In the city of commercial and financial activities, who doesn’t look forward to a weekend, to escape the hustle and bustle of routine life? Marvellous Mumbai offers plenty of getaways to choose from, be it the thrill of adventure, hill stations, beaches, pristine backwaters, historic, religious and cultural retreats or wildlife safaris. Here goes the list of ten such refreshing weekend gateways from Mumbai that will definitely offer the comfort and relaxation you seek during weekends.
(Distance from Mumbai – 100 kms approx)
The magic of Matheran holds great appeal for those who love wandering around and climb into the bosom of lush greenery. Perched at an altitude of 800 meters in the Western Ghats, Matheran literally means ‘Forest on the Forehead’. With horse riding, explore the surrounding country side full of shady trees, mossy walks and rare orchids. Among all interesting places one can visit in Matheran, Louisa and Echo Points will pave way to bird’s eye view of Mumbai on a bright clear day. You cannot miss the toy train from Neral to Matheran. It can be reached easily via train. No motorised vehicle is allowed inside here which makes it the only Automobile free hill station in Asia.
(Distance from Mumbai – 109 kms approx)
Who wouldn’t want to live the abundant life in panoramic views of nature and be free from traffic jams and stresses of daily life in a bustling city? This industrial town at heart is full of historic and pilgrim references. The vicinity of Palghar is pollution free, bound by a number of villages like Kelva, Satpati (largest fishing centre of Maharashtra), Shirgaon, Tarapur, Umroli and Boisar. Adjacent to Kelva beach is temple of Goddess Shitla Devi. Kelva and Shaigaron forts (covered with Suru trees, lush green palm farms), Mahim beach, Ram temple, Kelva dam, Manor dam, Devekhop lake are nearby places to explore.
(Distance from Mumbai – 110 kms approx)
Paraglider’s Paradise – Kamshet is among the top ten adventure spots in India bounded by green hills, beautiful paddies, sunflower fields, hill fortresses and ancient cave temples. Paragliding is a rage at Kondeshwar, 20 km from Kamshet, which offers take off from height of 2200 feet. World class paragliding facilities are also available at Tower Hill and Shelar spot. Tikona fort as the backdrop of Pawana Dam provides clear view of superb castles in Visapur and Tung. Bhaja and Karla caves, Kondeshwar temple, Bedse caves are other places of interest. It is 16 km away from the twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandla.
4. Alibag Beach
(Distance from Mumbai – 112 kms approx)
Alibag and the nearby beaches like Nagoan, Kihim, Akshi, Versoli, Kashid and Saswana make for a great ‘do-nothing’ weekend getaway. It can be reached by road via Panvel and Pen, but the best way is to take a ferry or boat to Mandwa Jetty from the Gateway of India and then travel by road. The mesmerising coastline is encircled by sea on three sides, making it as the ‘Goa of Maharashtra’. Located 15 Km away is Chaul, ancient capital of Silhara kings and a natural port, renowned for ancient fort, mosque and tomb of Sardar Angre. Go in a horse pulled cart or walk up to the historic Kabula fort, situated 1-2 km inside the sea, when the tide is low. The view from lighthouse at the Khanderi Fort situated on a small island is breathtaking.
(Distance from Mumbai – 120 kms approx)
Imagine living in the lap of nature in Igatpuri, where the life is pure, pristine and plush to restore your mind, body and soul. Embraced in the lap of Sahyadri hills, forts, cascading waterfalls and forests, monsoon clouds bring a certain mysterious magic to this place. For the more adventurous of you, it is heavenly for fun treks, camping, rappelling and ziplining. World renowned meditation centre at Dhammagiri, Ghatandevi temple, Tringalwadi fort, Vaitarna lake, Bhatsa river valley and its nearby Camel valley and Kalsubai peak are several tourist attractions. Located in the wine capital of India, Nashik, it can be reached via Mumbai-Agra National Highway.
6. Malshej Ghat
(Distance from Mumbai – 130 kms approx)
A beautiful mountain pass in the Western Ghats where nature’s splendour goes hand and hand with the adventure sports pleasure is none other than Malshej Ghat. Situated at an elevation of 700 meters above sea level, it has enough of mountain retreats. The Ajooba Hill Fort and its Darkoba Peak hold their own charm in trekking and rock climbing. The Harishchandragad Peak is famous for its glimpse of the view from semi circular rock wall of Konkan Kada. Pimpalgaon Joga Dam attracts birds like Green pigeon, Purple-moorhen, Alpine swift, Quail and Pied crested cuckoo. The Shivneri Fort (birth place of Shivaji), Harishchandragad Fort (1424 meters above sea level), Kireshwar village are other places of attraction.
(Distance from Mumbai – 153 kms approx)
If you want to soak up nature at its best, head straight to the beachside getaway called Bordi. With black sands, shallow waters and the backdrop of chikoo trees it doesn’t get better than this! From morning to evening you can play for hours in the changing faces of nature! The crystal clear water of the sea, cool breeze and silvery beach has made it a popular beach town. An ideal place to experience the unique flavours of coastal Maharashtra, it is famous for its chikoo shake. Kalputra botanical garden, Depchari dam, Bahrot cave, Dahanu fort and Asavali dam are some popular attractions near Bordi.
8. Murud Janjira
(Distance from Mumbai – 165 kms approx)
Situated off the coast of port town Murud is an island where Murud-Janjira, one of the strongest marine forts in India stands. Surrounded by the impressive Arabian Sea from all sides makes it a perfect getaway. It took 22 years to build this fort with a 20 ft. strong foundation at a height of 90 ft. above sea level. Hosting 19 rounded bastions still intact, it remained unconquered despite many attacks. Nawab palace, Ahmedjung palace, Kasa fort (another island fort), Datta Mandir, Garambi falls are famous attractions of this place. Overlooking the fort is the sandy Murud beach dotted with betel palms and swaying coconut trees. It is approachable by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty.
(Distance from Mumbai – 185 kms approx)
If you are looking for a place that offers you all the comfort and activity that you seek during weekend, then this ‘holiday resort village’ is your best option. Situated along the river Pravara, Bhandardara is blessed with greenery, rejuvenating climate, verdant mountains, quiet corners and perfect ambiance. According to mythology, Shri Agasthi Rishi meditated here for a year and got blessed with a stream of Ganga which is popular as river Pravara. Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra at an elevation of 5,400 ft is ideal for trekking. Some of the famous places are Ratangad Fort (4250 ft.), Bhandardara Lake, Randha falls, Ghatghar viewpoint, Arthur Lake (tranquil blue mirror), Wilson dam, and Umbrella falls.
(Distance from Mumbai – 186 kms approx)
Paradise awaits you nestled in the heart of the most scenic of the nature’s bounty at Lavasa. Set in Sahyadri Mountains at the shore of Warasgaon Lake, this planned city is a welcoming escape as weekend getaway. With spectacular view of beautiful waterfalls, unleash your adventurous side with activities like rappelling, kayaking, jet skiing, trekking, rock climbing, camping and lots more. Enjoy a small cruise on the lake with luxury cruise boats or Bumper boats. Lavasa offers its visitors a unique tour option of exploring the city on a Segway ride (a battery powered vehicle), something you don’t want to miss! You can also experience relaxation by getting exotic ayurvedic massages and yoga classes. Panshet dam and Varasgaon dam are popular picnic spots. The high altitude winding road that lead up to Varasgaon is a heavenly experience for long distance bikers. Temghar dam is the most visited dam on Mutha River.
After a sweet little relaxed weekend at these places, you will be all cheered up and rejuvenated to start with the normal Mumbai routine again.