Big cities can eat us up in a manner that we tend to forget that a world exists outside of it. Mumbai, the city of dreams is exciting at the same time exhausting occasionally, and a wandering mind can never be productive. Amid the futile traffic and a sea of people running to thier destinations, we must break the chain of monotony. A brief weekend getaway is all that is required to feel lively and relaxed to get back on the run. Therefore here are some of the most iconic places that we can visit if we are living in Mumbai.
Surrounded by vast area of water body with majestic mountains, Mahabaleshwar is charming and has a landscape equivalent to the best of nature could offer. Situated in the western Ghats, the quaint town is famous for its architectural brilliance in the form of ancient temples that would captivate explorers and photographers. Clad in lush greenery and scintillating waterfalls it is a perfect weekend getaway for anyone seeking a quite bliss. The region is also famous for its sunrises and sunsets which one can watch amidst the beauty of the hills and valleys around it is an activity which tourists flock here for. Some of the activities one can indulge in are camping, boating at the lake and cycling on the mighty hills.
Distance from Mumbai: 229 Km
Other Places: Elephants Head point, Chinaman’s falls, Venna Lake, Wilson point
Nestled at a height of 2047 Ft from the sea level, this stunning hill station is one of the most preferred places among tourists. Considered as a budget weekend getaway, Lonavla is eye catching with its lofty cliffs, mesmerising lakes and majestic forts. A destination ideal for a solo trip or otherwise, the region has many famous attractions like Lonavla Lake, Della Adventure Park, Visapur forts and Rajmachi point. This picturesque location has been a part of the Yadava Dynasty which also lends way to the art and architectural prominence of the place. Perfect for nature lovers, the major activities in this region are camping under the stars, trekking at the famous Lohagad trek and fun and adventure activities at Della adventure park.
Distance from Mumbai: 84 Km
Other Places: Magic Mountain, Tikona fort
A paradise for travellers who are looking for stunning nature at the same time seek adventure, this breathtaking hill station located in the western Ghats is gaining quick prominence. Especially for people who love paragliding, Kamshet is a must visit since one of the most popular activities here is Paragliding. Filled with thrilling experiences the region is surrounded by sunflower fields and beautiful lakes which offer us the most stunning views. It is also home to other attractions like Bhairi caves and pavana lake that leaves our mind refreshing for the coming week. Kamshet also gives us an experience to dwell in a village setting like huts and some of the activities that are famous in this region are cave trek and paragliding.
Distance from Mumbai: 102 Km
Other Places: Uksan Lake, Kondeshawar temple, Bhandar Dongar
A mesmerizing natural beauty and elegance, Igatpuri is situated in the grand Sahyadri mountains. Be a quick solo trip or a memorable picnic with our family and friends, this region consists of many attractions and thrills. Its pristine waterfalls and dense forests that surround the mountain ranges will bring serenity and bliss to our hearts and minds. Watching the rising sun in the morning amidst the cool breeze and misty mountains is a moment of pleasure for travellers. The region is also adorned with temples that form a part of major attraction. Besides this, some of the activities one can indulge in this area are adventure activities like trekking, water sports like rafting and kayaking.
Distance from Mumbai: 121 Km
Other Places: Bhatsa river valley, Camel valley, Tringalwadi fort
Situated in the Raigad district, this quaint village is stunning in appearance with greenery and cascading waterfalls. The best time to visit Kolad would be during the monsoons when the nature is fresh and alive and the temperature is cool and attractive. One of the famous water bodies here is the River Kundalike which is considered to be the fastest flowing river in the south amongst other delights such as Bhira dam and Ghosala Fort. Perfect for travellers looking for some quiet and peace, its stunning landscapes are worth capturing for the photographers. Some of the activities that make up this place are water sports such as river rafting at the Kundalika river, hiking, Kayaking, Paragliding and Rapelling.
Distance from Mumbai: 122 Km
Other Places: Kuda Caves, Tala, Tamhini Falls, Kansai Falls
Sandwiched by the vast Arabian sea on and the Sahyadri range, this little town is an ultimate example of charm in its scenic brilliance and a place where one can indulge in thrilling adventures. Over the course of its time, Ratnagiri has become one of the popular destinations for a quick backpacking trip. The region in rich in its history and culture showcased through its infamous Ratnagiri Marine Museum which has a unique collection of fishes like sea turtles, tiger fish, lion fish and the like and also through its temples which showcase the art and architecture of the region. Some of the activities one can indulge in this region are trekking at Bhandar Dara, camping at Pawna Lake and also other activities like mountain climbing, river rafting and paragliding.
