|By: Rang7 Team January 19, 2011|
The most prominent among these is the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary which is located in Little Rann of Kutch and White Rann of the Great Rann of Kutch. In fact the large number of tourist flow and the corresponding large monetary collections indicate the high rate of success enjoyed by the Rann Utsav this year. This has also helped the Kutch region to earn the second highest revenue in Gujarat after Gir Forest National Park, famous as the sole home of Asiatic Lions outside Africa, situated in Junagadh area of Gujarat.
The district administration of Kutch started charging fees for tourist as entry fee for White Rann from 1st January 2011 and already the revenue collected has reached an amount of Rs. 13 lakh. Apart from the area of White Rann area, entry fees were also imposed for tourist entering the Indian Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary which covers almost the entire area of Little Rann. The entry fees to the sanctuary for adults is Rs. 100, for a child is Rs. 50 and for a vehicle in Rs. 50. This imposition of entry charges have helped to prevent unwanted people from entering the sanctuary as well as the money can be used for cleaning and maintaining the area.
Since the Rann Utsav started on 19th December 2010, more than 30,000 tourist have visited the Wild Ass Sanctuary. Even after starting entry fees from 1st January, more than 15,000 tourist have visited the sanctuary.
The Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary is named after the Indian Wild Ass which are representative of the horse tribe and are known for their speed and stamina. They are capable of marathon runs and can reach a top speed of 70 kms per hour over short distances. The Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest wildlife sanctuary in India is a large area of flat land, a part of which forms the sea bed. The sea bed which forms a part of the sanctuary is dotted with a number of small islands called “baits” where the major flora and fauna are observed.
The Rann Utsav 2011, organized by the state tourism department is stated to be the longest with over a month of festivities. On an average about 8500 people visited the Utsav daily. As a part of the Utsav around 12 package tours were offered to the tourist by the tourism department. Among these the most popular was the trip to the Indo-Pak border which had 645 tourist visiting the border area. The Indo-Pak border in the Rann of Kutch area is normally a restricted zone, but the festival authorities take special permission of the Border Security Force, to take tourist to the border area during the festival only. The second most popular tour package was the trip to Narayan Sarovar area which had about 120 takers. The least popular was the trip to Mandvi Beach due to poor facilities and lack of infrastructure.
The festival includes a carnival event held at various locales of Kutch region. At each locale the carnival is situated for about three to four days during which there is a showcase of the local culture with its arts, crafts and cuisine, dance, music and other traditions.