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The Best Destinations on the Mumbai-Pune route

From one metro city to the other, the route between Mumbai and Pune has been one of the most popular ones for a road trip on the west coast. From verdant landscape to historic forts, sanctuaries, and adventure parks, the Mumbai-Pune road is dotted with endless interesting things to see and explore.

Each of these places is idyllic enough to be a destination in itself and demand an exclusive trip.

Check out these best places to stop by when driving on the Mumbai-Pune road.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary: 47 KM from Mumbai

 At a drive of an hour and a half from Mumbai city, you will find this rich, green enclave, in the heart of the Karnala town. The forests here are home to more than 150 species of both resident and migratory birds. It is a popular haunt for regular trekkers and bird watchers from Mumbai and its neighboring towns. The hilly terrain, dense foliage, and wild trails interrupted by narrow streams make it an exciting adventure.

Things to do: Birding tours, trekking, wildlife photography.

Best Time to visit: November – February, August- September

Imagica: 88 KM from Mumbai

About two hours from Mumbai, in the Khopoli district, lies the largest, themed amusement park and entertainment district of India. The huge complex spreads across 140 acres of land and is a complete community with entertainment, leisure, and accommodation options for all kinds of travelers. With thrilling rides, a water park, a snow park, themed entertainment zones, live shows, and much more, Imagica offers an ultimate family weekend. You can make a day trip or choose to stay at the luxurious retreats available onsite and enjoy the park in details.

Things to do: Water rides, street parades, road shows, 3D & AR park.

Best time to visit: November to February, May-June

Khandala: 80 KM from Mumbai

Often called the sister of Lonavala, Khandala is the first major hill station on your way from Mumbai to Pune. While almost all through your drive, you can enjoy the mountain views, it is only when you reach Khandala can you see the Sahyadri more up close. The dainty little town is lined with retreats perched on hilltops or around the lake areas, offering incredible views. You can club your Khandala tour with a trip to Lonavala or enjoy this place exclusively.

Things to do: Visit the Duke’s Nose Peak, trek to the Tiger’s Leap Point or Kune Waterfall, and explore the Bedsa Caves.

Best time to visit: June-August, December-January

Rajmachi Fort: 95 KM from Mumbai

If you are a regular trekker, then this famous fort would not have escaped your attention. It is one of the most historically significant forts of Maharashtra and a popular trekking destination. The actual site of the fort lies a few miles from the basecamp at Kondhane village. It takes about five to six hours to walk up the rugged terrain and reach the top of the cliff. To reach Kondhane, you have to take the north exit from the highway towards Gold Valley. The highest point of the fort touches 2710 feet and calls for an arduous trek, but the views from the top will make it worthwhile. While you are here, also explore the Shirota Lake and Valvan Dam and its reservoir.

Things to do: Day treks, camping, lakeside activities, Buddhist cave tours.

Best time to visit: June-July, October – February.

Lonavala: 100 KM from Mumbai

This old hill station is a favorite weekend getaway for every traveler from Mumbai. With its lush green environs, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and not to mention, cooler weather than its neighboring towns, makes it the perfect respite for travelers. The town of Lonavala is great to be explored any time of the year but is at its best during the monsoon, when the valleys are misty and the waterfalls become more prominent. Winters are dewy and chilly, making you optimally enjoy the season. From lakeside camps to eco-retreats, and luxury resorts, Lonavala offers all kinds of accommodation options.

Things to do: Camping, fishing, or boating on Pawna Lake, treks to various viewing points on the mountains, explore the Buddhist caves of Karla and Bhaja.

Best time to visit: June-August, November – January.

Kamshet: 120 KM from Mumbai

This plateau region on the Sahyadri Mountains is a popular platform for paragliding and is one of the best in India. Kamshet is known for offering formal training to paragliding enthusiasts along with leisure rides for travelers. You can choose from classic, instructional or Acro sessions, each conducted by certified gliders, and enjoy the bird’s eye views of the expansive mountains and grasslands.

Things to do: Paragliding, trekking, camping.

Best time to visit: October to April

How to reach

The best way to drive from Mumbai to Pune is to opt for a car rental in Mumbai and take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. If you are traveling from another city, you can book a direct cab from Mumbai airport to Pune. When traveling with a big group, always get a comfortable and new minibus on rent in Mumbai.             

Whether you are on a solo trip, a romantic getaway, or a fun-filled weekend with friends and family, a stopover at any of these places on your drive from Mumbai to Pune will make your vacation a memorable and exciting one!

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