Mumbai, more commonly known as Amchi Mumbai is a city in Maharashtra that never sleeps. Filled with rich culture and glamour, Mumbai has many places to visit from Taj Mahal Hotel to Marine drive. However, people living in the city looks for weekend getaway places that are far from city noise and hustle. Fortunately, we have many places in proximity to Mumbai that is ideal for a perfect weekend getaway which has hills, caves, beaches, forts and lots more.
Weekend Getaways From Mumbai
Lonavala is one of the popular weekend getaway places from Mumbai which is located in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats. It can be said that Lonavala is one of the most revered hill stations visited by tourists throughout the year. The place has beautiful waterfalls, hills and lakes which makes Lonavala ideal for trekking, camping and adventurous sports. Some of the tourist attraction sites in Lonavala includes Bushi dam, Rajmachi Fort, Bhaja Caves, and Reywood lake among many others. If you are fond of trekking, Lonavala has an Andharban trek which starts from Pimpri till Bhira.
In the Sahyadri range of Western Ghats, Matheran is another popular hill station that is at an elevation 2600 feet above sea level. For visiting this beautiful weekend getaway, you need to travel 100 kms from Mumbai. Matheran means overhead forest and is the smallest hill station in India. Though, it is popular among tourists who like to take short trips amidst nature. Before visiting Matheran, you must know that the hill station does not allow vehicles which means the moment you step into the town, you have to walk around to find places to stay or to eat. The cool breeze and fresh atmosphere will surely transport you to an idyllic world free from pollution and noise.
Also known as Alibag, Alibaug is a mini coastal town in the Konkan region in Maharashtra famous for grand villas, beaches and picturesque views. Alibag is also a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai along with Pune city. Besides sightseeing, you can indulge in water sports activities like banana boat riding, parasailing and boating. This makes Alibag popularly known as mini-Goa recording high footfall throughout the year. Do visit Mandwa beach in Alibag where many Bollywood movies have been shot. The beach is pristine and offers mesmerising views of the Gateway of India from far while you sit and take a coconut water sip on the beach.
Khandala is another famous hill station in Maharashtra located at the foothills of Sahyadri in the Western Ghats. The weather of this hill station remains cool and pleasant throughout the year which makes Khandala perfect for a weekend getaway from Mumbai. You can enjoy misty waterfalls views in the hill station or walk over the lush green grass in the valley. Due to easy accessibility from the city, Khandala has turned into a popular trekking spot also with Duke’s Nose peak and Karla hills.
Mahabaleshwar is a beautiful hill station in the Satara district of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats. This place is famous for its strawberries, majestic mountains and pristine rivers. Tourists from both Mumbai and Pune visit Mahabaleshwar for spending their weekends with loved ones. This hill station is also a pilgrimage for Hindus since the river Krishna starts from here. Mahabaleshwar was also the summer capital of Britishers and has ancient temples, dense forests, valleys and lots more.
Rajmachi is popular due to ancient forts that has two peaks, Manaranjan and Sivardhan forts that are located beside two hills, Khandala and Lonavala. The fort base starts from village Udhewadi, also known as Rajmachi. This hill station has been previously ruled by many kings including Shivaji Maharaj, Shanu Maharaj, Aurangzeb and Britishers. Many trekkers and adventure seekers visit Rajmachi to enjoy a full-fledged trek that starts from Kondhana caves up to Udhewadi village.
Lavasa is perhaps a new hill station which is been built by the Lavasa Corporation like a private city. Lavasa is a beautifully constructed place that resembles Italian architecture. The town spreads across 7 hills covering an area not less than 25000 acres. I must say that Lavasa is a perfect blend of nature and modern infrastructure providing visitors with an exhilarating experience. The modern-day hill station is well-equipped with modern hotels, educational places, resorts, shopping places and commercial properties. Gradually, Lavasa is been considered as a nice hangout place too particularly for the ones who seek to spend a day or two away from city hustle-bustle. In between hills, Lavasa is surrounded by Western Ghat mountains and beautiful valleys making the place charming and attractive.
Panchgani is a popular hill station beside Mahabaleshwar known for its scenic valley and sunset points. The hill is at an altitude of 1,334 metres above sea level. The word Panchgani has been derived from the five hills of the Sahyadri mountains that constitute this place. Since the British era, this hill station is been treated like the summer capital of Maharashtra due to the soothing environment and cool atmosphere. Various kinds of berries grow in this place and hence Panchgani is also known as the Strawberry Garden of India.
