Indian monsoons are magical! Breaking the entire country free from the shackles of the hot and sweaty summer, monsoons in India provide a welcome respite to cities and states that bear the brunt of the hot summer for months. One such state, which quietly waits for the rains and then suddenly springs to life with lush green fields and rolling green hills, is Maharashtra.

During the four months of the monsoon – June to September — Maharashtra transforms into a heavenly land abundant in natural beauty. The weather becomes romantic and the landscapes more scenic than anything you would ever see. Gushing waterfalls flank the curvy hilly roads and hilltops become tourist attractions providing breathtaking views. There is no doubt that Maharashtra is THE best Indian state to be in during the monsoons. But if you are wondering what places in Maharashtra are the best ones to witness this magical weather, here are 10 places you must consider:

1. Matheran

Matheran

Located just around 80 km from Mumbai, Matheran is one of the most visited hill stations in Maharashtra. It has some splendid viewing points and is extremely eco-friendly with no vehicles allowed at the hilltop.

2. Bhandardara

Photograph Courtesy: Anannya Deb/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Anannya Deb/Creative Commons

Known for its scenic beauty and serene ambiance, Bhandardara is fast-becoming a popular tourist attraction. The surrounding hills provide ample trekking opportunities and there are several stay options for tourists.

3. Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Tapola – Kaas

Mahabaleshwar

One of the best road trips to take from Mumbai and Pune, Mahabaleshwar is known for its spectacular mountain views, the amazing Mapro garden, the strawberries and the surrounding green hills. Located close to Mahabaleshwar are other beautiful spots like the Kaas valley of flowers and Tapola, a beautiful village in the hills.

4. Bhimashankar

Known mainly for the famous jyotirlinga temple located here, Bhimashankar becomes beautiful during the monsoon season with several waterfalls breaking out from the hilly region. the greenery and natural beauty here makes it one of the best offbeat places to visit in Maharashtra.

5. Malshej Ghat

Malshej Ghat

Beautiful and adventurous hill roads take you to Malshej Ghat, a foggy hill station with some fantastic waterfalls and splendid valley views. Enjoy the hot corn bhutta as you witness the beauty of the Western Sahyadris.

6. Diveagar – Shrivardhan – Harihareshwar

Photograph Courtesy: Bhagyashree G/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Bhagyashree G/Creative Commons

Another beautiful coastal stretch to the south of Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra is the Diveagar – Shrivardhan – Harihareshwar road. Beautiful forts, stunning beaches with no crowds, beautiful villages and some lip-smacking food awaits you in this wonderful region that is at its best during the rains.

7. Kalsubai

Photograph Courtesy: Rahul Bulbule/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Rahul Bulbule/Creative Commons

Maharashtra’s highest peak, Kalsubai is a moderate trek and a delight for adventure lovers. While the wind on top makes it difficult for you to stay there for too long, the trek is worth the effort for the stunning view from the summit. the weather and the views are the best during monsoon but you must go prepared for a tough day of trekking.

8. Thosegar falls

Photograph Courtesy: Amit Rawat/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Amit Rawat/Creative Commons

One of the most underrated destinations of the state, Thosegar is best for those looking to go to a quaint, untouched place away from the city hustle-bustle with abundant natural beauty. Just a 3-hour drive from Pune, Thosegar will surprise you with its beautiful waterfall and scenic splendour.

9. Lonavala

Lonavala

One might think that Lonavala has been ruined and exploited due to commercialisation over the years. But one visit to Lonavala’s Tiger point during the rains and you will see that it has magically retained its charm and is still one of the best getaways from Mumbai and Pune.

10. Kolad

Kolad-rafting1

Maharashtra’s only viable and plausible river-rafting option, Kolad is a hit with adventure lovers. However, the natural beauty of its green forests, the Kundalika river and the surrounding hills make Kolad a popular spot for nature lovers too. A day out at Kolad during the rains can prove to be one of your most rejuvenating trips ever!