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Hill Stations

Place 1 LONAVALA

Lonavala has become famous because of nature's gift. Lonavala has been blessed with valleys, hills, Milky WaterFalls, Lush Greenery and pleasant cool winds. Words are not enough to describe the beauty of this place. Lonavala is an epic poem created by God. Beautiful mountain ranges trying to reach the sky are sites that please the human mind and give an experience of heavenly pleasure. The morning sun rising over here appears as if it is sprinkling rose water all over. Chirping birds gently awaken oneself and all of this makes it a really Good Morning. The whole place is covered with a thick blanket of fog early in the morning; this is how the day begins here. Biggest Monsoon attraction of them all. Guests from Mumbai and Pune drive down over the weekends during monsoon and just enjoy the nature, do a bit of trekking or visit popular spots around.

Best Time To Visit : Lonavala is pleasant year round, but a visit any time between October to April will see very pleasant temperatures. Summer temperatures reach a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius and touch minimum temperatures of 12 degrees Celsius in winter.

Places of interest around Lonavla :

  • Rajmachi Point :
    Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji's famous fort, Rajmachi (Royal terrakouioce) and the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Vaghjai Dari is also located here.
  • Ryewood Park & Shivaji Udyan :
    This is an extensive garden situated in Lonavla. The garden covers a lot of ground and it is full of tall trees. There is an old Shiva temple in the park. The garden has plenty of place for children to play.
  • Valvan Dam :
    Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot, and is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town. The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam's reservoir.
  • Lonavla Lake :
    Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter months.
  • Duke's Nose :
    Duke's Nose stands 12 km from Lonavla, clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai. This landmark in Khandala is popular with hikers. The cliff owes its name to the Duke of Wellington, whose ample nose it resembles.
  • Tiger's Leap :
    Tiger's Leap also known as Tiger's Point is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650 m, giving an extensive view. Buses are available up to I.N.S. Shivaji and the remaining distance of about 1.6 km has to be covered on foot.
  • Karla Caves :
    Karla caves, located near Lonavla, is a complex of cave shrines built by Buddhist monks around 3rd to 2nd century B.C. A famous temple of Goddess Ekvira Devi is also present here.
  • Lohagad Fort :
    A robust climb of about 11.2 km from Malavali Railway Station takes you to the 'Iron Fort', once a formidable battle-station of Shivaji. The fort commands a view of the surrounding hills and hamlets.
  • Bhushi Dam :
    A waterfall near the dam is a popular spot between Lonavla and I.N.S. Shivaji. Buses running on the I.N.S. Shivaji Road stop here.
  • Lion Point :
    Scenic point midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley .
  • Tungarli Lake and Dam :
    This lake and Dam come to life during the Monsoon season, where youth climb the mountain top to the Dam. This dam was built during the British era and features a serene surrounding.
  • Shooting Point :
    Another scenic point in the town of Khandala (Bazaar peth), which provides magnificent view of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. Also the home for the St. Mary's villa.
  • Wax Museum :
    The 'Celebrity Wax Museum', modelled on the famous Madame Tussauds in London, is located only 3 km away from the railway station at Varsoli, near Toll Plaza is a new attraction for the tourists.


Place 2 MAHABALESHWAR

Mahabaleshwar is also known as the Queen of all Hill Stations. This hill station is situated at an altitude of 1,372m in the heart of Sahyadri Hills in Satara District. Its name is derived from a Lord Mahadev temple and three Sanskrit words, Maha (great), Bal (power) and Ishwar (God). Some people also relate the name with mythological past as the name 'Mahabaleshwar' means mighty God. British developed this place as their pastime destination to beat the heat. Looking down from Mahabaleshwar, one can see a panoramic view of the sea and the valley. Mahabaleshwar is regarded to be the best holiday spot in Maharashtra in terms of climate, excursions, sports, and other activities.Today, Mahabaleshwar is a popular holiday resort and honeymoon spot, and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is the site of Mahabaleshwar Temple. Many tourists visit nearby Panchgani. After the construction of a new highway, it is only a five-hour drive from Mumbai.

Mahabaleshwar is also known for the honey and strawberries produced here. One can visit strawberry farms to enjoy the real flavour of the fruit. It is said that the climate of Mahabaleshwar is ideal for Strawberries and Mulberries. One can also get a taste of "Strawberries with Cream" and "Mulberries with Cream" (season: April-May)and also "Corn Pattice" .

