The Place Where The Sea, Desert and The Mountain Meet - 5 Remote Treks In Gujarat


Credit: Umang Patel

Photo of The Place Where The Sea, Desert and The Mountain Meet - 5 Remote Treks In Gujarat by Varun Suchday

Trekking doesn't necessarily come to mind when one things of Gujarat. Yet, Gujarat has a fair share of trekking opportunities for the intrepid traveller and trekking aficionado. You can trek in the company of the sea and the stars. Or climb a mountain that shook when a sage attempted the climb. Then there is the place where the sea, desert, and the mountain meet. Last but not the least is the highest peak of Gujarat decked with naga bavas, aghoris, and 800-year-old Jain and Hindu temples.

These treks can be organised with Nature and Adventure Club (NAC).

Mandvi Beach Trek

Photo of Mandvi Beach, Mandvi Rural, Gujarat by Varun Suchday

Yup, treks are not always about climbing mountains or exploring jungles. The Mandvi Trek gives you the opportunity to go on an all-night date with the ocean. The beach trek from Modhva to Rawalsha Pir to Kashi Vishwanath takes three to four hours and it is best to start an hour before the sunset. On and around full moon nights, the trek can be done at night as well, when you can see nocturnal marine life on the beach. And of course, the dance of moonlight and waves. You can camp on the beach or find humble accommodation in Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Base Camp: Modhva

Best Time: Year-around

Kalo Dungar Trek

Photo of Kalo Dungar, Gujarat by Varun Suchday

Kalo Dungar (1,515m) or the Black Hill is the highest peak in Gujarat. The trek from Drobana to Kalo Dungar will take you through some dry forests with unique rock formations and boulders. Once you reach the summit, visit the 400-year-old Dattatreya Temple. Also catch the magnificent sunset.

Kalo Dungar is where the sea, the desert, and the mountain meet. After the afternoon and evening aarti, the priest puts prasad on a raised platform where a band of jackals come every day. The eerie thing is that the jackals don't leave any footmarks on the sand.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Base Camp: Drobana

Best Time: July to February

Mount Dhinodhar

Legend has it that when Sage Dattatreya started climbing the mountain, it started shaking due to the energy the sage possessed. That is when the sage said, "Dhino dhar", which roughly translates to 'calm down'.

The climb up will take you through a forest of cacti, shrubs, and other dry flora. Depending on how you define luck, if you are lucky enough, you might spot a leopard or two. The hills also welcome migratory birds in the winters.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Base Camp: Than Jagir

Best Time: July to February

Polo Forest

Photo of Polo Forest Trekking Route, Bandhana, Gujarat, India by Varun Suchday

The forest of Polo seems out of place in Gujarat. Lush green hills, trickling waterfalls, a clandestine lake where fishermen fish the old way, and smoke coming out of chimneys of wooden houses. Polo Forest deserves to be in the Himalayas, or one of the ghats.

The hills and the forest provide plenty of trekking opportunities. There are no clearly marked trails, but you can ask locals and they will point you in the right direction. There are several prime camping spots in Polo Forest.

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Base Camp: Bandhana

Best Time: Monsoon (June to August) is the time to see it at its greenest

Mount Girnar Trek

Photo of Girnar, Gujarat by Varun Suchday

Mount Girnar is the highest peak in Gujarat, rising to 1,031m. The hike to the summit passes through 800-year-old Hindu and Jain temples. The trek is as much a natural spectacle as a cultural one. You will get to see naga bavas (naked sages) and aghora ascetics who smear themselves in funeral ash. The panoramic views from the summit are simply spectacular.

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Base Camp: Girnar Taleti

Best Time: July to February

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