|Located in the predominantly tribal district of Dangs, Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, which was declared as a sanctuary in July 1990, has the thickest forest cover in the state of Gujarat. The forests have lofty teak trees rising tall and straight in the company of other associated flora viz. sadad, timru, bamboos, khair, kalam, haldu, sisham (rosewood), salai, kadaya, killai, sevan, tanachh etc. The healthy stock of lofty bamboos specially attracts your attention.
Leopard is the top predator here whose population has been increasing. The habitat is shared by other animals such as sloth bear, jackal, blue bull, wild boar and four horned antelopes.The sanctuary area of 160.8 sq. km. is spread over an undulating terrain with rolling hills, plateaus, and small valleys of what are the western and northern limits of the Western Ghats. The area is drained by the beautiful river Purna, which lends name to the sanctuary. The area has other rivers and rivulets also. Unlike most of Gujarat, the area is characterised by moderate, sometimes even heavy, rainfalls with the average annual rainfall of 2500 mm. The area falls in the highest rainfall zone of the state. The forest, therefore, belongs to the category of tropical moist deciduous forests.
The landscape is lush green, thick forests, interspersed with rivers, small tribal villages and scattered fields. The human population is totally tribal represented by Bhils, Warlis, Konkanas, Dubdas, and Kolchas etc. The forests support a rich tribal culture in the form of houses, dresses, jewelry, agriculture, fishing, musical instruments, folk dances etc. When the sun sets, one may listen to the distant sounds of folk dances, tribal songs and their improvised musical instruments Pavry and drums.'Mahal', the main village in the sanctuary is centrally located on the banks of river Purna. There is a very old forest rest house on the banks of this river. The place is the most preferred site for Nature Education Camps.The Purna Wildlife Sanctuary in Dangs is scattered over a sprawling plot measuring approximately 160.8 square kilometers and positioned at the southern fringe of the state of Gujarat.
Being regarded as a flank belonging to the Western Ghats, Purna Wildlife Sanctuary in Dangs is jam-packed with damp deciduous trees and thick bamboo brakes which provides an apt ambiance for an entire caboodle of fauna to flourish. Purna has the thickest forest cover in the state, and the highest average rainfall, at 2500 mm. At sunset, the 160 square km of lush rolling hills, teak, and bamboo, fill with the music and drums of the Dangi tribes that also populate Vansda. The main village of Mahal is at the center of the sanctuary on the banks of the Purna river, with a forest rest house. Purna and Vansda together are the only protected forest areas in South Gujarat.
Purna is a Sanctuary, where luxuriant dense forests with thick bamboo brakes enchant visitors. People get surprised to see such pristine forests in the area, which happens to be an extension of the Western Ghats. For an eco-tourist wanting to enjoy birds of moist deciduous forest mixed with bamboo, this is the best place to visit. The Sanctuary is a part of forests in northern part of the Dangs district in South Gujarat. The area covering 160.8 sq. km is a reserved forest, which has been notified as Sanctuary in July 1990.
Purna Sanctuary is a part of dense moist deciduous forests in Western Ghat of Gujarat and supports gamut of flora and fauna of very high evolutionary value. The Sanctuary, along with Vansda National Park, is the only Protected Area in South Gujarat for conserving diverse biological resources. Wildbulls, elephants Sloth bear and rhinoceros also roamed in this forest-tract during historic past (Mugal Period). Forests of this region satisfy material and cultural needs of local tribals and maintain ecological stability of the area. About 700 identified plant species with dominance of grasses and broad-leaved plants in high density and diversity are found in the Sanctuary.
Important animals- Leopard, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque, common mongoose, Indian civat cat, Indian porcupine, four-horned antelope, barking deer, sambar, chital, hyena, jungle cat, flying squirrel, python, lizards etc.
Important birds : Common grey hornbill, grey jungle fowls, barbets, woodpeckers, shrikes, cloropsis, bee-eaters, flycatchers and many raptors.
About 700 identified plants species with dominance of grass and plants with broad leaves in high density and diversity are found in the sanctuary. Major/important tree species are: teak, khair, sadad, dudhalo, kalam, bamboo, haldu, karanj, tanach, chopadi bondara etc.
|Saputara Hill Station:
Take a deep breath. Disappear. You have entered nature’s womb.In winter, at the spill of dawn, trek up to the Gandhi Shikhar as the river of light bathes the streams over undulating mountains and the drifting birds, into a magical dance of awakening.In rains, breathe in the rolling hills of Saputara, echoing green hues, lush with flowers, and watch the meditating rain drops sitting still on sloping leaves. Some of the thickest forest cover in the state envelops you.
