Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drench in rains at Saputara this Monsoon!

Saputara, Gujarat, Aug 2: The proof of pudding lies in eating, this English proverb fits well to Saputara, an unexplored hill station in the western state of Gujarat that has been immensely blessed by the God of Rains.

Walking upwards lush green valleys of this small district situated 179 km away from Surat at the beginning of Sahyadri Hills, one experiences water streams flowing under feet with fresh drizzle moistening the mood all through. Green vegetation springs up all over while dense waterfalls cascade down the hills.

"Monsoon is the best time to visit Saputara as it offers a unique experience under clouds and fog spread over the hills.

We call it Cherrapunji of Gujarat," Raju, a native of this destination dotted with lakes and woodlands at a height of 873 meters, said.

To mark this belief, the Gujarat Government has started a month-long Saputara Monsoon Festival from July 31 this year.

During this festival, tourists will have a first-hand experience not only with the scenic beauty of this place but the culture and traditions being followed here.

The festival offers visitors an opportunity to interact with the natives of this place who belong to Dang tribe and experience their way of living, their eating habits, the clothes they wear, the games they play, the God they worship and the language they speak, among others. Along with this, a gamut of games including boat race and competitions, an cultural programmes have also been organised.

A photo gallery showcasing the district and a souvenir shop also form a part of the festival.

Saputara also offers a plethora of exciting tourist attractions including those having mythological significance. It is believed that it got its name due to one of them. When Lord Rama was undergoing "vanavaas" (exile) along with his brother Laxmana and wife Sita, a snake had bitten Laxmana and the cure was found at this place.

Another explanation says that Saputara means the 'Abode of Serpents' and it gets it name from a rock looking like a snake that appeared on the banks of the river Sarpagana and is worshipped by the tribal people on important festivals.

Places to be visited here include Gira Falls, Saputara lake, Sunset point, The Ropeway, Echo Point, Saputara Tribal Museum, Artist Village, Vansda National Park, Shabri Dhaam, Pampa Sarovar, Rose Garden, Step Garden, Lake Garden, to name a few.

Gira Falls is the most picturesque sight in the district which goes outstandingly beautiful during the rains. Thick falls flow 30 metres down the hills into river Ambika. Eating boiled corn on the rocks near these falls adds to the fun undoubtedly.

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