Monsoon has peaked out in several parts of the country. And while this is true even in the case of Mumbai, the rain gods have a way of surprising unsuspecting Mumbaikars with heavy showers. Even as the rest of the country eagerly awaits monsoon, Mumbaikars are a breed that doesn’t exactly find the rains endearing. For most Mumbaikars, the rains bring in more traffic, power outages and delays in train services. So it isn’t surprising that the average Mumbaikar usually finds the first possible excuse to get out of town. We must confess here that Mumbai has far less enticing options to get away from than cities like Delhi and Kolkata, both of which are surrounded seemingly endless number of getaways. Even so, Mumbai has its share of getaways — from quaint hill stations to pristine beaches — that are difficult to resist for most of the year and impossible to pass up on during the monsoon. In the monsoon, these places turn a million new shades of rains making them even more enticing for the space-starved Mumbaikar Also Read - 'Touching Gesture'! Narayana Murthy Touches The Feet of Ratan Tata And Twitter Can't Stop Hailing The 'Historic Moment'

All these places are located near Mumbai — several are just a one-day or a weekend trip away — and you don’t need a lot of time to make the most of them. August marks the beginning of the festive season and several long weekends. So if you, like us, are just dying to get out of town here are 10 best monsoon getaways from Mumbai: Also Read - JNU Violence Highlights: Student Protests Emerge Across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata; Film Fraternity Joins in



1. Lonavala

Flickr lonavala1 Also Read - PMC Scam: With Rs 90 Lakh Stuck in Beleaguered Bank, ex-Jet Airways Staffer Dies of Cardiac Arrest After Attending Protest

Lonavala, a quaint town and hill station in Pune district has been a traditional favorite among Mumbaikars as well as Punekars. Even though Lonavala has been frequented by families and couples from both these cities for several decades now, it continues to remain a favorite. Its close proximity to Mumbai (about a couple of hours at the most) is one of the reasons why this hill station is a great getaway for Mumbaikars. In monsoon, Lonavala gets even more beautiful. The hills and valleys of Lonavala spring to life and the waterfalls get stronger and Lonavala is covered in a fresh blanket of green. There’s nothing quite like waking up to a cup of hot chai in Lonavala and bite into its trademark chikkis. Depending on when you visit Lonavala, these are the activities that you must do, places you must explore and hotels where you can stay.



THINGS TO DO IN LONAVALA

Learn yoga: Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is one of India’s oldest yoga centers and falls en route to Karla and Bhaja Caves. Kaivalyadhama provides yoga courses that are teamed up with naturopathic therapies. Call +91 2114 273039 for fees (approximately Rs 4,000) and other details.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN LONAVALA

Lonavala Lake is located at some 1.6 km from Lonavala town, this lake is the top attraction of this small town and a must visit, especially during the evenings.

Ryewood Park and Shivaji Udyan are two parks that are located close to each other. These well-maintained gardens have a beautiful Shiva temple and are ideal for picnickers.

Karla Caves  are protected under the Archaeological Survey of India, these rock-cut shrines and are believed to have been built by Buddhist Monks in 2nd century BC.

Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Lonavala is the Bhushi Dam. The waterfalls near the dam only just add to the beauty of this place, drawing hundreds of tourists every day during peak season.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN LONAVALA

Citrus Hotel Lonavala(02114-398100) will set you back by about Rs 5,600 per night

While Chandralok Hotel(02114-272294) will cost Rs 3400 per night.

The Lagoona Resort(02114 273817) will cost you Rs 5,000 per night

Zara’s Resort(02114-269163) will cost you around Rs 3800 per night.

And Cloud 9 Hills Resort (022 28881151) is approximately  Rs 6600 per night.

HOW TO REACH LONAVALA

Located 82 km from Mumbai, you can reach Lonavala by taking MSRTC buses that start from Dadar in Mumbai. It will take approximately two hours to reach and will cost you anywhere between Rs 75 to 118 depending on the bus you chose.

You can also board express trains from Mumbai’s CST that play to Pune and disembark at Lonavala station.

