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Places near Pune to visit in summer

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by Monalisa, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Monalisa

    Monalisa New Member

    I have recently shifted to Pune, and it is time for me to take a short holiday. The weather is still hot, and I would like to go to some cool and quiet place.

    I would like some suggestions for places near Pune to visit in the summer. I am not much of activities, but it can be considered depending on what is available to do.
    I would also be doing some sightseeing and a lot of walking, so greenery is a must.

    I would ask more questions after getting some suggestions about the places to visit near Pune.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Monalisa! Welcome to the forum!

    There are a lot of summer getaways from Pune since it's located between the Western Ghats and the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges. In your case, since you're looking for some relief from the heat, then consider these hill stations near Pune. They're at a higher altitude so they have a more pleasant climate than the low lying regions. They are also filled with greenery and has an abundance of wildlife.

    Cooler Regions Near Pune to Visit in the Summer

    1. Mahabaleshwar - This is about 120 kms from Pune and can take around 3 to 4 hours to reach. Mahabaleshwar is a city and a municipal council in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It is about 1,353 metres above sea level. The city is bounded by valleys along its sides. It is also the source of the Krishna River. Here are some of the best attractions in Mahabaleshwar:

    • Dholya Ganapati - This was built in 1762 by Ganpatrao Bhikaji Raste. It is also known as the Maha Ganpati Temple and is located on the banks of the Krishna River. There's a tall statue of Lord Ganesha here, about 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, hence the name Dholya was given to the temple. The temple also has a unique fish shape to protect it from floods from the Krishna River.
    • Mahabaleshwar Temple - This is also known as the Krishnabai Temple, the source of the Krishna River. It is located in Old Mahabaleshwar, a few metres away from the Panchganga Mandir. The temple is in ruins now but the overgrowth of moss in the walls add to the natural beauty of it. The temple is best visited during the monsoon season though as it can be dry during the summer season.
    • Panchganga Mandir - This is where the five rivers (Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri) meet and join. As the name suggests, Panch means five and Ganga means river. The temple was built by Raja Singhandeo, king of the Yadav of Devgiri in the 13th century. However, during the 16th century, the temple was renovated by Maratha Emperor Shivaji.
    • Shankar Temple - This temple is also known as Trigunatmak, signifying the trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha. It is also known for the self-appearing mahalinga of Lord Shiva. This mahalinga is in the form of a rudraksha. The temple also has relations to Shivaji and his mother, Jijabai.
    • Kalubai Temple - This is also known as Kaleshwari Devi. To reach the temple, which is located on top of a hill, you need to climb about 7o steps of a steep staircase. It is not known when the temple was built but some believe that it was built during the Maratha Shivaji's rule. The temple is best visited during the Kalubai Jatra pilgrimage, which occurs in January for over a period of ten days. The Goddess Kaleshwari is offered puran poli and curd rice during this festival.
    Scenic Points
    • Baghdad Point - This point is accessible only by foot from Satara Road. The Baghdad Point offers stunning views of both the city of Mahabaleshwar and the Koyna Dam. Locals and tourists alike go to this point and enjoy a picnic along with the views.
    • Elephant's Head Point - The name was derived from the overhanging cliffs that resemble an elephant and its trunk. The Sahyadri Mountain Range can be viewed from this point. For tourists who don't like the idea of walking to reach the point, you can ride a pony at the base which will take you to the peak.
    • Arthur's Seat - This peak was named after Arthur Mallet, who first discovered the point and had built his home here. He used to gaze here to view the Savitri River, where he had lost his wife and children in an unfortunate ferry tragedy. This point is compared to the Grand Canyon due to its resemblance with the arrangement of the rocks here.
    • Elphinstone Point - This point was discovered by Dr. Murray in the year 1830. The name was derived from Mount Stuart Elphinstone, who was the former Governor of Bombay Presidency. Both rivers Koyna and Savitri are visible from this point. There's also an old mansion here but it's in ruins now.
    • Lodwick Point - This is also known as Sydney Point. It was General Lodwick who first climbed the point in 1824, hence the name. The Pratapgad Fort can be viewed from this point. At the base of the point, there's a statue of General Lodwick and at its peak, there's a memorial pole about 25 feet high commemorating the governor's discovery of the point.
    • Sunset Point - As the name suggests, this point is best visited for viewing the sunset in Mahabaleshwar. It's a little more crowded than the other points. There are also ponies that can take you from the base to the peak.
    • Wilson Point - This is also known as Sunrise Point. This was named after Sir Leslie Wilson, Governor of Bombay under the British rule between 1923 to 1926. It is also the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1,439 metres above sea level.
    Bodies of Water
    • Venna Lake - This lake was constructed by Shreemunt Maharaj Shajee Raja Chuttraputtee of Satara in the year 1842. It's one of the most popular attractions in Mahabaleshwar. You can enjoy boating and horse riding here. There are also some eateries within the lake. The city market of Mahabaleshwar is also just two kms away from the lake.
    • Chinaman's Falls - The falls got its name from the Chinese who took care of the gardens near the falls. You can find the falls in the South of the Koyana Valley. It is best visited during the monsoon season when the rains feed the falls and the water pressure is stronger.
    • Kamalgad Fort - This is also known as Bhelanja or Kattalgad (Death Fort). Kamalgad literally means Lotus Fort. The builder of the fort is unknown but during the British rule, the fort was used to execute prisoners of war. The fort covers 3 to 4 acres of land and is surrounded by steep rocks. There are no structures nor walls in the fort, which is very unusual. The only structure remaining here is of a hole, which is the remains of a well.
    • Pratapgad Fort - This is also known as Valour Fort. It was built by Maratha King Shivaji and was completed in 1656. In 1659, Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan occurred here. The fort is divided into an upper and lower section. The upper fort has several buildings including the Mahadev Temple. It is at the Northwest of the fort and is surrounded by cliffs. The lower fort is in the Southeast and is well protected by bastions and towers.
    2. Matheran - This is about 125 kms from Pune. This is a hill station and municipal council in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is known as the smallest hill station in the country. It is also Asia's only automobile free hill station. It has been declared as an eco-sensitive region by the Union Environment Ministry. Here are some of the best attractions in Matheran:

    • Ambarnath Temple - This is also known as the Ambreshwar Shiva Temple. It is believed that it was King Chhittaraja who built the temple in 1060 AD. His son, Mummuni, renovated the temple later. The temple is located on the bank of Vadavan River. Some devotees believe that the temple was built by the five Pandava brothers in one night although there are no official records to support this story. The temple gets crowded during the festivals of Mahashivaratri and Shraavana.
    • Pisharnath Temple - This is the oldest temple in Matheran, dedicated to Devi Pisharnath, which is also the village deity. The lingam here is swayambhu and covered with sindoor. It is located very near the Charlotte Lake.
    Scenic Points
    • Echo Point - As the name suggests, one's screams and yells can be heard back from this point. The stunning views of the valleys below and the Morbe Dam are other reasons to visit this peak. There are also lines of food stalls within the point which is another great feature of it. The fogs and mists add to the allure of the peak.
    • Louisa Point - This point offers a deeper view of the ravines of Matheran. During the monsoon season, the waterfalls around and below the hills can be seen from the point as well. Some trekkers trek this point together with Honeymoon Point.
    • One Tree Hill Point - As the name suggests, there is only one tree here which has been around for years already. The trek to reach the point is also densely forested. There are also horses that you can ride to reach the point if you're not up for the trekking.
    • Panorama Point - This is about six kms from the Matheran Post Office. From the point, you can view the Western Ghats and valleys below. You can also see Prabal Fort, Hart Point and Monkey Point from the peak.
    • Alexander Point - This is one of the most popular points in Matheran. There's a new facility here which is zip lining from Alexander Point to Rambagh Point. The village of Boorgaon and the Bhivpuri Power House can also be viewed from this point.
    • Rambagh Point - This can be accessed through zip lining from Alexander Point. This point offers views of Karjat and Khandala. It's also a great destination for viewing the sunset.
    • Hart Point - This point provides scenic views of the low lying plains and villages. You can also view the Western Ghats and the urban city of Mumbai from here. Its name was derived from the shape of the point which resembles a heart.
    • Honeymoon Point - From this point, you can view the stunning mountains of Matheran. The Prabal Fort and surrounding villages are also seen from here. Its name's derivation is not known but can be because it's more secluded than the other points in Matheran which makes it suitable for couples. Unlike the other points, this one doesn't have as much crowds so you can visit it for some isolation and privacy.
    Body of Water
    • Charlotte Lake - This is just one km away from the town of Matheran. During the monsoon season, the lake is fed by the rains and looks more beautiful. The lake is also the main water source for the people of Matheran. It is also a haven for bird watchers as the lake has many species of resident and migratory birds.
    3. Lonavala - This is just 65 kms from Pune so within an hour or two of driving away. This is a town and hill station in the Pune district of Maharashtra. This hill station is known for its production of chikki, which is a hard candy made from ground nuts and jaggery.

