Known For : Sightseeing in Lavasa Lakeside Promenade Bamboosa
Lavasa, a private planned hill city located near Pune in Maharashtra, is known as India's newest hill station since independence and is a perfect blend of beauty and infrastructure. It is a great picnic spot near Pune.
Best Time: Throughout the year
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
Situated at a height of 3400 feet, Lohagad Fort is a formidable fort about 52 kilometres away from Pune. Perched atop an impressive hill near Malavali, this destination is the perfect amalgam of ancient architecture and natural beauty. Lohagad Fort was built in the 18th century and is an ideal destination for trekking and nature lovers, especially from Pune and Mumbai. The place is flanked by nature at its lush green best and hosts panoramic views and cool mountain air.
Located around 36 kms southwest of the city of Pune, Sinhagad Fort is built atop a cliff on the Bhuleshwar range of the Sahyadris. Literally translating to "Fort of the Lion", Sinhagad Fort boasts of a rich history. It was initially occupied by the Mughals until it came to be possessed by the Marathas. Lately, it has become a popular source of tourism and is especially popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.
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. The majestic fort is a very popular destination for trekking activities. With an eventfully historic backstory and an unmatched view of nature at its best, the Visapur fort is indeed a treat for all- history buffs, adventure mongers and nature enthusiasts.
Pratapgad is a hill fort in Maharashtra. Situated close to the famous hill station of Mahabaleshwar in the district of Satara, the citadel rises to an elevation of about 3500 feet from the ground.
The Durshet Forest Lodge is set amid 35 acres of private teak forest, against the magnificent Sahyadhri Range. The River Amba presents a sanctuary for trekkers and birdwatchers. The gardens and lawns in the place magically come alive with a natural waterfall during the monsoon season. Go rafting on the River Kundalika, or scout the Umbarkhind battlefield or go mountain biking in this place as the options are unlimited.
Harishchandragad is a hill fort in Maharashtra. It is situated at an elevation of about 4670 feet in the district of Ahmednagar. Within the fort there are several temples dedicated to Vishnu and Ganesh. The monument dates back to the 6th century and finds home at an altitude of 1424 meters and more often than not, given its altitude finds itself marked on a number of trekking trails in and around the area.
Chavand (or Prasannagad) is a hill fort in the state of Maharashtra. Located at an elevation of about 3500 feet from the ground in the district of Pune, this fortress is a part of the 'famous five'. The other forts which are included under this category are Hadsar, Shivneri, Jivdhan and Naneghat.
Naneghat is a hill fort in Maharashtra. It is situated at an elevation of 2600 feet from the ground in the Thane district of Maharashtra. The trek is famous more for its ancient pass than for the fort itself.
Also known as “Bharatpur of Maharashtra”, Bhigwan is located near Pune. It is a perfect weekend getaway for bird and animal lovers. This place will let you relax and enjoy some peaceful time away from the hustle bustle of the city. Bhigwan has three wildlife sanctuaries and you will be able to spot a myriad variety of flora and fauna. The beauty of this place is simply mesmerizing. After visiting Bhigwan you would surely be able to differentiate between the different kinds of birds. Bhigwan is a serene and quiet place that must be visited to rejuvenate your body and soul.
Karnala fort also known as the Funnel Hill is a hill fort in Raigad district, about 10 km from Panvel city and 65 km from Mumbai. The fort is a protected property which is situated within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and offers a great opportunity to enjoy a refreshing, easy trek. Karnala fort consists of two forts out of which one is at a higher level and other is at a lower level.
The Plus Valley is such a unique place that nobody can resist the call to explore and enjoy it. Exactly like the name of the place, the valley is in the shape of a plus sign, which adds to the intrigue and excitement of this amazing destination. Challenging terrains, exotic fauna, and awe-inspiring scenery will keep you coming back for more.
Known For : Tiger's Leap Bushi Dam Lonavala Lake
A hill station close to Pune and Mumbai especially appealing to hikers and trekkers, Lonavala is probably one of the most popular places to visit near Pune within 100 kms. It is famous for its historic caves, striking forts and pretty lakes.
