Mumbai, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra and the economic capital of India is also the most populous city in India. Bombay, as the old inhabitants call it, was an archipelago of seven islands inhabited by the various fishing tribes that were annexed by the British in the 18th century. With the help of land reclamation techniques, the seven islands were connected in a single city named Bombay which became a major port in the Arabian city. Due to its development into an educational and economic center in the 19th century Mumbai has been known for its busy and bustling lifestyle and is also the wealthiest city in India. Despite of Mumbai being a popular tourist attraction, people often get bored and fatigued with the busy city lifestyle and the overcrowded streets. For those seeking a refuge from the humid heat and the traffic laden roads, here is a list of best hill stations near Mumbai.
(Distance from Mumbai – 82 kms approx.)
Located in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, Khandala is a popular hill station and a much frequented weekend getaway for the inhabitants of Mumbai and Pune. The town is located at an elevation of 550 meters above mean sea level amidst the lush green hills of the Western Ghats. Due to its close proximity to the populated city of Mumbai it has been one of the most popular hiking and trekking destination. Tiger’s Leap, Duke’s Nose, Karla and Bhaja caves, Bhushi Lake, Ancient Jail and Amrutanjan Point are few of the must visit attractions in Khandala.
(Distance from Mumbai – 84 kms approx.)
Situated at an elevation of 642 meters above sea level, Lonavala is located in close proximity to the town of Pune and Mumbai. The region was known to be strategically important and was a part of the Mughals for a long period of time. Lonavala also houses several medieval forts that once belonged to the Maratha and the Peshwa empires. The town was developed as a hill resort by Lord Elphinstone in 1871, during his time as the governor of the Bombay presidency. Rajmachi point, Valvan dam, Lonavala Lake, Lohagarh fort, Loin Point, Wax museum and Reywood Park etc. are the few popular attractions in Lonavala.
(Distance from Mumbai – 491 kms approx.)
A relatively unexplored hill station, Amboli is located in the state of Maharashtra in the Sahayadri Hills. One of the recently popular eco-hotspots, Amboli attracts a lot of visitors through its abundant and unique flora and fauna. The hill town is situated at an elevation of 690 meters above the mean sea level and is best visited during the monsoons. Waterfalls and misty mountains are one of the best attractions that can be witnessed during the monsoons. Sea-View Point, Mahadevgad Point, Purvicha Vas, Nagatra falls, Hiranya Keshi and Narayangad etc. are the major attractions that can be visited in Amboli.
(Distance from Mumbai – 262 kms approx.)
One of the most enchanting hill stations in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar sits at an elevation of 1,438 meters above sea level amidst the Western Ghats. Mahabaleshwar is also considered to be the source of the Krishna River and is said to have been sourced by a mythical cow shaped spout located inside an ancient temple. The town is known for its picturesque surroundings and a wide variety of flora, fauna and natural attractions like lush green hills and waterfalls. Arthur’s seat, Needle Hole rock, Venna Lake, Kate’s point and 3 Monkey point etc. are few of the various attractions one can visit in Mahabaleshwar.
(Distance from Mumbai – 244 kms approx.)
Located at an elevation of 1,293 meters above mean sea level in the state of Maharashtra, Panchgani is a picturesque hill station in the Sahayadri range. The town was discovered by the British and was developed as a summer resort during the mid-eighteenth century. It became famous as a retirement place for the British officials due to its cool, all-year-round climate. Several western world plant species like poinsettia and silver oak were introduced by the British, providing the region with a flora like no other place in India. Sydney point, Table land, Parsi point, Devil’s kitchen, Marpo garden are few of the most popular tourists attractions in Panchgani.
(Distance from Mumbai – 83 kms approx.)
Matheran is located at an elevation of 800 meters above sea level in the state of Maharashtra. Placed amidst the picturesque hills of the Western Ghats, Matheran is a largely unspoilt hill station which is entirely free of automobiles. The town was developed by the British as a summer resort in 1907 with the building of the Matheran Hill Railway. The town was declared as an ecosensitive region thus restricting the use of any automobiles in the city. Alexander Point, Porcupine point, Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir, Celia Point, Charlotte Lake and Olympia race course are must visit places on your trip to Matheran.
(Distance from Mumbai – 165 kms approx.)
With the maximum elevations reaching upto 1600 meters above sea level, Bhandardara is a popular hill and tourist town in Western Ghats of Maharashtra. The town houses a plethora of tourist attractions like waterfalls, hills, lush green surroundings, rivers and lakes and several ancient forts. Bhandardara is easily accessible through winding roads that transverse through some of the most picturesque locations especially during the monsoons. Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake, Ghatghar, Ratangad Fort, Harishchandragarh fort, Mount Kalsubai and Amriteshwar temple etc. are a few attractions in Bhandardara that should not be missed.
