This year was filled with long weekends and it is not done yet. There’s another long weekend coming up right around the corner. October 2nd, is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and the public holiday falls on Monday. So pack your bag and rush to one of these amazing destinations near Mumbai to get an escape from your hectic life.
Located on the banks of River Pravara, Bhandardara is a hill station nestled in the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra. According to a legend, sage Agastya meditated here for a year. Pleased with his penance, gods blessed him with a stream of River Ganga, now known as River Pravara. Bhandardara is crisscrossed by trekking trails and dotted with forts. The famous Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, is a favorite among trekkers. The trek to the 200-year-old Ratangad Fort is also popular as is the trek to sixth century Harishchandragad Fort. Blessed with lush greenery, Bhandardara is also a popular stopover for tourists travelling to Nashik and Shirdi.
Kolad is to Maharashtra, what Rishikesh is to Uttarakhand, Ladakh to Jammu and Kashmir and Coorg to Karnataka. The place is among the best white water rafting destinations in Maharashtra. Known for its waterfalls and adventure activities, Kolad is situated in the Sahyadri mountain range in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
A sleepy hamlet, Kolad gained prominence after it was discovered by trekkers and the folks in Maharashtra discovered the joy of rafting in their own backyard.
In winter, at the spill of dawn, trek up to the Gandhi Shikhar as the river of light bathes the streams over undulating mountains and the drifting birds, into a magical dance of awakening.In rains, breathe in the rolling hills of Saputara, echoing green hues, lush with flowers, and watch the meditating rain drops sitting still on sloping leaves. Some of the thickest forest cover in the state envelops you.
In summer, walk carefree on the expanse of the Governor’s hill and see the sun dip into the Saputara lake as the sky begins to shimmer with stars.As your bus chugs uphill, crisscrossing over the Ambika river, you leave all the congestion of towns and cities far below you and enter the spirit world of tribal people. Nestled in the Sahyadri range, at an altitude of about 1000 m, this Dangi enclave derives its name from the Snake god revered by the tribals and translates as ‘the abode of serpents’, Saputara.
In spite of being the only hill station of Gujarat, it is minimally commercialized, still unspoiled.