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  • Unwind yourself at some of the best weekend getaways near Mumbai. It is often believed that ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ never sleeps but one of the most remarkable feature about this vibrant city is that in return of all the hard work, it offers some of the best destinations to all stressed out Mumbaikars.

    Weekend Getaways Within 150Kms from Mumbai:

     Karjat: 62.3Km (Best for trekking, hiking and mountain climbing), Route Map
     - Durshet: 76.4Km (Best for rappelling, zip lining and trekking), Route Map
     - Matheran: 80.3Km (Best for rappelling and trekking), Route Map
     - Lonavala: 82.7Km (Best for waterfall rappelling, camping and trekking), Route Map
     - Alibag: 92.0Km (Best for watersports, sightseeing and bird watching), Route Map

    Weekend Getaways Within 300Kms from Mumbai:

    - Bhandardara: 163.9Km (Best for sightseeing and trekking), Route Map
    Nashik: 165Km (Best for wine tours), Route Map
    - Daman: 170Km (Best for beaches and forts), Route Map
    - Lavasa: 193Km (Best for watersports, trekking and family picnics), Route Map
    - Harishchandragad: 201.8Km (Best for trekking), Route Map

    Weekend Getaways more than 300Kms from Mumbai:

    - Jaigad: 310.1Km (Best for trekking, Sahyadri Tiger Reserve and Koyna forest ranges), Route Map
    - Ellora: 327.4Km (Best for cave exploration), Route Map
    - Ratnagiri: 336.4Km (Best for beaches and forts), Route Map
    - Tarkarli: 534.4Km (Best for watersports and temples), Route Map
    - Dudhsagar: 578.8Km (Best for trekking), Route Map

    Mumbai has a wide variety of some of the most amazing places that caters to the need of all kinds of wanderers. Beaches are the best places to beat the boredom, visit Bordi, Daman and Gokarna. Mumbai also showcases some of the most historically significant places around it, the colossal old caves that witnessed various generations come and go and the forts will leave you awestruck.
  • Weekend Getaways Within 150 Kms from Mumbai

  • 01Pawana Lake Camping near Lonavala

    Pawana Lake Camping near Lonavala
    • d1 Dayn1 Night
    • lPune
    • NNNNN1 review
    • supplier
      Supplier
      Code: 4420402
    • 2,500
    About the Activity:
    • The campsite is located 7 kilometers away from Lonavala, which requires either trekking from Lonavala or jeep transfer.
    • This tour offers you a great view of the scenic rock structures in the green valleys forests inhabited with different flora and fauna.
    • Enjoy camping near the hill station with relish the delicious food in the open camp site. 
    • You will also get an opportunity to indulge in some adventure activities at an additional cost if minimum ten people are ready for the adventure.
    • Check in to the camp site at 04:30 PM on Day 1 and check out on the following morning at around 10:00 AM after breakfast.
  • 02Camping and Water Activities in Maval

    Camping and Water Activities in Maval

    Distance from Mumbai: 114 Kms

    Embraced by the bucolic charm of the Sahyadri Ranges of the Western Ghats, this scenic village in Pune, Maharashtra, is also one of the ideal destinations that also make it to the list of getaways around Mumbai. Divided into several sub-divisions, the balmny experience that it offers, is a must for everyone!

    Embraced with the fascinating charm and appeal of the Sahayadri Range, this appealing village is also an ideal camping destination and known for water sports near Pune.

    Group Adventure in Maval, Takve Lake

    Group Adventure in Maval, Takve Lake

    NNNNM32 Reviews

    d1 Dayn1 NightlLonavala

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    O950

  • 03 Lonavala

    Khandala.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Distance: 93 km Via Mumbai - Pune Expy

    Lonavala is a hill station with ample number of resorts, which are immensely popular for weekend getaways near Mumbai. They can be reached in just three hours by road from Mumbai. Besides natural beauty Lonavala is also famous for the different kinds of chikki, a sweet made of groundnuts and jaggery.

    Location:  The city is situated along the Mumbai-Pune Highway at an altitude of 625 metre.

    Activities: Trekking is a popular activity here. Camping, waterfall rappelling and farm tours are also popular for the city folk who visit here.

    Attractions around:
    There are several tourist destinations such as the Korigad Fort, the Tiger’s Leap, the Lohgad, the Karla and Bhaja caves.

    Some of the important places worth sightseeing include the Duke’s Nose which is a cliff resembling the nose of the Duke of Wellington. The place is an excellent viewing point and presents a panoramic view of the surroundings.

    The Korigad Fort is another often toured spot and is located at a distance of 3050 feet. The Tiger’s Leap is another such popular viewing point. On viewing the surroundings from this point, an illusion of a tiger leaping across the river appears and hence the name. Lohgad is famous for its waterfalls, an ancient fort and ancient caves.

  • 04Palghar

    Palghar
    Image Credit : Nagraj Salian - Flickr

    On the outskirts of Mumbai’s suburbs, the small town of Palghar makes for a convenient holiday visit. Its less crowded streets and peaceful ambience is just what the city-dwellers seek for a relaxed and laid back vacation.

    Attractions: One of the weekend getaways near Mumbai close by, Kelva and Mahim beaches are ideal to watch the mesmerising view of sunset. Kelva and Shirgaon forts, though in ruins, are good for a day trip from the town. Kelva Dam is a popular picnic spot which is frequented by locals on weekends.

    Activities: Explore the two forts that stand in this region. Visit a fishing village near the beaches and enjoy a family outing at the dam or on the sandy beaches.

    Type of Destination: Historic, beach, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 109 kms

    Best time to Visit: June to September and November to February

    Camping Adventure in Palghar, Mumbai

    Camping Adventure in Palghar, Mumbai

    NNNNM

    d1 Dayn1 NightlMumbai

    Starting from

    O2,499

  • 05Kamshet

    Kamshet
    Image Credit : Karthik Chandrasekariah - Fllickr

    Distance: 100kms via Mumbai- Pune EXpy

    Nestled in the Pune district of Maharashtra, Kamshet is one of the most crowd-pleasing weekend places near Mumbai. It is situated at a distance of 16 km from the twin hill stations of Khandala and Lonavla. The natural beauty of the surroundings of Kamshet and the charming little villages that comprise of houses made of mud and thatched roofs hold a special allure for travellers from all over the country and the world. The nearest railhead is the Kamshet railway station which runs parallel to the River Indrayani. The hills along this route have a number of ancient cave temples, colonial hill stations and hill fortresses.

    There are several activities that tourists can enjoy at Kamshet. Paragliding is a rage here as the destination provides world class paragliding facilities. For this reason, a large number of enthusiasts and flying sport aficionados visit Kamshet throughout the year for paragliding sessions. Paragliding is an enjoyable experience here as it is surrounded by green ambling hills, beautiful paddy and sunflower fields. There are a couple of places in Kamshet which are perfect for this adventure activity. Tower Hill is just perfect for hand gliding.

