My week-long Gujarat Soujourn started with a luxurious stay at House of MG, the heritage hotel in Ahmedabad. We stayed there for a night and the next day headed out to explore Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad Heritage Walk that was arranged is the best one I’ve had in recent times. It told so much more about the city and its heritage. This walk is highly recommended. Our stay in Ahmedabad was a temporary one and the final destination was Saputara. Since I was on an invite by Gujarat Tourism, everything was taken care of by them. And so was this Ahmedabad to Saputara Road Trip as well.
Post our return from the Ahmedabad Heritage Walk, we were supposed to check out of our hotel and move to the bus which would drive us from Ahmedabad to Saputara. Located about 400 kms from Ahmedabad, Saputara is Gujarat’s only hill station – Gujarat ka Tara – as it is known fondly. For the folks in the north of Gujarat, they head to Mount Abu, while for the rest they head to Saputara. Moreoever, Saputara is in close vicinity to Maharashtra as well. Places like Nashik, Malegaon are pretty close. It’s about 350kms from Mumbai making it an ideal getaway destination. Much better than Lonavala in my opinion.
Ahmedabad To Saputara Road Trip
Like I mentioned earlier, the distance is about 400kms from Ahmedabad to Saputara and the time that Google shows is about 7 hours. However, in real life, it takes much more time. When we talk about Ahmedabad to Saputara Road Trip, we know would stop for tea breaks, lunch/dinner breaks. Also, the ghat section that starts when you approach Saputara isn’t something that I guess Google considers. For us, it took around 11 hours from Ahmedabad to Saputara by road which included 2 breaks – one for chai and the other for lunch.
The First Leg – Ahmedabad to Vadodara
A large part of the road from Ahmedabad to Saputara is on national highway 48. For those of you who are unaware, in 2020 there was a renumbering of national highways in India and our beloved NH-8 was renumbered to NH 48. NH 48 now stretches from Chennai to Delhi. We leave Ahmedabad and an onwards to Saputara by the National Expressway 1. This is the first Expressway in India and I had travelled on it as long ago. With this, the travel time from Ahmedabad to Vadodara reduces by an hour.
We left Ahmedabad at around 12 noon and were at Vadodara by 2 for lunch. We traversed through the city to get to our lunch destination. I remember seeing the famous Genda circle, Sahyagi park, Alkapuri market, all of it bringing back my memories of Vadodara.
Our lunch was arranged at Express Towers hotel in Alkapuri. The restaurant, Mandap was a proper Gujarati themed restaurant serving authentic Gujarati Thali. Now when I’m writing this, I realize that this was the place where I first had roasted peanuts and lime soda! The food was pretty good and the spread was amazing. They have aam ras all round the year!
The Second Leg – Vadodara to Surat
We continued our journey from Vadodara post-lunch. While I expected everyone else to be drowsy, it was exactly the opposite. Everyone on the bus was at their top energy levels. Guess, there was something in the thali! The straight stretch of road looked like a never-ending one. The landscape kept changing with chimneys of industries near Ankaleshwar to greenery closer to Bharuch.
I couldn’t contain my excitement when we reached the Narmada bridge near Bharuch. As a kid, I was always fascinated by this bridge and it was no less this time. I asked everyone on the bus to keep their cameras ready to shoot the videos. The bridge has been revamped and is surely a highlight in our Ahmedabad to Saputara road trip. We then stopped somewhere near Surat on the highway for the even dose of chai and biscuit at around 7. This was our last stop before the final destination Saputara.
The Final Leg – Surat to Saputara
The last leg of the journey was quite boring and that’s only because of the timing. It was dark outside and we weren’t able to see anything. I remember taking a diversion from somewhere near Navsari to head to Saputara. Slowly and steadily, all of us inside the bus felt the drop in temperature. The windows were fogged and there were more twists and turns. The network is choppy during this final leg in our Ahmedabad to Saputara road trip. While we enjoyed watching some comedy videos, I somewhat didn’t feel fine.
Term it motion sickness. It was ages since I had travelled in a bus on a ghat section. So I just went and sat in my seat. I knew that the more I spoke, the more I’d feel it. Hence I kept quiet and dozed off. The next thing I realize is that we are in Saputara! We had reached our hotel – Hotel Toran – and it was all foggy outside – rather we were within the clouds! The weather so much reminded me of my days in Panchgani. Rainy weather with the mist and fog.
A Memorable Ahmedabad To Saputara Road Trip
It was my first bus trip to a hill station in a long time. I totally loved my Ahmedabad to Saputara road trip. There were a few tolls on the way, but since we were on the bus, I don’t know much about the charges, locations. As for the timings, I feel if you start early from Ahmedabad, you can get some amazing views when you reach Saputara – considering the weather is clear. The distance of 400kms is just perfect for a wonderful weekend getaway from Ahmedabad to Saputara. Being the only hill station in Gujarat, there is a lot of Gujjus there. And being very close to the Maharashtra border, there are a lot of Maharashtrians as well.
In the next post, I talk about a complete Saputara Tour guide – a 3-day Saputara itinerary – for you. So make sure you read that as well!
Overall, if you love road trips. This Ahmedabad to Saputara road trip is something you’ll enjoy too. From straight, zippy highways to the twist and turns of the ghats, there’s everything. So, when are you planning your trip? What’s the best road trip you’ve had? Let me know in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch to know more.
I’d also like to thank Gujarat Tourism, India Tourism Mumbai – Ministry of Tourism for inviting me to experience the hospitality of Gujarat. While I was here on an invite, my thoughts are based on my experience and unbiased.