Known For : Murud Janjira Fort Murud Beach Garambi Falls
Murud is known for its widespread sandy beaches adorned with majestic forts and outlined by palms and coconut trees, creating a perfect holiday scenery for picnics and seaside fun. The Garambi Dam dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria is best visited in the monsoon. Also, the Ahmedganj Palace, a palatial mansion, housing some ancient documents, tombs of previous rulers and a beautiful mosque is a popular tourist attraction. Murud can be reached from Mumbai by car or by train via the station at Roha. Once at Roha, Murud can be reached by road in an hour.
Distance from Mumbai: 150 km
Best Time: Throughout the year
Known For : Ajanta Caves Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora The Buddhist Caves, Ellora
Situated in Aurangabad district, both Ajanta and Ellora Caves are listed among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. These caves are a perfect getaway with family and kids. Ajanta Caves are located in the Sahyadri ranges and are known for the beautiful paintings made from herbal colours depicting the story of Buddhism and various takes of Jataka. The Ellora Cave Temples, on the other hand, is located 30km from the city of Aurangabad and are home to various monuments, sculptures and carvings related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Kailash Cave Temple here is one of the largest monolithic structures in the world.
Distance from Mumbai: 342 km
Best Time: June to March
Known For : Alibaug Beach Kolaba Fort Water Sports in Alibaug
A little coastal town tucked away in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Alibag or Alibaug is a very popular weekend getaway and has earned itself the name of 'mini-Goa'. Steeped in colonial history, Alibaug is a quaint little town located about 96 km from Mumbai, and is replete with sandy beaches, clean unpolluted air and plenty of forts and temples, ensuring that despite being a small town, you never run out of activities to do. One can take a car to Alibag from Mumbai or take a ferry to Mandwa beach and continue onwards by road from there.
Distance from Mumbai: 96 km
Best Time: November to March
Rooted between Mumbai and Alibaug, Karshet is a lesser-known beach that is a great spot for those who love calm and peace. The beautiful coastline view of this clean beach with its alluring sea view attracts families and kids out on road trips and picnics. Holidayers can be seen enjoying light swims and beachside games, and ending it with slow walks alongside the beach. Karshet can easily be reached by car from Mumbai.
Known For : Jaigad Fort Water Sports in Ganapatipule Swayambhu Ganpati Temple
Nestled quietly in the Konkan region, Ganpatipule is an untouched beach town is a welcome escape for peace seekers. The crashing sea waves, white sand, surrounded by thick mangroves and innumerable fruits trees make the view scenic everywhere you look. Little cottages or huts on the beach and some delicious Konkani food make this seaside escape a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai for the Independence Day weekend for couples and friends who shy away from large crowds.
Distance from Mumbai: 333 km
Best Time: November to February
Known For : Umbrella Falls Wilson Dam Kalsubai Peak
Another destination like Ganpatipule close to Mumbai for weekend getaways is Bhandardara, however it has quite a few activities to look forward to. Situated in the Ahmednagar district, Bhandardara is home to the largest lake, one of the oldest dams and the highest peak in Maharashtra. It has quite a few waterfalls during monsoons and makes for a good trekking spot because of the hills and forts in the area. There are various budget to luxurious resorts lined along the lake that offer a scenic view. Don’t miss the boat ride in the lake!
Distance from Mumbai: 163 km
Best Time: June to March
Known For : Harihareshwar Beach Kalbhairav Temple Ganesh Gully
Situated on the Konkan belt of Maharashtra, Harihareshwar is a holy town and an excellent weekend getaway near Mumbai. It has a large, clean beach coupled with balmy wind and soft sand. On many occasions, dolphins can be spotted in the sea which are known to often swim near the beach. One can visit the Harihareshwar Temple and go trekking on the mountain just behind it. Taking a private car or hiring a private taxi is the best way to reach Harihareshwar from Mumbai via NH 66.
Distance from Mumbai: 200 km
Best Time: October to March
Situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, Velas is a small eco-village. The Village is popular for the Olive Ridley turtles that visit Velas beach every year to lay eggs. Aside from that the beach also caters to picnickers and seaside lovers who indulge in light swims. Tourists also come to observe the beautiful rock carvings and also visit the holy town of Harihara. The best way to reach Velas from Mumbai to take a private vehicle or hire a private taxi.
Known For : Kondana Caves Peth Fort Trekking in Karjat
The most famous trekking destination in Maharashtra, Karjat is a monsoon favourite for tourists seeking adventure. Chanderi Fort Trek and Peth Fort Trek are some of the popular trekking trails. The Kondana Caves are a group of 16 Buddhist Caves that consists of stupas and sculptures. The Ulhas Valley, Bhor Ghat, Morbe Dam are some of the must-see places. For adventure enthusiasts, there facilities for water rappelling, waterfall climbing and river rafting; Karjat also has a lot of farm-houses overlooking the scenic landscape, making it a good destination for a family weekend getaways near Mumbai.
Distance from Mumbai: 62 km
Best Time: June to September
Known For : Artist Village Hatgadh Fort Vansda National park
Gujarat’s only hill station, Saputara is one of the lesser-known hill towns near Mumbai. Complete with lakes, valleys, horse/camel rides, sunset points, gardens, museums, shopping markets and even a rope-way; Saputara is filled with choices for tourists. In monsoons, it is quite pleasant to be here with the hills taking on a green cover and little waterfalls all around. The sunset and the rope-way which is usually quite busy in the evenings are not to be missed. Saputara can be reached from Mumbai by train via the Waghai railway station.
Distance from Mumbai: 244 km
Best Time: Mid March to mid November
Known For : Lion Safari Wildlife Park Vanganga Lake Island Garden
The capital of a union territory, Silvassa has gained famed due to the numerous industrial setups that have been mushrooming in the city. It is still relatively lesser-known as a tourist destination which makes it an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai. Close to the Silvassa bus stand is a Roman Catholic Church notes for its beautiful Portuguese architecture, Dadra Park, Vrindaban – Balaji Temples, Ban Ganga Lake are some of the attractions here. But, the Madhuban Dam built over the River Daman Ganga cannot be missed in the monsoons when it comes to its brim and spills over. Unless it’s not raining heavily there are boating facilities available on the river.
Distance from Mumbai: 171 km
Best Time: November to June
Known For : Panhala Fort Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary Shri Chatrapati Shahu Museum (New Palace)
Kolhapur is one of the important historical cities in Maharashtra, located on the banks of the river Panchganga. Rich in both culture and heritage, this city has risen in prosperity over the decades and came to be famously known for its Kolhapuri cuisine, Kolhapuri footwear and industrial growth. There are many important temples here. Shalini Palace built after a Princess of Kolhapur and the New Palace – an 18th-century structure built in black stone; both stand tall as the pride of Kolhapur. The recreational centre near Rankala Lake is a popular spot for a picnic, next to the Mahalaxmi Temple. On the other hand, Panhala is a hill station about 18km from Kolhapur which houses the famous Panhala Fort. While in Kolhapur, one can never miss the famous Misal – extremely spicy gravy of pulses with onions and bread as an accompaniment.
Distance from Mumbai: 379 km
Best Time: July to February
Celebrate this Independence day by visiting these amazing places listed above.