Kutch Desert Sanctuary


This sanctuary with an area of 7506.22 sq.km. is the largest in the state, encompasses a true saline desert where thousands of Flamingoes nest and breed in the world-famous ‘Flamingo City’, while a 5000-year-old city lies buried in an eternal silence close by. This area was declared a sanctuary in February 1986.

Buried city Dholavira of Harappan civilization was excavated here, which attracts hordes of archeologists here from all across the world. Equally enticing is the Flamingo City located in the mudflats of the Rann, about 10 km. from Nir outpost on Kala Dungar. It is the only area where flamingoes breed regularly.

Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary represents one of the largest seasonal saline wetland areas having water depth between 0.5 to 1.5 meters. But, after October-November, water dries up and the entire area turns into saline desert. The sanctuary supports a wide variety of water birds and a bewildering range of mammalian wildlife.

About the Sanctuary

The sanctuary has some other attractions as well. Embedded below the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks on Khadir, Kuvar and Pachchham bets, are plenty of fossils of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. There are records of the recovery of fossils of dinosaurs, crocodiles (of Dinosaurian period) and whales (of the tertiary period). Fossilized forests have also been found in the rocks belonging to Jurassic and Cretaceous eras. The fossils of invertebrates include those of amonites, sea urchins and such others.

Many timid and harmless spiny-tailed lizards, with their typical hide and run activity, are found in abundance in this sanctuary. Chinkara, fox, hyena, and nilgai are also in abundance and there are some occasional sightings of caracal also. Apart from the number of residents and migratory birds including raptors, Houbara bustard is also seen here.

The world-famous ‘Flamingo City’ is located in the mudflats of the Rann, at a distance of around 10 km. from the Nir outpost on Kala Dungar. Hundreds of greater flamingoes breed here, particularly during the year at the optimum level of inundation. They construct their muddy nests, lay eggs, and rear young ones.


Know Dholavira



Cultural remains of 5000-year-old civilization of Indus Valley lie buried at Dholavira, one of the most distinctive sites of all the Harappan sites. It is remarkable for its magnificent planning, sophisticated architecture and amazing water-management system. It is the sixth-largest city of the Indus Valley civilization.

A well-fortified city was spread over an area of almost 48 hectares, housing within it three distinct complexes- a citadel, a middle town, and a lower town. They were fully aware of the technology of copper working, pottery, stone dressing and manufacturing of molded bricks of standard dimensions.

They excelled in mass production of beads and pieces of ornaments and domestic items of semi-precious stone and shells. The culture started declining around 2100 BC.


Dholavira Excavation

Dholvira Excavation


Dholavira (Gujarati: ધોળાવીરા) is an archaeological site at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, in the state of Gujarat in western India, which has taken its name from a modern-day village 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south of it. This village is 165 km (103 mi) from Radhanpur.

Also known locally as Kotada timba, the site contains ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city.

Dholavira’s location is on the Tropic of Cancer. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is also considered as having been the grandest of cities of its time. It is located on Khadir bet island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kutch.

The 47 ha (120 acres) quadrangular city lay between two seasonal streams, the Mansar in the north and Manhar in the south. The site was occupied from c.2650 BCE, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE. It was briefly abandoned then reoccupied until c.1450 BCE.

The site was discovered in 1967-68 by J. P. Joshi, of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites. It has been under excavation since 1990 by the ASI, which opined that “Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to the personality of Indus Valley Civilisation.”

The other major Harappan sites discovered so far are Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupnagar and Lothal.