Kalo Dungar is a small hill that is located in the in the Great Rann of Kutch. At an altitude of 462m / 1515 ft, Kalo Dungar is also the highest point in this region and offers a spectacular panoramic view of Great Rann.
The view of Great Rann from the top of Kalo Dungar is truly amazing. The dry forests of the Kalo Dungar skirting the clear blue waters of Great Rann against forms an excellent view that will stay in the memory for a very long time. On a clear day, it is very difficult to spot the horizon where the blue water of the Great Rann and blue sky “meet”!
Viewpoints at Kalo Dungar
At the highest point in the region, the Sunset Point, a large watch tower is built for visitors to escape from the scorching heat of the mid-day sun. At the watch tower, there is some place to sit and rest before you can start exploring the surrounding areas. As you explore more in the region, you will find that there are several view points from where you can get different views of the Lake of Great Rann. Each view presents a different side of the beauty of Great Rann.
The beauty of the view from Kalo Dungar is difficult to explain in words. It is a feeling. It is magical. Imagine a huge blue water lake that surrounds you on all the sides, and you are in the middle of the lake, and at an ample height, getting a bird’s eye view of the beautiful landscape!
Legends of Kalo Dungar
Kalo Dungar may have all the natural beauty that you would look for. In addition to that, there are several interesting legends associated with this place. All of the legends are associated with the 400 year old Dattatreya temple at Kalo Dungar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Dattatreya, the holy trinity of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Protector) and Shiva (Destroyer). Prasad in the form of boiled rice is later distributed to all the devotees. However, the unusual ritual is that the Prasad is first offered to the jackals from the surrounding forests, and then to the devotees! This is a 400 year old ritual that is being followed even today! And yes, the otherwise flesh eating jackals do come to the temple every day and indeed feast on the boiled rice offered by the temple priests!!
One legend says that one of the devotees of Lord Dattatreya started this ritual. He used to perform penance at Kalo Dungar. With the intention to test the devotee’s devotion and kindness, Lord Dattatreya took the form of hungry jackals and came in front of him. The devotee, being a vegetarian, had only boiled rice to offer, and he did offer the same. However, the jackals, being flesh eating animals, refused to eat the rice! Not knowing what else to do, the devotee had offered flesh from his own body to feed the jackals and said ‘Le Ang’ (translates to ‘Have body part’). Lord Dattatreya was pleased with this kindness and devotion, and blessed the devotee. Since then, the jackals are offered boiled rice every single day. In fact, the same phrase of ‘Le Ang’ is used to call the jackals even today for offering the food. However, over the years ‘Le Ang’ has changed to ‘Long’ as it is being pronounced these days.
Another legend says that Lord Dattatreya had visited Kalo Dungar. During that time, he found a few jackals roaming around hungry and starving for food. Unable to find food, the Lord offered his body parts to feed the jackals. However, it is believed that the body parts kept regenerating and the same were offered to the jackals day after day! Because of this legend, the temple offers food to the jackals since the last 400 years. The locals said that the jackals are offered food twice a day. During the noon time, very few jackals come to have food. However, after sun sets, almost 20-25 jackals come and feast on the cooked rice! The leftovers are then feasted by other animals and birds!
Amazing Sunset at Kalo Dungar
Kalo Dungar also offers spectacular views of the sun setting beyond the Lake of Great Rann. It is awesome to watch the Great Rann slowly turning from blue to orange color, and the sun slowly disappearing. Being at the highest point in the region, you are sure to get the best view of the sunset from this place. Moreover, the reflection of the setting sun in the water of the lake adds the beauty. A few photos below would take you to the 20 minute journey of watching the sunset at Kalo Dungar.
How to reach Kalo Dungar?
The best way to reach Kalo Dungar is by hiring a taxi or bike from Bhuj which is 90 km away. From Bhuj, drive towards White Rann until you reach a place called ‘Khavda’. At Khavda, continue straight (left takes you to White Rann). This road actually continues till the international border of India and Pakistan. However, visitors are not allowed to go beyond a bridge that is called ‘India Bridge’. Beyond the bridge, there is an army checkpost which will stop you from going further. If you are lucky enough to get permission at the checkpost, you can visit the army war memorial that is just few kilometers away. About 10 km before India Bridge, you will find a road towards right which will lead you to Kalo Dungar. The road is very narrow and steep. If you are going around peak season, you can witness a traffic jam as the road at some places is too narrow for two vehicles to pass.
View of Great Rann from India Bridge
Where to Stay?
- Mud huts at Dhordo or other nearby villages
- Few tent-resorts near White Rann
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