Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar : An Unplanned Trip To North Gujarat Forests

Featured - Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

Polo Monument and Vijaynagar forests is a scenic weekend destination from Ahmedabad. The lush green forests, ancient structures and quiet ambience all adds up for a relaxing trip.

Polo Forest, Abhapur was part of our 2 day trip to Idar.

Throughout 6th semester of B. Tech, Computer Engineering, DDIT, Nadiad, I never missed a chance to go on trip. Most of the trips were, however, of 1 day. Depart in morning and return by night.

After end of 3rd internal exam, I had a window of 2 days. Why not Polo Forest & Idar then? And there we were…

 

Harnav Dam Vanaj - Dam Near Vijaynagar Polo Forest Rest House, Idar Gujarat

 

The Squad

We were five. All travel freaks. Adaptable to any condition.

Bhavya Gandhi: Real follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles 🙂

Pramod Mali: From the great land of Kutch

Rahul Thakor: (Unknown) Writer ;). Here’s exploring “I” within me.

Smit Patel: (Nature) Lover 😉 and photographer.

Me: I’d tag myself as Batman. 😉

Pramod – Rahul – Darpan – Smit – BhavyaPolo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 4

 

The Plan

There was no plan as such!

As I mentioned earlier, We didn’t plan for anything.

“Chalo, Polo Forest baaju farta aviye! Raat pade e pahela paccha avta rahisu..”

Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Starting Off

We stayed night at Idar and decided to leave for Polo forests in morning. Upon asking locals, we were informed that jeeps are available from Idar to Vijaynagar.

Polo campsite is few km before Vijaynagar.

As we didn’t make any plans, this is what we had as breakfast.

Polo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 1

Yeah, Amul Ice cream as breakfast. We had no choice. It was tasty though. 🙂

We jumped into one of those jeeps leading to Vijaynagar. Journey from Idar to Polo forest takes around an hour.
The road to Vijaynagar was quite scenic.

Jeep will drop you herePolo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

What Shall We Do

Driver halted jeep and informed us that Polo campsite has arrived.

We spent few minutes getting acquainted to area. Then we looked into each other’s blank faces, with the same burning question in mind: “Okay, so we are here at Polo forest. What next?”

No one of us had any answer.

No one was there nearby. We looked around Polo campsite, we failed to find any human being inside the campsite.

Though, a dog was there to welcome us!

Polo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 5

 

Avoid Summer & Take Guide

We visited Polo forest and Idar in April. When Sun gets in full mood to burn everything on earth.

However, surprisingly, compared to Idar area, temperature of Polo forest area was bearable. Around 28-30 degree
Celsius. The atmosphere was pleasant too.

Personally, I suggest you to visit these forests in monsoon or post monsoon season.

See how the place changes between seasons.

During monsoon. Photo – Gujarat Tourism
Polo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 2

Doctors recommend eating carrot to improve eye sight. I recommend observing greenery of Polo forest during monsoon to improve the same! 🙂

Talking about guide, it’s always a good idea to take one along with you. I heard good words about guide known as, Dalsukh. Catch him!

During summer it’s all yellowish brownPolo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Moving Ahead: Trekking

After wandering here and there for a while, we found a trail leading to hill. All we needed was something to start upon. We started trekking…

The trek wasn’t difficult. It needs no heroic physical fitness.

Trekking
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

Trek is picturesque. You’ll climb hill. Descend to base again. You’ll cross a stream.

Stream, it had no water when we visitedPolo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort
And if you go in off season, you’ll be the only person doing all these! There’ll be no one around you.

Crossing the river, we saw an ancient temple from distance. Moving ahead…

 

Jain Temples at Polo Forest

The Jain Temples are believed to be built in 15th Century. Along with Jain Temples, one Shiva temple and one step well is also present nearby.

The monument is said to be protected by government, though, personally I feel that government should put more efforts for maintenance.

Jain temple
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

One thing that freaks me when I see such historical places is, names carved on monument by visitors. You know, the typical, Sanjay Loves Lila, kind of writings.

