Maharashtrian Hill Stations - No Better Treat Possible
Spread across the western Ghats, these sublime hill stations are few of the most picturesque places throughout the Indian sub-continent. Being on the sea side and encircled by lush green forest, the hill stations of Maharashtra promises the finest excursion spots in India. Your exploration instincts and skills will be sharpened to the apex in these parts of the woods. Whether it is summers or winters or rainy season, these hill stations remain favorable and the favored spots for the tourists. The hill destinations are not only thronging with the natural beauty, but are also well developed town centers as well with world class hotels that make the stay of travelers a comfortable one.
Mahabaleshwar - Beyond Your Dreams
Mahabaleshwar is the grandest of all hill stations perched on the
western ghats. This hill town is located some 245 km south east of
Mumbai and is at a height of 4500 ft above sea level. This hill
station once used to be the jewel in the British crown is much known
for its cleanliness and healthy environment. It was constituted as a
health resort in 1829 and was also used as a prison for convicts from
China and Malaysia, it is said that after thr release their people
never left the place and got settled at Mahabaleshwar for rest of
their life. Mahabaleshwar is mainly a vast evergreen plateau of about
150 sq. km. Traveling is not a problem as the roads are wide,
beautiful and well maintained. The places that are not to be missed on
this marvel of nature are Wilson plateau, called the sunrise point and
also the highest part of Mahabaleshwar, the Aurthur's point, the
Baghdad point. Other sightseeing options are castle rock, Marjorie
Point, Gaolani Point and Carnac Point.
There are ample of budget hotels and world class hotels to choose from, so staying will not be a problem. To reach Mahabaleshwar, the best way is to catch a bus from Mumbai. Take the transport at night which will bring you to Mahabaleshwar in the early hours next day.
Panchagani - Ecatasy In Heights
The name Panchagani means 'Five Lands'. It gets its name from the
five hills around it. It is around 268 km south east of Mumbai. It is
around 20 km away from Mahabaleshwar and is at an altitude 4,400 feet
above sea level in Sahyadris. The drive to Panchagani from
Mahabaleshwar itself is a breathtaking experience. With all the turns
and swirls on the road and a panoramic view of river Krishna through
the valleys, you are bound to get mesmerized. Panchavati, although is
a hill station, it has a religious side as well. It is said that the
Pandavas stayed here for a while and cooked food, one can also look
for the caves built by them and their name inscribed in them.
On this hill station, you can do a lot of quiet activities, for example you can hire a horse and just canter along the less unexplored roads and go to the caves or to the Kamalgarh fort. You can also visit Dhoom Dham water sport complex which is around 21 km away from Panchagani. Here you can experience the scooter boat and speed boat rides. Other places that you can explore are the Sydney Point, the Table Point and the Parsi Point. From Mahabaleshwar, it is only around 20 minute drive to here. The nearest airport is Pune that is around 98 km away and Mumbai is around 266 km away. Although, Panchagani is not a huge town place, but you will definitely find well maintained budget hotels to stay, which will cater the best of facilities available to you. The best time to visit is during September to May.
Lonavala-Khandala - A Dream Paradise
Located some 102 km south east of Mumbai, it takes around 2 hrs by road to reach Lonavala from Mumbai. Lonavala can actually be termed as the 'Real Getaway' shot vacation. This is a hill station that is gifted with the most appealing sites that you ever like to witness. Travelers from nearby areas throng this town in rainy season to explore its varied moods. Obviously it is not the rain that is enjoyed so much, as is the time after it, the hot cup of coffee inside the warm and cozy hotel room and the sound of rain drops outside definitely makes it a perfect holiday spot. Each and every part of Lonavala is so enticing, that you will not be able to take your eyes of them. But there are few places that you just can't miss - Bushy Dam, Ryewood Park , Duke's nose and Karla and Bhaja caves are few of them. It's neighbor Khandala is also as naturally gifted as Lonavala is. Accommodation in these cities is not a problem as there are lot of hotels across both the towns. Lonavala is on the Mumbai-Pune highway which makes this an easily accessible town and all the trains on Mumbai to Pune route on central line stop at Lonavala.
