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Dasada

Discover the unique treasures of Gujarat, a state which is often overlooked, despite being home to some extremely unique heritage, landscapes and wildlife. Dasada borders the Little Rann of Kutch, a 4,950 sq km saline desert sanctuary offering exciting cross-desert safaris, superb wildlife viewing opportunities and colourful villages along the edge of the desert.

A geographically unique landform, these white salty sands transform into an abundant wetland post-monsoon attracting a range of ecologically rich wildlife including the endangered wild ass. The Indian Wild Ass once extended from western India, through Sindh and Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and south-eastern Iran but now has its last refuge in and around the Little Rann of Kutch.

The Little Rann is a birdwatcher's paradise in winter – 380 species of bird have reportedly been spotted in these seasonal marshes, including the Houbara bustard, sandgrouse, desert chat, desert wheatear, nine species of larks, quails and grey francolin. Eagles, vultures, harriers and falcons can also be seen hunting in the Rann, and nearby lakes Nawa Talao and Vanod Saran attract huge flocks of water birds such as flamingos, pelicans, cranes, storks and ducks. Most people explore this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary on a jeep safari, but there are also camel and horse safaris, as well as fishing expeditions on offer.

The Dasada region is scattered with tribal settlements and villages renowned for their traditional embroideries and weaving. They feature striking circular cottages decorated with mirrors, mud-plaster work and embroideries. Within reach of Dasada, you can visit Patan, a small and dusty town, home to more than 100 Jain temples, the largest of which is Panchasara Parasvanath. You can also visit Modhera, famous for its intricately carved Surya Temple built in 1026, Rani-ki-Vav stepwell, one of the biggest and grandest stepwells in India, and the colourful havelis at Sidhpur.

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