Distance from Mumbai: 335 km
Other Places: Jaigad Fort, Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, Jaigad Lighthouse
A small city in the district of Raigad, Karjat is loved by travellers for its isolated and quiet atmosphere exuded from its valleys and lofty hills. The lush greenery and mist covered hills adorn the region along with cascading waterfalls that only enhance the magic of the place. The best time to visit this place is during the monsoon when the cool breeze and the chill will surely make one feel refreshed. The destination is much preferred by solo travellers who come to the region to soak in the beauty as an escape from the hustle and bustle. One of the prominent activities of this region is the fort climbing which especially happens in the night. Such night treks are what people who flock here crave for. Camping is yet another thrill for travellers here.
Distance from Mumbai:
Other Places: Sondai Fort, Bhimasankar Trek
Surrounded by hills, plateaus and rivers this region rends itself perfect for rejuvenation. An ideal destination for a quick escape over the weekend, the region will leave you stunned with its natural beauty and greenery. The location also has one of the most scintillating waterfalls. Other attractions of the place are in the form of temples and heritage sites for travellers to explore such as Siddi Ashtavinayak temples that is known for its elegance where devotees flock in large numbers. The temple has ample scenic beauty surrounding itself with lakes and waterfalls. Some of the popular activities one can undertake in this region are water sports, Rapelling, wall climbing and mountaineering. Nature walks amidst the forests and cliffs are also popular here.
Distance from Mumbai: 76 Km
Other Places: Duke’s nose trail, Imagicaa
Considered to a major tourist attraction Mumbai, Matheran is referred to as the cutest hill station in India. It has been constantly featuring in the best sun rise spots in the country over the course of time. The hill station is gifted with mind blowing views of lush green valley and mist covered hills that feel majestic. Situated at a height of 800 meters above sea level, the place is chilly and refreshing. Ideally a place for nature lovers, Matheran is breathtaking and the best way to explore the place is to go for a long walk amidst the nature. This is the best place to come to in order to relieve our stress. Some of the activities that one can indulge in here are camping, trekking and Rapelling.
Distance from Mumbai: 83 Km
Other Places: Alexander Point, Louisa point, Heart point
Alibag means “The garden of Ali” is situated in Raigad and is filled with thickets of greenery, rightly as the name suggests. This summer paradise is a perfect getaway to escape the noisy corners of the city. Sharing the boundaries of Arabian sea, Alibag is famous for its breathtaking views of sea shore that shine as the sun sets and rises as though the nature is coming alive. The region is especially known for its sea food delicacies and any traveller who is a food enthusiast must visit this place. Some of the activities one can undertake here are exploring the forts and their ancient art and architecture, sitting by the shore of the beach on a breezy evening and other activities like parasailing, kayaking, camping, beach cycling, jet skiing and boating.
Distance from Mumbai: 92 Km
Other Places: Nagoan beach, Kolaba fort, vrindavan farm
The magnificent mountain pass of Malshej Ghat is a hidden beauty that is a must visit for your backpacking weekend. It is a natural beauty with variety of flora and fauna that will amuse any tourist. The region is especially for its woods and the wildlife residing in them be it the bird species such as cuckoos, quails or flamingos and animal species of leopards, tigers and rabbits. The place is also famous for its waterfalls that fall from the mighty hills creating a beautiful vision. Besides this, it also have forts such as Shivneri fort that depict the culture of the place. Some of the activities that one can indulge in this region are trekking, rock climbing and bird watching.
Distance from Mumbai: 127 Km
Other Places: Malshej Ghat, Malshej Fort
This quaint village is one of the ideal getaway destinations for people seeking adventure. The vibe of the place is refreshing and serene with wonderful people whose hospitality will leave you with warmth and positivity. The village is said to be located on the banks of River Vaitarna, with its rough and roaring waters, an adventure ride here will last a lifetime. A perfect budget getaway, one of the prominent water sports that travellers undertake here is the white water rafting. Many travellers expressed their experience as exciting and thrilling with a rush of adrenaline. Over the course of its time, this port is what the region has been popular for. The time to visit the place is during monsoon. Other activities that make up this region are hiking, trekking and kayaking.
Distance from Mumbai: 130 Km
Pune is a city that has become popular in the last decade due to its development and the influence of younger generation and the culture. The city is vibrant and full of life with a huge variety of things to do. Pune is an ideal destination for anyone who wants to explore the quieter side of city life and is seeking for an adventure while we are at it. With its beautiful hill stations, lakes that are at the heart of the city to forts of architectural brilliance, Pune is a one stop destination. One of the many attractions of this place is the thrilling underwater experience Sangam safari and the visit to Crocodile Island. Some of the activities one can indulge in here are water rafting at Kundalika river, trekking at Rajmachi fort.
