Maharashtra in August is a mix of good and bad, depending on your perspective. The monsoon rains will continue in the month, which means traffic snarls and potholes everywhere. On the other hand, August is also the month of festivals, with Ganesh Chaturthi, Bhandara Festival, Krishna Janmashtami and Independence Day falling within the 31 days (you can find out more about the festivals and events happening in India in August here). But, the monsoon season is also the best time to explore the state, especially its hills. The atmosphere is clearer and fresher than ever, the forests are greener and there are waterfalls everywhere. You can sit back and enjoy the cool breeze and majestic views of lush green hills and waterfalls this month at any of the best places to visit in Maharashtra in August. Also Read - COVID-19: Mumbai's Vacant Properties Will be Used as Quarantine Centres, Says BMC in Fresh Circular
Located at the meeting point of five hills, Panchgani is at its best this season. Its viewpoints offer some of the best views of the Western Ghats at their finest. There are also lakes, waterfalls and temples to see here. Bombay Point, Lingmala Falls, Venna Lake, Table Land, Wilson Point, Dhom Dam and Sydney Point are all worthy sights if you are in Panchgani. The spiritual traveler can head to the Panchganga Mandir or Mahabaleshwar Temple. Panchgani lies around 240 km or a four to five-hour drive from Mumbai, while the 101 km distance from Pune can be covered in roughly two hours. A road trip is the best way to go, with all its twists and bends and scenic views. Also Read - BMC Circular, Directing That Bodies of COVID-19 Patients Only be Cremated, Withdrawn
The hill station of Amboli, lying at a modest 690 meters above sea level, is the last one you see before you reach the rain-soaked beaches of Goa. But while Goa’s call may be tempting, even in the monsoon, Amboli still makes for a worthy destination of its own. Relatively less explored than the many other hill stations that dot Maharashtra, Amboli is a quiet and peaceful retreat in the hills, with its misty forests and fresh atmosphere. Sindhudurg Fort, Sagareshwar Beach, Moti Talao and Terekhol Fort are also popular spots here. Amboli is around 490 km from Mumbai, making it an 8-hour drive. From Pune, it is around 350 km or a six-hour drive. Also Read - Bodies of COVID-19 Patients Should be Cremated Irrespective of Religion: BMC
Shrivardhan‘s inviting white sandy beaches and untouched environment make for a nice break from the busy city streets, especially during the monsoon. You cannot beat the view of the sea past the white sands here, and you can also visit other nearby coastal destinations like Harihareshwar, Diveagar and Kondivali from here. The beach resort town also has a Peshwa memorial and the Laxminarayan temple to offer, but you’ll spend most of your time here by the waters. The place is around 187 km from Mumbai, or a four-hour drive. From Pune, the 157 km route takes roughly the same amount.
River rafting in Kolad
If you want some adventure, Kolad is one of the best options for a weekend getaway or a short vacation. It has plenty of campsites to bring you closer to nature. Monsoon is also the best time to experience the adventure activities here. White water rafting on the river is the most famous one here, but you can also go canoeing and zip lining. Kolad also has some trekking trails to explore. Bhira Dam, Tamhini falls and the Kuda and Kolad caves are major points of interest here. It is also relatively nearby; it takes around two and a half hours to cover the 122 km stretch from Mumbai, and a little bit more for the 144 km from Pune.
Home to one a sprawling bird sanctuary and one of the oldest forts of the Maratha Empire, Karnala has plenty to offer. The trek to the fort is easy with a few challenging bits, making it a nice weekend experience to cool off. The Karnala forest really comes alive in the monsoon, with more than 150 bird species making their presence felt and celebrating the rains. Once you reach the majestic, moss-covered fort, you get an incredible view of the Sahyadri hills around you and the Mumbai coastline like no other. Located just around 450 meters above sea level, the fort trek can be done by anyone, and Karnala itself is just around 50 km from Mumbai city. From Pune, however, it is around 121 km or two hours.
Malshej Ghats in the monsoons
One of the most popular monsoon getaways, Malshej Ghat earns its popularity because of the series of waterfalls that descend down its jagged rocky surface every season. The picturesque road that pass beside these waterfalls are a common stop for bikes and cars alike, but Malshej has more to offer. Its mulberry orchards that flourish in the monsoon are also famous in their own right. And the region also has some of the best treks in Maharashtra. There are the Nane Ghat and Darkoba Peak treks, and the Ajoba Hill and Jivdhan Chawand fort treks. The famous Harishchandragad fort trek is also nearby, as is the Shivneri fort. Malshej lies around 127 km from Mumbai (around three hours) and 120 km from Pune.
The famous hill station where vehicles are not allowed and the smallest hill station in the state, Matheran and its viewpoints lure in plenty of people during the monsoon. It has plenty of viewpoints that you can walk or a ride a horse to reach, and the whole hill station is frequently engulfed by clouds during the season. Monkey Point, One Tree Point, Panorama Point, Echo Point and Louisa Point are some of the more famous viewpoints to see here. There is also Prabal Fort that you can see from some of the points here. Matheran is also pretty easily reachable, just 80 km from Mumbai city and 125 km from Pune.