Many people tend to hate monsoons for obvious reasons like muddy fields, traffic, and many more. But it also brings some seasonal pleasures like Refreshing breeze, blooming flowers. No wonder why people call it the season of love.
But the things I admire most about the season of monsoon are beautiful scenery, greener trees, Lakes & Waterfalls are most alive & how can I forget the smell of soil that re-energizes the soul. And these things make it the best time to explore and capture the blissful mother earth.
There’s no better time to travel than this, the enormous western ghats, of which Don Hill Station is a part of, which stretches from Gujarat to all the way to Kerala.
Don Hill Station
Hidden in dense forest and Purna Wildlife Sanctuary of Western ghats, Don Hill Station is not at all commercialized and you would hardly find people here even on weekends. This place would serve as the perfect destination for camping considering the weather, scenic beauty.
Before we were headed from Surat We made sure we had all our essentials ready with us like 20L water jug, some home cooked food for the journey, marinated chicken for the night at the camp.
The drive to Don Hill Station was quite smooth with well-built roads. We’re vibing off our perfectly suitable playlist for our road trip. Upon reaching Navsari, we stopped by Mustak Amdavadi Tava and packed along its special seekh kebab, locally known mamnaa. We reached Purna wildlife sanctuary in no time and then started the sharp, zig zag curvy roads surrounded by the jungle. In the midst of that green forest we took a small halt to and enjoyed the home cooked parantha and seekh kabab, clicked some pictures and proceeded with our journey.
On reaching Don, we started to find that right spot for our camp. This was our 2nd visit to Don hill station and we decided to camp at a new location.
Looking for an optimum spot, we went about 20kms past Don hill station which involved some cool personal experience like off-roading on the mountain. And finally when we found one, we got going without wasting any time & set our camp. Opposite to our camp was mighty Salher Fort, covered with lust green forest, the highest fort on the second highest peak of Maharashtra. (5141ft).
Distances and time taken
Surat to Don Hill Station - 170kms – 3 hours and 30 mins
Mumbai to Don Hill Station - 270Kms – 6 hours
Saputara to Don Hill Station -50kms – 90 mins
About Salher Fort
Salher and Salota are twin forts on Sahyadri ranges of western ghats. The fort was used by Maratha for hiding money raided from Surat. Many caves, water pond, and a Parshuram temple can be seen on 2 hour trek to fort and on top. According to a legend, Lord Parshuram did his Tapascharya at Salher Fort.
The cloud seemed to be covering us but we were fortunate enough it didn’t rain. Although we were prepared for it having covered our tent with tarpaulin sheet.
Having noticed bunches of wooden sticks at a hovel nearby our camp we went there and requested for some. They were kind enough to lent us sportingly, they didn’t accept the money that we were offering even on insisting so we ended up giving some chocolates to the kids which they joyously accepted.
The next task was lighting up the bonfire on a dark & foggy night which turned out to be pain in the ass as the wooden sticks that we had borrowed turned moist. Fortunately we had some Seekh Kababs, cake & a few packet of chips with us which saved our night.
We star-gazed, tried to capture the scenic beauty of the sky above, sang & danced on some old songs under the moonlight. This pretty much summed up of our night as we were lost in the moment.
The next morning we returned the unused wooden sticks & told them about our struggle of lighting up the bonfire & how we couldn’t cook our marinated chicken we’d brought from home. So one of my friends shamelessly asked for another favor, if they could somehow help us cook it as it would go wasted to which they smiling and sportingly obliged.
We all had our brunch together & said our goodbyes & left Don Hill Station for our next destination.
Way back Home
Before we headed to home we decided to visit Koshmal waterfall which came along the way, around 70kms from Don Hill Station. The waterfall is 3Km from the parking. We walked down for a km or so and then trekked down the hill further for about a km. It was monsoon so the moist and slippery roads and rocks along our way made it quite challenging.
The waterfall we were headed to was surrounded by mountains and greenery. Upon reaching the waterfall we found the place and the view decent enough but the crowd present their literally spoiled the beauty of the place.
So try not to place your visit on weekends.
Since it was crowdy, we didn’t stay for long and decided to return.