Holi is just around the corner. And if you are looking to escape the urban jungle for a few days, so that you can peace out and rejuvenate yourself, the upcoming long weekend will provide you the perfect opportunity. The best part? Whatever your budget, time preference and destination desires, we have ideas that might fit the bill for a long weekend. From rural experiences, forts and even beaches, there is something here for everyone. You can thank us later.
Murud: Beaches and seafood thalis
Although Murud is located only three hours away from Mumbai, it is quite far from the chaos and noise that dominates the financial capital. Check-in to your resort and head to the beach right away, where you can enjoy a series of cricket games or just watch hawkers going about their daily routine.
If you are a history geek, make sure you check out the Janjira fort, that is a short boat ride away from the shore and makes for a very impressive monument, right in the center of the sea. Built by Malik Ambar, this fort was built in the 17th century and has successfully managed to stand the test of time. Also, make sure you take the ferry across Jog Creek to Anjarle, for a quieter day at the beach, which is also a great place to unwind after a hearty seafood thali. Trust us, you will never want to go back. Find out more about Murud here.
Murud is approx 150 km/3.5hr by road from Mumbai.
Nashik: For wine love that is unmatched
Nashiks tryst with winemaking began nearly 16 years ago when Rajeev Samant, a Stanford-educated engineer, decided to plant a few wine varietals in the rich, black soil of Nashik, where table grapes thrived. In 1999, he began Sula Vineyards, which eventually led to the establishment of the wine industry in India. Today, the Nashik Valley Wines is a registered Geographical Indication (GI) that can be featured on the labels of over 29 vineyards. And if you are getting a chance to learn about the various types of wine, in the background of these vineyards, we suggest you grab the opportunity with both your hands.
There are quite a few vineyards located around Nashik, that belong to Sula, Grover and Chandon, many of them offer wine tours and have wine bars with tasting session that will teach you all about wine etiquette in a fun and interesting manner. Stay at Soma, where if you book during the first three months of the year, you can also stomp on freshly picked grapes. Find out more about Nashik here.
Nashik is 170km/3hr by road from Mumbai; trains from Mumbai to Nashik take approx 3.5hr.
Igatpuri – Trek up a fort
Besides its scenic beauty, Igatpuri has a host of forts that make it ideal for a active break. Located in the Nashik district, Igatpuri boasts of some truly lush and green landscapes, that become extra magical and spectacular during the monsoons. Some prime attractions in this place includes Bhatsa river valley, Vaitarna dam, Camel valley, Tringalwadi Fort and local temples.
A great destination for photographers, Igatpuri is an incredible place for photo enthusiasts to capture some amazing images of the mountains and valleys. If you are keen on adding some landscape shots to your portfolio, you know where to head to in the coming days.
Igatpuri is 120.3 km/2hr 27 min by road from Mumbai; trains from Mumbai to Nashik take approx 2 hr.
Lonavala – Picture perfect scenes
A popular hill station in Maharashtra, Lonavala makes for an easy, impromptu plan. Here you can explore the Karla caves, that are among the oldest Buddhist shrines in the country; or you can take a trekking expedition up to Lohagad Fort that has some truly gorgeous views of the surrounding areas. Predictably lovely, and perpetually laid-back, Lonavala never disappoints. Did we mention the fact that Lonavala also boasts of a Karnala Bird Sanctuary, that is home to more than 150 species of birds and 37 species of migratory birds. Also, this is a good place to introduce children to the avian world. Just, dont forget the binoculars.
Lonavala is 83.4 km/2hr by road from Mumbai; trains from Mumbai to Nashik take approx 2 hr.
Wai – A heady mix of spirituality and Bollywood
If youre looking for a getaway that doesnt feature hill stations, tea or wildlife, head to Wai for some temples and scenic locales. Situated 35 kilometres, north of Satara, Wai has nearly 100 temples that make it a great destination for history buff, architects and devotees. Most of the temple in this region follow the Hemadpanthi style of architecture, which is a technique that uses huge stone slabs without mortar.
Besides these forts and temples, Wai is also a hotspot for Indian films. More than 220 films across Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Bhojpuri languages have been shot here. Best explored on foot, this one promises to be a quiet, easy and memorable holiday. Find out more about Lonavala here.
Wai is 228.5 km/4hr by road from Mumbai. You can also take a private bus from either Pune or Mumbai.