My Getaway to Rann Riders at Dasada, Gujarat

Being on the road, driving through changing landscapes endlessly makes you more appreciative of simple comforts. Comforts like hot food, clean changing/dressing rooms, beds to rest your tired bones & long walks in a refreshing setting. Having arrived into Ahmedabad a night earlier, en-route Kutch (read about our fantastic road trip here), we decided to rejuvenate before heading to our final destination- The Great Rann of Kutch. Our research led us to Rann Riders, located at Dasada, a comforting 2 hour drive for Ahmedabad & we took an instant liking to it. An Eco resort, surrounded by wetlands, Rann Riders is a great place to explore the vibrant weaves of the Surendranagar district & visit the Asiatic Wild Ass sanctuary- home to the endangered species & migratory birds.

Rann Riders consists of ethnic cottages known as Bhungas & Koobas adorned with intricate weaves that signify the local culture as well as surrounding region of Kutch. One can also witness ethnic mud & mirror work that lend a feel similar to a village home. The cottages are fitted with modern amenities to make your stay comfortable & we chose a Bhoonga for our two night stay.

The resort serves a mix of Indian & Continental cuisine in a buffet setting. The dining room is cozy & embellished with colorful furnishings & traditional vessels on display.

During a full house, the resort invites local artists for cultural performance during evenings.

We reached the resort in time for our lunch & after a delicious meal set out for a long walk around the ample outdoor space. We were delighted to find a lake inside the resort on which fishing can be done on a "Catch & Release" method. The resort houses a stable with beautiful Marwadi horses that trot proudly around.

The next morning, we opted for an open jeep safari that took us into the beautiful expanse of Wild Ass Sanctuary. A 30 min drive away, the sanctuary is home to Asiatic Wild Ass- a member of the horse family, greater & lesser flamingos, pelicans, cranes, Nilgai (blue bull)- the largest antelop in India. The safari takes 3 hours & one can opt for morning or evening safari as per choice.

After lunch & a quick siesta, it was time for visit to nearby villages to explore the exquisite embroideries done by local artisans. It was intriguing to know that young girls learn the art of embroidery to make sets for their marital homes. We visited an artisans house & to our pleasure found items like table runners, table cloth, door torans, chaniya choli sets on sale & we could not resist buying a few bespoke items.

Next stop was to admire the intricate bead-work done by the Mirs of Dasada on bangles, armlets, anklets, necklaces & other accessories. The colors of the beads are vibtrant just like the garments worn by the locals lending a stark contrast to the arid landscape. The beaded bangles make for good souvenirs & can be easily styled for a fusion look.

Over dinner, we discussed the next phase of our scintillating road trip. We were surprised to know that Rann Riders houses a Japanese restaurant...yup, you got that right!!! The restaurant offers authentic Japanese cuisine in a comfortable setting. On probing the manager we came to know that it runs a full house & caters to Japanese workforce working in the nearby companies. Many more Japanese companies will be setting up shop soon making it an interesting!!

Intrigued enough to make the trip? Know more about the resort here. The resort is located 90 kms from Ahmedabad, the closet airport & 30 kms from nearest railway station Viramgam. Rann Riders offer a host of recreational facilities like camel cart safaris, swimming pool, horse back riding, village safaris & more.

Pro Tip# The clear Dasada skies make it a great place to star gaze. As the evening sun sets, go for a quiet walk in the resort & gaze at millions of twinkling stars over a clear sky.