City dwellers are always on the lookout for great weekend getaways that pull them out of concrete jungles and places where they can rejuvenate. Mumbai is known as the city of dreams and one that has a very fast-paced life but it also happens to be the city that is closest to some of the best hill stations. I’ve got you four of the best weekend getaways that are close to Mumbai for the next long weekend! Read on to find out:
Khandala is home to some structures of great historical significance along with beautiful landscapes. One such place in Khandala that holds a lot of historic importance is the Lohagad Fort which means ‘made of iron’ when translated to English. Constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji during his reign, the Lohagad Fort was one of places where prisoners were kept in captivation. The Lohagad Fort is now a tourist attraction that pulls crowds from neighbouring cities. Next on your list should be The Duke’s Nose. This popular viewpoint is named after the British Duke of Wellington whose nose resembled the peak of the mountain. However funny this sounds, the Duke’s nose can be accessed by trekkers and also has rock climbing opportunities for travellers.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Khandala would be during the monsoon months as it transforms itself into a monsoon paradise of sorts. If you’re looking to visit Khandala during the dry months, I suggest you visit around the months of October to March.
On the way to Visapur Trek
Lonavala is one of the most sought-after weekend getaways located close to Mumbai. The Bhushi Dam is almost synonymous with Lonavala, if you’re in Lonavala around the monsoon season, Bhushi dam was one of the most sought after places to visit as you gorge on some steaming hot corn pakoras with tea but lately it has become extremely crowded. Next, visit the Rajmachi Fort that affords a rustic yet luxurious escape from city life. You can also see the Western Ghats and the Shirota Dam from the Fort. If you’re looking for a hiking spot in Lonavala, the Tikona Fort is the best hiking spot, especially during the rains. Eat the famous vada pav at Golden Vada Pav, a very known vada pav brand in Lonavala, grab a vada pav with some tea and then finish it up with freshly made jalebi. After a light snack at Golden Vada Pav, go to Rudra, a poolside multi-cuisine restaurant located inside the Kailash Parbat Hotel. Rudra is the perfect restaurant if you’re looking for a quiet candlelit dinner with your loved one.
Best time to visit: Lonavala is best visited around the months of November to February as the weather is very pleasant and chilly around this time. However, if you’re looking for a monsoon time getaway, visit Lonavala from June to August.
Known for producing some of the finest quality of wine, Nashik makes for the perfect weekend getaway for wine-lovers. Nashik also hosts one of the biggest and most-visited wine festivals of India, the Sula Wine Festival. If you’re going to Nashik especially for the wine, suggest you visit around the time of the festival so you can participate in fun activities like grape-muddling and wine tasting from some of the best vineyards of India. Looking for something adventurous? Visit the Zonkers Adventure Park at Nashik where you can go-kart and participate in activities such as rock climbing, rappelling and zip lining among many other activities. Before you head back to your hotel, don’t forget to grab a meal at the Spice Garden restaurant in Nashik that serves some lip-smacking North Indian food. If you have a little more time on your hands and want to explore the surroundings, we suggest you visit the Trimbakeshwar temple and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the most well-known temples as it happens to be one among the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of India.
Best time to visit: In the months of summer, the temperature goes up to an average of 40 degrees Celsius while dropping around 10 degrees Celsius in the winters. The months of October through March are the best time to visit the city but if you’re looking for a monsoon time getaway, consider going in the months of June to September so you can enjoy the pleasant weather.
Located at an approximate distance of 120 kilometres from Mumbai, Igatpuri is one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai. Start off your trip to Igatpuri with a visit to the Ghatandevi Mandir, dedicated to Goddess Ghanta Devi who is believed to be the sole protector of the city, according to the locals. From the Ghatandevi temple, you’ll be able to see the surrounding peaks of Durvar Utvad, Harihar and Trimak. Visit the Tringalvadi fort, Camel Valley and Amruteshwar Temple at Igatpuri. If you’re looking for an adventurous getaway, Igatpuri also has the Kalsubai peak which is one of well-known trekking spots known for its scenic views. The Kalsubai peak is suitable for intermediate level trekkers as it has a steep ascend, make sure you’re wearing good durable shoes. Also, don’t miss the Arthur lake, the best place for a romantic stroll while you’re away from hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re in the mood to look at some very picturesque valleys and mountains, visit the Bhatsa River Valley, situated in the basin of the Bhatsa River. Located very close to the Bhatsa River Valley is the Camel Valley which draws in crowds for all over only to watch the beautiful waterfall formed due to precipitation, the waterfall is at a majestic height of 1000 feet (above mean sea level), you’re definitely in for a visual treat if you visit Igatpuri’s Camel Valley!
Best time to visit: If you’re planning a trip to Igatpuri, we suggest you go around the months of June through September or from November to March.
Let us know your favourite weekend getaway spot in the comments below!