Offbeat Places To Visit Near Mumbai This Gandhi Jayanti Weekend

From well-known meditation centres to places known for delectable local food, here are some weekend destinations to visit from Mumbai during the upcoming Gandhi Jayanti weekend
Baba Dabdaba, a lesser known waterfall near Amboli ghats
Baba Dabdaba, a lesser known waterfall near Amboli ghatsShutterstock

When people think of weekend getaways from Mumbai, they instinctively think of Alibaug, Karjat, Lonavala, or Goa. However, numerous hidden jewels in Maharashtra provide unforgettable experiences. We've compiled a list of easy-to-get-to places around Mumbai that are ideal for the Gandhi Jayanti weekend.


Located approximately 500 km from Mumbai, at 2,000 feet, this little town is the last hill station in Maharashtra before the Western Ghats drop out to the coast of Goa. Naturalists come here hoping to glimpse the amphibians and reptiles that flock to these slopes. The Malabar gliding frog, fungoid frog, bicolor frog, Amboli bush frog, Amboli toad, Beddome's Cat Snake, Ceylon Cat Snake, Green Vine Snake, Malabar Pit Viper, and several caecilians are among them.

Visit the Hiranyakeshwar Temple, nestling within verdant hills. Adjacent to the temple is a deep cavern from where emerges the Hiranyakeshi River. Trek uphill to Mahadevgad for the panoramic view of the mist-covered countryside.

Getting There

To reach Amboli from Mumbai, travellers can drive, taking the scenic route via NH48 through Panvel, then Sawantwadi-Amboli Road. Alternatively, they can use buses or trains to reach Sawantwadi and proceed to Amboli by local transport. Goa's Dabolim Airport is also an option for air travel.


Sawantvadi Place
Sawantvadi PlaceWikiCommons

This former royal kingdom of Maharashtra is a picturesque little town where you can sample excellent coastal food and folk art of tribal communities. Pick up the iconic craft of carved wooden fruits here. Sample Konkani food at a local khanaval (eatery). Malvani food, a subset of Konkan cuisine, is what homestays in the region will dish up for your delectation.

In the heart of Sawantwadi is the Moti Talav, a lakeside famous recreation centre. On the other side of the lake is the royal palace. The best time to visit the lake is early morning before the chaotic traffic takes over or in the evening when the illuminated fountains cast a pattern on the water.

The Rajwada, or Royal Palace, is a two-story red laterite mansion with arches gracing its façade sits attractively in the heart of a planted garden. The straightforward design combines local and European architectural styles.

Getting There

To travel from Mumbai to Sawantwadi, you can opt for trains departing from Mumbai to Sawantwadi Road Railway Station, check bus services from Mumbai operated by MSRTC or private companies, or drive via NH48. Additionally, flying to Goa International Airport and proceeding to Sawantwadi is an alternative option.


Bhandardara is a destination for those seeking quiet in nature, surrounded by verdant hills and agricultural regions, with several rain-fed springs tumbling down the hill slopes. It is located about 185 kilometres from Mumbai and serves as the starting point for various hike routes. The views of the thundering Umbrella Falls (behind the Wilson Dam) and the Randha Falls (on the Pravara River) are not to be missed. The old Amruteshwar Shiva temple is a well-known pilgrimage site.

Getting There

To reach Bhandardara from Mumbai, take a road trip via NH61 or NH3, drive through Igatpuri, or opt for state transport buses from MSRTC. Alternatively, travel by train to Igatpuri Railway Station and continue the journey to Bhandardara by taxi or local bus. Mumbai's airport is also an option for air travel.


View of Karnala Fort
View of Karnala FortShutterstock

Karnala is renowned for its bird sanctuary and as the starting point for the eponymous fort walk, but it's also a great area to go camping. It is a fast weekend retreat little over 50 kilometres from Mumbai. Choose the shorter Hariyal Nature Trail or the longer Hariyal Trail, depending on your fitness level. Birds and butterflies are two of the most popular attractions here. Remember that plastics are not permitted inside the sanctuary. Private camping tours are recommended because this is a rugged and wild terrain. Next to the refuge is Big Red Tent, a pet-friendly camping establishment.

Getting There

To reach Karnala from Mumbai, take the Sion-Panvel Expressway (NH 66) eastward towards Panvel, then follow the Panvel-Alibaug Road (SH 54) towards Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Alternatively, you can take a train to Panvel and proceed to the sanctuary via taxi or local bus.

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