52 Getaways in Maharashtra (Part-2)

Pandharpur Wari – a spiritual walk of the Warkaris
October 30, 2020
52 Getaways in Maharashtra (Part-1)
October 30, 2020

52 Getaways in Maharashtra (Part-2)

Our official Blog series

Welcome to another blog from our series of “52 Getaways in Maharashtra” where you will be given an immersive tour of next 10 places for perfect experience so that you can enjoy,relax and rejuvenate yourself with your friends and family.

#11 HARIHARESHWAR

It is a coastal town located in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This town got its name from ‘Hari’ means Lord Shiva as it is believed that this town is blessed by Lord Shiva. There is also a beach temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from its mythological stories, this town also provides mesmerizing scenic views of the nature as it is surrounded by the 3 hills.

How to reach: –

  1. By road:- Harihareshwar is well connected by road, both from Pune (178 kms) and Mumbai (185 kms). Taxi and bus services are easily available.
  2. By train:- The nearest Railway Station to Harihareshwar is Mangaon (57 kms) and is well connected to Pune and Mumbai railway line.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Harihareshwar is during October- March as the weather is pleasant during these winter months. Avoid visiting in monsoon and summers as this place experiences higher humidity levels. To make your vacation more immersive try to visit during Diwali and Shiv Ratri celebrations for the enchanting experience.

Famous attractions: – Harihareshwar beach, Kalbhairav temple, Ganesh gully, Diveagar beach, Bagmandala

Foods to try- Kokum sharbat, authentic Konkani dishes.

#12 ELEPHANTA CAVES

On the island of Elephanta (also known as Gharapuri island) lies a UNESCO World Heritage site known as Elephanta Caves. It represents the rock-cut art and architecture of the medieval India and most of the collection is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can see traces of painted artworks in the main cave. On the island there are large group of Hindu caves and a small group of Buddhist caves.

How to reach: – Located at a distance of 11 nautical miles from Mumbai and the only way to reach Elephanta caves is by Motor Boats. Regular ferry rides are available from Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves. After reaching the island, there is a short toy train ride that facilitates the visitors to reach to the 125 steps leading up to the caves.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Elephanta Caves is during the winter months of November- February as the weather is comfortable for sightseeing. Avoid the monsoon season especially in the months of June- September, as it may becomes dangerous to travel through sea and ferry schedules may also get restricted.

#13 KARLA & BHAJA CAVES

The Karla & Bhaja caves are situated on the Mumbai- Pune expressway, near Lonavala. These are among the ancient caves dating back to 160 B.C. The Bhaja caves are a group of 22 caves representing the Hinayana phase of Buddhism and Karla caves depict the Satavahana’s reign. Both the caves represent the finest work of rock-cut architecture. People who are fond of learning more about the architecture will be amazed by these caves. Also, these caves are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as the Monument of National Importance.

How to reach: –

  1. By road:- The nearest city to Karla & Bhaja caves is Lonavala (10 kms away). Local bus services are available from Lonavala to Karla caves. From there one can take an auto or taxi service to reach Bhaja caves which is 10 kms away from Karla caves.
  2. By train:- The nearest Railway Station to Bhaja Caves is Malavali (3 kms away) which can be easily accessible through local train from Lonavala.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Karla & Bhaja Caves is during the Autumn and Spring months of October- March as the weather is comfortable for sightseeing and exploring the caves. Flowers bloom around the Bhaja Caves during the spring time.

#14 PRATAPGADH FORT

Pratapgadh fort is a hill fort situated in the close proximity of the popular hill station Mahabaleshwar, in Satara district. It is situated at an altitude of 3543 feet from the sea level which provides a wonderful experience to the trek lovers. The fort has 4 lakes, Bhawani temple on the top and a cultural library representing the history and heritage of the place. Also, on the way to the fort there is a center of handicrafts where people from local village present their products.

