Gujarat’s culture, monuments, wildlife, and food attract several tourists. But what’s relatively unknown are the hill stations in Gujarat. After all, who expects a state that’s known for its extreme heat to have hill stations?
Granted, there are not a lot of hill stations in Gujarat, but they provide respite for tourists and locals in the summertime heat. Also, each one is special in its own way. To give an example, there’s a hill station from where you can see the Arabian Sea. Where else in India can you enjoy such a sight?
When the temperatures in Gujarat climb up in summer, you can climb up some gorgeous hill stations the state has in store for you. Here are the ones to consider traveling to.
The most popular and scenic hill station of Gujarat is Saputara. It’s located in the Dang district of Gujarat and provides an uninterrupted view of the Western Ghats. There’s an abundance of flora and fauna in Saputara. The Vansda National Park nearby houses several animals, birds, and reptiles like pythons and crocodiles. The natural beauty of Saputara allows tourists to experience trekking, boating, bird watching, etc.
The Gujarat Government has boosted tourism in Saputara, which explains the quality of amenities available here. If you’re an admirer of arts, a place called Artist Village will surely hold your interest. There are tribal arts and crafts on display which are crafted by the local artisans. You can even take bamboo artifacts as a memento of your trip to Saputara. Study the traditional tribal antiques at the Saputara Tribal Museum; they belonged to the Dang tribe that once resided in Saputara.
There are numerous things to do on Saputara; you can visit the Gira Waterfalls, go boating on the Saputara Lakes, hike to the Hatgadh Fort or just click photos in the Botanical Garden and Rose Garden. Adventure junkies too won’t return empty-handed from Saputara since the hill station offers paragliding, parasailing, zip-lining, and zorbing. You can basically chill in Saputara as its temperatures don’t go beyond 28-30°C during the summers!
How To Reach Saputara
Saputara is easily accessible by road from Ahmedabad, Surat, and Waghai. If not a private vehicle, you can reach Saputara by state transport buses or luxury coaches. Buses connect Saputara to the major cities of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The nearest railway station to Saputara is Bilimora and the nearest airport is in Vadodara.
Wilson Hills was named in the memory of Lord Wilson, who was once the governor of Bombay. The governor and the last king of Dharampur had plans to develop the region into a hill station. Today, the lush greenery, pleasant atmosphere, and panoramic views make for a magical getaway. Situated in the Dharampur district, Wilson Hills is at an elevation of 2,500 feet above sea level. Wilson Hills is one of the few hill stations from where you can see the sea!
You can enjoy some scenic views from points like Sangemarmar Chhatri, Steep Valley Point, Ozone Valley Point, or just gaze at the water from the Shankar Waterfalls point. You can also see Bilpudi Twin Waterfalls that fall from a height of 30 feet and 20 feet. If you’re in the mood to check out some history, you can study the artifacts and antiques at the Lady Wilson Museum. A major tourist spot in this hill station is Barumal Shiva Temple, which is located between Wilson Hills and Dharampur.
There is the Pangarbari Wildlife Sanctuary close by to Wilson Hills. The approach road to Wilson Hills itself is filled with thrill because of the zig-zag path. Though not as big as the famous Saputara hill station, Wilson Hills has its own charm. It’s just 120 km away from Saputara and is also known as mini Saputara. You can visit Wilson Hills any time of the year, but don’t miss it in the monsoon season. The rain and fog double the beauty of the place, so much so that you won’t have the heart to leave it behind after your trip comes to an end!
How To Reach Wilson Hills
Wilson Hills is 121 km away from Surat and 53 km away from Valsad. The nearest airport is in Surat and the nearest railway station is in Valsad. There are only a few buses to take you to the top of Wilson Hills, so it’s better to take a private vehicle to reach there.
Also Read: Exploring The Adalaj Stepwell In Gujarat
Another popular hill station in the Dang district, Don Hill Station is as beautiful as its counterparts. Don Hill Station is at an elevation of 3,200 feet and is higher up than the Saputara Hill Station (2,952 ft). There’s a tribal population of 1,200 on this hill, which lets you have a closer look at tribal culture. The hill station is situated on a plateau on the Western Ghats and has been widely visited ever since the construction of a direct road in 2013.
It’s believed that Dronacharya, the guru of the Pandavas and the Kauravas of the Mahabharata, used to live in the region and the hill is named after him. There are ample attractions to see in Don Hill, like the Anjani Mata Mandir and the six-sided clocktower. You can embark on a heritage walk or indulge in some Adivasi food on your trip to Don Hill. If you’re in for some thrills, you can climb the Dronacharya hillock or explore the Pandava village.
