Call it the city that never sleeps or the city that fulfils the dreams of millions every day. Mumbai, also known as the ‘entertainment capital of the country’, is also one of the most popular cities in the entire world. Once a fishing colony, the city is now one of the major sources of India's economy and tourism industry.
Adding to the charm and appeal of this port city are the hill stations that serve as relaxing getaways to locals and tourists of this metropolis. Most of these picturesque hill stations near Mumbai are tucked away from the humdrum of the city, thus adding to a quiet and calm holiday experience.
Here are some of the best hill stations near Mumbai:
1) Lonavala (Distance - 83Km)
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A popular hill station near Mumbai, Lonavala is plonked in the Sahyadri ranges between the Deccan Plateau and Konkan coast. The Tungi Fort of Lonavala is one of its famous tourist spots. Apart from this fort, there are also many caves present around the city namely Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and the Bedsa Caves. The place has valleys, hills, waterfalls and lush greenery due to which it is also called the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’. The hilly city is also known for its sweet chikki. In its entirety, Lonavala makes an ideal hill station near Mumbai.
2) Matheran (Distance - 83Km):
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The smallest yet one of the most visited hill stations in India; Matheran is located in the Western Ghats Ranges of Karjat, Maharashtra. A sought after getaway around the city of dreams, it is known for its 38 different look-out points that offer panoramic views of the neighbouring regions. Once a popular summer escapade to the British officials, it has been declared as one of the eco-sensitive regions in Maharashtra.
3) Khandala (Distance: 93Km)
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While the Western Ghats add to the mystical appeal of Khandala, its Bollywood connection adds to its popularity and fame. Situated between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan Plains, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular hill stations near Mumbai. Though it was a popular hilly retreat since the British rule in India, it reached the zenith of fame after being featured in a popular Bollywood song.
4) Malshej Ghat (Distance - 127Km)
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Nestled amidst the enchanting hills of the Western Ghats in the Thane district of Maharashtra, Malshej Ghat is yet another one of the picturesque hill stations near Mumbai.
Known for breathtaking sceneries and a myriad range of exotic flora and fauna, it is one of the favourite homes of migratory birds coming from Siberia. If you are planning to visit Malshej Ghat during the months of July and September, you can witness the joyous mating dance of the pink-legged Flamingos.
5) Jawahar (Distance - 155Km)
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Nicknamed as the 'Mahabaleshwar of Thane', Jawahar has a lot to offer its visitors. Soaring at a height of 518m above the sea level, this hill station near Mumbai entices tourists with a list of natural wonders like the Dadarkopara Falls, Jaivilas Palace, Hanuman Point and the Sunset Point. This was one of the few places where the mighty Maratha ruler Shivaji laid his camps while he was on the way to Surat.
6) Bhandardara (Distance - 165Km)
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Situated beside the stunning Paravara River, this hill station is known for its serenity and mystical beauty. Decorated with several tourist spots: Ratangad Fort, Agasti Rishi Ashram, Wilson Dam, Umbrella Falls, Randhaa Falls and Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, it is also one of the most sought after hiking destinations in Maharashtra.
7) Lavasa (Distance - 186Km)
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Lavasa is one of the newest hill stations near Mumbai in the country. A private hill station city around Mumbai, it is located within an hour's drive from Pune and is easily accessible from other major places in Maharashtra. Royal and elegant in its own way, every bit of this upcoming hill station has been detailed in an intricate way that caters to the luxury and comfort of its residents.
8) Panchgani (Distance - 245Km)
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Situated in the Satara district of Maharashtra, Panchgani got its name from five of the constituting villages: Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar and Taighat.
Discovered in the late 1860s by British officials, this hill station was used as an alternative to Mahabaleshwar during the monsoons. Scenic and alluring in its own way, its salubrious climate and vegetation attracts a plenitude of visitors all throughout the year.
9) Saputara (Distance - 248Km)
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The 'abode of serpents' or Saputara is a quaint hill station in Gujarat. Well-connected to Mumbai, this hill station stands on the Sahyadri range and is nestled in the Dang forest thickets. Adding more to its meticulous beauty are the various tourist attractions that include Gandhi Shikhar, Sunrise and Echo Points, Sardar Shikhar, Hatgad Fort, Saputara No Sap and several others. It is also one of the most sought after destination for trekking, cable rides and boating in Gujarat.
10) Mahabaleshwar (Distance - 263Km)
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The towering heights of the Western Ghats, the enchanting charm and appeal of the evergreen forests add to the picture-perfect beauty of Mahabaleshwar. Located in Maharashtra's Satara district, it was the 'summer capital' of India during the British rule. Credited as one of the oldest hill stations around Mumbai, the allure of Mahabaleshwar is further enhanced by sites like Arthur's Seat, Kate's Point, Needle Hope Point, 3 Monkey Point and the mystical Krishna River.
11) Panhala (Distance - 374Km)
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Founded by the great Maratha ruler Shivaji, Panhala is very closely related to the Maratha kingdom. Standing at 977m above the sea level, this scenic hill station is also the smallest city in Maharashtra. With the Panhala Fort being one of the major attractions, this hilly city has witnessed several changes and was conquered by the Marathas, Mughals and the British as well.
12) Amboli (Distance - 491Km)
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Tucked away in the Sahayadri Hills, Amboli is located at a height of 690m above sea level. Due to the undulated and salubrious beauty of the hill station, it has been declared as one of the best 'Eco Hot Spots' of the world. This hill station near Mumbai is further credited with a stunning range of flora and fauna. According to ancient tales and folklores, the region once had 108 Shiva temples, out of which only a few have been found till date!
When life gets too strenuous, one usually runs for the hills and what better way to do that than visit these salubrious hill stations near Mumbai. Whisk away your family, friends or colleagues, to these appealing hilly retreats that will definitely rejuvenate your body and mind.