TOP 5 PLACES FOR NATURE LOVERS TO VISIT NEAR MAHARASHTRA
The concrete jungle offers little opportunity for human beings to connect with their first love as a species – nature. The hustle and bustle of the city serves as a constant source of suffocation with the air perennially heavy with the smell of pollution. To add to this, increased concretization has led to dwindling levels of nature, so much so that lush greenery remains a distant afterthought in the city. Well, if an escape from the busy life of the city is what you’re longing for, join the club. For those wishing to cradle in the lap of nature away from the city, here are the top five places to visit –
TARKARLI Image Courtesy: Journey Planner
Blessed with sandy beaches and serenity, Tarkarli makes for an amazing retreat. However, clear skies and pristine beaches are not all that Tarkarli has to offer. With its favorable waves and a range of exotic marine life, Tarkarli is one of the very few places in Maharashtra that offers the thrill of scuba diving. Tarkarli also has a variety of water sports to indulge in. And if water sports aren’t your thing, Tarkarli also offers an opportunity to spot some of the friendliest mammals on Earth – dolphins. For architecture enthusiasts, the architectural marvel of the Sindhudurg Fort stands strong in Tarkarli and makes for an interesting lesson in history. Last but not the least, don’t forget to taste the lip smacking Malvani food that Tarkarli has to offer.
THE MACHAN, LONAVALA Image courtesy: The Machan
Lonavala is among the most frequented tourist places near Mumbai. One of the closest hill stations to Mumbai, Lonavala offers a little something for every visitor. Go camping by a lake, visit historic forts, trek up a hill or head to the adventure and amusement parks that Lonavala has to offer. If a relaxing getaway is what you’re looking for, head to The Machan, an eco-resort nestled in the lap of nature in the quaint little village of Jambulne. The Machan is blissfully located in 25 acres of nature and is also cut off from the world to offer some much needed peace and quiet. An award winning resort and a world in itself, The Machan is among the more premium resorts in Lonavala which offers accommodation in tree-houses where luxury and Mother Nature go hand in hand. Relax and unwind in the company of avian rhapsodies and morning fog or catch up on your reading with a view of the setting sun for a luxurious break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
KAAS PLATEAU Image Courtesy: Around The Globe Holidays
Easily the most ethereal sight that Maharashtra has to offer, Kaas Plateau has been declared as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Located in Satara, Kaas Plateau is home to over 850 species of flowers and numerous species of butterflies. Also known as the Valley of Flowers due to its mesmerizing beauty and the majestic array of flowers on display, Kaas Plateau is one of the very few places that can be termed as ‘heaven on earth’. It is, quite literally, nature in all its glory.
KARNALA Image Courtesy: Thrillophilia
Swap the click-clack sounds of the laptop with the bird calls of the over 200 species of birds found in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary for some much needed rejuvenation. Karnala is located a little over 60kms from Mumbai, which makes for a comfortable journey. The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular destinations for bird lovers in and around Maharashtra with its vivid collection of the many migratory as well as resident birds in the sanctuary. Another plus point of the place is that it is centered around the historic Karnala Fort, which offers a spectacular view of the valley below. The trek to the Karnala Fort is also a relatively easy one and as such, it can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
TADOBA TIGER RESERVE Image Courtesy: Wildtrails
Also known as ‘The Land of Tigers’, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is quite simply a treasure trove of flora and fauna. Located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, the Reserve was declared a National Park in 1955. Since then, the Tadoba Reserve has become home to a range of animals which include not just tigers, but also hyenas, crocodiles, leopards, deer, pangolins and flying squirrels even. With a thick forest cover and the distinct biological diversity inhibiting the park, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is the ideal nature lover’s getaway.
If you are a little strapped for time, fear not. The maximum city of Mumbai also has a few spots to visit for nature lovers. Take the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, for example. Located in the suburbs of Mumbai, SGNP is home to a range of flora and fauna. The park is also thronged by thousands of visitors every day for activities like nature walks, treks and yoga. With its evergreen forests and indigenous animals, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is among the must-see places to visit in Mumbai.