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Old 10th August 2014, 23:14   #1
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Default A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

This is a short day trip that we did with family recently as part of our monsoon drive. I thought of sharing my experience as there is no mention of either the Zarwani falls or the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in detail by any member on the forum. I feel this is still a less explored place and a must visit for people who like adventure and wildlife.

About the Sanctuary


Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Narmada district of Gujarat.

This sanctuary has vast, undulating terrain, ever-pervading greenery, somberly silent rocks, gentle youthful streams, majestic waterfalls, breathtaking landscapes, culminating at the congregation of Vindhyan-Satpura hill ranges.

This forest is one of the best and thickest in the state, is spread over an area, which includes a major watershed feeding two major reservoirs with the Rajpipla hills as backdrop.

The sanctuary derives its name "Shoolpaneshwar" from a historic temple of Lord Shiva, which once existed in this region on the banks of river Narmada. The temple is now submerged due to the Sardar Sarovar Reservoir.

The Drive ….

Ahmedabad to Vadodara – on the expressway approx 98 kms.
Vadodara-Dabhoi-Rajpipla-Gora Village- Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary – 130 Kms


After the expressway you drive onto the SH towards Dabhoi from Vadodara, which is a good country road with rural traffic in patches. As you approach Rajpipla you start experiencing the green all round with dense vegetation and farms on both sides of the roads. On reaching Narmada Dist you then take a left from the SH towards Gora village this is a narrow road leading through the forest area, once at the forest department check post you pay the entry fees of Rs. 200/ vehicle and enter.


This is where the excitement starts, as you drive on a 15 Km stretch of winding forest track, with virtually no roads, this can get quite slushy during the monsoons.


The narrow pathway leads you up and down and across various hillocks, the forest keeps getting denser as you move deeper. And then you drive through a small stream of water which leads you to the Zarwani water falls. This entire stretch will excite any off road enthusiast.


Zarwani Falls

Think of a place where you can remain ‘incommunicado’ at least for a day from the daily gripes and grunts. This waterfall is deep in a jungle where the mobiles are dead and there are no electricity lines overhead
You need to park your vehicle on the rocky terrain near the river banks and trek to reach the falls. You will need to walk through the river, crossing three rapids, with almost 3.5 Ft of water at places to reach the Zarwani water falls. You will find local tribal people who also act as guides and will tell you where exactly to step inside the water, as the bottom has rocks which are slippery at places, and will help you reach the falls. On the way you can take a break and relax on the rocks across the stream of gushing pure water. The water is actually so clean that you can see through and spot small fishes at the bottom.



TRAVEL ADVISORY

1.To visit the falls, permission has to be availed from the Forest Office.
2.The waterfall is to be trekked from the parking place. It is better to wear sports shoes, shorts and carry light luggage.
3.Avoid slippery rocks while climbing near the waterfalls.
4.Do not litter and avoid plastics.
5.The electricity generated is with solar energy. It should be used responsibly.
6.No smoking within the forest and waterfall area.
7.Carry sufficient food and drinking water as there are virtually no eating joints within the forest area.
Attached Thumbnails
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A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0578.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0608.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0625.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0716.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0762.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0782.jpg  

A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)-dsc_0798.jpg  

Attached Images
     

Last edited by ADI_77 : 10th August 2014 at 23:26. Reason: spell check
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Old 11th August 2014, 05:35   #2
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Thats a nice short drive. And thanks for logging this. Was not aware about this place. Will read more about it. This greenery has some similarities to what we witness in South Maharashtra esp around Pune/Satara.

Thanks again.
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Old 11th August 2014, 06:13   #3
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

beautiful. Somehow in my 2.5 years of traveling all over (including rajpipla and dangs in several trips) I never visited shoolpaneshwar. Its gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th August 2014, 11:27   #4
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

That is a hidden beauty in Gujarat - as ampere says, it looks more like Maharashtra!! It's a nice trip you had and a great report. And thanks for introducing this place!
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:09   #5
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
This greenery has some similarities to what we witness in South Maharashtra esp around Pune/Satara.

