Life in Mumbai is cruel and unforgiving. I know it because I was born here and I know how complicated things can become with time. The elite class of Mumbai always have better destinations and places in Mumbai where they can hangout and spend money to relax and spend good time with their friends and family, but what about the middle class population like me that contributes a large portion of the city’s population. People like me who work 9 to 5 and travel in suburban local trains that can squeeze out every ounce of your life need some weekend getaways from Mumbai. These destinations and places around Mumbai can offer a day to unwind and feel better and spend some quality time with family and friends so that we can recharge ourselves and add some memorable and valuable moments in life that we can cherish for lifetime, before we get lost in the hard competitive race of life. Below I have focused on five top and best weekend getaways from Mumbai that never really get the kind of popularity they deserve. Something offbeat.
For me a weekend getaway means getting away from crowd and all the commotion that drives me crazy. Forget the regular Lonavala and Khandala because both the places are packed with Mumbaikars on weekends. If you like to unwind in solace Shrivardhan is one of the top weekend getaway places around Mumbai. Just 210 kilometers from Mumbai this coastal city can offer long stretches of virgin beaches and unexplored natural beauty that can make you feel like paradise on earth. No liquor shops here make it even better for families that want to be at locations that are safe. Shrivardhan is blessed by God’s and therefore it is an ideal spot to visit some of the popular temples here like Somaja Devi Mandir and Shankar Temple. If you want to keep moving you can also checkout the Diveagar Beach and Harihareshwar Beach that are just around 20 kilometers from Shrivardhan. From Mumbai you can reach Shrivardhan in around 6 hours through Mangaon where you can take the deviation for Shrivardhan.
Everybody who has ever been to Lonavala and Khandala knows Karjat as it is on the way. Located on the foothills of Matheran, 90 kilometers from Mumbai, Karjat offers a great place to unwind and relax especially if you are with the family or friends. During the monsoon season, Karjat offers untouched natural landscapes and minty green views of mountains that will refresh your mind and soul. You can explore the Kondana Caves here that offers specimens of ancient Buddhist culture and architecture. There are waterfalls around the caves so enjoy some time getting your feet soaked in the fresh cold mountain water. You can also enjoy the landscapes around the Palasdari Dam that offers great views that are great for photography. From Mumbai you can reach Karjat by train or car in around 2 hours and less.
Tired of pollution in Mumbai? Well, I can understand how you feel so after walking through the not so clean gully’s and narrow lanes of Mumbai for the entire week it’s time to escape somewhere you find less pollution. Come to Guhagar around 310 kilometers from Mumbai which offers the cleanest and least polluted beaches in Maharashtra. You won’t believe when I say but Guhagar is the first and one of the rare beach destinations in Maharashtra that has white sand texture. Walk the beach and enjoy some pani puri and chat at the beach side stalls. If you like to visit historic locations check out the Gopalgad Fort here that was constructed by the Siddhis in the 16th Century before Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1660. Other locations here like Vashisti River, Parshuram Temple, and Walavalkar Shivaji Museum. It will take around 8 hours of drive from Mumbai to reach Guhagar, but the place is worth every rupee you spend on it.
I am not sure if you have heard of Dapoli but it around 230 kilometers from Mumbai and falls in the Ratnagiri district and it is often called as the Mini Mahabaleshwar. 800 feet above the sea level this small town has a lot to offer to every traveler that comes here. Filled with abundant natural beauty and pleasant climate around the year it is the ultimate stress-buster weekend getaway from Mumbai. Just 8 kilometers from Dapoli visit the Ladghar Beach which also is a religious place but is also a great swimming spot. Enjoy the boat trips here and you might get a chance to see dolphins. You can also checkout the Karde Beach, Anjarle Beach and Murud Beach that are around 15 kilometers away. Take blessings from the God’s at Siddhi Vinayak Temple and Durgadevi Temple near Harnai to offer you peace of mind and strength to secure your life. It takes around 6 hours of drive from Mumbai to Dapoli so it’s better to take off early morning before you get stuck in the traffic jam.
The unconquerable Janjira Fort still stands tall symbolizing the pride of Maharashtra in the Raigad district and Murud still remains the hot favorite weekend getaways from Mumbai for many travelers. Murud, around 180 kilometers from Mumbai, offers around 1.75 kilometers of sandy beach with crystal clear water for beach lovers. It is an ideal weekend getaway for family and friends and even lovers that want to watch the sun go down and enjoying the cool breeze hitting hard on the face. If you love waterfalls, watch out for Garambi Dam and you can enjoy some great water-splashing time here. Not too far away from Murud is Kashid Beach to quench your never ending thirst for beach destinations. Visit the historic Ahmedjang Palace that offers a mixture of gothic and mughal style architecture and see the remnants of some historic battles that the fort has witnessed in its lifetime.