Monsoons are right around the corner, and we are here to help you make the most of this season. This beautiful season has a charm of its own; it beautifies everything! So, why would you sit at home during the weekends, while you can step out, see and feel something out of the ordinary! However, it is not always easy, when it comes to a metropolitan city like Mumbai. Where rains can get vigorous, the roads can be jam packed for hours, and the weather can be humid. So, what is the best alternative? A weekend getaway! A getaway from the city during this beautiful season, to experience something soulful. So, here it is a list of monsoon getaways for your weekend from Mumbai. Here is a travel guide to offbeat weekend getaways from Mumbai.
One of the nearest getaways from Mumbai is Karnal.It is at a distance of 60kilometers(approximately) from Mumbai and is popularly known as the ‘fort city.' The main attraction in Karnala includes the Karnala Fort, situated 1,440ft above sea level, within the premises of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. A trek to the Fort through the Sanctuary in monsoon is pure bliss! You may also visit the ancient Shiva Temple located near the Sanctuary and the Bhavani Temple located at a hilly peak within the Sanctuary.
During monsoons Karnala is at its best, the beauty of the dense forest gets enhanced, making it a perfect destination for your weekend.
By Train: From Mumbai, you can reach Karnal by train and get down at Panvel, the nearest station from the Karnal Bird Sanctuary. From the station, you can hire taxis or cabs to roam around Karnala.
By Road: You can reach Karnala via road within 1 hr 30 minutes(approximately), either in a self-driven vehicle or you can book a taxi or a bus.
Image Credits: Gaurav Paliwal.
Matheran is the smallest hill station in India and literally means ‘forest on the forehead’ of the hills. Standing true to its name, Matheran is covered with lush greenery and is surely nature’s bounty! Matheran is situated at a distance of 80kms from Mumbai in Karjat Tahsil, a part of the Raigad District and is at an altitude of 2,625 feet about sea level. Matheran has multiple ‘look-out’ points. The Panorama Point gives a magnificent view of the Western Ghats, while the Louisa Point overlooks the Parbal Fort. Apart from these two-famous look-out points, you can also visit the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh Point and the Charlotte Lake.Monsoons beautify the spectacular view from all these points and provide an ideal weather to trek up till there.
Also, Matheran is declared as an eco-sensitive area, and its true beauty lies in the fact that it is an automobile free zone. In fact, Matheran is Asia’s only automobile free hill station. So, if you’re looking to escape the city frenzy this weekend, this is your spot!
By Train: You need to take a train from Mumbai that drops you at the Neral Junction Station(it will take around 3hours), and from there you will have to take a toy train to Matheran( it will take around 2 hours).
By Road: This will take you 2 hours approximately to reach Matheran Hill Ghat Road, where you will need to park your car at the Matheran Dasturi Car park. You can avail the services of the toy train there to reach Matheran. Bookings for the same should be made well in advance.
*Matheran is an automobile-free hill station, we would suggest if you have difficulties with walking then you shouldn’t choose this as your weekend destination.
A beautiful costal town located 100kms away from Mumbai, well known for its clean beaches and refreshing air! Alibag offers umpteen number of places to visit during monsoon, including; Alibag Beach, Nagaon Beach, Kihim Beach, Kanakeshwar forest and Akshi Beach. Do visit the Kolaba Fort which is covered with water on all sides, visiting this place in monsoon can be an adventure of some sort as you might have to wade through the water. There are also, horse carts available to reach the fort.
By Train: The closest railway station to Alibag is Panvel. From Panvel, you will have to take a taxi to reach Alibag which is 36 km away from there.
By Road: It takes about 2hours to reach Alibag by road. Direct buses are available for here.
By Boat: You can reach Alibag by ferry that departs from the Gate Way of India.
*Not functional during rainy season
Nestled in the magnificent hills of the Western Ghats, Malshej Ghat is the ideal spot for your monsoon weekend! It is almost 145kms from Mumbai, and a drive up to this place is soothing to the eyes. It is decked up/adorned with lush greenery on all sides which gets enhanced during monsoons. The Harishchandragad Fort, The Pimpalgaon Joga Dam and The Malshej Falls are some places you’d enjoy if you visit. If you’re into trekking and rock climbing, try some popular trek locations like The Ajoba Hill Fort, Nane Ghat and the Darkoba peak(tallest peak there).Also, don’t miss out on the pink flamingos that are visible here only during the monsoon season.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Malshej ghat is Kalyan Railway Station. It is 85kms away from the Ghat, and you will have to take a taxi from there to reach your destination.
