TOP WEEKEND GETAWAYS FROM MUMBAI AND PUNE DURING THE MONSOON
Ah, the monsoon. The monsoon brings many gifts; the aroma of petrichor, the lush greenery carpeting the hills, rainbows and a pleasant chill. These gifts all combine to give us some much needed respite from the sweltering heat of the summer. The rains bring hope, joy and life back to nature. The monsoon also brings with it, two words – It’s time.
It’s time to take that much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s time to step away from the concrete jungle and into the wilderness of the actual jungle. The concrete jungle has greenery of its own (read: money) but the wilderness has magic that is not just a sight, but an experience. When the rain gods smile, the season makes for an ideal time to step out of the city. While the options to explore nature may be endless, we have narrowed these down for you. You can thank us later.
MALSHEJ GHAT Image Courtesy: Around Pune
Malshej Ghat: With towering peaks and seemingly bottomless valleys, Malshej Ghat makes for an ethereal getaway from Mumbai. Located just over 150kms from Mumbai, Malshej Ghat is a nature lover’s delight with its mélange of green and its gushing waterfalls. With misty views to welcome you all along the way, Malshej Ghat is a magical place to visit during the monsoon. Oh, and don’t forget to catch the sight of the migratory Pink Flamingos while you’re there.
THE MACHAN Image Courtesy: The Machan
The Machan: A world in itself is the best way to describe this luxury eco-resort located in the quaint little village of Jambulne. The Machan is one of the more premium resorts near Mumbai which offers accommodation in luxury tree-houses coupled with breathtaking views. Engulfed in close to 25 acres of nature, The Machan is blissfully cut off from the rest of the world and is also powered primarily by renewable energy. Interestingly, The Machan was voted among the top 10 romantic hotels in India, so feel free to book a couple’s weekend at this luxe getaway. The Machan has won multiple awards for their hospitality due to its minimal carbon footprint and eco-friendliness. The Machan also offers a spa service and yoga sessions through the day for some much needed rest and rejuvenation. Each of their Machans is designed keeping nature in mind and offers spectacular views bang in the middle of a cloud forest, so to speak, which makes it a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune. A stay at the Machan is like a gentle embrace in the arms of Mother Nature, be it in the comfort of your own Machan, or by a toasty campfire.
MATHERAN TOY TRAIN
MATHERAN TOY TRAIN Image Courtesy: Triphills
Matheran: One of the closest hill stations to Mumbai, Matheran is one of the most scenic places to visit for a weekend getaway. Fun fact. No vehicles are allowed in Matheran beyond the Dasturi point, which means the only way to traverse, is on foot, horseback or a pulled rickshaw ride. Matheran also features its own show stopper in the form of the toy train that runs up to the hill station. The service, however, is suspended during the monsoon. The unpolluted hill station of Matheran is an eco-sensitive zone and offers jaw-dropping views of the Sahyadri ranges and a bird's eye view of the Maximum City of Mumbai, thus making it an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai.
RIVER RAFTING AT KOLAD
RIVER RAFTING AT KOLAD Image Courtesy: Treksandtrails
Kolad: If an adventure-filled weekend getaway from Mumbai is what you’re looking for, look no further than Kolad. Kolad is a quaint little hamlet that lies on the bank of the Kundalika River. More often than not, Kolad is blessed with a favorable climate throughout the year. Nestled in the Sahyadris, Kolad features a range of hiking activities of varying difficulty. The main attraction, however, are the water sports on offer in this rugged little village. Fed by the excess water from the Bhira Dam and featuring Grade 2 and Grade 3 rapids over a 12km stretch, Kolad’s river rafting is its most popular attraction. Besides these, Kolad also offers zipline crossing, kayaking, rifle shooting, archery and ATV rides for a perfect adventure filled weekend getaway from Mumbai. Adventure lovers, unite!
ANDHARBAN TREK Image Courtesy: Via Ferrata
Andharban: Like a forest of shadows straight out of a thriller movie, Andharban literally means a dark, dense forest. One of the most beautiful treks you can embark on, the Andharban trek is a comfortable descent into dense wilderness. With cascades of waterfalls and a stunning view of the Kundalika Valley, Andharban also has the added benefit of having a pleasant climate due to its dense forest cover. True to its name, the Andharban forest can get quite dark due to heavy fog. The trail, however, is always visible.
The concrete jungle can be quite suffocating at times. The rains, however, present the perfect opportunity for an escape into the lap of Mother Nature. It’s time to let your senses take charge. It’s time for a getaway.