20 Places You Should Visit In Maharashtra Before You Visit Their Replicas In India

By Rutuja Bhagwat - August 18, 2018

One thing that has delighted me over the years is the increasing amount of people who are venturing out of their comfort zones and travelling. I've seen a majority of the young working population who are taking more interest in travelling these days. Though today everyone has a picture to post with a #Wanderlust hashtag, it is not always possible to take a 10-day leave to visit the backwaters of Kerala or have Rs 50,000 to sunbathe on the beaches of Andaman. We all have our dream bucket list and not being able to step out makes you really weepy.

With this post, all you need is a long vacation and you can visit the beautiful Valley of Flowers and stay in a lavish houseboat within just 300 km from your home in Mumbai! Is that even possible? What if I say it is?


1. KAAS PLATEAU ⇋ VALLEY OF FLOWERS, UTTARAKHAND

Picture Courtesy: (L) Reddit (R) Ganesh H. Shankar
Mumbai to Kaas Plateau distance: 267 km
Mumbai to Valley of Flowers distance: 1,914 km

If you want to lay on a bed of flowers and get those flawless dreamy shots, then instead of trekking all the way to Uttarakhand's Valley of Flowers, drive down till Satara to witness a replica in Maharashtra, which goes by the name Kaas Pathar. Also known as Kas Plateau or Plateau of Flowers, the best time to visit this dreamland is immediately after heavy showers, i.e., between August to September. The plateau was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 and has drawn in more visitors ever since. Contact the Kaas committee before heading out to know the status of the blossom and duly book your slots. The entry fee per person is Rs. 100. For more information, visit the official Kaas plateau website.

⇒ Things to do around Kaas Plateau: Kaas lake, Vajrai waterfall, Bhairavnath Boat Club, Sajjangad, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Vasota fort

⇒ How to Reach Kaas Plateau: Kaas is easily accessible by road. Via train, get into a Koyna, Sahyadri or Mahalaxmi Express from Mumbai CSMT, descend at Satara station, and take a bus to Bamnoli


2. DEVKUND WATERFALLS  KRANG SURI FALLS, MEGHALAYA

Picture Courtesy: (L) Picssr.com (R) Gautam Khetwal
Mumbai to Devkund Waterfalls distance: 131 km
Mumbai to Krang Suri Falls distance: 3,000 km


The Devkund waterfall is gradually getting lauded because of its proximity to Mumbai and the mesmerising emerald waters much like its counterpart Krang Suri in Meghalaya. Maharashtra witnesses one of the highest rainfalls in India, while giving birth to a number of known and unknown waterfalls. In order to reach this piece of solitary paradise, drive down till Bhira and get in touch with the locals. They shall help you park your vehicles, provide the necessary guidance to reach the falls, and arrange food for you. Devkund experiences a heavy downpour in the month of July so one should be careful here. The climb between Bhira village and Devkund waterfall is about 2 hours, therefore, it is advised to start it in the morning/afternoon. The trail turns risky in the dark so one must reach the falls in the daylight to avoid any slip. A light backpack and sports shoes are advised while climbing to reach the falls.

⇒  Things to do around Devkund Waterfalls: A dip in the Kundalika river, camping near Bhira village by the riverside, river rafting at Kolad, camping/dip at Mulshi dam, dense waterfalls at Tamhini ghat

⇒  How to Reach Devkund Waterfalls: Via road, reach Bhira village and then ask the locals to guide you up to the falls. Via train, take a train to Khopoli. From Khopoli station, get on a bus for Pali and then another bus to Bhira


3. NASIK GHAT  VARANASI GHAT, UTTAR PRADESH

Picture Courtesy: (L) Wikipedia (R) MouthShut.com
Mumbai to Ramkund Ghat distance: 168 km
Mumbai to Varanasi Ghats distance: 1,531 km


Varanasi is rightfully one of the Sapta Puris, i.e., one of the seven holy pilgrimages in India. They say you must visit Varanasi at least once. If not this year, then maybe you can try it in the next. However, if Benaras seems too far, you can try visiting the beautiful ghat of Nashik. Known as Ramkund Ghat, it lies in the northern part of Nashik known as Panchavati. It is believed that Lord Rama along with Sita and Lord Laxmana had stayed at Panchavati and that Lord Rama had taken a bath in these holy waters. Hindus perform asthi visarjan in this kunda. Near to the Ramkund, there is a Gandhi Talav where you can find a big marble statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The place has many adjacent temples like Kalaram (which was built by the Peshwas), Naroshankar, and Sundarnarayan. You can even find historical places like Sita Guha, the place from where Ravan abducts Sita, and Tapovan, the forest where the holy trio stayed. Read more about it on the fascinating website.

