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Places near Pune for weekend

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by GarimaGaur, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. GarimaGaur

    GarimaGaur New Member

    I need to go on a quick break from work, but the downside is I can only go on the weekend so the maximum number of days to be on a break is two days. This also means I can not go too far out from Pune where I live.
    I would like to get some help in finding out what places near Pune I can visit for the weekend.

    I have been to Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar already so any other places apart from these.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!


    The best part about living in Pune is the variety of getaways you have around the city. The city is surrounded by hills, which means you have plenty of options for hill stations, not for more than a few hours away. There are also many nature getaways, where you can enjoy trekking or any other adventure sport specific to the destination. Beaches, heritage sites and wildlife are just some more of the destinations that you have around Pune. You won't need to venture to far out to have that much needed rejuvenation and relaxation too, unlike with other metro cities. Rounding up the best weekend getaways from Pune, we have come up with this list, to help you decide your next weekend destination from the city.

    Places to Visit Near Pune (Weekend Getaways)

    The charm of hill stations never gets old...

    1. Panchgani - Stepping away from Maharashtra's most famous hill station, Mahabaleshwar, we have Panchgani, merely 20 kilometres away from one another. Panchgani is an idyllic hill station, with wonderful views of the mountains, pleasant climates and a very laid-back tourist scene. It is the place to be for long nature walks and for just lazing around, gazing in the views around you. It is also just about two hours away from Pune so you won't need to spend so much time on the road. There are some attractions though that you can cover in your few days in Panchgani. Make your way into Asia's second largest plateau which is the Table Land. You can opt to walk to reach the top of the plateau or ride a horse, either way works and can be enjoyable. There are various view points around the plateau that you can explore too. Quite close to the plateau is Sydney Point, where you can view the Krishna Valley and Dhom Lake from. Of course, you must also visit the lake mentioned, the Dhom Lake, also known as the Dhom Dam Lake. It is about an hour away from Panchgani proper. The beauty of the lake is sometimes compared to the lakes of the Ladakh region, like Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri. It is well-developed though, with boating facilities, restaurants and camping sites around it. Finally, there's the Harrison's Folly too, sometimes referred to as the Mini Table Land. It has great views of the surrounding valleys, villages and lake too.
    • Distance from Pune - 102 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Table Land, Sydney Point, Dhom Lake and Harrison's Folly
    2. Matheran - Matheran is about 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Pune. It is known as one of the smallest hill stations in the country. The government has preserved the delicate ecosystem of the hill station by restricting the entry of automobiles here. As such, you have no choice but to walk from point to point in the hill station. Alternatively, you can hire a pony as well to take you from one point to another. There are red sands all around the hill station, which add to the charm of it even more. You can visit the Charlotte Lake, made from the dam which supplies water to the entire hill station. Though there's not much activities that you can do here, the serene view of the lake with the backdrop of lush greenery is sure to calm your weary spirits. There are also numerous view points around Matheran. One of which is the Louisa Point, where you can have a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys, waterfalls and even of other view points. Then there's the One Tree Hill Point, which is literally a view point where you can spot a lonesome tree set amidst a distant hill. The Panorama Point is another must visit, where you can have a full view of the Sahyadri ranges. And finally, at the end of your trip, make sure you get a glimpse of the sun setting from the Porcupine Point. If you're someone who enjoys walking and just soaking in the beauty around you, Matheran is a great weekend getaway from Pune for that.
    • Distance from Pune - 124 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Charlotte Lake, Louisa Point, One Tree Hill Point, Panorama Point and Porcupine Point
    Matheran (Image from Wishwasdeep)

    For that sun-kissed tan...

    3. Kashid - Kashid is a beach village, close to the town of Alibag in Maharashtra. It is merely five hours away from Pune so can be easily reached from the city. Kashid has three main beaches, all of which are quite serene and clean. Kashid Beach is the main beach, which has white sands and plenty of water sports that you can enjoy. The beach is mildly developed, with some hammocks and eateries along the shoreline. The water sports that you can try here are jet skiing, banana boat riding and even parasailing. Then you can also visit the Revdanda Beach Fort, which combines a bit of heritage and natural beauty in one. The fort, built by the Portuguese, is mainly in ruins but provides one with a glimpse of the bygone era. The beach is largely deserted though, with the same white sands, but lesser developed. It's best to bring your own snacks, picnic blanket and beverages when venturing into this beach fort. And last is the Nandgaon Beach, a more off the beaten track beach in the region. The shores are golden, lined with coconut trees, which provide some shade for the tourists. Again, make sure you bring your own meals and blanket if you intend to visit this beach.
    • Distance from Pune - 190 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kashid Beach, Revdanda Beach Fort and Nandgaon Beach
    Kashid Beach (Image from Ankur P.)

