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Top 5 weekend destinations within 150 Kms from mumbai and Pune

Harishchandragad Kokankada- (Image Courtesy www.google.com)

Life in India’s largest metropolitan cities in Maharashtra like Mumbai or Pune, is electrifying, exciting but, there are times when the hustle and bustle of these big city life can get to your nerves. But the best part about this city is that you always have plenty of options to go and relax your bones along with your family. Being surrounded by the amazing Western Ghats, there are 'n' number of Weekend getaways from Mumbai with incredible scenic beauty. These gateways include various easy forts, jungle trails, ancient caves and astonishing hindu temples.

Here is the list of top 5 amazing destinations which are near Mumbai as well as Pune and are handpicked by me!!

1. Lonavala - 

Ulhas Valley Lonavala (Image Courtesy - www.google.com)

Lonavala offers breathtaking views in Monsoons. Hence this hill station is considered as one of the most crowded destination for people looking out for enjoyment. Encompassed by thick woods, waterfalls, historic places, dams, lakes, Lonavala is an absolutely wonderful place to Visit. Overall, Lonavla will not disappoint you for your weekend. 

Distance from Mumbai: 85 KM
Distance from Pune: 60 Km
Best Time to visit for a weekend trip: Anytime during the year
Ideal Weekend Duration: 1/2 days
Places to Visit near Lonavla: Korigad Fort, Tiger’s Leap, Lohagad and Visapur Caves, Karla & Bhaja Caves, Bushy Dam, Bedse Caves, Pavna Lake, Duke’s Nose, Tungarli Lake and Lonavala Lake
Activities for Weekend Holiday: Trekking, Bird Watching, Picnic, Walking amidst the fogg in Monsoon, Enjoyment Park.

2. Malshej Ghat - 

Breathtaking View from Malshej Ghat during Monsoon (Photo Credit - Aditya Patwari)
Malshej Ghat is also one of the favourite location for tourists living in Mumbai. Malshej offers grand view of Sahyadri during any season but in Monsoon you will get to enjoy numerous waterfalls on the way. Those who are interested in outdoor activities can enjoy small hikes on nearby hills and those who want a proper hardcore trek then they also have an option of trekking Harishchandragad. Malshej Ghat is set in soothing surroundings and is perfect getaway from busy daily city life. 

Distance from Mumbai: 125 KM
Distance from Pune: 138 Km
Best Time to visit for a weekend trip: Anytime during the year especially in Monsoon 
Ideal Weekend Duration: 1/2 days 
Places to Visit near Malshej Ghat: Harishchandragad Fort, Khireshwar Old temple, Pimpalgaon Jog Dam
Activities for Weekend Holiday: Trekking, Bird Watching, Picnic, Walking amidst the forest and nature trails

3. Elephanta Caves - 


Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves by Ashwin Kumar

Elephanta
Breathtaking view of Sea by Ramkrishna Reddy Y

For history lovers and those who are also interested in a boat ride in sea, Gharapuri Caves aka Gharapuri Caves can be a good option to spend your day. People from Pune can travel to mumbai by early train and still visit and enjoy the amazing view of those Caves. These caves are a UNESCO world heritage site and are dedicated to lord Shiva. They were named Elefante (which then morphed to Elephanta) by the Portuguese when they found elephant statues on it. Historians date these caves around 5th to 6th Century. Tickets of the boar ride can be booked at Gateway of India.  

Distance from Mumbai: 10 KM (Which Includes a boat ride of 1.5 Hr.)
Distance from Pune: 174 Km
Best Time to visit for a weekend trip: Anytime during the year except in Monsoon 
Ideal Weekend Duration: One day 
Places to Visit near Elephanta Caves: Gateway of India, Marine Drive, Gharapuri Fort, 
Activities for Weekend Holiday: Boat Ride, Children Train ride, Shopping ride, heritage walk of elephanta caves


4. Kolad River rafting - 

Kundalika River rafting scene (Photo Courtesy- www.google.com)

Kolad River rafting is an ideal place for those who want to try some adventure sports. Kundalika River flowing in full force at Kolad provides a lifetime experience. Kolad is a peaceful yet amazing location which offers adventure sports like rafting, rappelling, kayaking, rock climbing and many more.  The rafting sport has gained popularity in recent years only. River rafting activity is done during June to september only although it is open throughout the year. Those who don't want to raft in heavy monsoon can plan their vacation in winter season also. The rafting cost depends on the size of group as well as the season but it generally costs around 1000-1200 Rs. per person and looking at the enjoyment you get, that cost is quite Okay. 

Surrounding greenery, nearby forts, caves and exciting adventure sports makes weekend in Kolad very happening. 

Distance from Mumbai: 134 KM 
Distance from Pune: 110 Km
Best Time to visit for a weekend trip: Anytime during the year
Ideal Weekend Duration: One/two day 
Places to Visit near Kolad: Tamhini Ghat, Kuda Caves, Kurdugad Fort, Ghosalgad Fort, Talagad Fort, Avchitgad Fort, Andharban 
Activities for Weekend Holiday: Trekking, Jungle Trail, River rafting, Valley crossing, kayaking etc.  

5. Alibaug - 

Alibag Beach (Courtesy www.google.com)

Sunset at Alibag (Courtesy www.google.com)

Rich with history and amazing view of the sea, Alibag can be a hot weekend destination. Thought in recent years, the number of tourists visiting Alibag have increased substantially but still there are number of things you can do in Alibag which generally tourist don't do. Alibag has been at a perfect location sitting in between hills on its east side and sea on the west side. Though Alibag has its own beach, tourists normally prefer
visiting beaches of Nagaon, Akshi, Avas, Revdanda etc. If you are a history lover then Alibag can be a best experience for you. 

Mumbaikars can visit Alibaug by taking a boat ride from Bhaucha Dhakka to Revas or Mandavi and from Revas or Mandvi they can reach Alibaug within just one hour.  

Distance from Mumbai: 96 KM by road
Distance from Pune: 140 Km
Best Time to visit for a weekend trip: Anytime during the year
Ideal Weekend Duration: One/two day 
Places to Visit near Alibaug: Kulaba Fort, Alibaug Beach, Khanderi-Underi Forts, Revdanda Fort, Korlai Fort, Buddhist Caves at Chaul, Nagaon Beach and old temples in Nagaon, Sagargad Fort, Kankeshwar Temple, Janjira Fort.  
Activities for Weekend Holiday: Trekking, Jungle Trail, Speedboat ride, Heritage walks, Horse riding, Relaxing and watching sunset with a coffee in hand.   

If you are an avid bird watcher and a bird photographer, here is my blog on Top 10 places to go for bird watching near Pune


© 2019, Shantanu Paranjape


This post first appeared on History, Nature And Me, please read the originial post: here

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Top 5 weekend destinations within 150 Kms from mumbai and Pune

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