Mumbai, the entertainment capital and India’s financial powerhouse, is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous in the world with an estimated population of 18.4 million. In 2009, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is the wealthiest city in India with highest number of billionaires and is also one of the best places to experience the Tourism in Maharashtra. Here are top top tourist places to visit near Mumbai.
Chowpatty commonly known as Chaupati, is one of the best known public beaches adjoining Marine Drive in the Girgaon area of Mumbai, India. The beach is noted for its Ganesh Visarjan celebrations when thousands of people from all over Mumbai and Pune come to immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh in the Arabian Sea. It is also one of the many places in the city where the ‘RAMLILA’ is performed on a stage every year. An effigy of Ravan erected on the sand is burnt at the end of the 10-day performance. One can find several bhelpuri, panipuri, ragda patties and pav bhaji vendors on the beach.
Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres to the east of the city of Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves — the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It is also one of the top Weekend Getaways near Mumbai.
The rock cut architecture of the caves has been dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries, although the identity of the original builders is still a subject of debate. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock. All the caves were also originally painted in the past, but now only traces remain.
Juhu is a neighbourhood of Mumbai. It is most famous for the sprawling Juhu beach. It surrounded by the Arabian Sea to the west, Versova to the north, Santacruz and Vile Parle to the east, and Khar to the south. Juhu is among the most affluent areas of the city and home to many Bollywood celebrities. The nearest railway stations are Santacruz, Andheri and Vile Parle on the Western Line and Harbour Line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway.The nearest Metro Station is D.N Nagar. There are two minor B.E.S.T bus depots in Juhu. J. R. D. Tata, the father of civil aviation in India, made his maiden voyage to Juhu Airport from Drigh Road airstrip, Karachi, via Ahmedabad, on 15 October 1932 carrying mail in a Puss Moth aircraft.
The Kanheri Caves constitute a group of rock-cut monuments that are located to the southeast of Borivali on the western outskirts of Mumbai, the capital city of Indian State of Maharashtra. Located within the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the caves are 6 km from the main gate and 7 km from Borivali Station. Tourists can enter after 9:00 a.m. The Kanheri Caves demonstrate the Buddhist influence on the art and culture of India. Kanheri comes from the Sanskrit Krishnagiri, which means black mountain. They were chiseled out of a massive basaltic rock outcropping.
Ambarnath Shiv Mandir
The Shiv Mandir of Ambarnath is also called the Ambreshwar Shiva Temple. Built in 1060 AD, It is situated 2 km away from Ambarnath railway station in Maharashtra, India. It is said that Shilahara king Chhittaraja constructed it, his son Mummuni rebuilt it. The temple is on the bank of Vadavan (Waldhuni) river. The temple is Hemadpanthi-styled, beautifully carved on stones. It is also believed by some people that the temple was built by the five Pandava brothers in just one night in a huge single mass of stone. However, official records are not supportive to this.
This temple is overcrowded in Mahashivaratri. On the day of Mahashivaratri, Ambarnath’s Eastern side is blocked for vehicles and route is diverted for vehicles due to heavy traffic of pilgrims. The Temple becomes overcrowded again in the month of Shraavana to get blessings from Lord Shiva. Pooja, like Rudra Abhishek can be performed on the temple premises.
Prabalgad Fort, also known as Muranjan and Pradhangad, is located between Matheran and Panvel in the Indian state of Maharashtra, at an elevation of 2300 feet in the Western Ghats. It was built on a plateau close to Matheran, but unlike Matheran it does not have a good source of water. It was known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Shivaji’s rule. The fort contains a temple to Ganesh and some stone ruins. Its sister fort is Irshalgad. Right next to Prabalgad, to its north, lies the steep Kalavanti Fort. Prabalgad is often confused with Kalavati, but they are two separate forts.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District, outside Mumbai, India near Matheran and Karjat. The sanctuary is quite small with an area of 12.11 square kilometres but along with the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Tungareshwar sanctuary is one of the few sanctuaries to be within reach of the city of Mumbai. It is one of the picnic spots near Mumbai city.
