khandala

Khandala, Maharashtra – A stunning and popular hill station with strong Bollywood connection

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Located in the Western Ghats of the state of Maharashtra, at an altitude of height of 625 m, Khandala is one of the important hill stations and the pride of Sahyadri Mountains. The place is gifted with abundant natural beauty and is one of the popular getaway destinations for the people of the city of Mumbai and Pune. The place also has a strong Bollywood connection. Being one of the renowned hill station of Maharashtra Khandala has been an all time favourite shooting spot for many of the Bollywood film makers over the ages. Even the name of the place is mentioned also in one of the famous hindi song.

The origin of the place is uncertain. The founder of the first Maratha Empire Chhtrapati Shivaji ruled the area around Khandala and it came under the kingdom of the Peshwa ruler, the founder of the second Maratha Empire.

Places to see at Khandala: Khandala offers some beautiful tourist spot. These includes:

Bedsa Caves

Bedsa Caves are situated very close to the region of Kamshet and falls on the Mumbai to Pune road. These caves are located around the city of Khandala. The Caves of Bedsa are known for their pillars that are adorned with the image of lions and a Chaitya hall having spacious reposing rooms. The caves of Bedsa are really well-maintained by the tourism department of Maharashtra. The BedsaCaves are popular for their superb art and architecture.

Bhaja caves

These caves are popular for their excellent architecture. The caves are built in identical manner with Karla Caves The most unique characteristic of the caves is that the beam of light of the setting sun enters the insides of the caves. The southern region of the caves consists of the sculptures of human figures and deities. There are many mythological tales that revolves around these images and sculptures. The BhajaCaves are adorned with 18 temple caves and are built in Hinayana style.

Karla Caves

The caves are one of the most popular tourist attractions of Khandala. The Buddhist Karla Caves were cut out 2000 years ago. The caves of Karla were built during the rule of the Satavahanas. These caves have excellent architectural structures and possess maximum number of Chaityas. The purpose for making the caves was for the stay of the Buddhist monastics. The people have to climb 350 stairs in order to reach to the caves. At the entrance is located a temple which has been constructed very recently. The outer surface of the temple is full of sculptures of humans in various poses.

Kune Falls

Kune Falls is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Khandala. It is located centrally within the Lonavala Khandala valley and is worth an admiration. The KuneFalls is surrounded by lush green vegetation. People often hold picnics around the region of the falls.  Built during Shivaji’s rule in Maharashtra, the fort of Lohgad is situated 10 kms away from Lonavala. This fort was constructed so that prisoners could be kept. Lohgad Fort belonged to Chatrapati Shivaji and later on the royal family of the Gaikwada and Dabhade were imprisoned in this fort. The Lohgad Fort reflects an old charm about itself. It is a majestic structure that stands tall through the sands of time. The Lohgad Fort is indeed worth admiring.

Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort is another eminent tourist sites in Khandala. It is situated about 20 kilometers from Lonavala. It is located mid-way between Khandala and Lonavala. The fort can be reached through TungarliLake: this trek is popular among the beginners. Tourists willing to reach Rajmachi fort in Khandala can avail the local transport from Pune.

Reversing Station

The Reversing Station, Khandala is definitely one of the picturesque sites of the hill station. It was once used by the railway department but today it is an unused and secluded place. One can enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding regions from this site. During the night, lights from the distant Khapoli city present a heavenly view.

Sakur Plateau

Sakur Plateau is situated at an elevation of 1000 feet and is located about 4 miles from the hill station of Khandala. It is situated on the way to INS Shivaji and village Ambavane and is one of the popular tourist attractions of Khadala, Sakur plateau is sparsely populated.

Nearby attractions from Khandala: From Khandala you can make a visit to Lonavala which is located at a distance of 11.4km from Khandala. This is the place to be if you want to take a break from your hectic life. This gorgeous hill station, located in Sahyadri ranges, is known not just for its pleasant climate and scenic views, but also for many tourist attractions like Valvan Dam, Lonavla Lake, Tiger’s Leap, Lion Point, Wax Museum etc.

Things to do in Khandala: Khandala, offers a wide variety of things to do. The shutter-bugs can indulge in the photo sessions here, as the place offers wonderful scenic beauty. The other activities which the tourists can enjoy here are trekking, hiking, or caving as the natural beauty of Khandala can be best explored on foot. Apart from that the sight seeing destinations offers an added attraction of the place. Don’t forget to taste the famous sweet Chikki made of jaggery, peanuts and sesame seeds.

Best time to visit Khandala: You can come here any time of the year, especially in winter, from October to April that is considered the best time to visit Khandala.

How to go ?

By Air

Khandala does not have any airport so one has to fly to either Mumbai or to Pune. The nearest international airport is Mumbai (110 km) and domestic airport is Pune (66km). From either of the city airports you would have to take a taxi or bus to Khandala.

By Rail

You can avail trains either from Mumbai Central Station or from Pune Junction. These two rail junctions are connected with all major rail stations in India. All the trains available from here halt at Khandala before travelling onto to Lonavala.

By Road

Khandala is well connected with Mumbai and Pune by road and the bus service for Pune (travel time 2½ hours) via Lonavala is good. It takes about four hours to reach Mumbai from Khandala.

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Where to stay ?

Khandala being a very popular tourist destination is dotted with a no. of hotels. Some options are:

Velvett Country: +91- 0777 403 9670, 403 9671  Website: www.velvettcountry.com
Krushnai Resort: +91-098 90 270427
Zara’s Resort: +91-02114-269163, 64  Website: www.zarasresort.com
Hotel Rama Residency: +91-67089277,9769994449 Website: www.ramaresidency.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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harnai-beach

Harnai, Maharashtra – An excellent harbour dotted with distinguished historical constructions and cozy sea beaches

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Harnai is situated 15 km from Dapoli district Maharashtra is mainly a port and the main fishing village of the region. Harnai promises a quiet and peaceful natural harbour with clear waters, delicious sea food, beautiful seascape and rocky coasts. The site poses a mixture of olden styles of Maratha architectural buildings and the modern terraced buildings. Harnai is also dotted with many ancient temples.

Places to see at Harnai: Harnai offers quiet a lot of tourist attractions. These include:

Suvarnadurg Fort

Lying on the beautiful Harnai coast the fort showcases the architecture and history of Maratha. It is 17 km from Dapoli at Harnai, the Suvarnadurg ‘boat travelled’ fort consists of two forts: Kanakdurg and Suvarnadurg the land and sea fort. It is a small sea port built by Adil Shahi dynasty and later conquered by great emperor Shivaji and converted to a ship building port in Maharashtra. From Kanakdurg Fort (a sub fort of Suvarnadurg) Fategad, ecstatic view of fishing boats and sunset can be viewed.

Anjarle Ganesh Temple

It is a famous ancient 12th Century temple set on a cliff in which the Ganesh idol is right-sided (trunk curves towards the right) which is rarely found. Anjarle beach located to close vicinity is an unexplored tourist destination

Burundi Beach

Resting within the close proximity to Harnai, the natural emerald green beauty of the beach converges with the nature’s blue clear skies. Cool breeze, gushing waves, the clear sands and greenery make Burundi a unique tourist destination

Durgadevi Temple

The Durga Devi (Goddess Mother) Temple is a celebrated temple of the 18th Century in the Konkan belt located nearby Harnai beach. The temple is visited regularly by devotees. The temple talks of architectural style consisting of beautifully carved 28 wooden pillars and the grandeur entrance is adorned by a large bell. There is a cool water pond used for the temple rituals behind the temple.

Siddhi Vinayak Temple

It is an ancient famous temple near Harnai located in Dapoli town. The temple was built around Madhavarao Peshwa period in 18th century with the prime deity as the Lord Ganesh made in marble. The temple encloses a stone staircase of about 250 steps placed on a high mount, and a big hall with many pillars and a dome with an attractive lake in the front. The Vinayak Chaturthi festival celebrations here are a feast to the eyes. SiddhiVinayakTemple is one of such important ancient temple dating back to 18th century attended by regular devotees and tourists. Shri Siddi Vinayak has high blessing power to remove all obstacles in the path of prosperity of the devotees.

Unhavare – Hot Water Springs

There are natural hot water springs at Unhavare Village, just 20 km from Harnai. This is a famous tourist attraction. Many legendary stories are associated with this spring having medicinal or magical power and medicinal value and a dip in the Unhavare Hot Water Springs is said to cure skin and body ailments. Lots of people from surrounding areas come here regularly to bath in the Hot Sulphur water springs. Separate accommodation are made for men and women to take a dip in the rejuvenating hot water

Karde Beach

It is an idyllic beach front in Murud Harnai area, excellent for spending some idle time and unwinding oneself.