Things to do around Nashik Ghat: Tapovan, Kalaram temple, Gandhi memorial, Naroshankar temple, Sita Guha, Sundarnarayan temple, Ajneri hill, Saptashrungi, Pandavleni Caves, Sula Vineyards, Someshwar waterfall, Gangapur Dam

⇒ How to reach Nashik Ghat: Via train or bus, reach Nashik city and then take public transport to reach the ghat


4. SCUBA DIVING NEAR TARKARLI BEACH  ANDAMAN ISLAND

Picture Courtesy: (L) Experience Andamans (R) Tarkarli.co.in
Mumbai to Tarkarli Beach distance: 495 km
Mumbai to Andaman flight distance: 2,270 km


How many of us have dreamt of undersea swimming but neither have many holidays nor that kind of money to fly all the way to Andaman? If you're stuck in such a situation then plan a trip to Tarkarli, Konkan. On its pristine beaches, you don't simply have water sports like jet ski, speed boat, water scooter, banana boat ride and bumpy ride but even para-sailing and scuba diving. If you're a beach bum, hit the beaches of Konkan that are not too far from Mumbai. Contact Morya Water Sports on +919404498520 or read up the Tarkarli website for more information.

⇒  Things to do around Tarkarli beach: Snorkelling and scuba diving, stay on a houseboat at Karli backwaters, exploring Devbagh beach and Tsunami Island, getting awed by Sindhudurg fort, Rock Garden, Nivati beach (looks stunningly blue), Kolamb beach

⇒  How to reach Tarkarli beach: Via train, sit at Mumbai CSMT railway station and get down at Kudal or Sindhudurg railway stations which are closest to Tarkarli. Via road, you can get state transport buses from Mumbai Central, Borivali, and Parel depots that take you directly to Tarkarli bus depot


5. KONKAN BEACHES  GOAN BEACHES

Picture Courtesy: (L) Devasthalihotels.com (R) Thrillophilia
Mumbai to Anjarle Beach distance: 223 km
Mumbai to Goa distance: 587 km


It's questionable why people travel all the way to Goa for beaches when the state has its own virgin beaches along its coastline. Apart from cheap beer, the beaches in both the states are equally good. Konkan coast has many untouched wonderlands like Nivati, Anjarle, Velas, Vengurla, Taramumbari to name a few, as well as the popular beaches like Tarkarli, Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar, Ganpatipule, Diveagar, and Alibaug. Konkan is spread across many kilometres and even if you think of visiting all the beaches in one long weekend, you would not be able to. Plus, Konkan comes with its own delights like authentic Konkani fish thaalis, fresh mango pulp (aamras) in summer, refreshing solkadhi, jackfruits (phanasache gare), and delicious dishes cooked in Malvani masala. Konkan is an ideal destination to have fun with friends and family as the cottages are situated amidst greenery and tall coconut trees.

⇒ Things to do around Konkan: Devgad for cheap mangoes, Murud Janjira fort, Harihareshwar temple, Konkani food, Sindhudurg fort, Vijaydurg fort, Ganpati pule temple, Pali temple

⇒  How to reach Konkan: You have trains that take you from Mumbai to major Konkan train stations starting from Chiplun, Ratnagiri to Kudal and Sawantwadi.


6. RIVER RAFTING IN KOLAD  RISHIKESH, UTTARAKHAND

Picture Courtesy: (L) The Better India (R) Highape.com
Mumbai to Kolad distance: 117 km
Mumbai to Rishikesh distance: 1,644 km


Experience thrill in the Kundalika river at Maharashtra's unruffled Kolad village by riding a series of crazy rapids. River rafting in Kolad has gained popularity over the years and has gradually started to compete with the one in Rishikesh. There are a number of operators who carry out rafting activities in the village. You need zero previous experience of rafting and though it seems deadly, any person with an adrenaline rush or looking forward to an adventure can try this activity. The package usually consists of half a day of rafting including occasional jumps in the water and about an hour of free swimming in the river. The gear is provided by the operators. 
TPCG tip: Wear a water-friendly outfit including open footwear. The best period to proceed for river rafting is in the month of July where the rainfall is massive; just hope the rafting activities are not shut due to heavy rainfall. Contact Mercury Himalayan Explorations for booking.

