With visitors and tourists flocking to Lonavala for morning treks and campsites, Pawana Lake is somewhat aloof, about 20 kilometres from the Lonavala Railway Station. The sheer size of the lake along with the surroundings make for an awesome sight as it imposes itself like a canvas painting in your eyes. A camper's paradise is what it is, surrounded by high towering hills and blessed with an all year round pleasant climate rendering it a lovely getaway location.
Lavasa also popularly known as the 'lake city' is situated at a distance of 57 km from Pune which takes nearly 2 hours to cover. Being recognized as the first smart city of India, this city is a perfect getaway to spend a picnic with friends and family. There are some fun activities to indulge in here which include boating, cycling, trying out adventure sports such as zip line, zorbing, rock climbing and riding on a speed boat. Tourists can also go on long nature walks or eat at some wonderful restaurants lined next to each other.
Lonavala is a perfect one-day picnic spot equidistant from Mumbai and Pune. The ideal time to visit the place is during the monsoon season. It is a perfect place to spend time with one's families as well as friends. Khandala is situated at a distance of 5 km from Lonavala and is famous for its outdoor activities. Lonavala lies at a distance of 65 km from Pune and can be reached within 1 and a half hours by road. Some famous attractions here include Duke's nose, Amrutanjan Point, Shivaji Park, Bushi dam and Ryewood Park.
Panchgani is a perfect spot to visit in summers. It is situated at the foot of five hills and lies on the way to Mahabaleshwar. This famous picnic spot is known for its pleasant weather throughout the year making it even more visited. Panchgani lies at a distance of 100 km from Pune which takes nearly 3 hours to reach. Some famous attractions here include Table Land, Sydney Point, Devil's Kitchen and Parsi Point. The adventurous ones in the group can also try their hands at Parasailing.
Midway between Lonavala and Khandala is a fort by the name of Rajmachi Fort, a prominent landmark that watches over some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and wide sceneries of the region. Atop the Western Ghats, the complex comprises two forts that are individually located at the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan Peaks.
For all the adventure lovers out there, Kamshet is the place to go. It is situated at a distance of 47 km from Pune which takes not more than an hour to cover. The beauty of the hills around, lakes and greenery make the place a perfect spot for the nature lovers as well. One can have a peaceful time and relax away from the noisy and the usual fast-moving lifestyle. Activities here include paragliding from Tower Hill, Shelar, Kondeshwar Cliff or visit the Bhairi Cave. The Kondeshwar Temple too can be visited with a waterfall on the way.
Panshet is the perfect location to enjoy water sports. One is likely to have a great one-day trip of relaxation here with family and friends. It is situated at a distance of 50 km from Pune, and one can enjoy a nice drive on the curvy road to the destination. Some other attractions worth visiting here include Sinhagad Fort and Varasgaon.
This fort is situated at the height of 3499 feet above sea level. It is a very well-known trekking as well as a picnic spot. Summer season is the ideal time to visit the fort due to ease of accessibility and the scenic beauty around. It is one of those forts near Pune which can be commuted to via train or trekking. One can take a train till Lohagad from the Malawi station or drive all the way up there which requires covering a distance of 50 km from Pune. Some famous attractions here include Karla caves and Durgha. It is a perfect destination for trekking for the adventure lovers over a short weekend.
This water amusement park serves as a heaven in a sticky and hot weather. It is situated near the Khopoli city and is the perfect spot to spend time with friends or family. It lies at a distance of 92 km from Pune off the Mumbai-Pune express highway and can be easily reached in 2 hours. The rides situated within the park and the different theme parks are worth paying a visit to.
Sinhagad Fort is a popular one-day picnic spot marked by its rich history and finger-licking street food. Summer season is an ideal time to visit the place. The history of the fort can be traced back to the 17th century and is situated on the top of the Kondhana Hill. It lies at a distance of 25 km from Pune and is an easy drive till there. Some must-visit spots here include the historical ruins from Shivaji's reign. Khadakwasla is another stop on the way to Sinhagad Fort.
This lake is a very famous hang out place. It is quite accessible for the people of Pune as well. Khadakwasla is popular for its delicacies. This is why the spot is usually crowded with people enjoying the local food. The spot lies at a distance of 20 km from Pune and takes less than one hour to reach. Some other attractions located nearby include Panshet, Sinhagad, and Varasgaon.
It is one of the best places to visit for a one day trip. It can be reached in one and a half hour from Pune by road. It is the perfect location to go out for camping since it is abode to Mulshi Lake. The place has a pleasant weather all through the year which appears so endearing to the eyes. Some other famous attractions of the place include the Temgarh dam, Panshet, and Varasgaon dam.
Known For : Kondana Caves Peth Fort Trekking in Karjat
Karjat, a quaint little village is the last station of Thane district in Maharashtra. The river Ulhas finds its origin in Karjat and trekking and historical spots make it a popular destination for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.
