Travel Expert Ritika Saraf’s Pick Of 5 Quick (And Affordable) Getaways From Mumbai

We all love Mumbai, but let’s face it—it’s a hot furnace this summer. How you wish you could escape this crazy city and be amid nature, where you can breathe fresh air and experience something new. If you’re bored of Lonavala, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar and Alibaug, this story is for you. Ritika Saraf of SomePlaceElse lists five fantastic, quick and affordable getaways from Mumbai.

1. PANHALA

Panhala
Ideal for: Nature, history and meditation enthusiasts
What makes it special: The history of Panhala is also the history of the Marathas. There are innumerable places of interest here, each with its share of stories. At an altitude of 977m, Panhala offers inspiring scenery and a year-long soothing climate. You can stay at a basic but clean resort and enjoy a great weekend.
Days needed: 2
Where to stay: Hotel Hilltop; Panhala, Kolhapur 416201 (02328 235 154; 235 054; 235 354)
Cost of stay: Rs 1,500 per person per night, including breakfast

2. VIKRAMGARH

Vikramgarh
Ideal for: Adventure-seekers and nature lovers
What makes it special: This is a tribal hamlet where you can stay at an organic farmhouse. Simple living close to nature is what adds to the charm of this place. Chill at the nearby dam (it’s surprisingly devoid of crowds), visit the nearby villages and try your hand at local Warli painting.
Days needed: 1
Where to stay: Hideout; Thappar Pada, Zadapoli village, Vikramgarh 400 059 (098201 49022)
Cost of stay: Rs 2,500 per person per night, including all three meals

3. LONAR

Lonar
Ideal for: Birders and those on the lookout for a uniquely peaceful getaway
What makes it special: With the world’s third largest crater, Lonar has evolved into an idyllic expanse of sky-blue water amid a sprawling forest that stretches around it as far as the eye can see. Stay in a government-run resort and enjoy the sight and sounds of the forest with a large variety of birds, particularly peacocks, owls, red-wattled Lapwings and ducks along with a visit to the enchanting Daitya Sudan & Gomukh Temple at this unique destination.
Days needed: 2
Where to stay: MTDC Holiday Resort; Buldhana Road, Sultanpur Bypass Lonar, Maharashtra (1 800 229 930; 022 2284 5678)
Cost of stay: Rs 1,000 per person per night, including breakfast

4. TARKARLI

Tarkarli beach
Ideal for: Water sports addicts, dolphin-watchers, anglers and beach bums
What makes it special: The major attraction here is the long and narrow stretch of beach, with its pristine water. On a clear day, you can see the seabed upto 20ft deep. Stay in huts in the midst of a lovely tropical paradise, built on an elevated level.
Days needed: 3
Where to stay: Maachli; Parule Tal-Vengurle, Dist-Sindhudurg, Maharashtra 416 523 (096373 33284)
Cost of stay: Rs 2,500 per person per night, including all three meals

5. PENCH

Pench
Ideal for: Wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers
What makes it special: Pench Tiger Reserve constitutes a unique ecosystem, comprising a wide variety of flora and fauna such as the tigers, Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Gaur, Wildboar, Chausingha, Sloth bear, Wilddog, Langur, Rhesus monkey, Mouse deer, Malabar pied hornbills, Indian pittas, ospreys, grey-headed fishing eagles, white-eyed buzzards, storks, waterfowls pertaining to the Central Highlands. It was also the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book.
Days needed: 3
Cost of stay: Rs 5,000 per person per night, including all three meals
Where to Stay: Pench Jungle Camp; Village-Avarghani, Tehsil – Kurai District, Seoni (07695 232 817; 07695 232 843; 07695 232 844)

SomePlaceElse organises trips to all five destinations and more. Get in touch with them here or here.

Know of any other easy getaways from the city? Drop in your comments or tweet to us.

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Images courtesy: indianaturewatch.net, maharashtramazza.com, adventurerafting.in, wikimedia.org, hideout.co.in

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