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PICS: 10 best weekend getaways around Mumbai

Last updated on: August 30, 2012 18:24 IST

PICS: 10 best weekend getaways around Mumbai

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Aditi Bose

Mumbai offers innumerable weekend getaway destinations. You could either opt for the more familiar Mahabaleshwar, Alibaug, Shirdi or Matheran or explore the lesser-known, but equally beautiful (if not more) places listed here where you can unwind, relax and rejuvenate after a long and hectic week.

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Tags: PICS , Shirdi , Alibaug

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Jawhar (166 km/ 3.5 hours from Mumbai)

Jawhar is a tribal hill station. Once here, do visit the Jai Vilas Palace surrounded by cashew trees. It belongs to the erstwhile tribal kings of this region. With the help of a little money you will also be able to venture inside the premises to look at the antique furniture and paintings.

Hanuman Point, near the palace, will give you a splendid view of the entire valley too. Don't forget to check out the famous Warli art that you will find on the walls of almost every hut here.

Hotel Raj Mahal and Hotel Pushpanjali are the best staying options here. However, they are basic and don't expect any papering from them.



Tags: Jawhar , PICS , Warli , Mumbai

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Bordi (180 km/ 4 hours from Mumbai)

Bordi is known for its 17 km long virgin beach and the chiku orchards. It is the place to be to unwind and relax. The best time to visit is between June-September.

If the sea is not enough for you, then you could visit the lakes formed by the Asavali Dam or even the Depchari Dam with your picnic baskets too.

Don't miss buying fresh chikus from the local market if you are visiting around October – December. Chiku chips, powder and pickles are also available in the market. The markets are also full of fresh fish - surmai, Bombay Duck, pomphret and lobsters – just after the rains.

Most of the hotels here are more functional rather than luxurious. The most popular ones are the Tapovan Resort and the Anand resort. Opt for the sea facing cottages/rooms.


Photographs: Umesh/ Rediff Archives

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Malshej Ghat (150 km/ 4.5 hours from Mumbai)

As you near Malshej Ghat, suddenly you will be enveloped by green hills, innumerable waterfalls and misty clouds. This place, during the rains, is ethereal.

For accomodation, the MTDC hotel is the best option. You will also be able to view a 'water rise' from the resort. As you stand on the edge of the plateau, the rain, suddenly pushed by the forceful wind below, begins to rise and stings you on your face. 

Malshej Ghat is also home to innumerable species of flowers, insects and birds. All you need to do is walk around or trek up the Harishchandragad peak.

You might also be able to spot a few migratory flamingos during your trek. If you can't, then these pink legged birds will surely be there on the backwaters of the Pimpalgaon Joga Dam (around 4 km from the resort).


Photographs: Rudolph.A.furtado/ WikiCommons

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Bandardhara (180 km/ 4 hours from Mumbai)

Visit Bandardhara during the monsoons to experience the Bandardhara Lake and the Randha Waterfall at its best.

This lake was created when the Wilson Dam was built over the Pravara River. The water released from the dam creates many rivulets inside the park located at the base of the dam. Its' not in great condition right now but it's still worth a walk.

Once these have been seen you can while away your time angling on the shores of the lake. After the rains are over, a walk on the shores of the lake will soothe your eyes as they look at the greenery all around.

Bandardhara also offers climbs for trekkers - from the simpler Ratnagad Fort (400 years old) to the more complex Ajoba.

Although MTDC has a guest house here, Anandvan Resort is more popular and offers a more luxurious stay.


Photographs: Reuben N V

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Lonar (560 km from Mumbai and 170 km from Aurngabad)

The Lonar crater was created more than 50,000 years ago when a massive meteorite weighing more than 20 lakh ton crashed into the Earth's surface. Today, this place is a trekker's delight.

When you see the locals sliding down the crater wall it looks very easy. However, for those who have never trekked please be careful. Also the man-made steps that have been carved out are best avoided because tend to crumble away.

Once you have entered the crater you can visit temples like Ganapati Gaimukh, Renukadevi and Daityasudana. Although the distance between these temples is little, it takes quite a while because of the undulating route. Hence time your climb down accordingly.

