There is no denying the fact that the city of Mumbai that we all adore and are fascinated by, can be a little chaotic during the monsoon season. As the downpour hits the Entertainment Capital of India, it transforms into the realm of long traffic jams, flooded areas, delayed trains and the like. But ironically, monsoon is also when the areas around Mumbai are at their very best. The water droplets plummeting from the sky wash away all the impurities and the entire landscape glistens with a new life. This is perhaps one of the best times to leave the cacophony behind and take a break in a picture-perfect spot near the city.
From peaceful coastal cities to quaint hilltop towns, there is a gamut of incredible holiday destinations near Mumbai that one can throng during the umbrella season. Do not fret if your work schedule or other commitments do not permit you to take a long break. All you need is a weekend and these destinations will rejuvenate your body and mind. Wondering what are these? Keep reading…
These amazing escapes have been categorized based on their distance from Mumbai for your convenience.
Within 100 km
1. Karnala Fort
One of the closest getaways to Mumbai, Karnala Fort and its surroundings look truly bewitching during the monsoon season when lush greenery takes over the entire landscape. The drive to the fortress is a treat in itself, offering travellers a chance to feast their eyes on magnificent vistas. The area is also home to several species of birds and a lot more can be seen during the migration season. Moreover, the climb to the top of the Karnala Fort is as fun as it gets. It’s a great pick for those who have a big time constraint on their weekend trip.
- Distance from Mumbai: 48 km
- Places to Visit: Karnala Fort, Karnala Bird Sanctuary
If tranquillity is what you seek, then Matheran should be your pick. After all, it has the distinction of being the only vehicle-free hill station in Asia. But do not worry as there are plenty of interesting ways to reach the town. You can either arrive on the back of a horse or take a toy train ride through the pristine landscape, capturing awe-inspiring sights on the way. After you have reached your destination, there are numerous things to do in Matheran, such as admiring the colonial architecture, go bird watching, etc. While the hill station is splendid in itself, the monsoon rains act as a cherry on top, adding to its beauty.
- Distance from Mumbai: 80 km
- Places to Visit: Louisa Point, Alexander Point, Hart Point
Lonavala has long been one of the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune alike. What beckons holidaymakers here are salubrious climate and captivating vistas of nature. Moreover, there are so many things to do and places to explore in and around Lonavala that one weekend might seem too short, and you certainly won’t mind extending your vacation or planning another trip to the town. As the monsoon arrives, a thin layer of mist engulfs the entire region, adding to the already stunning beauty of the place. Those who have been to this hill station during monsoon swear by that this is the best season to plan a trip to Lonavala.
- Distance from Mumbai: 84 km
- Places to Visit: Kune Falls, Bhushi Dam, Karla Caves, Lion’s Point
Between 100 km and 200 km
Are you looking for some thrill and adventure on your monsoon weekend getaway but only wish to travel about 100-150 km? Then pick Kolad. Calling it an ultimate adventure playground near Mumbai would not be an exaggeration. The place is a renowned hub for water activities and remains swamped with rafters for most parts of the year. Monsoon is when the water bodies thunder and splash like they have been unleashed, so that is a great time to satiate your hunger for adventure. Camping is another outdoor activity that you can enjoy with your friends and family in Kolad as the area is marked with numerous campsites offering a delightful stay to people.
- Distance from Mumbai: 121 km
- Places to Visit: Tamhini Ghat Waterfall, Bhira Dam, Sutarwadi Lake
5. Malshej Ghat
Nestled amidst the verdant hills of the Western Ghats at an elevation of around 700 metres, Malshej Ghat is widely popular among thrill seekers. Located nearby are numerous trails that don’t just give you a chance to get the adrenaline going, but also offer mesmerising vistas of nature. Besides, you can also quench your thirst for adventure in this serene hill station with some camping and rock climbing. The environs of Malshej Ghat are home to several waterfalls that come to a whole new life fed by the monsoon rains.
