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SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

AT THE SOUTHERN TIP OF GUJARAT, FOLDED INTO THE DENSELY WOODED HILLS OF THE SAHAYADRIS, LIES THE ABODE OF SERPENTS SAPUTARA. IN THE PICTURESQUE DANGS DISTRICT, THIS IS A HILL STATION WITH A DIFFERENCE, WHERE YOU CAN IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A TIMELESS LAND THATS STILL PRETTY MUCH THE WAY GOD MADE IT. AFTER ALL LEGEND HAS IT THAT LORD RAMA SPENT 11 YEARS OF HIS EXILE IN THESE VERY FORESTS. THE TRIBALS OF DANGS. DANGS IS INHABITATED BY TRIBES LIKE BHILS, KUNBIS, WRLIS, AND GAMITS. THEY ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR DANCES WHICH ARE PERFORMED WEARING MASKS MADE OUT OF BAMBOOS AND WOOD. DANGS-DEMOGRAPHICS AND CLIMATE. AREA: 1,725 SQ.KM. POPULATION: 1.5 LACS WITH 94% POPULATION AS TRIBALS LOCATION: S.E. OF GUJRAT. BOUNDRIES: NORTH:SURAT AND DHULIA DISTT, EAST: DHULIA AND NASIK DISTRICT, WEST VALSAD AND SURAT DISTT. CLIMATE: SUMMER ~32 TO 27 C, WINTER ~22 TO 17 C, RAINS ~MID JUNE TO END OCT., VARIA- TION IN TEMP: 9.2 C (MIN.) TO 36.4(MAX). CLOTHING: COTTONS IN SUMMER, PROTECTIVE GEAR IN MONSOONS, LIGHT WOOLLENS IN WINTER. SUGGESTED CIRCUITS: VISITORS CAN COVER DANGS IN THE FOLLOWING THREE CIRCUITS: 1. SAPUTARA TOWN


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

LONG WALKS ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL LAKE ARE SOME OF THE TREATS OF THIS UNCLUTT- ERED AND SIMPLE HILL STATION. THE MORE ADVENTUROUS CAN TREK DOWN TO NEARBY VILLAGES, THE HATGADH FORT OR THE LEGENDARY PANDAVA CAVES. THE HILL STATION DOES NOT REQIRE ANY LOCAL TRANSPORT AND IS BEST COVERED ON FOOT. SOME OF ITS HIGHLIGHTS ARE: THE ROPEWAY:- A TEN MINUTE RIDE STRADDLES THE VALLEY TO THE SUNSET POINT. THE COMFORTABLE COUPE IS SAFE AND IDEAL FOR A FAMILY. THE VIEW FROM THE HALT MIDWAY IS BREATHTAKING. UNFORGETTABLE ON A MOONLIT NIGHT. REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE AT SUNSET POINT AND AT THE VAITY RESTAURANT. BOATING: RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE VALLEY IS THE EXTREMELY CALM SAPUTARA LAKE ROW AND PADDEL BOATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR HIRE. VALLEY VIEW POINT:- A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE VALLEY, A SOMEWHAT ADVENTUROUS CLIMB(1.5)KMS. SUNSET POINT: A LOVELY VIEW OF THE SUNSET OVER THE ENTIRE VALLEY. VISTORS CAN CLIMB OR USE THE ROPEWAY TO APPROACH THE POINT. ARTIST VILLAGE: VISITORS CAN PICK UP PREETY PIECES OF POTTERY, JEWELLERY, VASES, PAINTINGS, PEN STANDS, KEY CHAINS, ALL MADE FROM BAMBOO CHIPS AND OTHER LOCALLY FOUND MATERIAL. CHILDREN CAN LEARN TO MAKE SIMPLE ITEMS IN THE WORKSHOP ORGANISED BY THE CRAFTSMEN. MUSEUM. A SMALL MUSEUM WITH A TRIBAL THEME DISPLAYING THE LIFESTYLE, ORNAMENTS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF THE TRIBES OF DANGS. THERE IS ALSO A WORKSHOP MAKING SOME OF THE TRADITIONAL DISPLAYS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING.