Rajmachi is a small village in the rugged mountains of Sahyadri in India. The fortification at Rajmachi consists of two forts, namely Shrivardhan fort and Manaranjan Fort. Rajmachi Fort is a popular trekking destination. It is a very famous fort located near two famous hills of Maharashtra, Lonavala and Khanadala. It is about 15 km treking distance from Lonavala. It is one of the popular tourist places near Mumbai for trekking and also among the best places to visit in Lonavala.
Khandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Lonavala and 7 kilometres from Karjat. Khandala is located at one end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. The ghat carries an extensive amount of road and rail traffic. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the main link between the major cities of Mumbai and Pune, passes through Khandala. Due to the ease of accessibility from nearby cities, Khandala is a common area for hiking. One destination is the nearby peak of Duke’s Nose, which offers a panoramic view of Khandala and the Bhor Ghat. The route near Khandala sunset point and khopoli has been there since centuries used to connect the coastal cities like Sopara to Pune. The transport from base of khopoli was by carts both hand pulled and horse drawn, which was tarred during British time somewhere in 1840. Khandala is among popular weekend getaways near Mumbai & Pune and also one of the best hill stations near Pune & Mumbai.
Kune Falls is a scenic waterfall situated near Kune village in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is one of the famous waterfalls in Maharashtra and also one of the best places to visit in Lonavala. Kune Falls lies at an altitude of 622 m set against the stunning backdrop of the famous Sahyadri Mountains. It is a three-tiered waterfall cascading down from a height of 200 m and is among popular tourist places near Pune and one of the best waterfalls near Mumbai. The waterfall is divided into 2 sections and the highest drop at this three-tier waterfall is of about 100 m. The Kune Falls is the 14th highest waterfall in India and is located centrally within the Lonavala-Khandala valley. The place is completely surrounded by lush green vegetation and provides a great visual experience.
Matheran is a small hill station in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of 800 m in the Western Ghats range, Matheran is one of the smallest hill stations in Maharashtra. It is one of the top monsoon destinations in Maharashtra and also among popular hill stations near Mumbai & Pune for a weekend trip. Matheran, which means ‘forest on the forehead’, is an eco-sensitive region declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. It is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. No private automobiles are allowed into Matheran town. Tourists to Matheran have to drive up to Dasturi Point (2.5 km) and reach Matheran by foot or pony. The best time to visit Matheran is during the months of July to October, while the peak season is from August to September.
Lonavala is a beautiful hill station in Pune district of Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 622 m in the Sahyadri Ranges which separate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan Coast. Lonavala is among the top hill stations in Maharashtra and also one of the famous Tourist places in Maharashtra. This is also among the best tourist places to visit near Mumbai & Pune. Lonavala and Khandala are twin hill stations near Pune to Mumbai hightway and are very popular monsoon getaways in India. The hill station is spread over an area of 38 square km. The name of the city is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’, which refers to a ‘group of caves’. The name was given to the place due to the presence of many caves in and around the city. The best time to visit Lonavala and Khandala is during the monsoon, between July — September, when the scenic spots become lush green and the waterfalls are in full flow.
Alibaug or Alibag is a coastal town and a municipal council in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is the headquarters of the Raigad district and is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune. Alibaug is one of the top Maharashtra tourist places situated near Mumbai. Alibag is surrounded by sea on three sides, it is very commonly known as the ‘Goa’ of Maharashtra. The town was founded in the 17th century by Kanhoji Angre who was the naval chief during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj. Earlier, Alibaug was known as Kolaba, attributed to the Kolaba Fort which was built by Shivaji in 1680 CE. Legend has it that a wealthy Muslim named Ali owned many plantations hence the town derived its name Alibag. The best time to visit Alibag is from October to March while November to February is the peak season.
Duke’s Nose is one of the popular viewpoints situated near INS Shivaji in Lonavala. It is a popular place for trekking in Maharashtra and also it is one of the top things to do in Lonavala. Duke’s Nose is named after the Duke of Wellington, owing to its resemblance to the nose of Duke in a reclining position. The cliff is pointed like a snakes hood and hence the name Nagphani. The high altitude of this place makes it a wonderful vantage point. This site is also popular for thrilling activities like trekking, hiking and rock climbing, which attract many adventure enthusiasts. A very steep climb up rocky outcrops enables the tourists to reach the site. Although the cliffs are very steep, the rock at the top is flat and enables tourists to walk along the sides.
