Located in the hills of Western Ghats is the little Dang District of Gujarat at the edge of Maharashtra. A predominantly Bhil tribal area, the Dang district has roots in mythology. Dang is assumed to be the the ‘Dandakaryanya’ of Ramayan which Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman passed through while going towards Nasik-Tryambakeshwar.
It is this Dang district that hides a tiny hill station of Saputara. Locally called as ‘abode of snakes’ for the snake deity worshiped by villagers on banks of Sarpaganga river, Saputara, comes alive during monsoons with lakes, rushing waterfalls and lush greenery.
Saputara Monsoon Festival
Being Gujarat’s only hill station, Saputara draws many tourists for its beautiful weather. Gujarat Tourism promotes the destination as a hill resort with great enthusiasm during the monsoon by organizing Saputara Monsoon Festival every year to encourage tourism and create awareness about its many natural and cultural attractions soon after the arrival of monsoon.
This year Gujarat’s much awaited Saputara Monsoon Festival began with great fervor from August 10th 2019. The month-long festival, which will conclude on September 9, was inaugurated by Minister of Tourism, Jawahar Chawda at Saputara. As the Minister informed, Gujarat is witnessing the growth of tourist footfalls at an average of 14 per cent per annum.
Each year, the popular festival is specially curated to pay a magnificent ode to Saputara’s beauteous monsoon. This time’s ninth edition is marked by an array of eclectic activities including exhibitions, adventure activities, cultural programs, food festival, interactive games, competitions, flash mobs and much more organised by Gujarat Tourism.
This year, a special inaugural parade was also organised during the opening ceremony of the Monsoon Festival. The parade featured a fascinating tableau and a flash-mob featuring 25 artistes, garba-folk dances, brass bands and various other attractions. The folk dance of the famous African Siddi tribe who have since centuries lived in Gujarat and the folk dance of Rajasthan was performed by the artists along with the traditional Garba of Gujarat. Stilt walkers, fire breathers, cartoon characters and jokers, balloon arches etc were part of the inaugural function specially organised to attract children. The local Dangi folk dances were exhibited by about 35 artists, which was one of the major highlights of the programme today. Many fun-filled activities like painting, quizzes, glass paintings etc were also organized for locals and tourists visiting the Saputara festival. A special photo corner and interactive games were a part of the function. Through the festival, hour-long special cultural programs will be arranged that will include various performances by local artists.
Special food stalls are set up and air balloons will also be arranged during the event. For visitors’ convenience, safety facilities like waterproof domes, help desks, healthcare facilities, drinking water, security and parking have also been arranged at the venues.The month-long festival will also see a light and sound show every day in the evening to entertain people.
The festival is very popular in Gujarat and in Maharashtra. Since the last few years there has been influx of tourists from across the country. The tourist flow goes up phenomenally during the Monsoon Festival. Saputara is indeed a beautiful place and during the monsoon it blooms in full glory.
The Tourism department is taking various initiatives to provide the best of experiences to tourists. The festival also serves the government’s major objective of providing income generation and livelihood to the locals.
Saputara is nestled in the picturesque Dang District and the densely wooded hills of the Sahayadris. It’s a part of Gujarat’s only mountainous region and has emerged as one of the state’s major tourist destination.
Some other dignitaries present at the inauguration event were Bibiben Chowdhury, Dang District Panchayat President, Mr. KC. Patel, Valsad MP, Shri Mangalabhai Gavit, Dang MLA, Managing Director, Gujarat Tourism Corporation Mr. Jenu Devan and District Collector Shri. N.K. Damor.
How to reach Saputara
- The nearest airport is Surat which is 164 km away.
- Nashik is about 85 km from here and Mumbai is 250 km.
More information about the
Saputara Monsoon Festival 2019 is available at http://www.gujarattourism.com.