Murud Beach

Situated in the Ratnagiri district of  Konkan area, Murud is a picturesque beach resort of Maharashtra. It is a small town on the sea coast, about 12 kilometers from Dapoli and 35 kms from Khed (NH-17) possessing the most beautiful and longest beach in the Konkan region. Besides the serene and clean beach the land is admired with softy sands, green surroundings, and has a rural character.

Nearby attractions from Harnai: Just 25 kms. from Harnai, Kelshi is a typical small Konkani village. Want to taste the real village life in konkan, then Kelshi is the ideal getaway from Harnai. The village is very small and you can experience real peace away from the cacophony of the modern cities. The 2.5 Kms. beach at Kelshi is very beautiful and secluded and there are beautiful sand dunes on the beach where children enjoy sliding down on the sand dunes. There are no hotels in kelshi and you can only stay at places where people offer lodging facilities in their homes.

Things to do at Harnai: Sight seeing is the primary activity here. You can also laze around at the scenic beach here and go for early morning boat ride to view Dolphins. Do enjoy the sumptuous sea food here like fresh pomfret, prawns, crabs, Bombay duck and lobsters.

Best time to visit Harnai: Harnai can be visited during any time of the year. However it is better to avoid the high tide time from October to February.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Mumbai, 200-km away from Harnai. From here you can hire a cab to reach Harnai.

By Rail

Mumbai located 200 km away is the nearest railway station. After reaching Mumbai or Dadar, Mandavi Express or Konkankanya Express will take you to Khed station. Hire a car from here to reach Harnai.

By Road

State Transport buses ply from Mumbai, Pune and Mahad to Harnai.

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Where to stay ?

Lotus Beach Resort: +91-02358-234828, 234582, 698151 Website: www.lotusresortmurud.com
Dr Dalvi’s Ashiyana – Harnai: +91 -02358 – 652135  Website: www.ashiyanaharnai.com
Silver Sandbeach Resort:+ 91 (02358) 234501  Website: www.beachresortsilversand.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kunkeshwar

Kunkeshwar, Maharashtra – About 580 km from Mumbai the place has breath taking natural beauty

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Kunakeshwar is a quaint and small sea-side pilgrimage centre in Devgad taluka of Sindhudurga district in Maharashtra. About 6-7 kms from the taluka headquarter, the site has not only extravagant scenic beauty, but also the ancient temple of Shiva or Ishwara. It is famous for the best quality Hapus(Alphonso) Mango. These mangoes are exported to various parts of Mumbai and even in other parts of Maharashtra.

Places to see at Kunkeshwar: Kunkeshwar offers quite a lot of tourist attractions. These include:

Vijaydurg Fort

Vijaydurg or Viziadrug, this is the oldest fort on the Sindhudurg coast, and was constructed during the regime of Raja Bhoja II of the Shilahar dynasty (construction period 1193-1205). It was earlier known as “Gheria”, as it is situated close to the village of “Girye”. After Shivaji captured this fort from Adil Shah he renamed it as “Vijay Durg” as the then Hindu solar year’s name was “Vijay” (Victory).

Kunkeshwar Temple

Kunkeshwar Temple is an ancient Shiva Temple. This beautiful temple near beach has excellent architectural work reminding us of South Indian style of temple architecture. This temple is well known as the Kashi of South Konkan. Every year a huge celebration takes place on the occasion of Mahashivratri, accompanied by huge crowds.

Kunkeshwar Beach

The mesmerizing beach located across the temple on one side of the hill gives a tranquil effect on the mind. Swimming in the clear water freshens the mind and if you are lucky ones you can get a rare view of dolphins diving in the deep sea from a distance. Greenery of coconut and mango trees surrounding one side of the beach adds to the beauty and makes the whole experience of every visitor a memorable one.

Devgad Beach

Just 16km from Kunkeshwar this mesmerizing sea beach will greet you with enchanting music of the sea waves waves rushing up to the shore and the cool and soothing breeze. For hours, watch the Arabian Sea spread till the horizon and listen to the enchanting music of the A lazy stroll on the unpolluted supple sandy beach is a wonderful experience.

Vimleshwar Shiva Temple

 The Vimleshwar Shiva temple is dedicated to Lord Vimleshwar, a form of Shiva.

Nearby attractions from Kunkeshwar: Ambolgad is a coastal Hamlet 61 kms from Kunkeshwar and  renowned for its Fort and stunning Views of the Arabian Sea

Best time to visit Kunkeshwar: The best time to visit Kunkeshwar is from Cctober to May.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Kunkeshwar is Dabolim in Goa, 160 km away.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Kankavli, 47 km away. Kankavli is connected to Mumbai by the Konkan Kanya Express, Shatabdi and Mandovi. It is connected to Delhi by the Mangala Express. Coming from any other cities, it is preferable for you to reach Mumbai first. From here Kunkeshwar is 580 km. You can hire a car from here to reach Kunkeshwar.

By Road

The Maharashtra State Public Transport buses connect Kunkeshwar to nearby cities like Belgaon, Panaji, Pune and Mumbai.

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Where to stay ?

Kunkeshwar has very limited accommodation options. One option is:

Savli Resort: +91-02364-248614

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra – Bordered by the Sahyadri mountains on the eastern side, this coastal town is one of the popular tourist destination

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Want to discover the art, culture and history of the magnificent Maharashtra, Ratnagiri is an excellent place to start your journey from. A land so vivid and spectacular, Ratnagiri has its own shade of natural beauty in every season. Bordered by the Sahyadri mountains on the eastern side, Ratnagiri is a part of Konkan division of Maharashtra. It is a coastal district hidden between Raigad and Sindhudurg. Ratnagiri is the birth place of the illustrious leaders like “Lokmānya Tilak” ( Bal Gangadhar Tilak). The region is also the hub of “Hāpus” (Alphonso) mangoes. Ratnagiri is among the premier tourist destination in Maharashtra.

Places to see in Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri is dotted with numerous tourist attractions, which include:

Mandavi Beach

A booming hot spot of tourists, Mandavi Beach is the most crowded beach in the Ratnagiri region. The prettiest beach in Ratnagiri, Mandavi is gifted with a vast line of seashore right up to Rajiwanda Port. This fabulous beach is surrounded by the west by the Ratnadurg fort, and the majestic Arabian Sea lies to its south. The proximity of the beach to the town makes it a favourite holiday spot of the water enthusiasts. Mandavi beach offers lustrous black sand and so it is renowned as the ‘Black Sea’.

Tilak Ali Museum

The museum tries to depict the significant moments in the life of Thilak through magnificent photographs. The house is a classic example of native Konkani architecture. Tilak Ali Museum is a genuine effort to put alive the memories of the famous Indian and a visit to this monument provides ample information about the struggles for freedom.This is the ancestral home of the illustrious Indian, Lokmanya Tilak. His old house is now turned into a museum containing lots of pictures of the great freedom fighter. This memorial is maintained by the State Archaeological Department.

Thibaw (Thiba) Palace

The Thibaw Point, nestled in the lap of majestic Arabian Sea, presents a picturesque view of a dense village. Situated at the hem of a hill, this point is a fast emerging tourist destination in Ratnagiri that offers delightful sceneries of a virgin land. Thibaw Point is the place where the eye catching mansion, the Thebaw Palace is located. Built in the year 1910, the palace is famous as the exile shelter of the king and the queen of Burma (Myanmar). Thibaw Point is a thriving spot of picnickers, and it gives a panoramic view of the entire city. People gather here in large groups to see the stunning view of the sunset.

Bhatye Beach

The biggest town in Konkan, Bhatye is one of the immediate suburbs of Ratnagiri town. A wonderful beach in the background of the jagged Sahyadri mountain ranges provides a panoramic view of the surroundings. The bluish water, vast expansion of silvery sands and the clean environs sprinkled with casuarinas, Bhatye beach gives exciting opportunities for water sports. The beautiful Bhatye beach presents a sleepy and peaceful atmosphere. The unpolluted air, clear sky, the vast expansion of bluish water, a quite evening, the lovely Bhatye beach is a perfect place to admire the romantic sunset.

Ratnadurg Fort

Bounded by the charming Arabian Sea on the three sides, the massive Ratnadurg Fort presents a splendid look. A massive structure in the shape of a horseshoe, with a length of 1,300 meters and a width of 1,000 meters, Ratnadurg Fort was once a strong hold of the Maratha Empire. Spread over a vast area of 120 acres, Ratnadurg Fort was under the Muslim rule for so many years. Now a collapsed structure, lying across two hills, Ratnadurg Fort gives a decrepit look. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Ratnadurg Fort offers the dazzling view of the sun going down the sea and the roaring sound of the waves against the rocks makes a perfect atmosphere. Another specific attraction in the fort is the marvellous lighthouse situated in the bastions of the fort. Having a glorious past, Ratnadurg Fort on the coastal line of the Konkan region is a perfect place to getaway from the trappings of the city life.