⇒ Things to do around Kolad: Camping at Bhira village, dip in the Devkund waterfalls, camp/dip at Mulshi dam, dense waterfalls at Tamhini Ghat

⇒  How to reach Kolad: One can drive down till Kolad by road or get in a Rajya Rani Express at Dadar central and get down at Roha station.


7. PAGODA AT GORAI, MUMBAI  STUPA IN LADAKH

Picture Courtesy: (L) Path Is My Goal (R) TripAdvisor
Mumbai to Global Vipassana distance: 30 km
Mumbai to Shanti Stupa, Leh distance: 2,444 km


The most beautiful quality about Indians is that every person, irrespective of their religion, tries to visit religious places outside of the religion. May it be the divine Golden Temple or the many Jain and Buddhist temples across northern India, each one of us has an interest to experience spirituality outside of our own religion.
If you always wished to visit the enchanting Buddhist temples in the Himalayan regions, then before you book your plane tickets to the north, visit the equally auspicious temple, which is situated right in Mumbai. The Global Vipassana Pagoda is located in Gorai and is just 16.9 km away from Mira Bhayandar by road. There is no entry fee to the pagoda, however, only old Vipassana meditators are allowed to enter the dome and meditate. All other visitors can view the inside dome from visitors' gallery. The door to the pagoda is open between 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Check their official website for more information.

⇒  Things to do around Global Vipassana: Essel World, Water Kingdom, Aksa beach, Manori beach, Gorai beach, Inorbit mall, Madh fort

⇒  How to reach Global Vipassana: From Bhayandar Station (W) MBMT route no. 4 bus is available for Global Vipassana Pagoda. Timings 6:30 am to 6:45 pm. You can even take a jetty from the Gorai creek. 


8. MAHABALESHWAR  MUNNAR, KERALA

Picture Courtesy: (L) Lillygardens.in (R) India.com
Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar distance: 231 km
Mumbai to Munnar distance: 1,467 km


If you have lived in Maharashtra for a long time, I'm sure you have an idea about how unmissable the hill station of Mahabaleshwar is. The evergreen hills, an abundant supply of strawberries, luxurious retreats with mindblowing views, and an ideal destination for a weekend getaway, Mahabaleshwar has been everyone's favourite for a long time now. The hill station offers an array of activities to do, from hiring warm villas to riding a boat and from visiting temples and forts to treating oneself at the Mapro garden.
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station and a town in the beautiful Western Ghats. It includes several breathtaking points, such as Arthur’s Seat. You would encounter the centuries-old Pratapgad fort, the mesmerising Lingmala waterfall, and the beautiful Venna lake, which appears like the Naini lake (of Nainital) which is dotted with honeymooners and happy families.

⇒ Things to do around Mahabaleshwar: Venna Lake, Mapro Garden, Pratapgad Fort, Lingmala falls, jungle trekking at Tapola, Mahabaleshwar temple, Wilson Point, Babington Point, Connaught Peak, Rajpuri caves, Elephant's Head Point, Arthur Seat, Dhobi waterfall, Kates Point, Panch Ganga Temple, Chandragad fort, Bombay/Sunset Point

⇒  How to reach Mahabaleshwar: One can get on a train to Satara and then hire a cab or hop on a bus to reach Mahabaleshwar, which is 45 km away from Satara railway station. 


