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Popular Weekend destinations near Mumbai

The blustering city of Mumbai is known for its own pace. Towering constructions and deafening seashore across the city often feels Mumbaikars to go for some pulsating weekend aloof city’s hustle-bustle and monotonous way of life.

This post takes you for a weekend ride to some of the spectacular weekend destinations near Mumbai offering you a blend of historic monuments, natural splendour, cascading waterfalls, religious centres, rocky mountains and much more attractions for a unwind weekend.

Here come those popular weekend destinations near Mumbai that you would just love to explore as a weekender:

#Lonavla

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Nestled away from city’s hustle-bustle and encircled with lush bush, Lonavala is a must visit weekend destination in Pune district of Maharashtra. Being a part of the Sahyadri hills, the picturesque hill top of Lonavala is eminent for its lively waterfalls, erected knoll and grandeur lochs. Starting from a true nature lover to an adventure freak, this gorgeous green valley exerts a pull on visitors from all round the sphere. If you reside in Mumbai or any adjoining cities, Lonavala is an absolute threshold for a soulful weekend. The best part of visiting Lonavala is Rajmachi and Khandala, the two more gifted regions of nature on the way.

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This beautiful mountain valley was founded decade back in 1871 by the British Governor Lord Elphinstone. The place has no dearth of caves and this is the reason the name of this hill station was derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’, which signifies collection or group of caves. Today with diverse range of its natural exquisiteness, the place became an idyllic holiday abode for honeymooners, trekkers, hikers, nature lovers and many film makers who usually visit here for shooting purposes.

Best time to Visit: Having depicted the seasonal climatic of Lonavala, it can be said that the best time to explore this beautiful hill station is during monsoon and winter. For a person who loves the blend of drizzle and group of caves, this is the place to be during monsoons.

Places to see: Located between two important cities of Maharashtra (Pune and Mumbai), Lonavala offers a tempting natural experience to Mumbaikars as well as the Puneites. Being one of the most popular weekend destinations near Mumbai, Lonavala has many eye-catching sites that one must visit during his/her voyage. Some of the major weekend destinations here include Bhushi Dam, Imagica Adlabs, Bhaja Caves, Ryewood Park, Sausage Hills, Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary, Korigad Fort, Karla cave, Duke’s Trek and Adventure etc. In addition, Lonavala also offers you some thrilling outdoor activities to experience.

To read more about Lonavala, click here

#Shirdi

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Situated around 184Kms east of the Arabian seashore in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Shirdi is a miniature town, which is believed to be the domicile of the great Saint Sai Baba. Based upon the mythical tales, Shirdi is the place where Saint Sai Baba used to subsist till his trance (Samadhi) in 1918. It is one of the mostly visited devout destinations in India where millions of Sai devotees regularly come from all over the globe to pay their reverences.

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The sound of tinkles and lightened lamps followed by sacred hymn takes the entire ambience of the temple to a great level of mysticism. Pilgrims flock from all over the globe offering prayers to Sai Baba with this believe that all their worries and perplexities will be transferred to a world of eternal succour and ecstasy.

Best time to Visit: Millions of pilgrims rush to this holy destination throughout the calendar. However, the footfall of devotees peaks during important festivals that are celebrated here from time-to-time. Some of the key festivals in Shirdi include Holi (in the month of March), Ganesh Chaturthi (in the month of August/ September), Dusshera ((October/November) and Diwali (October/November). The maximum gathering of Sai devotees are witnessed in the month of October when Sai Baba’s death anniversary is venerated. Therefore, the best time to visit here is from August to November when most of the prominent festival takes place in India; and the temperature also comparatively favourable that time. On the other hand, during April to June, the town witnesses extreme summer followed by heavy monsoon.

Places to see: If touring Shirdi is your next celestial destination near Mumbai, here are the places that you should explore in and around the place. Temple of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, Gurusthan, Samadhi Mandir, Khandoba Temple, Shani Shingnapur, Dixit Wada Museum, Chavadi and Dwarkamai are the key attractions here.

To read more about Shirdi, click here

#Khandala

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If you are looking for a tranquil and mountainous weekend getaway near Mumbai or Pune, Khandala may be the kind of place you are looking for. Nestled at an elevation of around 625 meters on the foothills of Sahyadri, Khandala offers you a perfect respite amidst green valleys, composed lakes, misty knolls and lively waterfalls. Since the time when trendy Bollywood song “Aati Kya Khandala” was picturised here, Khandala has gained its popularity manifold amongst the weekenders and travel enthusiasts.