    Bodies of Water
    • Lonavala Lake - This lake was constructed in the year 1876. The Inrayani River is the source of water of the Lonavala Lake. Its other name is the Monsoon Lake, since it is filled with water during this time. The lake dries up during summer and winter season.
    • Bushi Dam - This dam was built in the 1860's for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. It used to be the source of water for the steam engines of their trains. This dam is now owned by the Indian Railways, specifically the Central Railway Zone. You can only visit the dam from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm due to drownings that occurred within it.
    • Tungarli Dam - This was built around the 1930's during the British rule. It was built around the Tungarli Lake. The dam helps in irrigating the entire town of Rajmachi. Camping is also permitted here.
    • Tungarli Lake - This lake is filled with water all-year round, so you can visit this even during summer season. It's a great place for just relaxing and having a picnic. There are some trails within the lake for the adventure seekers.
    • Valvan Dam - This is also known as Walwan Dam. It was built across the Kundali River and this is where the Khopali Power Station derives power from. There's a beautiful garden beside the dam that you can enjoy a picnic in. Crowds gather mostly during the evening to enjoy the scenic view of the dam.
    Scenic Point
    • Tiger's Leap - The name of the peak was derived from the appearance of the cliff, it's as if a tiger is leaping from it. Locally, the peak is known as Waghdari. The cliff is about 650 metres above sea level and provides a panoramic view of the valley below.
    • Rajmachi Fort - This has mainly two forts: Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort. There are two ways that you can reach the fort: one is through a difficult trek from Kondivade Village and the other is through an easier trek from Lonavala. The fort was built to control the Borghats and it also played a role in the first Anglo-Maratha War.
    • Lohagad Fort - This fort is about 1,033 metres above sea level. It was mostly under the rule of the Maratha Empire for many years. Several other dynasties conquered it as well like the Mughals, Nizams, Bahamanis and Yadavas. During the rule of the Peshwas, Nana Phadnavis built several structures inside the fort, which were a tank and a step well.
    • Korigad Fort - This fort is about 923 metres above sea level and was built during the 1500's. There's a temple dedicated to the Goddess Koraidevi and other temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Most of the walls of the fort are still intact and even its gateway is still intact. There are also six large cannons inside the fort, near the Koraidevi Temple.
    • Visapur Fort - This fort is about 1,084 metres above sea level and is on the same plateau as the Lohagad Fort. It was built during the years 1713 to 1720 CE by Balakai Vishwanath. By 1818 AD, the British has conquered the Visagad Fort and the entire village. Most of the inner structures of the fort are in ruins now but the walls are still intact. There are also ruins inside the fort of wells, caves, old houses and decorated arch.
    4. Malshej Ghat - This is about 140 kms from Pune. This is about 700 metres above sea level. It is located in the Pune district, between the borders of Thane and Ahmednagar districts. It is well-known for its trekking and trailing routes. Here are some of the best attractions in Malshej Ghat:

    • Ajoba Hill Fort - This is located in the Shahapur Taluka at the base village of Dehene. It is considered as sacred by the locals as they believe that this is the place where goddess Sita stayed in an ashram during her exile and separation from Lord Rama. This ashram is the Valmiki Ashram, where Sita stayed with her two sons, Luv and Khush. Ajoba means grandfather, which is what Luv and Khush used to call Saint Valmiki. You can reach the Ajoba Hill Fort either from the Eastern or Western side. There's also a stream along the way where you can replenish your water supply.
    • Harishchandragad Fort - This is an ancient fort which has found mentions in various Puranas, namely: Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana. It is believed that the fort was built in the 6th century by the Kalahari dynasty. The caves in the fort are believed to have been built in the 11th century. Some of the structures inside the fort are a man-made lake named Saptatirtha, a cave named Kedareshwar Cave, the Konkan Cliff, Harishchandreshwar Temple and Nageshwar Temple.
    Bodies of Water
    • Pimpalgaon Joge Dam - This is an earth fill dam in the Ar River. Its gross storage capacity is about 235,520 cube kms. It is located in the Ghod Basin and is a part of the Kukadi project. It provides water to the towns of Otur, Junnar, Narayangaon, Aale Phata and Parner. These towns are major grape harvesting areas.
    • Malshej Falls - Malshej Ghat has numerous waterfalls. During the monsoon season, these falls even fall down to the roads in Malshej Ghat. These are called waterfall canopies which occupy the roads in the region.
    There you go. I hope this helps!