If you are driving down, take the Mumbai Pune Expressway and get out at the Lonavala exit.

2. Lohagad

Lohagad

A hill fort in Maharashtra, Lohagad is one of the most popular getaways from Mumbai. A perfect combination of history and adventure, there is much one can do here. The entrance of this fort is sure to leave you spellbound. Lohagad is a favorite among adventure junkies for it offers one of the best trekking options. And no better time than monsoon to be here. Trek till the top and treat yourself some of the most breathtaking views of Tikona Hills, Duke’s Nose and also the beautiful Pavana dam. With so many different shades of green, the whole place is a sight to behold. Situated at an elevation of 1,033 m above sea level, this spot makes for an ideal monsoon getaway spot.

TREKKING IN LOHAGAD

Lohagad offers some great trekking trails. You can hire a local guide for the trek at about Rs 400. At the end of the trek you will be rewarded by breathtaking panoramas. You can even stay in Lohagad, or more like at its base where tents can be set up.

Things to carry on your trek:

A big trekking sack with stuff packed in plastic bags to avoid any kind of damage.

Extra set of clothes, shoes and socks

Carry a big water bottle and medical kit which will be required on your trekking.

Because it is monsoon, you need to carry raincoats and floaters. Slippers and sandals won’t be allowed.

BEST PLACES TO STAY NEAR LOHAGAD

You can set up tents at the base camp of Lohagad but if you’re looking for a hotel, you are best advices have to travel back to Lonavala, which has several (listed above).

HOW TO REACH LOHAGAD

Located at 94 km from Mumbai, it will take approximately two-and-a-half hours to reach Lohagad by road. Drive down the Sion-Panvel Expressway and the Mumbai Pune-Expressway on the NH4 route to reach Lohagad.

ALSO READ Mumbai to Lohagad: How to reach Lohagad from Mumbai by road

3. Matheran

Matheran 2

Matheran is a beautiful hill station located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra and is also the smallest one in India. Matheran which literally means ‘The Jungle Above’ in Marathi is nestled among the Western Ghats. It has a pleasant climate, scenic views of untouched nature and remains an eco-sensitive region where motorized vehicles are not permitted. Matheran also retains its elegant colonial-era ambience and serves as an ideal place to give yourself some rest from your hectic schedules.

THINGS TO DO IN MATHERAN

Horse riding is not just an activity here but it is also the mode of transport. Since automobiles are not allowed, you can ride a horse to commute from one place to another.

Opt for trekking which is one of the prime attractions for tourists. Starting from Bhivpuri station, this trek gets even more fun during the monsoon.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN MATHERAN

One of the most popular sightseeing spots of Matheran, Louisa Point offers stunning views of the magical surroundings and ancient monuments this spot is a must visit and perfect for people who love nature.

The primary source of drinking water for Matheran, Charlotte Lake is also a tourist spot. Flanked by dense forests on both sides, the landscapes are picturesque and beautiful!

Popularly known as the sunrise point, Panorama Point is a very well known tourist spot in Matheran. Stunning views of sunset and sunrise, this place is best visited during early morning hours or late evening. And with monsoon as an additional advantage, it only gets better. Panorama point is pure delight to photographers and nature lovers.

Breathtaking views, solace and the much needed rejuvenation is what best describes Alexander Point. Perched high on the hills, it literally feels like the clouds are walking with you. There is no better point than this to get away from the hustle bustle of the city.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MATERHAN

A night at Westend Hotel (+91 9969444786) will cost you Rs 2,500.

While Adamo (+91 9323779255) will set you back by Rs 3700 per night.

The Byke Heritage (02148 230365) is slightly more expensive and will cost you Rs 7000 per night.

Regal Hotel (02148 230243) will cost you Rs 6800 per night.

And Horseland Hotel And Mountain Spa (022 26007281) is a mid-range hotel that will burn a hole of Rs 4000 in your pocket.