Bhaja Caves or Bhaje caves is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC located in Pune, near Lonavala, Maharashtra. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja, on an important ancient trade route running from the Arabian Sea eastward into the Deccan Plateau. The inscriptions and the cave temple are protected as a National Monument, by the Archaeological Survey of India per Notification №2407-A. It belongs to the Hinayana Buddhism sect in Maharashtra. The caves have a number of stupas, one of their significant features. The most prominent excavation is its chaityagrha, demonstrating prototypes of wooden architecture and a vaulted horseshoe ceiling. Its vihara has a pillared verandah in front and is adorned with unique reliefs. These caves are notable for their indications of the awareness of wooden architecture. The carvings prove that tabla — a percussion instrument — was used in India for at least two thousand years. The carving shows a woman playing tabla and another woman, performing dance.
Kashid is a beach town on the shores of the Arabian Sea, in the North Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. It is located 30 km from Alibag and 135 km from Mumbai on the Alibag-Murud road. Kashid is popular mainly because of its white sand, blue seas, green mountains, paddy fields, and rivulets. Kashid has a 3 km stretch of beach tucked in between two rocky hillocks with Casuarina groves all along the seashore. This is by far the best beach in this part of the Konkan region and, though absolutely deserted on weekdays, the town can attract its fair share of week-end holiday makers. There are a few small hotels in Kashid as the rest of the area is privately owned. Best option to stay here to stay in cottages owned by local people.It costs 1000 Rs for a room on weekends. They offer konkani fish thali which is very sumptuous. It is one of the best Beaches near Mumbai.
The waves here are unusually high and can be a paradise for surfing. The waves can reach a height of 5–6 feet even during the non-monsoon months. However they are dangerously high during the monsoons and surfing is not recommended during the months of June to September. Kashid was not known as a tourist attraction till the mid 90s. It was only after travelers to Murud Janjira started stopping to spend some time after noticing the beauty of the beach
Murud — Janjira Fort
Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. This is one of the top places to visit in Alibaug and also one of the popular heritage places to visit near Mumbai and Pune. The fort was attacked many times by the Portuguese, British and the Marathas but it was successful in resisting attempts to capture. Shivaji’s all attempts to capture Janjira Fort failed. When Sambhaji also failed, he built another island fort, known as Kansa or Padmadurg, just 9 km north of Janjira.
Kalsubai is a mountain of the Western Ghats range located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Its summit situated at an elevation of 5400 feet is the highest point in Maharashtra which earns it the much glorified title of the ‘Everest of Maharashtra’. The mountain range lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wild-life Sanctuary. It is visited throughout the year by avid trekkers, kalsubai temple devotees and wild-life enthusiasts alike. it is one of the less known hill stations in Maharashtra and also one of the beautiful hill stations near Mumbai city.
Junnar is a city with thousands of years of history in the Pune district of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The nearby fort of Shivneri is the birthplace of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. Junnar has the largest and longest cave excavations in India. These are the ASI protected monuments and also one of the popular Pune tourist places. Junnar has over 200 independent excavations spread over four hills. All the excavations belong to the Hinayana phase and are datable from mid-3rd century BC to late 3rd century AD. The presence of largest number of rock cut excavations and a large number of inscriptions enabling a paleographical study makes Junnar a prominent site for the study of rock cut architecture. Here there are 24 inscriptions, which provide useful paleographical data for the relative dating of the caves.
Bhandardara is a small hill station and a holiday resort located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The place is known for its natural beauty and its soothing environment. it is one of the less known hill stations in Maharashtra and also one of the beautiful hill stations near Mumbai city. This is also one of the popular Maharashtra tourist places to visit in rainy season. Bhandardara provides plenty of opportunity for small treks and hikes for adventure lovers. The most interesting and exciting trek is the small trek to Ratangad Fort. It commands an excellent view all around and is said to be the favourite fort of the Maratha king, Shivaji. The Harishchandragad Fort was built during the 6th century, when the Kalchuri dynasty ruled. The famous Mount Kalsubai (1646 m), the highest peak in Maharashtra, is a favorite trekking place. The best time to visit Bhandardara is from September to February when the weather is convenient to explore the outdoors post monsoon. It is very hot and dry during the summer season from March to May.