8. Malshej Ghat
(Distance from Mumbai – 127 kms approx.)
Located in the Western Ghats, Malshej Ghat is a picturesque hill spot in the state of Maharashtra. The spot is known for its mountain passes that transverse through the Western Ghats and marvelous views of the valley and the magnificent Malshej Hills and picturesque waterfalls. The dark forests of Malshej are a prime attraction for the nature lovers as they house a huge variety of flora and fauna. The woods houses animal species like the Bengal Tiger, Leopard, rabbits etc. and is visited by a huge number of birds during the monsoons. Shivneri Fort, Bird Graveyard, Pimpalgaon Joga Dam and Malshej Falls are few of the most popular tourist attractions that can be visited here.
(Distance from Mumbai – 672 kms approx.)
Chikhaldara is situated at an average elevation of 1,188 meters above sea level and is the only coffee growing region in Maharashtra. The town was known to be the mythological place where the Pandava Bhima killed the barbaric Keechaka in hand-to-hand combat. The town was discovered by the British and was developed as a hill resort due to its climatic similarities to England. The hill resort is famous for its exclusive collection of flora and fauna. Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears, wild boars etc. are the various animals that are found in the forests of Chikhaldara. Narnala fort, Gavilgad fort, Pandit Nehru Botanical gardens, Semadoh lake, Melghat Tiger reserve, Bhimkund, Shakkar Lake and Kalapani dam are just a few of the several tourist spots that are housed in this picturesque hill town.
(Distance from Mumbai – 459 kms approx.)
Toranmal is a hill station located at 1,150 meters above sea level in the Satpura mountain range in Maharashtra. The town is famous for being a spot for the Hindu pilgrimage during the festival of Mahashivaratri. The town is known for its picturesque hilly surroundings and a favorable all year round climate. Yashwant Lake, Aawashabari point, sunset point, check dam, coffee garden, Gorakshaknath Temple, Lotus Lake, Seven Steps view point, Sita Khai and Nagarjun point are few of the popular attractions that should not be missed.
(Distance from Mumbai – 374 kms approx.)
Panhala is located in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and is situated at an elevation of 754 meters above sea level. The town was known to be the Maratha capital between 1782 and 1827 and is also known to be the only place where Shivaji spent more than 500 days other than his childhood home. The region came under several ancient Indian dynasties and empires till it was annexed by the British in 1827. The town is known to be a quaint and scenic location with medieval forts and views of the Sahayadri mountain range. Panhala fort, Water tank and Parashara cave are few of the most important tourist places in Panhala.
(Distance from Mumbai – 154 kms approx.)
Jawhar is located in the Indian state of Maharashtra and is situated at an elevation of 447 meters above sea level. Jawhar is also known as the Mahabaleshwar of the Thane district of Maharashtra and is known for its picturesque locations and scenic beauty. The climate stays favorable throughout the year and is also visited by several Hindu pilgrims due to the Katya Maruti temple located here. Hanuman Point, Jaivilas Palace, Dadarkopara falls, Kalmandavi waterfall, Jai sagar dam, Shirpamal, Warli’s paintings etc. are the few important tourist attractions housed here.
(Distance from Mumbai – 120 kms approx.)
Famous for its meditation centers, Igatpuri is located at an elevation of 600 meters above sea level amidst the Sahayadri range of the Western Ghats. Due to the surrounding hills, Igatpuri is also a hiking and trekking hot spot in India and frequently used for shooting locations for several Indian movies. The town’s major source of economy is tourism and the town is plentiful with several tourist attractions with scenic surroundings. Bhatsa river valley, Amruteshwar Temple, Tringalwadi fort, Ghatandevi temple, Camel valley and Dhammagiri Meditational Centre etc. are few of the popular attractions in Igatpuri.
(Distance from Mumbai – 185 kms approx.)
Located in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Lavasa is a popular hill resort situated at an elevation of 640 meters above sea level. The mountain passes have made Lavasa a popular spot for the motorcyclists across the country. While the town’s status as a hill station is still under development, the lush green surroundings, vibrant town centers and lakes with the back drop of green hills makes Lavasa a sought after weekend destination for the inhabitants of Mumbai and Pune.
(Distance from Mumbai – 62.2 kms approx.)
A picturesque town located between the Sahayadri range of the Western Ghats and the Konkan shoreline, Karjat is a popular tourist spot in state of Maharashtra. The tourist town is famous for attractions like adventure sports, river rafting, hiking, trekking and rock climbing and is largely frequented during the monsoons. Peth Fort, Kondana Caves, Bhor Ghat and Ulhas valley are the most frequented tourist places in Karjat.