 

GARDENS: THE LAKE GARDEN, STEP GARDEN AND THE ROSE GARDEN OFFER SCENIC PLA- CES FOR THE TOURIST TO LAZE IN, WHILE WALKING AROUND SAPUTARA. WAGHAI: 49KM FROM SAPUTARA BEGINS THE TOWN OF WAGHAI AROUND WHICH MANY DEL- IGHTFUL TOURIST SPOTS ARE SITUATED. THE DRIVE ITSELF IS SCENIC AND THE AIR PURE AND REFRESHING. HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS CIRCUIT ARE: GIRA FALLS:- A KM. OFF THE SAPUTARA-WAGHAI ROAD, LEADS TO VAST CLEARING WH- ERE THE PICTURESQUE GIRA FALLS EMERGING FROM THE PICTURESQUE GIRA FALLS EMERGING FROM THE KAPRI TRIBUTARY CAN BE VIEWED. AN ABSOLUTE MUST FROM JUNE TO NOVEMBER. VISTORS CAN GET REFRESHMENTS FROM A SMALL TEA AND SNACK STALL. PICNIC HUTS MAKE IT AN IDEAL SPOT FOR RELAXING AND PICNICKING. BOTANICAL GARDEN: A LARGE(24 HECTARE) GARDEN WITH 1,400 VARIETIESOF PLANTS FROM ALL OVER INDIA. THE AMATEUR NATURE LOVER CAN MARVEL AT DIFFERENT VAR- IETIES OF BAMBOO LIKE THE CHINESE BAMBOO, GOLDEN BAMBOO, BEER BOTTLE BAMBOO ETC. AND ENJOY STROLLING ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL WALKWAYS EACH LINED WITH DIFF- ERENT SPECIES OF TREE. VISITORS CAN ALSO PICK UP CACTUS PLANTS AND ENJOY A PICNIC AT THE PICNIC SPOT IN THE GARDEN. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER. DRINKING WATER AND TOILET FACLITIES ARE AVAILABLE. SHOPPING: A SMALL PRIVATE OUTLET SELLING LOCALLY CRAFTED ITEMS FASHIONED OUT OF BAMBOO ROOTS AND CHIPS. UNIQUE ITEMS THE BIG SIZED BAMBOO LAMPS, KANGAROOS, DEER ARE AVAILABLE ONLY HERE AND NOT ELSEWHERE IN THE RE- GION. UNNAI MATA TEMPLE AND HOT SPRINGS: A DRIVE OF ABOUT 19KMS. FROM WAGHAI BRI- NGS ONE TO THE UNNAI MATA TEMPLE. VISITORS CAN BATHE IN THE HOT SPRING ATTACHED TO THIS FAMOUS TEMPLE OF CONSIDERABLE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

