Many Mumbaikars have numbers for resorts in Lonavala, Khandala, and Alibaug on their speed dials, but why not venture off the beaten track this weekend and head to these destinations instead? Since they‘re less frequented by tourists, visits to them are easier on the pocket but guarantee a good time.
Since Diwali is just around the corner you may find that your pockets are a little lighter than usual, what with all the gift giving and eating out. However, that shouldn't stop you from taking a weekend trip out of Mumbai to indulge in some rest, relaxation and TLC with loved ones.
Many Mumbaikars have numbers for resorts in Lonavala, Khandala, and Alibaug on their speed dials, but why not venture off the beaten track this weekend and head to these destinations instead? Since they’re less frequented by tourists, visits to them are easier on the pocket but guarantee a good time.
A three hour drive from Mumbai is the Bordi beach and Dhanu town. While the beach is a clean expanse of white sand and calm sea, the town is famous for its fruit production and plantations; visitors can stuff their faces with sweet, fresh chickoos from the orchards and an unlimited amount of coconut water from the coconut plantations. The area is also home to some of the earliest Irani settlers in India, giving it a unique cultural spin.
Bordi does not have any big-name luxury resorts, but has a cluster of smaller hotels which offer comfortable stays at reasonable prices. Tapovan Retreat is a rustic space which offers AC deluxe double rooms for Rs.1500 a night. Another possible place to stay is the Hill Zill Resort which offers deluxe, air-conditioned rooms with an attached balcony from Rs.3800 a night.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Nature lovers and bird watchers will enjoy a trip to the Karnala Bird Sanctuary which is 12 kilometers from Panvel. It boasts 150 species of birds including Paradise Flycatcher and Malabar Whistling Thrushes. Spread over almost 13 sq km, the sanctuary is also a popular destination for trekkers, who hike up to the Karnala Fort,
Estimated to be built under the Tughlaq rulers, the Fort has inscriptions in Persian as well as Marathi. From the top, visors can enjoy exhilarating views. For an overnight trip, you can stay at the Rishi Garden Resort which offers panoramic duplex rooms for Rs.3200; the resort offers access to a miniature water park which will delight children.
If you're more of a hill-station than a beach person skip over Lonavala and Matheran this weekend and head to Bhandardara instead. In Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, Bhandardara is a lush green destination with waterfalls, lakes and magnificent dams.
Tourists can enjoy a variety of leisure activities including trekking (from Bhandardara, one can see Mount Kalsubai, Maharashtra's highest peak), visiting forts and fishing.
For a cheap stay, tourists can put up at the MTDC guest house in which has 34 rooms, cottage and dormitories starting at Rs.1300 a night.
Some seven hours away from Mumbai is Shrivardhan, a beach-side town in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Over the past few years Shrivardhan has become an increasingly popular tourist destination because of its clean beach stretches and calm, idyllic village life. Shirvardhan has been featured in several early European accounts of the Konkan coast.
Some of the best hotels to stay in the town are Sea Win Beach Resort which offers deluxe rooms at Rs.4999 a night and Gulmoharr Resort, which is Rs.2000 a night.
Many would automatically associate the city of Satara with the 'Kas Plateau' which is now a World Natural Heritage site. The Kas Plateau is a 10 square kilometer area filled with a magnificent diversity of flowers, shrubs and grasses.
However, Satara also has other attractions including a statue of Shivaji, the Ajinkyatara and Sajjangad forts and a unique step well, making it a must visit destination for history buffs.
There's a vast array of places to stay including Hotel Preeti Executive, which offers a deluxe room for Rs.3200 per night and Nivant Resort which is 15 kilometers from Satara city and Rs.3000 for an AC twin sharing.