By Sonali Gupta.
1) Gira Waterfalls: For a tryst with nature
|Gira waterfalls in full force.|
These waterfalls were an unplanned discovery during my monsoon adventures. They are breathtakingly beautiful and I was pleasantly surprised to find something as wonderful so close to home. They are located about 3km from Waghai town and are a 30m natural drop into the Ambica River. Small tea and corn stalls make for a perfect snack while you enjoy the view.
2) Parnera Hill: For breath-taking views
|Foggy view from Parnera Hill.|
My first adventure trail took me to Parnera Hill, a few kilometers off Valsad. To reach the top, you have to climb 486 steps; the way up leads through many small temples and an old broken fort. The Parnera Fort has a lot of history dating back to the time of Maharaja Shivaji. The climb takes you through dense forests on either side, and the spectacular view of the countryside from the top is completely worth the climb. A short and peaceful day trip during the rains!
3) Dandi beach: For memorable sunsets
|Sunset colors at Dandi Beach.|
This famous beach came into the limelight when selected by Mahatma Gandhi for the Salt March. The beach is closest to a town called Navsari. The beach is not as crowded as compared to other beaches in India, and yet offers a unique and tranquil experience. I went by, to experience a sunset during the first showers, and was awestruck by the colors of the horizon.
4) Saputara: The only hill station in the Sahyadri Range
|A bird's eye view of Saputara valley.|
Saputara is a breath of fresh air, lush with flowers, a pristine lake, thick forest covers and a peaceful location - a perfect weekend getaway. I stayed at the very comfortable and beautiful Aakar Lords Inn and had a memorable view of the lake. Saputara offers a variety of experiences – trekking, mesmerizing sunsets, temples, museums and boating. I had a lovely time walking by the town, relaxing and enjoying the scenic view it offered. The drive to Saputara crossing the Dang Forest is spectacular.
5) Valsad: For a glimpse of the Arabian Sea
|The beach at Valsad.|
Valsad is a popular town in Gujarat and has quite a few touristy attractions. Tithal Beach is a tourist attraction in the coastal region of Valsad, overlooking the Arabian Sea. There are some grand temples such as Shri Sai Baba and Shri Swami Narayan along the sea coast. Food stalls – bhajiyas, dabeli, coconut water, dense forests, great architecture and a walk by the sea sums up my monsoon visit to this region of Valsad.
Have you experienced the monsoons in Gujarat?
AUTHOR BIO: An event consultant by profession, and a wanderer and photographer by passion, Sonali is 20-something, free spirited and a firm believer that the world is a beautiful place.She loves the mountains, and nature is her calling. Read more about her journeys on her blog www.freespiritedwanderer.