Distance from Mumbai: 148 Km
Other Places: Alang Madan, Pawna Lake
Covered in lush green valley, Jawhar has become of the favourite of the tourists. Charming its way through scintillating waterfalls and iconic landscape, it is a seldom explored attraction. The region is popularly known as “the town of waterfalls”. The quaint town is also famous for its cashew nut plantation. The climate in the region is pleasant throughout the year rendering it as a perfect holiday destination. Jawhar also is rich in culture and history with its ancient temples and heritage sites depicting stunning art. Often it has been called to be the sunset and sun rise point and is becoming popular among photography enthusiasts in this respect. Some of the activities that are popular in this region are trekking, mountaineering and camping.
Distance from Mumbai: 155 Km
Other Places: Jai Vilas Palace, Shirpamal, Hanuman Point
Nestled among five hills forming the Sahyadri ranges, Panchgani is rightly named as five hills due to the same reason and is one of most visited and loved hill stations in Maharashtra. Located at an altitude of 1334 meters, the region is famous for its pleasant weather which makes it an ideal destination throughout the year. The region is also popular for its breathtaking views of sunset and sunrise and has locations to capture the most stunning sun rise in our life. The scenic landscape is similar to a paradise with thickets of beautiful trees surrounding the lofty hills; Panchgani is a treat to our eyes. Some of the activities that one can indulge in this region are trekking, nature walking and paragliding.
Distance from Mumbai: 244 Km
Other Places: River Krishna, Dhom Dam, Table Land, Devil’s Kitchen caves
One of the most prominent attractions of Bharatpur is its art and architecture. Located in Rajasthan it is rich in history and culture and has interesting folklore that make up the place. Over the course of its existence it has been referred to as the ‘Worlds most fascinating bird reserve’. Therefore nature enthusiast and wildlife enthusiasts are in for a treat at this place with over 200 species of birds. The architecture in this region is stunning with a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture that is intricate and grandeur in vision. Therefore immense amount of exploration takes place here in terms of art. It is also known for a majestic garden town known as Deeg. Some of the activities one can undertake in this place are heritage stay and archery and rifle shooting.
Distance from Mumbai: 165 Km
Other Places: laxman Mandir, Keoladeo Ghana national park, Bharatpur museum
Lavasa is popular for its stunning landscape, which almost seem godly and blessed. An ideal destination for nature lovers but Lavasa also provides a variety of entertainment for adventure seekers. It therefore becomes a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Consisting of its lofty hills and lush green valley the place is magical. The region is luxurious with beautiful resorts and home stay that exude beauty and grandeur which are a delight to its guests. It is also a region that has a variety of options for food enthusiasts with unique dishes that will delight the tourists. Some of the activities that one can indulge in here are water sports, trekking, and mountain biking and rock climbing.
Distance from Mumbai: 186 Km
Other Places: Temghar Dam, Ghangad Fort, Tikona Fort, Devkund Waterfall
Daman is a perfect destination if one requires a refreshing and relaxing vibe. One can laze around the stunning beaches with cool breeze and lush greenery surrounding it. Located in Gujrat, Daman has become a popular destination for a quick weekend getaway. This small city has become a constant source of entertainment for the young population who flock here in groups to soak in the life that it provides for a few days. The place is also rich in culture and history with a few attractions that dates back to ancient times. The major attraction of daman is in its beaches. Some of the activities one can undertake here are paragliding, water sports and basking on the beach.
Distance from Mumbai: 171 Km
Other Places: Jampore Beach, Moti Daman, Church of Bom Jesus, Somnath Mahadev Temple
The infamous city is prominent for its religious significance and devotees and spirituality seekers flock immensely to visit this city. Located in Ahmednagar, Shirdi is said to be the birthplace of spiritual guru Sai Baba. Therefore one of the major attraction of this place is the Sai Baba Mandir where people come to seek blessings and soak in the teachings of the guru. The city also has a cultural prominence in the fact that it has various heritage sites from where we can learn about the life of the Guru. There are also other temples that are beautifully built such as Hanuman Mandir, Dwarkamai. Besides this the city is also rich in natural beauty with its mighty hilltop and the thickets of greenery all around. Some of the activities that one can indulge in here are Visit museums, art galleries and gardens.
