Little Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary & Rann Riders resort – Dasada.


IIMA had organized a Leadership Development workshop for the PGPX students over the weekend of 3rd and 4th October 2010. The venue was the Rann Riders resort in Dasada village, Gujarat. The village of Dasada is a few minutes drive from the entrance of the Little Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary.

The Rann Riders website says that : "The resort is family-owned and is run by descendents of Baktiar-ud-din who was given the 24 sq mile jagir (Indian equivalent of a dukedom) of Dasada and its surrounding villages in return for military services provided to the Sultan of Gujarat in the 15th century. He was given the title of Malik Bakhan-1 and his successors continue to use Malik as their title and now as their last name. The Maliks participated in the siege of many forts and the battles of Kuva and Rankhundal in the 1400s and 1500s."

Since the resort is a regular venue for IIMA program, the institute gets a good corporate discount over the rack-rates. The resort is also popular with folks who plan trips into the flat expanses of the Little Rann of Kutch. The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was once an part 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 resort was quite unique and colorful; with accommodation in well furnished and air-conditioned huts…

Or, there was also the option of Air-conditioned tents. (As those who stayed in the tents later discovered, they are not exactly an ideal option.)

The open lounge and dining area…

The Rann area has an abundant variety of bird-life….

And yes, there are the ubiquitous peacocks and peahens wandering around in the resort…

The guys did manage to play a couple of rounds of frisbee before nightfall, on the friday evening…

Hmmm… throwing a frisbee is not as easy as it looks.

There were some outdoor activities organized for us…

And there was a portable climbing wall that had been brought in…

And the tricky ‘rope ladder’…

I was always fascinated by the ‘Jugaad’; a locally built transport vehicle which uses motorcycle and other assorted automobile parts. Powered by a diesel engine, there are an important mode of transport (for both people and material) in rural Gujarat. A couple of guys had come in to deliver something at the resort and I borrowed their Jugaad for a few minutes !

As far as the classroom sessions were concerned, there were a few team-building activities, a few exercises for self analysis and reflection etc. The usual mumbo-jumbo that happens in a corporate offsite… nevertheless, it was interesting mumbo-jumbo.

And the meditation sessions…

Some miscellaneous pics from the resort…

The last part of the program was a visit to the Little Rann of Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary. The resort had arranged for a couple of open vehicles. A truck and a jeep…

Me !

This area has a number of Salt pans…

The ancient Dasada gateway was being rebuilt. This gateway was part of the wall / fortifications that once surrounded the village…

Soon we got off the tarmac and were driving into the bleak landscape…

The resort drivers are quite adept at tracking down the wild assess and soon we came across a few…

They are very shy animals and when some of us got down to take a closer look, they started moving away…

The flat landscape…

There were still a few water bodies in the Rann, which tend to dry up as the summer approaches…

A few photo sessions followed…

And we were done for the day! Went back to the resort , packed up and headed back towards Ahmedabad.






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