India Travel

The Best Weekend Escapes from Mumbai

Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. Home of all the Bollywood celebrities and millionaire businesspeople, Mumbai is truly the city of dreams. Many people migrate here for jobs because most of the top multinational companies are there too.

In this constantly hectic life, you get worn out, both mentally and physically. Nature is undoubtedly the best remedy to heal your soul. Being the metropolitan city that Mumbai is, there is hardly much space to enjoy a peaceful weekend here. But there are plenty of places in its vicinity that are ideal for the perfect weekend escape. Excited to know? Read on.

1. Lonavala

Salter Lake at Lonavala
Salter Lake at Lonavala. Photo by Elroy Serrao.

Lonavala is the most popular vacationing spot for all the Mumbaikars. Many couples, families and youngsters scoot off to Lonavala to enjoy the weekends.

This famous hill resort is strikingly beautiful, and there is no disturbance from blaring horns of vehicles or pollution from industries. There is only you along with nature’s serenity. Surrounded by beautiful waterfalls and steep hills, Lonavala is ideal for camping too.

Trekking is also an opportunity here. Besides this, there are a few caves in Lonavala that are worth a little bit of exploration.

All of the above sums up a fantastic weekend.

2. Kolad

Tamhini Ghat
Tamhini Ghat. Photo by Priyanka Roy Chaudhury.

Kolad is only 120 km from Mumbai and is highly visited by locals and tourists alike. If you only have the weekend with you and cannot afford to scoot off to Manali or Rishikesh for an adventure, Kolad substitutes very nicely.

One of the famous sights of this region is the Kundalika river. River rafting is the most popular activity that is done here. It’s an exciting opportunity for the adventurous at heart.

Kolad is also blessed with scenic beauty by the thick forests that envelop the region. If you’re not in the mood to be sporty, take a walk through the trees and pay a visit to the small waterfalls like Tamhini Falls and Kansai Falls that are nearby. A lot of people just like to sit near the falls admiring its splendour.

You can also get on with exploring the Kuda Caves here. These were carved out of rocks by Buddhists.

3. Lavasa

Lavasa. Photo by Bharath Ganesh.

Built in the model of an Italian city, this quite new and modern weekend location has started gaining popularity among the locals and tourists.

It is situated in Pune as a hill resort. Spreading across seven hills, this small town is known for its infrastructure and scenic beauty.

It is approximately a 200 km drive from Mumbai. The town has various accommodations. During its construction, they covered 65 km of lakefront also. The entire planning of this small town/resort has been done keeping in mind this lake so as to incorporate it into the resort beautifully.

Lavasa is right next to the Mose Valley in the Western Ghats. Therefore, there is no shortage of mesmerising natural beauty all around it. Lavasa is definitely worth a weekend of yours.

4. Karnala Bird Sanctuary

A stream in the Sanctuary
A stream in the Sanctuary. Photo by Dinesh Valke.

Awaken the ornithologist in you by visiting the famous Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The location of this place earns it a position on this list.

With the Sahyadri Ranges surrounding this thick forest, it is nothing less than amazing. According to study, there are more than 150 variants of residents birds living here.

If you’re not much into bird-watching, don’t hesitate in visiting this place because its natural setting and hilly terrain have led it to be a prominent trekking location. You can have little picnics here as well so its ideal for a family getaway.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary is one of the best weekend destinations near the metropolitan.

5. Kamshet

Sahyadri Hills
Sahyadri Hills. Photo by Madhav Pal.

Kamshet is the dream destination of paragliders. In fact, this small town has become infamous for it. During peak season as well as off-season, a lot of people from Mumbai and other states nearby love to pay a visit here.

Kamshet has the perfect climate for thermal paragliding. There are many spots in the town where you can do this.

Kamshet is also famous for Kondeshwar Temple and a large number of caves that can also be found here. Boating in the beautiful Vadivali Lake is also an option.

In addition to all of that, it is only about 16-17 km from Lonavla so you can also visit the hill resort.

6. Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort
Raigad Fort. Photo by Prashant Ram.

Looking to nurture the historian within you but only have a weekend for it? Well, Raigad Fort might be the destination for you.

Situated at a whopping altitude of 2700 m above sea level on the Sahyadri Mountains, it is quite a task to get up here. But once you do, it is worth it. This 17th-century fort now stands in ruins but what is left of it is beautiful. There is a quiet solace in it. Also, the view from the top cannot be explained in mere words.

Many arrangements have been made by the government, keeping in mind that a large number of people are interested in visiting this place. Since the fort is at such a high altitude, cable cars are available from the bottom of the mountain in itself. But if you want to take a little bit more effort and savour the view from the top as a reward, you can climb a series of stairs, starting at the bottom of the mountains. There are 1737 steps to be precise.

If this excites you, then you might as well come to this place for a day visit. Also, don’t forget to visit the Murud-Janjira Fort which is in the Raigad district itself. It’s situated on a small island and legend says that because of its unique and smart architecture, it could never be conquered by enemies.

7. Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar. Photo by Ankur P.

Mahabaleshwar is a beautiful hill station in Maharashtra and is infamous for its misty atmosphere. It is one of the few places in the country that contains evergreen forests.

It is the ideal vacation destination for families because there are a lot of interesting things to do here.

Horse riding is one of the popular activities done in Mahabaleshwar. Regarding the scenery also, this small town is a great place to be at.

Another interesting thing that you can do here is to pluck strawberries. That’s right. It seems like an unusual activity, but if you have never done this before, you should do it. This simple act can be very rewarding for you.

Go to Mahabaleshwar to experience the enticing beauty of nature.

8. Nashik

Sula Wines
Sula Wines. Photo by Pablo Ares Gastesi.

Nashik is the wine capital of India. If you have heard of the famous Sula Winery, then you must know that it’s in Nashik.

There are also a large number of vineyards here. You can crush the grapes put collectively in large barrels or even pluck grapes directly from plantations.

Besides being the ultimate destination for a wine lover, it is also a religious hub.

By Merlin Chacko

Currently studying English Literature at Delhi University. Obsessed with Harry Potter and NOT Shakespeare. I believe that nothing nourishes the soul like books and travelling. Constantly amazed by the Indian culture and its history. Personally feel that the old forts and ruined palaces in India are almost magical.

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