Another Sahyadri range mountain and a hill station make a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai in Bhandardara. The mighty waterfall, lush greenery and high hills make this place ideal for a short vacation. To reach Bhandardara, you can travel from Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra or hire a car from Mumbai to travel 117 kms.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
One of the finest rock-cut architecture in India is Ajanta and Ellora Caves that is situated in the Aurangabad district near Mumbai. The complex of the cave is filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures and monuments that include Jain temples, Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. Built-in the 2nd and 6th centuries, Ajanta caves have 29 caves in all while Ellora has 34 in number which was built around the 6th and 11th centuries. This place is a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site and is flooded by national and international tourists. You must visit the Kailash temple in the Ajanta and Ellora caves that are massive monoliths representing ancient Indian architecture.
Shirdi is a holy place that once homed saint Sai Baba. The town is close to Nashik and has the famous Sai Baba temple along with other historical sites. Shirdi is located in the Ahmednagar district and is a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai, particularly for religious people. You may find many soothing spots in the city and chants lingering around that is spiritual which will make you experience the ethereal feeling. Some of the places that you can visit in Shirdi are Samadhi Mandir, Chavadi, Shani Shignapur and Dwarkamai masjid among others.
Nashik is regarded as a holy city for Hindus as the grand Kumbh Mela is organised by the city every 12 years. This place also produces some of the popular wine and hence is also known as the wine tasting destination in Maharashtra. You can visit many exotic temples in Nashik that holds mythological stories. Nashik is a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai not only because it has many ancient temples but also it is the primary spot where travellers travelling to Trimbakeshwar and Shirdi gathers to travel further. Witness beautiful waterfalls, fort and vineyard when you are in Nashik besides tasting delicious Marathi cuisine.
Raigad is a historic city in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The city is surrounded by Mumbai Harbour, Arabian Sea, Ratnagiri, Thane and Pune. Raigad Fort is the primary attraction of the city making Raigad ideal for a weakened getaway from Mumbai. The fort is built by rocks and it placed at a significant height from sea level. In this fort lies the tomb of Chhatrapati Shivaji as it was once reigned by him.
Another UNESCO declared World Heritage Site is Elephanta caves which is a rock-cut cave built during medieval India. To reach this weekend getaway from Mumbai, you need to travel to Gharapuri island that is located just 11 km from the city. The Elephanta caves that exist today is the ruins of previously painted artwork made during the 5th to 7th century. You can reach the cave through a ferry that starts from the Gateway of India.
If you seek to travel to a beach destination during your weekends, Daman is a perfect spot that has cool beaches, natural beauty and green trees making the place picturesque. Daman is popular among youth the most and famous for cheap liquor availability. This weekend getaway from Mumbai is surrounded by Gujarat, the Arabian Sea and Maharashtra on all its sides. Daman has a rich culture and history which can be dated back to more than 2000 years ago. Presently, you may find vibrant colour places, and people full of enthusiasm. The Beachside adds fun to the vacationing list while shopping here is another experience. Get yourself exquisite liquor brands or leather products and handcrafts when you return home after a relaxing weekend trip.
Located close to Vapi and on the southern side of Gujarat, Silvasa is a hilly area in the Western Ghats which is surrounded by green fields and hills. The town is perfect for a weekend stay and admired by tourists due to exotic resorts and scenic sightseeing. Silvasa is popular for Portuguese heritage as well making it famous among historians. The place is loved by adventure seekers too since many exciting water-sports based parks are there for visitors. You may find handmade products in the Kilvani market of Silvasa such as paper bags and Warli paintings. For foodies, there is Gujarati, Marathi and international cuisines such as Italian, Chinese and Mexican.
Yet another beach town near Mumbai is Ganpatipule which lies on the Konkan coastline. The town has many Lord Ganesh temples which attract pilgrims throughout the year. Ganpatipule is a town in the Ratnagiri district that has a long beachside perfect for a weekend getaway from Mumbai. One of the major attractions of the town is a 400 years old Ganesh temple in which the idol is believed to be self-constructed and is 1600 years old. The place is divine and free from commercialization which is the reason peace-seekers often visit Ganpatipule. In the months like November till May, many water sports are organized in this place.