History of Pratapgadh fort:

The fort was commissioned by Chhatrapati Shivaji, and built by his prime minister, Moropant Trimbak Pingle in 1656, to control the officers of the Javali basin nearby, as well as to defend the banks of the Nira and Koyna rivers, and the Par Pass. It is said that at this fort Afzal Khan, commander of the Bijapur Adilshahi forces, came to meet Chhatrapati Shivaji. His intent was evil, and he tried to stab Shivaji as he embraced him in greeting. Shivaji was unharmed as he was wearing an iron armour and he swiftly took out his waghnakhi (iron tiger claws) that he had hidden under his finger rings and attacked Afzal Khan. Sambhaji Kavji Kondhalkar, Shivaji’s lieutenant, then beheaded Khan. On Shivaji’s orders, a dargah named Afzal Buruj was built at Pratapgad Fort. It is also home to a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhavani and it is said that Shivaji received a new sword from the goddess at this temple.

In 1957, former prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru unveiled a 17-m-high equestrian bronze statue of Shivaji. Today, Pratapgad Fort is owned by Udayan Raje Bhonsle, Shivaji’s descendant and heir of the Satara princely state. Several of the great king’s descendants still live in this fort.

How to reach: –

  1. By road- The nearest city to Pratapgad Fort is Satara  (81 kms). Pune is 148 kms and Mumbai is 224 kms. It can also be visited as a day trip from Mahabaleshwar hill station which is 23 kms only.
  2. By train-The nearest Railway Station to Pratapgad Fort is Satara which is 81 kms. One can reach Satara Station by boarding train from Mumbai or Pune.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit is from the summer months of March- June, but to witness best of scenic beauty and for trekking activities,visit during the winter months of December- February.

Activities: – Trekking and camping

#15 DUDHANI

Dudhani is a lake situated 40 kms from Silvassa, the capital of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Construction of Madhuban dam on Daman Ganga river has lead to the formation of Dudhani lake. The Dadra & Nagar Haveli tourism department had developed this lake as a water sports destination. It is a perfect weekend getaway for those who want to experience nature and rural tourism.

How to reach: –

  1. By road- It is 170 km from Mumbai. Good motorable road available to reach Dudhani via Western Express Highway from Mumbai.
  2. By train- One can reach Dudhani via Vapi which is a Railway Station on Western Railways. It is app 20 km from Vapi (1 hour ). Frequent bus/taxi service available from Vapi Railway Station to Dudhani.
  3. By air- The nearest Airport to Dudhani is Mumbai, which is 170 km on western Express Highway.

Best time to visit: – Except summers, Dudhani experiences a pleasant and comfortable climate to visit all throughout the year. Avoid visiting during the peak summer season.

#16 AURANGABAD

Aurangabad is one of the important cities of Maharashtra and is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora. It got its name for being the capital under the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb dating back to 17th century A.D. Aurangabad is also famous for its Historic gates. There are thirteen gates which still stand with pride and have become the characteristic part of the city. It is a perfect weekend getaway for those who want to dwell deep into the heritage and history.

How to reach: –

  1. By road- 370 km from Mumbai, 195 km from Nashik and 235  km from Pune,  Aurangabad is well connected by the highways to all the major cities in the country.
  2. By train- Aurangabad has its own Railway Station which is easily accessible through all the major cities of the country.
  3. By air- Aurangabad has its own Airport and is well connected with Mumbai, Delhi and other major cities of the country.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Aurangabad is during the winter months of November- February, as it provides a comfortable and sightseeing and holidaying experiences.

Famous attractions: –

Ajanta & Ellora Caves: World Heritage Sites of Ajanta &Ellora Caves (There are 29 caves in Ajanta which were built in the period between 2nd century BC to 6th century AD whereas the Ellora Caves are more spread out and there are 34 caves which were built in the period between 6th and 11th Century AD. These caves includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples.)

Grishneshwar Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grishneshwar Temple located in Ellora is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Also known as Ghrneshwar or Dhushmeshwar Temple, this Jyotirlinga in Aurangabad is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered an important pilgrimage site. Grishneshwar is the smallest of the Jyotirlingas and is considered the last or the 12th Jyotirlinga of India. Entry to the Grishneshwar Temple is open to all, but to enter the Garbhagriha (the main sanctum housing the Shiva Linga), men need to be bare-chested. This is also one of the only Jyotirlingas in India where the devotees can touch the Shiva Linga with bare hands.

Other attractions: Bibi ka Maqbara, Daulatabad fort, Aurangabad caves.