    Another prominent setting for the spot is Shelar, which is situated at a distance of just 8 km from the highway. It offers the perfect conditions for thermal paragliding and soaring. Paragliders can take off from 175 feet or more because of the perfect landscape. The Kondeshwara Cliff is ideal for those who have enough experience to take on tough challenges. It is situated at a distance of 20 km from Kamshet and tourists can take off from a height of 2200 feet and soar above the breath-taking landscape of this beautiful destination.

    Kamshet is perfect for ridge and thermal soaring and is ideal for basic, intermediate and cross-country paragliding expeditions. Tourists can happily soar over the picturesque Pawna Lake and glide over the beautiful scenery of the region. Due to the popularity of paragliding in the region, Kamshet is also known as the ‘Paraglider’s Paradise.’ There are several places of interest such as the Karla Caves, Bedsa Caves, the Bhaja Caves and the Kondeshwar Temple.

    Paragliding in Kamshet

    Paragliding in Kamshet

    NNNNN32 Reviews

    h20 MinuteslKamshet

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    O3,000

  • 06 Kolad

    wild_99.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Standing on the eastern edge of the Kundalike River, Kolad is a popular for its river rafting opportunities. Its scenic landscape coupled with several waterfalls emerging from the surrounding mountains is ideal for trekking and camping too. 

    Attractions:

    Kuda Caves, a series of 13 caves carved out of rocks by Buddhists, can be visited to see ancient carvings, inscriptions and sculptures.

    A 4th century fort, Tala, stands in the middle of a forest and overlooks the hilly terrain below.

    There are quite a few waterfalls in this region, the most popular of these being Tamhini Falls and Kansai Falls.

    Devi Kedar Janani Hills

    Bhira Dam

    Activities: 

    Water based activities like rafting, kayaking and boating are a major draw for tourists to Kolad. Apart from these you can undergo a camping experience at any of the several spots within the jungles. Other adventure sports conducted here include rappelling, paragliding, and hiking.

    Type of Destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 121 kms

    Best time to Visit: June to February

  • 07Durshet

    Durshet
    Image Credit : Aditya Patawari - Flickr

    Nestled amidst all the marvels of nature, Durshet; located around 100km from Mumbai and Pune, boasts of its untouched beauty and appeal. 

    Amba Rvier flowing down this scenic getaway, the freshness that dwells in its every corner and the array of activities you can indulge in here, makes it an ideal weekend getaway near Mumbai.

    Stay and Adventure Activities at Durshet

    Stay and Adventure Activities at Durshet

    NNNMM

    d1 Dayn1 NightlRaigad

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    O1,750

  • 08Matheran

    Matheran
    Image Credit :  Harsha S

    Distance: 83 km  via Sion-Panvel Expy 

    Matheran is a celebrated hill station and a great weekend place near Mumbai. It is situated in the Karjat tehsil of Maharashtra and is also the smallest hill station in India. Situated in the lush green Western Ghats, the elevation of the region is around 80 m above sea level, at a distance of 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune.

    The name of the place means ‘forest on the forehead.’ Matheran has been declared as an eco-sensitive region by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and is Asia’s only automobile free hill station.

    There are several viewpoints in this dream-like place and the most visited among them is the Panorama Point which provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and the Neral town. Amazing views of sunset and sunrise can also be enjoyed from here. Another point called the Louisa Point offers a stunning view of the Prabal Fort. The other important points include the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh point etc

    Matheran is an eco-sensitive region and the only automobile allowed in the region is an ambulance owned and operated by the Municipality. No private vehicles are allowed in here and the main modes of transportation are horses and hand pulled rickshaws. Matheran is a treasure trove of medicinal plants and herbs. It also has a huge population of monkeys including Bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs.

  • 09Rajmachi

    Rajmachi

    Distance: 94.5 km via Kodambakkam - Mumbai Highwayy

    Yet another historic spots in Maharashtra, Rajmachi Fort proves to be an utmost delight during the monsoons. During this period of the year, the entire vicinity comes alive as the monsoon rain brings the greeneries back to life.

    A trek to the fort during the monsoons is truly an exciting affair! While the gorgeousness of the fort will entice you to explore its age-old history, the enchanting beauty of the region will keep you intact with the nature all throughout the trek.

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Tours & Activities :

    1) Rajmachi and Kondane Caves Trek, Lonavala

    2) Cycling and Trekking Expedition to Rajmachi Fort

  • 10Igatpuri

    Igatpuri

    Located in the ‘Wine Capital of India’ Nashik, Igatpuri is a beautiful hill station and town adorned by the Western Ghats. Embraced in the lap of surrounding peaks, this tiny hill station proves to be one of the best places to visit especially during the monsoons andcan be easily reached via the Mumbai-Agra National Highway.

    Attractions:

    • Dhamma Giri Meditation Centre
    • Ghatandevi Temple
    • Bhandardara, Nashik

    Activities: For those who wish to embark on an adventure and seek relaxation at the same time,   this is the place for you to be! Backpackers can embark on fun treks, camping expeditions, rappelling, Ziplining and other activities that will keep you on your toes for a long time!

    Type of Destination: Historic, trekking, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 120 kms

    Best time to Visit: June to September and November to March

    Thrillophilia Recommended Stays & Activities in Igatpuri

    1) Stay and Activities in Igatpuri

    Stay at O Two Villas in Igatpuri

    Stay at O Two Villas in Igatpuri

    NNNMM

    d1 Dayn1 NightlIgatpuri

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  • 11Alibag

    Alibag
    Image Credit : Alosh Bennett - Flickr

    One of the weekend getaways near Mumbai, Alibag is approachable either by road or by a ferry from the Gateway of India in South Mumbai. For those with an interest in history, this holiday site even has an old fort that was built during Shivaji’s rule.

    Attractions: Religious locations in Alibag include Kanakeshwar Devasthan temple and Vikram Vinayak temple. Less than 30 kms away is the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, while the historic Kulaba Fort is situated 1-2 kms inside the sea and one can walk up to it when the tide is low.  Alibag has many beaches in its vicinity that include the Versoli Beach, Nagaon Beach, Akshi Beach and Kashid Beach. Another hill fort not too far from here is the Sagargad which is in ruins but worth visiting. En route to this place one can come across a seasonal waterfall nearby.

    Activities: Enjoy the pristine environs of the beach, try sea food, take a dip in the sea waters, walk up to the Kulaba Fort when the sea water is low. Bird watching in the Phansad Sanctuary will appeal to nature and bird lovers.

    Type of Destination: Beach, historic, family and kid friendly 

    Distance from Mumbai: 95 kms

    Best time to Visit: November to July

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Stays and Activities in Alibaug:

    1) Stay At Radisson Blu Resort And Spa In Alibaug

    2) Leisure Stay in Alibaug Resort

    Beach Farm Stay in Alibaug

    Beach Farm Stay in Alibaug

    NNNNM

    d2 Daysn1 NightlAlibag

    Starting from

    O2,500

  • 12Karjat

    Karjat
    Image Credit : Abhijit Tembhekar - Flickr

    Distance: 62 kms Via Sion-Panvel EXpy

    Karjat sprawls over Bhorghat, Sahayadri and the Western Ghats and the end of the coastal plains of the Konkan region near Deccan. The city has an average elevation of 636 feet and is situated on the banks of the River Ulhas. Besides its natural beauty, Karjat attracts a lot of tourists because of the innumerable possibilities it offers for adventure sports activities such as river rafting, trekking, hiking and mountain climbing. During the rainy season, families throng in here for a holiday. 

