About weekend getaways from Mumbai

    Life in the Maximum City is busy, faced-paced, and stressful and can often become a little exhausting. After all, being the country’s commercial capital is a lot of hard work! For all those weekends when you want to do nothing more than escape the city’s electrifying buzz and lavish yourself with some well-deserved ‘me time’, we’ve put together a list of the best weekend getaways that the city has to offer.

    Karnala Bird Sanctuary

    One of the most frequented spots near Mumbai and a favourite of weekend hikers and birders, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is only a stone’s throw away from the city. The sanctuary is home to more than 222 species of birds, including the grey fronted green pigeon, Nilgiri woodpigeon, blue-winged parakeet, which are endemic to the Western Ghats. The park is also the site for the historic Karnala fort, which visitors can trek up to. Make sure to take a picnic basket and good shoes.

    Alibaug

    Eleven beaches, a chilled-out vibe and a host of historic attractions await visitors at Alibaug. Beach bums will enjoy swimming in the relatively clear waters or lounging on the yellow sand, while history enthusiasts can head out to the historic Kolaba Fort. If you’re feeling limber and craving a spot of action, head over to Kashid Beach, where you can enjoy para-sailing, jet skis, and ATV, horse and camel rides.

    Kamshet

    Located only 16 km away from the scenic Lonavala and Khandala hill stations, Kamshet is one of India’s most noteworthy paragliding spots. Several paragliding schools in this area offer lessons and tandem flights, ensuring that just about everyone can participate in this adrenaline-pumping sport. The area has several interesting hiking trails, including the one that leads to a waterfall near the Kondeshwar Temple, or the one leading to the historic Tikona Fort, and is known for its historic attractions including the 3rd Century Karla Caves built by Buddhist monks, the Besda Caves that are known for their sculptures of animals and dancing figures, and the ancient elephant Kondeshwar Temple.

    Raigad

    The erstwhile capital of the Maratha Empire, Raigad still retains much of the majesty and charm of its bygone days. The fort dates back to the 17th Century and is situated at an elevation of 2,700 feet. You can reach the fort by climbing up 1,737 stairs or take the cable car. Visitors can still view the queen’s quarters, six chambers, the artificial lake and the ruins of three watchtowers.

    Kolad

    Certainly not a destination for the faint of heart, Kolad is a picturesque village located on the banks of River Kundalika. This area is most famous for its incredible river rafting opportunities, aided in no small part by the large amount of water released from a local dam every morning. The rafting excursions are planned to coincide with this release, and hence begin at 8 am every morning. Besides rafting, you can also go rappelling, jungle camping, kayaking, parasailing and aero-modelling and participate in numerous other outdoor sports.

    Nashik

    India’s wine capital is famed for its scenic vineyards and is home to several noteworthy winemakers including the famous Sula Winery. Participate in wine tasting tours, crush grapes in barrels or pick them off from their vines – a visit to Nashik is a complete wine-country experience. Nashik also hosts the iconic Kumbh Mela fair, which is the largest religious gathering on earth, and is revered as the site where Lakshmana – Lord Rama’s brother sliced off the nose of Ravana’s sister. Visit Nashik’s old quarter to view its intricate wooden architecture, bathing ghats and Hindu temples that reference the Ramayana epic.

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