Lesser-known hill stations in Maharashtra
“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” – Dalai Lama
For all those adventure enthusiasts and residents of Mumbai and Pune who have frequented Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani far too many times, we bring you a list of hill stations that are not only untouched and offbeat but refreshing and picturesque all the same.
Whether it is lush, verdant spaces or waterfalls cascading deep inside a forest, there is a lot to be explored in the lesser-known hill stations of Maharashtra. For your next weekend getaway, ditch the famous for these surreal and beautiful places that are guaranteed to give you the much-needed respite from WFH schedules and being holed up in our home for unflattering hours these days. Ready to recharge yourself? Keep reading!
Situated in the lofty mountain ranges of Satpura, Toranmal is a serene and glorious hill station in the Nadurbar district of Maharashtra. As tourists rarely visit it in huge crowds, it is all the more enticing and provides for a perfect escape, if you do need one.
The rugged terrains and mountain cliffs make Toranmal a perfect spot for adventure enthusiasts. You can go hiking, discover uncharted paths that are seldom walked upon or simply soak in the beautiful vista surrounding you.
There are lakes named Lotus and Yashwant in the proximity of the hill station. You will also come upon the beautiful Macchindranath cave hidden on the edge of the hill station. If you are, as they say in the digital lingo, forever chasing sunsets, Khadki Point has to be a must-visit place on your itinerary. Watch the beauty of nature unfold as the sun goes down, serving you a visual treat you will remember for a lifetime.
- Best time to visit – October to February
- Distance from Cities – From Mumbai (471 km, drive of 10 hours 30 minutes), From Pune (471 km, drive of 10 hours 30 minutes)
- Things to do – Nature walks, hiking, lake tour, temple tour and cave visits
Located at a drive of three hours from the spiritual town of Shirdi, Koroli (or Karoli) is another beautiful and undiscovered gem of Maharashtra. Nestled in the Sahyadri mountain range, this glorious hill station is perfect for hikes and treks deep that will rejuvenate and challenge you all the same.
The hills lie on the backwaters of River Vaitarna, which is another spot you can explore. The Vaitarna dam is Insta-worthy, and Koroli also hosts the state’s first trekking institute for serious trekkers. Once you have examined these hills’ virginal beauty, half, don’t forget to go for the famous Kalsubai trek, which is half an hour drive from Koroli.
Plus, you can plan frequent trips here as it is the nearest hill station from Mumbai.
- Best time to visit – September to October; February to June
- Distance from cities – From Mumbai (390 km, drive of 7 hours 20 minutes), From Pune (245 km, drive of 5 hours 10 minutes)
- Things to do – hiking, trekking, boating, dam visits, etc.
A beautiful escape from the usual cohort of hill stations in Maharashtra, Chikaldhara is a treasure trove of nature complete with gushing waterfalls, pristine lakes and a thick, verdant cover of forests is supplemented with a good rainfall each year. Add to this the breathtaking coffee plantations that line up the hill station as this is one of the few coffee-growing hill stations in Maharashtra. A tour, sampling session should be on your itinerary for next weekend getaway from Mumbai.
Apart from the plantations, there are various viewpoints like Long Point, Virat Point, Monkey Point, Prospect Point and Hurricane Point that offer a panoramic view of the entire valley below. You can also visit the Narnala and Gavilgad Fort in the region of spending some time at the Pandit Nehru Botanical Museum.
- Best time to visit – November to March
- Distance from cities – From Nagpur – (230 km, drive of 4 hours 45 minutes)
- Things to do – Fort tour, viewpoint visits. Museum tour, etc.
A quiet and beautiful hamlet tucked away deep in the Western Ghats, Amboli has everything you would need from a refreshing getaway. There is no shortage of beautiful spots to look at or relax by, from a diverse flora and fauna to gurgling creeks winding through the forest. Once you start your hike in the hill station, you will also come across hidden waterfalls that are a true hidden gem.
To witness the hill station becoming a spectacle shrouded in mist and clouds, visit Amboli during the monsoon season. The treks are becoming all the more enthralling, and the entire hill comes alive to give you the best of what nature has to offer. Madhavgad Fort is famous among trekkers, and when it comes to spiritual significance, the sacred Shri Hiranyakeshi temple should be on your list.
- Best time to visit – October to February, July to August if you prefer the monsoon months
- Distance from cities – From Nagpur (50 km, drive of 1 hour 15 minutes)
- Things to do – Fort tour, hiking, trekking, waterfall visit and temple tours
The erstwhile capital of the kingdom of Sawantwadi, this hill station is not only steeped in history but serves stunning views every hour on one’s stay. Located in the Sindhudurg district, this pristine hill station falls on the Maharashtra-Goa border and can be a weekend retreat from Mumbai, Pune and even Goa, if you do wish to leave behind the buzz of the ‘beach city’ behind.
When in Sawantwadi, soak in the beautiful views on your exploration of the hill station, visit the serene lake called ‘Moti Talav’ situated right in the centre of Sawantwadi or simply indulge in a bit of shopping. The hill station is famous for its lacquer and wooden handicrafts, and beautiful hand-made cards painted with bright and beautiful colours. All of this can be the perfect souvenirs to take back home from your weekend getaways here.
- Best time to visit – September to March
- Distance from nearest cities – From Pune (50 km, drive of 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Things to do – Lake visits, nature walks, temple tour, handicraft shopping, etc.
When it comes to taking a break, places that are not touristy and brimming with overzealous travellers make for the perfect escape. Tell us which is your favourite weekend getaway from the city of your residence. And if you are looking for more such suggestions along with the best airfare and hotel tariffs for your next trip, visit Travel Now by digibank – your one-stop solution to all things travel.