    Several people from the nearby cities of Mumbai, Pune, Thane, etc. have summer homes in Karjat, which are used to celebrate festivals and holidays. One of the major tourist attractions in here is Art Director Nitin Chandrakant Desai’s ND Studio. Karjat served as the backdrop for the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Several international production houses such as Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney and DreamWorks are setting up their facilities in this scenic place.

    The city also has the largest chain of farm houses in Asia. A lot of tourists find Karjat attractive because of the trekking possibilities there. The major trekking trails in the region include Matheran via Rambagh point, Peth Fort and Chanderi Fort.

    In the monsoons, white water river rafting is a very popular sport in the upper sections of the River Ulhas. The best time for this water sport is from July to September. There are several places of interest in and around Karjat such as the Ulhas Valley, Bhor Ghat, Kondana Caves, Peth Fort etc.

    Offbeat Stay Experiences in Karjat:

    1) Villa Stay At Karjat
    2) Nature Stay At Farm Resort In Karjat
    Adventure Day out at Rivergate Resort, Karjat

    Adventure Day out at Rivergate Resort, Karjat

    NNNMM

    d1 DaylKarjat

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  • 13Karnala

    Karnala
    Image Credit : Nagraj Salian - Flickr

    Distance: 48 Kms via Sion-Panvel Expy

    Karnala is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Panvel. The two major attractions for tourists here are the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and the Karnala Fort.  The Karnala Fort is of much historical significance as it overlooked the Bor Pass, which connects the Konkan coast to the interior districts of Maharashtra.

    The pass was the major trade route of the area. The exact date of construction of the Karnala Fort is not known, but it is believed that the structure predates 1400 CE and was built under the patronage of the Devagiri Yadavas and later under the Tughlaq rulers. The Karnala fort consists of two forts – one at a higher level than the other. In the centre of the fort situated on the higher level, there is a watchtower called the Pandu’s tower. The tower also has a water cistern that provides water throughout the year.

    The other major attraction of this place is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. In this protected zone, the fort is situated. The sanctuary is spread over 12.11 square kilometres and is much smaller than the other ones in different parts of the country. It is located near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Tungareshwar Sanctuary and can be easily reached from Mumbai.

    Situated at a distance of about 12 km from Panvel, it is best known for its population of birds and hence attracts a large number of bird lovers and bird watching enthusiasts. The sanctuary is home to about 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds. The reserve also has a number of rare bird species such as Ashy minivet, three toes kingfisher and Malabar Trogon.

  • 14Revdanda Beach

    Revdanda Beach

    Distance: 125 Kms

    Only 125km from the heart of Mumbai, this picturesque village in Alibaug is truly a scenic delight for the visitors. One of the least explored beaches in the country, Revdanda Beach is a weekend destination that is still untouched by the hands of commercialization and showcases the pristine beauty of nature.

    Playful sands, golden rays of the sun and the tranquillity that prevails in the Revdanda Beach can hardly be found in any other beach destinations. Enjoy lakeside camping in this scenic beach, participate in an array of water & beach sports, star gazing, bonfire and make your own barbeque, and continue with the fun frolic of the day

    Revdanda Beach Camping

    Revdanda Beach Camping

    NNNNM15 Reviews

    d1 Dayn1 NightlAlibag

    Starting from

    O2,100

  • 15Malshej Ghat

    Malshej Ghat
    Image Credit : Kiran SRK - Flickr

    Distance: 130 Kms

    The Malshej Ghat is a beautiful mountain pass in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Situated in the Thane district, the site is a well-known weekend place near Mumbai. It is best recognized for its natural beauty.

    Being a part of the Western Ghats, the Malshej Ghat abounds in flora and fauna, especially birdlife which includes species such as cuckoos, flamingos, crakes, rails and quails. The scenic place is situated near the borders of the Thane and Ahmednagar districts.

    Situated at a distance of 154 km from Mumbai and 130 km from Pune, the destination is well connected by rail, road and airways. The nearest railhead to Malshej Ghat is Kalyan.  By road, it can be reached by the NH 3 that will take you to Bhiwandi.  From Bhiwandi, take the road to Murbad to reach Malshej Ghat.

    Malshej ghat attracts tourists from all over the country and the world because of its breath-taking beauty. It is from here, you can view the lush valleys of the Western Ghats. The region is also famous for its dark woods and the wildlife residing in them. The wildlife here includes animals and birds such as peacocks, rabbits, leopards and tigers.

    The birthplace of the great Maratha warrior Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Shivneri Fort, is another major tourist attraction. The fort is situated at a distance of 40 km from Malshej Ghat. There are other places of interest too near this charming land. One of them is the Khireshwar Village, which is situated at a distance of just 2 to 3 km from Malshej Ghat.

    The hamlet is famous for its beautiful waterfalls in the hilly regions which are situated very close to the highway and hence can be viewed easily. The destination attracts a large number of migratory birds from Siberia from July to September. The most attractive phenomenon in the region is the mating dance of the flamingo birds.

  • 16Savarkut Village

    Savarkut Village

    Distance from Mumbai: 130 Kms

    A quaint hamlet in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Savarkut entices plenitude of adventure junkies with its varied offerings. Vaitarna River flowing through the village, its lush and green outlook and activities like rappelling, kayaking, white water rafting promises a unique and offbeat experiences to its visitors.

    You might have had rafting experience in many of the other destinations in the country! But the allurement and thrill quotient Vaitarna River offers its visitors, cannot be matched bby any other destinations. Avail this package and indulge in one of the most enthralling white water rafting experiences of your life! 
  • 17Dahanu

    Dahanu

    Further north of Palghar is the coastal town of Dahanu, which borders the neighbouring state of Gujarat. Its flower gardens, fruits orchards and coconut groves not only benefit the place commercially, but also add to its beauty and charm.

    Attractions: Dahanu’s long stretch of beach is unspoilt and clean. One can easily spend a day here, relaxing on the sandy shore and gazing out at the vast Arabian Sea. The 400 year old Dahanu Fort stands at the sea shore and has a temple adjacent to it. A Jain temple, Asavli Dam and Kalpataru Botanical gardens are other attractions, making it among the ideal weekend getaways from Mumbai. 

    Activities: Go for a stroll along the beach that is lined with Casuarina trees. Swim in the placid waters of the Arabian Sea. Watch the sun go down over the horizon in the evening.

    Type of Destination: Beach, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 136 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

  • 18Jawhar

    Jawhar
    Image Credit : Abhishek Kumar - Flickr

    This quaint and pretty hill station has a deep-rooted cultural background since it is where the Warli tribe resides. The Warli paintings, a traditional craft of this tribe has achieved fame far and wide for its unique designs and unusual themes. These designs are now replicated on different products even outside this region.

