I reached Surat on a Saturday to be at the Dangs the next day. To be more specific to explore the Don Hill station, that was going to be my first monsoon outdoor of the season. It was the last week of June. It already rained in some parts of Surat and Vadodara, so I went expecting some good weather during the trek.
About Don Hill Station : Don is making its presence as the second hill station of Gujarat after Saputara. A tribal village in the Sahyadri mountain ranges offers picturesque greenery that will definitely freshen up the travelers. It is though not as developed as Saputara and had been known only after 2013 after direct roads were built from Ahwa reducing the distance to 30 kms from 85 kms. The village is situated at an altitude of 900 metres and has a amicable climate throughout the year. Read more about the hill station here.
Best Season : Monsoon July to September
I reached Surat by train from Vadodara, Okha Ernakulam Express. I was at the Surat station exactly on time as per the schedule and also impressed to see a very well maintained and clean Surat Railway Station.Great work by the Railways!!
I was happy to see the drizzles while I reached the city.
Meanwhile the day that followed, I did a tour to Surat’s very famous Rander Ramzan Bazaar during Eid which is a must visit for the foodies.
Next day woke up at 4 am to catch the bus taking some 120 people to the Don Hill station. We got down at the stop from where we had to start our trek. This was the last place with a shop and some locals living around here. Everyone got down, took some rest and after some briefing the trek began.
What to do at the Don hill Station ?
Before you reach here, be well informed there are no hotels or stay options available. Even food is not available after Ahwa. The place is yet to be developed unlike other hill stations of Gujarat or like Saputara. You can take a drive and come back the same day. Homestays after getting in touch with the locals might be available, I am not well informed about this option.
Landscapes, natural beauty and gorgeous green:
Being at a height of almost 3000 feet you may for sure feel the breeze running over you. Post monsoon and winters are the best time to go,and both can be different experiences. For Photographers, there is some great opportunity to capture amazing landscapes and natural beauty.
Adventure and Trekking
If you are an adventure lover, this place has something for you. One day treks to Don and Dangs are organized. You can get in touch with the locals to explore such Treks. One of the Clubs I am aware of is Green Valley Adventure Club, that is run by few experienced Trekkers from Surat, with whom I often get the opportunity to trek. I was on a One day Trek with YHAI organized by the Bilimora Unit and we went through the Jungle, the hills, and the Village. It was a medium level trek.
People and Culture:
Dangs region is thronged by the tribals and Adivasis and is a very remote area. If you love exploring about cultures and people, it is going to be fruitful day. I got into conversation with a shopkeeper at Ahwa, that looked like the only little shop there. After returning from the trek, I was hungry and asked the shopkeeper if he had maggi. To my surprise he said, the people there did not know about maggi and there were hardly any travelers coming to those places so he never sold maggi. I just tried to imagine the life they lived, a complete different from ours for sure. The kids there were great to play with. They enjoyed our company and also let me click their pictures. Do interact with the locals and talk to them. You might get to listen some amazing stories of the Tribals.
This little boy below kept on crying, while his mother tried to convince him. Finally he got a stick and started biting it. Don’t know what it must be like!
To end, a one day trip to this remote, nature’s corner can be fun and thrilling. Make sure to pack your foods and drinking water. Plan it properly and reaching with your own vehicle is the best option.
Distance from major cities :
Ahwa: 33 kms
Ahmedabad : 405 kms
Vadodara: 292 kms
Surat : 173 kms
Bilimora : 126 kms
Mumbai : 275 kms
More Pictures from the Trip:
Please do share your experience if you have already been to Don. If you are planning and want to know anything that I may have missed out, Please reach me or ask me in the below comment section, I would be glad to help you out.