By Road: Hiring a cab or taking your vehicle can be a good idea, The Ghat is just 3 hours away.
Image Credits: Abhijit Rao.
It is not possible to complete any list of weekend getaways from Mumbai without this heavenly place, Lonavala. It derives its name from the Prakrit words of Len and Avali, which imply; a series of resting arena craved from stone. The Prakrit word of Lenavali refers to the various caves at Lonavla such as the Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, and Bedsa. Lonavala is graced with the misty weather, cool breeze, and verdure during monsoon. It is almost 85kms away from Mumbai, and if you drive up to this place, you can see Khandala and Rajmachi as well. The popular tourist attractions in the place include the Bhaja caves, Bushi dam, Karla caves, Rajmachi fort and the Ryewood lake. Lonavala is one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai for couples.
By Train: There are direct trains to Lonavala from Dadar which take approximately 2hours 30minutes to reach.
By Road: Lonavala is just 1 hour 40 minutes away from Mumbai, it a short drive so we suggest you can take a taxi or your car up to here. You can also travel by bus to Lonavala.
Located in the coastal region of the Arabian Sea, Daman is a city in the union territory of Daman and Diu, at a distance of 180kilometers from Mumbai. If you love spending time at the beach, then Daman is surely your place! As monsoons are right around the corner, the view from the beaches is spectacular. And the feel of the cool breeze against your skin is simply refreshing! Apart from the beauty that nature offers here, the city has a rich cultural heritage with a tinge of pre-colonial era. The places of attraction include The Deeveka Beach, The Chakratirith Beach, the Daman Fort, The Lighthouse and The Daman Museum.
If you can, attend the regional festival here ‘Nariyal Poornima,' which is celebrated with great zeal by the locals and marks the end of the monsoon season.
By Train: The nearest station to Daman from Mumbai is Vapi, which is 12kms away from the heart of the city. You can book cabs from outside the station for traveling in the city.
By Road: Daman is well connected via road to Mumbai, and one can hire a cab or book a bus or take their vehicle there. It is approximately a drive of 3 hours.
Panchgani is a magnificent hill station in the Satara District of Maharashtra, approximately 245kms away from Mumbai. The place derives its name from its location, Panchgani is located amidst five hills in the Sahyadri mountain range and is of full greenery! Monsoons bless this place with a serene and magical atmosphere!
The prominent attractions of this place include; Mount Malcolm, Sydney Point, Venna lake Lingmala Falls, Dhom Dam, Bombay Point, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Panchganga Mandir and Wilson Point.
Do visit the table land here, it’s the highest point in Panchgani and gives you a panoramic view of the hill station.
By Train: Nearest station to Panchgani is Pune, one can get off over there and then take a taxi to their destination.
By Road: The road condition for the route from Mumbai to Panchgani is good, and you can reach the destination either by car or by bus. It would roughly take you four hours by road to reach Panchgani.
Looking for a spiritual escape this monsoon? Ganapatipule is your place then.It is a perfect blend of serenity and spirituality. Its main attraction is the temple of Lord Ganesh which is 400 years old. It is believed that the reason why the Deity faces the West is because it protects the western gates, as usually, most India deities face towards the East. Apart from being a place of pilgrimage, this small town on the Konkan coast has mesmerizing beaches adorned with mangroves and coconut trees. Main attractions of the town include the Jaigad Fort, Ashram of Swami Swaroopanand and the Ganapatipule Beach.
This could be your weekend getaway from Mumbai in 340 km and a place to achieve tranquillity.
By Train: From Mumbai, you can take a train and get off at Bhoke, and from there Ganapatipule which is 40minutes away(by car).
By Road: A drive to Ganapatipule can be a little exhausting as it can almost take you 7hours to reach here, by bus or by cab.
Hopefully, Monsoons wouldn’t be all about humidity and sweating now. These weekend getaways from Mumbai will surely be revitalizing and help you beat a hasty retreat from your mundane activities.
Enjoy the weekend and do share your experience with us!