Ahmedabad to Kalo Dungar
As we left from Ahmedabad to Kalo Dungar, the terrains changed from greenlands to saltpans to the desert. Bhunga (cute round houses with conical thatched roofs) replaced concrete houses of the city. It was like travelling to a new country. The days were warm but the breeze was cool.
Then we took another break at Bhirandiara. This was a checkpost to organize all your permissions. This chowk is the main junction to get your permissions in order to visit Rann of Kutch. You will need to show your photo id and RC book of your vehicles to obtain these permits.
Secret White Rann | Hellaro Movie Set – Kuran Village
All of you must have heard about Rann of Kutch. But what most travellers don’t know are the secret places in Kutch, the unexplored off-beat places in Kutch. Whose beauty is something like from the movies.
One such place was a small piece of land where the rann meets the water. The birds migrate here to cool off. You can come here early in the morning to witness incredible sunrise complimented by flamingoes.
On this same land is the set of the award-winning movie Hellaro. A dummy village was made for the film with fifteen Bhunga (traditional houses) and a temple in the Rann of Kutch.
The villagers rebuilt one of the houses for the travellers to see, all the other the bhungas have been destroyed with time.
Kalo Dungar to Vighakot Fort
India bridge is the last point where you can go without permission. BSF team maintains the bridge. Cell phones, cameras or any satellite devices are not allowed beyond this point.
They check your documents and permits here. You will not be frisked, however, you will be arrested without questions if you are found with any restricted items.
Timings are between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Riding or driving after sunset is strictly not allowed. If by any chance you are at the fort during sunset, you will be forced to stay there.
The 70km ride from the India bridge all the way to Vighakot Fort is a very different experience. The roads were in the middle of nowhere. Vast lands of nothing, no trees, no water. You will be lost in the middle of the desert if you lose your track or direction in the desert.
Vighakot Fort – Indo-Pak Border in Gujarat
We reached Vighakot fort, which is a few meters away from the BOP. The fort is in the form of rumbles with only a boundary wall and a temple to remind the visitors of its existence.
Since you do not have your cell phones or google navigation anymore, you might get lost in the vastness. It is preferable to travel in groups and with a local as a guide.
Then we reached the BOP, the commander was waiting for us. He took us to the point from where we could see the India-Pakistan fence. He explained how the system works.
On the Indian side, from the fence 150 meters of no man’s land. The two countries are divided by a pillar and not a fence.
Food for thought
- Do not forget to fill your fuel tanks before the trip.
- Carry at least 2-3 bottles of water per person and food for the trip. The heat during the day can dehydrate your body.
- Keep at least 6 copies of the permit handy. You have to share the permits with the Army staff at different posts.
It was a very proud moment for me to have been able to visit this place. You realize how privileged you are when you see how they live, how they train, how everything works in nothingness. You see how there are men guarding your country so you sleep well.
Vighakot permission at Bhuj
- A serious set of documentation.
- For visiting Vighakot Fort or Indo-Pak border you need to apply for permits from BSF Office in Bhuj.
- Either hire an agency or do it yourself by spending 2-3 days in Bhuj.
- Apply at least 7-10 days in advance with complete details and original ID proof of all members + details of driver and vehicle.
- India bridge can be visited without a permit before 5:30 pm.
- We arranged for our permission through Friends Adventure (Naveen Singh)