Distance from Mumbai: 241 Km
Other Places: Shani Shingnapur, Gurusthan, Dixit Wada Museum
Located in Gujrat, Saputara is a hill station that is less explored and is ideal for a solo weekend getaway to get some fresh air. Situated at a height of 1000 meters amid the lofty mountains it offers a spectacular view that is a must have in ever travellers gallery. Besides nature, it is also known for its prominence in art which is represented in a place called artist village which showcases famous art work of national and international artists. It also houses some of the forts such as Hatgadh fort which is rich in history and culture. It also houses wildlife parks Vansda national park which would amuse the nature lovers further. Some of the activities present here are trekking and mountaineering.
Distance from Mumbai: 248 Km
Other Places: Saputara Lake, Saputara hill station, step garden
Kevadiya railway station becomes India’s first with green building certification
22 January: Located in Gujarat, Kevadiya railway station has become India’s first railway station with a green building certification. For being India’s first Green Building certified station, it is also registered with the Indian Green Building Council.
The key features of the station paved the way for the city’s public transport spot to build the record. Various installations have been made in the station in order to conserve electricity like LED lights and other branded electrical appliances.
A tribal art gallery is introduced on Kevadiya railway station to attract more passengers. A viewing gallery is also made to enable the visitors to view the Statue of Unity from level three of the station. For water management, several facilities have been installed like rainwater harvesting, eco-waterless urinals, drip irrigation and sewage treatment plant.
The station area also has facilities laid for vehicle parking, food courts, landscaping, and others as well like wide traffic way, horticulture plants, thematic park with selfie zone and children play zone.
The country is preparing to facilitate the travel and tourism opportunities for the tourist, these developments are a part of it. Previously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also flagged off 8 trains in order to ease travel to Statue of Unity from various other regions of the country. With these developments, the access and travel to the world-famous Statue of Unity in India have become easier and sorted as now people can travel directly to Kevadiya through these trains.
For more information on which trains will carry you to Gujarat’s Statue of Unity, read our report:
IRCTC offers free air fare to passengers booking for Golden Chariot
22 January: In a surprising offer reportedly, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is offering free air tickets for the passengers who are opting for luxury tourist packages in the Golden Chariot which is a luxury train. This offer can be availed by anyone.
The Tourism and Marketing spokesperson of the IRCTC, Shubham Arya said that they will offer flexibility in booking the ticket dates and that will be according to the demand of the passenger only.
Adding that the train bookings can be done 2 to 3 days in advance, he said that the passengers can also book the tickets 2-3 days after the Golden Chariot tour is completed. He also informed that free airfare will be between Chandigarh-Bengaluru-Chandigarh.
Divulging the details of this offer, IRCTC Regional manager MPS Raghav mentioned that this offer is valid for the domestic air travel to and from Bengaluru and Chandigarh and for those who are booking tickets for the luxury train Golden Chariot.
Further, he also added that the Indian railway has introduced 2 itineraries that are first, departing from Bengaluru and covering locations such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa and then returning to the starting point. Any citizen going fo the higher package of the 2 itineraries would be given free tickets of the train.
These luxury tour packages to South India will provide an opportunity for travellers to understand the cultures and royalty of the Indian region, South India.
The luxury Golden Chariot train will provide the best of the state-of-the-art amenities to the passengers on board. From smart TVs installations, to clean bathrooms, from fire alarm systems to CCTVs for security, the train is keeping all amenities on top priority to bestow the best travel experience of the passengers.
Seychelles reopens for tourism, allow vaccinated tourists for now
22 January: The island nation Seychelles located in East Africa is all set to re-welcome the visitors into the country, however only for the vaccinated ones. Setting up the scenarios to reframe the travel in the country and avoid the arrival of more covid cases, both at the same time, the country has developed few travel restrictions.
The visitors in the country must be recognised as ‘vaccinated’ by taking both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, they must carry a negative report from the RT-PCR test, that too, not taken prior to the 72 hours of their journey period.
According to orders by the government, Seychelles will welcome the tourists with a two-step approach. In the first phase, it will allow the ones who have taken both the doses of the vaccine and have a negative covid report.
As per reports, the second phase will begin from mid-March’ it is expected that the island nation will vaccine a significant part of its population by that time.
As stated by the country’s Tourism Promotion Board, going by the numbers, it is assumed that as much as 25% of the country’s population will be vaccinated by the mid-March which can allow the government to roll down the second phase. It is also expected that the country may then allow the unvaccinated tourist into the country with only a negative RT-PCR report done within 72 hours of their journey.
Another statement also noted that Seychelles has already allowed Indian travellers to the country, however, by private jet transfers only for now.
As of now, according to the health and travel advisory issued by the government, all the citizens arriving in Seychelles are bound to follow the safety norms including social distancing and wearing face masks.
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