    Attractions: 

    Jawhar’s attractions include the tribal heritage tour where one gets to view the ancestral residence of the tribal people and their customs. There are a number of well-known ancient temples, waterfalls and viewpoints in here. Jai Vilas Palace and Bhupatghad Fort are small monuments with a historic connect. There are also a few water reservoirs in Jawhar that are located at attractive places and are frequented by tourists for picnics.   

    Activities: 

    Looking around and discovering the hidden destinations within this hill station makes for a full-day activity. One can also go trekking in the hills of Jawhar or head to the areas around the reservoirs for a picnic.

    Type of Destination: Family and kid friendly, historic and trekking.

    Distance from Mumbai: 155 kms

    Best time to Visit: September to April

  • Two Days Trip from Mumbai (150 to 300 Kms)

  • 19Camping in Panchgani

    Camping in Panchgani
    • d1 Dayn1 Night
    • lPanchgani
    • NNNNN27 reviews
    • supplier
      Supplier
      Code: 2075404

    About the Activity:

    Welcome the adventure and excitement with Panchgani camping! Located amongst the vast reliefs of land, it is best suited for those who want to experience nature at its best. The prosperous plant and wildlife of the region make it even more beautiful in the monsoon season when they are in full bloom and zenith. Camping in Panchgani shows you the exquisite and various adventure pursuits, all of which are guaranteed to excite you!

    As you arrive at the campsite by noon, check-in and have a great spread of lunch served to you. Thereafter, you are free to indulge in any of the activities that capture your imagination like Ziplining, Commando Crossing, 12-item Obstacle Course, Learner’s Rock Climb, Rifle Shooting, Tent Pitching and many more. You can also try your hand at rappelling, rock climbing or the more exciting, waterfall rappelling. You can also explore the surrounding hilly area on foot by trekking or use the cycles at the campsite.

    Check-in: 12:00PM and Check-out: 10:00 AM

  • 20Village Stay Experience in Junnar

    Village Stay Experience in Junnar
    • d2 Daysn1 Night
    • lJunnar
    • NNNNN3 reviews
    • Chanak Doshi
      Supplier
      Chanak Doshi

    About the Activity:

    • Check-in at 11:00 AM and experience the stooped history and the charming rustic ways of India!
    • Glimpse the wide pastures shielded by architecture from the bygone era like never before.
    • Try your hand at farming, and partake in other intriguing agricultural activities for a unique bout of fun.
    • Play traditional games like the Ningorcha, Bhovara, and Vitti Dandu, and proceed to trek around the expanse and click some enchanting photographs.
    • This admirable city is surrounded by the Sahyadris, and houses Asia's largest telescope alongside exotic farmlands.
    • After this amazing experience in the property you can check-out at 4:00 PM.

    1 Night/2 Days Stay includes - Traditional Welcome, Breakfast & Tea, Farm Tour, Lunch (Pure vegetarian rural cuisine), Village Tour, Evening snacks & Tea, Dinner (Pure vegetarian rural cuisine), Camp Fire, Morning Breakfast & Tea/Coffee, Forest Visit, Lunch, Evening Snacks, Tea/Coffee

    2 Nights/3 Days Stay includes - Traditional Welcome,  3 Breakfasts & Tea, Farm Tour, 2 Lunches (Pure vegetarian rural cuisine), Village Tour, 2 Evening snacks & Tea, 2 Dinner (Pure vegetarian rural cuisine), Camp Fire, Forest Visit.

  • 21Nashik

    Nashik
    Image Credit : (matt) - Flickr

    Distance: 167 Kms

    A popular and favoured weekend getaways near Mumbai, Nashik is the largest city in Northern Maharashtra and the third largest district in the state. It is situated on the banks of the River Godavari and is the highest producer of onions and grapes in the country.It also has bagged the title for being the Most Tourist Friendly City in India and hence attracts innumerable tourists from all over the country and the world

    Attractions around:

    The area of Panchavati is of particular religious importance for Hindus. The Kalaram Temple is situated in here hosts the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious congregation in the world. It is held once in 12 years in the cities of Nashik, Haridwar, Allahabad and Ujjain.

    Nashik is also famous for its grapes and onions. This city is called the ‘Wine Capital of India’ due to its flourishing wine industry.

    There are several places of interest in Nashik. Some of them are lesser known destinations and hence are untouched by mass tourism. One such place is the stone museum or the Gargoti Museum. It is situated at a distance of 32 km from Nashik and has a large collection of zeolites that are similar to diamonds and other precious stones.

    The Coin Museum is another one of the popular tourist spot here. It is the only one of its kind in Asia and hence attracts a large number of people from all over the world. Also found in this verdant region is the cascading Durgawadi Fall. Located at a distance of about 30 km from the city, the best time to visit it is during the monsoons.

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Stays and Wine Tours:

    1) Nashik Vineyard Stay and Tour

    2) Nashik Wine Tour with Stay

    3) Monsoon Stay and Activities in Nashik

    4) Wine Tour And Villa Stay at Soma Vine Village

    5) Khandeshi Wine & Dine Getaway From Mumbai, Near Nashik
    Wine Tour in Nashik

    Wine Tour in Nashik

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  • 22Bordi

    Bordi
    Image Credit : Adam Cohn - Flickr

    As one goes north from Dahanu, along the seashore, one would reach the beachside getaway called Bordi. Its beach, which has black sands and shallow waters, is pristine and less crowded than most other beaches in this region. 

    Attractions: 

    Bahrot Caves, which are of religious significance for the Parsi community, is located close by. Other attractions in Bordi are the Dahanu fort, Asavali dam and a Jain temple which can be covered in a day-long trip.

    Activities: 

    The idyllic beachfront of Bordi is good for a leisurely stroll with an occasional dip in the sea waters. One can unwind at the Dahanu Beach that is quite close by.

    Type of Destination: Beach, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 153 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

    Group Camping at Bordi Beach

    Group Camping at Bordi Beach

    NNNMM

    d2 Daysn1 NightlMumbai

    1% Off

    O4,600

    Starting from

    O4,522

  • 23Raigad

    Raigad
    Image Credit : Ankur Pr - Flickr

    Dating back to the 17th century, Raigad was the capital of the Maratha King Shivaji. The fort here is built at an altitude of 2700 feet above sea level on the Sahyadri Mountains. Visitors can opt to climb up the 1737 steps to reach it or else can ride the cable car which makes for an enjoyable trip.

    Attractions: 

    Though most of the fort’s interiors are in ruins now, some of the structures are still clearly visible. These include the queen’s chambers, main palace, three watch towers, the market area, granaries, the public ‘durbar’ and an artificial lake. All these make for an interesting peek into the life and times of royalty in the olden days.

    Activities: 

    Hike up to the fort and get a panoramic view of the terrain below. View the historic structures within the fort that was once the home of the famous Shivaji.

    Type of destination: Historic, trekking, family & kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 103 kms

    Best time to Visit: September to November

    Best Selling Tours: 

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  • 24Murud-Janjira Fort

    Murud-Janjira Fort
    Image Credit : Vikas Rana - Flickr

    Just off the coast of a village named Murud is an island where the Murud-Janjira fort stands. With an interesting history behind it, this tourist destination is also appealing for its architecture and construction.