Gateway of Ratnagiri

The Gateway of Ratnagiri is a very different structure with a slopped roof in the Ratnagiri Jetty in Mandavi Beach. The magnificent beach itself is renowned as the gateway of the hilly terrain. The popular belief is that this structure, the defence of the mainland, is the work of the Pratinidhi Dhondu Bhaskar. A fabulous construction overlooking the majestic Arabian Sea, Gateway of Ratnagiri provides a unique opportunity to walk through the seashore and enjoy the cool breeze that gently flows from the sea. It is indeed a marvelous experience.

Sri Kanakaditya Temple

There are only few temples of God Sun. Hindu philosophers and believers consider Sun as a God. Kasheli, a very small village in Rajapur Taluka of Ratnagiri district, is the prime attraction for devotees due to a famous and ancient temple of Sri. Kanakaditya (Name of Sun God). Kasheli is at a distance of approximately 30 kms from Ratnagiri. The temple is having a bright historical background. The deity of God Aditya (one of the names of God Sun) was brought from Prabhas Pattan Sun temple before 800 years. Prabhas Pattan is Lord Krishna’s place. Sri. Kanakaditya is very famous spiritual place from Ratnagiri district. Many devotees from all over India are visiting the temple every year. The temple trustees are celebrating five days festival of Ratha-saptami every year. Many spiritual programs like Kirtan, Pravachan, Aarati, Palakhi etc are organized during the festival period.

Bhagwati Mandir

A magnificent temple located inside the massive Ratnadurg Fort, Bhagwati Mandir is a famous pilgrim center in Ratnagiri. Bhagavati Temple is one among the ancient temples in the state of Maharashtra. Situated on the shores of the Arabian sea, the temple is blessed with a calm and serene ambience that provides a divine feeling to the devotees. The deity is adorned beautifully and the temple architecture is marvellous. Other deities like ‘Veer Vignesh’ and ‘Ashtadashbhuj’ Ganapati are unique for their sculptural works. This temple is crowded with devotees during Navratri festival, which is one of the sacred festivals celebrated all over India.

Nearby attractions of  Ratnagiri: Excursions from Ratnagiri includes destinations like:

Ganapatipule

Ganpatipule is situated along the western coast of Maharashtra is only 24 km from Ratnagiri, along the Konkan coast. The place includes one of the most spectacular beaches along the KonkanCoast – an idyllic gateway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of Swayambhu (Self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinal God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respect to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. Here, you can leave the hectic world behind as you laze around on golden sands or explore the many trails that lead from the beach.

Sangameshwar

Located at a distance of 50km from Ratnagiri, the place has some distinguished historical constructions and beautiful temples like Karneshwar Temple, Marleshwar Temple etc. The place is also historically significant. It is here where Sambhajiraje, son of Chhtrapati Shivaji was captured by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Devrukh

Devrukh is a farm getaway,  set at a distance of 56km from Ratnagiri.  Here you will enjoy a close association with nature along with, delicious local cuisine and unexplored temples, view points and beaches.

Things to do at Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri is the home to the king of the mangoes i.e Alphonso, do visit the place during the season of mango cultivation to enjoy the mouth watering taste of the fruit. Also savour the sight seeing trip in the home land of the legendary freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak.

Best time to visit Ratnagiri: Best time to visit Ratnagiri is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai, which is 340 km away from Ratnagiri and well connected to all major airports in India and many cities abroad. Private cars are available from here for Ratnagiri.

By Train

Ratnagiri railway station is linked to all cities in India through Mumbai terminal. Regular daily express trains ply between Ratnagiri and Mumbai (Jan Shatabdi Ex), Delhi (Mangala Ldweep) and Mangalore (Matsyagandha Ex).

By Road

Regular bus services are available from many cities in Maharastra to Ratnagiri. State owned and private buses ply from Ratnagiri to many cities in and around. Evening trips of tourist luxury buses are available from Mumbai to Ratnagiri.

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Where to stay ?

The accommodation options are in plenty here. Some options are:

Hotel Landmark: +91-02352-220120, 121, 124  Website: www.hotellandmark.net
HotelSea Rock: +91-02352-220680, 222528,  8007858888  Website: www.hotelsearock.net
Hotel Kinara: +9102352- 234633, 696070 Website: www.hotelkinara.com
Hotel Vivek: +91-02352 -222- 162

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Harihareshwar

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra – A few kilometers from Mumbai, this pristine coastal town is famous for the Trimurti Temple

Only three hours from Mumbai, lies the town of Harihareshwar, in the southern Raigad district of Konkan (South Kashi). It is a coastal town. Harihareshwar is home to a 16th century Shiva temple in which the presiding deities are the Trimuti: Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh, with Devi Parvati. The Trimurti are represented here in linga form, or “triple linga”. According to the popular legend once Devi Savitri requested Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva to create a piece of land, without the help of Lord Brahma. The two Lords then stood themselves on a spot thus creating two mountains. This is how the place of Harihareshwar came into existence. Harihareshwar, located 175 kms. from Pune, was a prominent site during the reign of the Peshwas, and Hari Hareshwar was the family deity of the Peshwas, thus giving it a place of importance in Maratha history. The place has recently regained popularity as a destination for tourists and pilgrims, who come to see this ocean-side temple, which sits on a hill known as Harihar, or Pushpadri.

Places to see at Harihareshwar: The sight seeing destinations includes:

Harihareshwar Beach

The main attraction in Harihareshwar is the Harihareshwar beach. The beach is extremely good for an elegant stay enjoying the natural beauty in a happy vacation holidays. Soft clean sands and soothe breeze make this beach in the lap of Arabian Sea a much sought place in Harihareshwar. The beach is unpolluted and mostly unspoiled.

Ganesh Gully

Ganesh gully as the name suggest is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. It is believed that at the end of the culvert, there is a holy place, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is sitting. This niche is about 30 feet under water and it is assumed that during the tidal periods one can observe the Ganesh idol placed perfectly at the niche.

Kalbhairav Temple (ShivaTemple)

Kalbhairav Temple in Harihareshwar is one of the ancient renowned temples in Maharashtra. The main deity enshrines the temple is Lord Shiva. Kalabhairava, a lord of all manthrasastras, is also placed as one of the idols. Legends associated with the temple say that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and blessed him with all manthras. The architectural style of the temple is attractive. Temple Yogeshwari known as Dakshin Kashi is located in the premises. In most of the special occasions like Mahashivarathri, one can view long queues for Darshan. Cool breeze from the Harihareshwar beach makes the temple premises a nice place to relax as well.

Temple Pradakshina

Parikrama around the Harihareshwar temple is considered a sacred duty by devotees visiting the holy site. The walk encircles around the temple and traverses alongside its four attendant hills. The temple is located at the top of a hill, and the parikrama path descends right down to the Arabian Sea, traversing the rocky shore at places. As you enter the pradakshina area, there is a Gayatri Tirth on the right side. Some 70 steps cut into the laterite rock lead down to the shore, below. Walking down the section of the hill known as Vishnugiri, one comes to the Shuklateertha, which is nearby a number of other teerthas (ponds) that are named in the Puranas. These include Gayatri, Shool, Chakra, Naag, Gautam, Kamandalu, Kaamdhenu, Gauri and Pandavteertha. Pandav Teertha is where the Pandavas performed the Pind Daan rite in honour of their father. Thousands of devotees come to this place each year to offer Pind Daan to their departed family members. The parikrama path first goes around the temple, then climbs the hill directly behind it, proceeding down to the sea, along the shoreline, then back up to the temple. The pathway winds up and down some 200 feet. The waves have cut small caves and niches into the rocks here. At one such cove, sweet water flows back out of one of the crevices each night. Just above this spot, there is a natural ‘Aum’ formed in the rock. There are many beautifully carved sculptures carved into the rock along the route, and in one of the ancient caves resides a Shivaling.

Nearby attractions from Harihareshwara: There are number of locations around Harihareshwara. These include:

Bagmandala

Bagmandala is a lovely small village a few miles away from the holy city of Harihareshwar. This is the place where the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the MarathaKingdom lived for many years. Bagmandala carries the legacy of Peshawa in a Peshwa Smarak as well as in an ancient fort named as Bankot fort. The prime attraction of the Bagmandala is the jungle jetty (sea harbor in the forest). This small port ferries the local people across the Bagmandala creek. Those who like for a ferry travel can cross over Bankot fort and enter the nearby Ratnagiri fort.

Velas beach

Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests. It takes 30 min to reach Velas beach from Harihareshwara.

