Locals – Seaface – Dabbawala – Religious harmony – Safe – Food – Giant heart – cobbled streets – work hard, party harder – street shops – crowds, all these words are synonymous with the city of Mumbai. A city that never sleeps, the city of dreams!
Life in India’s biggest metropolitan city, Mumbai can be overwhelming and terrifying at the same time. Overwhelming, as yes this city welcomes everyone and does it bit to accommodate everyone. Terrifying again at the same time, for the city seems to be the abode for people running in a loop. There is a constant competition and struggle for survival. This life may soon tend to burn people out and suck the life out of an individual.
But again the strategic location of the city comes to the rescue of its populaces. The city situated at a close proximity of the Western Ghats offers a wide array of places for people to go and rest the weary bones, hearts and brains.
Here is a list of specially curated weekend getaways near Mumbai:
1. Lonavala – Khandala
The twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala make the easiest escapade for the Mumbaikars. Lonavala is hill station town located approximately at a distance of 96 kilometers from Mumbai. It is a part of the Sahyadri slopes and offers an alluring and mesmeric experience of the naturalistic environment. Surrounded by thick woods and waterfalls, the place is an absolute delight.
Both these destinations are famous with both peace lovers and adventure seekers alike. Lonavala is indeed a paradise for hikers and trekkers. Other attractions on the way include places like Bhaja caves, Bedsa caves, Pavna lake, Tungarli lake, Lonavala lake, Bushi dam, Duke’s Nose, Korigad Fort, Tiger’s Leap, Lohagad, Karla caves, Rajmachi fort and Ryewood lake. All in all, the twin hill stations are definitely first in the list of weekend getaways near Mumbai.
Bhandardara, a quaint hill station has all the nature’s blessings a place can get. The lush greenery, the self-effacing waterfalls walled by high mountains makes for the perfect holiday spot for city dwellers. Situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Bhandardara is 117 kms from Mumbai and is a very comfortable drive.
Bhandardara Lake and Randha Falls are two most important places to visit in the area. Other attractions include Wilson dam, Arthur Lake, Agasti Rishi Ashram, Amriteshwar temple and Sandhan valley. Known to a few people, it is home to Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak (height of 5,400 feet) in Maharashtra. Like a well baked cake, Bhandardara makes it second on our list of weekend getaways.
Commonly known as the “Land of Strawberries” is a small town in the Satara district. The place is home to one of the few evergreen forests in the country and has been a summer hideout even in the British Raj.
Mahabaleshwar is perfect destination for nature lovers; lush green forests, perfectly manicured landscape and numerous water bodies. The place is also abode to adventure seekers with activities like horse riding, trekking, mountain biking, boating, fishing and quite a few water sports. Perfect for a two day trip, other attractions include Mapro Garden, Venna lake and Pratapgarh. Go spend some time in this serene location, a quick getaway from Mumbai.
Panchgani, the name literally translates to ‘five hills’ and is surrounded by five hills of the Western Ghats. These five majestic mountains create a beautiful backdrop for the coastal plains on the other side. The hilly retreat is known for its unpolluted environment and allegedly the oxygen content in the atmosphere is higher in comparison to other regions.
Panchgani is blessed with pleasant weather all the year round and is a great respite from the every-day hustle bustle of city life. One can indulge in adventure activities like trekking and paragliding. Other places of interest include Dhom Dam, Table land and Devil’s Kitchen caves. This nature’s paradise sure finds a spot in our list of weekend getaways.
Daman is one of the most sought after weekend destination from Mumbai. A former Portuguese colony, Daman has captivated the old charm of the city along with all the modern amenities. This beach destination is frequented by travelers for a quaint and peaceful time. The place is also famed for its age old Church of Bom Jesus.
The cool beaches, greenery, scenic natural beauty and most of all, its easy availability of cheap liquor make Daman a popular destination among youths and even as a getaway for those in Gujarat. Daman sports two beaches; Jampore Beach and Devka Beach. You can try your hand paragliding at the beach or just bask around in the sunshine. The old galore of Daman surely puts it in our list of tantalizing weekend getaways.
Nashik, a major Hindu pilgrimage center is ironically also the “Wine Capital of India”. Half of India’s vineyards and wineries are located in Nashik including the famous Sula Winery. One can have a go at wine tasting, crush grapes in barrels or pick the grapes straight from the vine yard.
Nashik is located on the banks of the Godavari River. As legend has it, it is the same place where Lord Laxmana, by the wish of Lord Rama, cut the nose of Surpanakha; hence the name “Nashik”. Scattered across the city are numerous forts and majestic temples. The Kumbh Mela is the major attraction of Nashik. Occurring once every twelve years it draws innumerable devotees to the city. With a wide array of crowds almost all the year round, Nashik surely makes it to our list of weekend getaways near Mumbai.
Igatpuri, home to some of the highest ranges of the Sahyadri range is nestled amidst the picturesque Western Ghats. It is one of the most romantic getaways from Mumbai. The place is also ideal for quenching your thirst of trekking with amazing trails that ranges from moderate to fairly arduous.
Igatpuri is also famed for the Vipassana meditation center, where people from all corners of the country and all walks of life throng to learn the art of meditation. Other attractions include Dhammagiri, Tringalwadi Fort, Bhatsa River Valley, Kalsubai peak, Arthur Lake, Amruteshwar Temple and Camel Valley. Ideal for either a day visit or an overnight stay, the place surely makes it to the list of our carefully curated list of weekend getaways.
Former capital of the Maratha King, Shivaji, Raigad stands as the reminiscent of the royal Maratha period. The 17th century Raigad Fort is the primary attraction of the place and is situated at an altitude of 2, 700 feet above sea level. Raigad fort,can be accessed either by climbing 1,737 stairs or by taking the ten minute cable car ride.
Situated at a meager distance of 103 kms from Mumbai, Raigad is the perfect weekend getaway for history buffs and families alike.
A little coastal town located at a distance of 110 kms from Mumbai, Alibaug, has earned itself the name of ‘mini-Goa’ and sees high tourist footfall all the year round. The place is replete with sandy beaches, clean unpolluted air and plenty of forts and temples.
Alibaug can be reached from Mumbai both by road and a ferry. You can take a ferry from the beach near the Gateway of India in South Mumbai. Imagine sipping a cool coconut drink in the shade of the palm grove while watching the hues of the sunset spread in the sky and the glimpse of the Gateway of India far out in the bay. Other attractions include Varsoli Beach, Vikram Vinayak Temple, Alibag Fort, Kihim Beach, Kaneshwar Mandir, Hirakot Fort, Akshi Beach, Kankneshwar Temple, Kolaba Fort, Korlai Fort, Murud Janjira, Nagaon Beach and Underi. This one day trip is a respite from the hectic life in Mumbai and surely finds a mention in our list of weekend getaways near Mumbai.
Matheran, which means “forest on the forehead”, is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. It is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. The lush green pastures, serene & tranquil environment and unadulterated ambience make Matheran a perfect weekend retreat. Not to forget, a ride on the Neral-Matheran toy train is once in a lifetime experience.
The other attraction points include Panorama point, Heart Point, Malang Point, One tree Hill, Luisa Point, Echo Point, Charlotte Lake, Lords Point and One tree Hill. This 83 kms ride from Mumbai makes it to our list of tantalizing weekend getaways near Mumbai.
Hope this carefully curated list of weekend getaways will surely strike the wanderlust chord in you. If you need help with planning a trip to any of these places, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. We will surely help you with all we can and take you #AageSeRight.