In summer, walk carefree on the expanse of the Governor’s hill and see the sun dip into the Saputara lake as the sky begins to shimmer with stars.As your bus chugs uphill, crisscrossing over the Ambika river, you leave all the congestion of towns and cities far below you and enter the spirit world of tribal people. Nestled in the Sahyadri range, at an altitude of about 1000 m, this Dangi enclave derives its name from the Snake god revered by the tribals and translates as ‘the abode of serpents’, Saputara.In spite of being the only hill station of Gujarat, it is minimally commercialized, still unspoiled.
Vansda National Park:
You crane your neck to see the tops of the towering trees, the teak perhaps flowering, the bamboo brakes aplenty. The canopy is so thick you find parts of the forest in darkness, and are amazed to remember you are still in Gujarat, so lush and dense is the world around you. You see wild mango groves, perhaps even a wild relative of the banana plant, and weaving in between are gigantic creepers. You check abashedly behind you for dinosaurs. You stop short so as to not scare away the beautiful butterfly that has landed in front of you, and as it flies away, you are distracted and crouch, like a child, to watch a colorful centipede scurry its fuzzy way along. You begin to notice not only the giant trees but also the tiny creatures that fit between the cracks in the bark. Soon even the ferns and mushrooms on a rotting log seem like ornate decoration. You are surprised by an expanse of the Bharadi grasslands tucked away east of the center of the park. And at the Ambika river, you are enchanted by the varieties of orchids, delicate and colorful.
This falls is situated on the Gira River near the Mahal-Singana Road, the spot acquires glamorous outlook during the monsoon seasons. To reach here you need to pass by a journey amidst awesome nature and a tribal village. The area is rich in vegetation with rare and indigenous cultivation; and trekking lovers would really set a record on their miles to trek.
Mahal Eco Campsite:
The Mahal Eco Campsite is bestowed with rivers and bamboo glides, with excellent walking and trekking options. It is located on the banks of the Purna River, in the middle of the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary and is a part of the Dang Forest Division North. It is surrounded by a vast & rich forest laced with the Purna & Gira rivers. For an eco-tourist wanting to enjoy birds of moist deciduous forest mixed with bamboo, this is the best place to visit. Its also near the Girmal Falls which offer a breath taking view. Best time to visit the campsite is from October to March.
You find an exuberant picnic location on the way between Saptuara-Waghai roads; on the way up the hills you get a gorgeous look to this waterfall. The best time to attain bliss could be from the months of June to November.
Being located at the hilly region the space is mostly tribal inherited, during the month of March this region celebrates a week – long tribal fair named Dangs Durbar (one week before Holi festival) sounds great with festival fever through the region. The place of interest is the tribal museum with flair to influence the culture and tradition of various tribal communities to the visitors, tribes like Bhils, Kunbis, Gamits, and Warlis are famously known for their custom and tradition that attract tourist. The weapons and utensils are exhibited gives a quacking looks to the visitors. The Mahadev temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located here.
This is a beach town renowned as salt centre. The beach has a pleasant sea shore and wild water current which is congenial for water sports. From 1930, Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Dandi March Salt Sathyagraha’ this spot has its highlights in the history of India’s freedom struggle.
It is a belief about four centuries back, Lord Ganesha appeared here from one of the Banyan trees. This place is filled with thick grove of banyan trees around and many legends are associated to this place. The main festivals are Bhadrapad Shuddha Chaturthi and Chaitra Vadya Ekadashi.
Surat, located on the western part of India within the Gujarat state is often touted as the Silk City and the Diamond City. The burgeoning textile and diamond businesses attract many a corporate guests, but the city has also not failed to captivate the imagination of the leisure tourists as well. There are a number of monuments in Surat that play a key role in boosting the value of the place in terms of tourism. If you are planning to take a trip to Surat, then a visit to Surat's Sanjan is highly recommended.Sanjan was one of the primary Parsi settlements in India. A number of excavations carried out in Surat's Sanjan have thrown a new light on the momentous episode of the flight of the Zoroastrians from Iran, about 1,400 years ago. According to the popular belief Surat's Sanjan was founded by the Zoroastrians who took shelter here after they were compelled to flee Iran. The progeny of those Zoroastrians are, at present, known as the Parsis.
