The Picturesque Mumbai-Saputara Roadtrip

After our Mumbai-Kutch road trip, two things happened- our confidence was on a high but chances of securing yet another holiday from the busy corporate world low. And so we started looking for a short yet picturesque route not too far away from Mumbai that would take us on long winding roads dotted with greenery. Now, there is something magical about road trips....driving at a lazy pace with friends or a loved one for company, small pit stops at rustic stalls that serve piping hot tea and crisp snacks and waving at smiling strangers you pass. A heady combination, isn't it? And did we add the magical touch of monsoons on the landscape? Ah, ready to pack your bags? We shall tell you the route that shall enthrall you without the risk of thinking of innovative excuses for missing work.



Day 1: Mumbai-Saputara Via Nashik Approximately 250 kms - 5 hour drive

We started from Central Mumbai at 8 am (Now, now.....don't judge us,we like our beauty sleep :D) via Mumbai- Nashik highway on the famous "Grape Route" that took us till Nashik. We stopped amongst the misty landscape of Igatpuri to click a few pictures. The greenery soothed our souls and with a promise to plan our next road trip to Nashik, we continued on out route.



After driving for approximately 3.5 hours we reached an entrance to Saputara and were delighted to note that the hill station is located right on the Maharashtra -Gujarat border. En route on the Nashik-Saputara Road, one finds many small stalls selling fresh farm produce and we stopped to chat with local farmers. Hatgad fort, a major trekking destination located 3 kms before Saputara can be another pit stop if you have enough time. Our destination for the night- Hotel Lake view was located very near to the Saputara lake and a comfortable abode complete with modern amenities. The hotel also houses a multi-cuisine restaurant "Sugar & Spice" and Deevan E Khaas, a fine dine vegetarian restaurant that serves Indian cuisine.

Visit Sunset point, Table land and Saputara lake during evenings for enjoying panoramic views in pleasant weather. The ropeway offers a delightful ride for INR 62/- and many adventure activities like trekking, zip lining, tree climbing are accessible through the year. Paragliding can be enjoyed from month of October till the onset of monsoons.






Shoppers can buy handicrafts at Artist Village and during the evenings many food carts offer a variety of eats near the lake area. Just ahead of Lake View hotel, we enjoyed a delicious Kathiyawadi thali that had just the right spice complimenting the chill in the air!! 

Pro Tip# The roads have few rough patches and potholes, so driving during the day is advisable at this time of the year. Stop at Shree Datta Snacks - a clean joint that serves Mahrashtrian food, located at roughly one hour from Central Mumbai for refreshments. The food is good and the restaurant has clean washrooms too. There are ample petrol stations and refreshment options on the way.

Day 2: Saputara- Gira Falls Approximately 50 kms 1 hour drive
The majestic Gira falls are most active during monsoons. Located 3 kms from Waghai town, the Gira waterfall is a 30-40 feet natural drop into the Ambica River. Stop for a picnic lunch at one of the many idyllic spots you shall pass en route or pose for pictures, just like we did.



We spent an hour admiring the beauty of Gira falls and bought local delights from stalls- do pick up the "Bamboo Pickle" made with tender bamboo shoots and artifacts made with bamboo. The prices are reasonable.





Famished, we settled to enjoy an authentic thali made by the local Dang community. Priced at INR 100/- the thali was delicious- rotis made with rice and ragi, aloo-brinjal vegetable, dal made with and local Nagali (Ragi) papads.



If you are planning a trip to Saputara post monsoons and have one more additional day to spare, Vansda National Park, located near Waghai can be another pit stop for wild life lovers. The official records states that the park is home to animals like leopard, antelope, wild boar, flying squirrel and more. There are around more than 150 species of birds and approx 443 species of plants as well. Entry fees are INR 400 for car/suv and additional for photographic equipment. One can choose to stay at Saputara and visit the national park or for options nearer to the park opt for Kilad Nature Education Campsite, loacted in the south east part of the park along the Ambika river. For more details refer here.

Day 2: Gira Falls- Mumbai Via Valsad Approximately 270 kms 5 hour drive
We started from Gira falls by 3.30 pm and decided to explore the delight of driving through a changing landscape. We chose to drive through the NH 360 to Valsad for around 1 hour 30 minutes and joined the NH48 Mumbai- Ahmedabad highway. The roads are easy to drive and dotted with multiple refreshment centers and clean washrooms.

Pro Tip# If you are planning this road trip during winters, do stop by the many stalls selling a Gujarati delicacy called Umbadiyu near Valsad.

The picturesque Mumbai- Saputara road trip can be planned for one/two/three night itinerary. During monsoons stay one night in Saputara and visit the Gira Falls or during winters plan a two night stay along with a visit to Vansda National park. Enjoy the "Grape Capital" of Maharashtra- Nashik during your three night stay as you reminiscence the wonderful memories with a glass of wine! Do get in touch with us on contactwickedspoon@gmail.com if you guys need help :)

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