Summer revels in Saputara, Gujarat’s only hill station
A spectacular landscape of lush greenery leads to Gujarat’s only hill station, Saputara in the Dang region. Saputara, like Ooty or Dalhousie, offers a profusion of incredible sites and a pleasant and misty environment. During the monsoon, the Western Ghats are spectacular, but it’s not just the beauty of nature that will capture your heart in Saputara; there are plenty of landmarks to pique your interest.
Saputara has two ancient temples hidden in a serene setting. The Gajabhishek Jain Tirth, the only Girimathak Dang in Gujarat, is located atop Chintamani Parshvanath Dada ka Bhavya Jinalaya, with magnificent views of the adjacent streams. The Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, on the southern shore of Lake Saputara, is one of the oldest Shiva temples in the city. The modest shrine features a statue of Nandi in the outer hall and a black Shivalinga inside.
Boating on Lake Saputara
Saputara is home to a beautiful blue lake where you can take a duck ride and float alongside real ducks. A 30-minute boat ride will take you around some of Saputara’s most scenic lakescapes. Street vendors selling a range of local foods are well represented along the shores of the lake. I recommend visiting at sunset and concluding your trip with a hot cup of tea from a local stand.
Take a short detour to return to the Saputara Rose Garden behind the lake. The rose garden, also known as Smriti Gulab, allows visitors to plant a rose and participate in its growth.
Table Point and the cable car
Take a leisurely stroll and soak up the stunning beauty; the Table Point in Saputara is the nicest place to end your day. From this vantage point, you can see Saputara in all its glory. Take a 10-minute cable car ride to Sunset Point, where you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Saputara, then return to Table Point to enjoy paragliding, biking, camel or horseback riding, or relax and indulge in local snacks at this hilltop location.
Discover some of the other remarkable sites of the region in Saputara, such as the tallest in Gujarat, the 100-foot-high Girmal waterfall. Or Shabridham temple in the deep forest of Dand Karanya, near Girmal waterfall and Subir village, where Lord Ram met Shabari, an elderly farmer during his 14 years of exile in the jungle. Dang’s Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby where one can go bird watching and wildlife spotting.
Gira, a 99-foot waterfall that leads into the Ambica River, is at the other end of the spectrum. Nearby is the Waghai Botanical Garden, a 24-hectare rare plant repository with a diverse collection of native and exotic species.
Things to buy in Saputara
Saputara, on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border, will pleasantly surprise you with its modest market, which sells everything from imported chocolates to Maggi instant noodles. Buying local items such as tribal arts, hand-printed Dangi sarees, a variety of papadums, and handcrafted bamboo lamps and planters is the most excellent way to go “vocal for local” since this hill station has its roots in the Dang tribe.
(Veidehi Gite is the founder of KrazyButterfly and a former advertising professional who writes about travel, luxury, food, fashion and fitness.)