Riders is an ethnically designed eco-resort, set among wetlands and agricultural
fields. The resort has imaginatively designed cottages that blend with the rural
countryside in which it is situated. Located near Dasada village, it makes the
ideal base to explore the culture, weaves and handicrafts of the Surendranagar
The resort offers jeep, horse and camel safaris in the Little Rann of Kutch,
habitat of Asiatic Wild Ass and a birdwatching paradise.
Rann Riders is family-owned and run. The
owners descend from 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.
In keeping with the tradition of their ancestors, the owners of Dasada assure
visitors of undivided attention and the hospitality of the Kathiawad region in
which the property falls.
Surrounded by wetlands, Rann Riders is an eco-friendly resort
imaginatively designed using local materials to recreate the appearance of a
village. Accommodations are in cottages, resembling the kooba houses of the
Bajania community of Dasada and the bhunga houses of the Rabaris of Kutch,
decorated with mirrors, mud-plaster work and embroideries.
Ahmedabad is the nearest international and domestic airport to Dasada. The drive
from Ahmedabad airport to Dasada takes about two and half hours to three hours.
Viramgam is the nearest railway station. It has train connections to Mumbai.
Dasada is a 30 km drive from Viramgam.
Ahmedabad, 90 km from Dasada, has rail connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore,
Chennai, Kolkata and other cities.
The trees also provide suitable nesting areas for
ibises, egrets and pond herons to breed.
The best birding is at the lakes and marshes in and
around the Rann where birds gather in numbers beyond comprehension
during the winter months from October to March. These are the
months when demmossile and common cranes are seen in incredibly
large numbers. The wetlands also attract flamingos, pelicans,
storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks and other waterfowl.
The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like
the short-toed eagle, aquila eagles, six species of falcon,
buzzards and three species of harrier. It is one of the few places
where harriers can be seen roosting on open-ground at night.
Rann Riders is the base to
visit the bird-rich Nawa Talao lake, a number of seasonal wetlands
near Dasada, the village lake of Dasada, the wetland near Patdi
fort, Viramgam town lake and many reservoirs of Surendranagar
district that offer good winter birding opportunities. Birds like
rose-coloured starling and green pigeon are often seen at Dasada
In the monsoon months of July, August and
September, lesser florican visits the grasslands of Surendranagar
District to breed and the vegetation around the wetlands becomes
the breeding area for painted storks, several species of resident
ducks and other waterfowl. Lesser flamingo breeding colonies have
been recorded and photographed in the Little Rann of Kutch during
Rann Riders has a fleet of open vehicles
for cross-country safaris in the Little Rann of Kutch, a 4950 sq km wildlife
sanctuary comprising a huge expanse of saline desert wilderness interspersed
with grass-and- scrublands and marshes.
The Little Rann of Kutch is well-known as the remaining habitat of the
endangered Indian Wild Ass, a magnificent member of the horse family. Nilgai
(blue bull), the largest antelope in India can be seen during the drives. Indian
Wolf, Indian and White-footed Desert Foxes, Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena,
Desert, Jungle and Fishing Cat, and smaller mammals like hares, hedgehogs,
gerbil and field mice are seen in the sanctuary.
The Little Rann is inhabited by desert-dwelling reptiles including the
Little Rann of Katch
One of the unique activities offered by Rann Riders is the
cross-desert safari across the Little Rann of Kutch in open vehicles.
The Rann of Kutch is a geographically unique landscape that was
once an arm 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 safari across the Little Rann visits the 'bets', islands on
the ancient seabed that are now higher grounds covered with grass and scrub.
These 'bets' support a variety of wildlife including the 'Gudkhur'
(Asiatic wild ass) that is not found elsewhere. The wild ass is a handsome
chestnut brown member of the equus genus (horse family). Capable of reaching
high speeds when galloping across the Rann, the wild ass is usually seen in
The elegant blackbuck (Indian antelope), nilgai or blue bull
(India's largest antelope) and the graceful chinkara (Indian gazelle) are other
mammals seen at the bets.
The main carnivores of the Little Rann of Kutch are the
endangered Indian wolf, desert fox, Indian fox, jackals, desert and jungle cats,
and a few hyenas.
Smaller mammals like hares, gerbilles and hedgehogs, and reptiles
like spiny tailed lizard, monitor, red and common sand boa, saw-scaled viper,
cobra, dhaman (Indian rat snake), etc, could also be seen during the safaris in
Rann Riders offers Continental and Indian
cuisine that can be served on the buffet table, preplated or camp-style around a
fire. Tandoori food is a specialty of the resort. On prior intimation, we serve
Gujarati meals, regional specialties of the Maliks of Dasada, Bengali meals and
For vegetarians, the Flamingo Restaurant has an extensive Indian, Chinese and
Continental ala carte menu.
Jeep and camel cart safaris in the Rann of Kutch
- The resort has a small lake, lawns and gardens
- Hammocks hung in an Eucalyptus plantation
- A swimming pool that doubles as an irrigation tank recycling
pool water for agriculture in the arid region near the Rann of
- Extensive grounds for indoor and outdoor games
- Music and dance performances of local communities can be
arranged at extra cost
- Rann of Kutch Camel safaris
- Horse back riding
- Camel cart tours of the Rann
- Village tours by camel cart with or without accommodations in
camel wagon with the nomads
- Village safaris by vehicle
- Fishing on `you catch we cook’ or `catch and release’ basis at
our own lake
Each of the cottages has an a/c twin-bedroom, with a comfortable
cane bed, a dry dressing area and a tiled bathroom with western-style toilet
fittings and hot-and-cold showers.