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Five OFFBEAT WEEKEND GETAWAYS from MUMBAI

Living in the city of dreams is both exciting and exhausting. Mumbai is not just a city full of possibilities and opportunities; it is also a city that brings your life up to its unmatched speed. To live up to the hustle that is the life of this city, one needs a break to cool off in between.  Thankfully the city has numerous spots around it where you can unplug, relax and rejuvenate yourself over a weekend. We have picked five of the best offbeat weekend getaways from Mumbai and put together everything you need to know about them in this quick listicle:

#1 – Matheran

Matheran is a town in the hills of Western Ghat. It is one of the best retreats from the cement forests of the city into tranquil, green and untouched natural beauty. What makes going to Matheran even more special is the ride in the toy train that takes you to your destination from Neral. For a Mumbaikar who is used to the rush of the Mumbai local, it can be a refreshing experience with numerous hotels in Matheran for family being available for a rejuvenating stay. The hill station is dotted by multiple peaks and viewpoints including the Panaroma Point and the Malang Point that offer to you, an expanse of beautiful scenery.  One can also enjoy a quiet day by the Charlotte Lake or horse riding across the place un-populated by vehicles of a modern city.

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माथेरान कड्यावरचा भव्य 'निसर्ग राजा गणपती' . नेरळ-माथेरान मिनी ट्रेनच्या इंजिनाचे सारथ्य (चालक) म्हणून अनेक वर्षे धुरा सांभाळणारे राजाराम खडे हे नेरळ येथील रहिवासी आहेत. त्यांना माथेरानवरून नेरळकडे येताना एक कडा नेहमी खुणावत असे. या कड्याला साधारण ४७-५० फूट उंचीचे गणेशाच्या आकाराचे कडे होते. मिनीट्रेन चालवताना प्रवासात राजाराम खडे यांचे त्या कड्याला पाहून नेहमी हात जोडले जात. २००५ मध्ये माथेरानच्या डोंगरात ज्यावेळी प्रचंड भुस्खलन झाले, त्यावेळी माथेरान मिनीट्रेन बंद पडली होती. त्यामुळे सतत आपल्याकडे आकर्षित करणाऱ्या त्या दगडाच्या कड्यावर राजाराम खडे पोहचले. . तेथे काळ्या पाषाणातील त्या दगडाला लोखंडी पत्र्याच्या साहाय्याने गणपतीच्या तोंडाचा आकार देण्याचा प्रयत्न केला. त्यानंतर त्यांनी खडी आणि सिमेंट यांच्या सहाय्याने हात तयार केले. त्या चार हातात गणपती बाप्पाची चार आयुधे देण्यात आली. त्यामुळे बाप्पाचा आकार आल्याचे लक्षात येताच राजाराम खडे यांनी आपले सहकारी विश्वनाथ भोसले आणि राजीव शिंदे यांच्या मदतीने गवंडी काम केले. त्यांच्या या प्रयत्नातून 'निसर्गराजा गणपती' म्हणजे कड्यावरचा गणपती आकाराला आला. . निसर्गराजा गणपतीच्या पायथ्याशी सिमेंट काँक्रीटच्या खांबांच्या मधोमध छोटी गणेश मूर्ती पुजेसाठी प्रस्थापित केली आहे. ध्येयवेड्या राजाराम खडे यांनी पुढे गणेशापुढे मोदक असावा म्हणून, तब्बल साडेतीन ते चार फूट उंचीचा आणि एका व्यक्तीच्या कवेत येणार नाही एवढा मोठा मोदक सिंमेंटच्या सहाय्याने तयार केला . निसर्गराजा गणपतीच्या बाजूला एक कमी जाणवत असल्याचे त्या ठिकाणी भेट देणारे आवर्जून सांगायचे. मग राजाराम खडे यांनी अगदी लहान आकाराचा असलेला उंदीरमामा म्हणजे मूषकराज हादेखील भलामोठा असावा या हेतूने तब्बल सात फूट उंचीचा तयार केला.. . नेरळ ममदापूर येथील बाळू कारले यांनी त्या परिसराला आणि कितीही दूरवरून पाहिले तरी आकर्षक दिसेल असे रंगकाम पूर्ण करून दिले आहे. त्यामुळे मिनीट्रेनमधून प्रवास करणारा प्रत्येक पर्यटक ट्रेनच्या खिडकीतून गणपतीकडे पाहून नतमस्तक होतो. या दगडात कोरलेल्या गणरायाचे भव्य दिव्य मूर्तीचे रूप पाहून गणेश भक्त भारावून जातात. . . #jbk #mynokiamoment #ekbakiekaki #pebforttrek #matheran #neral#forts #maharashtra_desha#durg_naad #insta_maharashtra#sahyadri_clickers #jay_jay_maharashtra_maza#jayostute_maharashtra #travelrealindia #travelphotography #naturephotography#naturelovers  #maharastrian_treasure#we_maharashtrian #beautifulplace #monsoondiaries #trekker #nokia7plus

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Distance from Mumbai: 83 kms | How to reach:  Go to Neral by road on in the Deccan Express and take a toy train ride from Narel.