HOW TO REACH LONAVALA

Situated at a distance of 100 km from Mumbai, you can take trains to Neral which is well connected to CST along the Karjat route. And by road you can take State Transport buses from Panvel to Dodhani and from there trek to Matheran’s Sunset Point which is perfect during monsoon.

ALSO READ 5 reasons why you must visit Matheran in Maharashtra!

4. Malshej

malshej

One of the most popular destinations to visit during monsoon, Malshej is filled with cascading waterfalls, cliffs and mountains and dense forests. The region is heavenly during monsoons with breathtaking views of the valleys around it. If you want to experience the scenic beauty of Malshej, this is probably the best time to visit. Nestled in rugged terrains and misty hills, this place is home to myriad variety of flora and fauna. Nature lovers and adventure junkies are sure to love this place beaming with tranquil surroundings.

THINGS TO DO IN MALSHEJ

Go bird watching: Pimpalgaon Dam built over the river Pushpawati offers ample opportunities for bird-watching. With many migratory birds like flamingos, Pied Crusted Cuckoo among others arriving here Malshej is a real paradise for birders.

Go on a trek: A visit to Malshej Ghat is incomplete without trekking. Malshej is dotted with several trekking trails — from the Ajoba Hill Fort and Nane Ghat to the Darkoba Park — that are particularly popular among trekkers. A trek up to the Harischandragad Fort is just as scenic and exciting.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT MALSHEJ

Located at some 1,424 m above sea level Harishchandragad Fort:  is one of Malshej’s many major tourist attractions. The fort houses a temple that has beautiful shrines of Lord Vishnu amongst several others that reflect the flawless architecture of the sixth century.

This one is pure thrill and delight for adventure junkies. Ajoba Hill offers many adventurous activities like rock climbing and trekking and what’s more, the stunning views of the picturesque landscapes and unspoiled environs is what will attract you the most.

Located along the river Pushpavati, Pimpalgaon Dam is flanked by dense forests and lush greenery. The pristine beauty if this place is a major attraction. And because it is also home to many birds, it is most visited by birdwatchers.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MALSHEJ

Saj By The Lake (+91 95039 50360) is a relatively new property that costs some Rs 7600 per night.

The MTDC Resort (+1800 22 9930) is located at the top of a hill and is the only property there. At Rs 1700 per night, the MTDC resort offers the best panoramic views from the rooms.

And then there is Rainbow Hills Resort (+91 9209234396) costs about  Rs 3,505 per night.

HOW TO REACH MALSHEJ

Located  at a distance of 126 km, the easiest way to reach Malshej Ghat is by driving down the NH61 route. The roads to Malshej are smooth and make for a scenic journey. By train, the nearest railway station is Igatpuri from where you can book a cab to Malshej Ghat which will cost around Rs 700 and take about two hours to reach.

5. Tapola

tapola

Tapola is another great destination that serves as an ideal monsoon getaway from Mumbai. Also known as Mini Kashmir, Tapola is a satellite village located at a distance of approximately 25 km from Mahabaleshwar. If you have been looking forward to get away from the city, away from all the maddening chaos and just bask in the beauty of untouched nature, Tapola is where you should be. Earlier, an unexplored and lesser known place, it is slowly gaining popularity among many travelers. The splendid views of the Sahyadri Hills and the alluring Koyna Dam are reminiscent of Kashmir, earning Tapola the sobriquet if Mini Kashmir.

The other reasons why you must visit Tapola is for its pleasant climate and also serene surroundings. And with so many attractions in Tapola, your visit to this place is going to be worth all your time and effort. Tapola sees many nature lovers, budding photographers and also adventure lovers as guests. So if you haven’t planned a long weekend getaway from Mumbai this monsoon season, do it right away. The scenic landscapes and trekking trails offer a complete getaway package.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN TAPOLA 

The primary attraction spot in Tapola, Shivsagar Lake offers water sports activities like kayaking, water scooter rides and even boating. A bit of thrill on your getaway is great right?

Kas Pathar turns into a vast garden of flowers with more than 150 of them. And this is the best time to witness nature’s wonders like these. Located nearby is also the Kas lake which is another attraction for its pristine beauty.

