Happily snuggling the Sahyadris or Western Ghats, Saputara is a small yet special destination in Gujarat. Reckoned to be the most popular hill station in the state, at Saputara the lush green forests and enchanting waterfalls; the beautiful sunrise and sunset and the consistent salubrious climate accentuate the beauty of the region. It is an excellent place for those who wish to contemplate nature’s beauty; spend cozy moments with a loved one or simply like to be all by themselves.
Saputara is situated in the Dang district of Gujarat. This beautiful hill station is situated at an elevation of about 1000m above sea level. It is located on a plateau in the Dang forest area. Adding to the beauty of Saputara is the River Sarpganga which flows through the town. The hill retreat is situated about 80kms from Nashik (Maharashtra), 112kms from Bilimora (Gujarat), 172kms from Surat (Gujarat), 280kms from Mumbai (Maharashtra), 300kms from Vadodra (Gujarat) and 420kms from Ahmedabad (Gujarat). The temperature in summer goes up to a maximum of 32°C and a minimum of 27°C. In winter, on the other hand the temperature remains between 16°C and 10°C. Saputara in monsoon receives an average rainfall (from July to September) of 254 cm.
Saputara has mythological importance as it is believed that Lord Rama spent 11 years of his exile here. The name Saputara literally means ‘Abode of Serpents’ and one can find an image of a snake situated on the shore of the river Sarpganga that flows through the town.
Saputara is amongst the most well-planned and organized hill stations in India. Here one can enjoy visiting the beautiful gardens and museum, taking a ride in the cable car and paddle boat. There is a great opportunity for those who like to hike and trek. Those who wish to witness the nature’s beauty also have special points to visit.
Sunrise Point is situated around 1.5kms from Saputara towards Waghai. This place offers best views of Saputara and the adjoining region of Malegaon. So even if one misses out the sunrise view, one can enjoy a lovely panoramic view from here at any time of the day.
Sunset Point in Saputara offers a vantage point from where a very scenic view of Dang Forest can be witnessed. The forest area around Saputara is dotted with tribal villages, so in far distance from the Sunset Point, one can also observe the tribal settlements. Gandhi Shikhar can be approached by only a ropeway from Vaity Ropeway Resort.
There are three prominent gardens in Saputara namely Rose Garden, Lake Garden and Step Garden which can be a great delight to visit. In Rose Garden a wide variety of roses can be seen, while in the step garden the arrangement of the flowers is what catches ones’ eyes. At Lake Garden, which is situated on the bank of Saputara Lake, one has the chance to see a diverse variety of multi-hued flowers.
Situated about 45kms from Saputara, the Botanical Garden sprawls over an area of 24 hectares and has about 14000 varieties of plants. The major highlights of the garden are Chinese Bamboo, Beer Bamboo and Golden Bamboo. One might also enjoy a walk in the garden where diverse flora is excellently exhibited.
Photo: Selvin Kurian
Gira Waterfall is situated off the Saputara-Waghi road about 49kms from Saputara. The waterfall originating from Kapri tributary is at its best during the monsoon season. The water cascades from a height of 30m into the Ambika River offering a very picturesque view. The best time to be here would be between June and November.
Photo: Neha & Chittaranjan Desai
Reckoned to be one of the densest forests in Gujarat, the Mahal forest is situated about 68kms from Saputara. This place is open for tourists only at a specific time during the year and the tourists are required to take special permission from the forest department to visit here. The Purna Wildlife Sanctuary and Girmal waterfall are the major attractions here.
Located near Waghai, the Unnai Mata Temple and the Hot spring is one of the major attractions near Saputara. The temple and spring is situated about 68kms from the hill station. It is believed that the hot spring here has the special quality of curing chronic diseases, thus visitors from afar come here to take a bath in this spring.
Photo: Neha & Chittaranjan Desai
Ambapada, which is situated about 48kms from Saputara is an interesting place to visit. It is a traditional Dangi village that the tribals inhabit. The lush bamboo groves flank the village making it look absolutely beautiful. The tribals here are engaged in the making of lamps and toys of bamboo roots.
Photo: Semil Shah
Off the Mahal Singana Road, the Girmal Fall is amongst the best places to visit around Saputara. Situated about 85kms from Saputara, the fall comes alive in the monsoon season and offers a picture perfect view. The region around Girmal is replete with rich and rare varieties of flora and is apt for those who like to trek.
Photo: Brendon Fernandes
Once a private forest of Maharaja Vansada, the Vansda National Park sprawls over an area of 24sq km. Despite its small size, this national park near Saputara shelters a sizeable population of leopards, pangolin, pythons, four-horned antelopes and a few tigers as well. Tourists need to take prior permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden, Gandhinagar or DFO, Ahwa before visiting the park.
Photo: Milap Madhikar
Spread over an area of 160 sq kms, Purna Sanctuary is part of the Mahal forests (situated 60kms from Dang). The sanctuary is covered with dense moist deciduous forest and is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. However, like Vansda National Park, prior permission is required to visit this park.
This sacred Hindu shrine is situated about 50kms from Saputara and is dedicated to one of the sisters of Goddess Kali. The temple is highly revered by the locals; however, many tourists also make it a point to visit this temple on their visit to Saputara. The best time to visit here would be on the occasion of Dassehra festival and Navratri.
Photo: Roshu Chaurasia
About 130kms from Saputara is Tithal, which is a gorgeous beach. Flanked by tall palm trees and having crystal clear water, the beach looks absolutely scenic. The best time to visit here would be summer.
The Lake and Boating Club is centrally located and offers row and paddle boats for hire. The club also offers amusement facilities for children near the lake.
It is a small museum that displays the tribal lifestyle. There is a good collection of ornaments, musical instruments, agricultural implements, house objects of day-to-day use of native Dangis. The timings for the museum are between 10:30am and 05:00pm.
Artist Village near Saputara is reckoned to be the cultural and traditional center of the region. It is considered as the best place in Saputara for buying traditional as well as tribal artifacts. Warli paintings and tribal craft objects can be bought from here. The place is also regarded as an ideal destination to learn about the culture of this region.
Apart from these places of tourist interest in Saputara, Honey Bees Centre, Echo Point, Lake View Garden, Sitavan, Pandav Gufas, Pampa Sarovar, Forest nurseries, Hatgad Fort, Saputara No Sap, Ritambhara Vishwa Vidyapith, Governor’s Hill, Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, Jain Temple and Swaminarayan Temple & Bhramha Kumari Art Gallery are other places that are worth visiting.
Although all major festivals are celebrated with equal zeal and enthusiasm in Saputara, yet Dang Darbar is unique to this part of Gujarat. It is an annual tribal festival that is held prior to Holi. Dang Darbar is a colourful affair where the tribes congregate to celebrate the political pension of the tribal kings. Dance, music, colour and purchase and sell of tribal wares can all be seen in this festival.
In Saputara, a wide range of accommodation is available. From luxury resorts to budget hotels, one has the choice to pick whichever accommodation option suits him the best.
|Surat to Saputara||2 hours 46 mins (159 km)|
|Manmad to Saputara||1 hour 59 mins (115 km)|
|Mathura to Saputara||17 hours 48 mins (1,240 km)|
|Satana to Saputara||1 hour 20 mins (63.5 km)|