Rann of Kutch (comprising of the Great Rann of Kutch and the Little Rann of Kutch), in Gujarat, is perhaps where you’ll see one of the most stunning landscapes of the country. The milky white sand desert is home to the annual Rann Utsav, which happens in the winter months. That is when the vibrant culture of the place can be experienced to the full extent. Surprisingly, Rann of Kutch is also home to some of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. These are the ones that are worth a visit.
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, located in the Little Rann, is a sprawling sanctuary, spread over 4954 square kilometres. This is where you’ll find the Indian ass, locally called ghudkhar, roaming in its natural habitat. Other animals spotted here are the chinkara, hedgehog, fox, desert cat, jackal, jungle cat, wolf, and blue bull. Here, you will also spot numerous species of birds (such as bustards and falcons), reptiles, and crocodiles.
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
Also known as Lala-Parjan Sanctuary, this ones of the most beautiful parks dedicated for the conservation and preservation of India’s heaviest flying bird – the Bustard. These birds are located called Ghorad and fall under the endangered species category. A safari here is highly recommended; you will spot many other birds such as harrier, common cranes, black partridges, sandgrouse, black and grey francolin, spotted Indian sandgrouse, quails, larks, shrikes, plover, Stoliczka’s bush-chat, flamingos, herons, egrets, and sandpipers.
Marine National Park
Marine National Park, the first marine reserve of India, is located in the Gulf of Kutch. The marine park is home to some gorgeous marine organisms like octopus, sea urchins, Gangetic dolphins, sea horse, giant crabs, beluga whales, giant leatherback turtles and even whale sharks.
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Great Rann of Kutch is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India area-wise. The sanctuary is home to rare as well as almost extinct wild animals such as the chinkara, jackals, wild boar, porcupine, desert fox, and spiny tailed lizard.
Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary
Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary is known as the last remaining habitat of the cheetahs in India. It is also home to water reservoirs, mangrove forests, and two ephemeral streams of Kapurasi and Kali flowing through the sanctuary. The current flagship species of this park is the Chinkara, though other commonly spotted wildlife are the Ghorad and desert fox.