Untouched landscapes, fresh air, birdsongs, shimmery waterfalls, thrilling treks, and pristine water bodies. Sounds perfect, right? These hidden gems near Mumbai offer this and much more.
8 hidden gems near Mumbai every nature lover must explore
Sewri Mangrove Park (13km)
If you are a birdwatching enthusiast, plan an early morning trip to Sewri Mangrove Park aka Sewri Flamingo Point. The park has been declared a protected area by the Bombay Port Trust. Go there to marvel at the large flamboyance of flamingos during the summer months. You can also spot other birds like godwits, redshanks, greenshanks, egrets, pond herons, and reef herons. The park is home to 15 acres of mangroves that offer fertile ground for fishes and birds. The mangrove park is located near the Sewri station.
Karnala Fort (48km)
Mix your love for nature, adventure, and history at the Karnala Fort near Panvel. Also known as Funnel Hill, the fort is a part of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Embark on an easy and rejuvenating trek to the fort that usually takes two hours. A prime attraction on the trek is the 125 ft tall basalt pillar known as Pandu’s tower. The Karnala Fort offers incredible views of the Prabalgad and Rajmachi forts. Of special note at the fort are the Marathi and Persian inscriptions that bore testimony to the ancient past of the structure.
Agro-tourism has emerged as a popular way to introduce urban kids to the real India that lives in villages. Maval in Lonavala is a popular agro-tourism destination that must be visited for its picturesque beauty. Encompassed by the verdant Sahyadri mountains, Maval is home to rolling hills, tranquil dams, age-old forts, and ancient caves. Prime attractions in Maval are the Korigad and Tikona forts. You must also add boating in the Takve Lake to your itinerary. If trekking attracts you, Maval offers a fantastic trek to the Bhaja Caves.
Visapur Fort (98km)
If you are a Khandala regular, plan a trek to the historical Visapur Fort this time. Constructed in the early 18th century by the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire Balaji Vishwanath, the fort houses caves, water cisterns, ruins of old houses, and a decorated arch. Another highlight of the fort is the large Peshwa Palace. Then there is the intricately carved Hanuman sculpture along with some ancient temples. There’s a well too, which is said to have been built by the Pandavas. Nearby attractions from Visapur Fort include Bhaja Caves, Karla Caves, Aamby Valley, and Lohagad Fort.
Kasara Ghats (107km)
Also known as Thal Ghat, Kasara Ghat near Igatpuri is nestled amidst the Sahyadris range of the Western Ghats. The mountain pass offers refreshing hill treks that take you to enchanting waterfalls and mist-clad green hills. Major attractions around Kasara Ghat include the lush Camel Valley, the mesmerising Ashoka and Vihigaon waterfalls, the peaceful Buddhist centre Dhamma Giri, the age-old Tringalwadi Fort, and the blissful Karoli Ghat.
If you and your mains have been planning an adventure trip for a while now, we’d recommend Kundalika in Kolad. On offer here is a range of adventure activities, including rafting, kayaking, rappelling, and flying fox, to name a few. Most people come here to enjoy rafting with their squad. The Kundalika river sources its water from hydroelectric projects and dams, making it ideal for rafting and other water sports. Most adventure companies in Kolad offer camping tents at the riverside.
This beautiful coastal village in the Palghar district is famous for its pristine beaches and lush chikoo farms. Spend some quality leisure time with your loved ones at the Bordi Beach, walk through the pages of history at the Dahanu Fort, trek to the sacred Bahrot Caves, seek blessings at the Mallinath Jain Tirth Kosbad Temple and soak in the serenity at the Kalpataru Botanical Garden. Film buffs must also visit the Vrindavan Studios, where legendary television shows like Mahabharata and Ramayana were shot.
Also known as the Everest of Maharashtra, Kalsubai is the highest mountain peak in Maharashtra. A paradise for trekkers, Kalsubai Mountain is nestled in the Sahyadri mountain range. It’s a part of the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. A trek to the peak introduces you to spectacular vistas of the Western Ghats as you go through beautiful waterfalls, forests, grasslands, and historic forts. The main attraction at the Kalsubai Peak is the Kalsubai Devi temple, which is flocked by locals in the droves. The trek also offers fantastic views of the Alang, Madan, and Kulang forts.