If you plan to visit Don Hill Station, try planning a trip in the month of February. There are tribal dance and song performances by the Adivasis during this time. Nearby the Don Hill Station, you’ll find the Salher and Salota Forts which are twin forts built during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. While visiting the Don Hill Station, remember to book your stay in the nearby Saputara since there are no facilities for accommodation on Don Hill.
How To Reach Don Hill Station
Don Hill Station is easily accessible by road to Surat, Vadodara, and Vapi. You can find state transport buses that drop you at Don. If you’re coming by train, Surat, Kasbe Sukene, and Waghai station are the railway stations nearby. If you’re coming by air, Surat International Airport is the nearest airport to Don Hill station.
Located at an elevation of just 2,624 ft, Pavagadh is one of the smaller hill stations of Gujarat near Vadodara. There’s a lot of history and mythology attached to this hill station in Gujarat. Folk tales say that once Goddess Mahakali took human form and danced in the Garba during Navratri in Pavagadh.
Today, this hill town is a Hindu and Jain pilgrimage center and many people come to worship at the Kalika Mata Temple and the Jain temples in Pavagadh. While the steep climb to the temple takes you over an hour, a passenger ropeway takes you up within minutes from Machi. The Jain temples on Pavagadh were built around the 14th–15th century.
There are many scenic forest trails that lead to waterfalls in the Halol region around Pavagadh. You can see the remains of Raval Palace in Machi near Pavagadh. Machi is easily accessible since bus service is made available till the top of Machi in recent years.
Before you climb up to Pavagadh, a beautiful garden at its foothills called the Virasat Van is worth taking a pitstop at. Two more places worth checking out in the footsteps of Pavagadh are Vada Talav and Kabooter Khana. Go trekking on Pavagadh and around it in the monsoon to see the scenery around it in full splendor. If you have time on your hands, you can also spend some time at the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.
How To Reach Pavagadh
You can easily find buses from Vadodara; there are regular buses via Halol. You can get jeeps on a sharing basis to Machi. The nearest railway station to Pavagadh is Vadodara Junction and the nearest airport is in Vadodara, 34 km away from Pavagadh.
A comparatively newer and lesser-known among the hill stations in Gujarat is Polo Forest. It is towards the North of Gujarat in the Aravalli ranges. The forest is a cluster of small hillocks which have archaeological remains from the early 10th century. It’s perfect for some exploration for adventure seekers. Travel enthusiasts took note of the forest when the Government of Gujarat started hosting the annual Polo Utsav in the winter.
Several activities like trekking, night safaris, eco camping keep visitors engaged in Polo Forest. Among other things to do in the Polo Forest are bird watching and visiting the Jain temple here. Owing to the lush greenery, there are a lot of migratory birds and residents in the Polo Forest. You can see the grey hornbill and brown-headed barbet making their way through the fig and banyan trees.
Polo Forest makes for an ideal day trip near Ahmedabad because the forest is just 161 km from here. The remains of ancient temples in the middle of the forest make for some great photography. The plenty of views in the forest will make sure you have a memorable trip to Polo Forest in Gujarat.
How To Reach Polo Forest
The best way to reach Polo Forest is by private vehicle. But if you’re coming by bus, hop on a bus from Geeta Mandir Bus Station and it will drop you at Idar. From Idar to Polo Forest, you’ll find autos or shared jeeps.
Though there aren’t many hill stations in Gujarat, there’s no limit to hill stations in the neighboring states. There’s Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Matheran in Maharashtra, or Mandu in Madhya Pradesh. Just pack a backpack and get going, there’s a lot in store to see in and around Gujarat.
Also Read: 8 Architectural Wonders In Ahmedabad
Which Hill Stations Are There In Gujarat?
Saputara, Wilson Hills, Don Hill Station, Polo Forest, and Pavagadh are some scenic hill stations in Gujarat.
Are There Waterfalls In Gujarat?
Gira Waterfalls, Girmal Waterfalls, Chimer Falls, Shiv Ghat are some waterfalls in Gujarat. Among them, Girmal Waterfalls in Dang district are the highest waterfalls in Gujarat at a height of 100 feet.
Which Beaches To See In Gujarat?
There are many beaches in Gujarat thanks to the state’s long coastline. Beaches like Mandvi Beach, Dwarka Beach, Ghogla Beach, Chorwad Beach, Gopnath Beach are some of the beautiful beaches in Gujarat.
What Is Gujarat's Old Name?
Gujarat was previously known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi.
Are All Gujaratis Vegetarian?
Not all Gujaratis are vegetarian as many do eat chicken, eggs, and fish.
What Is Famous In Gujarat For Shopping?
Gujarat is known for its wide range of Patola silik sarees, bangles, jewelry, and handicrafts.
Which City Is Known As The Textile City Of Gujarat?
Surat is known as the textile city of Gujarat.