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Things To Do In Saputara
Far away from the hustle and bustle of life in the metros, Saputara a region of undiluted lush green forested regions and mountain slopes offer a number of places to explore and some of the best chances to do a spot of adventure sports both on land and in water. Saputara celebrates her festivals with adventure tourism that would keep tourists busy through the festivities.
Explore Saputara’s wilderness that has pristine streams that can be sailed across, get off on bird watching tours, plan a hiking trip with team mates, visit the tiny tribal hamlets where the native tribes of Gujarat dwell. Saputara is a small hill station but there are so many motivating things that can keep you engrossed. We will give you an account of things that you could do in the little hill station.
Saputara and its unexplored hilly terrains are some of the chosen trekking trails of trekking enthusiasts. There are organized camping groups where trekking is a part of other adventure activities like rock climbing, river crossing, zip lining, zorbing and rappelling. Camps are set up for groups that indulge in bird watching and hiking over the rough untrodden mountain paths.
Some of the most popular trekking trails are the trek to Hatgad Fort, Governor’s Hill and the morning walk to Sunrise Point. Some camps include night treks as well. One of the most sought after adventure sports in Saputara is paragliding. Check out the paragliding clubs that hold training sessions for grownups and children, especially in time for the annual paragliding festival.
If you are visiting Saputara during the monsoons, some of the best places you can tour to, with a camera in tow, are the cascades. The broad Gira Waterfalls about 50 km from Saputara, set amidst a dense forested region is so idyllic for a day spend just listening to the chirping of the birds and the thunderous sounds of the gushing waters as they drop down a 80 ft. high cliff. The waterfalls are ideal for a camp out and hiking as well.
A two hour drive away from Gira Falls and towards Purna National Park is the Girmal Falls, yet another symbol of wild beauty. Enclosed with dense green foliage, the Girmal Falls is set at a photographic location. A short trek from the Ahwa – Mahal road leads to the lesser known Barda Waterfall, which is a picturesque twelve step Fall, that one ought to visit.
Gandarvapur Artist Village is a remarkable place you could visit if you are interested in learning about the cultures of the Dang. The Artist Village where you can watch the artisans at work and even try your hand at modeling a few artifacts, is a must visit. Founded by Surya Goswami and Chandrakant Parmer, the Artist Village verily considered the cultural hub of Saputara, holds workshops for artists and art schools as well.
You can buy local products made of bamboo, wood etc. Pieces of jewelry, pottery, tribal handicrafts, Warli paintings, vases and key chains would make wonderful keepsake and souvenirs to be gifted away back home. Artist Village is located opposite the Saputara Lake.
Who wouldn’t love a peaceful stroll through a garden of flowers! Saputara has some well-manicured gardens where you could delight in nature and beautiful flora of various hues. Visit the Step Garden that is a unique stepped garden with a variety of potted plants and stone work in display. There are resting places at vantage points and play areas for kids.
The Rose Garden is an ideal place to visit in winter and early summer when you’d find a variety of flowers in bloom. You might also visit the Forest Nursery which is a lovely place to spend a summer evening for the lush greenery, the cool breeze wafting in from the Saputara Lake are so appealing.
True to a hill station, Saputara boasts of a handful of lookouts spotted about the region. Gandhi Shikar or Sunset Point which is about 1.6 km from the town, obviously the apt vantage point from where you can watch the setting sun, is one of the most popular view points. It gives a charming view of the Dang forest below, dotted with the tribal hamlets and tiny streams. Saputara Museum and Vansda National Park are close by, so you could explore the three places in a few hours.
On the other side of Sunset Point is the Sunrise Point where from you can catch the sight of the warmly glowing sun as it rises above the horizon and marks the beginning of yet another day. Check out Table Land view point where you could spend a relaxed evening with family. There are a few activities like horse riding that are bound to keep the kids engaged.
On the banks of the Purna River at Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is the Mahal eco-tourism camp organized by the Government of Gujarat’s tourism department. Although spotting wild animals is rare, you can watch the birds and enjoy a day out in the camping site along with family or friends.
There are tents and bamboo cottages for accommodation by the river side and although food is provided on prior intimation, it would be handy if you could carry enough food, plenty of water and light refreshments. There are shallow parts of the river that can be crossed, you can go trekking by the river side trails or indulge in gaming activities with the kids. Get prior permission from the forest department before booking a trip.
To chill out on a warm summer evening, head out to the picturesque Saputara Lake in the middle of the city. Surrounded by sloping hills and lush greenery the Saputara Lake is an ideal place to take a break from a hectic touristy trip. Sit by the lakeside with a picnic hamper or go for a jaunt along the footpaths.
If you would want more adventure hire a boat to sail across the cool waters. Boats come in a variety of sizes and shapes and a boat ride with family or team mates with a cool breeze wafting along, is a great experience. Near the northern back of the Saputara Lake you would find stalls selling ice creams, chai or hot pakoras, bajjis or corn on a cob.
Don Hill Station
Get off on a day’s drive to Don Hill station, said to be the second best hill station in Gujarat, after Saputara. Located in the border between Gujarat and Maharashtra, Don Hill station is about 30 km from Ahwa and 150 km from Surat. Known for its salubrious climate through the year and its virgin nature, Don could well be on your bucket list.
Named after the Sage Dronacharya, Don Hill station which has its fair share of quaint tribal hamlets, rich with a native tribal culture of music and dance, invites tourists for breathtaking photographic opportunities and adventurous sports like parasailing, zip lining and rock climbing. Don Hill station is about 55 km from Saputara.
Gliding up the slopes on a cable car is yet another way of touring the countryside. Saputara offers a cable car ride up the hillside from near Vaity Resort to Sunset Point and back. Sailing high up the meandering slopy hills and valleys is a lovely feeling. The cable car stops midway so you could enjoy the sights beneath your feet and capture them on camera.
Tourists enjoy a trip by cable car to Sunset Point to watch the dipping sun and return to base by the next cable car. The views from the ropeway and the peak at Sunset Point are enchanting and are a must do on your list. There are shacks selling hot tea, maggi, samosas at either end of the ropeway, so the evenings when the Ropeway functions are just about having a good time.
Table Land or Governor’s Hill is one of the most oft visited places in Saputara. Tourists love to spend a few hours at the Table Land in groups to pass a summer evening, watching the Sun set or enjoy a wintery breezy evening when there is a cold nip in the air. The Table Land has a handful of activities that would keep the children engaged, what with camel or horse rides, dirt bike rides and a whole lot of food stalls selling piping hot chai, noodles, pakoras, omelets and bhel puris.
You can listen to the locals playing music, get off on short treks or indulge in a stint of photography, for the Table Land Plateau offers a cool view of the countryside beneath the altitude. The starting point for the Ropeway is at Table Land and a few hours spent here is gratifying.