    Attractions:

    The forts humungous walls and 19 bastions are a sight to behold as they stand in impressive splendor even today. This marine fort remained unconquered throughout its past existence and one can reach it today by boats to marvel at its architecture. Murud Beach is a beautiful one and overlooks the fort too. Kasa Fort and Ahmedganj Palace are historical monuments that can be included on your day trip around the fort.

    Type of Destination: Historic, beach, family and kid friendly. 

    Distance from Mumbai: 148 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

  • 25Bhandardara

    Bhandardara

    Distance: 165 kms

    Situated at a distance of 165 km from Mumbai, Bhandardara is one of the most sought-after weekend places near Mumbai. It is a holiday resort village which is situated along the River Pravara and promises a number of natural wonders such as lush greenery, waterfalls, mountains and peace and tranquillity. Some of the famous spots here include the Bhandardara Lake and the Randha Falls. Bhandardara has a lot to offer. 

    According to popular belief, Shri Agasthi Rishi meditated here for a year, surviving only on air and water. Through his efforts, he pleased God who came down to Earth and blessed the sage with a stream of the River Ganga. This is stream is now called the River Pravara. There are several tourist places in and around Bhandardara. Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra and has an elevation of 5,400 feet is one of the most popular tourist spots. The summit also makes for the ideal trekking destination.

    The other places of interest include Ghatghar, the Randha Falls, the Arthur Lake, the Ratnagad Fort and the Wilson Dam. Ghatghar is situated at a distance of 22 km from Bhandardara and is a great viewpoint in the area. Tourists throng to this destination to enjoy a panoramic view of the Sahayadri Range. The Randha Falls is formed as the River Pravara descends down a height of 170 feet into a deep gorge. 

    The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons when the spray is in full fury. The Arthur Lake is a beautiful lake which is bounded by the thick forests of the Sahayadri Range. The Wilson Dam is another popular tourist place in Bhandardara. Built over the River Pravara, it stands at a height of 150 m and is one of the oldest dams in the country. There are several other places too in Bhandardara which attract a lot of tourists from all nearby cities and all over the country and the world. These places include destinations such as Agasti Rishi Ashram, Amriteshwar Temple and the Sandhan Valley.

  • 26Silvassa

    Silvassa

    Distance: 167 kms 

    Silvassa is the capital of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which is a Union Territory of India. The city was known as Vila de Paco d’Arcos during the Portuguese rule. It gained much importance in 1885 when the Portuguese decided to transfer the administration of Nagar Haveli into it.

    Silvassa was only a small village till the 19th century and a lot of developments started happening once the seat of power was changed. It became a town in 1885 and today, has a number of factories and industries that generate enough government revenue and help the town maintain a low level of taxation.

    Attraction around:

    • There are several places of interest in here which make it a popular weekend getaway near Mumbai. Situated very close to the Silvassa bus stand is a Roman Catholic Church which is noted for its beautiful Portuguese architecture.
    • The Silvassa Museum is another popular tourist destination and it bears exhibits and artefacts which explain the history of the town and the culture of its people.
    •  The Madhuban Dam is where visitors flock to. The Dam is built over the River Daman Ganga and boating facilities have been arranged for tourists on the river.
    • Some of the other places of interest in the town include the Dadra Park, Dudhani, Vrindaban Temple, Balaji Temple and the Ban Ganga Lake

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Stays in SIlvassa

    1) Resort Stay and Water Park Activities in Silvassa
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  • 27Lavasa

    Lavasa
    Image Credit : Himanshu Sarpotdar - Flickr

    The planned city of Lavasa is a hidden gem amongst the hills of Western Ghats. It is placed quite close to the Varasgaon Dam and the winding roads that leads up to it are popular with long-distance bikers. The mountains in this region are covered in dense vegetation and coupled with a pleasant weather makes this place one of the perfect weekend getaways near Mumbai.

    Attractions: The Mose River has the Varasgaon Dam built across it is the main attraction in this region. There are a number of parks and gardens in Lavasa where one can go for picnics and family outings. A musical fountain and laser animation show is engaging for visitors of all ages.

    Activities: The forest cover in Lavasa has some nature trails where one can take a walk. Water based activities including jet skiing, kayaking and boating are possible in the lake here. Adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling and trekking are also organized here.

    Type of destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 186 kms

    Best time to Visit: Throughout the year

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  • 28Daman

    Daman
    Image Credit : Rajarshi MITRA - Flickr

    Distance: 171 Kms

    Daman is a famous for weekend trip from Mumbai. It is a city in the Union territory of Daman and Diu. The city is divided into two parts by the Daman Ganga River. The two halves of the city are called the Nanidaman and Motidaman. Nanidaman is the larger of the two towns and has most of the important hospitals, supermarkets and major residential area.

    Motidaman is the older town and is inhabited mostly by fishermen and government officers. Both the towns were earlier connected by two bridges, one meant for light vehicles and the other meant for heavy vehicles. The smaller of the two bridges collapsed in 2004 and efforts were repeatedly made to make the structure stronger. However, now the bridge has been closed to the public. A new bridge called the Rajiv Gandhi Setu has been built to connect both the towns.

    Daman is situated at a distance of 171 kilometres from Mumbai and forms an important manufacturing hub along with Vapi, Silvassa, Billimora and Bhilad Sarigam. The history of Daman is quite interesting. Portuguese explorer Diogo de Melo arrived at this place by chance in 1523.

    The city became a Portuguese colony for almost 400 years. In the 16th century, a large fort was built in Motidaman to protect the colony from the Mughals. The fort still stands in Daman today and most of the government offices have been established inside the fort.

    The local population of Daman consists mainly of fishermen called Tandels. The demography is a mix of Hindus, Muslims and Christians. This picturesque land attracts a large number of people from the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

    Apart from its scenic beauty, one major reason for the high inflow of tourists is the freedom to drink liquor. As alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, Daman finds great popularity among tourists. There are two beaches in Daman which are great tourist spots namely The Devka beach in Nanidaman and the Jampore Beach in Moti Daman.

  • 29Harishchandragad

    Harishchandragad
    Image Credit : Nagraj Salian - Flickr

    A guardian of the past, Harishchandragad still echoes the golden tales of a bygone era! Steeped with the history and essence of a bygone era, this historic hill fort in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is one of the most sought after trekking destinations in Maharashtra. Adding to this, the quaint and balmy ambience of the vicinity, also makes it one of the popular weekend getaways near Mumbai. 

  • 30Bhimashankar

    Bhimashankar
    Image Credit : solarisgirl - Flickr

    This town is famed as a pilgrimage centre owing to the presence of a Jyotirlinga temple. It is here that the River Bhima originates.

    Attractions: 

    The Jyotirlinga temple, with intricate carvings on its doors and pillars, is crowded with devotees at all times. Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve, that covers a vast area, is the home of a variety of birds, animals, plants and other beings. Trekkers and naturalists will find a trip to this place a thrilling one. 

