Kutch is an erstwhile princely state of India. It is the largest district of the state of Gujarat and the second largest district in India covering an area of 45,612 sq kms. The land is virtually ‘an island’ resembling a tortoise “Katchua or Kachbo”, surrounded by seawater. Kutch was also known as the kutchdweep or Kutchbet.” The Great Rann of Kutch” which dominates a major portion of the district. The Great Rann of Kutch and the Little Rann of Kutch respectively-uninhabitable deserts which during the monsoon season (June to October) is often completely submerged by floods.
- Area : 45, 612 sq. km.
- State : Gujarat.
- Location : West Coast of India.
Kutch is divided into 5 distinct regions :
- The Great Rann, or uninhabited wasteland in the north
- The Grasslands of Banni
- Mainland, consisting of planes, hills and dry river beds
- The Coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south
- Creeks and mangroves in the westMore loosely, the southern portion of the Rann is considered an island, with seawater inundating the land for most of the year. The mainland is generally plane, but has some hill ranges and isolated hills.
Talukas of Kutch : Bhuj, Anjar, Mandvi, Mundra, Abdasa-Nalia, Lakhpat, Rapar, Bhachau and Nakhatrana
Demographic distribution : Number of villages – 950
Seismic History : The earliest earthquake recorded in Kutch dates back to 16th June 1819. Since then, over 90 earthquakes of varying intensity have struck the region, but none as severe as the most recent one.
Climate : Extreme climate & temperature ranges from 20 C in winter to 450 C in summer. Rainfall is very less while average annual rainfall – 14 inches. The three main seasons are:
- Summer, from February to June
- Monsoon season, from July to September
- Winter, from October to January
Languages: Gujarati, Hindi, and local dialects like Kutchi
Best Time to Visit : Late October to early April
Wild Life : The home of the last remaining population of khur (wild ass) in India. There is also a bird population, particularly of the large flamingos. Both are protected in 5,000 km Little Rann Sanctuary, near Dhangadhra; one has to get permission to enter from the sanctuary superintendent’s office in Dhangadhra.