Best Time: June to September
Karla Caves are ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves and a famous tourist attraction located near Lonavala. Also known as Karli Caves, Karle Caves or Karla Cells, it is one of the oldest Buddhist cave shrines in India. These caves houses one of the largest Chaityas (prayer hall with a stupa) in India. Karla Caves is mainly known for the Ekvira Temple located inside.
The very beautiful Malshej Ghat is surrounded by the Western Ghats making it a very famous trekking destination. The ideal time to visit this hill station is during the summer and monsoon season. People get awestruck at the waterfalls here, and the flamingos make the scenic beauty appear even more beautiful. It is situated at a distance of 140 km from Pune which takes 3 hours to reach. Some popular attractions here include the trekking destination Harischandraghad, Shivneri Fort, Jivdhan Fort, Pimpalgaon-Joga Dam and Lenyadri Caves.
Manikgad Fort is located on a hill in Manikgad village of Maharashtra. The fort is about 1,878 feet high and is impregnable from three sides. The upper part can be reached only from the south.
Kolad is an instance of paradise for adventure enthusiasts. Kundalika river's 14 kilometer stretch of exciting rapids provide one, one and a half hours of white water rafting. The monsoon season tends to be the best for the adventure sport, though at times rafting pauses due to weather conditions.
Known For : Panchvati Sula Vineyard Dudhsagar falls, Nasik
Nasik is a religious Hindu city which is also known for also has forts, waterfalls and vineyards. With multiple vineyards present in Nashik, the most popular being Sula, the wine-tourism industry is mushrooming in this part of Maharashtra. Nashik gives you the chance to experience a fabulous cocktail of extremes - from temples to vineyards, hills to waterfalls, this place offers a lot to see.
Best Time: July to March
It is a famous picnic spot near Pune popular for Wilson Point which is the highest sunrise point situated at the height of 4710 feet. It also has fresh and juicy strawberries and is a heaven for people who love adventures, treks, nature and capturing beautiful moments. Mahabaleshwar lies at a distance of 120 km from Pune and takes nearly 3 hours to reach. The scenic views offered by the hill station are beyond words. Some attractions worth visiting here include Venna Lake, Tapola, local markets in Mahabaleshwar and Pratapghad Fort.
Known For : Kashid Beach Murud Janjira Fort Phansad Bird Sanctuary
A Beach town, popular for its white sand and blue seas situated in Konkan region of Maharashtra, Kashid is the perfect destination for a quiet weekend getaway from Mumbai. A soothing and calm place in nature's lap, Kashid is mildly enchanting with its quiet environment and picturesque location.
Best Time: October to March
Matheran is a traffic-free zone since vehicles have been banned in here. This is why one can travel via rickshaws and toy trains here which is an experience in itself. It lies at a distance of 125 km from Pune and can be reached by taking a toy train from Nerul in approximately 2 hours (to cover 20 km). Some very famous attractions here include Bazaar Peth which can be reached by taking a 3 km walk from Dasturi Naka. Some antique engines can also be observed at Matheran Railway Station. The landscapes of the place make it worth paying a visit to.
Declared as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites of India in 2012, Kaas Plateau in Panchgani is a magical place with landscapes with lakes, flowers and butterflies all around. Kaas Plateau is a biodiversity hotspot situated at a mighty altitude of 1200 metres and is a major biodiversity hotspot owing to the many varieties of endemic flowers and butterflies that are found here.
Wai is a pristine town tucked 89 kms from Pune on the banks of River Krishna. Known as the town of Peshwas, Wai is lately getting a lot of tourist traction. Other than natural and architectural beauty, the town is popular because it is known to be the home town of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi (Tambe family) and Gopikabai, wife of Nanasaheb Peshwa.
Dapoli is a beach situated in Ratnagiri which is spread over a long stretch. It is a perfect getaway for spending a delightful picnic with friends and family. There are some quiet sea shores present at the place, which along with the water activities make the trip a memorable one. It is situated at a distance of 200 km from Pune extending the drive up to 4 hours. Attractions include Panhalekaji which is an archaeological site, Harnai port and the sea ports of Suvarnadurg and Kanakdurg.
Satara is situated at the foothill of the Sahyadri Mountain Range. It is a lovely picnic spot near Pune and abode to rivers such as Koyna and Krishna whose branches flow through the hills. This location lies at a distance of 112 km from Pune which takes nearly 2 hours 30 minutes to reach. Some famous attractions here include Ajinkyatara Fort, Karad and Koteshwar Mandir.
Known For : Umbrella Falls Wilson Dam Kalsubai Peak
Bhandardara, a hill station nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra, has all the nature's blessings a place can get. The lush greenery, the humble waterfalls and surrounded by high mountains makes for the perfect holiday spot for city dwellers.
Best Time: June to March
Della Adventure Park is a fun amusement cum waterpark based in Lonavala. Boasting of a plethora of activities including Aqua Zorb, swoop swing, flying fox, rappelling, paintball, buggy ride, bull ride, land zorbing etc, the park also has a nightlife club and several restaurants both for fine dine and binge eating.