#2- Kamshet

If you wish to spend your weekend doing adventure sports and experiencing the thrill that comes with it, Kamshet is the place for you. It is called the Paragliding Mecca of India. Filled with multiple scenic paragliding points, this destination offers you a chance to engage in thermal paragliding.  Coupled with that are a bunch of other fun activities like rock climbing, trekking, boating, swimming and angling. Kamshet is also home to multiple lakes and caves that are often visited by travelers looking for some solace and peace.

Distance from Mumbai: 105 kms | How to reach: Taking the Mumbai Pune Highway is the best way to reach Kamshet. You can also take a train on the Mumbai Pune Railway route to reach here.

#3 – Igatpuri

Igatpuri is the perfect fit for couples looking for a romantic getaway from the city. The place is a treat to the eyes as it is situated among the most spectacular parts of the Western Ghats.  It also has beautiful trails for trekking enthusiasts and is filled with high as well as low ranges. One of the most unique spots in Igatpuri is the Vipassana meditation center which attracts tourists from all over the world.  The Arthur Lake and the Tringalwadi fort are also destinations that attract a lot of tourists for their aesthetic beauty and sense of calm.

Distance from Mumbai: 120 kms| How to reach: There are 47 direct trains to Igatpuri from Mumbai and it is the cheapest and fastest way to reach your destination. The fastest train takes one hour and thirty two minutes to cover the distance.

#4 – Malshej Ghat

If you wish to spend your weekend appreciating the boundless beauty of nature, Malshej Ghat is where you should head off to for the weekend.  This majestic mountain pass in the Western Ghats is home to countless species of flora and fauna. What makes it stand out is the Siberian Migratory bird that flocks to this part of the country, during the months of July to September, which attracts bird watchers from all across India to the mountain pass. The cherry on the top is Malshej Water Fall that is both glorious and relaxing. One can also visit Pimpalgaon Joga Dam and Shivneri Fort while visiting Malshej Ghat.

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महाराष्ट्र, नावातच राष्ट्राची, राज्याची महानता दिसून येते. ज्ञानोबांच्या ओवीपासून तुकोबांच्या अभंगांमध्ये तल्लीन होणारा महाराष्ट्र. संत नामदेव, चोखामेळा यांची संत परंपरेच्या भक्तीचा महाराष्ट्र. शिर्डीचे साईबाबा – शेगावचे गजानन महाराज या दैवी माणसांची देवभूमी असलेला महाराष्ट्र… . ताठ मानेनं जगायला शिकवलेल्या छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराजांचा महाराष्ट्र. धर्मवीर संभाजी राजेंच्या पराक्रमानं दिल्लीलाही घाम फुटतो असा महाराष्ट्र. संत गाडगे महाराजांपासून ते महात्मा ज्योतिबा फुले, विनोबा भावे, बाबा आमटेंसारख्या समाजसुधारकांनी समाजासाठी जीवन वाहिले असा महाराष्ट्र… . फुले – शाहू – डॉ. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकरांच्या विचारांचा महाराष्ट्र. सह्याद्रीच्या कड्या कपारीपासून इतिहासाची साक्ष देणा-या गड-किल्ल्यांचा महाराष्ट्र. आचार्य अत्रे, पु. ल. देशपांडे, लतादीदी – सचिन तेंडुलकर अशा दिग्गजांचा महाराष्ट्र. . मात्र या सगळ्यांत महाराष्ट्रासाठी रक्त सांडणा-या 106 हुतात्म्यांना विसरुन कसं चालेल. आपल्या प्राणाची आहुती देऊन त्यांनी महाराष्ट्र एकसंध ठेवला. या सर्व हुतात्म्यांना आणि महाराष्ट्रासाठी आयुष्य वेचलेल्या प्रत्येकाला अभिवादन करुन सर्व प्रेक्षकांना महाराष्ट्र दिन आणि कामगार दिनाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा…🚩 . . 📸 @manishapatil2010 #maharashtra_forts #maibhisadakchap

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Distance from Mumbai: 154 km | How to Reach: Malshej Ghat is the most apt destination to take a road trip to. Direct Bus Services are available from Mumbai to Malshej. One can also take a train to the nearest railway station in Kalyan which is 85 kms away from Malshej Ghat and then travel via road.

#5 – Nashik

Nashik is the wine capital of India. The city is home to some of the most ancient and well known vineyards of India. Spending your weekend here would mean going on wine tasting tours, crushing grapes in barrels and going grape picking.  Some of the most famous Vineyards in Nashik are Sula Vineyards, York Winery and Soma Vineyards. The city is also famous for hosting the holy Indian fair of Kumbh every twelve years and attracts a large number of religious tourists and devotes too and is also home to the biggest Sula Wine Fest in India.

Distance from Mumbai: 167 kms | How to Reach: You can take a 6 hour bus ride from Mumbai to Nashik, travel in a car or take a train on the Dadar-Kalyan Junction-Nashik Route to reach here.


 

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