After a super busy first quarter, we are in the fourth month of 2017. Thankfully, the calendar is pointing at some extended weekends in the coming months. If you are a traveller or simply someone who needs a break, we think you are already shortlisting destinations.
If you are in Mumbai and thinking of a place to visit over the April-May long weekends, let us help you with a few of them. Have a look at the following destinations and plan that much-deserved long weekend break so you can travel and unwind.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Distance from Mumbai: 60 km
Tucked away in the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Karnala is a perfect weekend getaway from the busy city life. It's a paradise for nature lovers, bird-watchers, and trekkers. The lush forests and hills are home to a rich flora and fauna. Several exclusive species of birds are found here during the migratory season from October to April.
A relatively short drive from Mumbai on the Mumbai-Goa highway will land you in this tranquil land. Pay a nominal fee and visit the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. If you are a naturalist, visit the Nature Interpretation Center, where you can learn more about the sanctuary's ecosystem. You can trek up to the Karnala Fort on the Funnel Hill located amidst the sanctuary, which is one of the famous treks around the area.
Distance from Mumbai: 83 km
Located in the Western Ghats, Matheran is the tiniest hill station of India. Matheran is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune. In local parlance, its name means 'forest on the forehead of the mountains'. It is famous for its clean and green environment, toy-train ride, long treks and 360-degree viewpoint. There are 28 viewpoints including sunrise, sunset and an amazing Panorama Point.
Go on a joyride in the tiny Matheran Light Railway. Take a walk and explore the hill. There are two lakes and a few temples that can be visited. Witness the grandeur of the Western Ghats from the Panorama Point that offers a 360-degree view of the landscape. Do not miss the Echo Point where you can shout out heartily and hear the voice boom in the valley.
Distance from Mumbai: 93 km
Apart from being famous for its cool climate and the famous 'Lonavala chikki', Lonavala is a charming destination for a quick escape from the urban life. This lush hill station has dense forests, caves, forts, temples and lakes that can be explored while in Lonavala. With a pleasant climate throughout the year, the summer here is mild as compared to the nearby urban areas.
Khandala is another hill station and a twin of Lonavala. Located around 5 km from Lonavala, Khandala is the most-traveled destination and a popular trekking hub. Several adventure activities including rock climbing, rappelling and valley crossing are conducted here. While in Khandala do visit the Duke's Nose and Tiger's Leap viewpoints, and the Karla and Bhaja caves.
Distance from Mumbai: 102 km
Perched at an elevation of 2200 ft, Kamshet is a top destination for paragliding. It is also a major spot for other adventure activities including parasailing, rock climbing, and water sports. Being close to both Mumbai and Pune, it is a famous weekend hideout for the city dwellers. Due to its altitude, the temperature here is cooler even during the hottest months.
Months of October through May attract a lot of visitors as this is the paragliding season in Kamshet. There are a lot of paragliding schools for those who are interested in learning the sport. Apart from paragliding, you can visit the Pawna Dam, Bhairi and Bedsa caves, or hike to the nearby temples and hills.
Distance from Mumbai: 127 km
This picturesque hill station is an ideal getaway from Mumbai and Pune. Due to its pleasant climate, Malshej Ghat can be visited round the year. The weather here is pleasant even during the summer months. There are several treks for the adventure enthusiasts. For those who are looking for a quiet time out, the place has river, waterfalls and a dam that can be visited. It is an ideal place for a vacation with family and friends.
Distance from Mumbai: 145 km
PC: Star Dust H
This former princely state and a picturesque hill station in the laps of the Western Ghats is a relatively less-traveled destination. Known for its tribal and cultural heritage, the famous Warli painting is a celebrated landmark of this place. Despite its pleasant weather and scenic beauty, this ex-tribal kingdom is an underrated destination.
While in Jawhar, head to the beautiful viewpoints that offer mesmerizing views of the verdant landscapes and of the stunning sunrise and sunset. Travel back in time with a visit to the historic sites including the Jai Vilas Palace and the Bhopatgad Fort. Buy and bring back the Warli painting souvenirs as a token of remembrance of this beautiful place.