9. COFFEE PLANTATIONS IN CHIKHALDARA  COORG, KARNATAKA

Picture Courtesy: (L) Orange County (R) Travel Advisor
Mumbai to Chikhaldara distance: 659 km
Mumbai to Coorg distance: 1,034 km


Coffee plantations in Maharashtra? You heard it right. Chikhaldara is the only hill station in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Along with its sole hill station status, the place also boasts of coffee plantations. Every year, thousands of people go to Coorg to experience the coffee aroma from the plantations that are spread across acres. However, if you're planning a vacation in Coorg or Munnar for its coffee, then I suggest you wait and explore the trees of Chikhaldara in Maharashtra first. 
This hill station is about a 3 hours drive from Nagpur and though it is slightly away from Mumbai, buying locally grown coffee from the Korku tribe is fun in its own. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is focussing on developing this hill station into a tourist destination, so before it achieves that status and is overcrowded, definitely make a visit. Along with Chikhaldara, you have the beautiful unruffled villages of Semadoh and Kolkas. If you want to truly explore Maharashtra, Vidarbha is a promising region to start.

⇒ Things to do around Chikhaldara: Bhimkund waterfall, Narnala fort, Melghat Tiger Safari, Gwaligarh fort, Bir lake, Muktagiri Jain centre, Kalapani lake, Amner fort, Panchol point, Shakkar (Sugar) lake

⇒  How to reach ChikhaldaraThe nearest railway station to reach Chikhaldara is Badnera and Akola, at around a distance of 80 km from Chikhaldara



10. WAARI BOOK CAFE, PUNE  ILLITERATI BOOK CAFE, HIMACHAL PRADESH

Picture Courtesy: (L) Cutting Loose (R) Lokmat.com
Mumbai to Waari Cafe distance: 150 km
Mumbai to Illiterati Cafe distance: 1,901 km


The Illiterati Cafe in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh has been one little cafe everyone visiting the region look forward to. With its valley views, stunning interiors, and a wide collection of books, it has become every traveller's must-visit place. Before you go all the way to Himachal, drive down to Pune for its Waari Book Cafe. With warm lighting, a spectacular library consisting of over 3,000 interesting reads, and the friendly Pune ambience, this coffee-house is special in its own. The sandwiches and hot chocolate are to die for, and how beautiful it would be to grab a book and a cup of coffee and experience Pune's lovely monsoon and winter seasons along.
For those looking for a delightful place to work (and play their numerous board games), Waari Book Cafe is a treasure. With WiFi that actually works, modest indoor and outdoor seating, and the chilled-out vibe, this is a truly unmissable spot in Pune. 

⇒  Things to do around Waari Book Cafe: ARAI Tekdi (Read: ARAI Hills blog)Vikram Pendse’s Cycle Museum, Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railways, Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, Dagaduseth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Shaniwar Wada, Peshwe Museum

⇒  How to reach Waari Book Cafe: Drive down till Pune's Karve Road in Kothrud towards  the Choice Health Club


11. TADOBA NATIONAL PARK  JIM CORBETT, UTTARAKHAND

Picture Courtesy: (L) IndiaMART (R) Tour My India
Mumbai to Tadoba National Park distance: 851 km
Mumbai to Jim Corbett distance: 1,642 km


The Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is famous for its tigers and wildlife safari. Similiar to it, the Tadoba National Park, which is also known as the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Maharashtra's oldest and largest national park. Situated about 150 km from Nagpur, the park is spread across 1,727 sq km and is a home to around 43 tigers. The park is open for visitors from 15th October to 30th June every season and remains closed on every Tuesday. Along with tigers, you also spot sloth bears, wild dogs, Indian leopards, marsh crocodiles, striped hyenas, Indian pythons, barking deer, and a lot more. For the adventurous ones, there are jungle resorts inside the park, with top-notch facilities, that give you a thrilling experience. Go to Tadoba National Park site for safari and package bookings. 

Things to do around Tadoba National Park: Visit Nagpur city, stay in a resort inside Tadoba, go on a tiger safari

⇒  How to reach Tadoba National Park: Via rail, Chandrapur is the nearest station. Hop on a bus/cab to reach the park


12. THOSEGHAR FALLS  NOHKALIKAI FALLS, MEGHALAYA

Picture Courtesy: (L) Wikipedia (R) YouTube
Mumbai to Thoseghar Falls distance: 282 km
Mumbai to Nohkalikai Falls distance: 2,962 km


Nohkalikai Falls is one of the reasons why people visit Meghalaya. A thick foamed waterfall falling from a massive height is not merely found in the wettest region of India––i.e., Meghalaya––but even in Maharashtra. The Thoseghar Falls in the state is famous for its breathtaking view and the magnanimity in general. Spotted near the village of Thoseghar that lies about 20 km from Satara, Thoseghar Falls is a delight to catch in monsoon and can easily beat its counterpart in the north-eastern part of India. 
The waterfall is said to drop with a height of about 500 metres and can be enjoyed in monsoon. It is nestled amidst a serene natural setting, where one can get lost by the mere sight of it. Recently, the government built a platform from where one gets a better view of the falls. There is no way to enter the falls yet, but one can go to its starting point. Witness it from the months of July to September to see it gush down in its absolute glory.