Best Time: Throughout the year
Known For : Rajmachi Fort Visapur Fort Bedsa caves
Perched on the foothills of Sahyadri, Khandala provides for a perfect weekend respite for the Mumbai population, with its scenic valleys, grassy hills, serene lakes and misty waterfalls.
Best Time: Throughout the year
Carved into a rocky hillside, Karla caves are among the oldest Buddhist cave shrines in India. It is located on the Pune-Mumbai highway at Karla and if sources are to be believed, these are only a few among scores of other caves unearthed in Sahyadri Hills. Carved almost 2000 years ago around the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD, this place constitutes a large collection of beautiful Chaityas (halls) and Viharas (monasteries) reflecting upon a journey of the past, narrating some amusing stories. If you are a history buff, then Karla Caves is definitely one of the best places to visit near Pune. Recently, A temple made of pillars from the Buddhist period has also been built at the entrance of the caves.
Known For : Paragliding Shinde Wadi hills Pawna Lake
Kamshet is a picturesque hill station in Western Ghats for all kinds of tourist, especially those who love nature and adventurous paragliding activities
Best Time: October to June
Known For : Durshet Forest Lodge Uddhar Hot Springs Water sports in Durshet
Durshet is a little village found on the banks of the river Amba, nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra.
Best Time: September to February
The Karla and Bhaja caves are among the oldest caves in India and date back all the way to 160 B.C. and are situated near Lonavala in Maharashtra. The Bhaja caves are a group of 22 rock-cut caves which are believed to have existed from the times of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which is of 2nd to 1st century BC. Karla Cave is the largest Hinayana Buddhist chaitya (temple) in India Travel back in time on this trip to ancient Indian rock-cut caves with the best rock-cut architecture of all times. The ancient caves are protected as Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
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.
Prabalgad Fort, also known as Muranjan is situated between Matheran and Panvel in Maharashtra, at a height of 2,300 feet in the Western Ghats. The fort built at the peak of a rocky plateau very close to Matheran has become a major tourist attraction. A trek to this place is perfect for those who enjoy adventure and the way to the fort is a dangerously steep climb. The steps leading up to the fort are cut into the rock of the hill. Reaching the fort is one of the toughest trekking challenges in Maharashtra and only if you are an experienced trekker should you go for this trek. This trek which commences from base village of Shedung, takes about 3 hours and you need to climb rock-cut stairs through a steep slope.
One of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites of India, Kaas Plateau in Panchgani is a magical place with landscapes with lakes, flowers and butterflies all around. Kaas Plateau is 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. Housing about 850 species of beautiful wildflowers, the 1000 hectare area of the plateau is now a reserved forest which is famous for its natural beauty and flora, its Kaas Lake and its beautiful landscape and scenic beauty.
Chandragad is a hill fort in Maharashtra, while Arthur Seat is a hill point in the Mahabaleshwar range of mountains. These two destinations are often visited together and they make for a thrilling trekking experience.
Durg and Dhakoba popular are peaks in the plateau between Naneghat and Bhimashankar hill ranges near Pune district. Full of revitalizing greenery and lush thick forests, this trek will succeed in taking from the noise and stress of living in a city and will became your favorite escape to a destination full of peace and tranquility.
Gorakhgad is a hill fort in Maharashtra. Gorakhgad and Machindragad are twin forts in the Thane district of Maharashtra. Gorakhgad is situated at an elevation higher than its twin fort.
Hadsar is a hill fort in the state of Maharashtra. It is situated at an elevation of 3200 feet from the ground in the district of Pune. Within the fort there are massive tunnel like entrances built in the Mughal style.
Sri Malang gad is a fort near Kalyan in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is known popularly as Haji Malang, which is one of the most famous among the three sufi shrines located on the hill. The structure of the fort is three-storeyed, and each tier has a specific name.
Jivdhan is a hill fort in the state of Maharashtra. It is a part of the 'famous five' fort in the Sahyadri mountain range. The other forts which are a part of the famous five include Naneghat, Shivneri, Chavand and Hadsar.