Bhandardara - Heavenly Retreat
Bhandardara is 180 km north east of Mumbai. It is located on the banks of the Parvara River. It is the nearest of all the hill stations to the highest peak in the Sahyadaris, Mt. Kalsubai. Bhandardara, is the most calm and rustic hill station among all. Here you get the real taste of the rural Maharashtra and coming here definitely cuts you off from the hectic city life. With the cleanest of air and water, you well get the most refreshing trips of your life in Bhandardara. A walk in the nature along the shores of the lakes will give you the best possible relaxation. Don't presume that all you can get here is a quite holiday. There is plenty of scope for any adventure enthusiast, who is interested in trekking, climbing over the rugged fort walls and so on.. So do not forget your trekking gear. You can take a jeep that is available at the village square that will take you for a sightseeing tour of the town. Few of them are Bhandardara lake also called the Lake Arthur hill, the Randha falls, the Umbrella falls and the Agasti Rishi Ashram. There are not many world class hotels in Bhandardara and most accommodations are very basic and the best of all being the MTDC Holiday Resort. The nearest rail head is in Igatpuri some 42 km away, from where it will take around 1hr drive to reach here. If you are coming by road, take the Mumbai-Nasik road.
Matheran - The Land Of Mystics
Another Hill station that is as beautiful as any that you would have ever seen. Located 110 km east of Mumbai, this is the only pedestrian hill station of Asia situated at a height of 2,636 feet above sea level on the Western Ghats. Matheran is fast on the development route, but it is still a reward to all those who put an effort to reach the top of the Ghat. Matheran was the discovery of Hugh Poyntz Malet who was the collector of Thane district in 1850. Matheran has a thick cover of forest which acts as a natural air conditioner. This keeps the the atmosphere clean and cool making it a traveler's paradise. If you get tired of walking and trekking, don't get disappointed as there are many other options to reach the tip of Matheran Ghat. You can take a ride on horse back which my word, turns out to be the perfect alternative. If you want to have the most enthralling ride, then do go for a ride in hand pulled carts, that will take you to all the main look out points in the town. Other attractions of the town are Malet spring, the Panorama Point, The Hart Point and the Monkey Point. Reach the Porcupine Point, also called the Sunset Point in the evening to witness the spectacular sunset. There are ample hotels to choose from, the best being the MTDC Holiday Resort. Though in peak season, (April to June and in October), the rates of these hotel shoot up a bit. Nearest rail head is Neral which is around 8 km away. From there you can walk to Matheran or can hire a horse or a hand pulled cart till Dasturi after which no vehicles are allowed into Matheran.
Igatpuri - Queen OF Hill Stations
Situated at a height of 1900 ft above the sea level, lying at a
distance of 138 km from north east of Mumbai, Igatpuri is covered by
the Sahyadris from all the sides. Igatpuri is a small hill station but
it has all the ingredients of a convincing weekend getaway. After the
monsoon season, Igatpuri covers itself in all shades of green and the
streams and waterfalls start to burst out with water. There is nothing
much adventures to do here but you can always walk down the uncharted
lanes, feel the lush green grass, get soaked in the waterfalls which
is worth its price in gold or lets say 'Priceless'. This hill station
is full of natural wonders which you can explore leisurely. Few that
have already made their mark are the Batsa River and the Camel Valley.
Camel valley will be the most spectacular sight in this region. Also
check out the Igatpuri falls and the Tringalwadi Fort. This town is
just a dot of civilization and you might not find any Hi-Fi
accommodations here, but there are few that are well maintained and
will provide you with all the basic requirements. For other luxurious,
count on the beautiful nature itself. Igatpuri lies on NH-3 over
Kasara Ghat via Shahapur. It will take around 3 hrs by road and 2.5
hrs by rail to reach here from Mumbai.
Help yourself and discover the hill station that are beautiful to no extent. Once you are in these resplendent parts of India, forget all your sorrows or instead let all your exasperations be taken away from you. Come to these Western Ghats and let all your senses guide you to the best getaways of your life.
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