Petrichor & Green Hills Calling: 10 Getaways Near Mumbai For Monsoon Travel

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The rains are here! And, even though Mumbai rains are romantic, dramatic, chaotic, and scenic all at once; a weekend during the monsoon season means a road trip nearby. You can go winding along the many ghats on the city's outskirts, stop at waterfalls for a dip, admire foggy peaks and the bright green landscape, and of course gorge on several plates of bhajjis with thecha and garam chai

Clad your wind-cheaters, wear your gumboots, pack a bag and fuel up your tank! It's that time of the year when you head out to monsoon getaways near Mumbai and enjoy Maharashtra's beauty.

One-Day Nature Trip To Karnala Bird Sanctuary

It's alright if you can't set aside an entire weekend. As long as you've got a bit of adventure in you, and comfortable walking shoes, you're going to love heading to Karnala Bird Sanctuary. 

On the outskirts of Mumbai, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is one the few sanctuaries that's within the city's limits. The best time to visit it, is during the monsoon. Centered around Karnala Fort, which now lies in ruins and poses as a medium-easy trek, the sanctuary is home to 200 species of bird and 114 species of butterflies.

You're guaranteed great views from atop the fort, and it's also an ideal time to spot some exotic birds. You can walk around the sanctuary, keep a count of the birds you spot, photograph them and also trek to the fort. There's also a small restaurant run by locals from the area, serving homely Maharashtrian meals apart from the usual like vada pav, misal pav and bhajjis.

What You Should Know: Karnala Bird Sanctuary is open from 7 AM to 6 PM; entry fee is INR 30 and you will have to pay an extra INR 100 for your camera. 

Daycation And Drunch At Oleander Farms

If you and a bunch of your friends simply want to getaway for a few hours, drive to Karjat's Oleander Farms. The 140-acre property sits in the lap of mountains, boasting of streams, lakes and greenery as far as your eyes can see. 

The farm is a great destination to host a wedding or special events, but now also houses the popular restaurant Saltt and the newly opened Common House. 

While the multi-cuisine restaurant and coffee shop Saltt has a white cottage-style roof and glass all around, making it an ideal location for brunch; the microbrewery/beer garden, Common House has an indoor and outdoor vibe, ample room for live gigs and its in-house beer on tap. So, you can choose where you'd rather go with your squad, while the rain pitter-patters out and the view all around the farms stays scenic. 

The farm also houses a petting zoo you can take kids to, an antique car gallery and lush lawns to walk across and bask in the serenity. 

What You Should Know: Saltt and Common House have separate menus and pricing; there's no entry fee for Oleander Farms.

Cabin In The Woods At Deep Forest Farms

Cozy up in a cabin in the woods over a weekend in Kolad. Deep Forest Farms is where you can enjoy a quiet (seriously, it's very quiet here!) getaway and wake up in a forest. The little riverside cabin has comfortable and simple rooms, the roof is tiled and the porch has a table and chairs where you're served meals. But outside this little house is where the magic happens!

They have a hammock on which you can snooze, read a book or simply lay and admire trees. If weather permits, you can enjoy a bonfire, or simply sit outside the cabin amongst the trees and enjoy the sounds of nature. When it's dark, lights along the pathway will lead you inside the cabin, and the setting is quite dreamy. Don't believe us? Check out their Instagram page.

Deep Forest Farms is a highly well-maintained homestay in the lap of nature. They offer home-style meals, and are pet-friendly as well. There's even a lake nearby to soak your feet into or swim. 

What You Should Know: Tariff depends on the time of the year and the number of people, meals, and pets. It's best to get in touch with the property to know more about the rates and activities on offer.

Live In Wilderness At Sterling Nature Trails Sajan

While Sterling Nature Trails has other locations, we recommend heading to Vikramgad. The small town is accessible from Wada, Jawhar, and Palghar and is very quaint. It's easy to say that the life of the town is this resort, and that's why you must go. It's surrounded by wilderness and rooms are fashioned like tree houses. 

You can wake up to birds chirping, cross the swaying Burma Bridge, ascend a rope, kayak on the lake nearby, eat several home-style Maharashtrian meals and laze on a hammock.

The resort has several other activities including archery, skywalk, valley crossing, and they also organise campfires and jungle cooking sessions. The best bit? You get to do all this in the midst of trees that fill the sky even as you look up.

What You Should Know: Vikramgad is located in Palghar district and is accessible by road. Tariff at the resort varies as per season and groups, so it's best to speak to the resort about the rates per room. 

Scenic Views At Malsej Ghat And Stay At Saj By The Lake

A drive to Malsej Ghat in the monsoon always seems quite fitting, no? While Malsej is closer to Pune, there's no reason why you shouldn't head there to catch the panoramic views of the Sahyadris over a long or two-day weekend trip. You can stay at the lakeside resort, Saj By The Lake. A panoramic view of the Sahyadris, manicured lawns, an indoor garden and a swimming pool, and several activities offered on the property make this resort an ideal stay. 