    4. Dapoli - Dapoli is a rare destination in that it combines nature and beaches into one. It is where fruit orchards dominate but interspersed amongst them are numerous beaches too. Visiting Dapoli is being enthralled in a spectacle of greenery and sea, which don't you think is the best way to spend your weekend in? The Murud Beach is the town's most popular beach. It has a long shoreline with very shallow waters that children can enjoy. It is bustling with activity too, with a myriad of water sports like banana boat riding, jet skiing and parasailing. But it is mostly known for its dolphin sighting activity, wherein you can ride a local boat and spot dolphins quite easily. This activity is best undertaken early in the morning for higher chances of spotting the magnificent aquatic specie. A few kilometres away from the town centre is the Ladghar Beach, which has greyish red sands. It is a bit more serene and also offers the same dolphin sighting boat ride like the previous beach. Also worth visiting is the Karde Beach, one of the virgin beaches of Dapoli. Don't worry because there are still a number of resorts close to the beach so you can spend a few nights here for a weekend trip. The sea bed of the beach is very flat so it's perfectly safe for swimming too. Other beaches around Dapoli are the red-pebbled shores of Tamastirth Beach and the black shores of Kolthare Beach. You don't need to reach Goa for a beach getaway from Pune, as the Konkan coastline offers plenty of more tranquil and serene beaches than that.
    • Distance from Pune - 196 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Murud Beach, Ladghar Beach, Karde Beach, Tamastirth Beach and Kolthare Beach
    Be brave, be adventurous...

    5. Kamshet - While most hill stations are advertised as serene getaways, Kamshet proves to be on the other side of the card. Kamshet, just 47 kilometres away from Pune, is an adventurer's paradise. Despite its proximity to the city, the landscapes here are very different. The abundance of sugarcane fields, grazing animals and rural villages would greet you once you enter the town proper. And beyond all these tranquil sceneries, Kamshet gives a person the choice to be brave and to be free. There are a number of paragliding schools in the region. And as many have already said, Kamshet is the perfect location for paragliding for beginners. The vast fields provide for a great practising spot for a novice paraglider. Both Temple Pilots and Indus are government-certified schools that offer beginner and expert courses for paragliding in Kamshet. You can opt for the introductory paragliding course, which lasts for three days, enough for a long weekend trip. You can also try out tandem paragliding, trekking and camping when in Kamshet. A favourite spot for camping is nearby the Uksan Lake in Kamshet.
    • Distance from Pune - 47 Kilometres
    • Must Try Adventure Sports - Paragliding, Tandem Paragliding, Trekking and Camping
    Kamshet Paragliding (Image from Adventure Nation)

    6. Kolad - If you are tired of the usual sightseeing and craving for some real adventure, head on to the tiny town of Kolad, just under three hours away from Pune. Despite being a sleepy town, Kolad is regarded as one of the best white water rafting destinations in India. Further, white water rafting here isn't dependent on the monsoon season at all. This is because the usual white water rafting spot here, the Kundalika River, is fed by the Rawalge Dam each morning, every day. This makes the rapids of the river quite strong and enjoyable for white water rafters. It's best to reach the river from 7:00 to 10:00 in the morning to take advantage of these rapids. The rapids here range from Grade 2 to Grade 3. There are also changing rooms at the end of your rafting session so you can change into dry clothes as it's inevitable that you'd get drenched in the water of the river during your time here. You can also try out boating, canoeing and kayaking in the river if you're not into the thrilling adventure of rafting. Some resorts around Kolad also offer more adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, zip lining and many more. There are also some trekking trails around Kolad that one can indulge in, like the Tala Fort, Ghosalgad Fort and Talgad Fort. Nature lovers can venture further into the Kuda Caves or even the Tamhini Ghats.
    • Distance from Pune - 145 Kilometres
    • Must Try Adventure Sports - Rafting, Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Zip Lining, Trekking and Nature Trailing
    A glimpse of the past...