The city of Surat is located on the bank of river Tapi in the West Indian state of Gujarat. Surat was a grand port city during the Mughal period. Since the ancient times, the early port of Surat has been well-known for its elite quality fine silks and beautiful brocades and its trade in various spices. Surat has been one of the most progressive of India's cities in the 17th and 18th centuries. Presently, Surat is a chief industrial city with many textile mills. Besides, Surat is also an imperative diamond-cutting centre in India. Surat features many attractive tourist destinations. Monuments in Surat are a popular destination with tourists visiting the famous Old Fort which stands tall in the city.Surat Old Fort was built by Muhammad Tughlak in the 14th century to serve as the defense fortification against the Bhils. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was the original of the Tughlaqs to rule Delhi. Subsequent to Muhammad Sahab-ud-din Ghori, the next mention of Surat is in 1347 A.D., in connection with the rebellion of Gujarat during the time Surat was under Muhammad Tughlak (1325 to 1351). In 1373 A.D., the emperor Firoz Tughlak(1351 to 1388) is said to have built a fort at Surat to guard the town against Bhils attack who wanted to conquer the land.
Standing on the bank of the river Tapi, the city of Surat has several tourist attractions. Amongst the Tourist attractions in Surat, Udvada, near Surat deserves a mention. It is regarded highly in the list of Monuments in Surat. There is a holy place for the Parsis here and they hold this place in great reverence.The history of Udvada, near Surat dates back to the time when the Parsis brought the holy flame here from Persia.Udvada, near Surat is celebrated for being a very sacred place among the Parsis and is a small sleepy village which is located in the southern coast of Gujarat. It is as important to the Parsis as is Haridwar for the Hindus, Mecca for the Muslims and Vatican City for the Christians. A large number of Parsis flock here every year, both from within the country and from abroad. It was here that the victorious fire or Atash Behram was brought from Persia by the Parsis in the 18th century. This fire is placed in a temple which is strictly meant for the Parsis. As a result, the non-Parsis are not allowed to enter here. This place can be visited from outside. Peace and bliss pervades here that simply enthralls the visitors who come from far and wide.
The Dutch garden in Surat is essentially cemeteries of the officers who landed and settled in Gujarat on their business ventures. Dutch garden is one of the most significant gardens in Surat. Gardens in Surat have been expanding from time to time, under succeeding gardeners to its present state. The striking features of the English and Dutch cemeteries are their huge and imposing tombs. They tell the story of power and glory. Tombs of Christopher Oxenden and George Oxenden, two English traders who took charge of the English Factory in Surat, are the biggest ones in the English cemetery. The tomb of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who was director of the Dutch Company in India, stands out arrestingly in the Dutch cemetery.In 1612, the British established their trading factory in Surat soon to be followed by the Dutch and French. Due to political and climatic problems and growing significance of Mumbai, Surat lost its prominence. In 1852, Surat became the first municipality of Gujarat and gradually it became a major business city famous for its textile industry. The Dutch influence in the city is very prominent. Many Dutch as well as Englishman came over to Surat to start trading business in textile industry. These people opened a burial ground in honor of the Dutch businessman. The Dutch garden in Surat has been set up to cremate business men who came here for trading purpose.
Sardar Patel Museum:
Apart from its silks, textiles, spices and exquisite diamond cutting, the city of Surat is also famous for the various Tourist attractions in Surat. Though there are many gardens and monuments, the Museums in Surat are a big draw for many travelers. One such museum is the Sardar Patel museum in Surat.It was in the year 1890 that this particular museum was established. It houses the various artifacts that stood testimony to the Mughal and the British period.
The Sardar Patel Museum in Surat is a multipurpose museum which is located in Sonifalia. It plays host to several pieces of antiques such as that made of wood, metal, ivory, stone, sandalwood, porcelain and terracotta. Several old oil paintings, miniatures, textiles, manuscripts and many such other items are also displayed in the exhibition organized by this museum. This is the only museum in Surat that has gained a lot importance owing to its rich collection of ancient historical items that are important part of the national heritage too. One will come across 10, 000 specimen of the various arts and crafts at this place. There is also an open air theater which can accommodate about 4000 people at a time.
Dastur Meherji-Rana Library:
Dastur Meherji-Rana Library is rich in literature of the earliest Parsi or Zoroastrian settlements in Navsari and has many pictures of the old town. It is located at the Tarota bazar. Another important library is the Sayaji Vaibhav Library. Ubhrat a sandy white beach 20 km away is a perfect picnic spot. The Vansda National park has a variety of flora and fauna to see.