Things to do around Thoseghar Falls: Kaas lake, Vajrai waterfall, Bhairavnath Boat Club, Sajjangad, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Vasota Fort, Kaas Plateau

⇒  How to reach Thoseghar Falls: Via road, reach Satara and then ask the locals for guidance. Via rail, get down at Satara station and then take a cab


13. RAIGAD ROPEWAY  MUSSOORIE CABLE CAR, UTTARAKHAND

Picture Courtesy: (L) Tour My India (R) Tripadvisor.in
Mumbai to Raigad distance: 99 km
Mumbai to Mussoorie distance: 1,693 km


Raigad is doubtlessly a fabulous place for a getaway. Not only is it close to Mumbai but the beauty it has to offer, especially in monsoon and winters, is bewitching. You'll experience something completely different as you ride from one hill to another via a ropeway. Hill stations like Mussoorie, Darjeeling, Gangtok are famous for its cable cars and offer stunning views of the valley below. However, not many people are aware, but Maharashtra's Raigad has an equally wonderful setting. What's even better is that the MTDC hotel is within proximity and is situated on a hilltop. You'll win such a lovely experience here as even one thick blanket wouldn't suffice to beat the chills on a winter night. Raigad ropeway has an official website and you can check it out here. It's a highly recommended place and shall blow your mind completely! It offers an experience you would remember for long.

⇒ Things to do around Raigad: Ropeway ride, Raigad fort, stay in the MTDC resort, Raigad museum

How to reach Raigad: Via rail, get down at Veer railway station, which is nearest to Raigad


14. PARAGLIDING AT PANCHGANI  BIR BILLING, HIMACHAL PRADESH

Picture Courtesy: (L) TravelTriangle.com (R) TravelTriangle.com 
Mumbai to Panchgani distance: 244 km
Mumbai to Bir distance: 1,942 km

Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh is famous for its paragliding. People all over India travel here especially for experiencing this thrill. However, do you know that you can glide down in Maharashtra's Panchgani as well? The state doesn't just have one spot for tasting this adventure and has several other destinations like Bhandardara, Panshet, and Chikhaldara. However, the one in Panchgani is ideal as it has a ton of other recreational things to do besides paragliding. Moreover, the scenic valley views coupled with Panchgani's ever-so-pleasant climate shall replicate flying in heaven, undoubtedly. Check out Tapola, Khinger, and Bhilar spots in Panchgani for paragliding. 
The apt season for this is from November to February, where the skies are clear and the winds tameable. You can either opt for the solo flight or the tandem flight (where you're accompanied by an expert glider), both of which are 4,000-5,000 ft high. Visit Thrillophia for booking your activity. 

⇒ Things to do around Panchgani: Sydney Point, Devil's Kitchen, Table Land, Mapro Garden, Dhom Dham for watersports, Bhilar waterfalls, Wai town, Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgad Fort

⇒  How to reach Panchgani: Via rail, take a train to Satara or Pune and ride till Panchgani by cab


15. SECONDHAND BOOKS MARKET, CHURCHGATE  COLLEGE STREET, KOLKATA

Picture Courtesy: (L) Tripoto.com (R) Mumbai77.com
Mumbai to Churchgate distance: 21 km
Mumbai to College Street, Kolkata distance: 2,059 km


Kolkata's College Street is a hub for pre-owned books in West Bengal and rightfully is one of the places to visit when you're in the City of Joy. However, Mumbai, too, has its own centre with a street full of intriguing hand-me-downs. You would come across such stalls at many places throughout the important cities of the state, however, the one near Churchgate station (the pavement near the Flora Fountain) is an unmissable hub out of those. With thousands of secondhand books ranging from fiction to poetry to academics, you might be too unlucky to ask for a book and not get it. It's truly an avid reader's paradise and something you should not miss when in Mumbai, especially if you're a bibliophile. Patrons term this area 'Book Street' as one can literally find walls of books here.
Also, on returning a book picked from there, you get back a whopping 75% of the price you paid.

