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Photograph courtesy: Lalit S/Creative Commons

If you, like so many of us, are an ’80s or a ’90s kid, chances are you’d have only heard of Karjat or passed by it but never visited it. After all, why would you ever want to visit a place that isn’t just back of beyond, it is in the back of the back of beyond?! Karjat, of course, has come a long way since then. In fact, today it is a getaway for several of Mumbai’s well-heeled citizens. From Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn to Maharashtra politician Raj Thackeray, everyone who is someone owns a farmhouse here. Karjat also has some very exclusive farmstays and in the monsoon, this little outpost of the metropolis becomes a haven for stressed out Mumbaikars. And so, we bring you five reasons why Karjat is a great place to head to this monsoon! Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra Reports 8807 New Cases, 80 Deaths; Districts Asked to Ramp up Testing

1. It is the perfect weekend getaway… just on the outskirts of the city

Located just over 70 km from Mumbai, Karjat can be easily accessed by rail — Karjat is an important station along Mumbai’s suburban railway line — and road. Either way it takes about two hours to reach Karjat from the city, making it one of the closest getaways from the cement jungle we call Mumbai. Despite the recent spurt of construction in Karjat, the town retains much of its rural charm. Get off the train and lush greenery greets you, putting you in vacation mode instantly! Also Read - Coronavirus: Schools, Colleges, Coaching Institutes To Remain Shut till March 31 in Maharashtra’s Jalna

2. It has so many trekking routes you’ll be spoilt for choice

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Karjat serves as the starting point for at least three major trekking trails: Chanderi Fort Trek, Matheran Trek via Rambagh Point and Peth Fort Trek. Come monsoon and the trails come alive in numerous shades of green. The pleasant weather and the slight drizzle only add to the charm of the treks.

3. It even has river rafting opportunities

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Over the last few years, river rafting has emerged as one of the most popular of the many adventure sports in India. While India has several great places to go rafting, Kolad is perhaps the most popular one in Maharashtra. (ALSO READ All you need to know about river rafting in Kolad this monsoon) Though not as popular as Kolad, Karjat also offers good options for river rafting, especially if you’re an amateur. Outbound Adventure (outboundadventure@gmail.com / +919820195115) is one such operator that undertakes river rafting expeditions for a price.

4. It is home to caves that date back to first century BC!!

Bajirao Nawale/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph courtesy: Bajirao Nawale/Wikimedia Commons

Despite being partly destroyed due to an earthquake in 1900, Kondana Caves are a major tourist draw in Karjat. Located about 6-8 km from Karjat in the Kondivade village, these caves can be accessed after a short trek. Built in the Hinayana Buddhist tradition, the stone-cut Buddhist caves are a group of 16 caves that have some beautifully carved sculptures and are complete with a prayer hall and lodgings for the monks. If it’s a trip down time you’re looking for, Kondana Caves are it!

5. It has resorts/farmstays for every budget

Photograph courtesy: Tooth Mountain Farms and Nursery

Photograph courtesy: Tooth Mountain Farms and Nursery

As the market value of Karjat as a tourist destination grew, so did the number of resorts. While on the one hand there is Saguna Baug (+919370702932 / +9109209313174), the beautiful close-to-nature resort) that costs just a couple of thousand rupees per night and on the other, there is the exclusive Tooth Mountain Farms and Nursery farmstay (+919969030207) which will set you back by about Rs 30,000 per night (if you book the entire property).

Still wondering what to do in Karjat?

NOW READ Our complete travel guide to Karjat

ALSO READ 10 best places to visit in India in the monsoon

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