Distance from Pune: 72 km
Alibaug is a perfect beach spot which provides a quiet time to relax simply. The beach, hotels, and resort make Alibaug a very famous destination. Alibauh is situated at a distance of 140 km from Pune which takes approximately 4 hours to reach. However, an easier way to reach via Mumbai is to take a ferry ride from there which takes one hour to reach. There are some other beaches nearby in addition to Colaba Fort which is yet another tourist place worth visiting.
Welcome to the Japanese Garden in Pune. One of its kinds, the Pune Okayama Friendship Garden is the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan, in Asia. Also called the Pu. La. Deshpande Udyan, it was named after the famous Marathi writer and humorist, Pu La Deshpande who received the Padma Bhushan in 1990. This garden reflects on the Indo-Japanese relationship, as it is inspired by the 300-year old Okayama Korakuen Garden in Japan.
Distance from Pune: 5 km
Located in Bhira, Raigad district, Maharashtra, Devkund Waterfalls are a popular tourist attraction and a beautiful picnic spot. The Devkund waterfalls in fact lie at the confluence of three waterfalls and it is believed that they originate from the river Kundalika. Enveloped by a forest of the same name, 'Devkund', you can reach the peak by taking a three-hour long trek from the base village of Bhira.
Distance from Pune: 147 km
This place is bounded by four hills namely Harihar, Brahmadri, Pushphadri and Harishinachal which makes it a place of religious significance. It lies on the Konkan coast and is a peaceful place to introspect and calm oneself. It takes nearly 4 to 5 hours to reach the place by road. The stunning Tamhini Ghats lie on the way of the drive. The coast has some beaches in addition to Kuda cave which is yet another spot to enjoy.
Ajanta and Ellora caves, considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves are located near Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, India. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes, Ajanta and Ellora caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments as the complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples.
Given a number dams and gardens with water bodies, Pune has variety of options for water sports and paragliding. It also has a number horse riding centers.
Fortresses have been speaking of the grandeur of our country for several years. Situated near Pune, Rajgad fort is surrounded by Torna, Sinhgad and Purandar forts. It is symbolic of the victories and battles fought by the Maratha army and stands to glorify the feats of- famous Indian ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji.
This city is popularly known as the 'city of dreams' or 'Mayanagri'. It is situated at a distance of 148 km from Pune which takes nearly two and a half hours to cover. There are many attractions in Mumbai which can be visited and enjoyed. South Mumbai has Gateway of India, CST station, and other architectural wonders. Colaba and Fashion Street are famous for their shopping experience. Marine Drive is a quiet, peaceful and a pleasant place to spend time at. You are likely to get some mouth-watering delicacies at the Girgaum Chowpatty near Marine Drive. You can also take a ferry ride from the Gateway of India.
This hill station provides some great views of the lake as well as Sahyadri Mountains. It is a perfect spot to spend a quiet and relaxed weekend and is considered as one of the best destinations to spend one-day trips at. It is situated at a distance of 170 km from Pune which takes nearly 3 hours to cover by road. Attractions nearby worth enjoying include Arthur Lake, Kalsubai Peak, Ratnagad Fort, Amruteswar temple and Wilson Dam.
This place is rich in its biodiversity and has a vast variety of fauna. If you love spending time in the middle of the wildlife, then this is the place for you. It is situated at a distance of 300 km from Pune and takes 6 hours to reach. Apart from the wildlife sanctuary, there are some other attractions as well including Ponda Ghat, Dajipur Lake, and Radhangri.
Panhala is a hill station very different from the rest of them. This town is situated amidst the Konkan and has forts as well as greenery which together transform the place into an idealistic one. It is situated at a distance of 250 km from Pune and can be reached in 5 hours. Some other famous attractions near the hill station include Amberkhana, Sjja Kothi, and Jyotiba Temple.
Perched upon a lush green plateau, the Visapur Fort is a very popular excursion destination for adventure mongers as well as nature lovers. The fort stands majestically tall and ruggedly firm at the height of 1084 meters above sea level offering a panoramic view of a wide range of hills covered in a thick blanket of green.
A dominant hill fortress of the Pawana Maval region of the Konkan, Tikona Fort is a loved, frequented and very popular one-day trek spot of Maharashtra. The real Marathi name of the fort is Vitandgad, but it gets its more famous name from the triangular shape it is built in. With a clouded origin and dynamic history of many takeovers and recoveries, the fort stands tall along the green hillocks of Sahyadri.
Shaniwarwada, once the seat of the Peshwa governance in Pune is a 286-year-old mansion and is one of the finest examples of architecture in the city. It is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. This grand mansion was built by the Peshwa Bajirao I himself as the residence of the Peshwas.
After discussing so many popular spots for spending a day out, there is just one thing left to do. What is it you ask? PACKING! Where are you planning to go? ;)