    7. Panvel - About 10 kilometres away from Panvel is the historic Karnala Fort. Although it is mostly in ruins now, this was once a strategic fort that was conquered by different rulers. It was built around the 14th century by the Yadavas and was thereafter conquered by the Gujarat sultanates, Portuguese, Marathas and Mughals. The fort was an important strategic defence because it overlooks the Bhor Pass, which was once the trading route between the Konkan and Vidarbhan areas of Maharasthra. The trek to reach the fort is mild to moderate, averaging an hour of trailing to reach the fort proper. Because the fort is located within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, wildlife and greenery is abundant amidst your trek. The trek takes you through cemented paths, rocky paths, water streams and jungles. There's also a Goddess Bhavani Temple at the third hillock of the trek that you can visit. Though the fort is mostly in a dilapidated condition, you get to have a glimpse of the rich past of the region. Plus, the views of the valleys below and surrounding mountains are stunning from the top. After a tiring trek to and from the fort, venture into the Gadeshwar Dam and enjoy some tranquil time before reaching back home to Pune.
    • Distance from Pune - 115 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Karnala Fort and Gadeshwar Dam
    8. Kolhapur - About five hours away from Pune is the historical capital of Maharashtra, the city of Kolhapur. The city is an ancient as it finds mention on the scared Devi Gita. Before the colonial rule, the city was ruled by the Shilahara dynasty and was ruled by the Marathas thereafter. A prime heritage site here is the Panhala Fort, an ancient fort built by Shilahara Raja Bhoj II during the 11th to 12th centuries. This fort was the location of many fights between the Marathas, Mughals and also the British empire. It is a vast fortification yet doesn't get as much attention unlike the forts of Rajasthan. Did you know that this fort once housed Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja as well? Though the fort houses a few locals now, making it almost a living fort, remnants of the past can still be seen, from the huge grain warehouse called the Ambarkhana, even to the underground water storage called the Andhar Bavadi. There's also the Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum, which was once the residence of the royals of Kolhapur, has been converted into a museum now. The descendants of the royal family still live here, but the ground floor has been converted into the museum proper. Here, you can spot artefacts from the time of Shahuji Maharaja, like weaponries, stuffed animals, furniture and many more. You can also visit the Khasbag Maidan, where ancient wrestling matches were held back during the pre-colonial era. There are many more attractions around Kolhapur, even religious sites, that one can explore within a weekend.
    • Distance from Pune - 234 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Panhala Fort, Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum and Khasbag Maidan
    Panhala Fort in Kolhapur (Image from Ankur P.)

    Where nature and wildlife are bountiful...

    9. Satara - A nature getaway under three hours away from Pune, why not? Satara is not really a popular tourist destination in the state of Maharashtra, despite its proximity to Mahabaleshwar. Perhaps it stays hidden under the shadow of the popular hill station. Satara though is blessed with natural beauty, starting with the Kaas Plateau, a vast flat land filled with blooming flowers, especially just during the monsoon season from July to October. This is Maharashtra's very own Valley of Flowers but more approachable as it doesn't require treacherous trekking. You can also visit the Kaas Lake, just on the other side of the plateau, about two kilometres away. You can reach it by walking or even by vehicle although the former lets you pass through the beautiful coloured flower hues of the plateau. About 20 kilometres away from Satara is the Thoseghar Waterfalls, yet another scenic and beautiful natural attraction. En route to the waterfalls, you'd be passing by the Chalkewadi Windmill Farms, which are various windmills interspersed amongst a huge expanse of land. There are also colourful flowers around the windmills that add to the beauty of the place. And finally, venture into one of India's largest freshwater lakes, the Shivaji Sagar Lake. The lake is spread over 90 kilometres, with views of the Sahyadri ranges all around. There are also boating facilities here that one can make use of.
    • Distance from Pune - 113 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kaas Plateau, Kaas Lake, Thoseghar Waterfalls, Chalkewadi Windmill Farms and Shivaji Sagar Lake
    Kaas Plateau in Satara (Image from Sebastian Joseph)

    10. Bhimashankar - Last on the list is Bhimashankar, where you would find a few attractions, like the Bhimashankar Temple and the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Both attractions are within close distance within one another. To reach the Bhimashankar Temple, devotees have to go through the lush jungles of the sanctuary. The temple is about a kilometre of walking from the main town. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary requires a trek of about an hour for just the one-way side. The wildlife sanctuary is home to the endangered Indian giant squirrel, also known as the shekaroo. Once you hear the clicking sound of the squirrel, make sure you look into the higher branches of trees to spot them. The sanctuary is also home to a large number of bird species. You can also trek to reach the Kondhawal Waterfalls, about five kilometres away of trekking from Bhimashankar proper. The waterfalls, unknown to many tourists, remain pristine and strong, even outside of the monsoon season. Spirituality and nature are sometimes great together, and if you think so as well, head on over to Bhimashankar for a thrilling but meaningful getaway from Pune.
    • Distance from Pune - 120 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bhimashankar Temple, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kondhawal Waterfalls

    All these destinations from Pune are under 250 kilometres away. We all know that weekends are meant to be spent for relaxing and enjoying, not for driving to one destination just to leave again the next day. With these destinations, you can spend a whole leisurely day without worrying about your drive back home to Pune. Enjoy and have fun!