Wanderlust in times of Corona blues? Want to head out, but are also worried about social distancing? Worry not, because in this blog, we will tell you about some of the best lesser-known destinations near Mumbai, where you can avoid the crowd. Another thing, the places we are incorporating in this blog are not too far from the city, so you don’t have to take a train or flight and can enjoy a safe road trip from Mumbai with your family and friends. Read ahead for more:
A little town nestled in the Western Ghats, Jawhar can be visited for an escape into the lap of nature and ancient culture. This picturesque place is home to the Warli people, who are known for their Warli paintings. Apart from seeing tribal art, you can visit the historical Jaivilas Palace, which features a medley of the Indian and Neoclassical architectural styles. Being in the hills, Jawhar and the area around are home to numerous hiking trails, viewpoints and waterfalls.
If you fancy a bike trip from Mumbai, then you will love Tamhini Ghat. Essentially a road snaking through the Western Ghats, it takes you past several waterfalls, along dam reservoirs, over valleys and through immense greenery. All this while, the clouds are literally in your face! Due to its sultry weather and romantic vibes, Tamhini Ghat is also one of the best places to visit near Mumbai for couples.
If you are looking for refreshing waterfalls near Mumbai, then Bhandardara is the place to be. Along with the water gushing from high peaks, you can spend as much time as you want on the shores of lakes and on green pastures, amidst tall mountains. A hike through the lush jungles, which are inhabited by many animals, is also a good idea. The moment you feel tired, just head to a lake and splash the cool water on your face.
The beaches of Mumbai and the ones nearby, including Alibaug, are a little too popular with people. In this case, you must head to the tri-beach area of Shrivardhan, Diveagar and Harihareshwar to experience the serene Konkan coast at its best. Apart from extremely few people, the beaches will treat you to the sights of dolphins and turtles, along with the pretty beaches, lush palms and the deep-blue sea.
Around 60 km from Pune, Morachi Chincholi is literally an unknown place. Perfect for a one-day trip near Mumbai, Morachi Chincholi is a small eco-village, which is home to a peacock sanctuary, of sorts. It is your perfect escape into tranquillity, as extremely few people know about it. Apart from India’s national bird, you can also see babblers, robins, woodpeckers and parakeets here.
Also read our blog on the most amazing weekend getaways near Pune
Known as the Valley of Shadows, Sandhan Valley is a great adventure destination near Mumbai, for it gives you a combined thrill of hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, and river crossing! The highlight of this offbeat weekend getaway from Mumbai is that the trekking path is quite narrow, with tall cliffs on both sides. As the sunlight reaching the surface is quite less, the shadows are perpetual; hence, the name.
Purushwadi is an amazing picnic spot near Mumbai, which treats you to the sight of stars on earth! Nestled at the edge of the Western Ghats, this tiny village is known for its mass gathering and mating of twinkling fireflies, so do not forget to get your camera. Apart from watching this incredible spectacle, you can hike in the area, enjoy the easy-paced village life and indulge in a number of fun activities.
Across the mouth of the Savitri River from Harihareshwar, lies Velas, another crowd-free seaside hamlet in Maharashtra. Unlike most other holiday destinations near Mumbai, Velas is primarily known for its turtle festival. Olive Ridley sea turtles come ashore from the Arabian Sea to lay eggs, which they bury in the sand, before again disappearing in the ocean. The Turtle Festival is organised during the hatching season, when the little turtles come out of their eggs and scurry into the sea.
Dapoli is a great place for sea lovers, soul searchers and wildlife enthusiasts. While the beach near the town is one of the best places for dolphin watching in India, the backwaters of the Vashisht River are home to mugger crocodiles. As this is truly a less-crowded place near Mumbai, you can enjoy all the calm you have ever wanted. What’s more? Numerous watersports are also organised here.
Another name on the list of the most beautiful beach getaways near Mumbai is Anjarle-Harnai. On either side of the Jog River’s banks, these two are idyllic seaside towns, which give you a perfect combination of coastal fun and historical and architectural awe. You can just lie on the beach, sipping coconut water, or head out for a little swim in the sea. The fish auction in the morning is also something you would not want to miss. Then, there are the Kanakdurga, Goa and Suvarnadurg forts, which you can explore.
If a place is known as Mini Kashmir, then it is definitely worth a visit. Located on the shores of Shivsagar, formed by damming the Koyna River, Tapola is an idyllic place to get away from it all. The lake acts as a perfect place to relax, get refreshed and try numerous fun activities. There are loads of farms all around, which you can visit for a taste of the rural life and to pick up fresh produce.
One of the least-visited hill stations near Mumbai, Saputara is located at a gentle altitude of 1,000 metres from the sea level. Whether you want to just sit and look at the greenery, enjoy a walk along a lake, see regional wildlife from up close, immerse yourself in the local culture, or have a bit of an adventure, this place has got you covered.
One of the prettiest places for a two-day trip from Mumbai, the Kaas Plateau is a carpet of flowers, like nowhere else on earth. It is an almost-flat stretch of land with few trees and lush grass. Just after the rains, the plateau comes alive with almost 850 species of wildflowers, with the bloom extending to around 20 weeks. Just sitting amidst the flowers and walking past them, taking the different aromas, would be an experience of a lifetime.
Amba Ghat is all that one associates with the Western Ghats: green, quiet, cool. Plus, as it is essentially a mountain pass, it is perfect for a driving tour from Mumbai. Moreover, the area lies within Sahyadri Tiger Reserve and Bison Wildlife Sanctuary, so you are likely to see regional wildlife, including the Bengal tiger and the massive gaur (Indian bison).
We hope this blog has put to rest all worries on the places to visit near Mumbai, while following the social distancing norms. So, get your friends and family, take your car or bike out of the garage, and head out for a memorable trip.