Mumbai is an amazing city with plenty of things to do and see. However, the scorching summer temperatures and the hectic life of this giant metropolis can sometimes get on your nerves. Thankfully, there are numerous hill stations located close by in case you need to get away from it all and just be at one with nature. Here are some of the best hill stations near Mumbai, India.
Nestled at an altitude of 800 meters in the Western Ghats, Matheran is an eco-sensitive region and automobile-free hill station. There is abundant natural beauty, wildlife, trekking trails and about 33 lookout points offering panoramic views of the area, which makes it a top choice for nature lovers, photographers and adventurers. To really admire all Matheran has to offer, ride the ‘toy train’ that covers the dense forests and hills of the town.
Located in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill station, and it’s easy to see why. There are scenic waterfalls, lush green hills and a wide variety of flora and fauna, thus offering something for everyone from nature lovers to adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts. When visiting, be sure to take a boat ride on the Venna Lake, hike the Pratapgad Fort for the unbeatable views, cool off and enjoy a picnic at the Lingamala Falls, soak in the sunset and enjoy 360-degree views from the Connaught Peak or Lodwick Point, and marvel at the spectacular natural rock formation, called Elephant Point. And, don’t miss sampling the fresh strawberries picked up from the Mapro Garden.
Lonavala-Khandala are tourist-heavy hill stations. From lush green hills and scenic waterfalls to historic forts and everything in between, spectacular vistas greet visitors at seemingly every turn in this twin hill station. Plus, its location in the Sahyadri ranges provides a perfect opportunity for adventure enthusiasts to try their hand at a variety of activities, including trekking, camping and rock climbing, to name a few. Some of the must-visit attractions include Bushi Dam, Rajmachi Fort, Karla and Bedsa Caves, Aambey Valley, Visapur Fort, Lohagad Fort, Tiger’s Leap and Kune Waterfalls.
Amidst the highest peaks of Sahyadris in the Western Ghats lie a scenic hill station of Igatpuri, which is a hot spot for recreational activities, such as trekking and hiking. For some serious spirituality and serenity, the hill station boasts the Dhammagiri meditation center, where visitors can partake in insight meditation (Vipasana). Other highlights include Tringalwadi Fort set at an elevation of 914 meters and offering picturesque views of the area, the Bhatsa River Valley and Camel Valley, the Ghatandevi Temple and Amruteshwar Temple.
Surrounded by five hills, Panchgani was a summer resort used by the British back in time. Today, it is one of the popular hill stations that boasts some of the well-preserved British architecture, plus a pleasant weather and plenty of natural beauty to boot. Trekking and hiking here is particularly rewarding, with routes passing through the hills, lush valleys and forests.
Visitors adore Karjat for its unparalleled beauty and unrivalled access to the stunning hilly terrains, including the Western Ghats, Sahyadri and Bhorghat. Indulge in adventure activities, such as trekking, mountain climbing or river rafting; go spelunking in the Kondana Caves, or just kick back and relax in the natural surroundings.
In the lap of Sahyadri hills lies the serene hill station of Amboli. It is the smallest hill station, yet has plenty to offer everyone, from nature lovers to wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers. Visitors to Amboli can trek to the Madhavgad Fort offering breathtaking views, take a nature walk in the verdant forests brimming with a wide variety of flora and fauna, or admire the beauty of Amboli Falls or Nangarta Falls.
Malshej Ghat is a scenic mountain pass in the Western Ghats, where you can be at one with nature in peace. Nature lovers can marvel at the gushing waterfalls and spot a wide variety of flora and fauna in the verdant forests. Those seeking adventure can go hiking or trekking in the surrounding hills. Plus, the region features a great avian population, making it a paradise for birders. From July to September, birders will be delighted at the sight of pink flamingos.
Located in the Kolhapur district, Panhala is a quiet and calm hill station, brimming with medieval forts and spectacular vistas of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. One of the most notable attractions is the Panhala Fort that is perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the area. Other must-visits include Sajja Kothi, Parashar Caves, Sambhaji Temple and Someshwar Tank. Breathe in some fresh air and relax in this natural haven!
Lavasa is an up-and-coming modern hill station spread across seven hills. It’s a fantastic place to go for adventure and leisure activities. Visitors can get active with pursuits, such as golf and watersports. Those not up for adventure can take a stroll around the town, soak in the beauty, and gaze upon the multicoloured buildings and the Temghar Dam, which is one of the major attractions here.