Best Time To Visit : All throughout the year.

Places To See : There are a variety of places to see when in Mahabaleshwar. If you are interested in a bit of the rich history that Mahabaleshwar has to offer, then you can visit 'Pratap Gadh', which houses the tomb of Afzal Khan. If you are looking for serenity, then there are a number of temples you can visit. From 'Shri Shankar Mandir' to the 'Panchaganga Mandir', a host of temples are surely going to bring you some peace. For adventure activities such as hiking, trekking and climbing, Falkland Point, Carnac Point, Wilson Point, Connaught Peak and Castle Rock are the perfect destinations. The Queen of all points, Arthur Point, contains the largest stratification of rocks in Maharashtra, and many even compare it to the rocks of the Grand Canyon in Colorado, USA.

Places of interest around Mahabaleshwar :

  • Arthur's Seat :
    Arthur's seat is a point at an elevation of 1340 mts. The point was named after Sir Arthur Mallet, who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap. The point is a very scenic location to visit. Many tourist cabs have this point in their tourist plans.
  • Kate's Point :
    Kate's point is located to the east of Mahabaleshwar and is famous for its view of two reservoirs, Balakwadi and Dhom. The point is around 1280 mts high. The point got its name from Sir James Malcom's daughter Kate, who developed a liking for the place.
  • Needle Hole Point :
    Needle hole point is located near Kate's Point. One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle-hole. The point is also famous for the view of Deccan traps, which look like an elephant's trunk.
  • Wilson Point :
    Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923-26, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 mts. Known as Sindola Hill during the colonial rule, Wilson point is the only location in Mahabaleshwar where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. It offers a spectacular glance of Mahabaleshwar in all directions.
  • 3 Monkey Point :
    Named because of the natural sculpture of the stones which looks like three monkeys sitting beside each other and portraying 3 monkeys of Gandhiji.


Place 3 MATHERAN

Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay laid the foundations of the development as a future hill station. The British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km , over large swathes of forest territory.
Cars are not allowed within Matheran. However you can drive up and park your car at Dasturi car point, or take the newly introduced mini bus shuttle from Karjat or Neral railway stations upto Dasturi. From Dasturi you must take a 40 minute horseback or man-pulled rickshaw ride to Matheran along a mud track. Alternately you can walk from Dasturi along the rail line & make your way up to Matheran - 20minutes to half an hour.

The rail track route is slightly shorter, more scenic and very much more comfortable than than the rubbly, dusty main road route. Coolies or porters are available at Dasturi to carry your luggage. Remember to negotiate rates in advance. You can also go with group booking or alone.

Best Time To Visit : Temperatures vary from 16C in winter to 32C in summer with an annual rainfall of 524 cms. It is a place to visit round the year, monssons included, for the young at heart.

Places To See :
Almost all the points offer pretty good sunrise, sunset, mountain and valley views, so walk or horse ride or take a rickshaw to whichever you prefer. Remember that the more popular points will be crowded, especially at sunset. Watch out for the aggressive Matheran macaque monkeys who will not hesitate to snatch your belongings especially anything remotely resembling food!

Places of interest around Matheran :

  • Panorama point :
    This point is a very beautiful one, for you can see a panoramic view of the hills on the left and a beautiful Ulhas River to the right. This point is quite far from Matheran station / market, but you can negotiate a good price for your travel if you do not feel like walking. This point is perfect for Sunrise and is also called "Sunrise Point."
  • Heart Point :
    Here one can see a beautiful scene of the valley and this point looks like heart, so it is named so.
  • Monkey Point :
    Here you can see the monkeys in large numbers and their mischief life-sized.
  • Malang Point
  • Luisa Point :
    The view from here to the waterfall (run off from Charlotte Lake) during the monsoon is spectacular.
  • Honeymoon Hill :
    According to Locals, a British Officer had his Honeymoon actually arranged at this point!Also,latter Parsis used to harvest honey at his point,hence its name.
  • Echo Point :
    True to it's name,this point has some superb Echo effect! Feel free to scream loud at the point and hear the echo coming from distant places through the valleys!
  • Charlotte Lake :
    a spectacular waterfall overflows from the lake during and shortly after the monsoons. At other times, it is peaceful surrounded by dense evergreen forests, bird song and pretty butterflies.
  • Lords Point
  • One tree Hill :
    A unique hill,which has only one big tree growing on it.The way to reach the hill is a bit risky and steep.
  • Olympia :
    There is a Horse Race-course.
  • Paymasters Park
  • Mount Barry
  • Artist Point
  • Khandala Point :
    Very close to the Matheran Market Place.
  • Alexandar Point
  • Rambaug Point
  • Little Chowk Point
  • Sunset(Porcupine) Point


