Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Perfect Road Trip!

I am not an avid traveller, but at times, twice or thrice in a year I love to tear myself away from the monotonous routine and never ending responsibilities and get away to the places where I can gather the impetus and drive to start the same routine anew and afresh with added zeal and vehemence. I utterly agree to what Hilaire Belloc said: “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment” So I travel when I am lost and I often find myself during the journey

Last weekend on 20th July 2013 I went to a road trip to Saputara a hill station on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat state accompanied by my five friends and luckily it turned out to be another memorable trip I will cherish forever. This picturesque hill station is perched on a plateau in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadri range. Our trip to Saputara commenced at 4.30 a.m. and we set off to travel the distance of 400 Km. from Ahmedabad, savoring the whiff of wet sand in drizzling atmosphere on the NH No. 8 listening and humming the tunes of our favourite songs and the random chit chat. We took a halt for half an hour to grab a quick cuppa chai and breakfast at around 8 a.m. between Surat and Navsari. The scenic beauty of hilly road towards the Dang forest area after Navsari is so spectacular with lush green hills as far as the eye can see, beautiful waterfalls far and near along the roadside, small huts mostly made of bamboos and green fields with grazing animals, that its serene exquisiteness enchanted us till we reached our destination – Saputara, at around 12.30 p.m.
Photo courtesy: panoramio.com

Saputara means the 'Abode of Serpents’ although the only thing I found serpentine enough here were the roads. It’s a tranquil landscape laden with lush green hills covered with clouds and mist during monsoons. The continuous drizzle and gusty winds which started some time early in the morning continued as we relished the delicious Gujarati thali at restaurant of our resort. Nonetheless, after lunch we decided to go to saputara tribal museum and saputara lake boat house. The population of the Dangs, where Saputara is located, is 90% tribal and the museum gives an introduction to the lifestyle, costumes, heritage and ecology of the tribal Dangs. It is worth visiting to learn about many major forms of tribal expression such as metal ornaments, stuffed birds, woodcarving, clay ritual objects, geru paintings, body tattoos, and masks used in dance-dramas, and musical instruments. In the early evening when the rains subsided we went to saputara lake for boating. The pristine beauty of Saputara lake surrounded by greenery makes it pleasurable to sail in the lake in a row or paddle boat. We took a paddle boat and enjoyed half an hour ride amidst fog and icy winds feasting our eyes with pleasant view surrounding the lake. We then visited Rose Garden, as the name suggests, it is a spectacular garden with many variety of Roses. Step Garden is a garden set up in steps. On the steps are laid beautiful plants and flower pots. Another garden is Lake Garden on the banks of Saputara Lake, which is an excellent picnic spot. All these gardens adds to the beauty of Saputara. Later that evening we rode to the governor’s hill table top, but the clouds and mist covered the valley obscuring the view except that we could see the entire expanse of Table Top with bhutta (Corn) vendors, a couple of tea stalls and horses/camels for rides. On return we had our dinner and sat till late in the balcony enjoying the beautiful weather.



Next morning I went for a walk on the docile roads and after days or maybe months I enjoyed walking and the sheer joy of being in nature and by myself. Later that afternoon we left for Ahmedabad. We took a halt of an hour at Gira falls which is a beautiful waterfall 52 Km. from Saputara on the way to Ahmedabad. The monsoon rains add the magical touch to the beauty of Gira falls. 

Photo courtesy: placeforvacations.com
 
And, then we continued our trip back to Ahmedabad. The road trip to this not too commercialized place inhabited by hard-working and warm hearted tribal is one of my most memorable road trips – A perfect road trip :-) 


This post is written as a part of 'The Perfect Road Trip' contest at IndiBlogger in association with AmbiPurIndia

15 comments:

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  4. Amazing road trip. The write up is very interesting about Saputara, a hill station of Gujarat State. With various places to visit in Saputara, it has been developed as a planned hill resort.

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