15 Amazing Monsoon Getaways Around Pune

It’s time the South-east Trade winds will soon make their way across the subcontinent, heralding the arrival of the monsoons, now that July is here. Ah! How wonderful it would be to be rain-drenched, more so if you have a passion for travelling. Here are some of the most amazing monsoon gateways in and around Pune that anyone who is thrilled by adventure would definitely love to explore.

1. Tamhini Ghat

Distance from Pune: 70 kms

Cutting through the Shayadri Range to join Pune and the Konkan region, Tamhini Ghat is noted for its exuberance of natural beauty, scenic waterfalls, lakes and dense woods. Despite the presence of broken roads with potholed sections, the place transforms completely into a bed of greenery during the monsoons and the entire landscape is cut across by small streams and waterfalls, making it a perfect holiday destination.

Things to Do:

  • If you do have a flair for adventure, you can explore the backwaters of Mulshi Dam and spice up your vacation with a bit of river rafting.
  • Further, after you have feasted your eyes enough on this breathtaking scenery, you can take a small detour of about thirty kilometres and explore Sinhagad Fort, perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleshwar range of the Sahyadri Mountains.

If you are a hardcore nature lover and have that unquenchable thirst for adventure, then I suggest you must definitely visit Tamhini Ghat. And trust me, you will want to go back again and again and again.

2. Bhimashankar

Distance from Pune: 110 kms

An immense trek is an experience of a lifetime. Lonavala to Bhimashankar is arguably the best back-country trek in the Sahyadri Range. The route passes through deep wild rain-forests, head-high bushes, lost-and-found trails, small rivulets, remote tribal villages, eerie temples, green meadows, hidden waterfalls and a plateau of flowers. You explore the best features of the Sahyadri range on this trek.

Things to Do:

  • At the cliff of the trek is located the famous Bhimashankar temple, which is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.
  • The Bhimashankar Sanctuary houses a wide variety of birds and animals and is a must visit for nature lovers.
  • Also, there is a small pond called Hanuman Tal.

This five to six hour trek would be nothing short of bliss for the perfect explorer and adventurer. And when you come back after all the struggle and toil, you will realize that yes, the trip was indeed worth the effort.

3. Varandha Ghat

Distance from Pune: 88 kms

Nestled in the crest of the Western Ghat mountain ranges, cutting across the intimidating Sahyadri, Varandha Ghat is blessed with nature’s bounty – lush greenery, tall mountain peaks, a wide variety of wildlife and most prominently the waterfalls that are born with the arrival of each monsoon.

Things to Do:

  • Shivthar Ghat, also called Sundarmath, is a cave located nearly 30 kilometres from Varandha Ghat. During the monsoons, it is indeed a captivating scene to behold as a waterfall runs right in front of the cave.
  • Besides, the valley view from Varandha Peak Point is simply wow – breathtaking and exhilarating.

Not many people know of this quiet serene place. But if you love to get soaked up in the rains, enjoy waterfalls and the picturesque view of the Western Ghats and you are a true Punekar and adventure seeker at heart, then definitely you should plan a trip to Varandha Ghat some fine weekend.

4. Lavasa City

Distance from Pune: 57 kms

The first and only private planned hill station city in India, Lavasa is built over eight long hillocks that surround the elongated Varasgaon Reservoir. It is stylistically built along the models of the Italian town Portofino. A popular luxury lakeside gateway for the elite and an amazing stay over for the nature lover, it is sprawls across 25,000 acres of lush greenery.

Things to Do:

  • If you are a solo traveler, this is one of the best places to visit. Explore the majestic grandeur of this newly planned city on bikes or bicycles.
  • Even better, go hiking up those different hills, set up a campsite somewhere atop a peak and live the enthralling scenery and the monsoon.
  • Enjoy an amazing variety of water sports on the Warasgaon Lake.

If you feel its been ages since you got some much needed peace and quiet, and you want to get away from the din and bustle of city life, then what better place than Lavasa City?

5. Bhaja Caves

Distance from Pune: 78 kms

Although they pale in comparison to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Bhaja Caves are a cluster of twenty-two caves that date back to 220 B.C and are located at Karli, near Lonavla in Maharashtra. One of the advantages of visiting this place is that it is much less crowded and you can go for an exploration with all the freedom you want.