Bankot Fort

Further ahead, a short walk and one reaches the Bankot fort. Bankot fort now doesn’t have any source of potable water and it is best to carry your stock of water on visit. There is a well trodden cart track leading to the Bankot fort from the village within 30 minutes. Near the entrance there is a GajananTemple and a dry well. Bankot is a square shaped fort. On the sides of Bankot fort, there is a dry moat (Revni) dug out in the Jambha stone. Jambha stone is peculiar type of stone adorning a purple shade and peculiarly it is incapable of storing water as the water invariable percolates through it owing to its much porous nature. The main entrance (Mahadarwaja) of the fort is north-facing with a well sculpted arch and carvings.  Watch guards dug out (Devdya) align on both sides of the Mahadarwaja with some pits being dug out in the right Devdi. On the left, there are steps leading towards Nagarkhana while there is an underground storey and a tunnel on the right. A Maruti idol in the centre stands deserted now. On the west, there is a small entrance (Darwaja) leading to a Bastion on the exterior of the fortifications. A deep well (now dry and filled) occupied the centre of this bastion earlier and the adjacent water tanks too are dry and obsolete now. One can leave the Buruj via a small exit that leads to the surrounding moat and a beautiful “Revni” lying nearby.

Diveagar

Located at a distance of 35km this nearby town shot to fame when an ancient half statue of Ganpati made of gold and some ornaments were found in a farm. The Shekhadi Road leading to Diveagar is a very pleasant drive as the road is parallel to the coastline and you can see many breathtaking views along the entire stretch of the road.

Things to do in Harihareshwar: Take a stroll along the mesmerizing beach. Make a visit to Velas beach to catch a live look of the turtle hatching egg. This place is ideal for the shutterbugs. Here the unperturbed beaches and the serene sound of the waves will greet to warmly. The picturesque location is ideal for taking snaps. The revered Kalbhairava Temple is also a must visit to pay homage to the “Trimuti”(Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

Best time to visit Harihareshwar: Best season to visit Harihareshwar is October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Harihareshwar is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is located at a distance of 220 km from Harihareshwar. This airport in Mumbai is well connected to all the major cities in India and abroad. You can hire a cab or private cars from here to reach Harihareshwar.

By Train

Nearest railhead is Mangaon, which is 57 km away from Harihareshwar and this railway station in Konkan rail is well connected to Pune and Mumbai, which is connected with all major cities in India by railways.

By Road

Harihareshwar is well connected to all the major cities and towns from State and local bus services. Tourists from can get taxis and cabs to reach the place comfortably. Mahabaleshwar (130km), Mumbai (188km) and Pune (208km) can be reached from Harihareshwar comfortably.

Where to stay ?

This pristine location has a number of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Holiday Resort ( MTDC): +91-02147-226036
Gokul Paryatak Nivas: +91- 02147-226439  Website: www.harihareshwargokul.com
Om Shree Hotel: +91-02147 -226013  Website: www.harihareshwaromshree.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Alibag

Alibag, Maharashtra – A historical place, an ideal holiday destination with picturesque beaches near Mumbai

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An idyllic town, Alibag lies on the western coast of India, known as the Konkan region. It lies on almost the same latitude as the southern tip of Mumbai and very close to the tip across the narrow strip of the Arabian Sea. Alibag, a lovely beach that remains unspoiled till now. It is a 300 years old city. Shivaji’s admiral Kanoji Angre, made it the capital. It is also a home to Jewish Synagogue and cemetery, the only place in the konkan to have a Portugese and a Maratha sea fort on opposite banks of the same inland waterway. Thus it is best known for its historic marine forts, fine beaches and clean water. This stunning beautiful town is just 145 kms away from Pune and 30km to the south of Mumbai. It is well known for its mesmerizing calm weather and dense coconut groves.

Places to see in Alibag: Alibagh has various sight seeing destinations which includes:

Khanderi Fort

The Khanderi Fort is 3-4 km into the sea from Thal beach and was built in the year 1678.  A lighthouse was constructed later on. The Fort stands on a small island.

Alibag Beach

Alibag Beach is the main beach of the town. The beach has the blackest sand of the region. The beach is very lively with bathers in the morning and many food stalls in the evening. AlibagBeach is tardily but certainly growing into a tourist attraction. Ali Shah Bawa’s mazhar is right in the center of the town and the beach is also named after him so as the beach town. The government has built a good platform for the tourist to enjoy the sea and to take bath with safety. The Alibag Beach is the main beach of the town and the Kolaba fort can be seen from here.

Kolaba Fort

The Kolaba Fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj. It is located 2 km inside the sea. Visitors can visit the fort only during low tide.  The fort consists of sweet water well in the middle. There are many temples and fortifications along guns which face the sea. The fort is 300 years old. Carvings of tigers, peacocks, and elephants on the entrance arch can be seen. Near the gate there are shrines of Mahishasura and Padmavathi and other gods along with fort deity. A Ganesha temple was built in front of the sweet water tank in 1759.

Undheri Fort

At a distance of 300 meters from Khanderi is the fort of Undheri which is an island fort. It was built by Siddi Qasam in 1680.

Akshi Beach

The Akshi Beach is a beautiful white sand beach. Plenty of suru trees can be seen along the coast. The water is very clean and it renders safety for swimming. The beach is also a favorite among the birdwatchers and nature lovers. The hamlet of Akshi is just 5 km away from Alibag. The village is full of fishermen and it is not crowded at all. The beach at Akshi is a favourite tourist spot. One could slug around the clear beaches and step inside the warm and unruffled Arabian Sea. It is just a perfect getaway for a weekend.

Brahma Kund

The Brahma Kund is a great work. It is on the hill top. There are two kunds the shiv pool and the Brahma’s pond. Brahma Kund is a rectangular tank which is encircled by steps on all the 4 sides. It is a very beautiful site. The site is excellent for photography. There is a small Maruti Mandir in its vicinity. As one nears the temple one can see a small statue with an encoding ‘Mirchi Baba’. This encoding was done in the year 1612. This pool was created by the water which was collected after Lord Brahma bathed lord Krishna.

Kihim Beach

The Kihim Beach is situated at a distance of 12 km from Alibag. It is a secluded place. The beach is famous for thick cover of coconut trees. The place is also well known for variety of woods which serves as a cover. Nature lovers will be thrilled to visit the place for it provides sight of rare butterflies, birds and flowers. The most attractive part of the Kihim beach is that the place is not entirely discovered and unpolluted. The environment is very attractive. KihimBeach is the best place for day trippers and weekenders as well. An unconventional ‘Tent Holiday’ with all modern facilities attached can be seen at Kihim.

Nagaon beach

Around 7 km away from Alibag is the unique Nagaon beach. It is famous for coconuts and betel nuts. The visitors are attracted by the loving area of the tiding Arabian sea. The area is not only charming but also breathtaking. The place is famous for clean and serene beaches. Beautiful and long stretch of calm water the beach is covered with suru trees. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of water sports including parasailing, banana boat and Jet-Ski rides.

Versoli Beach

Located on the outskirts of Alibag the Versoli Beach is full of tranquillity. The sand on the beach is white and the sea water is clean and clear. The beach is not visited by many tourists. It houses a very large naval base. Varsoli is a tiny satellite village. The vegetation of this hamlet is complete with coconut and Casuarina.

Kanakeshwar Devasthan Temple

The Kanakeshwar Devasthan is a very famous Shiva temple. The temple is 13 km from Alibag.The temple is on a 900 feet high hill. To get to the temple one has to climb a flight of 5000 well paved stairs. One forgets the tiredness as soon as one enters the temple premises. This temple premises comprises of various small temples. The Shiva temple is the main temple. The height of the Lord is 54 ft. Behind the temple is the Pushkarna Kund. No one is allowed to access the Kund because of some mishaps in the past.

Kanakeshwar Forest

The Kanakeshwar Forest is a dense forest. Tourists are allowed to venture into the forest at their own risks. The population of the forest comprises of wild boars, poisonous snakes and panthers. They are the right owners of the forest. The silence of the jungle and the hills can be felt in this area. Wild leopards can be seen roaming the forest areas. Even though the KanakeshwarForest is dense, it has a lush green look. But due to its depth, the forest looks dark even during the day time.

Nearby attractions around Alibagh: Alibaugh also has some spectacular distance locations apart from the sight seeing spots. These includes:

Mandwa Beach

Mandwa beach is located about 20 km north of Alibag. The ferry services can be utilized from Mumbai to the Mandawa jetty. Mandwa is a natural port. The place is famous for many Bollywood celebrities bungalows. Mandawa is a beautiful and un trodden beach. When the sky is clear the enchanting view across the bay till the Gateway of India cannot be expressed in words. They are a joy to the mind and a feast to the eyes. The village is charming and it is a beauty of its own. The beautiful groves of coconut palms are very pretty.

