Saputara (Hill Station)


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Saputara - Less known hill town just across the Maharashtra border in Gujarat (Gujarat’s only hill station). Saputara is located 873 mt. above sea level and 77 KM north of Nasik. Unlike any other hill station, it has everything – from lake to sunset point, horse/camel rides, ropeway, valley view, amusement, gardens, museum and shopping areas.

This picturesque hill station is perched on a plateau in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadri Range. It has a cool bracing climate, the highest temperature even in the summer do not exceed 28 °C. Saputara means the 'Abode of Serpents' and a snake image on the banks of the river Sarpagana is worshiped by the Adivasis on festivals like Holi. 


Saputara is surrounded with breathtaking view of nature and is becoming a favorite getaway for the urban man. The climate here is cool and bracing throughout the year. The monsoon being pleasant with small flittering waterfalls all around and the hill resort looking beautifully green.

Natural beauty, Sunrise and Sunset points, beautifully maintained Gardens, and a Museum are some of the attractions here. There is a placid lake surrounded with mountains where one can do boating and enjoy the picturesque view. One favorite attraction here is the ropeway. The 'Pushpak Ropeway' is nearly one km long and is usually busy in the evenings. 

Best Time : Monsoon, Post Monson, Winter or till April. Avoid hot summer months.

Climate : Summer -> Temperature changes between 24° C to 27°C., Winter -> Temperature changes between 7°C to 18°C.


How to Reach?

From Pune - Saputara is around 275 Km at 6 hrs of drive via Nasik.

Route: 

  • Take Pune - Nasik Highway at Kasarwadi. Travel till Nasik (200 kms) via Khed-Rajgurunagar - Manchar - Narayangaon - Sangamner - Sinner - Nasik. Road is 4 lane divided toll road till Khed Rajgurunagar (first 40-45 kms) after that it is single road. There are 6 very small ghat sections and at a times, you will face truck or shirdi bound traffic. Otherwise, road is good. Recommended place for pit stop is at Indraprastha near Manchar. This place is owned by renowned chef Nilesh Limaye and variety of snacks are available including that of Hurda Chaat (seasonal). This place has a petrol pump and clean toilets.

  • After Nasik, join Nasik-Vani-Saputara state road (75 kms). This road is also good and passes through the grape yards all along. There are strawberry farms as well near Saputara. There is no ghat section for Saputara.

Best way to commute is by your own vehicle. Else, there is direct bus from Pune to Surat via Saputara (Luxury bus from Gujarat State Transport). It reaches Saputara at around 12:00 pm afternoon. Otherwise, you may take any MSRTC bus to Nasik and from there buses / taxis are available to Saputara.

For people coming from Mumbai - Best way is to reach Nasik and then follow the same route.

Distance from Saputara:

  • Saputara - Mumbai (via Nasik) - 265 KMs
  • Saputara - Nasik - 77 KMs
  • Saputara - Shirdi (via Vani) - 140 KMs
  • Saputara - Shirdi (via Nasik) - 157 KMs
  • Saputara - Pune - 275 KMs
  • Saputara - Surat - 164 Kms

Pune-Nasik road and Indraprasth Food plaza near Manchar owned by renowned chef Nilesh Limaye.
Nasik-Saputara road passes through Mata Saptashrungi, Vani. Grape yards all along.

Where to Stay?

There are plenty of 2-3 star hotels / resorts and budget hotels to spend your weekend. Some of the popular ones are -

For online booking, you may also refer to - http://www.nivalink.com/gujarat/hill.html

We stayed at Vaity Ropeway Resorts and it is situated at one of the best locations in Saputara overlooking the valley and the lake. Most of the other hotels are in Saputara town besides the lake. They do not have a valley view. 

Vaity has 40 Ac/Non AC rooms. While 24 rooms are overlooking Lake and the Valley where as remaining ones are at the backside (garden facing). If you are early bird for check-in, you can get the room with best view. Rooms are equipped with the standard amenities and Pure vegetarian meal (Gujrati, Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese) is served in the restaurant called "Chimney". During peak season Or long weekends, Resort also arranges for the evening entertainment program. Best part of our stay was the Cultural show performed by local Dang Tribals.

We stayed at ‘Vaity Ropeway Resort’ situated on a hilltop with a breathtaking view of the Saputara town and lake below

 
Rooms have standard amenities and rooms which are on front side overlooks the valley and the lake 
Buffet spread at Chimney Restaurant and Open air deck overlooking the lake. Ask them to make some Gujrati special delicacies like Undhiyu, Dal dhokali, Khaman, Khandvi etc.
 
Evening was followed by some group games and amazing Dang Cultural Dance. These folks had tremendous energy, balance and it was one of its kinds performance. Fellow Tourists  gave them INR 500, 1000 cash rewards on the spot!

