Mumbai’s life runs on fast tracks – fast locals, fast highway lanes, fast food. People living here sometimes get exhausted while keeping up with the pace. The five-day week pass by in a blur of rushed mornings, tough deadlines, hurried meetings, squeezed-in workouts and cheat meals. Which means while keeping up with the hectic week, you almost forget to plan for the weekend.By the time Friday arrives, you have no clue how to make the best of Saturday and Sunday. And over that when you realise that you’ve neglected the fact that Maharashtra has a long weekend coming up in two days, thanks to public holidays, then you find yourself in a real fuss. But nothing to worry about as we’ve compiled a list of last minute getaways from the Bay to head for even if you have missed to plan your weekend retreat.
MALSHEJ GHAT – WHERE NATURE RESIDES
Adventurous trips are very common these days among friends and groups, thanks to ‘ZindagiMilegi Na Dobara’. So, if you have a thing for adventure, trekking and hiking, this is the place for you. The scenic beauty and mesmerizing landscape is worth a watch. And if you travel during monsoons, you can spot amazing flamingos in large numbers here. You can also take natural showers in several waterfalls around this lovely location. Once you visit watch out for the Buddhist caves which are believed to exist from the 3rd Century.
Reach and stay – MalshejGhat is around 130 kms from Mumbai and the nearest railway station is Kalyan. You can also take a private or government bus to the location if you are not willing to drive down. You can check out private lodges which are easily available. If you are looking for a more local experience, you can find accommodation in a nearby village called Madh.
JAWHAR – THE WATERFALL POINT
Located at an altitude of 518m, this hill station is home to gorgeous waterfalls of Maharashtra -Dabhosa and Kalmandvi. Besides waterfalls, Jawhar has a lot of tourist attractions like Sunset point, Hanuman point, etc. It is also famous for its beautiful Warli paintings which are called the hallmark of this place. Jai Vilas Palace, located nearby, is also a go-to destination.
Reach and stay – Located at about 166 kms from Mumbai, Jawhar is well connected by train and bus. The nearest railway station is Igatpuri. But if you have to take pleasure of the twist and turns that the hill station offer, then drive your way up. It’s absolutely thrilling. There are a lot of holiday resorts available, so you can pick any one of your choice.
MAHABALESHWAR – FOR THE LUXURY SEEKER
Seeking a luxurious weekend? Head for Mahabaleshwar. Home to one of the few evergreen forests in India, this hill station in the Western Ghats has been high on tourist visit-lists for years, which also means it offers a range of high-end luxury escapes. So if you want to give adventure sports, camping and eco-tents a pass, then live it up in one of Maharashtra’s best known mini-getaway spots.
Reach and stay – Mahabaleshwar is only a five-hour drive away from Mumbai. There are a number of bungalows and resorts to hop in. And talk about luxury, most of the stays offer master bedrooms, exquisite meals,verandas and lush gardens paired with modern amenities like WiFi, LED TVs and all-around air conditioning. So, keep your favourite play list handy as you tune your way to extravagance.
KARNALA – HOME TO THE FEATHERED FELLOWS
Nature lovers and bird watchers can head to one of the most exciting places near Mumbai, Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Monsoon is the best season to spot exotic bird species like the Malabar Whistling Thrush, Magpie Robin and Paradise Flycatcher (yes that many). Trekkers or trailers are in for a treat at Karnala, as you get to trek up the 11th century Karnala Fort, which offers stunning panoramic views of the green Sahyadri mountains. You can climb up one of the many cliffs in Karnala. The trick is to start early in the morning.
Reach and stay – Karnala is approximately48 kilometres away from Mumbai. An easy drive of 1.5 hours from Mumbai will take you to Karnala. Holiday resorts are easily available, so no need for advance booking. Karnala makes for a good day trip as well as a relaxing weekend getaway.
SILVASSA – A CITY WITH A VIEW
It might be an Industrial town and set to be the next smart city, but it’s also the capital of a union territory—Dadra and Nagar Haveli (easily accessible from Mumbai)—which means it’s not an atypical getaway. A blend of beautiful churches, temples, museums and gardens are on its visit list but you can also choose a nice secluded resort and soak in the calmness away from the chaos of the city. Altogether this place will offer you a different getaway experience for sure.
Reach and stay–You can put up in the Forest Village, Khanvel. The place is so isolated; you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re not even in Maharashtra anymore (and to a certain extent that’s true). Cottages with warm, modern interiors amidst lush greenery, a compact pool to sun bathe in, the home-style food and the fact that cellphone range is nearly non-existent make it an ideal getaway from the hectic life of Mumbai.
These short breaks make for ideal quick getaways from Mumbai and offer the much needed respite from the hustle-bustle of the city. In fact, going for short weekend trips is the best way to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. So where are you heading to in your next long weekend?