Maharashtra has a variety of mixes when it comes to culture, tradition and food habits. With financial capital being a part of it has brought a lot of other cultures together and has given many migrants the taste of the Maharastrian flavor. With all the hard work and dreams that one looks to fulfill are possible only if you get a break from time to time. What could be refreshing than watching and experiencing the beautiful nature around you.
We have a collection of some of the most beautiful places in Maharashtra that one should certainly visit.
A small village located on the south west tip of Maharashtra. It is best known for a long unbroken shoreline and clear waters. The beach here is great to just laze around, and a long walk along the shore through shacks and fishing huts lands you at Devbagh. This is where the Karli backwaters meet the Arabian Sea, with a slick piece of land jutting out of the village, separating the two. Apart from this, there is Bhogwe Beach, on the opposite side of the Karli river. Bhogwe is more secluded and quiet, with occasional rocks and boulders. The beach is blessed with fine white sand and the water is pristine, so clean that the sea bed is visible till quite a distance into the sea.
Scuba diving is probably the most sought after, if you like plunging into a kingdom of marine life whose colours you would not have imagined. The cuisine is an overlap of Goan and Maharashtrian cuisines, and the seafood best reflects this. This stretches to Dapoli which is as beautiful as Tarkarli and has a sighting of Dolphins which is one of the USP for this location. Best time to Visit this is October to May.
2. Kaas Plateau
One of the most offbeat tourism places in Maharashtra, ‘Kaas Plateau’ is one scenic destination about which not many people are aware of. Nestled amidst the Western Ghats near the city of Satara, the place is an epitome of out-worldly beauty carpeted under the veils of vibrant hues sprinkled over by hundreds of endemic species of wild flowers that bloom in the region. Aptly referred to as the ‘Maharashtra’s own Valley of Flowers’, it’s a place enlisted in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites owing to its rich and unique biodiversity that caters to almost 70% of all flora found in the state. Needless to say, this scenic heaven makes for a great draw for nature lovers, naturalists, ecologists and environmentalists alike who throng here in great numbers to sense and observe nature’s unprecedented work of art. Post-monsoon season i.e. the period between end of August and October is definitely the right time to be here when splashes of crimsons, pinks, yellows and whites spread all across the 1000 hectare land, are sure to hypnotize you with their entrancing visual spectacle. As you meander through the rustic trails admiring nature’s colourful painting, also do look out for a variety of bees, butterflies and birds that add that magical touch, completing the whole scenery. If time permits, head to the beautiful ‘Kaas Lake’ that sits a little downhill from the plateau and makes for a great spot to have some rest after a tiring day full of walking and hiking.
For adventure lovers and trekkers, there cannot be a better activity in Chikhaldara than a hiking expedition to the 300 years old ‘Gavilgad Fort’. Situated on the hill top, the fort is well-known for its exquisite carvings on the inner walls dating back to the period of Nizams. Also, the breath-taking vistas of the lush expanses of forests from this fort are just beyond description and are sure to leave you spell-bound with their serene beauty.
Bestowed with a salubrious weather, a wealth of nature and a plentiful wildlife, ‘Chikhaldara’ is yet another of the picturesque yet less explored places in Maharashtra. The lovely hill town lies on the plateau in the Satpura Ranges of the Vidarbha region and makes for an idealistic choice for a weekend holiday destination for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventure freaks alike. The peaceful hamlet, untouched and unspoilt from the signs of urbanization, is replete with a number of enchanting waterfalls and lakes that certainly provide for some rejuvenation to the distressed souls, fatigued and tired of their monotonous city lives. A conventional sight-seeing at Chikhaldara starts from visiting the famous tourist hotspot, ‘Bhimkund Waterfalls’. Associated with the legendary tale of Bhim (from the fame of Mahabharata) taking a bath in this waterfall after killing the demon, Keechak, the falls can truly be described as an epitome of surreal natural beauty; offering fabulous vistas of mist covered hills with a splash of bright hues popping from the blossoming flowers, one can spend here a lovely time unwinding and soaking in the nature’s work of art. Yet another of the scenic retreats at Chikhaldara is undoubtedly, the ‘Semadoh Lake’. Snuggled amidst thick forests, the lake provides for a perfect ambience to indulge in some interesting activities like boating, angling and fishing. A rare sight of dancing peacocks near the lake, especially during monsoons, further add to the magical charm of a leisurely evening here.