Tapola Lake is very popular for its appeal and many activities like wind surfing provided. You can set up Nature Trail camps too.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TAPOLA

Tapola has many river camp sites where you can spend the night and also make the most of their many water sports and adventure activities.

Nisarga Agro Tourism (+91 9404624318) will cost you approximately Rs 1800 per night

Tapola Eco and Agro Tourism(+094206 33272) is tad more expensive at Rs 3800 a night.

HOW TO REACH TAPOLA

Situated at 258 km from Mumbai, you can  reach Tapola by road and cover NH48 route via Mumbai Highway.

6. Kalsubai

Kalsubai Peak

Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra is also known as the Everest of Maharashtra. A must visit destination during monsoon, Kalsubai is visited predominantly by trekkers and people who love wildlife. Kalsubai is situated at an elevation of 5400 feet and is well known for Kalsubai Harischandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. There are designated trails that take you right to the top of Kalsubai made especially for trekkers. Kalsubai is a great place not just for nature lovers but also adventure enthusiasts. With lush greenery and stunning landscapes, your getaway is going to be a perfect one. Photographers can keep a camera handy to capture such appealing beauty.

The trek here is said to be anywhere between moderate to hard and is also a dream trek for avid adventure lovers. The base of Kalsubai is Bari which is quaint and beautiful village and this place can be easily reached from Igatpuri. The trail can be quite challenging because of the rugged terrains and hills. At places where the trekking gets really difficult, you can find chains and ladders set up for you to take support from. At the summit, stands a beautiful temple that sees several devotees flocking for blessings. This trek can easily last for three to four hours. On the 69th Independence Day, the Indian Navy unfurled our national flag that measured 60 feet in length and 40 feet in breadth.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT AROUND KALSUBAI

Bhandardara Dam is one of the more popular ‘touristy’ places around Kalsubai and is located some 6 km away.

Arthur Lake is flanked by dense and thick forests. The lake receives its water from Pravara River.

Umbrella Falls whose source is Arthur Lake are a sight to behold. You should see it to believe it.

Eating spots:

Eat all you can on your way to this peak since they do not have any eating options in the place. And Kalsubai being a trek point, it is best to carry some food with you.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KALSUBAI

There are several accommodation options near Mt Kalsubai which will fall under your budget, So if you are tired after a day’s trekking, you can rest here for a night or more.

Hotel Panchasheel (+91 9423749904) will cost you about Rs 4300 per night.

You can also stay in the Hanuman Temple in Bari village that can easily accommodate 30-40 people. But this stay is strictly meant for backpackers. The base village of this peak is where most people prefer staying.

HOW TO REACH KALSUBAI

From Mumbai, if you go by road it will take about two hours to cover a distance of 153 km. For people who want to visit this place overnight, halt at Bhandara and camp there. The best route that you can take from Mumbai is via Kalyan to Bari and then from Bari to Kalsubai.

ALSO READ How to reach Kalsubai peak from Mumbai by road

7. Saputara

saputara

Saputara is located in Gujarat, but it is easily accessible from Mumbai. A beautiful hill station, it is located in the Dnag forest region and at an altitude of 900 m. The literal meaning of Saputara means the ‘Abode of Serpents.’ It used to be one of the lesser known places, but as the number of tourists started increasing, it has now been developed into a full-fledged, planned hill resort. There is everything that a tourist would want. Boat clubs, theatres, ropeways, museums and alluring views of nature is what you are treated to in Saputara. A monsoon weekend getaway in this hill station will gift you with a very memorable experience. The wildlife sanctuary is well known and so are the Gira waterfalls. The rolling hills of Saputara during monsoon are pure delight to the eyes. And if you are planning on to visit any of these places for weekend getaway, then listed are some of the attractions and activities that you can experience. This place does leave a lasting impression.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN SAPUTARA

The Artist Village is a cultural center that displays some of the most beautiful tribal artefacts is one of Saputara’s major attraction.

The Pushpa Ropeway is another tourist attraction that takes you to the Sunset Point and offers a bird’s eye view of the Dang forest area.

