Road Trip from Mumbai [Destination Ideas]
Waking up everyday in Mumbai can be overwhelming at times. The city is an ongoing chaos of people, new places popping up every other second and fast-paced city life that’s hard to keep up with. With a population so large, it’s tough to find a moment of peace amongst everything.
So here’s a list of top short trips to take when the city’s urban mass of suburbs becomes a bit too much. You will be amazed by the natural wonders that surround the city
Situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, Alibaug is a little coastal town tucked away in the south of the city Mumbai. The city is known as the most popular weekend getaway amongst the locals as well as the tourists, known for its long beaches and serenity that comes along with it. Located 90kms from Mumbai and 150kms from Pune, this quaint little town has rightfully earned itself the name ‘mini-goa’ and also offers famous konkani food to its visitors. While the beach town has quite a large number of beaches, the most famous remains Alibag beach and its unique dark and quiet course. And despite the size of the city, you will never run out of things to do while you are here enjoying the local food, forts and sandy beaches.
How to reach: The best way to reach Alibag is by taking a ferry ride from the Gateway of India to Mandwa/Rewas which takes 45mins depending on the type of boat and from there a bus or rickshaw ride is easily available which takes another 30-40mins to reach the main city of Alibaug.
If you are not a fan of boat rides, you can easily reach the city via road, taking the Mumbai-Goa highway or you can take the train from Panvel in Mumbai to Pen, which is the nearest railway station to Alibaug.
Spots to visit in Alibaug: While Alibaug Beach makes it to the top of the list of things to do in Alibaug, the other places of interest include the ancient Kolaba Sea Fort, Nagaon Beach for Adventure sports, Sagargad fort, Khanderi fort which was ruled by the Peshwas and the beautiful Harihareshwar temple.
Known as the smallest and cutest little hill station in Maharashtra, Matheran is famous for its views and the amount of sunrise and sunset viewpoints that it offers. Just like Alibaug, Matheran is situated in the Raigad District of Maharashtra and is 90kms away from the city and is located on an elevation of 800metres above sea level. The best thing about this place is its climate which is pleasant and breezy all round the year and can be visited at any time. Not only is the hill station a treat for adventurers and trekkers, it is also loved by nature lovers and wildlife photographers. If you are someone who loves to get lost in the beauty of nature, this place is a must visit.
How to reach Matheran: Mumbai offers several daily trains that leave for Matheran from CST Railway station to Neral which takes about 1hour 30mins and from Neral, one can take the toy train to the hill station which will take approximately 2hours.
Alternatively, one can reach the hill station via road by car or by bus which drops you 2.5kms away from the city and rest of the journey can be covered by foot or rickshaws.
In the city, the best way to visit the places is by foot or by taking horse rides which are offered all around the hill station at the cheapest prices.
Places to visit in Matheran: One of the top things to do in Matheran is trekking to Vikatgad, a small mountain offering a trail along the cliffs and deep ravines. If you are not a trekking fan you can visit the Charlotte lake, the sunset point also known as the Porcupine point and/or the Paymaster Park which are some of the best things to do when in Matheran.
Known as the summer capital of Maharashtra since the British period, Mahabaleshwar is situated in the Satara district of the state and is known for its numerous rivers, majestic cascades, breathtaking views from mountain peaks and strawberries.
The beautiful hill is surrounded by the lush evergreen forests and is also the origin point of River Krishna and is an ideal place for budget travellers and nature lovers. The hill station is filled with a vast range of places to visit including the serene temples and one will easily fall in love with the scenic beauty of the place. The evergreen and wonderful hill brags about it being one of the most visited hill slopes in Maharashtra and rightly so. Don’t forget to grab some strawberries and whipped cream dessert, one of the most famous delicacies of Mahabaleshwar.
How to get to Mahabaleshwar: The most convenient way to reach Mahabaleshwar is by road, which is 263 kms away from Mumbai Thane connected by the National Highway 4. Alternatively, one can travel by train to the nearest railhead Satara, from where a bus can be taken to reach the hill station.
Places to visit at Mahabaleshwar: Old Mahabaleshwar, located 7kms away from Mahabaleshwar has 5 noteworthy temples boosting the Indian architecture. Other places that make it to the list include the 3 Monkey point named after the natural sculptures of stones which look like three monkeys, Arthur Point which is the best point to gaze at Savitri River, Venna Lake, Wilson Point which is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgad Fort and the Lingmala waterfalls.
Khandala’s twin hill station, Lonavala is situated in the Sahyadri region of Maharashtra is the most visited hill station during monsoons. The word Lonavala loosely translates to ‘a series of caves’ and the hill station is surrounded by dense forests and is situated on an elevation of 624metres above sea level and popular for camping, trekking, waterfalls, lakes and other adventure sports. A lot of visitors come here to take an off from their work and enjoy the weekend away from city life. While visiting this place, you will end up spotting a lot of shops named ‘Maganlal Chikki’ selling famous sweets and chocolate fudge for you to grab on your way back home.
How to get to Lonavala from Mumbai: Being well connected to both the major cities, Mumbai & Pune, one can easily reach lonavala by train, bus or car. By road it takes merely 2-3 hours and is the most preferred way to reach the hill town.
Places to visit in Panchgani: Lonavala is a myriad of lakes and waterfalls due to its location in the Western Ghats and the best time to experience these attractions is during or after monsoon season. Some of the top places to visit here are the Tigers Leap & Lion point, the famous Karla Caves, the Bushy dam and the Lohagad Fort.
Originally developed as a summer resort during the British Raj, Panchgani is a hill station surrounded by five majestic hills that attract many tourists around the year. The town is situated in the Satara region of Mumbai and is around 250kms away from the city. Panchgani is filled with luxurious resorts as well as budget friendly accommodations that are easily accessible surrounded by the charming and picturesque sights and also being home to the second largest plateau in Asia. If you are a keen adventurer, you will find a plethora of activities in and around the town to keep your adrenaline going.
How to get to Panchgani: The cheapest and the most preferred way to reach Panchgani is by bus which takes around 5-6hours. Alternatively one can reach the town by car taking the same time travel as going by bus. While there is no direct stop in Panchgani to travel by train, the nearest station Satara is located at a distance of 40-50kms from the main town and can be covered via train or bus.
Spots to visit in Panchgani: Table Land the second largest plateau of the continent, Sydney point facing the Krishna Valley, Parsi point, the Devils kitchen and the famous Mapro Garden are some of the most famous points to visit in Panchgani.
Despite being a city of hustle & bustle, you will find a manifold of one day trips from the city to help you take a break. Apart from the top five places, some of the towns you can look at visiting if you have some extra travel time in your hands are, Karjat, Ratnagiri, Lavasa, Nashik & Daman.
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