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Akin to Lonavala, Khandala is also one of the popular and frequently visited destinations in the state of Maharashtra, which witnesses a large number of footfalls all round the calendar. Besides its picturesque landscape, the place is equally a popular attraction for adventure buffs. Destinations like Karla Hills and Duke’s Nose peak are two key tourist pullers in Khandala, which are known for offering a spectacular rock climbing opportunity to the adventure lovers.

Best time to Visit: Khandala can best be revealed during monsoon. This is the time when the natural exquisiteness of the place gets evolved the most. Alternatively, visiting Khandala in winter is also not a bad idea to implement. Breath-taking landscape and soothing weather makes your presence more blissful to this beautiful hill station in winter.

Places to see: The beautiful hill station Khanadala has no dearth of attractions and activities for visitors. In its long lasting existence, the terra firma of Khanadala has witnessed the rise and fall of several Peshwa and Maratha realms. Till today, the natural splendour of this hill station allures plenty of visitors from all over the country. So, when in Khanadala, make sure you don’t skip some of the major attractions that include Rajmachi Fort, Duke’s Nose, Bedsa Caves, Kune Falls, Celebrity Wax Museum, Lonavala Lake etc.

To read more about Khandala, click here

#Silvassa

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We get to discuss so much about the number of states and Union Territories in India, but most of us often skip the spell bound splendour encircled with those destinations. Silvassa is one such beautiful destination near Mumbai leaving you some awe-inspiring attractions to explore.

Nestled amidst the Western direction of India, the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli got its name from a Portuguese word ‘Silva’, which means wood. Getting into its history, Silvassa used to be famed as the Vila de Paço d’Arcos during the Portuguese rule. Dotted with a blend of Portuguese inheritance and a unique Indo-Portuguese ethnicity, the place host some old Roman-Catholic churches.

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The place has various industries catering a significant source of revenue to the government. With growing number of factories and industrial exposure, Silvassa has got inhabitants from different parts of the country. Hence, you can witness here a rich verity of people and cultures. Warli or Varlies are the predominant tribes in Silvassa who are renowned for their unique style of paintings. The inhabitants of Silvassa speak different languages like Warli, Gujarati, English and Hindi. Apart from Warli, many other tribes like Dhodia, Dublas and Kokana can also be spotted in the capital city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Best time to Visit: Silvassa can best be visited either during monsoon or in winter. The reason being, these are the time when visitors can rejoice here a breath-taking retreat with restful climate.

Places to see: Silvassa has no dearth of offerings for you. Laid out with number of lush bush, small rivers, tribal hamlets and lively waterfalls, the place is a worth visiting destination for visitors.  Let’s take a look on some of the leading destinations here that include Hirwa Van Gardens, Lady of Piety Church, Island Garden, Tribal Museum, Dudhni, Khanvel etc.

To read more about Silvassa, click here

# Nashik

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Situated nearly 3 hours away from Mumbai, Nashik is one of the popular weekend getaways in the northwest region of Maharashtra. Standing on the foothills of the Western Ghats at an elevation of 700 metres from the sea level, Nashik is visited by plenty of visitors all round the year. Be it a first timer or a frequent visitor, its scenic splendour and theology pulls numerous tourists here from all over the country.

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Reckoned as one of the popular Hindu pilgrimages in India, Nashik is blessed with a rich variety of traditions. The local inhabitants of Nashik are known as the ‘Nashikkar’, who are relatively generous and religious by nature. They show great character when time comes to help people. Most of the population here are Hindu and they speak Marathi. In addition, Hindi, Guajarati and English are some other languages that are also spoken here. Being one of the famous Hindu pilgrimages in India, Nashik witnesses maximum footfalls during Kumbh Mela, which is celebrated here after every 12 years. Some other popular festivals that are celebrated here with great enthusiasm include Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Diwali, Dasserra and Holi.

Best time to Visit: Considering the tropical climatic portrayed above, Nashik can best be explored during winter. For a rain lover, June to September could be idyllic to visit Nashik. On the other hand, if you want to experience a blissful holiday here, October to March is the best time to travel around the city. If holidaying there in hot summer is something you are planning for, it is advisable not to enact such humid plan. Intense humid and hot climate will grasp all the delight from a well-planned vacation.

Places to see: Nashik is often chalked out as a weekend getaway for Mumbaikars. The city has no dearth of offerings for weekenders and tourists. Hence, while holidaying in Nashik, make sure to explore the leading destinations that include Panchvati, Trimbakeshwar, Sula Vineyard, Sita Gufa, Pandavleni Caves, Anjaneri Hills, Dudhsagar Falls, Ahivantgad, Saptashrungi, Kapileshwara Temple etc.

