Everything You Need To Know About Polo Forest, Gujarat

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About Polo Forest, Gujarat by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Nestled in Gujarat, India, the Vijaynagar Forest, fondly known as Polo Forest, sprawls across 400 square kilometers at the foothills of the Aravali range. Initially a dry deciduous expanse, post-monsoon, it transforms into a verdant oasis. With over 450 medicinal plants, 275 bird species, 30 mammals, 9 types of fish, and 32 reptilian species, including leopards and jungle cats, Polo Forest teems with biodiversity.

Steeped in history, this forest once sheltered a town established by the Parihar kings in the 10th century. Though abandoned now, remnants of this ancient civilization endure. The forest's name, derived from 'Pol' in Marwari, meaning 'gate,' echoes its historical roots.


Photo of Everything You Need To Know About Polo Forest, Gujarat by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

The annual Polo Festival, curated by the Indian Government, beckons thousands of tourists yearly. This celebration, a highlight of the region, draws visitors eager to witness its marvels. For an immersive experience in this captivating haven, we've crafted the ultimate guide to plan your journey into the iconic Polo Forest.

How To Reach?

The nearest cities to Polo Forest are Ahmedabad (160 km away) and Udaipur (120 km away). Opting for a road journey is ideal, offering flexibility and convenience for you, friends, or family.


Photo of Everything You Need To Know About Polo Forest, Gujarat by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

You can hire four-wheelers from either city, typically costing around ₹5000, varying based on car type and amenities. Services like Gozocabs or CabBazar offer competitive rates, starting from ₹3000.

Alternatively, budget-friendly options include regular buses from Ahmedabad and Udaipur to Vijaynagar, where you can catch a shuttle to Polo Forest. Be mindful of potential bus unreliability, especially during seasons with challenging road conditions, leading to route diversions or temporary cancellations by GSRTC.

The Best Time to Visit Polo Forest

Polo Forest unveils its splendor throughout the year, inviting exploration across all seasons. However, the prime periods for tourism are during the monsoon and winter, from August to February. This timeframe showcases the forest adorned in lush greenery, with the river flowing at its fullest. The average temperatures, lingering at a moderate 38 degrees Celsius in summer and a pleasant 27 degrees in winter, ensure a welcoming environment, allowing visitors to plan their visit at their convenience, irrespective of the season.

Things to Do at Polo Forest

Flora, Fauna, and Trekking Opportunities

Spanning 400 square kilometers, Polo Forest teems with life, hosting 450 plant species, over 250 bird varieties, and 60 animal species. It's an unparalleled immersion into vibrant biodiversity.

For adventure enthusiasts, Bhim Parvat and the flowing Harana river beckon, offering thrilling trekking routes. Hiking and trekking camps amidst the forest's embrace provide an enchanting communion with nature, perfect for a day's expedition and a leisurely picnic. The forest's lush expanse is an ideal spot for camping and adventure activities, featuring bouldering, rappelling, and the allure of rock climbing challenges.

Historic Architecture and Temples

Tracing its roots to the ancient city of Abhapuri, Polo Forest echoes with remnants of its splendid past. The ruins, showcasing exquisite Jain temples, the revered Shiva temple, Vireshwar Temple, and Lakha Mandir, stand as testaments to erstwhile architectural marvels adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. For history buffs and enthusiasts of archaeology, this site unveils a paradise of exploration.

Polo Festival

Official website

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About Polo Forest, Gujarat by Sakshi Nahar Dhariwal

Annually celebrated by the Government of Gujarat, the Polo Festival lures travelers with meticulously curated travel events and adventure activities. The Polo camp city offers a vibrant setting for indulging in the festivities and making the most of the engaging cultural experience.

Places to stay

Accommodation choices in Polo Forest are limited, with the most cost-effective option being the Polo Campsite managed by the Gujarat State Forest Department. Booking a stay here requires advance arrangements through the Himmatnagar forest department via email, specifying dates, group size, and room preferences (AC or Non-AC). Confirmation is subject to room availability.

Additionally, a handful of private hotels offer lodging at higher rates, typically ranging from ₹2500 to ₹4000 per night, varying with the prevailing season.

Nestled in the remote reaches of Gujarat, Polo Forest stands as an emblem of unconventional travel experiences. Renowned for its distinctive array of activities, this destination promises a delightful retreat, appealing to diverse age groups and ensuring even seasoned travelers find novelty and satisfaction amidst its offerings.

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