The Maati Baani in-house restaurant serves local favourites like methi pithle and baingan bharta, which are slow-cooked in earthen pits, a shorba is infused with nachani, and regional Maharashtrian, Kashmiri and Rajasthani fare is also available.

As the resort is on the banks of the Pushpavati river, you can take a walk there and enjoy the view as it's flanked by the mountain ranges. You can also part-take in the other activities offered here, which include trekking, boating, BBQ nights, and more.

What You Should Know: You can also head to the ancient Karneshwar stone caves and a Shiva temple nearby. Tariff changes as per the season, so it's best to check the price with the resort at the time of booking.

Admire Mulshi's Greenery At Basho Bougainvillea Resort

The drive may be four-hours long, but the green landscapes that Mulshi offers are breathtaking and worth the trip. What we love the most is that there's a lot to do in Mulshi, like visiting Mulshi lake and dam, and heading out for nature trails around the resort. Speaking of which, Basho Bougainvillea Resort is a beautiful place to stay.

You can stay in cottages, tents, or pool villas (with a pool right next to your bed!)—each comes with a splendid view of the Mulshi lake. And for company, you will have good books, the chirping birds, some yoga (on weekends) and massages at the in-house spa.

What You Should Know: Rooms cost INR 7,000 per couple, per night; but the tariff changes per season, it's best to check with the resort before you head out.

Stay On The Edge Of A Hill At Zostel Panchgani

Greenery everywhere, pretty sunsets and several view points—what's not to love about Panchgani? In the monsoons, all you see is green! You're in the lap of it. And, if it pours heavily, you're in the midst of clouds (if you're at a higher viewing point).

That's why, you must head out to Zostel Panchgani, located right at the start of the hill station. Built entirely from shipping containers, choose between co-ed, male, female dorms or opt for a private room, which overlooks Krishna valley. Zostel is located at the edge of a mountain, so the views here are worth sitting down and admiring for hours. 

Don't forget to take a trip to the Mapro Garden, Sydney Point, Rajpuri Caves, Kaas Plateau (best time to visit: August onwards till October), Harrisons Folly, Pratapgad Fort. 

What You Should Know: There are several restaurants worth trying in the Panchgani market. Zostel also organises several treks, nature trails, and campfires to help you explore Panchgani better. Rates for a bed in a dorm start at INR 999.

Walk Through A Jungle Or Get Farming At Savana Lake Resort

16 acres of lush green landscapes, dense woods and rolling lawns, Savana Lake Resort sits on the banks of Waldevi Dam, off Mumbai-Nashik Highway— is a sanctuary away from the busy Mumbai life. The closest town is Igatpuri (another great monsoon getaway destination); but this eco-resort has so much to offer, you wouldn't want to step out of it. 

You can head out for treks, go paddle-boating, or even try your hand at farming at the nearby farm. There's a pool, a sports centre and a playground as well for kids. What stood out to us is that accommodation options are abundant at the resort as you can choose from deluxe rooms, suites, cottages, deluxe cottages, and family villas, or lakeside villas.

What You Should Know: Savana Lake Resort is an eco-resort and believes in waste management, recycles the pool water, uses solar power, and has other practices and rules that guests have to adhere to. You can book a cottage with breakfast starting at INR 7,500 and up.

Visit The 14th Highest Waterfall And Stay At The Duke's Retreat

We tried to avoid adding Lonavala to this list, but we couldn't ignore Kune Falls. The 14th highest waterfalls in India are located in Lonavala, a mere two-and-a-half hour drive away from Mumbai. And, why would you miss out on it in the monsoon? The falls are almost always crowded, so it's best to head there early to avoid queues. 

Instead of making a day-trip out of Lonavala, why not stay the weekend at The Duke's Retreat? You surely know all about this iconic resort that offers a stunning view of the Western Ghats and is minutes away from Khandala Lake, Duke's Nose Trail and the Baja Caves. 

The resort has deluxe and executive rooms and cottages to choose from; and other amenities including an in-house restaurant, gym, and a spa.

What You Should Know: Lonavala is usually crowded every weekend throughout the monsoon season, so plan your travel well in advance. There's parking available at Kune Falls for INR 100. Tariff at The Duke's Retreat starts at INR 8,086 per couple, per night; and the resort also organises excursions around Khandala.

Take The Homies to Kolad!

While Zostel has a few properties dotted around Maharashtra, Kolad is probably the most fun one to visit specifically in the monsoons. Much like many pockets of the Western Ghats, Kolad truly comes alive in the monsoons—especially with respect to white water rafting! Kolad is best known for access to this activity, and it hits different when you experience it with the friends you're closest to! Of course, this whole sojourn can be ultra affordable, with a Zostel present there with beds starting at just INR 749 a night. Alternatively, book their charming cottages, which start at INR 3,299 a night.

Prefer a hotel? Try Nature Trails Kolad!