Tired of Travelling to the Same Destinations on that Special Weekend or that family trip or trip with friends, here are few exciting places around Mumbai you can visit and will give you the much needed change.
Lost World of Maharashtra-Lonar Crater
Incredibly old at 50,000 years, the Lonar crater is the youngest and best preserved impact crater formed in basalt rock and is the only of its kind on earth. The crater was formed fifty-two thousand years ago, when a blazing ball of fire (a meteor that weighed over one million ton in deadweight) crashed into the earth at an estimated speed of 90,000 km per hour. It gouged a deep depression (1.8 km wide and 150 m deep) before erupting and spewing molten rock to create a magnificent crest on the rim. Over time, the jungle took over, and a perennial stream transformed the crater into a tranquil, emerald green lake.
Located in the Buldhana District of Maharashtra, the Lonar Lake is an exceptional ‘bowl of biodiversity’ and a wildlife sanctuary with a unique ecology that is vastly different from the surrounding flat landscape. A land-locked water body which is alkaline and saline at the same time, the Lonar Lake supports micro-organisms rarely found elsewhere on earth. Fringed by a lush jungle, the lake’s surroundings are peppered with fragments of minerals like maskelynite, and centuries-old abandoned temples that are now inhabited only by insects and bats.
Where : Buldhana District, Aurangabad
Best season to visit : Throughout the year
How to reach : Nearest Station-Jalna; Nearest Airport – Aurangabad
Maharashtra’s Valley of Flower- Kaas Plateau
Kaas Plateau is also an unesco World heritage site for its versatile biodiversity. Kaas Pathar is the home for around 850 species of wild flowers and also for those which are only seen here and no where else. Due to its ecosystem, it shelters colorful birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles etc. After the shower in monsoon, the pathar turns into pink carpet due to the blooming of Terda (Impatiens Balsamina). The other blooms soothing your eyes in Kaas includes species of Orchids, Karvy, Drosera Indica, Mickey-mouse flowers (Smithia Hirsuta-Kawla), Utricularia Arcuata, Mrudannia Ianuginosa, Ziniger Neesanum, Lamprachaenium Micricephalum etc. Approximately 01 km away from the plateau is a beautiful pond dipped in fog known as Kamudini Pond covered with thousand of Kamudini Flower (hybrid of lotus and waterlily) floating on it and lots of cactuses at the edges. One can also visit Bamnoli lake; 10 kms away from Kaas Plateau.
Where : Wadi Village, Satara
Best Season to Visit : In and after Monsoon
How to reach : 25-30 kms away from Satara
Nearest station-Satara; Nearest Airport – Pune
Sula Vineyards – Wine Capital of India
A Home for 60 wineries, Sula Vineyards is the first ever winery in India. From taking a trail through the vineyards to showing the wine making process, sula vineyards is an ideal place to spend a leisure day. Grape stomping is next big surprise here. This roman tradition is followed with the delicious and lavish meals at their Italian and Indian restaurants offering you along with 4-5 different wines to taste. The 02 days Annual Musical Festival known as Sula Festival is organized every year mostly in February.
Where : Sula Vineyards, Nasik
When : January to March
How to reach : From Mumbai : 180 kms, Pune :210 kms.
Nearest airport : Mumbai. Nearest station : Nasik
Sandhan Valley – Igatpuri
Sandhan Valley, also known as Valley of suspense or Valley of Shadow, is one of the greatest canyons in the splendid setting of Sahyadri Western Ghats. The water carved valley is 200 ft deep and about 1.5 km long. Sandhan valley is located on the western side of the beautiful Bhandardara region, near Samrad village. The valley is surrounded with mighty Alang, Madan and Kulang (Known as AMK- rated as the toughest trek in Sahyadri) Ratangad, Ajoba & Kalsubai 5400 ft. highest peak in Maharashtra mountain ranges. The brilliant and deep narrow rock floored ravine is located between the two high walls of mountain range. At some places its width is less than 3 ft and at some places sun rays unable to reach the ground. Which gives it the name: valley of shadows.
Where : Sandhan Valley
When : All Year
How to reach : From Mumbai : 130 kms, Pune :180 kms.