Boasting of splendid climate all year round, Saputara is beautiful during the monsoons and will enthral you with its myriad offerings. A must visit for someone looking for a unique experience, this quaint hill station is sure to delight you with its breathtaking sites.
Nestled in the Dang district on the southern tip of Gujarat, at an altitude of 875 metres amidst the Sahyadri Mountains, lies the picturesque, lush, green hill town of Saputara. Saputara means Abode of Serpents, which is where the town town derives its name from owing to the several images of snakes that are present on the shores of the River Sarpagana that flows through it. These images hold great importance and are worshipped by the tribals here.
The history and mythology of the green woods of Saputara is as dense as the forest itself. According to legend , Lord Ram spent 11 of his 14 years in exile traversing these forests, thus the name Sitavan, meaning Sita’s forest. Covered in mist and clouds, Saputara makes for the perfect monsoon holiday destination. As you watch the rain drops fall over the thick forest cover, the rolling hills of echoing green hues, lush with flowers transport you to a different world.
Known for its many beautiful gardens, Saputara gives you the chance to take in nature in all its glory. Lake Garden, Step Garden, Millennium Garden and Rose Garden are some of the must visit sites. The design and layout of the steps at step Garden are its unique feature. Plants and flowerpots with wooden work around it support the steps. Tourists can stay at the numerous forest huts around. While Lake Garden on the banks of Saputara Lake makes for an excellent picnic spot.
The Saputara Lake boasts of facilities for boating and is another tourist attraction. Other than sailing, the Sunset Point in the lake offers a clear view of the Saputara region. Just 52 kilometres from Saputara, you can sit and relax with the majestic Gira Waterfalls splashing near you. The falls are a 30 metre natural drop into the Ambica River, and are easily accessible by jeep. Breathtakingly beautiful, these seasonal falls are one of the most picturesque sights in the district.
The Nageshwar Mahadev Temple on the southern bank of the Saputara Lake is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts worshippers from far and wide. The Jain Temple, Swaminarayan Temple and BhramhaKumari Art Gallery are some of the other famous place of worship. The culture of Saputara is evident through the celebration of its festivals, a popular one being the Dangs Darbar, celebrated before Holi.
The Vansda National Park, spread over an area of 24 square kilometres, was once the private forest of the maharaja of Vansda. Home to magnificent tigers, leopards, and pythons, you can also spot the four horned antelope, pangolin, rusty spotted cat and giant squirrel here. Located 60 kilometeres to the north of Dangs, is the Purna Sanctuary. Extending over 160 square kilometres, it is a part of the dense deciduous forest of the Western Ghats and has wide varieties of wild animals. Crossed by the Gira and Purana rivers, it also has bamboo lined pathways for trekkers. The sanctuary supports an array of flora and fauna and is the only protected area in south Gujarat, besides the Vansda National Park, for conserving diverse biological resources.
Saputara is a paradise for nature lovers. You can trek to nearby villages and take in the scenic beauty of the undulating mountains around you, or visit the Gandhi Shikhar, the Hatgath Fort, or the legendary Pandava Caves also known as the Aravalem Caves. According to the tales of the place, it is believed that the Pandavas spent some of their time during their hideout days in these caves and offered prayers to Lord Shiva. The road to the caves provides a glimpse into the many tribal villages and fort ruins.
This mystical town offers a number of experiences – walk freely on Governor’s hill, from where you can see a railing that demarcates the Gujarat-Maharashtra border, watch the sun dip into the Saputara Lake; or discover the untouched beauty of the wildlife here. Other spots of interest in Saputara are Sunrise Point, Boating Club, Museum and Snake of Saputara. Suspended above hills, valley and view of Saputara. At Echo Point, you will find a natural amphitheatre in the mountains, from where you can hear your echo; while adventure seekers can opt for paragliding activities. You can also learn how to make honey at the Honey Bees Centre and then take some of it home with you.
Visit the Saputara Museum for an insight into the lifestyle costumes, heritage and ecology of the tribal Dangs. You can learn about the many major forms of tribal expression such as a stone funerary column, grass ornaments, stuffed birds, woodcarving, clay ritual objects, body tattoos, and masks used in dance-dramas, and musical instruments. The tribal life enhances the beauty of this place, the life of these tribals takes you to a different era. At the Artist Village, you get to not only see and buy the tribal artefacts on display, but also get your hands to work. You are sure to feel welcomed and will be inspired to try out some warli painting or craft tribal objects.
The weather adds to the magic of this place. Saputara has a cool bracing climate throughout the year. The highest temperature even in the summer does not exceed 28 degrees Celsius. But the rains bring out the ultimate beauty of the town with fresh greenery all around.
Situated around 172 kilometres from Surat, 80 kilometres from Nashik and four kilometres from the border of Maharashtra, Saputara makes for an easily accessible and affordable holiday. The town has been well developed and offer reasonable accommodation. The resorts and hotels located around the lake or valley let you to enjoy the panoramic vista all around. A variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available to delight your taste buds. The place offers some of the best Gujarati cuisine. Be sure to take a part of Saputara back with you in the form of paintings, key chains, jewellery, vases, pottery, pen stands and other beautiful handicraft items.
A visit to Saputara is a dream vacation for those looking for a peace and quiet. It serves as a great escape for tourists with its amazing climate, amidst lush green environs. Nature comes to life in Saputara and the magic of this place is sure to leave you enchanted. Come. Discover. Experience.