After shifting to Mumbai, I realised that options for traveling around Mumbai is less compare Delhi or even Bangalore for that matter. I crave for weekend getaways and one fine day, we decided to head to Silvassa for a weekend. On my Road Trip from Delhi to Mumbai, I have passed Silvassa and also mentioned it as an option for the excursion. This time, I actually did a whole 2D1N trip to the capital city of Dadra Nagar Haveli district.Roads in Silvassa
Silvassa lies in Gujarat state near Vapi. Though it is part of Union territory, but the culture is influenced by Gujarati and Marathi. We started our journey early morning and took around 5 hours to reach Silvassa. We had booked our stay in 'Lord's Resort' which was not exactly in the city, but little on the outskirt. Since the city is small, it didn't matter much. Sadly, the hotel check-in time was at 2 pm and we forgot to inform them for early check-in, hence ended up wasting day 1 morning waiting for the room. Instead of wasting time, we thought of doing a little sightseeing near the resort or in the city.
The attraction which was in the heart of the city was Tribal Museum. Good Museum, informative, definitely needs funds to maintain, otherwise it was good for anyone who wish to know about tribes of Silvassa. The paints and pictures in the Museum are quite old and it will not take more than 30 minutes to view it.
Just opposite Tribal Museum lies the Church of Our Lady of Piety. The construction reminds you of Portugese and Goa, for sure. The Church like Tribal Museum is also small and can be done within minutes. We thought of doing more sightseeing, but our stomach was asking for food, hence we headed back to our hotel to eat some munchies. The rooms were still not ready and we spent most of our morning sitting by the poolside. Once our room was ready and having an afternoon nap, we headed for exploring more of Silvassa.
The two of the must see attraction in Silvassa is Vasona Lion Safari, Khanvel and Satmalia Deer Park. Both the attraction has short tour in car inside the park where they take you where the animals are resting. Vasona Lion Park comes before Satmalia Deer park from Silvassa towards Khanvel. Tickets are not that expensive and from initial sight, you won't find park that great. Especially for those people who have seen zoo's in the other countries. I appreciate the effort of the Government to keep the animal and try best to maintain it. There were three animals in the park and compare to those you see in the forest, they were skinny.
Moving towards the Satmalia Deer Park, we almost made it on time as the park gets closed at 5 pm and we reached at 4:45 pm. Even after 5 pm, they allowed many people to join in Safari (Maybe because some guy was acting smart and not letting people get into the safari as someone else got chance before him!). Once they issue was sorted, we moved ahead in our safari. My expectations were similar to Vasona Lion Park, however, Satmalia Deer park, amazed me with the species and quantity of Deer reside inside the park. It was quite a long ride which showcased many species of deer like Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Black Bucks etc. Since the trip was in the summer season, the park was dry and not much greenery was there. Decently maintained park, I do hope they get some funds to maintain the vehicle they run inside.
After our visit to the park, we decided to visit one of the Gardens of Silvassa. There were 3-4 options for Garden in Silvassa and we opted for the Vanganga Lake Garden ( other options were Hirwa Van Garden, Nakshatra Garden and Island Garden). The Vanganga Lake Garden was huge with garden in middle surrounded by lake and walking trail. Since I visited gardens on Sunday, it was super crowded with localities out for some family time (and few lover's time too). Government might try harder to keep the garden clean, but unless local people don't stop littering the place, it will be difficult to keep this place clean for a long time.
Last sightseeing in Silvassa was a visit to Madhuban Dam. We went in the morning next day before heading back to Mumbai. It was difficult to find early as Google showed wrong direction and we ended up reaching the bottom of the dam. Later, we went to see the top view of the dam from a viewing point. Due to morning visit, it was too bright to get good pictures or even take interesting shot. The point was, somehow, not exciting and we left in 10 minutes.
Overall, the trip was interesting and break from the routine. Though it is a small city, it is a good weekend destination from Mumbai. All being said, I still miss weekend destination from Delhi as they offer more nature and mountain (and regret that I couldn't do more during my stay in Delhi).