/ 15 - Monsoon Getaways of Maharashtra
This is to
elaborate upon different hill stations in Maharashtra that are at their
best in Monsoon. While Monsoon is not the best time to visit most of
India, these destination provide excellent getaways during monsoon.
destinations (2000-3000 ft asl) come alive in Monsoon with waterfalls,
mist and intermittent rainfall. Trekking is pursued around these areas
especially around monsoon.
Khandala - This is mother of all monsoon destinations in Maharashtra.
It lies somewhat mid-way between two biggest cities in Maharashtra i.e.
Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala rest of the year is just a stopover on the
Mumbai-Pune route and after the advent of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, its
become a concrete jungle for Bungalow owners and haven for corporate
conferences. However when monsoon arrives, Lonavala changes its stripes
completely. The barren hills around get a green carpet like cover and
waterfalls spring up spontaneously all over, some right on the way to the
twin-towns. Guests from Mumbai and Pune drive down over the weekends
during monsoon and just enjoy the nature, do a bit of trekking or visit
popular spots around Lonavala (most notoriously (for its traffic jams)
Bushy Dam). For trekking enthusiasts, Duke's Nose, Rajmachi trek are
popular routes and area beyond Tungarli offers a good lakeside panorama
for guests to just walk up.
now propose to enliven the Lonavala / Khandala further with an adventure
park facility setup with as many as 80+ activities equipped with
state-of-the-art equipments, trainers / marshals and surrounding (Facility
is about 2000 ft above Lonavala / Khandala, spread over 32 acre plateau).
options : Lonavala / Khandala
- 160 kms on the Mumbai - Bhimashankar (Jyotirlinga Temple) route via
Murbad, this area is known in winter for its Flamingo arrivals (otherwise
its a middle of nowhere do nothing kind of a place with barren hills
around). Once monsoon arrives greenery / waterfalls and mist takes over.
The hilltop overlooks a valley and it gets extremely windy in peak
monsoon. The entire drive up the hilltop has umpteen waterfalls and it
makes for a very scenic sight. However ugly side of this in weekends is
that umpteen number of rowdy local groups drive in and "enjoy" a
bit of drinking and a bit of loud fun at these waterfalls.
options : Malshej Ghat
- 65 kms from Pune is Bhimashankar , a hilltop known for its Jyotirlinga
Shiva Temple. The hilltop is surrounded by a reserve forest (Bhimashankar
Wildlife Sanctuary) and it comes to life during Monsoon. Some routes here
are serious trekker's favorites.
options : Bhimashankar
- 80 kms from Nashik and about 160 kms from Mumbai / 200 kms from Pune is
Bhandardara, known for its Dam, waterfalls and completely uninhabited area
around it. While approaching the area one passes through Vineyards,
Windmills and lakes and therefore makes for a pleasing drive and excellent
getaway all through the year, especially during monsoon.
options : Bhandardara
85 kms beyond Nashik and about 255 kms from Mumbai on Maharashtra -
Gujarat Border is Saputara. Saputara all through the year is an idyllic
lakeside hill station. Come monsoon and the beauty around takes a
completely different dimension. Neighbouring areas of Gujarat (such as
Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Vapi etc.) are now bustling with industries and
for them Saputara is an excellent drive-in option (< 200 kms from these
cities) in Monsoon especially over weekends .
options : Saputara
It lies on the Manor (NH-08) - Nashik(NH-03) route (One that connects
NH-08 with NH-03) at about 160 kms from Mumbai and is a popular monsoon
getaway ex-Surat / Valsad / Vapi / Nashik. Monsoon brings life to the
barren mountains and hundreds of waterfalls abound the area.
options : Jawhar
Koyna area is one that connects NH-04 with NH-17. Set around a Dam and
surrounded with reserve forest, Koyna is an excellent ex-Pune getaway
especially during Monsoon.
options : Koyna
Panhala at 25 kms from Kolhapur is an idyllic spot set around a Fort on
the Kolhapur - Ratnagiri route. However during monsoon the area transforms
itself and thus an excellent monsoon getaway ex-Pune / Belgaum.
options : Panhala
Amboli at 25 kms from Sawantwadi and 60 kms from Belgaum, is again one
that lies on the road that connects NH-04 with NH-17. All round the year
its an idyllic local getaway and stopover. In monsoon umpteen waterfalls
around flowing into valleys, misty weather and pleasant cool weather
alongwith the thick reserve forest around gives it a completely
rejuvenating experience for guests. Amboli is therefore a popular ex-Belgaum
/ Goa getaway.
options : Amboli
- Set around Melghat tiger reserve, Chikhaldhara is an ex-Nagpur / Indore
and Aurangabad monsoon getaway that is just 120 kms from Amravati.
options : Chikhaldhara