- Distance from Mumbai: 134 km
- Places to visit: Malshej Falls, Harishchandragad
Bhandardara is one of the lesser-known weekend getaways near Mumbai. While destinations like Lonavala, Matheran and Mahabaleshwar have always had the fancy of holidaymakers, Bhandardara has been away from the tourist eye up until the very recent years. Thus, the quaint hill station is perfect for those who wish to spend some languid time away from the crowds. You will love exploring the lakes and waterfalls in the area. Moreover, camping beside the lake is an experience that you do not want to miss during your sojourn.
- Distance from Mumbai: 164 km
- Places to Visit: Kalsubai, Randha Fall, Amruteshwar Temple
Between 200 km and 300 km
On the map of Maharashtra, Harihareshwar may appear to be a drab and dull place. However, you realise its charm once you make your way to it. The small coastal town in the Raigad district has temples and beaches that you can explore during a weekend. And unlike in most other famed coastal destinations in the region, you won’t have to worry about bumping into nosey tourists while enjoying a refreshing walk on the velvety sands of its beaches.
- Distance from Mumbai: 201 km
- Places to Visit: Harihareshwar Beach, Velas Beach
The summer season is considered to be the best time to plan a Panchgani trip and enjoy a respite from the scorching sun. However, being the peak season, the hill station remains swamped with vacationers. Now, though the hill station receives somewhat heavy rainfall during monsoons, the allure of the landscape only enhances during this time. Though you may have a few lesser activities to partake in, you also won’t have to deal with the holidaymaking crowds. In addition to that, you can find some of the best viewpoints near Panchgani.
- Distance from Mumbai: 239 km
- Places to Visit: Parsi Point, Sydney Point, Devrai Art Village
You can imagine the splendour of this place from the fact that it is referred to as ‘Mini Kashmir.’ But thinking that Tapola is just a gorgeous sight would be wrong. Along with an unsurpassed beauty to behold, this hamlet near Mahabaleshwar offers umpteen opportunities for the adventurous souls. No matter the season, a hike through the lush forests near Tapola is a great experience. A highly recommended activity in the area is a bicycle ride which won’t just keep you fit and going, but also bring you across some majestic vistas. But just be a little extra careful when the region is all drenched.
- Distance from Mumbai: 248 km
- Places to Visit: Chinaman’s Falls, Dhobi Waterfall, Venna Lake
Between 300 km and 400 km
Ganpatipule is another coastal town that you can visit during your getaway from Mumbai during the monsoon season. Apart from spending some time in solitude, detoxifying your mind from the cacophony and the pollution of the metropolises, you can also step into the centuries-old Swayambhu Ganpati Temple to seek solace. The long stretch of sand is the perfect place to go for a leisurely walk while a train of thoughts runs in your mind. Moreover, there are several operators in the village offering myriad water based activities that are sure to make your trip all the more exciting.
- Distance from Mumbai: 342 km
- Places to Visit: Ganpatipule Beach, Prachin Konkan, Magic Garden
Nestled on the shores of the restless Arabian Sea, the city of Ratnagiri has a wealth to explore. Shores, temples, hills, waterfalls; this place has it all. That is why many people from the cities of Mumbai and Pune come here to make their weekends memorable. And the scenario stays the same during the monsoon as well. If you are a religious person or simply fascinated by Hindu mythology, you are going to love this place as it draws connection to the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It is believed that the Pandavas, after their 12 year-long exile, spent some time here.
- Distance from Mumbai: 346 km
- Places to Visit: Thiba Palace, Ratnadurg/Ratnagiri Fort, Bhatye Beach
Aurangabad is a great option for those who are not too fond of the downpour as the city, located more than 300 km northeast of Mumbai, experiences quite short monsoon season. However, it is a fabulous destination that will take you back in time with its plethora of monuments. Calling it one of the most underrated weekend getaways from Mumbai would not be unfair, considering the many impressive points of interest it has to offer.
- Distance from Mumbai: 335 km
- Places to Visit: Bibi Ka Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad Caves
So, rather than spending your weekends at your hotel in Mumbai in front of the T.V. or beside a window, enjoy the West Indian monsoons in one of the above-mentioned incredible getaways.
Happy monsoons and happy travel!