⇒ Things to do around Book Street, Churchgate: The J, Raju Sandwichwala, Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Colaba Causeway

⇒ How to reach Book Street, Churchgate: Via rail, get down at the Churchgate local railway station (which lies in western line) and walk to the Book Street by asking the locals; if coming via the central line, get down at CSMT local railway station and take a cab to Flora Fountain and then ask passersby for the Book Street


16. KARLI BACKWATERS  KERALA BACKWATERS

Picture Courtesy: (L) BloggersTravel (R) Holidify
Mumbai to Tarkarli distance: 495 km
Mumbai to Kerala Backwaters, Alappuzha distance: 1,585 km

If you plan to tour Kerala, especially for its backwaters, then wait on. Maharashtra's Tarkarli has its own whimsical paradise that goes by the name Karli Backwaters. This piece of wonder is situated in Sindhudurg and is the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Karli River near the Karli creek. Drive down a few kilometres from the Tarkarli beach on an offroad until you find the Karli river on your left and the Devbagh beach on your right. You can leave your vehicle right there, near the boat club and thereafter, go on a boat ride on its waters; boating is said to be quite affordable here. Visitors consider scuba diving as its main attraction and while the agents may charge a superlative amount, one can negotiate and win a scuba dive (with cylinder) for around Rs. 1,200 per head. The agents take you on a ferry from Malvan Jetty till the base of Sindhudurg Fort, where you can dive underwaters. 
You might also spot dolphins on the Karli Backwaters! What's better is you can rent a houseboat here (yes, exactly like its counterpart in Kerala). 

⇒ Things to do around Karli Backwaters: Sindhudurg Fort, Tarkarli beach, Devbagh beach, Tsunami island, Rock Garden, Malvan Marine Sanctuary

⇒ How to reach Karli Backwaters: Via rail, the nearest station is Kudal. Get in a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach Tarkarli


17. NERAL-MATHERAN TOY TRAIN  KALKA-SHIMLA TOY TRAIN, HIMACHAL PRADESH

Picture Courtesy: (L) Khurki.net (R) Hindustantimes.com 
Mumbai to Neral distance: 74 km
Mumbai to Kalka distance: 1,687 km


The Kalka-Shimla toy train that connects Haryana with Himachal Pradesh with a dreamy toy train ride is widely acclaimed and is a must-do activity for the tourists visiting Shimla. The ride provides with beautiful views of the mountains and the superfine gorges. Much like its counterpart, the Neral to Matheran toy train ride is equally fascinating. The track is 20 km long and takes more than 250 turns from Neral to the Matheran hilltop. It was opened to the public in 1907 and was rewarded as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO several years later. The train was honoured with the name 'PhulRani', meaning the Queen of Flowers. 
There are usually four pairs of trains running between Neral and Matheran but during monsoon i.e. from June to September, only one pair of the train is functional (Aman Lodge to Matheran). There are no means by which you can book the tickets online, but on reaching Neral or Aman Lodge station (read: Matheran blog post), you can buy the tickets offline. Best months to visit this hill station is from November to February, where the weather has cooled down and all the routes are functional.

⇒ Things to do in/around Matheran: Visit various points like Echo Point, Malang Point, Louisa Point, shop for souvenirs, horse riding, visit Charlotte Lake, visit Irshalgad and Prabalgad forts, visit Ambernath temple

⇒ How to reach Neral/Matheran: Via rail, get on a central local train and descend at Neral station. From Neral, share cabs are available that take you to the main entry gate (Dasturi) of Matheran. Via road, drive to the Dasturi gate and park your vehicle in the space provided


18. HOT WATER SPRINGS AT VAJRESHWARI  TATTAPANI, HIMACHAL PRADESH

Picture Courtesy: (L) Triphobo (R) Merwyn's Rucksack
Mumbai to Vajreshwari distance: 61 km
Mumbai to Tattapani distance: 1,801 km