Things to Do:

  • Explore some fabulous historic architecture
  • Shower in the waterfall that runs right through the steps leading up to the caves

So, if you want some me-time, do go there as a solo traveler. I am sure you will love the calmness and tranquility of the place.

6. Bhatghar Dam

Distance from Pune: 60 kms

It is a gravity dam located on the Yelwanti River, the hour and half drive there from Pune is one of the best and most scenic long drives you can enjoy.

Things to Do:

  • Park your car somewhere and go for hiking and trekking. You can spot lots of wild animals and birds like deer, antelopes, peacocks, and wild boars and moreover the scenic beauty is breathtaking.

Located far far away from the hubbub of city life, one can spend hours breathing in the scent of wet clay, listening to the slow gurgling of the waters and the quiet rustle of leaves on trees for hours on end.

7. Kaas Lake

Distance from Pune: 88 kms

Located on the south of the famous Kaas Plateau, also called the “Valley of Flowers” and a biodiversity hotspot, the Kaas Lake is surrounded by a dense forest. Not unlike a bowl carved out of the Sahyadri, the Kaas lake is at the height of its glory during the monsoons, when it is completely surrounded by a wide variety of the most exotic flora.

Things to Do:

  • Take a boat ride while enjoying the serenity of the lush greenery.
  • Take a bite of the local strawberry picks, roasted corn, cutting chai and other traditional Mumbai delicacies.
  • Vajarai Waterfall, which is India’s highest waterfall is also quite close to Kaas. A must visit.

Go and spend some time in the midst of nature, inhale the fragrance of the exotic blooms and lose yourself for a while in the calmness and tranquility of a monsoon gateway.

8. Karnala Fort

Distance from Pune: 120 kms

It is a trek to 1500 feet above Mumbai, albeit a rough, meandering one, but I am sure, once you reach the top, you will have absolutely no regrets about the painstaking trip. Currently, the Karnala Fort lies within the ambit of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The Fort is built around a basalt pillar, commonly referred to as the Pandu’s Pillar, believed to have once been a watch tower. Below the pillar is a cistern that carries fresh water round the year. The Fort is also called “Thumb Point” owing to its unique shape and structure.

Things to Do:

  • Explore the Karnala Fort in its entirety and the surrounding small caves
  • If you love adventure, go trekking to the famous Karnala Pinnacle and from there you get a breathtaking view of the entire Mumbai coastline
  • If you are a bird-watcher or animal lover, do visit the Karnala Bird sanctuary, which is home to over forty species of migratory birds.

While the birds twitter and chirp melodiously, they call you out to come and enjoy the scenic paradise that Karnala is – one of the best places to visit during the monsoons in Maharashtra.

9. Khadakwasla Dam

Distance from Pune: 19 kms

Built across the Mutha River, the Khadakwasla Dam has led to the formation of an attractive lake now known as the Khadakwasla Lake. This is one of the most romantic monsoon gateways in Pune. During the monsoons, when the river is swelled to a maximum capacity, it becomes a favorite hangout place for Punekars.

Things to Do:

  • On monsoon evenings, the place looks almost like a carnival, with a food chowpaty offering a tempting array of street snacks and beverages.
  • Enjoy camel rides too.

If you want to go out with your loved one to some scenic destination, which may not be very quiet and peaceful, but is definitely picturesque and colorful, then Khadakwasla is a must visit.

10. Kune Falls

Distance from Pune: 68 kms

One of the major tourist attractions of Lonavla, Maharashtra, the Kune Falls is a starkly beautiful waterfall, that cascades down from a height of over hundred feet, making it the fourteenth highest waterfall in India. During the monsoons, when the pressure and flow are maximum, the surrounding lush greenery becomes a favorite picnic spot.

Things to Do:

  • Enjoy waterfall rappelling if you love a bit of dare and adventure.
  • If you are a nature-lover, take a trek up and down the Lonavla-Kandla valley.

Don’t you think this would be an awesome gateway for a Punekar or Mumbaikar. I suggest you plan a trip right away.

11. Malshej Ghat

Distance from Pune: 119 kms

Nestled in the lofty rugged hills of the Western Ghats, Malshej Ghat can be described in just two words – flawlessly picturesque. It is often referred to as the rain traveler’s abode, and it can’t get better than this! The early morning downpour, drenching you down to the bone is pure bliss – man’s perfect communion with nature.

