5 Hill Stations Near Pune To Drive To This Winter

We couldn't get luckier with Pune's proximity to forts, nature trails, sanctuaries and hill stations. From Matheran to Amboli, the list of hill stations you could visit is long. But here are five you definitely should check out. So fill up on fuel and drive to these hill stations that offer cosy stays, gorgeous views and great weather.

Bhandardara

This little hill retreat, 162km from the city, is the best option to travel on a long weekend. See the western ghats in all its beauty, stunning waterfalls, serene mountains and picturesque views aplenty. If trekking is your stress buster and rugged terrains give you an adrenaline rush, then this quaint hill town in Ahmednagar is worth exploring. You must check out the jungle camping here and visit Mount Kalsubai too. You can either take a bus from Swargate which will cost you around INR 500 or just make a road trip with your friends.

Matheran

Matheran, the smallest hill paradise in India, is full of scenic views which will lift up your spirits. Its lush greenery, rocky patches and eye pleasing surroundings with breath taking view adds to the ceaseless charm. It is located 120km from the city so it should take you around three hours by car. Trek to the Chanderi caves, and spot old Parsi and British-era bungalows where the rich once lived. Some are also available as homestays. There are plenty of trekking trails here to explore. Matheran is also the only automobile free station in all of Asia, so find a horse to ride if you're tired of walking.

Lavasa

The only private planned city in India, Lavasa looks like a quaint European town with its colourful townships along the lake. Only 65km from Pune and spread across 25000 acres of land and green pastures, Lavasa is where the rich go to holiday but you can also roam the town or look down at it from a viewing point just outside the city. Make sure you try trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, and water sports like jet-skis, luxury cruise boats, bumper boats and more. Lavasa roads were made for bikers so if you are taking a two wheeler make sure you are fully geared and there is an entry fee of INR 250. If you are taking your car, it will cost you INR 500 for entry.

Panchgani

If you are fond of fresh strawberries, cheese, jam and juices, then Panchgani is a must-visit. It has retained its colonial-era charm and has tall mountains surrounding the landscape. It's in the midst of wilderness and is only a 100kms away. And, has a number of economical home stays for travellers looking to stay for a while. The Mapro Garden is a must-visit here. Take a bus from Pune station to Panchgani bus stop for just INR 300 or drive down with your buddies in less than 4 hours.

Khandala

Located 68kms from Pune, Khandala is one of the most visited hill stations around Pune. Tranquil and alluring in its own way, this hilly abode is situated between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan Plains. There are a number of tourists spots which you must check out.

Mahabaleshwar

Located 120 kms away from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is just a little ahead of panchagani is a favourite for weekend getaways. It hardly take three hours to reach this hillstation and once you reach, you can instantly sense the old world charm. Make sure you visit the Venna Lake as it offers beautiful scenery. You can explore the lake via a boat ride or can simply take a horse ride around the lake area. Just outside Venna Lake, there are a lot of street food options that you should try just to get into the holiday mood.