    Other spots that can be visited in Bhimashankar are Hanuman Lake and a waterfall nearby, Gupt Bhimashankar (the original site of the Shivalinga) and the starting point of River Bhima.

    Activities: 

    Trekking and wildlife watching in the reserve is ideal for those who are interested in outdoor activities.

    Type of Destination: Pilgrimage, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 213 kms

    Best time to Visit: August to February 

  • 31Saputara

    Saputara

    Distance: 248 Kms

    Saputara is situated in the Dang district of Gujarat. Blessed with natural beauty and scenic splendour, makes it a popular weekend getaways near Mumbai. It is a very popular hill station and is situated on a plateau in the Sahayadri range. With an altitude of about 1000 metres, this idyllic place experiences a salubrious weather and the temperatures rarely exceed 28 degrees.

    The name of the hill station means ‘Abode of the Serpents’. There is an image of a snake along the banks of the River Sarpagana and it is worshipped by adivasis of the region on Holi. Saputara is situated at a distance of about 250 km from Mumbai and 172 km from Surat. The hill station has been well planned and has all necessary amenities such as a museum, ropeways, boat clubs, swimming pools, parks and hotels to entertain tourists.

    There are a number of places for sightseeing in and around Saputara. The Artist Village is a major attraction. Tribal artefacts, Warli paintings and tribal craft objects are put up on display at the artist village. Tourists can also buy curios and knickknacks from the village. The artist village is one of the best places to learn about the culture and traditions of the natives of the region. For wildlife lovers, trips are arranged to the Vansada National Park. 

    The reserve is much smaller as compared to other national parks in the country. Spread over an area of 24 square kilometres, the Vansada National Park is home to four horned antelopes, giant squirrels, pythons, rusty spotted cats, pangolins, leopards and tigers. The Purna Sanctuary is another tourist attraction of the region. Spread over an area of 160 square kilometres, the sanctuary is a part of the moist deciduous forests in the Western Ghats. Trekking is possible in the sanctuary but prior permission is required for entry.

    The other highlights of this holiday destination include the Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Ropeway, Gira Falls, the Rose and Step Gardens.

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  • 32Wai

    Wai
    Distance: 230 Kms

    Located around 230km from Mumbai, Wai is situated on the banks of the alluring Krishna River. Known for its opulent untouched beauty and bucolic ambience, it also serves as an ideal Mumbai weekend getaway. For the nature lovers and those seeking for pleasant and tranquil moments, Wai proves to be a heartwarming destination.

    If thrill and adventure is your quest, you must head towards Wai and indulge into some of the camping and adventure activities. In addition to exciting options like raft building, river crossing annd trekking, you can also enjoy star gazing, ATV rides and kayaking while in Wai
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  • 33Shirdi

    Shirdi
    Image Credit : Guru Hegde - Flickr

    The town is world-renowned as the place where the temple dedicated to Sai Baba stands. Visited by lakhs of believers, Shirdi is a popular pilgrimage place throughout the year.

    Attractions: The temple complex in Shirdi includes structures like the Samadhi Mandir, Chavadi, Sri Saibaba Sansthan Temple, Gurusthan and Dwarkamai Masjid – all having some connect to the life of the saint. Temples of lord Ganesha, Shani and Shiva are also sighted in the same area.

    Activities: Offering prayers at the temples and viewing the monuments associated with Sai Baba’s life are the main activities possible at Shirdi.

    Type of Destination: Pilgrimage, family and kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 242 kms

    Best time to Visit: September to March

  • 34 Satara

    satara-20-20draconianrain.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Just where the River Krishna meets its tributary Venna, stands the former capital of the Maratha Empire - Satara. Its historic past is still visible in the form of its monuments that are declared protected heritage sites now.

    Attractions: 

    For those tourists who enjoy viewing a slice of history at close quarters, Satara’s Ajinkyatara and Sajjangarh Forts are a pleasurable sight. The famous Kaas plateau that is covered in wild flowers of varied hues after monsoon is a major draw among tourists. The lake along with Thoseghar Waterfall and Vajrai Waterfall are other natural attractions near Satara.

    Activities: 

    Visit the forts and observe the structures in its interiors, soak in the scenic views of the Kaas Plateau, a picnic near the lake or any of the waterfalls is a good option to consider.

    Type of Destination: Historic, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 255 kms

    Best time to Visit: July to February

  • 35Mahabaleshwar

    Mahabaleshwar
    Image Credit : Nishanth Jois

    Distance: 263 Kms

    Mahabaleshwar is a renowned hill station, located in the Western Ghat Ranges in Maharashtra. This misty place boasts of one of the few evergreen forests in the country. It had once served as the summer capital of the Bombay province during the British era. Situated at an elevation of 1,353 metres, the verdant land is a wide plateau surrounded by valleys on all sides.

    The city is the source of the River Krishna that flows across the three states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The highest peak in the ranges has an elevation of 4,721 feet and is known as the Wilson or Sunrise Point.

    Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill station near Mumbai. Besides being an important tourist destination, it is also a favourite honeymoon destination and pilgrimage site. The Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the most popular places in the city. Several visitors visit Mahabaleshwar on their way to Panchgani. The city is also known for its market of strawberries and mulberries. Another major attraction in the city is the Venna Lake. Visitors can enjoy boat rides on the lake or a horse ride next to the lake.

    The most notable feature about Mahabaleshwar is the presence of a number of spots in the city which mark the vantage points from where the beauty of the city can be enjoyed the most. There are as many as 14 points in the city and include the Arthur’s Seat, Kate’s Point, Needle Hole Point, Wilson Point, the Three Monkey Point etc.

    The Arthur’s Seat point has an elevation of 1340 metres and is named after Sir Arthur Mallet. Sir Mallet used to sit at this point and gaze into the River Savitri to which he lost his wife and children in a ferry mishap. The Kate’s Point is situated to the east of Mahabaleshwar and is popular among tourists for its view of the two reservoirs of the region – Balakwadi and Dhom.

    The Needle Hole Point is a very interesting rock formation and is situated near the Kate’s Point. A small hole is formed in the middle of a rock and hence is named so. The Wilson Point is the only point in the city from where both the sun rise and sun set can be viewed. The Three Monkey Point is named so because of three natural stones that resemble Gandhiji’s three monkeys.

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Stays Mahabaleshwar:

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  • Weekend Getaways Beyond 300Kms from Mumbai

  • 36Tarkarli

    Tarkarli
    Image Credit : Nilanjan Sasmal - Flickr

    Known for its unspoilt beach, Tarkarli is a coastal village situated in the Malvan region of Maharshtra. At the nearby beach of Devbaug, Karli River flows before merging with the Arabian Sea. Sindhudurg fort that stands at the periphery of the shore and faces the vast expanse of the blue waters of the sea.

    Attractions: Sindhudurg Fort and a temple dedicated to Shivaji within it are a must-visit place in Tarkarli.Devbaug Beach, Bhogave Beach and Tondavali Beach are where one should head to for indulging in water sports. Bharadi Devi temple, Laxmi Narayana temple and Kunkeshwar temple can be paid a visit during a trip to this weekend getaway from Mumbai.