Koregad (also known as Korigad, Koarigad, Kumwarigad) is a hill fort located at a distance of around 20 kms from Lonavala. Perched atop an isolated hill away from the din and chaos of the city, the fort spells magnificent and grandeur in all its form. Tucked away at a desolate distance from the main township, the place boasts of panoramic vistas of the adjacent meadows, verdant green woods, sweeping views of the adjoining hills and an all around environment of serenity, solitude and ataraxy. Built at a height of 923 metres above the sea level, the fort is believed to have been built in the 1500 BC and is the only one of its kind in the town. The nearest village to the fort is Peth Shahpur located at a distance of about 1 km from the castle. The top of the hill offers a splendid view of the valley below and the nearby running streams. Koregad is frequented by tourists, backpackers, adventure enthusiasts and is a common favourite among localites.
Kothligad (or Peth) is a hill fort in Maharashtra. It is located at a modest elevation of 1500 feet in the Raigad district of the state. The pinnacle of the fort is shaped in the form of a vertical funnel, lending it a peculiar look. There are caves carved out of huge rocks at the top of the fort, alongside a pond perfectly square in shape. There are cisterns of water within the fort. An array of cannon balls can be found scattered inside the fortified walls. The veryical tunnel has large cool rooms and spacious caves, along with the staircases which lead to the top. The top of the fort presents a very picteresque view of the forests of Bh'ma Shankar to the North and the pinnacle of Dhak-Bahiri towards the South-West.
The beautiful clear lake and the thick mysterious forests make Koyna valley the most sought after trekking destination of Maharashtra for weekend getaways and nature enthusiasts. With numerous peaks lining its edges and India's largest hydroelectric dam at a stone's throw, this valley becomes an undeniable favorite for adventure lovers.
Deep and dense rain forests, meadows blooming with flowers, tiny rivulets, ethnic tribal villages or long forgotten temples, the Lonavala - Bhimashankar trail has it all to offer you. This is arguably the best countryside trail, as claimed by many amateurs, and is waiting for you to explore it. The popularity of Lonavala as a hill station only adds to the appeal and makes your experience priceless.
Mahipatagad is a hill fort in the state of Maharashtra. Mahipatagad is a twin fort of Rasalgad, located in the Ratnagiri district.
Purandar is a fort in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Purandar and Vajragad are twin forts. Purandar is the larger of the two and is situated at a height of 4472 feet from the sea level. The top of the fort presents a very scenic view of its twin fort Vajragad.
Rajgad, not unlike its name, is a royal and palatial trek to a Fort once inhabited by Shivaji Maharaj himself. The captivating beauty and history of the fort and the lush sahyadri range surrounding it is absolutely worth every single aching muscle.
Rasalgad is a fort that will reintroduce to the lost charms and intrigues of an era long forgotten.
Rohida, or Vichitragad as it is also known, is a Fort nearest to Pune, a destination which is a must on every trekker's to-do list.
The Siddhgad-Bhimashankar route is a nature lover's paradise. The trek is rejuvenating and tough enough to keep you on your toes while also giving you all the pleasures of a leisurely stroll.
Nighoj is an offbeat tourist destination 70 kilometres from Pune, nestled along the western ghats in the state of Maharashtra. The village’s most prominent feature are the naturally occurring craters lined up against the bank of the river Kukadi, the breathtaking potholes are a true wonder of nature and also the main driving force behind tourism in this old world village. Nighoj has a certain air of mystery to it, replete with age old tales of the creation of the infamous potholes. It will leave you feeling intrigued at the might of the powerful Kukadi river that now stands still and instills a sense of solace in everyone who visits. The village hasn't been overly commercialised yet and is a great weekend destination if you want to enjoy the simpler pleasures of life.
Another fort in the region, this one houses the Pavana Lake in its complex. At 1075m, this fort is slightly difficult to climb. To reach the site, tourists need to climb 1,200 ft area of the fort that is a steep ascent.
An entire year's worth of weekends could be spent travelling with so many places to visit near Pune within 100 kms. And that is why Pune is probably one of the best cities to live in. Share with us in the comment section how many and which of them you have checked off your travel bucket list.