Life in a busy city of Maharashtra can be monotonous. So, if you want to break the monotony, then there are plenty of great destinations for a perfect road trip in Maharashtra. Depending on your plans, you can venture out on a short getaway (one day trip near Mumbai or Pune) or a weekend trip (through the best places to visit in Maharashtra). The best thing about a road trip in Maharashtra is that you have the choices. You can embark on a trip through the dense forests or the hilly terrains. You can visit some of the ancient sites or explore the mysterious caves – the choice is yours to make. If you are planning on a memorable road trip in Maharashtra here is a pick of the 5 best routes.
Route #1: Hill trips via Mumbai-Pune Expressway
This is one of the most popular and most beautiful roads in India. An easy weekend getaway from Pune or Mumbai is a road trip to famous tourist places in Maharashtra such as Lonavala, Khandala and Mahabaleshwar. Venture out on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on an outstation cab and you will find much sought break from the noise, crowd and pollution of the mega cities. While many government and private buses ply on this route, but nothing can beat the viewing pleasures offered by a cab! While this is a perfect road trip to partake all through the year, but the beauty of this road is amplified when the monsoons arrive at the Western Ghats.
- Attractions of the Route: Karla Caves, Valvan Dam, Rajmachi Fort, Lohagad Fort, Tiger Point, amazing strawberry fields, Kaas Plateau of flowers, UNESCO World Heritage site (near Mahabaleshwar)
Route #2: Mumbai-Matheran
Matheran, the Crown of Maharashtra tourism, is a fascinating hill station near Mumbai and Pune. Located around the Sahyadri Hills, Matheran will relax and rejuvenate you. Blessed with all the beauties of nature, you feel a wondrous tranquility up in these hills. You can easily plan a 1-2 days road trip to Matheran with your family and friends. Matheran, being an automobile free hill station, does not allow the entry of vehicles. So, you have to leave the cab on the outskirts of this beautiful hill station and make the forward journey on horseback or in a hand-pulled rickshaw. Trekking in the hills of Matheran as well as enoying the natural beauty at places such as Echo Point and Panorama Point are great ways to spend your days.
- Attractions of the Route: Prabhal Fort, Monkey Point, Louisa Point, One Tree Hill Point, Porcupine Point, Hart Point and Rambagh Point.
Route #3: Pune-Bhimashanker
Only way to reach Bhimashanker from Pune is by road, which is filled with quite astonishing beauty. This journey is a pure treat to the eyes during the winters and monsoon. Regular bus services (that leave every 30 minutes) are available from Pune, but a cab journey is much more convenient and less time consuming. Bhimashanker is a tranquil place, which is known for its landmark monument of the Bhimashanker temple. Through the journey you have the lush green forests and the flowing rivers as your companion. And if you have some drizzles in the air, then the route looks like a heavenly abode.
- Attractions of the Route: Nagphani Point, Bhimashanker Temple, gushing waterfalls, stretch through wildlife sanctuary, Hanuman Lake, Big Bell at Hemadpanthi, Kothaligarh Fort, Pawna Lake, Sangram Durg Fort
Route #4: Mumbai-Malshej Ghat
Malshej Ghat, located in Pune district near the borders of Thane and Ahmednagar districts, is again a picturesque hill station apt for a one day trip near Mumbai. To reach Malshej Ghat you have to travel to Pune first. From there you can take the Pune-Nashik Highway to Alephata and turn left on Kalyan-Ahmednagar Highway towards Kalyan. Malshej Ghat is rich in flora and fauna. The valley is home to quails, rails, crakes, flamingoes and cuckoos. There are many points in this hill station that offer a panoramic view of the valley. Malshej Ghat is also famous for its dark woods and these forests are home to animals such as tigers, leopards, rabbits, peacocks etc. To experience the best of nature, you should also visit some of the best waterfalls in the area.
- Attractions of the Route: Shivneri Fort (birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), Harishchandra Gadh, Khireshwar, Pimpalgaon Joga Dam
Route #5: Mumbai-Goa
A blog on road trips in Maharashtra has to definitely include a road trip to Goa in the list. The journey from Mumbai is fascinating and takes you through the remote hamlets of Western Ghats. The landscape changes drastically on this route as you move past the busy cities into the forested zones and then into the hills. Finally, you see the coast and finally arrive at the Land of Beaches, Goa. While this route remains congested during the months of December and January, February-March are the best months to plan a road trip to Goa. Now there are two popular routes you can take from Mumbai.
First one runs via NH 4 and runs through Mumbai–Pune–Satara–Kolhapur–Belgaum to finally reach Goa. This route is simple, straight and smooth but you have to pay toll taxes at innumerable gates. The second popular route is through the Bombay – Goa Highway (NH6). While journeying through this route you come across destinations such as Panvel-Pen –Kolad–Khed–Chiplun -Pali- Sawantwadi, before arriving in Goa. Among the two routes, Bombay – Goa Highway (NH6) is most scenic and you get a chance to move past paddy fields, coconut and nut plantations.
- Attractions of the Mumbai-Goa (via NH 4) Route: Rankala Lake, Belgaum Fort, Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Attractions of the Bombay – Goa Highway (NH6) Route: Ganpatipule Beach, Karnal Bird Sanctuary, views of waterfalls, Parshuram Temple, Kokum, Sindhudurg Fort
So, which one do you like the best? Do write back to us.