    Image Source: Nilanjan Sasmal  - Flickr

    Activities: Tarkarli is a good destination for experiencing water activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, rafting, dolphin-spotting and boating.

    Type of Destination: Beach, historic, family and kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 531 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

    Thrillophilia Recommended Activities & Tours of Tarkarli:

    1) Parasailing And Water Sports In Tarkarli

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  • 37Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary

    Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary
    Image Credit : Ankur P - Flickr

    Dajipur’s Bison Sanctuary lies at the southern edge of the Sahyadris and has a large population of the Indian bison staying in it. One can come across other animals too when visiting this tourist place.

    Attractions: Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is another place to go looking for wild creatures in natural surroundings. It is around 30 kms from Dajipur. Several tributaries of the river Krishna flow through the sanctuary and these locations attract numerous bird and animal species as important water sources. The ruins of the Shivgad Fort are sited in the heart of the Dajipur Sanctuary and one can walk up to it at an easy pace.

    Activities: Camping, trekking, jungle safaris and bird watching within the sanctuary are popular among the adventure tourists.

    Type of Destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 465 kms

    Best time to Visit: September to March

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  • 38Stay Experience in Maachli (sindhudurg)

    Stay Experience in Maachli (sindhudurg)
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    About the Activity:

    • Take home the enticing venture of being at a homestay that gives you the option of being right in the midst of nature and comfort.
    • The homestay lies in the village of Parule and is a calm and serene dwelling where you can embark on a relaxing sojourn as well as sightseeing to places around such as Vithoba and Ravalnath Temples and the stunning Lotus Lake and Mauli Temple.
    • The proximity to Sindhudurg fort is another add on to this amazing tryst with nature.
    • If you love adventure, then the Khavane beach has a number of fun activities like swimming and boat-riding lined up for you! You could also meet a community of fishermen and learn of their lifestyle.


  • 39Ratnagiri

    Ratnagiri
    Image Credit : vivek Joshi - Flickr

    Who is not familiar with the name of Alphonso mangoes? And the place of their origin is the port city of Ratnagiri which is enclosed by the Sahyadris Ranges on its East. This weekend getaway near Mumbai has a number of ancient and historically significant monuments that one can tour.

    Attractions: Beach lovers will not run short of places to head to since the Ganapatipule Beach, Anjarle Beach and Guhagar Beach are positioned quite close to Ratnagiri. A fort standing on top of a hill and enveloped by the sea on three sides, Bhagwati Fort or Ratnadurga, is perfect for a day trip. Thiba Palace (built for the exiled king of Burma), along with the several temples and mausoleums, are other places of interest.

    Activities: Ratnadurga Fort’s advantageous position at a height that overlooks the sea, gives one an opportunity to see the pretty sight of the sun setting over the horizon. There is also a lighthouse from where one can view the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea.

    Type of Destination: Family and kid friendly, pilgrimage and historic

    Distance from Mumbai: 335 kms

    Best time to Visit: November to January

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  • 40Dudhsagar Falls

    Dudhsagar Falls
    Image Credit : Kumaresh Rajarajan - Flickr
    The exquisite Dudhsagar (or sea of milk) Waterfall gushes forth from the high peaks of the Western Ghats on Goa's border with Karnataka state. With a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet) Dudhsagar is listed as India's fifth tallest waterfall.

    Attractions: 

    This awe-inspiring waterfall holds one under its spell especially in the monsoons when it is in full flow. These energetic and stunning four-tiered falls are the prime attractions for those who take a trip to this area. This waterfall is located within the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary, 60 km from Panaji city in Goa.

    Activities: 

    Trekking to Dudhsagar is a popular tourist activity since the area surrounding the fall is covered with deciduous forest which has many species of birds, insects, plants and animal residing in it. Splashing around in the shallow areas around the falls and enjoying the lush surroundings is sure to rejuvenate your senses.

    Type of Destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 594 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to December

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  • 41 Goa

    1463253572_Screen_Shot_2016-05-15_at_12.49.42_AM.png
    Image Credit : 

    Goa, though carrying a rich colonial past, has attained fame as India’s centre of international tourism. Its present culture still reflects the association to its multi-cultural roots in the form of many churches, temples and synagogues that are located here. However, with the younger crowd it is renowned as the destination to go to for a fun-filled and partying getaway.

    Attractions: 

    For tourists who prefer natural experiences Dudhsagar Falls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are good options to explore. Goa’s many beaches are places where one can indulge in watersports or simply lounge around in the shacks located there. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Shantadurga temple and Church of St. Francis of Assissi are few of the religious places one can visit while touring Goa

    Activities

    Water sports and nightlife can be experienced at the beaches. Go on a river cruise, visit the churches and temples, enjoy wildlife and bird watching, and appreciate scenic beauty.

    Places to Stay: 22 Best resorts in Goa

    Type of Destination: Beach, pilgrimage, family and kid friendly

    Best time to Visit: October to February

  • 42Jaigad

    Jaigad

    Distance: 310.1 km via NH66

    Around 310km from Mumbai, Jaigad is amongst the historic places in the entire of Maharashtra. Embraced by the opulent beauty of lush and evergreen vegetation, this region is also the home to the JungliJaigad Fort.

    While the name to this fort has been derived from its dense outlook, a trek to this historic fortress also carries the equal amount of the thrill and excitement. On the completion of this trek, you can feast on several gorgeous sites and enjoy the panoramic views of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, Chandoli and Koyna forest ranges

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  • 43Ellora

    Ellora
    Image Credit : Arian Zwegers

    Distance: 350 Kms

    Ellora, also known as Elapura and Ellooru, is one is an archaeological site and is situated near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. It was built by the kings of the Rashtrakuta dynasty and is well known for its monumental caves.

    The site has been declared as a World Heritage Site and is considered to be the epitome of Indian rock cut architecture. The location has 34 caves, which are really structures that have been dug out of the face of the Charanandri Hills. It has a number of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock cut temples and several viharas and mathas, which are believed to have been built between the 5th and 10th centuries.

    There are as many 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves and 5 Jain caves, which are evidence to the religious tolerance existing in the region at that time. It was initially thought that the Buddhist caves were the earliest structures at the site. However, later it was discovered that specific Hindu caves have been existence even before the Buddhist ones. Some of the Buddhist caves have shrines that bear carvings of Gautama Buddha, saints and bodhisattavas.

    Interestingly, in certain places, the artists have tried to make the stone structures look like as if they were made of wood. Among all the Buddhist caves, the most interesting one is the Vishwakarma cave, also called the Carpenter’s Cave.  It has a multi-storey entrance and a cathedral like stupa called the Chaitya. In the centre, there is a 15 foot statue of Buddha sitting in a preaching position. The ceiling has been beautifully carved in a manner to make it look like it is made of wooden beams.

