With the Independence Day weekend coming up and the monsoon is spreading its charm; it’s time to give yourself a break from the mundane cycle, head to a place away from Mumbai’s chaotic lifestyle and seek some fun, calm and peace amidst the nature. Whether you want to explore places, jump into the sea or just unwind on a beach or lakeside, we’ve got it covered. A long weekend of happiness awaits you, all you need to do is go through the list of these exciting destinations below and holiday your weekend!
1. Murud – Janjira
Swaying palm trees welcome you as you arrive at this picturesque destination, situated about 150km from Mumbai. Murud- Janjira has beaches, old ruins of forts rich in history, lush hills and dams to keep occupied for the weekend. The Garambi Dam dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria will be in its prime in the monsoon, the Kasa Fort ruins surrounded by the sea is a major sea port in India while the majestic Janjira Fort and the Ahmedganj Palace, a palatial mansion offers much to explore; housing some ancient documents, tombs of previous rulers and a beautiful mosque.
2. Ajanta – Ellora Caves
If you’re a history buff or looking for a weekend getaway from Mumbai of some explorations; then Aurangabad is the place to head for. Situated in Aurangabad district, both Ajanta and Ellora Caves are listed among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Ajanta Caves are located in the Sahyadri ranges and are known for the beautiful paintings made from herbal colors depicting the story of Buddhism and various takes of Jataka. The Ellora Cave Temples on the other hand are located 30km from the city of Aurangabad and are home to various monuments, sculptures and carvings related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Kailash Cave Temple here is one of the largest monolithic structures in the world.
3. Alibaug – Karshet
Situated near Mumbai, Karshet and Alibaug are located close to each other and offer long sprawling view of the sea. While Alibaug is the popular spot, Karshet sees relatively less tourists. You can spend a day or two at Alibaug, engaging in the beach sport activities, exploring the Kolaba Fort nearby and visiting the Kanakeshwar Temple. Then, spend the last day at Karshet in solitude, enjoying the uninterrupted view of the sea.
If getting out of Mumbai for the three day weekend getaway and do nothing but relax and rejuvenate yourself, is on your mind. Then here’s Ganapatipule, nestled quietly in the Konkan region, this untouched beach town is a welcome escape for peace seekers. The blue sea, white sand, surrounded by thick mangroves and innumerable fruits trees, little cottage or huts on the beach and some delicious Konkani food for comfort; you have for yourself a weekend of peace to unwind and set yourself free.
Another destination like Ganpatipule close to Mumbai for weekend getaways is Bhandardara, however it has quite a few activities to look forward to. Situated in the Ahmednagar district, Bhandardara is home to the largest lake, one of the oldest dams and the highest peak in Maharashtra. It has quite a few waterfalls during monsoons and makes for a good trekking spot because of the hills and forts in the area. There are various budget to luxurious resorts lined along the lake that offer a scenic view. Don’t miss the boat ride in the lake!
6. Harihareshwar – Velas
Situated on the Konkan belt of Maharashtra, Harihareshwar is a holy town and a good weekend getaways near Mumbai, also known as the Dakshin Kashi and is home to one of the ancient Shiva temple. Absolutely unaltered, it has a large clean beach coupled with balmy wind and soft sand makes a walk along the coast quite enriching, add to that some authentic Konkani seafood and it is sure to make your day. If you’re lucky, you might just be able to see a couple of dolphins in the sea who are known to often swim near the beach. After you’ve had your fill of the waters, visit the Harihareshwar Temple and go trekking on the mountain just behind it. You can spend the last day at Velas, which is a small beach town famous for the Velas Turtle Festival. Though the festival doesn’t take place in this month, the quaint beach with some amazing rock carvings a result of the sea waves and the huge ruins of Bankot Fort, will more than make up for it.
The most famous trekking destination in Maharashtra, Karjat is a monsoon favorite for tourists seeking adventure. Chanderi Fort Trek and Peth Fort Trek are some of the popular trekking trails. The Kondana Caves are a group of 16 Buddhist Caves consists of stupas and sculptures. The Ulhas Valley, Bhor Ghat, Morbe Dam are some of the must see places. For adventure enthusiasts, there facilities for water rappelling, waterfall climbing and river rafting; Karjat also has a lot of farm-houses overlooking the scenic landscape, making it a good destination for a family weekend getaways near Mumbai. It also has a many budget accommodation options.
Gujarat’s only hill station, Saputara is one of the lesser known hill towns near Mumbai. Complete with lakes, valleys, horse/camel rides, sunset points, gardens, museums, shopping markets and even a rope-way; Saputara is filled with options to occupy you with for the weekend. The climate in Saputara is generally cool throughout the year, in monsoons it is quite pleasant to be around with hills taking on a green cover and little waterfalls all around. The sunset is not to be missed nor is the rope-way which is usually quite busy in the evenings, a quiet boating in the placid lake surrounded by mountains also a good place to witness the sunset.
The capital of a union territory, Silvassa has gained famed due to the numerous industrial set ups that have been mushrooming in the city. It is still relatively lesser known as a tourist destination which makes it an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai. Close to the Silvassa bus stand is a Roman Catholic Church notes for its beautiful Portuguese architecture, Dadra Park, Vrindaban – Balaji Temples, Ban Ganga Lake are some of the attractions here. But, the Madhuban Dam built over the River Daman Ganga cannot be missed in the monsoons when it comes to its brim and spills over. Unless, it’s not raining heavily there are boating facilities available on the river.
It is one of the important historical cities in Maharashtra, located on the banks of the river Panchganga. Rich in both culture and heritage, this city has risen in prosperity over the decades and came to be famously known for its Kolhapuri cuisine, Kolhapuri footwear and industrial growth. There are many important temples situated in Kolhapur that sees scores of visitors regularly, while the Shalini Palace built after a Princess of Kolhapur and the New Palace – an 18th century structure built in black stone; both stand tall as the pride of Kolhapur. The recreational centre near the Rankala Lake is a popular spot for picnic, next to the Mahalaxmi Temple. On the other hand, Panhala is a hill station about 18km from Kolhapur which houses the famous Panhala Fort. While in Kolhapur, one can never miss the famous Misal – extremely spicy gravy of pulses with onions and bread as accompaniment. Literally mouth-watering, ask for medium spicy specifically if you’re not used to very spicy food. Also, indulge in some shopping and buy yourself of the intricately designed Kolhapuri Chappals.