Tattapani in Himachal Pradesh is one of the few famous hot water bodies in India. People all over visit it to dip in the hot waters on harsh winter days. Similarly, not many are aware of the hot water springs in Maharashtra's Bhiwandi Taluka in Thane district. Hot water bodies are spread throughout the region; villages like Vajreshwari, Ganeshpuri, Nimboli, Aravali, Sangameshwar (town), and Shahapur (town) are few in and outside Bhiwandi Taluka that are a home to several hot water pools. The temperatures in these pools range from 30 degrees to as high as 70-degree Celsius. 
Vajreshwari village is situated at the base of Mandakini Hill, which was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption; this is why the area has a lot of hot water springs.
It is said that the hot water body in Akloli village was used both by the locals and the Europeans back in 1784. It is believed that the water tasted similar to the one found in the springs at Bath in England. Another important hot water body is in the village of Ganeshpuri where Saint Nityananda used to bathe and then meditate on the island in the middle of the river. 


⇒ Things to do around Vajreshwari: Vajreshwari temple, Mandakini Hill, Tadbhar Falls, Saint Nityanand temple, Pelhar lake, Takmak Fort, Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary


⇒ How to reach Vajreshwari: Via road, there are buses that run from Thane (Bus nos. 111 and 131) and Vasai (Bus nos. 131 and 201) to Vajreshwari


19. SUNIL'S CELEBRITY WAX MUSEUM, LONAVALA  MADAME TUSSAUDS, DELHI

Picture Courtesy: (L) CrispyDeal (R) TripAdvisor.com
Mumbai to Sunil's Wax Museum distance: 83 km
Mumbai to Madame Tussauds distance: 1,412 km


Madame Tussauds is a famous brand of wax museums across the globe and was recently inaugurated in the capital city. One can see their favourite celebs up close in the form of wax statues that are beautifully crafted leaving aside no detail. Similar to the Tussauds museum, there are museums that are a home to the wax statues of many local as well as international celebrities. And all these are made by Mr Sunil Kandalloor. The Sunil's Wax Museum has two branches in Maharashtra as of now: one is located in the notorious Lonavala and the other, in the quiet Devgad, which is a taluka in the Konkan region (read: things to do in and around Devgad). The statues are replaced with new figures at an interval, so if you see Shah Rukh Khan today, you might see Salman Khan the next time you visit it. The timings for both the museums is 9:00 am to 9:30 pm and the museums are open all around the year. Check their website for additional information. The entry fee per adult is Rs 200 (incl. taxes).

⇒ Things to do around Sunil's Wax Museum: Kune Falls, Bhushi Dam, Rajmachi camping, Manaranjan Fort, Bhor Ghat, Ryewood Park, Karla Caves, Khandala

⇒ How to reach Sunil's Wax Museum: Via rail, get down at Lonavala railway station and then take a cab to the museum


20. HOUSEBOAT IN TARKARLI  KERALA HOUSEBOAT

Picture Courtesy: (L) Wendy Wu Tours (R) I Travel, I Click
Mumbai to Tarkarli distance: 495 km
Mumbai to Kerala Backwaters, Alappuzha distance: 1,585 km


The comparison of Karli Backwaters with the one in Kerala does not end just there; did you know you can stay on a houseboat in Maharashtra as well? Spending a day or two on a houseboat has been on the bucket list of many. The idea is considered so romantic that couples travel southwards to experience it. However, it is easy to strike off this one from your list. All you need is a long weekend. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) recently launched the state's first of its kind stay. The houseboats are the state government's initiative and have three options: Hiranayakeshi (A/C Luxury Houseboat), Karli (A/C Standard Houseboat), and Savitri (A/C Deluxe Bed Room). Enjoy your stay on calm Karli backwaters with lush trees around and watch as the servers spoil you with welcome drinks, mineral water bottles and full veg and non-veg meal courses. The rate starts from Rs. 7,100. Visit their website to book your dream stay.

⇒ Things to do around Karli Backwaters: Sindhudurg Fort, Tarkarli beach, Devbagh beach, Tsunami island, Rock Garden, Malvan Marine Sanctuary

⇒ How to reach Karli Backwaters: Via rail, the nearest station is Kudal. Get in a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach Tarkarli


What would you add to the list? 👀

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