Rewas Jetty

Around 23 km away from Alibag is Rewas Jetty. The jetty is famous and important for Mumbai Launch service. Tourists coming to Mumbai use the launch services of the Rewas jetty to travel. Rewas Jetty is 6 km from Kihim. The jetty is a weekend retreat. The rich and the famous have their bungalows along the beach. They also live in the interior of the place. The propinquity to the city is the major asset of the beaches. Tourists crowd along these beaches in large numbers. When one is at the jetty and stands facing the beach Uran can be sighted.

Murud Janjira

One of the strongest marine forts of India, Murud Janjira is just 54 km from Alibagh. Situated on a rock of oval shape near the port town of Murud, is 165kms south of Mumbai. The word ‘Janjira’ is a corruption of the Arabic word Jazira for island. Spread over 22 acres, the fort has 19 bastions which, despite the ravages of time, still stand intact. The fort’s main gate faces Rajapuri and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small gate which opens to the sea and was used for escape. A small fishing village, Murud is famous for its beaches too. Glittering sandy coastline and the village with beaches hemmed with coconut groves attracts large crowds especially on weekends.

Things to do in Alibagh: Alibagh offers a variety of things to do that include sight seeing to the beautiful temples, beaches, old forts etc. You can enjoy the tonga ride on the beaches or try some mouth watering local snacks available with hawkers. Want to enjoy a quiet beach then make a visit to the VarsoliBeach that lies on the outskirts of Alibag.Don’t miss the scrumptious sea food available in huge variety that includes fresh pomfret, prawns, crabs, Bombay duck and lobsters. You can also buy some nice junk jewellery, bags, antiques etc.

Best Time to Visit Alibagh: The best time to visit is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest International Airport is Mumbai. Alibag is 108 km from Mumbai by road, a journey of 3 hours via Navi Mumbai. After getting off at Mumbai, you can hire a private can or avail the bus service (if any) to get to Alibag.

By Rail

Konkan Railway trains from CST Mumbai stop at Pen, 28 km from Alibag, from where you can take a bus, autorickshaw or taxi for Alibag.

By Road

Alibag is 108 km from Mumbai by road, a journey of 3 hours via Navi Mumbai. The quickest way to get there however would be to catch a ferry from Gateway Of India.

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Where to stay ?

The place is equipped with a number of beautiful beach resorts. Some options are:

Sai Inn Holiday Resort: +91- 02216- 1639, 2218- 1678, 2216 1666, 6446 6311  Website: www.sai-inn.com
Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Alibaug: +91-9833 59 1515, 9833 12 9272  Website: www.alibaugbeachresort.com
Sun N Sea Beach Resort: +91-98339-25393  Website: www.hotelsunnsea.com
Hotel Sahyadri:+ 91- 022 2862- 5858, 2862- 5959.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Pune

Pune, Maharashtra – The birth place of the great Raja Shivaji dotted with magnificent forts and palaces

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Queen of the Deccan, Oxford of the East, and cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is a city with a future that promises to be as interesting as its history. Long-standing fortress of the Maratha empire and the home to the legendary Raja Shivaji, the Pune district is marked by magnificent land and forts, an emblem to its glorious past. Located in the western part of Maharashtra and a part of the Western Ghats mountain region, Pune is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra.

Places to See in Pune: Being a historical city, Pune has a long list of the places of interest. These include:

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace is one of the finest piece of architectural beauty in the western India. The exquisite palace is surrounded by the lavish green gardens all around. Aga Khan Palace in Pune also houses some lavishly decorated guest rooms and suites which take you back to the royal past of the heritage building.

Osho Commune International

The Osho Commune International in Pune strives to fulfil Osho’s vision of ‘Zorba the Buddha’. Innumerable visitors come to the Osho Commune International for either short visits or several months’ attendance: to participate in daily meditation or the exhaustive programs of Osho Multiversity or contribute practically.

Lal Mahal

The Lal Mahal of Pune is one of the most famous monuments in Pune. In the year 1643 AD, Shivaji’s Father Sahaji Bhonsale, famously known as Dadaji, established Lal Mahal for his wife Jijabai and son. In the year 1998 Pune Municipal Corporation refurbished the Lal Mahal of Pune. The popular JijamataGarden located inside the premises is now a recreational park for kids. You can enjoy some time with your family here. The popularity of the Lal Mahal of Pune influence many people to visit the monument.

Shivneri Fort

Shivneri Fort is famous for being the birthplace of great Shivaji, the famous ruler of Maharashtra. Shivneri Fort in Pune is a well known historical military fortification. Shivaji spent his childhood in the fort and took lessons of all his military training here. The people who are inclined to trekking, Shivneri Fort are the ideal place for them to visit. The boundary wall of the Shivneri Fort was built so high to protect the fort from the enemies. Inside of this fort there is a temple of goddess ‘Shivai Devi’. A larger than life statue of Shivaji is situated in front of the Shivneri Fort. A traveler has to cross seven doors to reach in the Shivneri Fort. Inside of the Shivneri Fort there is a water pond called ‘Badami Talav’, which is located in the middle of the fort. A statue of Jijabai, the mother of famous ruler Shivaji, with her son is located beside the water pond of the Shivneri Fort. One interesting feature of Shivneri fort of Pune is a mosque with two towers which are joined by a graceful arch. Many other tourist attractions are located very near to this fort, such as, Nane Ghat, which is famous for beautiful scenery of Konkan Region and Jivdhan, which is famous for trekking.

Empress Garden

The Empress Garden lies adjacent to the Pune Solapur Road. This is a rather large garden, covering an area of about 59 acres. Empress Garden of Pune is basically a botanical park, which is located near the Pune Race course. Here there are several varieties of fruit and flower bearing trees. People often turn up in large numbers for a picnic at the Empress Garden of Pune.

Peshwa Udyan

Peshwa Udyan of Pune is one of the most famous garden areas of the city of Pune. It is maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation. Apart from the Peshwa Udyan Zoo within the premises of the gardens, there are also provisions for some animal rides and boating.

Omkareshwar Temple

Omkareshwar temple of Pune is a 17th century Partvati temple, known for its endurance during the floods of Panshet in 1962. The Omkareshwar temple is known for its extraordinary construct and its extravagant style.

The Ganapati temple

The Ganapati temple, located on the banks of river Krishna at Sangli, is one of the most beautiful temples in the southern region of Maharashtra, and is known for its rich design and marvellous architecture! Dating back to the 17th century the Ganapati temple of Pune is one of the marvels of Maharashtrian architecture. The Ganapati temple of Pune, bearing the deity of Lord Ganesha is carved out of black stone made available from the compound comprising of a big platform, an excellent hall and a ‘Nagarkhana’. The doors of the Ganapati temple of Pune are also elaborately designed – the door is made up of a multi-colored natural wood.

Parvati Hill

Parvati Hill and Temple, a temple dedicated to the Hindu deities namely, Parvati, Vishnu, Ganesha, Kartikeya and Devadeshwar, is situated in the southern part of Pune from where one can get a beautiful glance of the city. The Parvati Hill and Temple of Pune is the combined name of Parvati hill on which the Parvati temple is situated. The temple is located so high on the hill that one has to climb a series of 108 steps to get to the main temple. The Parvati Hill and Temple of Pune, situated at a height of 2100 feet from sea level, offers a rhapsodic view of the city. It is believed that Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao used to watch the defeat of the Britishers from this site.

Katraj Snake Park

Katraj Snake Park in Pune is a famous conservation park boasting a vast collection of snakes, reptiles, birds and turtles. It later became part of the Rajiv Gandhi Udyan in 1999. There are over 160 species of snakes here, of various shapes and sizes. The prize collection is a 6 years old, nine feet long King Cobra.

Splash Mountain Water Park

It is situated at 118 Ashoka Mall Bund, Garden Road in Loaehgaon, opposite the Holiday Inn. Splash Mountain of Pune is one of India’s largest water parks, which may quite rightly claim to be at par with worldwide standards. Various types of rides are available at Splash Mountain of Pune, for diverse age groups. One may participate in water games with friends and family at this park. The scenic location combined with the attractive water games helps to attract large crowds on weekends, especially in summer.

National Film Archives Museum

National Film Archives Museum was set up in the year 1964 and is one of the largest film archives in Asia. The museum preserves all the classic movies and all the details on the classic movie makers. It is located in the Jayakar Bungalow on the Law College Road. The National Film Archives Museum at Pune holds the largest collection of films in Asia. The museum is making news every year for showcasing some of the rarest classical movies from all across the world. Every year it is adding up its library with some new titles that are not available in the market. Museum in Pune holds the record from the first film to first talkie film. It is the best place to get each and every detail on the film industry including how it works, how a film is made. National Film Archives Museum is of great help to research scholars and students of film studies who take up research on Indian films, directors, actors, etc.