The Vandsa National Park has a considerable population of tigers, leopards and pythons. You need to take permission from the Wildlife Warden Chief to visiting this park.

Saputara Lake is everything beautiful. A popular picnic spot, you can also do boating here. The boating charges here are Rs 20 for paddle boat and Rs 5 for row boat.

If you want to get the best views of Saputara the Sunrise Point is where you should be. And like the name suggests, this spot is best visited early morning.

Gira Falls are best explored now, which means monsoon. The waterfalls gush in full flow and the sight of this cascading waterfall from a height of 75 feet makes for long lasting memories.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SAPUTARA

Patang Lords Eco Inn (02631 237331) will cost you around Rs 4200 per night.

Aakar Lords Inn (02631 237551)  is a luxurious hotel and a stay here will set you back by about Rs 5700 per night

Then there is Hotel Lakeview (02631 237377) that will cost you Rs 5,900 per night.

While Shilpi Hill Resort(02631 23723) will cost Rs 4300 per night.

HOW TO REACH SAPUTARA

Located some 280 km from Mumbai, Saputara is accessible either by rail or road. The nearest railway station is Bilimora and from Bilimora you can take a train on their narrow gauge and reach Waghai. Waghai is situated at a distance of 52 km from Saputara which can be covered by calling for a cab.

State Transport buses are the best option to travel to Saputara by road. And another option would be to drive down using the NH 160 route

8. Amboli

amboli

Amboli is a hill station located in the south of Maharashtra and is situated at an altitude of 690 m in the Sahyadri hills. This is one place where you find flora and fauna in abundance. Compared to other hill stations, this is relatively an unexplored one. Rightly known as the Queen of Maharashtra, the splendor of this place is sure to leave you spellbound. Also because it is ecological spot, the serene and calm ambiance is what makes this place ideal for monsoon getaways. Waterfalls gushing, misty hills and rugged terrain adorn Amboli during monsoon. In fact, because Amboli receives moderate to heavy rainfall, the region looks green washed and nothing less than paradise. For a tourist, there wouldn’t be much to do and see, but the fact that this is quaint and calm place, it is going to give you the much needed break and solace that you have been seeking. City life often makes people tired and mentally exhausted and short trips to places like these offer rejuvenation.

ALSO SEE You won’t believe how amazing Amboli looks right now! VIEW PICS!

PLACES TO VISIT IN AMBOLI

Amboli Waterfall is one of the many attractions that Amboli boasts of. And if you visit in monsoon, the waterfall looks even more magical and beautiful. The falls are located just three km from the town’s main bus stop.

Offering panoramic views of the valley, Shirgaonkar Point is situated also about three km from the city center and works its charm during monsoon.

The Hiranya Keshi Temple is another attraction. The temple has been beautiful built around caves and water flows from these caves to form the alluring Hiranya Keshi River.

The historic and beautiful Madhavgad Fort may have been ruined because of urbanization and time, but the views that you get from the top is mesmerizing.

PLACES TO STAY IN AMBOLI

Silver Spring Resort (02363 240260) is a mid range hotel and will cost you Rs 4500 per night.

Hotel JRD International (02363 240222) will cost around Rs 3000 per night.

Shivmalhaar Hotel (+91 87932 91298)  is quite affordable at Rs 2000 per night.

Amboli Ruby Resort (+91 9075760869) which costs Rs 3800 per night is a affordable, comfortable and everything that else a tourist looks for.

HOW TO REACH AMBOLI

You can reach Amboli from Mumbai by road. If you take a cab it will take you about eight hours to reach and the fares will start from Rs 3500. You can also take a bus that head to Goa and get down at Buses heading to Goa from Mumbai also halt at Amboli.

ALSO READ Mumbai to Amboli: How to reach Amboli from Mumbai by road

9. Karjat

Karjat

Situated along the banks of the river Ulhas, Karjat is one of the most popular and preferred weekend getaways from Mumbai. The stunning vistas, lush green mountains, ancient forts and rock-cut caves all make Karjat particularly enticing any time of the year. In monsoon, Karjat gets even more beautiful. Standing at an elevation of 636 feet , Karjat is also a favorite among trekkers since it offers many adventure sports like waterfall climbing, rappelling and also river rafting.

