Head to these travel havens near Mumbai this long weekend
Water sports and homestay
With the monsoon saying goodbye, the state is still green at its fullest. Plus, the temperatures aren’t high enough. This calls for a trip to Pawna lake where one can fish, enjoy a speed boat ride or a float boat at the Lohagad Boat Club near this artificial lake.
A view of Pawna lake, located close to Lonavala. Pic/Atul Kamble
Travel curator Kritika Batra of The Wanderbug suggests Deogadh Homestay around the lake, an ideal stay option for a group of six or more. “The property ovelooks the lake and there are a variety of things to explore around the space. One can visit the Bedse caves or visit the local village. People usually head to Lonavala, but Pawna, which comes on your way, is equally beautiful,” says Batra. Deogadh charges Rs 3,500 per person for a minimum group of six and can arrange for activities such as pizza under the stars, barbequeing and star gazing.
Trek your way up to Tikona fort near Pawna lake. Pic/Atul Kamble
If you are up for a really long drive, Dandeli National Park, located near the border of Maharashtra, is the place to go to if life in the jungle beckons you. “Dandeli offers both normal hotels and offbeat accommodation spaces to stay. And, for those who love spotting birds and animals, Dandeli is a good bet. One can also go rafting on the river Kali,” says Avni Patel, partner at the travel company, Broken Compass.
People enjoy a cable ride at Saputara. Pic/AFP
If it is another state that you are looking to visit, a drive to Saputara, Gujarat’s hill station, which is about 250 km away is another option. It offers seasonal waterfalls, echo points and also a dense bamboo and teak forest in the Dang region that will make you forget all your worries. “If you are looking for a place closer, Junnar near Pune is a good option, too. It can offer you the experience of rural stays where you can stay in a village. There are forts and caves around and you can attend devotional programmes by the villagers at dusk,” suggests Patel.
Eco-stay and a forgotten fort
Pink stone palaces would make one think of Jaipur, but Maharashtra boasts of such an edifice as well. Visit the locality of Jawhar to discover the Jai Vilas Palace that is located approximately 180 km from Mumbai and is home to scenic waterfalls.
Jay Vilas Palace in Jawhar. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
“Other than the palace, there is also Dabhosa waterfall to visit,” adds Rajesh Math of ByeByeCity. For those who are looking for an eco-stay, Math has a ready option in Govardhan Eco Village located in Wada Taluka in the Thane district. “This place is actually about rediscovering nature and learning all about sustainability. They have a day tour (with a hop on/ hop off bullock cart service) and also cottages where you can stay,” he says. If you are seeking to capture forts, head to Khadakwasla and Panshet. Here one can go bird watching, trek to Sinhagad, and go boating too.