Nearby attractions of Pune: Pune is an idyllic base to visit the places like:

Matheran

The distance from Matheran to Pune is around 118 km. It is the closest hill station to the city of Mumbai. It takes around two hours to reach Matheran from Pune.

Malshej Ghat

Malshej Ghat is a popular hill station. It lies in the middle of the Sahyadri mountain range. The place is a top tourist draw for the scenic waterfalls and surroundings. The distance from Pune is around 126 km and it takes 2-3 hours to reach there.

Things to do in Pune: Pune is a beautiful city to roam around and explore the wonderful sight seeing locations.

Best time to visit Pune: The best time to visit is from July to February.

How to go ?

By Air

Pune airport is situated almost 10 kilometers from the heart of the city which is located in the Lohagaon area. Outside the airport, one can easily get a taxi and major other bus services to reach the city.

By Train

Pune is one of the major and most important railway junctions on the Indian railway. The city connects with major other cities like Kolkata (Azad Hind Express), Chennai (Chennai Egmore – Dadar Central SF Express), Bangalore (Yesvantpur – Bikaner Special), Bhubaneshwar (Konark Express) of the country which makes it quite easy to answer how to reach Pune via railways.

By Road

Pune is well linked with major parts of the country and then it further connects to the major cities in Maharashtra as well. Major bus services are offered by state owned bus services which are quite economical and budget friendly as well. Some major cities near Pune include Ahmadnagar(115 km), Mumbai (120 km), Aurangabad (215 km) and Bijapur (275 km) all of which are accessible via road.

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Where to stay ?

The accommodation options are in plenty in Pune city. Some are:

The O Hotel: +91-020 4001 1000  Website: www.ohotelsindia.com
Hotel Sapna : +91-8888846566  Website: www.hotelsapnapune.com
Hotel Ideal: +91- 020- 2444 1709
Hotel Alankar: +91-020- 2613 4499

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Tadoba-Andhari

Tadoba-Andhari, Maharashtra – Home to the varied species of wild animals

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Often referred to as “The Jewel of Vidharba“, the Tadoba National Park lies in the district of Chandrapur in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra. Tadoba Andhari Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra spanning over an area of 625.4 sq. km. Located in the heart of a reserved forest, it is an infinite assemblage of innumerable species of trees and plants – and wildlife that includes tigers, panthers, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, bison, barking deer, nil gai, sambar, and cheatal. Besides this place is also a haven for the bird lovers. The Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Santuary together form the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The park derives its name from “Taru” the local deity, whereas the Andhari river that meanders through the forest gives the sanctuary its name.

Things to do at Tadoba National Park: Enjoy the safari trip inside the national park to catch a glimpse of the varied range of flora and fauna.

Best time to visit Tadoba National Park: The best time to visit here is from February to May.

How to go ?

By Air 

The nearest airport is at Nagpur, about 140 km away. Flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata fly regularly to Nagpur. Taxis can be hired from the airport to reach the national park.

By Rail 

The nearest railhead is at Chandrapur, 45 km from the park. The railway station is connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Jhansi. Buses and taxis are available from the railway station to reach the reserve. Tourists from Kolkata have to reach Nagpur. From Nagpur you can hire private cars to reach Tadoba which is 140 km from Nagpur.

By Road  

State transports buses from Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Jalgaon do ply regularly to Chandrapur and Chimur located about 45 and 32 km respectively. Local transport can be hired to reach the reserve from Chadrapur and Chimur.

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Where to stay ?

You may stay at MTDC tourist lodge which is the only accommodation option here. For booking details please contact:

Moharali Tourist Lodge (MTDC): +91-022-2284-5678  Website: www.maharashtratourism.gov.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chikhaldhara

Chikhaldhara, Maharashtra – A truly peaceful and eternally beautiful hill station

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Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout and then threw him into the valley.  It thus came to be known as Keechakadara—Chikhaldara is the new name. Chikhaldara, a truly serene and spectacular hill-station located in Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra. It is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and is the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. The valleys here are full of velvety mist and beautiful lakes. The charm of the natural greenery creates an enchanting effect. It is also the home to the Indian tigers and the Sloth Bears.

Places to see at Chikhaldara: Chikhaldara offers a number of tourist attractions. These includes:

Bhim Kund (Kichakdara)

It is a mythologically important place for pilgrims. Bhima killed Kichaka and threw his body in the valley called ‘Kichakdara’ and bathed in the nearby lake, which is then renowned as Bhim-Kund. This place is situated in south near Alladhoh village on the way from pratwada to chikhaldara via motha. Bhim-Kund is nearly 3500 ft. deep. It offers fascinating view of the waterfall and cascades during rainy season.

Gawilgarh Fort

Gawilgrah is located on a Chikhaldara Platau and established in the 12th century by a Gawali King a descendent of yadavas of devgiri. However this fort built in mud was Forty Fide by the bahamani being Ahmad Shah Wali. The fort under wrote further underwent fortification around 1471. The forte stand on a lofty mountain consists of an inner fort, the Fatheh Darwaza, Kichakdara Darwaza and  Delhi Darwaza. The Delhi Darwaza consists of three gateways. The outer most gateways has a symbol with a pam tree with on a both either side tiger holding in its close and mouse five elighants. The Gawilgarh Fort is regarded as superior fort in strength and tallest and to be master of Gawilgarh men of ministry of Berar.

Narnala Fort

Narnala Fort was built scientifically considering natural interference like rain winded. Narnala alias shahanur fort consists of three small forts namely Zafrabad. Narnala  and Teliagarh. This is historically very famous fort which is covered by the deep and dense forest of the hills of Satpuda i.e. at the hilly side of the Melghat.

Hariken (Hurricane) Point

It is situated on the southern region of the upper plateau of Chikhaldara near government garden. From here we can see the Gawilgarh fort, Mozari village, Vairat hills and the huge area under the hills side.

Prospects Point and Thakur Point

On the way of ‘Pandhari Village’ a school comes on your way named ‘Deepshikha Military School’. There is a two way in this school one is for Prospects points and one is for Thakur points. On the Thakur point there is a large view of Semadhoh deep forest.

Monkey Point

The deep valley becomes visible from this point. The base of this valley is not seen in naked eyes. There is no railing on this point.

Bir Lake

This Lake was built under British government rule in Dec 1890. The lake is built in basalt. It is used for soldiers in the British government and hence known as Bir Lake. The water was initially used for Chikhaldara town. It also has an old garden but it is not well maintained.

Sunset Point

The point is situated on the Vairat hills at Vairat. It was King Vairat’s capital in the Mahabharata era. Sunset is spectacular here. From here Chikhaldara lies in the east and on west lies the numerous hill ranges befitting the name Satpuda’s.

Museum

There are two museums at Chikhaldara area, one of them is at Maharashtra Forest Rainger’s College, Chikhaldara. The sample of wild animals and plants are available to see here. One of the rare ‘fossils’ is also available. Another museum is of Tiger Project, for that we have to go through the way which is turning from ‘Yoga Training Center’. The sample of animals and plants are also put in this museum. Apart from this the information for the leaving standard and customs of local main tribe is ‘Korku’.

Government Garden

The upper plateau area of Chikhaldara is with full of dense trees, and locality of living people is negligible. The government garden is at upper plateau. The garden is open for visitors from morning 8.00am to evening 7.00pm. The garden was previously called the ‘Company Garden’ as it was constructed by the British. Many years ago, Gawali people had their on this garden area. But they migrated to the western side. This side is called ‘Pandhari Village’. Varied flowers and plants are available in this garden. The swimming tank facility is also provided by the ‘Hanuman Vyam Prasarak Mandal’. The special area of this garden is saved for rose tree. Many rare plants of the cooler region is also available. The mini train is the special attraction of this garden.

Nearby attractions of Chikhaldara: Semadoh is  the starting point of Wild-life safari in the Melghat Tiger Reserve. It is located at a distance of 26 km from Chikhaldara on the pristine Banks of Sipna River. Thus an excursion to Melaghat Tiger Reserve is thus ideal from Chikhaldara.

Things to do at Chikaldara: The main attraction here is wildlife; therefore, the wildlife sanctuaries are worth a visit. Seeing the animals in their natural habitant is a thrilling experience here. Night Safari is also a good option for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy.

Best time to visit Chikaldara: The best time to visit Chikhaldara is between October and April. During these months the climate remains pleasant.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Akola, located about 150 km away. The airport is well connected by flights to Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and other cities. Nagpur, located about 250 km away, is also a good option. From the airport, one can get taxis to reach Chikhaldara.

By Train

The nearest major rail head is at Badnera, about 110 km away. Trains from Pune, Akola, Kolhapur, Jodhpur and Mumbai halt at the station. One can hire taxi or board state-run buses to reach Chikhaldara.

