One of the many great things about Mumbai is its geographic location. When in need of a getaway or a short vacation, you don’t need to travel far or make elaborate plans. The Western Ghats are gorgeous and there is no way you can resist not making an impromptu plan and just heading over to one of the destinations listed below.
Apparently the smallest hill station in India, Matheran means forest on the forehead. An eco-friendly town, no private vehicles are allowed within the premises. You can either walk to your resort, or you can hire horses/hand pulled rickshaws. With its pleasant climate, you can also go trekking here. At the Panorama Point, you get to see a 360 degree of Neral and the surrounding area. The sunrise as well as the sunset should not be missed. Other places to visit at Matheran are Monkey Point, Rambagh Point, One Tree Hill Point and the Prabal Fort.
About 100 kilometers from Mumbai, Durshet is not much frequented by tourists and hence, is quite a fresh place to visit. Covering an area of almost 25 acres of private forest, you get to see rice plantation in Durshet. The River Amba flows by and coupled with the climate of Durshet, your stay here will be blissful and calm.
Situated amidst the Western Ghats is the planned city of Lavasa, about 186 kilometers from Mumbai. A beautiful, colorful and well planned city, Lavasa makes for a relaxing getaway. You can go biking, trekking, on picnics and on family outings. There are nature trails in the forest cover where you can go for walks. Also in the lake here are activities like kayaking, jet skiing, and more. If you don’t like water sports, you can go for rock climbing or trekking for an outdoor adventure.
Less than 100 kilometers from Mumbai, the best time to go to Alibaug is between November and July. Known for temples like the Vikram Vinayak Temple, the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary not very far off, and the Kulaba Fort when the tide is low. Alibaug has all the elements for a quick and relaxing getaway.
Maharashtra is full of historic spots, Rajmachi being yet another of them. Situated in the Western Ghats, the Rajmachi Fort is a delight to visit during the monsoons when there is lush greenery all around. It’s the perfect time to trek to the fort and explore the surroundings; the history and beauty of the place will keep you spellbound.
Only 48 kilometers from Mumbai, Karnala Fort can be reached from the Sion-Panvel Expressway. Hardly a stone’s throw from Panvel, the main attractions of the place apart from its glorious nature are the fort and the bird sanctuary. Built by the Devagiri Yadavs, the fort was later used by the Tughlaqs. The bird sanctuary is famous for a large variety of birds – about 150 resident and almost 40 migratory – and the sanctuary is a popular site for bird enthusiasts.
A little ahead of Karnala Fort, about 62 kilometers from Mumbai, on the Sion-Panvel expressway, is Karjat, the home of mountain climbing, trekking and hiking. A popular weekend getaway, the city has everything for you – from film studios, to farm houses, to water sports, to nature trails. Peth Fort, Kondana Caves and Bhor Ghat are additional attractions.
A little over 100 kilometers from Mumba is Raigad, which is best visited between September and November. What used to be the capital of Shivaki now remains as a fort on the Sahyadris. If you are adventurous, you might want to climb up the 1737 steps, or you can get on the cable car and enjoy the view. While the fort is in ruins, you can still understand how the palace was, which gives a peak into the lives of the people who lived there centuries ago.
About 150 kilometers from Mumbai, the Malshej Ghat is situated on the Western Ghats, and attracts tourists from the world over. Shivneri Fort, where the famous ruler Shivaji was born, is very near to Malshej Ghat and an important tourist attraction here. You can also witness the most gorgeous waterfalls and if you are lucky, even see the migratory birds stopping over here.
About 120 kilometers from Mumbai is a place called Kolad, which is situated on the bank of Kundalike River and famous for rafting options. The beautiful landscape also makes Kolad ideal for trekking. You have the option to go paragliding and rappelling as well. Apart from trekking and water sports, you have the option to visit a fourth century fort, some waterfalls and even a dam.