Getting on the roads during the Mumbai rains is something we associate with a lot of anger and frustration. The muddy, flooded roads don’t make for a comforting experience at all. But what we’ve realised while working at Easy Roads is that hitting the road, if it’s on a cool stretch with trees waving on one side, and the sea twinkling on the other, can be the ultimate holiday. Here are our picks of the road trips from Mumbai you could take if you’re tired of heading to Goa or Pune all the time.

Mulshi Day Trip

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Mulshi makes for a great weekend getaway for when we want to have our lunch by a lake. Scenic drives, forts and lakes make this a very relaxing option.

Car With A View
It’s about a three and a half hour drive away, and we find it best to leave after breakfast once the morning rush has slowed down. On the way, we often stop at the Lion and Shivling Points to enjoy the view and have a chai.
We like driving back via the Hadashi-Lohogad Road, which is a very scenic path. Bonus: it allows us to stop for bhajias at the Lohagad Boat Club on the way. We’re usually back before dinner.

While We’re There
We like to relax next to the lake during the late afternoon. For lunch, we’ve hit up some of the lakeside resorts and restaurants like Basho’s Resort and Restaurant.

Directions
We follow the Sion-Panvel Expressway to the NH4 to Lonavala. We then take the Dattawadi Road/Lonavala Road to Mulshi Road/Mulshi-Paud Road.

Igatpuri

Photo source: Kashif Pathan via flickr

Photo source: Kashif Pathan via Flickr [CC-BY-SA 2.0]

Igatpuri is an ideal place to drive to for when we want to witness the monsoons in all their glory, which is best seen at the ghats and valleys. The drive through the twists and turns of the ghat are worth every bend.

Car With A View
We like to leave early to avoid the morning rush, and enjoy the breeze of the NH3. But take it slow — the roads can be skiddy and drivers careless. Head back at least two days later — Igatpuri deserves the weekend. Feeling hungry? Kamat’s Restaurant near Asangaon is a great breakfast option we have often availed of.

While We’re There
We like to have lunch at 360 Degrees for the non-vegetarians, while the herbivores hit up Tulsi restaurant. After lunch, we head to the Ghatandevi temple, which affords a spectacular view of the five waterfalls. If we’re feeling energetic, we hike to the Tringalwadi fort which offers panaromic views.
For sunset viewing, check out the Valtarna dam and reservoir, which are a short drive away.

Directions
A little over two hours, we take the NH3 to Igatpuri.

Bhandardara

Photo courtesy: Elroy Serrao via flickr

Photo courtesy: Elroy Serrao via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

We like to head to Bhandardara, not only for the cool monsoon and its picturesque views, but also the Anandvan Resort there, which is ideal for a weekend mini-break.

Car With A View
The drive is around five hours, and leaving early from Mumbai is a good idea to avoid traffic. We like to follow the NH3 and stop at the Kamat’s restaurant near Asangaon for breakfast. We also stop at the Camel Valley and Ghatandevi Temple to enjoy views of the whole valley. Stop at Igatpuri for lunch, at the aforementioned Manas Hotel and Tulsi restaurant. We reach Bhandardara via the Ghoti-Shukl Tirth road.

While We’re There
Besides checking in at Anandvan at 1pm — which is built on the steps of a mountain and has quaint furniture that we love — we also head to the Randha Waterfall which has tea stalls selling crunchy onion bhajiyas, which we chow down on while appreciating the view.

Directions
A drive of a little over three hours, we reach Bhandardara via the NH3.

Malshej

Photo source: Elroy Serrao via flickr

Photo source: Elroy Serrao via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Malshej Ghat is another great location to enjoy the rains, and it’s ideal for a one-day getaway.

Car With A View
We like to get to Malshej during the rains (to enjoy the misty views), before breakfast and ideally during a weekday to avoid the traffic. We also take the NH-222. It’s a three hour drive and the roads are in a better condition than most, making it a safe drive. On the way to Malshej we stop for a hot bhutta and chai at any vendor.

While We’re There
MTDC’s Flamingo and Sushant Resort’s restaurants are two popular spots for lunch with serve authentic Maharashtrian food such as missal and usal pav that we love. After lunch, we head to Naneghat, a historic mountain pass with numerous waterfalls and a great view — as a well as a trek opportunity for the adventurous.

Directions
A total of a three hour drive, we take the NH3 and NH 222 till Malshej.

Satara

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Satara is Maharashtra’s very own Valley of Flowers, with the Kaas Plateau blooming to life in late August. We head here to see over 800 varieties of flowering plants, some specific to the region,

Car With A View
We begin the journey soon after the crack of dawn to make the most of it. The route is one of the smoothest drives in the country. We like to stop at Lonavala for breakfast, or at any of the multiple restaurants at Baner Pune.

While We’re There
We visit Bhatgar lake to relax, and a swim there can be very refreshing. We also visit Thosegar falls on our way to Satara. If we have time, we walk through the Satara market to have an authentic Maharashtrian experience. One thing to note: Kaas has no washrooms or restaurants, so come prepared.

Directions
Drive to Pune via the expressway and then hit the NH4 till Satara.

Featured Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB