Top 10 Best Places to Visit Around Mumbai in Monsoon
Tucked away on the western coast of India lies Mumbai; one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the country. Mumbai lies near the Western Ghats and receives a fair share of rains during the monsoon season. While experiencing monsoon in Mumbai is an experience in itself (Check out our article: Top 10 Reasons why Mumbai Monsoon is the Best), it still remains to be a city. Luckily for us, there are many quick getaways around the city that take you right into the bowels of nature and give you a totally different experience of the monsoon altogether.
Monsoon in the Ghats
The Western Ghats are a chain of hills extending along the western coastline of India and receive torrential rains during the monsoon season. The area remains lush green throughout the year but this greenery gets enhanced during the monsoon when the dark clouds cover the sky and pour down on the landscape. It is common to see mini-waterfalls form on these hills during the season and the experience of traveling in this region during this time of the year is unparalleled. Here are the best places to visit around Mumbai in the Monsoon.
This is one of the closest hill stations to Mumbai and lies at a distance of only 80 kilometers from the city. Matheran is accessible by road and railways but the best part is that no vehicles are allowed in the town; this makes the whole area very peaceful and lets you become one with the natural surroundings.
The hill is connected with a 100 year old mini train, travelling by which is an experience in itself. The hill offers a lake and has over 30 view-points that give some stunning views of the valley surrounding it. During the monsoon, clouds descend over the town and one can see streams flowing all around.
2. Lonavala and Khandala
These twin hill stations lie at a distance of 96 kilometers from Mumbai and connected by highway and railways. These hill stations are known for their chikkis, jellies and of course the beautiful environment. Lonavala and Khandala offer some amazing sights of the valleys around them and have a lake, caves, dams and a fort as well.
During the monsoon, clouds descend on the hills and give you a heavenly experience. The towns are well developed and serve as weekend getaways for people living in Mumbai and Pune.
Lavasa is a planned city located near Pune and is modelled on the town Portofino in Italy. It has been the center of many controversies and still remains incomplete, but is a beautiful area to visit. The modern architecture combined with the surrounding nature gives the feel of being in Italy instead of India. During the monsoon season, just like all other hill stations in the region, the climate in and around Lavasa becomes beautiful and is worth experiencing.
4. Malshej Ghat
It is a mountain pass located around 120 kilometers from Mumbai and is nestled in the hills of the Western Ghats. It is home to hundreds of types of flora and fauna, especially birds; this is definitely the place to head to if you are a bird lover. The best way to reach here is by road as there is no direct train connectivity. The area is filled with waterfalls which become only better during the monsoon.
Malshej Ghat is visited by flamingoes during the monsoon and is sure to grab the attention of any bird lover. This peaceful area is the perfect getaway from the city, especially during the monsoon.
This is a holiday resort village located around 180 kilometers from Mumbai and sits on the banks of the Pravara River. The village has a nearly untouched natural environment with waterfalls, mountains, lakes and dams. The Bhandardara Lake and Randha falls are some of the most famous tourist attractions here and as one can expect, the monsoon in such a lush green area enhances the overall experience, and gives one the feel of living among the clouds when they descend into the valleys.
The village also serves as a starting point for going to Harishchandragad fort and many other hills around the area, including the highest peak in Maharashtra- Mount Kalsubai.
Alibag is a town located to the south of Mumbai in the Raigad district and serves as its headquarters. It is a coastal town and tourism is the main form of income for this town. It is connected to Mumbai by road, railways and by jetty service from the Gateway of India; it has a beautiful coastline and has many peaceful beaches and islands as well.
The Alibag fort gives some amazing views of the coastline and the Arabian Sea. During the monsoon, this is the closest destination from Mumbai to head to for some peaceful beachside time.
This village lies at a distance of about 117km from Mumbai and lies on the banks of River Kundalika. The village is connected by the Mumbai-Goa highway and is also the first railway station of the beautiful Konkan Railway. River rafting is the main activity in the village and draws thousands of visitors from Mumbai and Pune for the very same purpose.
During monsoons, the river is flowing at its full capacity and makes the river rafting experience much better and adventurous. The area also has some waterfalls and dams along with short nature treks, which are all the more beautiful during monsoons.
This is THE most popular hill station in the state of Maharashtra and is one of the very few places in the country that has evergreen forests. The town has undergone quite some development in the past few decades and has many viewpoints, lakes and waterfalls. It is well connected by road and rail network and also receives very heavy rainfall which creates a thick blanket of clouds around it, making the whole area heavenly.
Panchgani is a famous hill station located in the Satara District and is located at a distance of 250km from Mumbai. It is known for being home to some of the premier residential educational institutions. Studying here would be a dream for any traveler, wouldn’t it? The River Krishna flows nearby and you can get some spectacular views of the same from here; it is surrounded by five hills topped by a volcanic plateau which is the second highest plateau in Asia.
This area receives extremely heavy rainfall from June to February and hence is definitely one place that you can visit at almost any time of the year to experience the monsoon. The beautiful grass covered hills on sides of the Krishna River are a treat to watch here.
Karnala is situated at a distance of 80km from Mumbai and is well connected by road from Mumbai as well as Pune. The main attractions here are the Karnala Wildlife Sanctuary and the Karnala Fort, whose history goes back to the 11th century. This sanctuary is a heaven for bird watchers and hikers and is home to over 222 species of birds.
The fort is located inside the sanctuary and the trek to reach here is a fun one as well. Monsoon makes this forest area lush green and beautiful, it even gives you the chance to spot some exotic bird species. The proximity to the city makes this a perfect day-trip from Mumbai and gives you a chance to experience Mumbai’s monsoon in the forests!
With this year’s monsoon just around the corner, it is about time that you start packing your bags and make an itinerary for going to some of the exciting places around Mumbai to experience the monsoon in a different manner. We hope that after seeing this list, you’ll not only want to experience Mumbai’s monsoon, but also the monsoon of all these places, and probably will add a couple of them to your bucket lists as well! If you do know any other place that deserves a mention in the list, do let us know so that we can share it with our readers.
Image Sources: 1) Meetup, 2) Traveltriangle, 3) Nativeplanet, 4) Berkut-travel, 5) Trawell, 6) Tourismguideindia, 7) Mumbaigloss, 8) travelokam, 9) Swantravelagents.wordpress, 10) Someplaceelse