Rann of Kutch, India – November 6th, 2008
The Rann of Kutch is a seasonally marshy region located in the Thar Desert biogeographic province in Gujarat state of northwestern India and the Sind province of Pakistan.
This inhospitable salty lowland, rich in natural gas and a resting site for migratory Siberian birds, is part of India and Pakistan’s ongoing border dispute concerning Sir Creek.
The name “Rann” comes from the Hindi word “ran” meaning “salt marsh”. Kutch is the name of the district wherein it is situated.
The Rann of Kutch comprises some 10,000 square miles (30,000 km2) between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River in southern Pakistan. The Luni River, which originates in Rajasthan, empties into the northeast corner of the Rann.
In India’s summer monsoon, the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, averaging 15 meters above sea level, fill with standing waters, interspersed with sandy islets of thorny scrub, breeding grounds for some of the largest flocks of Greater and Lesser flamingoes. At its greatest extent, the Gulf of Kutch on the west (visible in the image directly below the salt marshes) and the Gulf of Cambay on the east (the brown, sediment-tinged body of water on the lower right) are both united during the monsoon.