By Road

Chikhaldara is well connected by road. One can take state-run or private buses from Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Wardha and other cities to reach Chikhaldara.

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Where to stay ?

 Chikhaldara provides with some beautiful and comfortable resorts and hotels. Some options are:

Green Vallies Resort:  +91-7220 – 230215 , 230218, 9404105369  Website: www.greenvallies.com
Hotel Harshawardhan: 09405978170, 08390424272  Website: www.harshawardhan.com
Satpura Retreat : +91-7220-230471, 230507  Website: www.satpuraretreat.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bhandardara

Bhandardara, Maharashtra – A marvellous holiday destination with lofty mountains and exotic greenary

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Nestled among the Sahyadri Hills, Bhandardara has all the makings of a beautiful holiday resort. Sky-high mountains, roaring waterfalls and lush greenery throughout the year, it attracts the tourists from all over. Sitting by the Pravara River, the site has a pristine ambiance. The Bhandardara Lake and the Randha falls are major tourist attractions.

Places to see at Bhandardara: Bhandardara is admired by a number of tourist spot including:

Lake Arthur Hill

Also popularly known as Bhandardara Lake; this came into existence when Wilson dam was built across Pravara River. Set like a huge jewel amidst dense canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills at a height of 750 meters, this clear and placid lake is one of the country’s largest lakes. The water level continues to be maintained by the river water and rainfall. Boating activities are also conducted on this lake.

Wilson Dam

Situated at a height of 150 meters above sea level It is one of the oldest dams in the country. The opening of sluice gates creates two 60 to 80 feet cascades of water that plummet to the rocks below creating a spectacular sight. The catch-ment area of this dam is 122 Sq. km. (47 Sq. miles). This dam consists of a spillway of 198 m. (650 ft.). The radial gates adjacent to the spillway, controls the dam storage of 313 Mcum. (11039 Mcft.).

Umbrella Falls

This artificial waterfall is formed when one of the sluice gates from the Wilson Dam is opened (when water levels rise above acceptable limits during the monsoons or whenever water is needed for irrigation). It is vaguely umbrella-shaped as it fans out over the rocks. A pathway takes you from the park at the foot of the dam to within drenching distance of the falls.

RandhaFalls (Seasonal)

ThIs  is the third leading falls in India. The roaring River Pravara descends down from a height of 170 ft into a beautiful gorge. On the other side of the waterfall is a deep valley with gigantic beehive. The tribal climb down using rope ladders to collect honey.

Agasti Rishi Ashram

Situated on the bank of the Pravara River, this legendary dwelling finds a place in the scripts of the Ramayana. Different mythical stories are associated with Rishi Agasti. According to the one, Agasti Rishi gave lord Rama a miraculous arrow by which he killed Ravana. Legend also has it that the Rishi meditated here for a year, living only on water and air.

Mount Kalsubai

A trekker’s paradise; towering over Bhandardara like a watchful sentinel at almost 5500 feet above the sea, it is the highest peak in Maharashtra. The peak is said to take its name from a Koli girl named Kalsu. Kalsu, according to the story, was fond of wandering in the forest. One day she came to a village at the foot of the hill and took service with a Koli family on condition that she should not be asked to clean pots or to sweep. One day, one of the family ordered Kalsu to clean some pots and clear away some Utter. Immediately after being forced to do this, she climbed the hill and stayed on its top till her death. The peak has a small temple dedicated to Devi Kalsu on the bit of platform only a few yards in circumference, with an old well in its backyard. Many Kolis worship her as their household goddess.

Amruteshwar Temple

This temple dates back to 1100 AD. The chief object of interest is its construction. The intricately carved temple was built in a distinct Hemadpanti style. The Sculpture is an architectural form or a style, which is named after its introducer and founder, the prime minister named Hemādri Pandit, also known as Hemādpant in the court of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri. The period of discovery was during the 13th Century in Maharashtra. Main ingredient in the construction includes the black stone, which is locally available.  This thousand-year-old Temple, which houses an idol of Lord Shiva, has a very high dome over the shrine. In front of the shrine door is a spectacular canopy. The inside of the shrine looks modern, but the rest of the temple inside and outside is covered with intricate and elaborate carving. It is a 50-minute boat ride from the shores of ArthurLake. The boat-ride itself is mesmerizing, passing by and through lake-side vegetation.

Nearby attractions from Bhandardara: From Bhandardara you can easily make a trip to the places like:

Purushwadi

Just 32 km from Bhandardara, Purushwadi is a village where you can enjoy the excellent peace on the lap of nature alongwith the warm welcome of the villagers. Wake up to the chirping of birds and serene atmosphere in the mountains. Thus the place is an ideal getaway destination.

Jawahar

Not for nothing is it named the ‘Mahabaleshwar of Thane district. In beauty and climate it is no less. And there’s so much to see the majestic Dadara Kopra Falls, Jai Vilas, the palace of the tribal kings, the Hanuman and Sunset Points and the enthralling Shirpamal, where Shivaji chose to camp on way to Surat. Jawahar also offers you the unique opportunity to expose and enlighten yourself with the tribal way of life especially with the Warli paintings. The place is just 45 km from Bhandardara.

Khanvel

22 km from Bhandardara, Khanvel  is surrounded by lush green hills. The river Sakartod flows by, and in the forests you can spot flying foxes, fruit bats, flycatchers and barbets. The drive from Silvassa to Khanvel is a pleasant one, passing majestic trees and tribal villages.

Silvassa

It is a sylvan paradise that derives the name “Silvassa” from the Portuguese word “silva”, which means wood. Silvassa is a place of spectacular beauty – it is surrounded by nature and there is a rare purity in the air of Silvassa. For lovers of history, travel to Silvassa to see the century-old church of Our Lady of Piety and the ruins of the Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple at Bindrabin. The Tribal Museum, in Silvassa, gives a realistic feel of local culture through a collection of masks, musical instruments, traditional jewellery and hunting tools … and you can even shop for souvenirs like Warli paintings, bamboo crafts and palm leaf mats handmade by the tribals.

Things to do at Bhandardara: Apart from sight seeing, this is a popular place for angling. Tourists can spot a number of large fish over here. Tourists can go angling, but boats are not allowed. One can also enjoy trekking here.

Best time to visit Bhandardara: The best time to visit Bhandardara, is in the mid monsoon season.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Mumbai 177 km. from Bhandardara. From there you can hire private car to reach Bhandardara.

By Rail

Igatpuri, 45 km. on Central Railway is the nearest railhead. Igatpuri is situated on Mumbai-Nashik rail route which is connected to some major cities in India like Delhi (Samta Express), Kolkata (Gitanjali Express), Chennai (Trivandrum Central) etc. From Igatpuri, you can take state transport bus (commonly known as ST bus) service or private taxi to reach Bhandardara.

By Road

Bhandardara is easily accesible from all parts of Maharashtra by road. State highway 44 (SH# 44) goes through this town.

From Mumbai/Thane: If you are coming from Mumbai, on national highway 3 (NH# 3), you have to take right turn after passing the Ghoti toll post. The distance from Ghoti to Bhandardara is around 30 km and the raod has mild curves and bends.

From Nashik: From Nashik, take NH# 3 towards south upto Ghoti and take left. From here continue on Ghoti-Bhandardara road for around 23 km and then take slight left onto SH# 44 and you will reach Bhandardara.

From Sangamner:  From Sangamner, it is around 63 km towards west on the SH# 44.

From Pune: From Pune, Bhandardara is about 175 km. You need to take Pune-Nashik road (NH# 50) upto Ghargaon. From Ghargaon, take left on the SH# 21 and continue driving upto Bhandardara. At Kotul, SH# 21 turns slightly left and becomes SH# 44 which takes you to Bhandardara.

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Where to stay ?

There are few accommodation options in Bhandardara. Some of which are:

Anandvan  Resort: +91- 09920311221  Website: www.anandvanresorts.com
MTDC Holiday Resort:+91- 02424 257 032
Yash Resort: +91-7738772775  Website: www.yashresort.co.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Matheran

Matheran, Maharashtra – A beautiful hill station adorned with spectacular natural beauty

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Resting at an altitude of 800 metres is Matheran, an undulating hilltop covered in green. Since 1907, a narrow gauge railway line connects Matheran to Neral in the plains. The cliffs of Matheran with incredibly steep drops to the plains below offer stunning viewing points. These panoramic vistas, by day and night, leave you feeling light headed. Standing at Hart Point in pitch darkness you get a breathtaking glimpse of the lights of busy Mumbai.

Places to see at Matheran: Matheran being a serene hill station, its sight seeing destinations are:

Charlotte Lake

Charlotte Lake, also known as Sharlott Lake is a serene scenic spot in close proximity to The Verandah in the Forest. It is the prime source of drinking water in the Matheran region. The ancient Pisarnath temple is located at one end of the lake as also two beautiful picnic spots – Louisa Point and Echo Point. During the monsoon season there are waterfalls that spill out around the Lake which make a splendid site. These dry up in the summer even as the lake continues to shimmer.