Place 4 BHANDARDARA

Nestled among the Sahyadri Hills, Bhandardara has all the makings of a beautiful holiday resort. Sky-high mountains, roaring waterfalls and lush greenery throughout the year, attract tourists from all over. To reach Bhandardara, detrain at Igatpuri. If you are traveling by road from Mumbai, you need to turn right just a few kilometers after Igatpuri and enter Ghoti. This small town leads to a long narrow road, which cuts across the lofty mountains and ascends to the marvelous retreat. Although it is just about an hour's journey, the sights are spectacular. Fluorescent green paddy fields contrast with bright blue skies above and the murky brown streams that crisscross the whole land. When it rains, and clouds descend from the sky to blanket the earth, the sight is truly breathtaking! Bhandardara is full of attractions - from Wilson Dam to Arthur Lake.

As legend has it, Shri Agasti Rishi meditated here for a year, surviving only on water and air, pleased with this display of devotion, God came down to Earth and blessed Shri Agasti Rishi with a stream of the Ganges river, which is now known as the Pravara River. From Bhandardara, you can climb up to see the Ratangad and Harishchandragad fort. Or, you can follow the trails that lead to Ajoba and Ghanchakkar peaks. Also, if you are up for a challenge, the highest peak in Maharashtra, Mount Kalsubai (1646 m), stands tall for you to conquer. The starting point of this challenging trek is Bari Village, located 12 km away from Bhandardara. Atop, there is a small temple and standing. Standing at the summit, you can have panoramic view of Sahyadris and Bhandardara.

Best Time To Visit : The peak season is between November and April, but Bhandardara is spectacularly beautiful during the monsoons. The summers are very hot and winters quite cold. Cool cottons for summers and warm woolens for winters are ideal.

Places of interest around Bhandardara :

  • Wilson Dam :
    Built in 1910 across River Pravara, Wilson Dam is situated at a height of 150 m above sea level. It's one of the oldest dams in the country. The opening of sluice gates creates two 60 to 80 feet cascades of water that plummet to the rocks below. It's a spectacular view. Tourists can amble in the circular garden located at the base of the dam.
  • Arthur Lake :
    The clear and placid lake is bounded by thick canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills. The Lake gets its water from the Pravara River. The Lake and its surroundings offer an enchanting spectacle.
  • Randha Falls :
    Randha Falls is a good waterfall to visit. The roaring River Pravara descends down from a height of 170 ft into a beautiful gorge. However the waterfalls are magnificent only during monsoons and are not so great in other seasons.
  • Ghatghar :
    Located 22 km from Bhandardara, Ghatghar is a popular viewpoint in the area. It offers a panoramic view of the Sahyadri ranges.
  • Mount Kalsubai :
    From Bhandardara Tourist can see the highest peak of the sahyadri range, mount kalsubai. Kalsubai with its height and view is popular for trekking and so are the hills near kalsubai. The trek is physically demanding, as Bhandardara is located on a hill and to reach this place one has to do lots of trekking. Ratnagad : Ratnagad fort was captured by chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj. The fort lies near the Maharashtra tourism resort and has ample of grounds to interest trekkers. The fort commands a good view of the surrounding areas.
  • Angling :
    This is popular place for angling. Tourists can spot a number of large fish over here. Tourists can go angling, but boats are not allowed.


Place 5 CHIKHALDARA

Chikhaldara is a Hill Station Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout and then threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara -- Chikhaldara . The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. It abounds in wildlife -- panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild boar, and even the rarely seen wild dogs. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project which has 82 tigers.

Best Time To Visit : Temperatures vary from 39C in summer to 5C in winter. October to June is the best time to visit.