If you’re reading this, please don’t do it at any historical site! If we, the visitors show respect to the place, then we could certainly blame government for its negligence.

Shiva temple
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Photography

Polo forest has many scenes to offer for photography. Along with forest and hills, it also has Harnav river in its offerings. Not to forget ancient temples and Harnav Dam site.

Scenes…
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

I mean, everything a photographer needs!

We called it a day with more than 3000 photos in our gallery! (No DSLRs 😀 , just phones)

The power pose
Polo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 3

 

 To Harnav Dam Site

We spent a couple of hours at temple. Next stop we chose was Harnav dam site.

One can walk for an hour and reach to Harnav site from the Jain monuments.

You can follow: Our journey of Harnav here

Harnav Dam Vanaj - Dam Near Vijaynagar Polo Forest Rest House, Idar Gujarat

 

About Polo Monument and Vijaynagar Forest

Sounds fascinating till now? I’d list down details that can help you if you’re planning to visit Polo Forest, Idar / Vijaynagar area.

Polo, was once a gateway to Rajasthan. It was a hiding place for rulers, concealed from enemies, citizens and angry wives.

The name, Polo, is derived from pol, the Marwari word for “gate,” signifying its status as a gateway between Gujarat and Rajasthan.

View of surroundings from Jain monumentPolo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

Officially, there are more than 450 species of medicinal plants, around 275 of birds, 30 of mammals, and 32 of reptiles.

During winter, all manner of migratory birds occupy the forest; during the rainy season there are wetland birds. Good site for bird watching!

Harnav river
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Polo Forest Campsite

Forest department has set up a nature education camp site in the forests.

The Polo Camp site is located in Vijayanagar taluka of Sabarkantha districts and is near to Vanaj Forest area, Harnav River and Damsite.

Presently at Polo Campsite Nature Education Camps, Wild Life training and seminars are organized.

Accommodation and food can also be availed at campsite. A point to note, as it’s government entity, you may face hard time arranging accommodation and food. Go for homestay option listed below for hassle free stay.

Polo eco campsite
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Contact Number of Polo Forest Campsite:

Himmatnagar Forest Department.
Contact Number 1: 02772243090
Contact Number 2: 02772247279

Where To Stay – Homestay

Polo Forests area now has one homestay option as well.

You can stay at local’s house, equipped with all amenities and comfort.

Also, delicious desi local food can be enjoyed.

Call/message on +91 94295 64808 for pricing, bookings and more details.

Where To Stay – Resorts and Hotels

  1. Polo Campsite (Refer above section)

  2. Polo Retreat Resort, Abhapur, Gujarat

  3. Ambika Exotica Resort

  4. Forest Rest House Vanaj

  5. Kadoli Farms

(As some visitors reported, Polo Retreat Resort has been shut down and is no longer operational. )

Way to Harnav Dam
Harnav Dam Vanaj - Dam Near Vijaynagar Polo Forest Rest House, Idar Gujarat

 

Food

Apart from the places I mentioned above, there’s no hotel or restaurant in the Polo forest area. And that’s good in my opinion. Any tourist place is best enjoyable as long as it remains free from commercialization.

Polo campsite serves food, if you tell them in advance.

If I talk about us, we had this. We thought that we would get something to eat at Polo…but life isn’t fair always!

Amul to save us again..Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

Location & How to Reach

If you’re coming from private vehicle, then there’s nothing better than Google Maps.

Distance Matrix

From To Distance in km / Approx. time in hr
Ahmedabad Polo Forest 150 km / 3 hr
Idar Polo Forest 35 km / 45 min
Himmatnagar Polo Forest 60 km / 1 hr 30 mins
Vadodara Polo Forest 250 km / 4 hr 30 mins
Rajkot Polo Forest 370 km / 6 hr 30 mins
Surat Polo Forest 400 km / 7 hr
Mumbai Polo Forest 670 km / 11 hr

Public Transportation:

Reach to Idar via bus. State transport has many buses.

