The Start of Our Trip
5 am in the morning , we started our trip me, my husband, our two daughters and the two daughters of sister in law.
Our plan was to go through central area, not the freeway. It was 80 kms, but it take 2 hrs to reach which was the perfect time for breakfast at my uncle place in Bilimora . We reached there and my aunt got us some delicious Gujarati dishes like ‘patodi’, ‘oondhiyu, ’patis’, ‘khaman’, ‘fafda-jalebi’ and many more. This are very famous in this town and it was enough for us to skip our lunch.
As we passed by our uncle, my cousins also was excited to join. Now we became 8 in the car! We 2 as adults and other 6 kids aged 17, 13, 12, 10, 3 and 1. I felt like taking kids to a long picnic then going on a vacation.
Giving them time to pack their bags, we started at 11 am from their place heading towards Saputara. This is the only hill station in Gujarat. It is 110 kms from Bilimora and as the name mentioned “Saap – U – Tara”, saap meaning snakes and tara being their place, it is a home to many species of snakes and the road towards it are in the shape of a snake. They have hardly 1 km straight road and then a zigzag. It is full with green trees and dazzling views from the top of the mountain, crickets making sound all the way may it be daytime or night.
Waghai Botanical Garden
On our way to Saputara there is a wildlife sanctuary, but it needs a full day to get enough of it. We planned to skip this for now and thought of visiting the Botanical Garden on our way at Waghai. It was established in May 1965 and is spread in 24 hectares.
They have separated the areas inside as the Green House in the middle of the Garden. This green house is surrounded on one side with the Dry deciduous plot and on the other side is Dang plot, Dang is the hilly forest area before Saputara.
The other areas in the garden are Arogyavan, Scrub Thorn Forest, Evergreen Plot, Bamboo Plot, Moist Deciduous Plot, Medicinal Plot and 3 to 4 more I can’t recall the names. We spent there around 2 hrs and it was amazing to see such beautiful and various types of plants, insects and small animals.
The place has more than 1400 species of Indian Flora plants which are endemic and exotic. Bamboo plantation is the main attraction of this place, which contains many varieties like Chinese Bamboo, Beer Bottle Bamboo and Golden Bamboo.
You can find many different types of cactuses and succulent plants. The ambience is so natural and relaxing. The fresh air around and fragrance of different flowers is just hard to put in words.
We started from there around 3pm willing to reach Saputara as soon as possible. Right at that time my cousin suggested a resort Padam Dungri which was inside the hilly region and surrounded by nature.
Padam Dungri being a whole different experience will share it in my next story.
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