Foods to try- Pulao Biryani, Tahri and Naan Qalia

#17 DAJIPUR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

It is now known as Radhanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and is considered to be the first wildlife sanctuary of Maharashtra. It is located to the south of the Sahyadri ranges in the Kolhapur district. It has also been notified as the UNESCO World Heritage Site as it holds some the important endemic species of mammals, birds and plants. The main attraction here is the Indian Bison that is why it is also known as a ‘bison reserve’.

How to reach: –

  1. By road-Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by road through major cities such as Mumbai (450 kms) and Pune (310 kms).
  2. By train- The nearest Railway Station is C. Shahumaharaj Terminus which is 75 kms from the sanctuary.
  3. By air- The nearest Airport is Kolhapur airport which is 85 kms from the sanctuary.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit is during the winter season from October- March as the weather is pleasant and comfortable for wildlife safaris.

#18 AMBOLI

Amboli is an unexplored hill stationat an altitude of 690 m (2,260 ft) which lies in Sahyadri ranges in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.  It is considered to be the last hill station on Maharashtra – Goa Border before the coastal highlands of Goa. It attracts lot of visitors on weekend from Goa and Belgaum due to its close proximity.

How to reach: –

  1. By road-Amboli is connected to Belgaum and Sawantwadi by State Highway. State transport bus services are available to Amboli.
  2. By train- The nearest Railway Station is in Sawantwadi which is 30 kms away.
  3. By air- The nearest Airport is Dabolim, Goa which is 57 kms away.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit is during and post monsoon months i.e June- August, as Amboli is popular for its lush greenery. However, one can visit at any time throughout the year.

Famous attractions: – Amboli falls, Madhavgad fort, Shrigaonkar point, Hiranyakeshi temple, Nangarta falls

Activities: – Sightseeing, camping, trekking and others.

Foods to try- Kokum juice, Konkani styled fish and spicy curries.

#19 TARKARLI

Lying about 160 km from the city of Kolhapur, Tarkarli is endowed with crystal-clear waters kissed by silvery white beaches. Tourists can indulge in water adventure sports like snorkeling, kayaking, jet ski ride, bumper ride, parasailing, banana ride and scuba diving. Explore the vibrant world underwater and sight exotic species of fish, coral reefs, dolphins and sea plants. Moreover, the only backwaters of Maharashtra are flanked by Tarkarli and Kudal and tourists can explore the pristine waters and picturesque surroundings of River Karli on a houseboat. These boats are like floating luxury hotels that offer a host of modern facilities. Tarkarli is a delight for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers, who will be acquainted with many splendid sights and a number of memorable experiences.

How to reach: –

  1. By road- Tarkarli is well connected by road to Mumbai (480 kms) and Pune (430 kms). Bus, taxi and cab services are also available to Tarkarli.
  2. By train- The nearest Railway Station is Sawantwadi which is 37 kms away.
  3. By air- The nearest Airport is in Dabolim, Goa which is 82 kms away.

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit is during the winter months of October- March as the weather is comfortable for sightseeing. Although, Tarkarli is blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year but avoid monsoon visits as it may ruins the sightseeing experience.

Famous attractions: – Tarkarli beach, Karli backwater, Deobagh, Damapur lake

Activities: – Sightseeing and water sports

Foods to try- Mori masala, Shark curry

#20 IMAGICA

Imagica is India’s largest theme park and family holiday destination located in Khopoli district near Lonavala. Also, known as AdlabsImagica, it features a theme park, a water park named ‘Aquamagica’ and a premier 5- star hotel- Novotel, Khopoli, thus making it a perfect weekend getaway for families. It also introduced India’s first largest indoor rollercoaster and many other attractions at the park .

How to reach: – Imagica is well connected by road and situated between Mumbai (75 kms) and Pune (91 kms) in Khopoli district. One can hire cab or taxi services from either of the cities to reach the attraction.

Imagica, also has its own bus services from Pune and Mumbai. To avail this service one needs to book it from their official website one day prior to the visit (https://www.imagicaaworld.com).

Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Imagica theme park is during the month of November- February as the weather is pleasant and comfortable. The park is open on all 7 days of the week from 10:30 am to 8 pm

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts to know more destinations for a perfect getaway in Maharashtra!

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