The monsoon season is a great time for short weekend getaway out of Mumbai. The rains provide for a lush green and cool escape from the city. If you’re traveling with a family, a trip to Lonavla and Khandala or Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani makes for a delightful short vacation.
I will suggest an itinerary that will be light and easy for you to travel with a three-year-old. In this itinerary, I will break down which places to see in each of these locations, and how to plan out your entire weekend. Ryewood Park is a great place to relax with your family in Lonavla. If you’re up for just a little bit of activity, you can trek to the Karla and Bheja Caves, both stunning sights for a little bit of photography. Just a few kilometers away from the caves lies the Kinara Dhaba Village, creating a traditional atmosphere, complete with camel rides and live ghazal performances, a great way to end the evening.
Your second day in Lonavla can be spent in one of the highest point called Khandala’s Shooting Point. There are a few more scenic points such as Duke’s Nose if you want to get more adventurous. But on the way back to Lonavla, your family would really enjoy a pit stop at Sunil’s Wax Museum, a localized rendition of global wax museums. More for the amusement rather the craft, these wax models are exact replicas of celebrities and national personas and make for great photo opportunities.
I will not arrange booking hotels or transport, but can suggest which resorts and cab services are best in this area.
Located at a height of 1,372 metres, the Mahabaleshwar hill station, about 300 kms away from Mumbai, is absolutely stunning during the monsoons. Originally established as an imprisonment centre, Mahabaleshwar housed Chinese and Malay convicts to cultivate strawberries, potatoes, and weave bamboo baskets. One of the marvelous sights to pass by as you’re driving into the hill station is the field of strawberries. It’s a great way to begin this trip. Other sightseeing points include the Arthur’s Seat, Mahabaleshwar Temple, and the Venna Lake. The Venna Lake is a great way to relax and stay cool in the evening with a boat ride.
For the next day, you can take a trip down to Tapola, a satellite village about 25 km away from Mahabaleshwar, and far less crowded. Spending time there in the local village for half the day is enough to forget about civilization, and is for those wanting an off-beat flavor to a getaway.
For this itinerary, I will not be arranging bookings for hotels or transport, but can suggest hotels and cab services that are reliable and reasonable.
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