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hill stations

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Matheran

Matheran

Distance from Mumbai: 42.5 km
Famous For: Scenic Beauty and toy train rides
Located amid the Sahyadri Range of the Western Ghats, Matheran is a tiny hill station of Maharashtra. Matheran, in local language means ?overhead forest?, is surrounded by picturesque beauty of nature. Ideal for a day or weekend trip, the charming weather of the region is truly stunning. The area surrounding Matheran was declared as an eco-sensitive zone, forbidding the entry of automobile vehicles in the region. The salubrious weather due to the absence of pollution makes Matheran a favorite destination of the locals. To observe the beauty of Matheran, one should head towards one of the 36 viewing points located within this small town. Among them, Panorama Point, Alexander Louisa Point, and Porcupine Point attract most of the tourists. Some of the secluded viewpoints offering a great view of the neighboring hills are Little Chowk Point and Monkey Point. The view of the sunset from the Panorama Point is simply divine. Many tourists come to Charlotte Lake for picnic and boating activities. Loved by both kids and adults alike, the toy train ride is one of the most preferred activities by visitors to Matheran.

Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Mumbai: 263.5 km
Famous For: Nature Walks and Strawberries
Mahabaleshwar is a small hill station well-known for its scenic beauty and strawberries. Famous for its natural beauty and pleasant climate, this hill station is a popular honeymoon destination among locals. Situated on a plateau surrounding valleys of the Western Ghat, the parts of Mahabaleshwar are covered with evergreen forests, making it a home to diverse flora and fauna. Apart from that, the surrounding hills of Mahabaleshwar are a source of several rivers including the mighty Krishna, India?s third largest river. On the trip to this scenic hill station, visitors can go for boating at Venna Lake, or explore the beauty of the Lingamala Forts. For people looking for adventure, a hike to the Pratapgad Fort is a must. From the fort, one can witness the stunning beauty and greenery of the region. Visitors interested in nature photography should head towards the Lodwick Point or Connaught Peak to capture some mesmerizing shots of the sunset. Once the summer capital of Mumbai Presidency, Mahabaleshwar is an ideal destination to relax and rejuvenate the tired soul over the weekend.

Lonavala

Lonavala

Distance from Mumbai: 83.1 km
Famous For: Buddhist caves and Chikki (a hard candy made from nuts and jaggery)
Situated on the beautiful Sahyadri Range of the Western Ghats, the twin hill station Lonavala and Khandala is a prime weekend destination for Mumbaikars. Due to its proximity to the city and its scenic beauty, visitors from Mumbai frequently hit the place for a quick sojourn. The name Lonavala is derived from the Pali language, meaning stone carved resting place probably named after the numerous Buddhist caves. Surrounded by the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan coast on the opposite side, this place brings out the best of nature. Some of the popular destinations in Lonavala- Khandala hill station are Karla Caves, Bedsa caves and Bhaja Caves. The Bhaja and Bedsa Caves are rock-cut structures, built during the Hinayana Buddhism era. According to historical data, these caves were used as a center for prayer and theological studies. Besides the Buddhist structures, the visitors can head over to forts of Lohagd and Visapur for exploring the beauty of nature. Lonavala also referred to as ?Jewel of the Sahyadri?, is also very popular for its hard nut candies called ?Chikki?. Made from nuts and jaggery, many tourists can be seen savoring these hard candies during moist monsoon days.

Panchgani

Panchgani

Panchgani Distance from Mumbai: 244.3 km
Famous For: Panoramic view of the Western Ghats and flavorful fruit jams
Blessed with beautiful weather throughout the year, Panchgani is a popular tourist destination for Mumbai locals. Surrounded by five rolling hillocks, Panchagani is well-known for its natural beauty and convalescence capabilities. During the colonial period, many British settlers came here to settle permanently after their retirement. Because of that, the area is filled with well-preserved colonial style buildings, which enhance the beauty of the hill station. Panchagani offers some of the most stunning views of the Western Ghat and Sayadri Range making it ideal for trekking or hiking enthusiasts. Hiking through hills and forest valleys of the small town can be a rewarding experience for nature and photography lovers. The sunset view from the view points of Panchgani must be experienced by every tourist. Besides that, exploring the Dhom Dam Lake near the hill station could be a pleasurable experience. The town hosts, Strawberry Festival every year during summer and is frequently visited by lovers of the delightful fruit. For a quiet and relaxing weekend trip, Panchgani is an ideal destination.

Amboli

Amboli

Distance from Mumbai: 489.2 km
Famous For: Ancient temples and scenic beauty
One of the scenic locations in Sahyadri Range, Amboli is a popular tourist hotspot of Maharashtra. Surrounded by diverse flora and fauna, the beauty of Amboli cannot be described in words. Suitable for a weekend gateway, this beautiful hill station is famous for its trekking paths. Especially, the trek to the Madhavgad Fort offers tourists a breathtaking view of the nearby area. Home to some of the beautiful birds, the hill station attracts bird watchers from all over the nation. Apart from trekking and bird watching, visitors can head over to the Nangarta Falls and Amboli Falls for picnic or trekking expeditions. Amboli is also famous for an ancient Shiva temple, Hiranyakeshwar, which is located near the source of the Hiranyakeshi River. During the monsoons, the entire region is transformed into a green oasis. Most of the tourists come to Amboli to enjoy the heavy rainfall and the serene weather of the region. Amboli is well-known for its Malvani food, a spicy mix of the Konkani and Goan cuisine. Visitors should try the refreshing Kokum Juice and Konkani style fish, a specialty of the region.

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