After a long week, when the much desired finally arrives, all you wanna do is break free from the much crazy, stressful chaos. Rejoice, the lovely peeps in Pune. Here are some stunning weekend getaways, where you are sure to find the peace you have been looking for.
Dapoli is a well-known name among the travel enthusiasts of Maharashtra. Serene beaches, beautiful resorts and finger licking sea food- sounds quite awesome, right? Dapoli also has a few forts and temples, for those who love visiting heritage sites. Any season is a good season to visit Dapoli. Monsoons make the travel a little draining, but that’s the part of the adventure. Located at a distance of about 196 km from Pune, this place is best accessible and easy to reach if you have your own mode of transport.
Lavasa is at an arm’s reach from Pune. A picnic spot for today’s generation, Lavasa is a hot favourite among many. The only hitch here would be the extra bucks that one needs to shell out. But then, nothing comes free, right? Nature walks, adventure sports, spa, waterfalls - you are sure to fall short of time. For those who hate driving for long hours and wish to experience a blend of nature and luxury, Lavasa is the perfect weekend escape.
3. Mau water falls
Source: Around-pune (representative image)
Not many are aware of this awesome place. Located in Maval taluka, it takes less than two hours to get to Mau waterfalls from Pune. Not so mainstream, this place has its own natural charm to offer. You won’t find fancy resorts or restaurants here. Home-packed lunch and spare clothes to change after the dip in the clyster clear, chilly water is all you need. A day’s trip it is, literally.
4. Satara and Wai
Because Mahabaleshwar is getting too crowded, a lot of Puneites are now willing to travel to Satara instead. Frequent buses from Pune make it possible even for those who don’t have their own mode of transport. Located in the laps of hills, and very close to Mahabaleshwar, Satara is a small city of Maharashtra. Ajinkya Tara Fort and Thosegarh waterfalls are commonly visited by the tourists. Wai is located at an hour’s distance from Satara. Remember the beautiful village from Chennai Express, Swades or Bol Bachchan? All of that is Wai. The famous Ganesha temple in Wai beckons many who seek inner peace.
For those of you who love trekking, Lohagad would be your weekend escape. A local train to Lonavala from Pune and an auto/ local taxi till the foothills of Lohagad is all about the travel, in case you don’t have your own vehicle. This fort has dhabas that offer typical Maharashtrian food - Zunka Bhakar, buttermilk and onion pakodas, at very reasonable rates.
6. Kaas Pathar/ Kaas Plateau
People call it the Valley of flowers, I call it the sea of flowers. A five minutes of time for the prior online booking before visiting this place is the only effort you need to take. The best time to visit this colourful place would be September and October.
Well known for its Shiva temple, Bhimashankar is located at a distance of about 3 hours from Pune. The Sahyadri Wildlife Sanctury here is a home to the famous ‘Giant Squirrel’.
Panchani is a popular hill station near Mahabaleshwar. Offering adventure sports and a good number of sightseeing spots, Panchgani can be your choice for two days. Although a day’s trip is also possible, staying here for two days gives you a better opportunity to indulge in a trip around the hills and the natural beauty that they offer. It can be reached within 2.5 hours from Pune. From budget hotels to resorts, Panchgani has several options for your stay as well. Anytime is a good time to be here.
Just a few km away from the very famous hill-station of Lonavala, the Western ghats have this beautiful place called Kamshet. Kamshet is gaining popularity as the ‘paragliding hub of Maharashtra’. Pawna Lake is another spot to chill around here. Other than that, for food, roadside dhabas offer a limited, yet a good menu. Bedsa and Bhairi Caves can also interest the tourists.
10. Theur/ Ramdara
Okay, so these are devotional places, but they are definitely not boring. Theur has a beautiful Ganesha temple. On the way to Theur, you will find a few dhabas to indulge in some delicious Marathi food. Also, Ramdara is situated at a very close distance from Theur. Remember the temple where Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit were dancing to the tunes of ‘Wah wah Ramji’? Well, this is it. Time flies when you sit on the banks of the lake around this temple.
With all of these so easily accessible, take a trip down that road, escape for a while, and you’ll have your pocket full of sunshine. Happy weekend!