While pandemic has restricted long-distance travel, our never-ending desire to experience adventure has made us adapt to the changes. For years, travel has been seen as a journey of miles but with restrictions in order, exploring places near your own city has become the new normal.
Mumbai, a major tourist destination, also known for its famous beaches, waterparks, British architecture and as the seat of Indian Cinema. However, it is interesting to know that there are adventures that lie beyond the territory of the megacity. For all the local tourists, there is much to explore in the close neighbourhood.
An average 5-hour journey from Mumbai will bring you to a place that is not only a famous pilgrimage site but also a hill station that invites many tourists every year. Once a summer capital (for Bombay Presidency) under British rule, today it is one of the most scenic places to go for a weekend getaway.
There is the famous Arthur Point or Seat which is sometimes known as the Suicide Point. It was named after an official named Arthur Malet whose wife and daughter had drowned in the Savitri River flowing below. There is also the Wilson Point, the highest in Mahabaleshwar. It is also called the Sunrise Point and offers an extraordinary spectacle in the morning.
Located 3 km from Mahabaleshwar is the spectacular Dhobi waterfall which is a group of waterfalls connecting two viewpoints and providing a breathtaking view amidst the mist and the forming of a rainbow. There is another indispensable waterfall called the Chinaman that was named after a Chinese prison in the vicinity.
It takes an average of 4-hours to reach this privately constructed city, based on the Italian town Portofino. Spanning across seven hills, the city is a beautiful blend of beauty and infrastructure. The city is built around a man-made lake and is famous for its engaging water activities. From kayaking to jet skiing to water volleyballs, one can look for many interesting water sports.
Among the other various adventures, the city offers is the Natural Trail which is a nature trail that takes you through picturesque landscapes. The journey also includes a stop at a butterfly point where one can spot many brightly coloured creatures. During this two to three hour trail, one can spot some rare birds and plants. Another place one can visit in the hill town is the Bird Watching Point called the Dasvae Point which attracts many rare and beautiful birds.
Another hill station about 90 km from Mumbai is Matheran, one of the cleanest and least polluted hill stations in the country. It is an auto-mobile free zone and is an ecologically sensitive area. Transport facilities included horses, hand-pulled rickshaws and toy trains.
The hill station has nearly 38 designated viewpoints. The most famous is the Panorama Point that offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Western Ghats. Another famous one is the One tree hill point which has just one tree growing on top of the hill. Shivaji&rsquos ladder road is used to make one&rsquos way down the hill which is in the shape of a ladder.
Matheran also has a Monkey Point where one can spot various species of monkeys and langurs.
Also called the paragliding capital of India, Kamshet is 110 km from Mumbai. Surrounded by the Western Ghats, having many waterfalls and being home to beautiful monasteries, the place has lot to offer. Shinde Wadi hills are the most popular paragliding take-off point.
Next in line worth seeing is the Pawna lake, an artificial lake formed due to the construction of a dam across the Pawna River that offers a picturesque landscape with a beautiful green carpet around it along with many historically important forts such as Tikona Fort, Lohagad Fort, and others.
Kolad is a village in Maharashtra, around 117 km away from Mumbai. The village is a great attraction to adventure enthusiasts. The village lies on the banks of River Kundalika.
White Water River rafting is a popular adventure water sport in the place. The 14km stretch of Kundalika lake provides one and half hours of river rafting. Bhira Dam, the main source of water for the Kundalika River is also very popular for water rafting. It is also famous for boating and photography.
The Plus Valley Trek is also famous in Kolad as it is takes one through the valley which is in the shape of a plus sign.