You can quickly do the balancing act, especially if you stay in Pune! The city is nestled between the mighty Sahyadris on one side and the lovely plateau on the other, leaving us with ample options to explore! Camping near Pune is one of the favourite activities and recreation options for the tourists or even the locals.
We've listed a few places for Camping near Pune:
1. Pawna Lake CampingEver imagined waking up to a lake adjoining your tent, with the last smoke coming out from the bonfire? You can experience all this at Pawna Lake. Situated ten kms off Kamshet on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, it makes a scenic location for camping. Various players have their campsites, and their offerings include barbeque, outdoor games, music nights etc. Pawna is the perfect location for a quiet weekend with your friends and family.
2. Kaas PlateauMaharashtra is proud to have its very own Valley of Flowers! And why not? Located at a distance of 136 km from Pune, the place evokes a feeling of being in nothing less than heaven! Kaas is an abode for families and especially for all photography enthusiasts! The best time to visit here is between September and November as this is when the place is at its full glory! It is home to around 850 species of flowers and has plenty of trails for hiking. You have an option of either checking in into one of the camps or pitching your tent. Till recent times, this place was a well-guarded secret, but now people from nearby cities flock to see the blooms, to trek and for photography.
3. Rajmachi CampingRajmachi Fort is located about 16 kms from Lonavala. It is one of the most popular trekking and camping destinations. The best part about trekking to the top is that the trek grade is 'easy' making it the most loved destination for beginners and for those who are not looking for too much adventure.
Once you reach atop, you can perch your tent on the open grounds, or you can stay at the villager's homes at a nominal cost. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner are sorted when the immensely hospitable locals serve you delicious Maharashtrian cuisines!
Other seasonal attractions include seeing fireflies before the onset of monsoons and the Kataldhar waterfall during monsoons. Because it is a trek, winters and monsoons are ideal as the summers tend to get too hot and uncomfortable.
4. Camping in VelheAnother off-beat destination about 50 kms (1 hour 45 minutes drive) away from Pune is Velhe - a small hamlet close to nature. A place where you can set up your campsite, or opt for one of the already set up campgrounds, you can do some real good soul cleansing here.
Indulge yourself in various activities like football, cricket, and archery, learn to pitch a tent and enjoy the barbeque and campfire in the evenings.
Monsoons and winters are ideal seasons when you can go camping at Velhe, but the campsites are available whole year round! If you want to go beyond camping, the adventure junkie in you can opt to trek the Torna Fort which is merely five kms away from the village. The fort has the historical significance of being one of the first forts to be acquired by Shivaji Maharaj- the great Maratha warrior!
One can go and relax; children can enjoy the adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, zip-lining etc. while the youngsters can enjoy trekking and you can even take back a lot of locally made food products like jams, juice and syrups! The most popular attractions are the Parsi point, Sydney Point, Venna Lake, Lingmala Waterfall and half-day excursions include heading to Tapola or Pratapgadh. These places are great if you are looking for lakeside camping near Pune.
7. Kundalika RiverGame for rafting, but no time to head to Rishikesh? Worry not. Head to this destination 100 kms away - the only place in Maharashtra to have rafting is the Kundalika River. For the adrenaline rush and to experience Grade two and three rapids, this is the place to be! There are a plethora of campsites to choose from! You can take your pick based on your budget! The months after monsoons are when the rafting takes places! So make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
The ideal time to visit Karnala is during the monsoons, as the forests turn lush green and there is a waterfall inside the sanctuary that comes alive during rains and is a sight to behold! There are many camping players in the market, who offer attractive packages for an overnight camping trip. You can opt for one if you don't have much company, and have the time of your life!
9. BhorAnother off-beat and less known destination near Pune is Bhor. The village is a part of the Pune district itself and can be easily reached in an hour and a half at the most (distance is 55 kms). It is an ideal place to go if you're looking for a short trip, somewhere not too far from the city.
The place is just perfect, being away from the chaos of the city, having fresh air that is bound to leave you re-energised and geared up for the week to come. Surprisingly, many Bollywood films, as well as Marathi TV serials, have been shot at the various locations here.
You can enjoy outdoor activities like cricket, football volleyball as well as indulge in some adventurous activities like kayaking, zip lining, zorbing etc. and enjoy some mouth-watering barbeque in the evenings at the campsite.