To read more about Nashik, click here

# Alibaug

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Going for a relaxing walk and feeling the placid breeze around the deafening seashore is something quite common for Mumbaikars. Probably this is why they prefer exploring the cobalt beaches of Goa for an offbeat time off. But, how about experiencing a place like Goa within Maharashtra? Sound astounding, isn’t it? With its crystal clear sea, surrounding beaches and serene ambience, Alibaug leaves you a feel of Goa in the state of Maharashtra. Let’s take you for a ride to this beautiful weekend getaway near Mumbai. The coastal city of Alibag or Alibaug is delimited by breath-taking seashore, historic terrain of Bene Israeli Jews and picturesque landscape. Located around 95Kms from Mumbai in the Raigad District of Maharashtra, the soothing environs of Alibaug make it a pleasing destination for weekenders.

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The name of this place has a significant meaning, which indicates ‘The garden of Ali’. Enclosed with sea on its three sides, the coastal town of Alibag offers you a spellbound vista of crystal clear sea with unsullied breeze around the beaches. Considering the sheer resemblance of its surrounding ambiance with Goa, Alibaug is often referred as the ‘Goa of Maharashtra’.

Best time to Visit: After portraying the favourable climate of Alibaug, it leaves you no doubt that Alibaug is an all season destination for excursion. However, to reveal the best out of coastal city, October to March is considered to be the best time to visit Alibaug. If you reside in Mumbai, nothing could be a short weekend destination than touring Alibaug. From Mumbai, this place can be explored all round the calendar.

Places to see: Being one of the popular weekend destinations near Mumbai, Alibaug is laid out with ample of attractions for visitors. Apart from its luring beaches, the place has galore of leading destinations like fortification, lush bush, green farm and holy shrine. Kolaba Fort, Khanderi Fort, Alibagh Beach, Nagaon Beach, Akshi Beach, Kihim beach, Vrindavan Farm, Kanakeshwar Forest, Kanakeshwar Devasthan Temple, Brahma Kund are the key plaes of attractions here in Alibaug.

To read more about Alibaug, click here

#Mahabaleshwar

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Trekking across the misty mounds, angling around some animated water spots, picturesque landscape and bag full of goodies; doesn’t it sound exhilarating? Well, this is what the misty hill station Mahabaleshwar is all about for a visitor. Located around 284 Kms from Mumbai and nearly 120Kms from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is an excellent destination for the weekenders from Maharashtra.

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Nestled in the lap of the mountain ranges of Western Ghats, the beautiful hill station Mahabaleshwar is delimited by vales on its all sides. There was a time when the magnetic mound of Mahabaleshwar was recognised as Malcolm Peth. Gradually over the periods of time, the overwhelming splendour of Mahabaleshwar grabbed the attention of the British. As a result, in 1829 the site has become the summer capital of the former Bombay presidency. Moving ahead, the place has turned later to one of the spectacular hill resorts in Maharashtra under the foreign authority. Even today, the grandeur of Mahabaleshwar pulls lot many Mumbaikars for an adventurous weekend.

Best time to Visit: Pleasant climate throughout the year makes the destination one of the popular weekend getaways near Mumbai. With a blend of scenic elegance and soothing climate, Mahabaleshwar leaves you lot of reasons to flock here all round the calendar. However, the best time to explore the hilltop here is from October to June when the natural exquisiteness emerges at its best.

Places to see: Being an absolute paradise for summer escape near Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar has no dearth of enthralling sites and adventure activities for weekenders. Starting from lively waterfalls to thrilling caves, the place has ample of attractions to offer. Let’s take a look into some of the key attractions that include Rajpuri Caves, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Elephant’s Head Point, Venna Lake, Lingmala Waterfalls, Pratapgarh Fort, Mapro Garden, Parsi Point, Babington Point, Lodwick Point, Table Land etc. 

To read more about Mahabaleshwar, click here

# Pune

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Situated nearly 3 hours aloof from the commercial capital of India and positioned at an elevation of around 560 meters above sea level, Pune is banked beside the Mutha River. Once eminent as Poona, the city used to be the centre of power of the Maratha realm. If you plunge into the saga of Pune, the historic drive of the city was initiated way back during 847 AD. It used to be the first capital of Shivaji. Probably this is why you get to notice various historical monuments in the city at today’s date.

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Over the periods of time, the city has witnessed a significant transition in all aspect. Today, the cultural hub of Maharashtra is also popular as the “Oxford of the East”. The reason being, numbers of swanky and result driven academic institutions are set up here in recent past moulding the pride of tomorrow. Nonetheless, Pune is equally a popular getaway for adventure freaks offering them ample of rousing opportunities to experience. Thus, it can be said that to witness the transition in the cultural capital of Maharashtra, you must make it to Pune.

