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Saputara – Dispatch from the Dangs, located in the state of Gujarat, India

State : Gujrat
Distance : 262 kms NE of Mumbai, via Nasik.
Journey time : 6 hrs by road. By train : 31/2 hrs + 21/2 hrs by road.
Location : At the southern tip of Gujrat on the border with Maharashtra,
in the forested hills of the second highest plateau in the Sahyadris and
3,196 ft above sea level.

Best time to go : Come here just past the monsoon, when the temperatures are cool in the region. The Dangs are also at their greenest, plus the lack of tourists means that the town has returned to itself and while some tourist attractions have closed
down, all of Saputara is yours.

Location of Saputara on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there

By road: The town of Waghai is 51 km away. Ahmedabad: 409 km. Surat: 164 km. Mumbai: 250 km. Vadodara: 309 km.
There are State Transport buses and private luxury coaches from Waghai and Ahmedabad. If you are coming by a private car, than National Highway might be quicker, but the state highway will offers a stunningly scenic drive.
By rail: The nearest railway station is Waghai, on the Billimora-Waghai narrow gauge section of the Western Railway. For those coming from Gujarat via Surat or Ahmedabad or even from Mumbai, Billimora is the more convenient rail head, and a direct bus service is available from there.
By air: The nearest airport is Vadodara, 309 km away.

Lying in a densely forested plateau in the Sahyadri Range, Saputara holds the distinction of being the only hill station in Gujarat. This tranquil small town is situated at an altitude of around 1,000 m, and has a climate that is consistently pleasant, although leaning towards chilly, throughout the year. The name Saputara literally stands for ‘abode of serpents,’ a fact that is highlighted by the presence of an image of a snake on the shores of the Sarpagana river, which flows through the town. This image is worshipped by the region’s tribal folk, especially during major festivals such as Holi. Adding to Saputara’s mystique is the legend that Lord Rama spent 11 years of his exile in these very forests.

In winter, at the spill of dawn, trek up to the Gandhi Shikhar as the river of light bathes the streams over undulating mountains and the drifting birds, into a magical dance of awakening. In rains, breathe in the rolling hills of Saputara, echoing green hues, lush with flowers, and watch the meditating rain drops sitting still on sloping leaves. Some of the thickest forest cover in the state envelops you. In summer, walk carefree on the expanse of the Governor’s hill and see the sun dip into the Saputara lake as the sky begins to shimmer with stars.

Places to see in Saputara

– Saputara Lake : There is a Boat Club here from where you can hire sailboats, paddleboats and rowing boats and enjoy boating in the lake. The Sun Rise and Sun Set Points provide panoramic and varied views of the sun. It also provides a perfect view of Saputara. You can reach Malegaon after a 1.5 km walk in the direction of Waghai. There are several gardens at Saputara like the Lake Garden, the Step Garden and the Rose Garden.
– Nageshwar Mahadev Temple : It has the idol of the Lord Shiva. The temple is visited by a lot of people because of its religious sanctity. The museum of Saputara is well-kept museum, which provides the information about the tribes of Dangs.
– Vansda National Park : It attracts a lot of tourists. It was originally a private forest of the Maharaja of Vansda. It covers an area of 24 sq km and has tigers, leopards, python, four-horned antelope, pangolin, rusty-spotted cats and giant squirrels.
– Purna Sanctuary : It is a part of the dense moist deciduous forests in the Western Ghats of Gujarat. It covers an area of 160 sq. km. And is situated at Mahal, which is 60 km north of Dangs.
– Gira waterfalls : These waterfalls make excellent excursion option from Saputara. Just 52 km away from Saputara the Gira Waterfalls should not be missed especially during the months of June to November.
– Echo Point : As the name highlights it is the place where one can hear the echo of what he says, is located in Matheran near Saputara. It is one of the prime tourist attractions nearby to Saputara. The Echo point offers a exquisite picturesque surroundings with many waterfalls, enhancing the breath taking beauty of the location.
– Forest Log huts : These huts are very famous world over. The Main attraction of these wooden log huts are its uniqueness in construction. The architectural beauty of these log huts are imposing.
– Forest Nursery : It offers many varieties of plants and trees. The nursery is run by the forest department. Many flowered plants can be spotted here; different varieties of Hibiscus flowers are attracting many visitors.
– Lake Garden : A nicely maintained beautiful garden on the banks of the Saputara Lake, is an excellent picnic spot. The garden encloses nice plants and rare kinds of trees.
– Pandava Caves : It is also known as Aravalem caves, are renowned by the mythical stories of Pandavas, the great warriors of the epic Mahabharatha. The caves are located in an ambiance of wilderness at a place Valpoi in the district of North Goa, a border district of Goa with Gujarat.
– Step Garden : One another attractive place in Saputara, step garden has the unique feature of a garden set up in steps. Well laid out steps are adorned with beautiful plants, flower pots and in the midst of nice woods.
– Hatgadh Fort : It is an excellent and protruding architectural beauty at an altitude of about 3,500 feet. It is one of the most archaic forts situated in Mulher which is in Nasik district of Maharastra.
– Artist Village : It is an interesting place to be. One can view the traditional art pieces and craftsmen at work here. You can pick some fine pieces of pottery, jewelry, vases, paintings, pen stands, key chains, made from bamboo chips and other locally found material.
– Waghai : A beautiful languorous small town set up in an exquisite surrounding, is a nearby attraction to Saputara located in the Dangs District of Gujarat. It is the main gateway for entering Dangs district.
– Ahwa : A tourist spot in the map of Gujarat, is the District headquarters of Dangs and is in the vicinity of Saputara. The Ahwa city is famed for the tribal fair Dangs darbar held during the Holi festival period. A major attractioni s Dandkeshwar Mahadev Temple, an impressive temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Places to stay in Saputara

Saputara has plenty of decent places to stay in. Most of the hotels provide basic amenities and do not boast of modern-day conveniences like fax and e-mail. Though power-cuts are common in Saputara, hotels run their generators.

– Toran Hill Resort (Hilltop): A very government type building
– Vaity Ropeway Resort (Hilltop) – Saputara Hill: This hotel is particularly famous with corporates as a conference venue and also for employee retreats.
– Hotel Anando (Opposite lake) – Nageshwar Mahadev Road: Good choice if you are looking for hotels similar to those in Lonavla, Khandala circuit.
– Hotel Patang (Lake facing) – Opposite Boating club: A hotel designed for the city traveler. Its only drawback is that it lies at the heart of Saputara and next to the main road – a little too central for people wanting a getaway.
– Hotel Chitrakoot (Near sunset point) – Nasik Saputara Road: Amenities are basic – bed, blankets, sofa, reasonably clean loos and TV. But all the same a decent enough place.
– Hotel Vaishali (Hill-facing) – Waghbari Road

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