Experience rural India while walking or driving through the village of Sayla with its historic buildings, old houses, temples, ashrams and village lake.
This historic palace is still occupied by the Sayla ruling family. It has carved gateways and overhanging balconies.
Chattries (Royal Cenotaphs)
The memorials of the rulers of Sayla are adorned with stone carving.
This village lake can be good for watching birds when there is enough water.
The owners of Bell Guest House can arrange for guests to see and ride Kathiawadi horses. The Kathiawadi is an indigenous breed of horses from Gujarat with distinctive ears, which curve inward to touch and sometimes overlap at the tips. Apart from its ears, the graceful neck and lustrous eyes are beautiful features of the Kathiawadi horse.
At Sejakpur or Sejathpur, about 18km from Sayla, the Navlakha Temple has high quality carvings on its sandstone walls. The temple has a square plan but its chamfered walls makes the shrine look circular. This is one of the exquisite temples built by the Chalukyan Solanki dynasty that ruled over Gujarat in the 11th and 12th century.
The walled city of Wadhwan, 37km from Sayla, has a number of historical monuments built by the Solankis in the 11th-13th century period and the Jhala Rajputs from the mid-16th to the early-20th century. There are two 13th century stepwells, the Madha Vav and the Ganga Vav, with pyramidal roofs and a high water level. The Ranak Devi Temple also dates from this period. The Jhala Rajput rulers of Wadhwan built the Hawa Mahal which presents a magnificent sight.
There are two important stepwells near Sayla, Matri Ma Ne Vav and Dhandalpar Vav, which are good examples of the water harvesting wells created in drought-prone areas of Gujarat.
Muli, 12km from Sayla, was a princely state ruled by Parmar Rajputs. It has the old palace called Darbargadh and a new palaces called the Rajmahal. Other historical buildings include Mandawravji Temple of the royal, the Swaminarayan Temple whose building was ordered by Lord Swaminarayan
himself, Sadawadi, Shaligram haveli temple and royal cenotaphs. The Swaminarayan
temple is worth a visit to see its woodcarvings.
The owner of Bell Guest House, Sayla, personally conducts safaris at grasslands, including his own ancestral lands, in search of Blue Bull antelope (Nilgai, India’s largest antelope). Walks in the Veedi (grasslands) where Blue Bull could be seen as also smaller species like the Black-Naped Hare, Indian Gerbil, Monitor Lizard and the Spiny-Tailed Lizard. The endangered Wolf and Striped Hyena have also been spotted near Sayla. For birdwatchers, this can be good for spotting grassland species like Larks, Warblers, Wheatears, Quails, etc.
Dhakania Blackbuck Area
About 50km from Sayla lie the grasslands where Blackbuck and Blue Bull (Nilgai) can be seen in good numbers.
Chor Talavdi Chinkara Area
From Sayla, visit this wetland area about 15km from Sayla where you could get to see Chinkara or Indian Gazelle and birdlife could be seen.
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
About 60km from Sayla is Ranagadh, a village at the eastern edge of the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary. Ranagadh is a picturesque village of the Paddhar fishing community. Head out in country boats over the shallow waters of the enormous Nalsarovar lake to view a variety of birds. More than 250 bird species have been recorded at Nalsarovar, including 100 migrants, and more than 1,50,000 birds can be seen in winter.
From Sayla, you can visit a number of lakes where large flocks of Waterfowl can be seen.
This is a unique fair that attracts a large number of people to the Trineteshwar Temple. The fair features ritual bathing at the tank of this historic temple, traditional dances of the Bharwad pastoral community and fairground attractions. Traditionally, this is a betrothal fair where pastoral groups gather to find a suitable match, with the women having the first choice.
The Dhundhlinath mela at Dhandalpar is among many fairs that occur soon after Tarnetar.
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated at Lalji Maharaj Jagya.
This is celebrated at the ashrams in Sayla.