The city of Pune has a lot of places to explore, from the Aga Khan Palace and Shaniwar Wada to the numerous parks and the shops of FC Road and Hong Kong Lane. But sometimes it is good to just get out of the city and away from the urban setting. Thankfully, Puneites have plenty of destinations to choose from near their city. Instead of a hotel or resort, though, you could go camping. Depending on your budget, you could find all kinds of camping options, from basic camps to luxury tents. And all of this is super accessible, thanks to the easy availability of tents and, for newbies, operators that arrange tents and camps for you. Here, then, are some places where you can go camping near Pune, hidden among the nearby Western Ghats and along the Konkan coast. Just remember to carry the right amount of supplies and keep your campsite clean. ALSO READ: Top 5 camping destinations in India for those who love living in tents!
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Bordi Beach is a good place to go camping, especially if you are new to the whole idea of it. Unlike some other entries in this list, you will not have to trek up the Western Ghats. All you need to do is head to the beach, around 280 km or five and a half hours from Pune, and set up camp. Best experienced with a group, the serene beach is a good place to relax and watch the stars, or go all out and have a blast with your friends. The locals are friendly, and you can explore the market, visit the nearby village, see Aswali Dam and have a bonfire at night beside the ocean. The Kalpataru botanical gardens and sapodilla orchards are other sights to see here. Also Read - Will Full Lockdown Return to Maharashtra if Cases Rise Again? Check What State Minister Vijay Vadettiwar Has to Say
Located around 135 km from the city, the hill fort of Harishchandragad is a popular trek in the region. If you plan to trek up the hill and explore the fort, you should definitely spend a night camping here. In the end, you would have experienced a bonfire under the night sky in a historic fort, gone rock climbing and trekking, and would have crossed deep valleys. From the campsite at the top of Harishchandragad, you get incredible views of the Western Ghats and plenty of time to try the above mentioned adventure activities before retiring for the night. Also Read - Lockdown to be Eased Partially in Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad From June 7. Complete List of Relaxations Here
If you prefer a camping experience that is closer to home, consider Pawna Lake. The pristine lake lies around 60 km from the city, and is a popular haunt for the people of Mumbai as well. Still, it lies well away from the crowds of nearby Lonavala and Khandala, and is a good alternative to the highly commercialized hill stations. You get to spend time at a campsite beside the lake, soaking in the beauty of the hills. You could also take a swim in the waters of the lake before warming up beside a bonfire. For first-time campers, this is the perfect experience to introduce you to the wonders of a campsite adventure.
Rajmachi Fort in the monsoon
Rajmachi lies around 168 km south of Pune and is steeped in history. The place was once a major fort used by the Maratha Empire during the military campaigns of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The fort overlooked the Borghat mountain pass that connected Mumbai and Pune, and today the two forts of Manaranjan and Shrivardhan at the top make for an excellent trekking destination. There is a lake right at the campsite, with a historic Shiva temple at its banks. The campsite is around 17 km from Lonavala, and is best experienced in the monsoon and winter months, when the hills and forests are at their greenest. ALSO READ: 5 best places to star-gaze in and around Mumbai
Another place to go camping at the hill top, Torna Fort lies around 90 km from Pune, but is generally recommended for seasoned trekkers and those with enough endurance. This is the highest fort in Pune district, lying at an altitude of around 1,400 meters. It takes around four hours to reach the top, and winter is when it is easiest to do the trek. Experienced trekkers can also do this trek in the monsoon, but newbies are better off not attempting this one. At the top, you have plenty of places to camp and enjoy the view of the Sahyadris around you. There are some temples to visit on the fort and use as a shelter if you do not have your own tents.
Located near Arthur Lake, the village of Bhandardara and its campsite grounds are a good spot for a nice three-day camping holiday. Bhandardara lies a little over 170 km from Pune, and you do not have to endure a difficult trek to reach here. The lake here is a reservoir formed by the water from Wilson dam, built over Pravara River. From here, you can go on a walks through the forest, offering incredible views of the lake and the hills around it. You can then spend the evening cooking up a barbecue and then enjoy a nice dance and games with the group. The nearby Randhaa and Umbrella waterfalls are also worth exploring.
A boat in the sea near Murud Janjira Fort
We started this list with a beach camping site, and we end it with another one. The small fishing town of Murud lies around 207 km or five hours away from Pune, and is famous for being home to the island fort of Murud Janjira. Here, you get the chance to camp at the top of a hill overlooking the Arabian sea. You can go cycling around the area and swimming in the open waters, apart from exploring the famed fort itself. After that, you can have a barbecue in the evening before you party the night away with friends and wake up the next day to a stunning view of the sea. NOW SEE: 11 Less explored camping destinations in India!
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