- Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is a seasonally marshy region located in the
Thar Desertbiogeographic province in Gujaratstate of northwestern Indiaand the Sindprovince of Pakistan. The name "Rann" comes from the Hindi word "ran" (रण) meaning "salt marsh". The Hindi word is derived from Sanskrit/ Vedic word "IAST|iriṇa" (इरिण) attested in the Rigvedaand Mahābhārata. Kutchis the name of the district wherein it is situated. The Rann of Kutch comprises some convert|10000|sqmi|km2|-4 between the Gulf of Kutchand the mouth of the Indus Riverin 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 and the Gulf of Cambayon the east are both united during the monsoon.
The area was a vast shallows of the
Arabian Seauntil continuing geological uplift closed off the connection with the sea, creating a vast lake that was still navigable during the time of Alexander the Great[http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0901_full.html] . The Ghaggar River, which presently empties into the desert of northern Rajasthan, formerly emptied into the Rann of Kutch, but the lower reaches of the river dried up as its upstream tributaries were captured by the Indus and Gangesthousands of years ago. Traces of the delta and its distributarychannels on the northern boundary of the Rann of Kutch were documented by the Geological Survey of Indiain 2000.
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. In April 1965, a dispute there contributed to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, when fighting broke out between India and Pakistan. Later the same year, British Prime Minister Harold Wilsonsuccessfully persuaded both countries to end hostilities and set up a tribunal, to resolve the dispute. A verdict was reached in 1968 which saw Pakistan getting 10% of its claim of convert|3500|sqmi|km2|-2. The majority of the area thus remained with India. Tensions spurted again in 1999 during the Atlantique Incident.
The Rann is also famous for the Indian Wild Ass sanctuary, the Little Rann of Kutch, where the last of three species of Asiatic Wild Ass ("Equus hemionus khur" or "khar"), the only ones in
Asia, still exists along with wolves, foxes, jackals, "chinkara" gazelles, nilgaiantelope and blackbucks. The Rann of Kutch is also the only place in Pakistan and India which plays host to migrating flamingoes. There are 13 species of larkin the Rann of Kutch.
* [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0901_full.html World Wildlife Fund:] Terrestrial
Ecoregions: Rann of Kutch
* [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=11750 Satellite views comparing summer and winter conditions in the Rann of Kutch]
* [http://gorp.away.com/gorp/location/asia/india/np_rann.htm Little Rann of Kutch National Park]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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