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The Road Not Taken: Make 2021 Count With These Offbeat Travel Destinations

16225 Interested |

This year has been quite a drag. and the travel bug in you may have hit the rock bottom, but let's be hopeful for a better 2021, shall we? If you're a lover of offbeat trails and destinations, then this guide may have just been written for you. Check out these travel destinations around Mumbai that are unique, exotic and are as good as any trip that requires a passport! 

Kalavantin Durg

This one’s for the thrill seekers who love a good challenge. Kalavantin Durg is said to be one of the most dangerous fortresses to get across.

What Makes It Awesome: Located between Panvel and Matheran, this fort was built during the rule of the Bahmani Sultanate and is guarded purely by nature! A steep set of natural stairs cut into rock provide a challenging climb to even the seasoned trekkers, and we hear the views from the top are nothing short of jaw-dropping! 

Difficulty Level: Moderate to high. This fort, at a height of 2,300 ft, and is for true adventure seekers only. 

Murud Janjira Islands

Four hours away from Mumbai lies the scenic island of Murud, a tranquil getaway for nature lovers and couples who wish to escape the hustle of the city.

What Makes It Awesome: Famous for the Janjira fort that was built by a fisherman and then occupied by the Siddi community, Murud is easily accessible by road as well as the ferry. The Janjira Fort lies in the middle of the sea, and provides gorgeous views of the sea and the Murud beach.

What Else: You can also stop by at Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary and the Koralia Fort while in Murud. 


Chikhladara, or Chikhaldara, is the only coffee estate in Maharashtra and is located in Amravati district. An offbeat holiday destination, this coffee plantation estate is situated 1080 metres above sea level, and is easily accessible by road.

What Makes It Awesome: It is a haven for those looking to spend some time alone within nature. Cool, beautiful and with sights that will surprise you, Chikhladara is abundant in wildlife and also has some beautiful viewpoints from where you can enjoy the jaw-dropping sights of the valley.  

Tadoba Tiger Reserve

It doesn’t get more exotic than a wildlife safari, and that too so close to home! Known as the Jewel of Central Maharashtra, Tadoba Tiger Reserve is spread over 600 of beautiful, lush green forest lands.

What Makes It Awesome: The tiger reserve has 43 tigers, and we hear that tiger spotting is quite common here. Lodging options are available in and around the reserve, which is also easily accessible by road and lies close to  the city of Nagpur. 

Bhandardara Waterfalls

Bhandardara is one of the best kept secrets of Maharashtra. The waterfalls make their way through the Sahaydri cliffs, providing nature lovers with an opportunity to truly appreciate the force and beauty of nature. A day trip to these waterfalls makes for a quiet and romantic getaway. 

What Makes It Awesome: The most notable of the Bhandardara Falls are the Umbrella Falls. Beautiful, powerful and fast, the Umbrella Falls are formed due to the backwaters of the Wilson Dam, one of the oldest and yet surviving dams of Asia!

Karla and Bhaja Caves

Apart from the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Karla and Bhaja caves too served as a refuge to the Buddhists from the historic era. Located near the popular tourist town of Lonavala, these caves make for an interesting day trip, and are mostly frequented by history and culture lovers.

What Makes It Awesome: It is said that the carvings were done somewhere around 1st or 2nd Century BC by the Hinayana sect of Buddhism! Karla Caves are also the largest temples in India! 

Morachi Chincholi

The village of Morachi Chincholi is a hidden gem. Take a trip here to enjoy local authentic food and to understand more about agricultural tourism. This village is situated 55 kms away from Pune, towards Ahmednagar. 

What Makes It Awesome: It’s a beautiful village where you can see villagers as well as peacocks roaming around, and in fact the number of peacocks often exceeds the number of villagers in this town! Quite fascinating, doesn’t it? 

Harnai Anjarle

Known for clean, quiet beaches not ruined by crowds, Harnai Anjarle has serene beaches near Dapoli that make for a great weekend getaway from Mumbai.

What Makes It Awesome: An offbeat holiday location, Harnai Anjarle is perfect for those seeking solace. Drive down to enjoy the beauty of the beaches, local seafood preparations and a trip to the sea-fort! You can also go dolphin spotting here. 


Panhala is located on the outskirts of Kolhapur, is also known as the smallest city of Maharashtra. It's rich history dates back to the times when Shivaji Maharaj was ruling the State. An ideal place for trekking, Panhala will charm you with its peaceful and pollution-free ambience. So if you're looking at running away from the concretes, this must be on your go-to list. 

What Makes It Awesome: The star attraction here is the Panhala Fort, which is the largest of all the Deccan forts. There's also a 'Sajja Kothi' or the punishment cell from where Shivaji Maharaj apparently made a historic escape.