From Idar to Vijaynagar, jeeps are frequent. Polo forest falls on the way to Vijaynagar.

Be sure to leave Polo forest before late evening, as you might not get any jeeps.

Via Train:

Not at all viable option.

Via Air:

Great option! I heard rumors that Mukesh Ambani’s son (Yes! The big one that we often see during IPL) once visited Polo forest in helicopter. You might want to try it out! 😀 😀

A view from window inside Jain templePolo Forest Idar Vijayanagar - 6

 

Extra Events

I recently came across these event on Internet.

The Impossible Race at Polo Forest: 17th – 20th March, 2016
Polo Forest MTB &
Polo Forest Road Biking

Very exciting!

Website: http://www.theimpossiblerace.com

The End

For us, unplanned trip to Polo forest turned out to an awesome adventure!

Special mention to last part of our journey, return to Idar from Polo, during which we sat on top of jeep! I still remember those mesmerising winds!

On the top
Polo Forest Vijaynagar, Idar Near Ahmedabad Gujarat - Hotel, Photography, Photos, Accommodation, Resort

 

More of Vibrant Gujarat:

 

24
Share

50 Comments

  1. Naveen Somani

    Very insightful and well articulated Darpan

  2. Sid

    Dear Darpan (Batman),

    Thanks for the information. 🙂

    Can you provide me contact no. of Dalsukh or any other local guide who can guide us for trekking in for forest?

  3. Ravi

    Is there any scope of spotting a wild animal? Probably leopard or a sloth bear ?

  4. S R Vaishnav

    Dear Darpan,

    I have come across from one of my friend who happen to go near polo forest. I am planning to visit polo forest. I would like to know from you whether it is advisable to go one or two persons to this forest? Is there any fear or anticipated problem if go alone or two?
    Can you advise me?

    • Hello Mr. Vaishnav,

      We were 5 people.

      Throughout our stay at Polo Forest, I didn’t encounter any safety related problems. Even in case of solo travel, I don’t see any safety issues in that area. The forest ain’t so dense. You’re good to go! 🙂

      Ps. Take ample amount of food and water with you. This time is tourist season so you will get food there but just in case..

  5. Meera Voralia

    Thanks Darpan for your detailed information. I am planning to visit with my 15 Colleagues.

  6. Nisha

    Thanks darpan ,
    Specialy for each of equip information which need i., so finally i am not feeling stranger , being i all know from you .
    Thanks really

  7. Maulik Patel

    very helpful post..

  8. Hardik Gajera

    Thanks Darpan your information being very useful to me we’ll going on next 25th at this place and we book ambica exotica hope this picnic will be gorgeous for us. Thank u because this place is totally unknown for our Saurashtra region and u guide us for great holidays.

  9. Sanket Patel

    Hey darpanbhai excelent information given by u about polo forest…i am planning next month…september…total 16 family…which campsite at polo sutable for night stay…our rasoia with us…so pls guide me…and contact no of all place where we stay…pls give me all detail with all planing

    • Hello Sanket,

      I’ve listed down all contact numbers that I have with me in this article. Rest, I don’t have.

      Unfortunately, I cannot help you with planning. I’m a traveler like you and I don’t book/plan trips. Rest of the details, can be found in this post itself.

  10. Ruchita Patel

    This is helping me a lot.btw you are an awesome writer.

  11. BH'RT KOROT

    Very nice post bro. In this Monsoon I wish go there… Thnx for all information of this track..

  12. Raj

    whats contact number of polo forest.

    how to book?

  13. tkannar

    Great post bro, If we are visiting polo forest with family, what are the stay options available there??

    • You can avail homestay there. Call/message on +91 94295 64808 for pricing, bookings and more details.

      Other options are,

      Polo Campsite
      Polo Retreat Resort, Abhapur, Gujarat (It’s closed now as reported by one visitor.)
      Ambika Exotica Resort
      Forest Rest House Vanaj
      Kadoli Farms

  14. Vijayanand

    Hi Darpan your review was very good about the places. can u please suggest me some places in gujarat around 200kms from ahmedabad which can be visited during month of june.