Things to Do:

  • Go Bird Watching around the Malshej Ghat
  • If you have a flair for adventure, try trekking, hiking and camping amidst the mountain ranges and the lush greenery.
  • If you are religiously or spiritually inclined, do visit the temple of Ozar, where Lord Ganesh is worshipped as Vighneshwara.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to photograph some of the most striking Flamingos, at the Flamingo Resort
  • If history interests you, then the Shivnero Fort, the birthplace of Shivaji, the Great is a must visit

You have so many ways to refresh yourself when you go to Malshej Ghat that once you reach there, you will not feel like coming back. Now, how exciting is that!

12. Matheran

Distance from Pune: 120 kms

As Asia’s smallest hill station and a little known place, Matheran is thankfully free of the dust and pollution, the din and bustle that form a part of every tourist destination, especially hill stations. Standing on an elevated peak of the Sahyadri , it has over 38 viewpoints which enable the enthusiastic traveler to get a panoramic view of the entire region.

Things to Do:

  • View the sunset and sunrise from these viewpoints – a stunning sight indeed!
  • Visit Echo Point where you can hear your own voice reverberating through the hills
  • The Hart Point offers a spectacular view of the nightlights of the city of Mumbai
  • Walk along, go on horse rides or better still, go for hiking and trekking to explore the place on your own as a solo traveler.
  • And don’t miss out the amazing ride on the Neral-Matheran toy train as well as paragliding and parasailing, if you have that streak of dare and adventure in you.

What else would you need to make this a perfect gateway? Matheran seems like a complete holiday package. So pack your bags and get set, go!

13. Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Pune: 110 kms

Located around 120 kms South-west of Pune, Mahabaleshwar is a huge plateau enveloped by lush green valleys on all sides. It is a charming small town hill station and an ideal picnic spot and gateway for Mumbaikars as well as Punekars. Its religious significance lies in the belief that from here, the River Krishna originates in the ancient temple of Mahadev. It reaches the highest point at an altitude of 1439 mtrs above sea level and this point is popularly known as Wilson or Sunrise Point.

Things to Do:

  • Head off to the nearby Venna Lake for an unforgettable experience.
  • Explore the area and all its viewpoints that all a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape – Monkey Point, Falkland Point, Carnac Point etc.
  • Visit the Pratapgarh Fort built by Shivaji, a mere 22kms from Mahabaleswar.

If you love peace and tranquility and you are planning a family trip after several hectic months of work schedule, then this is the perfect gateway for you and your loved ones.

14. Sinhagad Fort

Distance from Pune: 30 kms

Located 4300 feet above sea level, Sinhagad Fort rests on the lap of the Sahyadri ranges and is one of the best monsoon destinations for a weekend gateway. With the advent of the monsoons, the hillocks surrounding the fort are blanketed in green, speckled with a rainbow of wild flowers.

Things to Do:

  • Popular picnic spot for Punekars
  • Trekking to the mountain tops and the very summit of the Fort
  • Stopover for a brief respite at Panshet which is a pleasant, tranquil lake.

A visit to Sinhagad would indeed be an enthralling experience for both the nature lover as well as the adventure enthusiast. So definitely you must plan a trip right away this very monsoon.

15. Thoseghar Waterfalls

Distance from Pune: 137 kms

Thoseghar waterfalls are actually a conglomeration of a number of small and large waterfalls that swell to full size with the advent of the monsoons. They are an incredibly beautiful pictographic site, located around 20 km from Satara.

Things to Do:

  • Lose yourself in the enthralling beauty of the Kaas Lake, the flocking site of several rare migratory birds.
  • Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Kaas Plateau which is completely covered in flowers with the onset of heavy rainfall.
  • If you share the love for adventure, do take a trek to the summit of Sajjangarh, from where you can view the entire valley with all its flora, greenery and waterfalls in its finest grandeur.

Such a beautiful and serene gateway is a must visit for any and every nature lover, be it Indian or a foreign national. This place is a true paradise on earth and you must plan a visit right away.

So now, this monsoon you have a whole lot of trips lined up. Make the most of your time and live life to the fullest as long as you can. So now, get set and GO!

An avid traveler, football crazy and of course love riding bike.