Places of interest around Chikhaldara :

  • Melghat Tiger Reserve
  • Gawilgad fort
  • Bhim-kund
  • Forest garden
  • Wildlife museum
  • Paratwada City


Place 6 AMBOLI

If you are in pursuit of peace and solitude, visit Amboli, a tranquil hill station on the Western Ghats, surrounded by thick forests and tree canopied hills. On the coastal side, Amboli peers over the tree lined sandy ribbon of the Konkan coast on the other three sides, you are rewarded by a magnificent panorama of the sweeping valley. Snuggling coyly, in the southern ranges of the Sahyadri hills, Amboli at an altitude of 690 m. is the last mountain resort before the coastal highlands settle, with a sigh, to form flat beaches. Visit the numerous viewpoints for a pleasant view of the lush hills and fertile plains. The Bauxite Mines, 10 kms. away, is a pleasant and very different excursion. If you're looking to spend a few days in splendid isolation with your family, Amboli is an ideal resort. Amboli has a cool and invigorating climate, a welcome respite in summer.

Best Time To Visit : Best season to visit Amboli is between October and February. October to February is good for sight seeing, when the temperature is cool. June to September offers pleasant moderate climate, but carry some raincoats. March to May are also suitable for sight seeing, but drink plenty of waters.

Places of interest around Amboli :

  • Moti Talao (Lake)
  • Terekhol Fort
  • Redi Ganesh
  • Sagareshwar Beach
  • Bhogve Beach
  • Nivati Beach
  • Shiroda Velagar Beach
  • Sindhudurg Fort
  • Bhalachandra Maharaj Ashram


Place 7 JAWHAR

Jawhar, located in the Sahayadri ranges 165 km from Mumbai, is popularly known as Mahabaleshwar of Thane. Pleasant climate and scenic beauty of Jawhar evokes comparisons with the popular hill station in Maharashtra. Unlike other popular tourist destinations in the country, Jawhar also boasts of strong cultural ethos and history dating back to fourteenth century. Founded in 1306, the princely state of Jawhar was ruled by the Munke dynasty. Jawhar also served as camping point for Maratha king Shivaji and his army enroute to Surat. Jawhar was part of the Mumbai Presidency under the British. Home to the Warli tribe, Jawhar is noted for the wall paintings of Warli tribals. Warli paintings revolve around the daily life of tribals and were drawn using white and red colours. However, with growing commercial popularity of the paintings, Warli painting use different colours and also depict new ideas.

Best Time To Visit :Jawhar can be visited any time of the year. However, during peak summer season it tends to get a little hot. Jawhar looks most beautiful during monsoons. September-April is the best time to visit the hamlet.

Places of interest around Jawhar :

  • Jaivilas Palace
  • Hanuman Point
  • Sunset Point


Place 8 MALSHEJ GHAT

Malshej Ghat is located 700 meters above sea level, amidst the soaring ranges of the Western Ghats equidistant from Mumbai and Pune. Ruggedly landscapes thickly forested, laced by many venerated n'vers and rich in bird and animal's life, the place attracts those who wish to experience nature's myriad wonders, up close and personal. A side from its fascinating ecology, Malshej Ghat draws one to its numerous historic forts, forest houses, resorts and sanctuaries. There's Shivneri Fort birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji. There are Buddhist caves dating back to the 3rd century. And one cannot afford to miss the fort of Harishchandragad which. at an altitude of 1,424 meters dominates the surrounding landscape.

Best Time To Visit :The monsoon months of August and September are a magical time to visit Malshej Ghat. During this time of the year, the hills are soothing; with calm and cool weather, misty tops, waterfalls and lush green surroundings. The flora and fauna are at its best during the monsoons and so it makes a visit to Malshej Ghat a must. Carry your raingear- umbrella, raincoat etc. During the monsoons all hotels get full so book well in advance. During the winters, between December and February, the lofty hills of the Western Ghats are a paradise for trekkers and hikers. You can go about exploring the mysterious trails and make your own way in and out of the forests. Summers, between March and May are a pleasant time to visit the Ghats. Malshej Ghat can be visited at anytime of the year- the weather is quite pleasant.

Places of interest around Malshej Ghat :

  • Harishchandragad
  • Pimpalgaon Joga Dam
  • Malshej falls
  • Shivneri Fort