    • Thanks Vijayanand.

      Choice of place depends on your taste,

      If you’re more of Nature person, you should hold on for a couple of weeks and wait for some rain sessions. In start of July, fresh greenery would give your eyes a great sight.

      You can visit Jambughoda area and stay at campsite. There’s also Rajpipla jungles. If you can stretch upto 350km, then Dang area would be the best bet.

      If you like history and architecture, Lothal, Modhera and Patan are good destinations.

      You can also try hill stations.

      And well, Polo Forest, Vijayanagar & Idar are always good places.

  15. NIRAJ THAKER

    Hi Darpan,

    Nice update on POLO JUNGLE.

    KEEP IT UP.
    Guide us.
    We want to have a picnic sort of program from Gandhinagar.
    Family with kids from age 8 to 20 years.

    What preparations on food and safety we need to make and what to be careful about?

    Please revert.
    Regards
    NIRAJ THAKER

    • Hello!

      Thank you.

      So far I know, there are no wild animals in Polo Forest. You can be carefree regarding the same.

      If your picnic is of single day, I recommend you to take food from home. If you’re staying overnight there, you should contact Polo Campsite officials and ask them regarding food.

      Polo Forest is otherwise considerably safe place. I don’t think any extra measures of safety are required.

      I will email you if anything else comes to my mind.

      Happy Journey!

  16. R. R.

    Excellent post man!

    Did not think anyone would have written so detailed post when I searched for Polo Forest. Your Vanaj Dam post is cool too. Keep it up!

  17. Well, I am planning to visit Polo Forest and search on Google I find you on the first page excellent post. Thank you very much for written this post

  18. Polo Forest Homestay

    We are starting homestay in Polo forest. Call on +91 94295 64808 for bookings and information.

  19. keyur patel

    thanks DD.

    as you said, you also visited idar and vanaj dam along with polo forest. how many days are required to cover all places?

    i’m coming from ahmedabad.

    • So far I believe, two days are sufficient to cover Polo Forest and Idar.

      On Day 1, you can leave from Ahmedabad on morning and spend entire day in Idar. By evening, you can reach Polo Forest from Idar and stay overnight.

      Day 2, Polo area and Vanaj Damsite. By Day 2 night, you can return to Ahmedabad.

  20. Sahil Raj

    Hey Darpan!

    I want to plan a trip to Polo Forest in next month. What do you suggest, public or private transportation?

    • Hi Sahil!

      I would rather suggest you to postpone your plan by a month and visit Polo in June. During monsoon.

      Both modes are fine in my opinion. It won’t be the case that you’d left behind alone in forests without any mode of transportation. 😛

  21. Manan

    The most detailed article of Polo Forest I found on internet. This would surely help me plan my trip to Idar & Polo Forest Vijaynagar in next monsoon!

    Thanks Darpan!

  22. Since this Polo Forest post started getting a lot of traction, I received few emails asking whether to go Polo Forest now in summer or not.

    My take is:
    Beauty of Polo Forest is best enjoyed in monsoon and post monsoon. So the BEST time to visit is monsoon.

    Same time, it ain’t like you absolutely shouldn’t go in summer.

    Yes, if you’re tired of hotshot city life and want to have serenity and fun — go ahead visit Polo!

    Yes, if you want to take a break — go ahead visit Polo!

    Yes, you’ve bought new phone, new DSLR and want to take photo that could be your next profile picture — go ahead visit Polo!

  23. Piyush

    Nice DD.expect
    Few more.

  24. Prafull

    Nice Darpan

  25. misal chandra

    Thank you bat man….i really liked the way you portrayed everything.this has helped me to get prepared in advance. i m planning to visit this place on bike tommorow (13-02-2016)
    Keep your spirit high and keep blogging.

  26. Rajeev

    Hey, Darpan!

    The photos are decent as always. Could you please share detailed travel information of Polo Forest, like you do in your other travelogues?

Leave a Reply