Amboli is a hill station in south Maharashtra a quaint place snuggled in the plateaus just before the state of Goa begins. Sunset Point is a nice spot to get views of the surrounding area. Other spots like Mahadev Garh, that overlook the Konkan, and Shirgaonkar Point are also provide breath-taking views of the fertile plain. The Amboli waterfall, just three kms from the town, is a nice option to spend a day. Amboli is a good escape for a few days; it is quiet and secluded and there’s no traffic.
Being a hill-forest area, there is no dearth of trekking trails in this little hill town which undoubtedly, makes it a big draw for trekkers too. ‘Madhavgad Fort’ is by far the most popular trekking destination around the hill city and offers some breath-taking views of the Arabian Sea and Konkan region. If fort exploration is something which does not inspire you much, head to the enchanting ‘Nangarta Falls’, the pristine beauty of which is sure to make you fall in love with the place.
A small hamlet near Murbad, Palu packs a lot of nature in its small area. About 3 hours from Mumbai. the place is like a different world altogether. Frequent waterfalls and lush green carpets surround you and sunrise and sunset are two things you don’t want to miss. The village is sparsely inhabited, but is quiet and interesting. Palu is a good option for a weekend getaway, the weather, often rainy, and the presence of pristine nature are a welcoming change from busy cities.
Malhargad is a hill fort 30 kms from Pune It derives its name from Lord Malhari, an incarnation of Shiva. Also known as Sonori Fort, after a small village Sonori located at its base, the fort was built by Panse, a Peshwa Sardar and was the last fort built by the Peshwas. Built around 1775, the fort was built to keep watch on Dive ghat. Its strategic location helped keep an eye on the surrounding ranges. Its last inhabitants were the British, who won it from the Peshwas in the nineteenth century.
Two temples lie inside the fort, one of Lord Khandoba and one for Lord Mahadev. It takes about an hour to look around the entire complex. An interesting aspect of the fort’s architecture is the fact that there is another smaller fort within the main one, built to offer protection against enemies who forced their way through the outer walls.
One can look around Malhargad for some time, and the hills around are equally alluring. Malhargad offers a nice weekend trek for history buffs.
7. Karla & Bhaja Caves.
For all those who love going off the beaten track, exploring the destinations that do not fall on a conventional travel map, the ‘Karla & Bhaja Caves’ located near the famous hill station of Lonavala, make for a perfect sightseeing destination, the upcoming weekend. Dating from around the 2nd century BC, these caves boast of an excellent Buddhist rock-cut cave architecture in India. Housing massive prayer halls (chaityagraha) and several resting rooms (vihara) for monks, complete with outstanding sculptures of Buddha and Bodhisattvas, a fine collection of stupas and brilliant carvings depicting scenes from daily lives of the then men & women on the inner walls, facades and pillars, these caves are no less in comparison with the more celebrated Ajanta and Ellora caves. What further accentuates the charm of these beautiful caves is the lush green surroundings and couple of enchanting waterfalls, where one can take a refreshing dip, deeply rejuvenating all his senses. Needless to say, these caves are a photographer’s delight offering them endless opportunities to click a bundle of gorgeous pictures reflecting exceptional artistry and craftsmanship of the sculptors from the bygone times. Besides caves, the area around Karla and Bhaja abounds in a number of ancient forts, a trek to which leaves all the trekkers and hikers with a fulfilling experience; if you too are a trekking enthusiast, pull up your socks and embark on a short trekking trip to the nearby ‘Lohagad and Visapur Forts’. On your way to these forts, feast your eyes on some panoramic views of the terraced hills and ‘Pavana Dam’ backwaters snuggled in the lap of mighty Sahayadri Ranges.