Thanks again.

Yes the green all round makes it look like the ghats in Maharashtra. This is a deciduous forest reserve that usually receives high rainfall.
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:14   #6
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
beautiful. Somehow in my 2.5 years of traveling all over (including rajpipla and dangs in several trips) I never visited shoolpaneshwar. Its gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for going through this post. Yes this is surely among the less explored places in this region of Gujarat. Most people flock to the Sardar Sarovar dam site but miss out on visiting this sanctuary. Although the Gujarat Tourism website has a brief mention on this. I feel Amitabh Bachchan should include this in the next feature of 'Kushboo Gujarat ki"
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:28   #7
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Looks like the "drought-affected" Western region is still more wetter and greener than Delhi !
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Old 11th August 2014, 15:40   #8
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

I feel Gujarat destinations are so under represented in any travel readings.

Thanks for sharing. This may be just the thing I can do on this coming weekend. Please let me know how to go about the forest permission (you can PM me). And when did you go here? I am asking just to estimate if I will be able to see any water in the waterfall when I go there?
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Old 11th August 2014, 15:57   #9
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

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Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
Please let me know how to go about the forest permission (you can PM me). And when did you go here? I am asking just to estimate if I will be able to see any water in the waterfall when I go there?
Hi! akbaree, I was there just last weekend, so you will be able to see the same flow of water. No special permission is required for visiting. You need to just pay the entry charges at the forest check post and you can drive in. You need to carry good footwear (floaters) & a pair of shorts to be able to wade through the river to reach the falls.
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Old 11th August 2014, 17:10   #10
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Default re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Posting few more pics
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 12th August 2014, 15:20   #11
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Default Re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADI_77 View Post
Posting few more pics
Hi Adi, last weekend we had been to the Sardar Sarovar dam. I had thought of going to Zarwani falls but with a 1.5 yr old daughter, I was advised to skip it for the time being. Your pics just makes me realize what we missed

We first went to Champaner and after couple of hours there, took SH 5 via Jhambugoda-Bodeli to the dam site.
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Old 12th August 2014, 16:06   #12
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Default Re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
I had thought of going to Zarwani falls but with a 1.5 yr old daughter, I was advised to skip it for the time being. Your pics just makes me realize what we missed

We first went to Champaner and after couple of hours there, took SH 5 via Jhambugoda-Bodeli to the dam site.
You should do this trip soon before the monsoons get over, with the green all round its hard to believe that such a place exists in Gujarat. The river is absolutely safe to carry a 1.5 yr old across, since the water is quite shallow. Even we travelled with a 2.5 yr old who enjoyed playing in the crystal clear water.
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Old 13th August 2014, 07:13   #13
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Default Re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

Thanks for putting this up. Surely worth a visit, although i doubt i'll ever get around to it. I remember going to similar places in Kerala on my Scorpio Lx too, so brought back some fond memories.
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Old 14th August 2014, 00:27   #14
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Nice!! Do we need to take permission from the forest officials in advance or can it be done through walk-in. Can you please share the the details where we need to contact. Planning to go on 15th this week. TIA.
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Old 14th August 2014, 12:00   #15
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Default Re: A Day trek to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zarwani Waterfalls (Gujarat)

@Adi

Thanks. Infact was exploring the possibilities of a small 3-4 day trip considering the long weekend.

Shoolpaneshwar was an option and looking at the pics, is a beautiful place.

Since this is a long week end and I have taken a leave on Monday, have 04 days at a stretch.
However, have a small 2 year old son and was wondering how safe it would be to explore uncharted territories alone.

That is the reason we decided on a sedate relaxation plan which may seem unexciting-
Surat as the base.

Dandi/Bardoli/Dumas/ some local sight seeing, spending and lazing time in some decent hotel, some quality time with family.

Refresh and return.
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