There are several places near Mumbai to explore and unwind in the middle of pure nature. In our previous travel blog, we had listed some of the best lesser known destinations near Mumbai. But we got so many requests in our mailbox for compiling some more places for you. So, here in this blog, we provide you with some more destinations near Mumbai for all wanderlust souls. Much love!
About 657 kms from Mumbai, Chikhaldara can be reached by rail, road or air. This picturesque hill-station lies on a plateau in the Satpura ranges and has a lot to offer to nature buffs, wildlife enthusiasts, adrenaline addicts and world weary souls seeking solace in the hills, forests and lakes, alike.
Places of interest in Chikhaldara include –
- Bhimkund Waterfalls: Fabled both for its ethereal beauty and its legendary significance of being Bhim’s (one of the Pandava brothers from the epic The Mahabharata) bathing spot after he slew Keechak.
- Semadoh Lake: The placid waters of the nestling lake amidst thick forests provide tourists with a backdrop for activities like boating and angling.
- Gavilgad Fort: Adventure seekers are amply rewarded after a thrilling trek to this fort by the exquisite carvings on the inner walls and the breath-taking vista of forests and greenery below.
- Melghat Tiger Reserve: While there are many reasons why one should visit Chikhaldara, it is this tiger reserve with its 80 tigers and a variety of flora and fauna, which forms one of the major interests. A jungle safari into the depths of the forests to spot barking deer, wild boars, leopards and tigers create indelible memories to be shared with your friends and family.
2. Kaas Plateau
Not many, except of course naturalists, ecologists and environmentalists are aware of the existence of the Kaas Plateau. It is referred to as Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers. Located near Satara, the best time to visit the plateau is post monsoon when all 1000 hectares come alive with myriad vibrant colours – pink, crimson, white and yellow. The sight of the thickly carpeted plateau is so bewitching that you almost miss the birds, bees and butterflies who are as drunk as you are on this surreal beauty.
But if you want to be a part of all this awesomeness then you should book your tickets with plenty of time to spare for the forest department has begun to restrict the number of footfalls to the valley to preserve the delicate balance of this fragile ecological system.
Satara is easily navigable from Mumbai by the Mumbai-Pune expressway and Kaas Plateau is just 22 kms away.
3. Sandhan Valley
At a distance of 183 kms from Mumbai, Sandhan valley is accessible by jeeps commuting regularly between Kasara and Samrad village from where the trek into the Valley of Shadows or the Sandhan valley begins. The valley is actually a deep and narrow ravine hemmed in very closely by the high walls of two mountains on either side. The gradual descent into the Sandhan valley is an experience to die for and the thrill of spending the night under a clear star-lit sky on the banks of the reservoir after the trek is over is what makes the adventurer in you go free.
However, this mind-blowing experience is only for those with prior rappelling and trekking experience and a body fit enough to take on the gruelling challenge.
It is best to have your own transport to reach Jawhar, located at a distance of 180 kms from Mumbai, for public transport is not very reliable. The drive through the winding Ghats is mesmerizing. Jawhar has a picture-postcard setting and a rich cultural heritage, for it is home to the famous Warli school of painting.
The places in and around Jawhar that tourists generally visit are –
- Jaivilas Palace: Built on a hilltop by the tribal king, Yashwant Rao Mukane, enthralls the visitors by its rich neo-classical architecture, the beautiful palace grounds and the prevailing folklore about the place.
- Hanuman Point: While the old temple of Katya Maruti, so called because of the dense growth of prickly cacti that surrounds it, was being renovated, a ledge in the hillside known as the Hanuman Point was created from where tourists could get a ringside view of the Jaivilas palace, the historical Shahpur Manoli fort and on a clear night watch the lights of a train winding its way through the Ghats.
- Sunset Point: The valley below Sunset Point known as Dhanukamal, gets its name from its bow shape and at sunset when the sun rays dissipates the entire mist, one catches a glimpse of the Mahalaxmi mountains almost 60 kms from Jawhar.
- Dabhosa Waterfall: On either side of the Lendi river are the Dabhosa and Dadarkopara falls. The Dadarkopara fall is seasonal and falls from a height of 300 ft. The Dabhosa fall is perennial. After cascading down the hill, the fall pools into a bowl-shaped crater.
- The beauty of the Kal Mandavi waterfall and the Khad Khad dam is best enjoyed during the monsoons.
- Shirapamal: This historically significant place was developed as a tourist destination in 1995. Shivaji spent a night here en route to his plunder of Surat.
Kolad is situated at a distance of 117 kms from Mumbai and can be reached both by rail and road. It is a small village on the Kundalika river, a pristine destination for the adrenaline junkie. Kolad, fast developing as the ‘adventure capital’ of Maharashtra, is the only place in India where white river rafting is possible throughout the year.
Many home-stay options and stays designed around adventure sports are available here. It looks breath taking especially during the monsoons with its lush, emerald meadows, seasonal waterfalls, the swift, frothy Kundalika river and the majestic backdrop of the Sahyadri ranges.
Activities like kayaking, canoeing, rafting, river crossing are sure to put you on a high if you are not already drunk on the beauty of the place.
Do you know some more destinations near Mumbai that you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Madhurima is a digital marketing specialist, editor and content marketer. She is also a published writer on the web. When she is not working, she is either travelling or writing her travel stories to share to the world. She believes in inspiring people to travel and shares her travel diary on her travel blog, mangoladydiaries.com.
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