Rann of Kutch

Gujarat | 5-14 February 2021

A sprawling salt desert that submerges itself in the sea and re-emerges with gold-like 'salt'

Some may wonder if the Rann of Kutch, the salt marsh of the Thar Desert, is mythical or real as it presents itself only after the monsoon bringing a certain mysticism. Rann of Kutch was in the Arabian sea until an earthquake exposed it – with no sand dunes, dust storms or cactus plants – but just salt. Not only was this a boon for the salt farmers, but it also cleared the path for trade routes from Arabia to India and beyond. The not-so-faint hearted traders would lug their camels for this harsh yet fruitful journey across the Thar Desert. With them travelled religions, recipes, arts, goods, tribes and stories which continue to live in the crafts upkept by around 45 tribes and communities across Kutch.

Rann of Kutch at a glance

60 kms. from the border between India and Pakistan, Kutch which is derived from ‘kutch-ua’ (land in the shape of a turtle) is alive with colours, styles and religions of a large variety. Each community has it’s own distinct and vibrant colour schemes, patterns, materials and crafts.

Once home to the ancient Harappan Civilisation, Kutch presents some of India’s rarest art forms which often run in small communities.  Male and female members in the artisan communities often focus on different crafts. From Rogan, Mata Ni Pachedi, Ajrakh, Patola and many more traditionally were done to upkeep traditions of courtship, dowry, decoration and inheritance. 

A lot of these art forms were on the verge of extinction due to the region being somewhat cut off. This has started to change in the last 5 years giving the humble artisan communities ways and means to upkeep these unique arts.

 

As a vegetarian state Gujarat has several different types of micro-cuisines. The most noteworthy feature is the ‘thali’ – invented and mastered by the locals, it typically consists of poppadums, chapatis, rice, a sweet dish, several other dishes, salad and daal. If you want a culinary feast then look no further. Travellers are blown away with the variety and freshness of the food here. 

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Salt March’ against the British rulers in the first half of the 20th century took place here. One can see the very spot where Gandhi Ji would sit by the Sabarmati River and make Khadi (hand spun cotton). 

Gujarat was not only home to many of India’s freedom fighters, but is also flourishing in terms of agriculture and industry and supplies 75% of salt consumed  by India as a whole.

Our magic potion

Complete enrichment where Soulscape serves as an incubator for you to enhance your mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental and physical well being.

Wake up in a historical Parsi family home
Explore the organised chaos of one of Asia's largest late night feasts
Take a moment to meditate at Mahatma Gandhi's serene ashram
Enjoy the best of Indian Railways taking you to the heart of the Rann of Kutch
Family feast with a Meghwar Marwada artisan family (22 members!)
Learn the art of complex block printing 'Ajrakh' from renowned artisans
Create 'clay-relief' work seen on 'Bungas' (round cottage) in the Rann of Kutch
Make your own copper artefacts in the close eye of a copper master artisan
Safari through the marshes of the Thar Desert

Included in your experience

  • Hassle-free as we plan every little detail from your arrival to your departure
  • 2 night stay at a luxurious Parsi family home – on arrival in Ahmedabad
  • Transaction-free leaving you no ‘extras’ during your Soulscape experience as we pay mutually agreed and fair renumeration to all our collaborators, and advise against tipping
  • Dedicated one to one support before, during and after your Soulscape experience
  • 7 nights stay in characterful accommodations in a private double room
  • All ground transport during your experience, including airport transfers
  • Abundant natural space to free your mind and body to wander, heal, dream
  • Exclusive access to lesser known places
  • Immersive learning from local craftsmen, artists and experts
  • Experience local cultures from the inside (rather than an outsider)
  • Daily meditation from a genuine, experienced and friendly Indian meditation expert
  • 3 daily healthy, organic and local Gujarati vegetarian meals plus drinks and snacks to keep you nourished
  • Small groups – we never have more than 10 participants at a Soulscape experience and you have complete control over your level of interaction
  • Ethical travel experience where we make more sustainable choices and believe in building relationships with local communities rooted in honesty and respect.

Got a question?

Or email us at hello@tosoulscape.com

I felt like I was drowning in everyday life… today I feel so much more like myself.
Haleh W.
India, Soulscape 2019

Accommodation

We’ve handpicked two contrasting stays during your trip in Gujarat, each boasting a unique charm of their own- from a luxurious stay in Ahmedabad’s most historic Haveli in the heart of the city to a remote lodge by a lake in the Rann of Kutch.

Ready to join us?

Useful info

Ahmedabad airport in Gujarat.

You’ll need to apply for a Tourist Visa before your trip:

https://www.e-visaindia.org.in

Documents needed:

1. A clear and coloured scanned copy of the Page of Passport which holds the personal details.

  • Format – PDF
  • Size – Maximum 2 MB

A digital photograph taken by a digital camera or phone camera with the head in the centre of the picture and a light coloured background.

  • Format – JPEG
  • Size – Maximum 2 MB

Additional info to complete your e-Visa will be emailed to you.

Important note: some areas in India have been declared as Restricted Areas. Good news is that you won’t be passing or visiting any of the protected areas during the Soulscape experience.

However, if you are planning on staying longer and visiting any of the restricted areas then you must get a PROTECTED AREA PERMIT.

  • Clothing: As different parts of India have varying outlooks to clothing from super liberal to conservative we suggest you bring along comfortable and light cotton clothing (tops, trousers, capris, long and standard shorts)
  • You’ll need some clothes you don’t mind getting mucky in
  • A jacket for cooler evenings
  • Books, games
  • Trainers / sneakers / comfy shoes you can walk around and do exercise in
  • Hat/Cap
  • Hand sanitiser

It’s time to switch off folks.

We aren’t going to allow the use of mobile devices or laptops. Please turn them off once you’re with us. In case of emergency, you will be able to contact a Soulscape team member who will give you access to the very patchy internet in the area.

Our experiences are limited to no more than 8-10 people.

Interaction wise, feel free to do your own thing, knowing that there’ll be a bunch of us around most of the time (and Indians love chatting and mingling – so no time is a bad time).

Days are warm at 25-29 degrees celsius and evenings are cooler at 9-15 degrees celsius.

Soulscape experiences are transaction free. The only things that aren’t included during the 7 days you’ll be with us are any personal expenses like shopping.

If you want to keep some cash on you then do note that the Indian Rupee is a restricted currency – only available in India. We recommend that you bring some cash with you and get it exchanged here.

Some people get vaccinated and some don’t. If you’re unsure, go visit your local GP or travel clinic.

India is 5 hours ahead of the UK. For example, when you are flying to Leh from Europe you lose time, and gain time when flying back.

Jetlag sucks. Here are a few ways to beat it.

We’d love to hear them. Email the team at hello@tosoulscape.com

If you want to continue travelling after the Soulscape experience then drop us an email at hello@tosoulscape.com and we can help you plan your itinerary.

Namaste – hello

Aap kaise ho? – how are you?

Main theek hu – I am fine

Mujhe khana chahiye – I want food

Main shakahari hu – I am vegetarian

Ye kitne ka hai? – how much is this?

Mujhe madad chahiye – I need help

Come join us

The Rann of Kutch

Gujarat, India

Complete the form to express interest and a member of our team will be in touch to answer any questions.