Best time to Visit: Being the cultural and educational hub, Pune is visited all round the year. However, for a traveller or weekender the best time to rejoice the spectacular attractions of Pune is during winter. Favourable climate that time makes the presence of visitors more blissful and happening.

Places to see: Starting from historic heritage to audacious activities, Pune has a diverse range of attractions to offer. Aga Khan Palace, Shinde Chhatri, Shaniwar Wada, Osho Ashram, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, National War Museum, Pataleshwar Cave Temples, Parvati Hill, Bund Garden, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Mulshi Dam, Lohagarh Fort, Vetal Hill, Pu La Garden etc. are some of the leading destinations in Pune.

To read more about Pune, click here

#Kolad

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Nestled in the Mahad region of Maharashtra, Kolad is a small hamlet that pulls here plenty of adventure buffs for rafting, hiking, boating and much more thrilling activities. Besides being an audacious destination, the free-flowing water of Kundalika River mesmerises the footfalls of travellers here to a soothing extent. Kolad is well-blessed with natural abundance boasting some lively waterfalls, stony mountains, exquisite greenery and marshlands making the destination an absolute paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Situated nearly 120 Kms from Mumbai, Kolad is a worth visiting site for an offbeat weekend.  Most of the inhabitants here are Maharashtrain and they speak predominantly Marathi and Hindi languages. People are quite religious here and most of the common Hindu festivals like Ganesh Chathurthi, Diwali, Navaratri and Holi are celebrated at Kolad with great enthusiasm. Besides, Eid and Christmas are equally celebrated here with great gusto.

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Apart from its cascading waterfalls, emerald meadows and quaint backdrop of Sahyadris, Kolad has a variety of Maharashtrian cuisines and other typical food options for travellers as well. Some of the common local foodstuffs that one must try in Kolad are Misal Pav, Vada Pav and Bhajia Pav.

Best time to Visit: Though, Kolad is an all season destination for adventure freaks. However, in order to reveal the best out of the place in the midst of a soothing ambience, winter is considered to be an ideal hideout here for the Mumbaikars.

Places to see: Kuda Caves, Bhira Dam, Ghosala Fort, Sutarwadi Lake and Tamhini Ghat Waterfalls are the leading attractions in Kolad. In addition, Kolad is a popular destination for adventure activities like trekking, hiking, river rafting, boating and paragliding.

To read more about Kolad, click here

# Matheran

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Every time we plan to visit any hill station, some high-flying names always strike our mind first. And we cannot think beyond Manali, Nainital and Ooty. In this quest, we often miss out some splendid and tranquil hill-stations around. Matheran is one such beautiful and soothing hill station, which is situated in the Raigad District of Maharashtra. It is considered as one of the smallest hill stations in India. Matheran is located around 803 m above the sea level, and merely 2 hours away from Mumbai.

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This overwhelming hill station was first explored by Hugh Poyntz Malet in 1850. Later, it was developed by the Bombay (formerly) Governor Lord Elphinstone. Soon this hill station turned to a favourite summer resort for the British. Going ahead in 1970, Lord Elphinstone connected this mount resort with some of the nearby places like Neral and suburban of Mumbai through mountain rail and roadways. Consequently, Matheran came into the notice of many inhabitants of Maharashtra.

Best time to Visit: Being one of the popular weekend destinations near Mumbai, Matheran has a pleasant climate throughout the year making the place a worth visiting destination for travellers. The temperature in Matheran during summer lies between 19°C to 33°C. In winter, the temperature lies between 13°C to 28°C. The best time to visit this wonderful location is from October to May.

Places to see: Some of the the key attractions in Matheran that you must visit are Alexander Point, Charlotte or Sharlott Lake, Echo Point, Panorama Point, Louisa Point, One Tree Hill Point, MorBe Dam, Shivaji’s Ladder, Monkey Point etc.

To read more about Matheran, click here

Apart from the above cited destinations near Mumbai, if visiting any long distance location is in your voyage plan, look no further than Tadoba National Park. Situated around 147Kms from Nagpur and 45Kms away from Chandrapur, the park was established in 1955. Sprawled over 1727 Sq. Km areas, Tadoba park has gradually gained its recognition amongst plenty of travellers from the places like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. To know more about Tadoba National Park, click here

Apart from these locations, there are many other destinations as well that you can plan for a pleasing getaway near Mumbai. To keep a tab on many other exciting destinations like these, keep following our posts on www.excitingindia.in

Happy Weekend!!

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