Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
This article may lack focus or may be about more than one topic.(February 2016)
It is one of the largest seasonal saline wetlands having an average water depth between 0.5 to 1.5 metres. By October–November each year, rain water dries up and the entire area turns into saline desert. The sanctuary supports wide variety of water birds and mammalian wildlife.
It encompasses a true saline desert where thousands of greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) nest in the world famous ‘Flamingo City’ located in the mud flats of the Rann, about 10 km from Nir outpost on Kala Dungar hill. It is the only area where flamingoes congregate to breed regularly.
Indo-Pak International border
The northern boundary of this sanctuary forms the international border between India and Pakistan and is heavily patrolled by the Border Security Force in India with much of this sanctuary being closed to civilians after the India Bridge at Kala dungar (Black hill), Khavda. Tourists and researchers can only enter here with special permission from the BSF.
Snow white Rann
In the area controlled and patrolled by the Border Security Force (BSF) after the "India Bridge" several hundred square kilometers of Rann is pure white like snow with heavy deposit of salt crystals. The marshy Rann here becomes pure white and flat till the eye can see, till the horizon after the rain water has dried up, in the winters every year.
Since the Rann is flat like a sheet of paper in the afternoons with bright sunshine a shimmering mirage forms which is like an illusionary lake that fills the dry Rann till the eye can see.
Excavated city of Dholavira from the Harappan civilization
Ancient fossil beds
This sanctuary has some other ancient attractions as well. Embedded in the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks on Khadir, Kuvar and Pachchham bet islands in the Greater Rann, are plenty of fossils of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Fossils of dinosaurs, crocodiles (of the 'Dinosaurian period') and whales (dating from the Tertiary period) have been recorded to have been recovered from here. Fossilized trees and forests are found here in the rocks belonging to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The fossils of invertebrates here include those of sea urchins, ammonites and such others.
In popular culture
J. P. Dutta's Bollywood film Refugee is shot on location in the Great Rann of Kutch and other locations in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. This film is inspired by the famous story by Keki N. Daruwalla based around the Great Rann of Kutch titled "LOVE ACROSS THE SALT DESERT" which is also included as one of the short stories in the School Standard XII syllabus English text book of NCERT in India.
Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserves of Kutch
From the city of Bhuj various ecologically rich and wildlife conservation areas of the Kutch / Kachchh district can be visited such as Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Banni Grasslands Reserve and Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve etc. On the opposite side of the border in Pakistan, the Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary preserves 566,375 hectares.
- Arid Forest Research Institute
- Greater Rann of Kutch
- Little Rann of Kutch
- Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
- Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary
- Banni grasslands
- Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
- List of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Gujarat, India
- "National Security: BSF in Mysterious Rann of Kutch". Rajya Sabha TV. RAjya Sabha TV. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
- LOVE ACROSS THE SALT DESERT Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine.; by Keki N. Daruwalla. Pdf of full story posted at Boston University at . Bollywood connection - J. P. Dutta's "Refugee" is said to be inspired by this story Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine.; learnhub, University of Dundee
- (iii) Supplementary Reader; Selected Pieces of General English for Class XII; English General - Class XII Archived January 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.; Curriculum and Syllabus for Classes XI & XII; NCERT. Also posted at  / , "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
- "Rann of Kutch seasonal salt marsh". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. This text was originally published in the book Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a conservation assessment from Island Press. Also see: World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Rann of Kutch seasonal salt marsh". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08.
- Kutch Desert Wild Life Sanctuary & ; Official websites: Forests & Environment Department; State Government of Gujarat, India
- ASI to take up excavation in Kutch's Khirasara; by Prashant Rupera, TNN; 2 November 2009; Times of India
- Flight scan on nomad bird; by G.S. MUDUR; November 1, 2009; The Telegraph, Calcutta, India
- Pushed to the edge, they thrive in no man's land; TNN; 5 August 2009; Times of India
- ASI’s effort to put Dholavira on World Heritage map hits roadblock; by hitarthpandya; Feb 13, 2009; Indian Express Newspaper
- Jurassic Park: Forest officials stumble upon priceless discovery near Dholavira (2 Page article online); Express news service; Jan 08, 2007; Indian Express Newspaper. Also see , 
- Black Hills, Dark Shadow; by JANYALA SREENIVAS; Apr 03, 2005; Indian Express Newspaper
- Fighting for the Great Rann - It's a desolate, barren tract of land, but the armed forces guard it with a fierceness that inspires nothing short of awe. By Gaurav Raghuvanshi; Feb 25, 2005; Business Line; Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
- Expedition to rescue flamingo chicks launched; TNN; 7 May 2004; Times of India
- Flamingos perish in Rann of Kutch; TNN; 4 May 2004; Times of India
- Footloose in a Forgotten Land; Feb 08, 2004; Extracted with permission from Rupa & Co.; Indian Express Newspaper
- Salt may have choked flamingo chicks; TNN; 30 December 2003; Times of India
- Flamingos stump experts; EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE; April 28, 1999; Indian Express Newspaper
- Young Flamingo birds face hunger & death; April 21, 1999; Indian Express Newspaper
- Death looms large over Flamingo City of Kutch; by EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE; April 20, 1999; Indian Express Newspaper