Little Rann of Kutch or Dhangadhra Sanctuary
The Dhangadhra Sanctuary or the Little Rann of Kutch as it is popularly known is situated in the Kutch district of Gujarat. It is also known by the name Wild Ass Sanctuary. It is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India, spanning some 4950 sq kms in area, and comprising a range of habitats from saline desert plains, arid grasslands, rocky and thorn scrub to lakes and marshes.
The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an arm of the Arabian Sea. As the land separated from the sea by geological forces, it became a vast, featureless plain encrusted with salt that is inundated with water during the rains. The safari across the Little Rann visits the `bets’, islands on the ancient sea bed that are now higher grounds covered with grass and scrub. These `bets’ support a variety of wildlife including the Asiatic wild ass that is not found elsewhere.
Wildlife at Rann of Kutch
The wild ass is a handsome chestnut brown member of the horse family. Capable of reaching high speeds when galloping across the Rann, the wild ass is usually seen in small herds. The elegant blackbuck (Indian antelope), nilgai or blue bull (India’s largest antelope) and the graceful chinkara (Indian gazelle) are other mammals seen at the bets.
The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats, and a few hyenas. Smaller mammals like hares, gerbilles and hedgehogs, and reptiles like spiny tailed lizard, monitor, red and common sand boa, saw-scaled viper, cobra, Indian rat snake, etc, could also be seen during the safaris in the Rann.
Safari at Little Rann of Kutch
Safari in Little Rann of Kutch is conducted in Jeeps.
Best Time to Visit
The Park is open round the year. However, the months of October and November are considered as ideal to see the migratory birds.
How to Reach
By Air: Ahmedabad is the nearest airport, which is 130 kms away from the park.
By Train: Dhrangadhra is the nearest railway station, which is around 16 kms away from the sanctuary.
By Road: The park is located 130 kilometers from Ahmedabad, 175 kilometers from Rajkot, and 265 kilometers from Bhuj.