Holiday season begins in India which means days off and most important long weekends. During such times, the usual choices of weekend destinations are the ones that are most popular but frequented by many and brimming with people.
Here is an attempt to post the Five offbeat destinations (not in any specific order) near Pune or even Mumbai considering the travel to Pune is just 2.5 hours by road or train. Pune is blessed by mountains, valleys and rivers on all sides making it possible to find quick getaways around. Pack your bags, grab your cameras and lose yourself amidst beautiful scenes and picturesque landscapes.
Number Five : Pawankhind Amba (near Kolhapur). Pawankhind gets its name from the marathi (local language in Maharasthra, India) “Khind means Pass”. This place has been blessed with plenty of mention in the book of Indian history dated back to the era of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Number Four : Velneshwar (near Guhaghar). Do you dream of secluded beaches with amazing stay options overlooking the cove from on top of the mountain. Velneshwar, a four hour drive from Pune will get you to one such destination that will leave your soul recharged for a long time. Very unlike Goa or Alibaug the beaches here are layered with gorgeous brown and white sand for miles
Number Three : Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Although an overnight drive from Pune this city has the ability to draw its visitors back over and over again to itself. It’s known for the 7-story Rajwada Palace and the Lal Baag Palace, which date back to Indore’s 19th-century Holkar dynasty. The Holkar rulers are honored by a cluster of tombs and cenotaphs at Chhatri Baag. The night market Sarafa Bazar sells street food that is worth more than a single visit. A couple of hours drive from Indore will lead you to Mandu (a hill station) and Maheshwar (a holy city by the river Narmada).
Number Two : Nashik (Maharashtra). A small city about 180 kms from Nashik, popular for its location along the river Godavari. A small town that awakens early in the morning with devotees swarming the banks of the Godavari as early as 4 am hustles to life almost with a religious aura in the air.
Number One : Rajmachi (near Lonavala). Rajmachi, a twin fortress on the western ghats of India along the mighty Sahyadri range has acclaimed status of a monsoon trek destination and is extremely popular among first time trekkers because of its severity level (easy). The variety of flora and fauna on the trail is worth witnessing especially Just before the monsoons when fireflies are at their peak. Even otherwise this popular destination boasts of two forts (Manoranjan balekilla and Shriwardhan Balekilla) that are a trekkers delight.
The above destinations are five of the many destinations around Pune that can be of great value to solo travelers, group travelers or even families. Do read and leave your suggestions/comments below.