    Among the Hindu caves, the most notable is the Kailasanatha. It is based on the mythological Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. Carved out of one single stone, the monument covers an area double the size of the Parthenon in Athens. Earlier, the temple was covered in white plaster to make it resemble the Mount Kailasa.  

  • 44Aurangabad

    Aurangabad
    Image Credit : Andrea Kirkby - Flickr
    Aurangabad’s deep connect with history is proven by the fact that it is named after the Mughal king Aurangzeb. With a large number of old structures, temples, mosques, museums and gardens, a visitor will have plenty to do on their trip here.

    Attractions: The famed Ajanta and Ellora caves stand very close to Aurangabad and one can drive down to these places in a few hours. Bibi ka Maqbara, built during Mughal rule, is similar to the Taj Mahal in appearance. The tomb of Aurangzeb also stands in the city limits of Aurangabad. Aurangabad caves, Daulatabad Fort and Shivaji Museum will be of interest for those on a trip here.

    Activities: Try the local delicacies that reflect the influence of the Mughals and are quite similar to those ofHyderabad. Shop for local textiles like Paithani and Himroo apart from purchasing wares made with Bidri work. Go for sightseeing through the streets of Aurangabad steeped in old-world charm.  

    Type of Destination: Family and kid friendly, historic and pilgrimage.

    Distance from Mumbai: 370 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

  • 45Ajanta

    Ajanta
    Image Credit : Ashok Prabhakaran

    Distance: 451 Kms

    The Ajanta Caves are situated in the Aurangabad district in Maharashtra. One of the most visited weekend getaways near Mumbai, it consists of about 300 rock cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC to about 480 to 650 CE. The caves have a number of paintings and sculptures which have been described as the ‘finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting’ by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Ajanta Caves have been declared as a protected site by the Archaeological Survey of India and have also been included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Site.

    The subterrane is situated at a distance of 100 km from the Ellora caves, which are a cluster of Buddhist caves and Hindu and Jain temples. Situated on the south side of a cliff that is on the south of a gorge on the River Wagura, they were built in two phases.

    Those of the first period or the Satavahana period are believed to have been made during the period 100 BCE to 100 CE. These caves were said to be constructed under the patronage of the Satavahana dynasty. The caves of later period or the Vakataka period are supposed to have been constructed in the period from 460 to 480 CE during the reign of Emperor Harishena. It is believed that as many as 20 caves were simultaneously created.

    The caves have retained some spectacular murals which speak volumes about the craftsmanship and skill of the artist and the culture and traditions of India at that time. The paintings found in here are of the ‘dry fresco’ type, which means that the paintings were made on a dry plaster surface than on wet plaster. The ceiling also bears beautiful and decorative motifs.

  • 46Champaner

    Champaner
    Image Credit : Arian Zwegers - Flickr

    Quite close to the Gujarat city of Vadodara, Champaner is the location of an archaeological park due to its rich history. Along with the Pavagadh Fort that stands adjacent to it, Champaner is considered to be a historical city full of interesting monuments to see.

    Attractions: The hill fort of Pavagadh is the major attraction at this place. It has a palace and some Hindu and Jain temples in its premises. There is a ropeway that leads to the hilltop where this fort is positioned. Shehar ki Masjid, Jami Masjid, Kevada Masjid and Mahakalika temple are the religious places found here. Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary is covered with dense forests and is inhabited by wild creatures.

    Activities: Get a peek into history as you visit the archeological park at Champaner. Ride in the rope way to reach Pavagadh where you can see the palace and temples. Jungle safari in the sanctuary will keep you engaged for an entire day.

    Type of Destination: Historic, family and kid friendly

    Distance from Mumbai: 460 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to June

  • 47Amboli

    Amboli
    Image Credit : Ishan Manjrekar - Flickr

    Amboli is another one of the small hill towns that dot the Sahyadri Range. It is close to the tourist hub of Goa and serves as a relaxing getaway that is more secluded than most other holiday destinations.

    Attractions: Since it is an area that receives heavy rains, Amboli’s hill slopes are covered in dense forests interspersed with many waterfalls. These falls, along with the many viewpoints spread at different locations, are the prime attractions for tourists. There is an ancient Shiva temple, called Hiranyakeshwar that stands at the entrance to a cave from where the Hiranyakeshi River emerges.

    Activities: Enjoy the scenic beauty of this small hill station as it is enveloped in a light mist soon after a spell of rains. Go for a picnic at the Nagatta Falls.

    Type of Destination: Family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 491 kms

    Best time to Visit: Throughout the year

    Amboli Jungle Trek

    Amboli Jungle Trek

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  • 48Bijapur

    Bijapur
    Image Credit : mafate69 - Flickr

    This city is quite famous for the architectural marvels that stand in its precincts – the most renowned one being the Gol Gumbaz. Most of the monuments here display an Islamic influence since this place was once ruled by Muslim kings.

    Attractions: Gol Gumbaz is where king Adil Shah is buried and is the second largest dome in the world. There is a mosque and museum in its complex too. Taj Bawdi, Ibrahim Rauza, Asar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Bara Kaman and Zamia Masjid are other monuments built over several dynastic rules.

    Activities: Visiting the numerous ancient monuments and appreciating their architectural uniqueness would take up two-three days while in Bijapur.

    Type of Destination: Historic, family and kid friendly.

    Distance from Mumbai: 493 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to March

  • 49Dandeli

    Dandeli
    Image Credit : Ankur P - Flickr

    North Karnataka’s town of Dandeli is situated close to the Kali River where hordes of adventure tourists descend during the rafting season. It also has wildlife sanctuaries around it where a large variety of birds and wild beings reside within their forests. Some tribes call the jungles of Dandeli their home and one can visit their community to watch their lifestyle at close quarters.

    Attractions: 

    Dandeli Anshi Tiger reserve and Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary are where one can go to for jungle safaris on jeep or on elephants. There are some nature trails where one can trek along with a guide. Ancient caves of Kavala, which were once residences of locals, can be approached by going down a few hundred steps.

    Activities: 

    White water rafting, kayaking, coracle rides, wildlife and bird watching, camping, trekking are all popular activities offered by various adventure camps in Dandeli.

    Type of Destination: Adventure activities and trekking.

    Distance from Mumbai: 567 kms

    Best time to Visit: October to May

    Thrillophilia Recommended Offbeat Stays:

    1) Adventure At Panther Jungle Stay In Dandeli
    Jungle Camping in Dandeli

    Jungle Camping in Dandeli

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  • 50Gokarna

    Gokarna
    Image Credit : Patrik M. Loeff - Flickr

    Distance: 705.5 km via NH4

    A temple town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karanataka, Gokarna also makes it to the list of ideal weekend getaways near Mumbai. Home to several virgin beaches, an important pilgrimage for the Hindus and a land of various festivals, Gokarna's pleasant climate and stunning beauty also makes it a not-to-miss beach destination in the country.

    One among all the beaches in Gokarna, Kudlu Beach offers several charismatic options like dolphin spotting, boating, kayaking, trekking and lot more. Stays around this pristine beach is also a hit among its visitors.

    Beach Stay Experience, Gokarna

    Beach Stay Experience, Gokarna

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