VANIL UDYOG: A SPARWLING SAWMILL CUM WOODWORKING UNIT WHICH ALSO SELLS FUR- NITURE THAT THE TOURIST CAN BOOK AND GET DELIVERED BY PAYING AN ADVANCE.THE VISITOR CAN ENJOY A GUIDED TOUR AND WATCH THE TRANSFORMATION OF LOGS OF WOOD INTO TASTEFUL FURNITURE. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER. VANIL UDYOG PROVIDES EMPLOYEES TO ASSIST AS TOUR GUIDES. DRINKING WATER FACLITIES ARE AVAILABLE. VANSDA NATIONAL PARK: A RICH AND OLD FOREST, PREDOMINANTLY COVERED BY VERY TALL TEAK TREES, MANGO GROVES AND GIGANTIC CREEPERS.THE FOREST IS EXTREMELY DENSE AND SOME PARTS ARE DARK EVEN DURING NORMAL DAYTIME. THE FOREST IS A HABITAT OF MONKEYS, DEER, A FEW LEOPARDS AND A WIDE SPECIES OF BIRDS.PER- MISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THE PARK. AMBAPADA: A TYPICAL DANGI VILLAGE LOCATED ABOUT 1KM OFF THE SAPUTARA-WAGHAI ROAD, NEAR THE GIRA FALLS, THE ROUTE TO IT IS SOMEWHAT TRICKY BUT VERY SCE- NIC AS IT IS SURROUNED ON ALL SIDES BY LUSH AND TALL BAMBOOS. THE TOURIST CAN TAKE A WALK IN AND AROUND THE VILLAGE AND ALSO SEE SOME TRIBALS ENGAGED IN MAKING OF TOYS AND LAMPS OUT OF BAMBOO ROOTS. THE CIRCUIT HAS NUMEROUS WAYSIDE TEA AND BISCUIT STALLS AND ALSO SMALL WAY- SIDE DHABAS NEAR WAGHAI. MAHAL: THE MAHAL REGION SITUATED 60KM AWAY FROM SAPUTARA IS DOMINATED BY THE PURNA SANCTUARY. THE LONGISH DRIVE PASSES THROUGH THE MOST BEA- UTIFAL PARTS OF DANGS WITH HIGH WOODED SLOPES OF BAMBOO. IT IS ENDOWED WITH RIVERS & BAMBOO GLADES AND IS A MUST FOR PICNICS, WALKS AND TREKS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

THE MAHAL REGION SITUATED 60KM AWAY FROM SAPUTARA IS DOMINATED BY THE PURNA SANCTUAARY. THE LONGISH DRIVE PASSES THROUGH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PARTS OF DANGS WITH HIGH WOODED SLOPES OF BAMBOO. IT IS ENDOWED WITH RIVERS & BAMBOO GLADES AND IS A MUST FOR PICNICS, WALKS AND TREKS. PURNA SANCTUARY:- A VAST AND RICH FOREST LACED WITH THE PURNA AND GIRA RIV- ERS. THE HILLY REGION WITH ITS COOL INTERIORS WOULD TEMPT ANY TOURIST TO EXPLORE. YOU WOULD NEED A PAIR OF STURDY SHOES AND PACKED LUNCH TO BEST EXPLORE THE COOL INTERIOR OF THIS HILLY FOREST. LESS STRENU- OUS AND EASY WALKS ARE PLEASURABLE. PICNIC HUTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR USE. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THE FOREST. GIRMAL FALLS:- EASILY THE MOST MARVELLOUS SIGHT DURING MONSOONS, THE GIRMAL FALLS IS A LITTLE OFF THE MAHAL-SINGANA ROAD. THE APPROACH LEADS VIA A TRI- BAL VILLAGE TO A STEEP FALL ON THE GIRA RIVER. THE FACING HILLSIDE IS RICH WITH RARE FLORA AND IS WORTH EXPLORING BY THE MORE ADVENTUROUS TREKKARS. PROVISION FOR LIGHT REFRESHMENTS ARE AVAILABLE. PICNIC HUTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR USE. CULTURAL SHOW AT AHWA:AS THE TOURIST HEADS BACK TO SAPUTARA, A HALT AT AHWA TO ENJOY THE FAST PACED AND ACROBATIC DANGI DANCE WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO SAY GOODBYE TO DANGS. THE DANCE HAD BEEN PERFORMED AT THE FESTIVAL OF INDIA IN PARIS AND IS ONE OF THE MOST ENTERTAINING DANCES OF THIS REGION. HELD AT THE OPEN AIR THEATRE RANGUPVAN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. DANGS DARBAR: AN ANNUAL COLOURFUL TRIBAL FESTIVAL HELD PRIOR TO HOLI (GEN- ERALLY MARCH/APRIL), AT AHWA. ITS A FIVE DAY FUN FILLED COLOURFUL AFFAIR WHERE THE TRIBALS CONGREGATE TO CELEBRATE AN OLD CUSTOM OF POLITICAL


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEING

 

