Diwali brings the change of seasons. The sweltering summers give way to more pleasant autumns. This is a good time to head out of the city for a while and enjoy some of the high altitude destinations in the Western Ghats. All curious travellers need to do is book a self-drive car and head off into the highways. Here are some of Maharashtra’s most recommended autumn destinations.
A very picturesque 80 km drive away is Matheran, considered one of India’s oldest hill stations. One of the most unique aspects of this destination is that cars can only go to a certain point near the town and entire town is pedestrian-only.
Matheran is a very idyllic town with a small commercial area where one can relax over snacks and explore local restaurants. There are many good hiking routes around and Matheran is famous for its viewpoints. Some of the best views of the surrounding valleys can be enjoyed from Louisa Point and Alexander Point. From the Louisa Point, one can see the Prabal Fort.
Walking around Matheran, visitors can also see some of the well-preserved colonial structures of the town – a slice of Victorian architecture tucked in the midst of the tropical Western Ghats.
Khandala and Lonavla
The twin hill stations of Khandala and Lonavla are arguably the most famous in Maharashtra. Apart from the mesmerizing lakes and the delicious peanut candies, the region is also a hub for nature activities like hiking and camping.
The tiered cascades of the Kune Falls are a beautiful sight to see, set amidst emerald forest while Lonavla Lake provides a serene setting for a romantic evening. Bushi Dam is a popular picnic spot while holiday-makers can go visit the ever-popular Della Adventure Park which has many water rides and bungee jumping facilities. Bhor Ghat and Rajmachi Point are two more sites worth a visit.
The drive to Khandala and Lonavla via the Pune Highway does not take more than two hours so this can be a nice day trip with an early start.
Located 270 kms from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is famous for its elevated points from where visitors can catch amazing panoramic views. The most famous is the iconic Elephant’s Head. The Lingmala waterfalls are one of the natural sites which cannot be missed while Venna Lake is a good place to spend a lazy afternoon. Boating facilities and horse riding are some of the activities in and around this tranquil part of Mahabaleshwar.
The best way to enjoy these trips to the hills is on one’s own terms in a self drive rental. For those looking for a car rental Mumbai has the best options. App-based platform Zoomcar offers a wide range of vehicles from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs perfect for large groups. 24/7 on-road support is another assurance that is good for long trips especially.
The forts, the lakes, the mountain tops and the old colonial towns are an integral part of Maharashtra’s vibrant history. Get behind the wheel and discover these treasures of Western India.