Welcome readers to another blog.
At around 150 Kilometers from Ahmedabad this jungle called Polo Forest is situated. This forest was not much known to many till now. Small villages, long small trails, green farms and tribal people walking calmly with their cattle are enough to realize that how far are we from the concrete jungle even before reaching to Polo forest.
Yes, we will insist not to visit this place during summer season. An Aravalli hill gets hot during day time and doesn’t let the temperature down even after sunset. During winter we certainly can visit this place. But best season to visit this place is monsoon. Good company can make this forest journey more memorable.
In Rajasthani language “Pod” means ‘a gate’. This place was once known as an entry gate to Rajasthan from Gujarat and there was literally an entry gate built over there which was known as Pod. And thus this forest became polo forest. This place is very historic. There are 350 types of vegetation and 260 types of herbs we can find in this forest, during winter in huge numbers traveler birds also can be found here.
If you are visiting this place for a day tour only then its better to take lunch with you in tiffin box as you won’t find any big hotels there.
If you are leaving far from this place or you like a calm place like this then we suggest you to stay here for minimum one or two nights. If distance is very far for example you are travelling like us from Kutch then one night stay can be done in Idar and on next morning journey can be continued. We would like to share our experience of Idar hotel here. We were very late while we reach at Idar, we were not in a state of mind that we can search and select hotel so whichever hotel we saw first we went inside. Manager was sleeping, we woke him up and booked rooms without even seeing it. After reaching our allocated rooms we came to know about its grandeurJ. The size of the room was so small that two persons can be called crowd, condition of the bedsheet was such that it can tear apart even if we touch it, pillows were smelling like they were imported from boys hostel, planning to be made how to enter in the bathroom after opening its door, water was overflowing from basin after brushing.. were the unforgettable experiences of that “beautiful” hotel. Sometimes this type of experiences makes your trip more memorable.
Sightseeing places of polo forest can be seen in a day only, for rest of the time you can spend time with yourself or with people you actually care. This time when Nature also give you company can recharge your soul for next year for sure.
Nowadays there are few more hotels built to stay in Polo forest, when we visited in 2017-18 “polo resort” was a good hotel. There were options of staying in rooms or in tents, both options were good but if weather is hot then staying in tents can be slightly uncomfortable. We stayed in a tent and the experience was good.
We can book prior through online booking, however during weekend rush is more so if you have planned during weekend then even after online booking its better to confirm through call about your booking. There are facilities like camp fire, swimming pool, indoor and few outdoor games are also there. Breakfast and lunch were also good.
After giving all basic information let us take a tour of places which you must visit at polo forest. First of all we will start with our favorite trekking activity. There are few tracking points varying from half an hour to three hour long trekking route depending upon your capacity. Local guides at polo forest are available at almost all local sightseeing points; even hotel management can arrange a guide for you. It’s better to keep a guide with you while trekking as he can enhance your knowledge about local trees, herbs and vegetation during trekking. Also majority of guides here are from local tribal community so we can also learn about their culture and life style also. Our experience with guide was very good, we had asked many questions and all were answered by him very calmly. Springs and river bed on the way of trekking is like a heaven for photographers. And yes, please do not horrify by the work ‘Trekking’ here. The trek route is very normal, any person having normal fitness level can easily go for trekking here.
Another must visit place here is a Vanaj dam. Dam is very huge and filled with water of Harnav River. The place is in middle of the forest so generally entry is prohibited after sunset. However we reached here after sunset and fortunately no one stopped us visiting the dam; of course guide was there with us. We spent hardly 15 over minutes there but that small visit became unforgettable experience for us. Deadly darkness, different and never heard before voices from huge trees, very vast water body and reflection of the moon on that water… what else to say!
Ancient Lakhena Jain dera is a good point for history and sculpture lovers. It was built in fifteenth century. The courtyard of dera is very huge and big spider webs can also be found on tall trees on the courtyard. Harnav river water is passing through the way of Lakhenajaindera. Water was so clear that we can see the riverbed very clearly.
SharneshwarMahadev is an only temple in the area. It Is also said to be built in fifteenth century. When we visited this temple we saw people were doing a pre wedding shoot via drone. Later we came to know that polo forest is becoming very famous for small budget pre wedding shoots. As per our view a very well-known Gujarati film ‘Reva’ was also shot here.
Vijayanagar is a village near polo forest. There is a botanical garden in vijayanagar which has more than 200 herb plants. A Few plants are very rare here and in this garden they are trying to preserving those rare plants. An elderly guide and care taker who was working as a care taker of plant has given us many details without getting annoyed by our questions. It requires minimum 2-3 hours to see this garden completely. Many botany students visit this garden for study purpose.
Students remind us a beautiful primary school built by government in polo forest to facilitate tribal community. We came to visit this school just by chance. There were many students staying there even it was a vacation time. Little boys and girls were doing their own work very easily with enthusiasm. Also a museum of polo forest is a good place to visit. Kids can enjoy a section where by pressing buttons, voice of different birds can be heard.
We highly recommend you to visit this beautiful forest during monsoon season and do share your experiences with us in comment section.
Will meet you in another blog till then Stay happy! Stay safe! Keep Roaming.