The Western Ghats are home to some of the most scenic and stunningly beautiful holiday destinations in all of India. The undulating green hills of the region are interspersed with rivers and waterfalls and are a magnificent sight to behold throughout the year. And the residents of Pune are unbelievably lucky due to the fact that the best hill stations in the Western Ghats are located a stone’s throw away from the city which make them perfect for weekend road trips. If you are a resident or tourist in Pune, then here are some of the best hill stations near Pune that surely deserve a visit from you.
Distance from Pune: 65 km
Lonavala is a beautiful hill station located in Pune District of Maharashtra, and it lies in the Sahyadri hill range of the Western Ghats. This place is known for its natural beauty and the numerous waterfalls, woody meadows and lush green valleys will take your breath away. This city also has a large number of caves and it gets its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’ that stands for group of caves.
Lonavala has a moderate climate throughout the year and it receives heavy rainfall during the months of June to September. The monsoon season is in fact the best time to visit this hill station as you get to see the waterfalls and the Bushi dam in all their water-filled glory.
Distance from Pune: 65 km
The first and only private planned city in India, Lavasa also proves to be a salubrious getaway from Pune. Spreading around 25,000 acres of lush and green pastures, this upcoming destination is getting into the list of the smartest city and has already made its mark as a popular tourist destination in the country. Lavasa happens to be the first new hill station in India after Independence. It is modeled after the Italian town Portofino and lies on the banks of the Warasgaon Lake in the Sahyadri Mountain Range.
Due to its perfect location, Lavasa is chock-full off interesting activities like trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, and water sports like jet-skis, luxury cruise boats, bumper boats and more. Add to this the availability of world-class hotels and restaurants that serve sumptuous multi-cuisine food, and Lavasa is one of the best destinations for a relaxing holiday in Maharashtra.
Distance from Pune: 69 km
Khandala, a beautiful hill station located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is a place that requires no introduction thanks to the famous song starring Amir Khan. The town is set amidst the hills and valleys of the Sahyadri mountain range and is one of the most popular places in the region.
Khandala is located at the top end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat (meaning valley in Marathi) on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. This route near Khandala sunset point and Khopoli has been in use for centuries to connect the coastal cities like Sopara to Pune.
Distance from Pune: 120 km
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Satara district of Maharashtra at a distance of 120 km from Pune and 285 kms from Mumbai. It lies in the Western Ghats among one of the few evergreen forests in India and is one of the most beautiful vacation spots near Pune courtesy of its myriad lakes, waterfalls, rivers and views of undulating green hills in all directions. The year-round pleasant climate combined with all these factors is the reason why Mahabaleshwar was used by the British as their summer capital. This hill station is also famous for housing the Pratapgad Fort which was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj in 1656.
Distance from Pune: 120 km
Matheran is the closest hill station to Mumbai and lies in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of 803 meters above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats, Matheran is a plateau with a reasonably dense forest cover. It is a very peaceful place and there are a number of lookout points that provide spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valley. Matheran also has a number of trails that are perfect for trekking.
Distance from Pune: 118 kms
Satara is a historical city in the state of Maharashtra and is a popular getaway from Pune. Once the capital of the Maratha empire, this city stands at the place where the River Krishna meets its tributary Venna. This historical city has several remnants of the past which are heritage sites in the present times and it is these monuments that draw most tourists to Satara even today. The Ajinkyatara Fort and Sajjangad Fort in particular are very popular tourist attractions.
Natural formations like the Kaas Plateau and the lake are a nature lover’s delight. The plateau, called Valley of Flowers, which is covered with wild flowers following the rainy season is a sight worth seeing and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site. The Thoseghar and Vajrai Waterfalls that lie en route to Satar from Pune are also worth visiting during the monsoons.
Distance from Pune: 102 km
Panchgani is a hill station in the Satara district of Maharashtra and its name comes from it being set between five hills of the Sahyadri mountain range. It is a very peaceful place and has some stunning natural beauty with the backdrop of mountains on one side and coastal plains on the other.
Panchgani was first established by the Britishers in the 1860s and was developed as a holiday retreat for them. And due to its pleasant year-round weather, it has retained its popularity as a holiday destination even today. Panchgani’s pure, unpolluted mountain air and cool weather makes it ideal for anyone who wants to escape the noise and heat of cities like Mumbai and Pune. The River Krishna flows nearby and the reservoir it forms at the Dhom Dam is a sight worth seeing.
Going to these places might be a problem if you don’t have your own vehicle. Instead of blowing cash on cabs though, you can rent a bike in Pune from Wheelstreet at the lowest rates and travel as much as your like.
Which one of these hill stations near Pune is first in your travel plans? Let us know in the comments below.