1) MATHERAN ( माथेरान )
When you think of a weekend monsoon getaway, the first thing you think about is quiet and calm. Then what better than Matheran, which has rule of no vehicles allowed within the town! Just the journey to Matheran is exciting, a train ride in a heritage railway and travel around the town on horseback or hand pulled rickshaws. The hills themselves have much to offer as the clouds practically descends over it in the monsoon and with an adjoining valley it has over 30 lookout points, the beautiful Charlotte Lake and the ancient Pisarnath Mahadev Temple.
2) KOLAD ( कोलाड )
Close to the Mumbai – Goa Highway, Kolad is a quaint little place quite close to Mumbai with serene lake surrounded by hillocks and bursting waterfalls. The Kundalika River flows through Kolad and is full to brim in the monsoons, flowing in much gusto. There are white water river rafting facilities at the river. Kolad comparatively sees less visitors which makes for a quiet getaway. One can enjoy a swim in the lake or trek about the hillocks near the waterfalls.
3) LOHGAAD ( लोहगड )
One of the hill forts of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, this fort near Pune ruins is a perfect blend of historic and adventure. The entrance of the fort is called the Wind Spot which leaves you literally swept off your feet. One of the best trekking option near Mumbai for a day, especially in monsoon, Lohagad Fort offers a splendid view from the top. From the top you can view the Tung and Tikona Hills, the Pavana Dam and the Duke’s Nose. In monsoon the fort is covered in various shades of green making it sight to behold.
4) bhushi-dam ( भूशी धरण )
A quick 2 hour drive from pune. bhushi Dam is your one day escape route from pune’s chaos. In the peak monsoon season, the dam flows in full force and there is a deep fog in the region making it feel like literally walking in the clouds. A drive to bhushi itself is invigorating with the area covered in forest lands and mist.
5) Kalsubai peak( कळसूबाई )
The highest peak in the Sahyadri Ranges (1646m) of Maharashtra, it doesn’t get better than this. Filled with lush vegetation which also sees a lot of springs and streams during monsoon, Kalsubai Peak is a great monsoon getaway near Mumbai or Pune. It has a temple at the top and offers a magnificent view of the backwaters of Bhandardara. An ideal trekking place for adventure enthusiasts; one can also head to the Bhandardara Dam nearby which often overflows in the monsoon.
6) Thoseghar ( थोसघर )
Thoseghar Village in Satara is filled with waterfalls ranging from 20 metres to 500 metres in height. The Thoseghar Falls, one of the best waterfalls near Pune in monsoon are in their prime in the monsoon with more water gushing from the heights. A calm and serene surrounding with a quiet lake and the only noise filling the silence is from the waterfalls. An ideal place for picnic, a quick swim in the lake or for just watching the ebb and flow of water.
7) Panchgani ( पंचगनी )
The most popular hill station in the Sahyadri Ranges of Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar offers a fantastic panoramic view of surrounding hills and valleys. Monsoons cover the area in thick vegetation and waterfalls and springs crop up. Mahabaleshwar receives some of the highest rainfalls in Maharashtra which makes the hilltops look dressed in rains. About 20 kms from Mahabaleshwar, there is another hill station called Panchgani. It receives comparatively less rainfall than Mahableshwar and has beautiful valleys and rock formations to boast. It has Asia’s second largest mountain plateau called Table Land. Apart from this, Sydney Point, Devil’s Kitchen and Parsi Point are some other attractions.
8) Igatpuri ( इगटपुरी )
Igatpuri is one of the best monsoon getaways away from the crazy city life of Pune. It is a small and charming hill station located in the Sahyadri Hills in the Western Ghats. Dense forests and a number of ancient temples characterize the landscape of Igatpuri. It is renowned for the Vipassana International Academy where one can learn the age old technique of meditation called Vipassana. During monsoon, this tiny place is transformed into another world altogether, especially with the greenery and cool atmosphere.
9) Bhandardara ( भंडारदरा )
Bhandardara is a peaceful holiday resort village nestled in the Sahyadri Hills in the Western Ghats. It is famed for its remote location, and also the fact that it is an important stop over point while going to Shirdi. It is located right next to the Pravara River from where one can get spectacular views of the natural beauty in the area. Arthur Lake and Randha falls are the main attractions here. Lying amidst lush greenery, high hills and water, Bhandardara is the perfect monsoon getaway from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and is also visited by tourists throughout the year.
10) Lonavala ( लोणावळा )
The twin hill stations of Lonavla near Pune close to the Deccan Plateau offers a combined package of land and water. Surrounded by lush greenery and little poodles of water and gushing streams, this is an all in one place to visit near Mumbai in monsoon. The Bhushi Dam situated nearby has a beautiful waterfall to boast; bathe in the streams or have a picnic nearby. Little shacks of food offer some warm tasty dishes! Rajmachi View Point and a Celebrity Wax museum made on the lines of the London’s Madame Tussaud’s is a new attraction nearby.
Lets make a plan this season..!!