What to Eat?

There are no specialties of this region. All you get is Pure Vegetarian Gujrati food. Restaurants attached to most of the hotels also serve Punjabi, Chinese and South Indian Food. 
Gujrati Thali at Purohit restaurant can be tried.

Gujarat
 is also dry state. If you want to drink and eat non-veg, you can cross the border to Maharashtra (just 4 km from Saputara) and there are plenty of hotels along the highway.

What to Shop?

Visitors can pick up pretty pieces of pottery, jewellery, vases, paintings, pen stands, key chains, all made from bamboo chips and other locally found material at Gandharvpur Artists Village

 
 

Places for visit  - 

Saputara has been developed as a small hill resort by Gujarat Tourism with all the necessary amenities like hotels, parks, swimming pools, boat club, theaters, ropeways and a museum to ensure an enjoyable holiday in the cool of the hill.
  • Ropeway  : It was India’s 2nd largest ropeway when built. Named as "Pushpak", it connects two hills and you get good view of valley on one side and Saputara lake on the other. A ten minute ride straddles the valley to the Sunset Point.  The view from the halt midway is breathtaking. However, small kids (beggars) shouting to throw some coins on the ground is pitty site though. Ticket is around Rs 40 for return trip and Refreshments available at Sunset Point at the Vaity Restaurant.

     
    Don’t compare this with the posh Gondolas that you see in Kashmir or Switzerland. But ride is decent enough to amuse the tourists
  • Sunset Point  : It is a walkable distance from circle of Saputara to see the sun setting of late evening amidst the hilltops, is an experience and the site not to be missed out. It is also known as Gandhi Shikhar (peak). It can be approached by ropeway from Vaity Ropeway Resort. Sunset can also be viewed from the table top which is behind the Vaity Resorts (can be approached by motorable road). Like any other hill station, this place has horse / camel rides, dirt racing cars, chaat stalls, game stalls etc. 

    Sunset can be viewed from the table land behind Vaity Resorts or from Sunset point (connected via Ropeway)
     


  • Sunrise Point / Valley View point  : It is a point which offers the best view of Saputara and adjoining Malegoan could be reached after a walk of 1.5 km in the direction of Waghai. The naming restricts the tourist traffic to this best place as tourists believe that the point should only be visited at sun rise, however, one may visit it at any time of the day to catch a panoramic view

  • Lake & Boating Club : Right in the heart of the valley is the extremely clam Saputara Lake. It is 70 feet deep and spread in the vast valley surrounded by the hills. Row and paddle boats are available for hire. Several types of amusement facilities for children's available near the lake.

    Boating on the Saputara lake. Small man-made lake

  • Saputara No Sap (Snake of Saputara)  : At the base of the lake, near the stream, there is patio, where a snake sculpture is placed. Local Dangis worship this snake

  • Museum  : It exhibits, various lifestyles, traditions, clothes, ornaments, music instruments, agricultural implements, house and objects of day to day use of native Dangis. Ticket is just Rs. 2.

Saputara Museum is small but worth visiting. It depicts the local Dang cultures and about the various tribes like Warli, Kunbi, Bhill that lives in this region

 

Warli Paitings and Tarpa Instrument

 


  • Step Garden, Lake garden & Rose Garden

  • Echo Point  : It is situated just ahead of Rutumbhara Vishwavidhalaya.

  • Purna Sanctuary: Covering an area of 160 sq kms, Purna Sanctuary is a part of a dense moist deciduous forest in the Western Ghat of Gujarat. Situated at Mahal, 60 kms, north of Dangs, the sanctuary is crossed by Purna and Gira rivers. There are  bamboo lined pathways for trekkers. Prior permission is necessary for visiting. 

  • Vansda National Park: Originally, a private forest of maharaja of Vansada, the park now covers on area of 24 sq kms. Despite its small size the park harbours tiger, leopard, pangolin, rusty-spotted cat, python, giant squirrel, four horned antelope etc. Prior permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden, of Gandhinagar or DFO, Ahwa is required before visiting the park.

  • Saputara Festivals - Gujarat Tourism organizes Daang Darbaar (March) and Saputara Monsoon festival (August) each year. In year 2011, Saputara Monsoon Festival is scheduled between 30-Jul-2011 and 30-Aug-2011. There will be laser shows, Saputara Parade, cultural shows, food festival, fun games, water games etc. planned during this period. Click here to download the brochure from Gujarat Tourism   

Note: In addition to this itenery, you may also visit Nasik-Saptashrungi Temple - Shirdi Or Ozar-Lenyadri from Ashtavinayaka temples. 


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