Legend has it that Akbar bathed with soaps made from the crater's green water. How there are two distinct regions with water of different pH value still remains a mystery though.

The best place to stay here is the MTDC Complex, located right next to the crater.


Photographs: Nagwani/ WikiCommons

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Karnala (60 km/ 1 hour from Mumbai)

Just after the Thane creek, is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The best time for bird viewing is between November and February. Not to forget the tall trees, twirling vines, wild mushrooms, squirrels and butterflies.

The sanctuary is only around 4.5 square km. However, over 150 species of birds makes it an amazing experience. Don't forget to take your binoculars.

There is no entrance fee unless you take your car till the point where the main open area starts.

Karnala does not disappoint trekkers either. An arduous one-hour trek to the top of the Karnala peak will offer you stunning views of the surrounding Sahyadri mountains. Watch out for the langurs and the beehives though.

If you plan to stay here then the best hotel is The Woods Resort. You can also stay inside the sanctuary at the Rest House. Make your booking for this place at the Thane Wildlife Division.


Photographs: Anil R / WikiCommons

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Kashid (140 km/ 4 hours from Mumbai)

Kashid is one of the best beaches in the Konkan region. This is the place to be if you want to spend a day relaxing with your family. A note of caution – the waves remain unusually high here so be a little careful while venturing into the sea. 

Around 19 km away is the Phansad Bird Sanctuary. A walk through the jungle will visually treat you to many birds and insects. Deer and monkeys can also be sighted. This sanctuary has a rest house of the Forest Department where you can spend the night. 

For stay, Prakruti Beach Resort is a good option. However, it is a few minutes away from the beach. You can travel on a bullock cart to get there.


Photographs: Geuchien/ WikiCommons

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Raigad Fort (200 km/ 5 hours from Mumbai)

Raigad is a hill fortress. The Britishers called this place 'The Gibralter of the East'.

Shivaji built his fort here when he was crowned the king. Today there is a ropeway will take you to the fort. However, a climb of over 1400 steps (takes 3 hours) is surely a more adventurous one.

Although the Britishers destroyed most of the fort, many ruins are still there to see. Don't miss the Queen's Palace and Takmak Tok (the point from where the enemies where hurled into the valley below).

You can also see the Gangasagar Lake from one of the fort's watchtowers. Last is the samadhi of Shivaji.

The only decent place to stay here is at the MTDC Tourist Complex located near the fort.


Photographs: Rohit Gowaikar/ WikiCommons

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Harihareshwar (220 km/ 5.5 hours from Mumbai)

Harihaareshwar, often called 'Dakshin Kashi', is known for Lord Shiva's Kalbhairav temple. This temple, it is said, was established by Agasta Muni.

Legend has it that the huge boulder that is present at the entrance of the steps on the cliff was split by Bhima when the Pandavas were confronted with this obstacle in front of them. There are footprints on the rocks.

After the temple visit, you can end your day with a dip in the sea (but avoid it during high tide as there are strong undercurrents). The temple actually divides the beach into North and South. The latter is more secluded while the former is dotted with the chaatwalas.

Harihareshwar offers a number of homestays with basic facilitates. Amongst hotels, the popular ones are the Harihareshwar Hotel and the MTDC guest house. However, do book well in advance as they get occupied fast. The best time to visit is during July – August.


Photographs: Ankur P/ WikiCommons

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Durshet (100 km/ 2 hours from Mumbai)

If you thought that there are no forests near Mumbai then think again. Durshet is a forest patch filled with mango, mahua and teak trees.

Stay at the Nature Trails Forest Lodge. Start your day watching tiger butterflies flitting around at the lodge's garden and then wander off into the forest to identify calls of the parakeet and the bulbul.

Animals like the barking deer, boars, monkeys and a wide variety of insects is sure to attract your attention as well. The farming land adjoining the lodge is also home lapwings. If birds and animals don't appeal to you, then there is always rafting at the river Kundalika.

The best time to visit is during June –August when the river Amba is full and the entire forest stretch is dotted with waterfalls.   

So, next time when you have some free time and wondering where to go to, do try these offbeat destinations near Mumbai.


Photographs: Courtesy: naturetrails.in

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