Chasing Shadows in a Desert
The Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) is a salt marsh desert near Ahmadabad. Though it is famous as the world’s last refuge of the Indian Wild Ass, it is rich in biodiversity and is an important area for wildlife and many local and migratory water birds.
Here’s a photo collection:
Indian wild asses – the main attraction in LRK. They look much better than domestic donkeys.
Since I don’t have a telephoto lens, this is the closest I could get to the animals with a borrowed 50mm lens.
These are Nilgais. Nilgai is the largest Asian antelope.
There’s an interesting incident behind this shot. While on our desert traverse, we saw an eagle devouring a common crane. Prashant (my friend) was so excited, he immediately fell on his stomach and started crawling towards the eagle with his camera. But I chose to remain in the truck since I wasn’t equipped for wildlife photography. Pura bhai, our truck driver, and guide for the day, insisted me to try for a shot. When I shook my head, he said, “kya saab, (the rest translated in English) when something like once in a lifetime event unfolds before your eyes, how can you neglect to capture it despite having a camera?” I tried to explain to him that the lens I had was a wide angle and cannot be used for wildlife. But he didn’t seem to understand because my Hindi was so poor. Frustrated with my lack of interest, he simply grabbed my camera and started crawling behind Prashant.
It was funny to see two men crawling on the ground as if they were in the war zone. Finally after all the crawling and clicking, Pura bhai came away with a lot of photographs, but unfortunately, nothing was usable. Pura bhai isn’t a complete man, after all. He doesn’t know how to operate a camera!!
After the eagle flew away with its prey, I walked to the spot and clicked the above pic.
By the way, my friend Prashant is an accomplished wildlife photographer. Click on this link to see the eagle and other photographs he took in LKR, under the title: Discovering Gujarat
A shot from the truck we were traveling. LRK isn’t just about wild lives. The vast endless stretch of sun-parched land could sometimes make for a mundane scene, but when a pack of wildlife comes into your frame or when a jeep zips across the far horizon raising a trail of dust behind it, the entire scene turns into a grand photogenic panorama.
Travelers can hire a jeep or come in their own cars. If you are on your own without a guide, make sure you don’t get lost. Actually, it is very easy to get lost in this desert because there aren’t any landmarks to keep track of your route.
If you are planning to go in your car, this is something you need to keep in mind. In some places, the ground is so loose that the car could get stuck in, and it’s difficult for the car to pull itself out of the mud.
Pura bhai offering a helping hand. Our truck pulling a private SUV out of the mud.
One of my favorite pics from LRK
A perfect sign off pic, I guess
LRK is not just a desert or a wildlife sanctuary, but also a tremendously beautiful place which would surpass your expectations if you go in the right season.
Here’s a link from the Gujarat tourism site which explains all that you need to know about the place.
Amazing shots! Rann of Kutch is on my radar, but I’m not sure when it will be possible for me to go there.
Thank you Renuka. It’s an amazing place. Go between November and Feb.
Oh my God. This is spectacular! Thank you for the lovely virtual tour. 🙂
Thanks Deboshree. Remaining photos are uploaded here: http://joshimukard.wix.com/myportfolio#!large-grid/cbsn.