PLACES TO VISIT IN KARJAT

Ulhas Valley beams with beautifully flowing Ulhas River and is even better to look at during monsoon. The water falling from the thick valley and lush greenery is a sight that will leave you stunned. The tunnels in this valley also have trains running through this beautiful valley amidst pristine beauty.

Bhor Ghat has rich historical significance. It is said to be the trade route that connected ports at Choula on the Konkan coast to the Deccan plateau.

Another big attraction in Karjat is the Bahiri Cave which popular among adventure seekers. The wide and long stretch of this cave makes it an ideal trekking trail and since the stretch is narrow it is even more challenging. Located at a height of 600 m above sea level, Bahiki Cave overlooks the beautiful Ulhas Valley.

You don’t have to be religious to visit the Kondeshwar Temple. Sure there are a lot of devotes here but the temple is also an example of architectural beauty. Surrounded by many more small and beautiful shrines, this temple is visited the most during Maha Shivratri since its presiding deity is Shiva.

16 Buddhist caves together in one place are called the Kondana Caves. Majestic stupas and sculptures will give you an insight into what might have been the lifestyle of Buddhist monks. Every history buff must visit this place.

PLACES TO STAY IN KARJAT

Sevenstar Holiday Resort (+91 7738093320) will set you back by Rs 4000 per night.

007 Universe Boutique Hotel and Spa (+91 99670 83007) costs Rs 6300 per night.

While Modi’s Resort Karjat (+91 9209606123) will burn a hole of Rs 5500 per night.

HOW TO REACH KARJAT

Karjat is well-connected by both rail and road. Karjat is a major railway station along the city’s Central and Harbour railway lines. Multiple suburban trains run from CST, Khopoli and Panvel to Karjat. The approximate travel time is about two hours give or take.

By road, you can drive down to Karjat along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Karjat is about 62 km from Mumbai.

ALSO READ 5 reasons why Karjat is a great place to head to this monsoon!

10. Igatpuri

Igatpuri_Plateau

Igatpuri is another favorite monsoon getaway for Mumbaikars. Cascading waterfalls, beautiful forts, pristine vistas and lush greenery, Igatpuri has everything you can wish for. Igatpuri is also famous for its Vipassana International Academy. A hill station located in Nashik District, Igatpuri is the perfect getaway from the bustle of city life. And in the monsoons, this small town just gets even more beautiful.

PLACES TO VISIT IN IGATPURI

Bhatsa River Valley lies on the basin of Bhatsa River and boasts of picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation.

People who love architecture and ancient monuments will also love the beautiful Amruteshwar Temple which was built in the 11th century AD. Dedicated to Shiva, this temple has been made in Hemadpanti style and is set amidst lush green fields with the majestic Mount Kalsubai Mountain in the backdrop.

The biggest attraction in Igatpuri is the breathtakingly beautiful Dhamma Giri Meditation Centre. The entrance of this centre feels like you are in another world altogether owing to the charming Golden Pagoda. People from all over India and abroad visit this place for the many courses they offer.

PLACES TO STAY IN IGATPURI

Hotel Comfort Inn (+91 9272208555) is one of Igatpuri’s most preferred hotels. A night’s stay will cost you about Rs 1,800.

Alternatively you can book a room in the Mystic Valley Spa Resort (02553 242017) which costs Rs 3400 for one night.

Manas Resort (02553 301111)  is another hotel that is often preferred by tourists who don’t mind spending Rs 6000 per night.

HOW TO REACH IGATPURI

Igatpuri Railway Station is the nearest rail head and is well connect to Mumbai. Situated at a distance of 120 km, by road you can reach Igatpuri in about 3 hours. Take the NH160 route and drive down or else take buses that run from Mumbai to Shahpur. Shahpur is just 2 hours from Igatpuri.

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