PENSIONS GIVEN TO THE TRIBAL KINGS. THERE IS MERRY MAKING, DANCE, MUSIC, COLOUR AND A BRISK BUYING AND SELLING OF TRIBAL WARES. THE TOURIST CAN PARTICIPATE AND ENJOY THE FESTIVITIES OF THIS UNIQUE CELEBRATION. GETTING THERE: BY ROAD: DIVERSION FROM NATIONAL HIGHWAY 8 (TO AHMEDABAD) AT CHIKLI-WAGHAI- SAPUTARA-NASIK-VANI-SAPUTARA. FROM BOMBAY-PRIVATE LUXURY BUS ON ALTERNATE DAYS DURING SEASON(MODERN TRAV) FROM NASIK RD:- SEMI-LUXURY BUSES RUN BY STATE TRANSPORT. FROM VALSAD/BILIMORA:- ST BUSES/HIRED CAR. FROM SURAT/AHMEDABAD/BARODA:- ST BUSES. IF YOU ARE DRIVING DOWN IN YOUR OWN CAR, BE SURE TO FILL PETROL NEAR WAGHAI(51KMS FROM SAPUTARA) OR AT A PETROL PUMP 40KMS TOWARDS NASIK BEFORE YOU ENTER SAPUTARA AS THERE ARE NO PETROL PUMPS IN SAPUTARA. DISTANCES:- BY ROAD: BOMBAY 255KM (VIA NASIK,MAH.) 345KM(VIA CHIKLI, GUJ.) NASIK 80KM, SURAT 135KM, BILIMORA 110KM, VALSAD 135KM, AHMEDA- BAD 400KM, CHIKLI 100KM, TITHAL 140KM, BARODA 300KM BY RAILWAY- BILIMORA, NASIK, VALSAD, WAGHAI (NARROW GAUGE): 49 KM FROM SAPUTARA. BY AIR: NEAREST AIRPORT SURAT AND BOMBAY. WHERE TO STAY: AT SAPUTATRA,A DECENT RANGE OF HOTELS ARE RUN BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS WELL AS BY TCGL. BOOK IN ADVANCE DURING PEAK SEASON. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE DISCOUNTS DURING OFF PEAK SEASONS.


SAPUTARA AND DANGS SIGHTSEEINGS.

 

AMENITIES: FOOD:WHOLESOME AND GOOD VALUE GUJARATI THALIS, PROVIDED BY MOST HOTELS AT SAPUTARA. GENERAL RESTAURANTS (1 AT THE MAIN CIRCLE/ 1 AT THE ROPEWAY AT HOTEL VAITY) NUMEROUS WAYSIDE STALLS. LITTLE OR ON AVAILABILITY OF NON.VEGARAIN FOOD. MEDICAL: FIRST AID HELP AVAILABLE AT WAGHAI, MAHAL AND SAPUTARA. STD FACLITIES:- SAPUTARA, AHWA. LOCAL TRANSPORT: HIRED JEEPS FROM AHWA ORGANISED TOURS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE SAPUTARA IN MINI-BUSES BY CHITRAKOOT/VAITY DURING PEAK SEASONS(TWO BUSES). ORGANISED TOURS BY TCGL. GENERAL TIPS FOR VISITORS: DONT FORGET TO BRING A PAIR OF STURDY SHOES SUITABLE FOR WALKING/TREKKING. PLEASE DONT LITTER THE FOREST AREA WITH PLASTIC BAGS AND OTHER WASTE. APART FROM BEING UGLY, THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO ANIMALS. ADD TO YOUR PEASURE BY BRINGING A PAIR OF BINOCULARS TO BETTER OBSERVE THE RICH BIRDLIFE OF THE REGION. THE NIGHT SKY AT SAPUTARA IS REMARKABLY CLEAR. IF INTERESTED IN ASTRONOMY, DON'T FORGET YOUR TELESCOPE AND STARCHARTS. A LIGHT HAVERSACK TO CARRY SOME PACKED LUNCH(RECOMMENDED) AND A WATER BOTT- LE WILL ENABLE HOURS OF PLEASURABLE WALKING.


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