Gujarat – Day 10

January 22, 2020 : In Search of Asiatic Wild Ass

We rise before the sun this morning to take a safari into a place known by the exotic name “The Little Rann of Kutch.” It is not to be confused with the Great Rann of Kutch which we will visit in a few days. The Little Rann (or Desert) is a salt marsh which has become famous as the last refuge for the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass. It might not qualify as the most fascinating landscape in the world, but it contains a rich biodiversity of wildlife that make the trip here worthwhile. Here are a few of my best snaps.

Waiting at a train crossing in the pre-dawn hours as we drive in our safari vehicles to the Little Rann of Kutch.
Entering the wildlife reserve dedicated to preserving the Asiatic Wild Ass.
A stunning sunrise over the Little Rann of Kutch.
On the hunt for Asiatic Wild Ass in the Little Rann of Kutch.
Our first wildlife sighting is a flock of Flamingos proudly parading in the dawn sunlight.
It isn’t long before we locate a herd of the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass. And here is the obligatory shot of the ass of said Ass. They have beautiful markings.
We spotted this Imperial Eagle lying low on the ground, tracking an injured spotted deer which is likely to be its morning meal.
We didn’t expect to see pelicans here.
Leaving the wildlife safari at rush hour – when herds are being moved on the road to their grazing grounds for the day. They definitely have the right of way!
The ancient and the modern seen on our drive to the village of Bhjodi. There are many windmill farms springing up in this wide open region.
In Bhujodi we visit a family that carries on the traditional weaving techniques Gujarat is famous for. Everything about this house is classy, including the carved entryway.
Entering the courtyard of the weavers’ home and place of business, we are struck by how clean and orderly everything is – even with livestock enclosed within.
The family business is run by six sons. Here one of them demonstrates the techniques of carding the wool and preparing it for dying.
Of course, at the conclusion of this interesting presentation of weaving techniques, we have the opportunity to purchase a beautiful example of this art to take home.
As the sun sets, we enjoy a cup of Masala Chai and a chat with the weaver before departing for Bhuj and a good night’s rest after a long and exciting day.

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