silence, it might take a little time to adjust. That’s the reason why I turned on the AC in the room.
Overall, the stay at a premium tent at Tent City in Rann Utsav is nothing short of luxury. Something that one would surely want to experience.
Food options at Tent City Rann Utsav
What’s travel without food? And that’s something the organizers of Rann Utsav tent city have thoroughly thought. There are a couple of dining areas in the tent city which is pretty massive. Meals are included in your package so you need not be worried about them. I was lucky that the dining hall was quite close to my tent. The dining hall is quite spacious and live music during dinner is just amazing
In terms of food, the food at Rann Utsav tent city is a good mix of Indian, Continental and Gujarati. They’ve taken care of everyone. With over 50,000 visitors, they’ve done a good job to cater to everyone’s tastes.
For breakfast, most of the items were local specialities like Fafda, Gathiya, Kadhi and Thepla along with Khaman and Dhokla. Breakfast was surely one of my favourites of the day. Apart from that, you had fresh juices, tea/coffee, toasts, cereals and everything that you’ll get at a breakfast spread of a hotel.
For lunch and dinner, the spread was a good mix of Punjabi, Gujarati and International cuisine. From the local kadhi, dal, ringa nu shaak to Kadhai Paneer, Dal Makhni and Pasta, Noodles etc. you surely understand the variety of food that was on offer. Overall, in terms of food, you’ll not be disappointed at all. Trust me, Maharaj recommended.
Other amenities at Tent City Rann Utsav
The Rann Utsav Tent City isn’t just about tents and food. There’s so much more to it. There’s a reason why it is called a city. Below are the amenities at Tent City that you can experience.
- Lounge: They have a lounge where you can come in to relax, play some board games or get some foot massage. It’s a place to chill and unwind and meet a few people.
- Art Gallery: Another place that you might like is the art gallery. The gallery showcases some of the finest local art which are sure to mesmerize you.
- Haat & souvenir shops: How could you go back home without souvenirs? There are plenty of such shops selling local handicraft goods. From showpieces to dresses and food items, you’ll find them all here.
- Conference Room: They have a pretty massive conference rooms for parties and events that you can book. It makes a great
- Bike Station: Whether you are a health freak or not, take a bicycle and cycle around the tent city to explore the place and soak into the vibes.
- Adventure Sports: If you are the adrenaline junkie, head to the adventure sports area. There’s skyzilla where you can try ziplining, paintball, ATV offroading driving experience and even paramotoring. If you like easy spots like me, you can try out archery, shooting and cricket nets. Please note some of these are chargeable.
- Cultural Events: Every evening there’s a pretty good cultural show organized by the tent city. This is free for all. You can experience the local music and dance. They also have a stand up comedy show which are pretty good too. Sit under the open sky and enjoy these events.
Incredible Tent City experience
My experience at the Rann Utsav tent city was nothing short of incredible. Everything was right from the check in to the premium tent stay and the food was fabulous. It was my first time staying in such luxurious tents and I’d say I totally loved it. In terms of COVID protocols, the team is fully vaccinated and practice all the safety norms. The teams are extremely helpful and are always listening to your needs. They are the ones who will make your stay even more pleasurable.
Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll talk about all the stay options in the tent city at Rann Utsav and what’s the best for you in case you plan a visit to Rann Utsav. How did you like this blog post about my experience at the tent city? Let me know in the comments below, Tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.
Note: It was my first time in Rann Of Kutch and all thanks to Gujarat Tourism for inviting me to experience the same. Though I’ve grown up in Gujarat I didn’t get a chance to visit the place while I was there. So a big thank you to Gujarat Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism for arranging this trip and taking care of everything else.