10. KhopoliUnlike Lonavala and Khandala, Khopoli is a quaint town in the valley. On the one hand, it has certain pockets which have the settlement, while many of the adjoining areas are secluded enough for you to enjoy a peaceful weekend in the lap of nature. There are a lot many options to choose from in Khopoli which include hiking, rural tourism, nature trails, barbeque etc.
It is about 80 kms away from Pune and is surrounded by mountains from all sides. You know, what's the best part? The place looks gorgeous when viewed from the top in the night when it is all lit up! It's a sight to behold! One should not miss out on visiting Khopoli!
11. LavasaIf there is a luxury in your mind, then hey! Pune has got you covered for it! What can be better than heading out to Lavasa? A one of its kind planned, own artificially built city near Pune, it's a heaven for not only the Punekars but others alike. People make it a point to visit Lavasa and spend time there.
Situated just 60 kms off Pune, Lavasa is pretty diverse with its offerings. Although the rates are expensive, who doesn't mind spending at times?
Although you cannot perch your tent at a location, you like, but you have a wide range of campsites available to choose from based on their itinerary, offerings and budget. Lavasa is always top notch when it comes to quality and services. So you can pick out a plan that best suits your pocket and preference and head to this beauty!
12. KamshetLately, the first word which comes to the mind when someone says Kamshet is 'paragliding'! The place has become synonymous with this particular adventure activity owing to some players have sprung up in recent times. Located just 50 kms from Pune, this is the place to be if you are craving to indulge in an adventure activity that you have meant to tick off your checklist for the longest time!
Known as the Rishikesh of Maharashtra, Kolad is a quaint village hidden amidst cascading waterfalls and valleys of Raigad. River Kundalika, South India’s fastest flowing river meanders through the camping sites of Kolad. The rugged terrain of the towering Sahyadri Mountains at this village makes it an ideal destination for hiking and observing the fauna.
The misty peaks have also gained impetus for adventure sports and water sports sites. White water rafting, banana boat rides, trekking and mountain climbing are also popular in the location. Sutarwadi Lake and its playful birds offer a peaceful environment for picnickers. For those who wish to escape urban life, Kolad has tranquil resorts, homestays and campgrounds around spectacular forts like Tala Fort and Ghosala Fort.
14. Torna Fort
The huge,intricately carved Menghai Goddess temple juxtaposed to the fort is known for its picturesque campgrounds with fort and valley views. The temple can accommodate tents for up to 25 persons at a time. Similarly, Maruti Mandir houses secluded luxury camps for families and travellers.
During your stay, you can enjoy thrilling treks, hikes, mountain biking, nature walks and birdwatching. Malshej is a perfect destination for nature photography and relaxing next to dreamy rivers with migratory pink flamingos.
Apart from trekking, hiking and zip line, boat rides, nature walks and picnics are your key to grasping all that Bhandardara has to offer at locations such as Arthur Lake, Wilson Dam and Ajoba Peak. Every campsite at Bhandardara ensures you have an experiential stay with campfires, singing, live performances and scrumptious Indian meals.
Panshet is one of the camping destinations in Pune which does not require you to trek uphill to reach your accommodations as most roadways are compatible with cars. This makes Panshet an easily accessible hideout for the aged.
Wai is a religiously revered hill station with over a hundred Hindu temples, Buddhist caves and water reservoirs that beckon backpackers to get lost in the Sahyadris. Kamalgad, Varaitgad, Kindergad, Pandavgad and Vandan-Cahndan are the 6 forts surrounding the quaint town of Wai. You can enjoy trekking to these nearby forts from Wai, apart from sightseeing at Menavali Ghat, Dholya Ganpati Mandir, Narashima and Dhomeshwar Temples.
Balakwadi Dam on the course of Krishna River at Wai serves as a picture-perfect campsite, encircled by cascading waterfalls and gigantic teakwood trees. The seven ghats of Wai host an annual festivity of honouring Goddess Krishnabai with pomp and ceremony.
Murud Beach is surrounded by lush hills on three sides, making the town a hub of offbeat adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, ATV rides on the beach, banana rides and water scooting. Janjira Fort is a major tourist spot on a well-connected island near Murud, reachable by boating.
22. Shirota Lake
Campsites near Shirota Lake are equipped with solar power, bonfire amenities, eating joints and gazebos. Shirota Lake is also a popular and safe spot for night treks, a unique feature that contributes to the area’s thriving tourism industry.