Alexander Point

Alexander point is situated on Madhavji Road around 1 km from the Post Office towards the north of the place and it provides marvellous view of the Garbut point, Ulhas River, Towers of Bhivpuri Power House, Karjat Palasdari Lake, Borgaon Village, Rambaug Point and Chowk Point.

Echo Point

As the name suggests, Echo point reverberates what you speak from top while offering a panoramic view of the whole place. This is a major attraction for lovers and romantics. It is about 2 kms from the Post Office. During the Manson, the view of water fall from here is awesome which can be seen till month of September to October.

King George Point

During monsoon, water fall from Charlotte Lake and gather at different points around the place to form beautiful sight. This is one of the best places to see in Matheran.

LouisaPoint

It is about 2 km from Post Office.This point is located on a plateau to offer marvelous view of ruined forts of Prabal and Vishalgarh. One can see Neral on the east and Panvel on the west from here. At night, lights of MumbaiCity can be also viewed. The end of this point looks like a ”Lion’s Head” This Matheran spot is most suitable for picnic.

Monkey Point

It is around 3 kms from the Post Office. This place is always thronged by monkeys as the name suggests and fills children and elders with delight. It is also famous for echo sound. If one makes a noise or sound, it echoes back nearly five/six times and the echo is distinct, clear and full.

Panoramic Point

It gives good view of the Sahayadri ranges and is one of the best Matheran points of sightseeing. It is around 6 kms from the Post Office but if you reach there the magnificent view from this point make you forgot all your worries. This place is most suitable for school picnic and is very popular among the all visitors. One can easily see Chanderi, Jagged peaks of Mhas-Mal, Navara-Navari.

Sunset/Porcupine Point

Located at a distance of 4 kms from the main market, this place is famous for view of the rising sun making it as one of the best Matheran sightseeing places. One can also enjoy Prabalgarh from here.

Heart Point

This point gives splendid view of night where a thousand lights flicker and the city below appear like a tinsel town.

Rambaug Point

It is about 2 kms from the Post Office. From here Garbut Point, Karjat Town and Khandala Point can be viewed.

Chowk Point

It is about 4 km from the Post Office. From here one can see Karnala Fort, Vishalgad, Prabal Fort, One Tree Hill, Karjat, Palasdari and Chowk Village.

Malet Spring

It is about 1.5 km from the Post Office. During whole year passers by and tourists can drink the cool water of this spring.

Mount Berry

It is about 5 kms from the Post Office. It showcase a splendid view of train coming up the hill from Neral. Also it gives perfect Aerial view of NeralCity. Mount berry is one of the highest spots in Matheran.

Garbut Point

It is nearly 5 kms from the Post Office. This point must be seen for its colourful Dawn and Sunrise. One should not miss this Point at the Sunrise.

Nearby attractions of Matheran: Matheran can be a good base for the excursion trips to places like:

One Tree Hill

It is about 3 kms from the Post Office on Shivaji Road. This is a very beautiful place as a huge Jambhul Tree attracts visitor’s attention. A tent Hill, ChowkVillage, Mumbai-Pune Highway and PanvelCity can be seen from here.

Khandala Point

It is on the M.G. Road, ½ km away from Post Office. One can see Garbut Point in front of it and at the right side of it, Khandala Hills, Bhivpuri Power House and Karjat town can be seen from this point.

Prabal Fort

Named after the Prabal Hill, on which the ruins of the fort stand, the Prabal Fort has a rural charm and historical significance. The fort was once captured by Chathrapati Shivaji from Mughals and as believed, the fort treasures of high price till date. Prabal Fort has two gateways and 11 towers in the fortifications. Presently, there are three-four walls inside the strengthening that remind of the olden days.

Things to do at Matheran: Matheran is an ideal site for trekking and enjoying the splendid views of the lish green mountains. Horse riding is a popular pastime in Matheran. If you are doing nothing just enjoy nature walk along the beautiful roads guarded by green hills. Shopaholics can enjoy shopping in the central bazaar where goods reflecting the local culture are available.

Best time to visit Matheran: It is absolutely fine to visit Matheran during any time of the year as the temperature remains very soothing and pleasant.

How to go ?

By Air 

The nearest airport is Mumbai, 100 kms from the place. It is well connected with national and international flights. From here you have to hire a car to reach Matheran.

By Train

A narrow gauge train runs from Matheran to Neral, a town at the foot of the hill. Neral is well connected by rail with cities such as Mumbai and Pune. Trains such as the Deccan Express which run on the Mumbai (CST) – Pune route stop at Neral Junction (A town at the foot of the hill). Apart from the above local trains also ply on the Mumbai – Karjat/ Khapoli (Via Neral) route frequently. You need to take a local train on the central line in Mumbai going to Karjat/ Khapoli and get off at Neral. From Pune the Sahyadri Express is the only long-distance passenger train that stops at Neral. 

By Road

Mumbai and Pune are two Major cities connected to Matheran by Road. From Mumbai you need to go to Navi Mumbai and from there towards Panvel. You get on to the Mumbai Pune Expressway at Panvel. 8 km ahead you exit at the Shedung/ Khopoli turnoff and get onto the old Bombay Poona road. After some time there will be a turnoff on your left, at a place called Chowk where a big green sign over the road asks you to turn left for Matheran. From then on there are regular road signs to guide you. From Chowk to Karjat rail crossing is 9 km, then 12 km to Neral at the tip of the hill.

After that the last stretch of the road (About 7 km) is on the ghat which leads you to Dasturi Naka (Last point to which cars are allowed, where there is a car park) at the tip of Matheran.

From Pune You need to get onto the Pune Mumbai Expressway and get off the Pune Mumbai Expressway at the Khopoli exit after passing Lonavala/ Khandala and get onto the old Poona Bombay road. Approximately 18 km later, you turn right at a place called Chowk where a big green sign over the road asks you to turn right for Matheran. From then on there are regular road signs to guide you. From Chowk to Karjat rail crossing is 9 km, then 12 km to Neral at the tip of the hill.

After that the last stretch of the road (About 7 km) is on the ghat which leads you to Dasturi Naka (Last point to which cars are allowed, where there is a car park) at the tip of Matheran.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of accommodation options in Matheran. Some are:

Hotel Panorama: +91-952148-230254, 230241, +91-22-26183411  Website: www.hotelpanorama.in
Horseland Hotel: +91-952148, 230421, 22, 23  Website: www.horselandhotel.com
CecilHotel: +91-8108878821, 8108040091 Website: www.cecilhotelmatheran.com
Westend Hotel :+91-02148 – 230259  Website:  www.westendmatheran.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Amboli

Amboli, Maharashtra – Located at an altitude of 690m, the place is adorned with water falls and lush green vegetation

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Amboli is a hill station in the south of Maharashtra, at an altitude of 690 m. Bounded by the southern ranges of the Sahyadri hills the place abounds in a variety of fairly unique flora and fauna. It is the last mountain resort before the coastal highlands take a deep breath, to form flat beaches.

Places to see at Amboli: The tourist attractions of Amboli includes:

Hiranyakeshi Temple

It is here that the Hiranyakeshi River originates. The temple is built around the caves from where the water flows down to form the Hiranyakeshi river hence the temple so named. Alongside the temple there is also a cave which locals say can be explored.

Maruti Mandir

Maruti Mandir is the house of Ganesh and Ram temple along with the Samadhi of a saint from Amboli.

Kavleshet Point

Kavlesad point in Amboli provides some breath taking valley views. One can also find many small waterfalls from the view point during the monsoon. Try shouting your name from the valley that will echo it back to you. One would have to take a detour from the highway and drive over (very) poorly maintained roads for over 3 km to reach the destination and would not find any signs of human presence except the occasional vehicle that passes by.

Nangarta Falls

Located on the SH 121 at a distance of 10 km from the main bus stand of Amboli, Nangarta falls is a narrow ravine into which the water flows from a height of over 40 feet. During the monsoons’, the heavy pour of water makes a hell of a noise that’s should not be missed. There is a bridge and a view point that have been constructed near the falls from where one can enjoy the beauty of the falls.

Nearby attractions from Amboli: Amboli is populated with a number of nearby attractions which include:

Sawantwadi

Situated close to the Goa border, and the seat of the Sawant Bhosale dynasty, Sawantwadi is 30 km from Amboli. Some prominent attractions of Sawantwadi are: Royal Palace, Kolgaon Darwaza, Lester Gate, Atmeshwar Tali, etc. The place is also famous for its Ganjifa cards.

Vengurla 

Famous for its beautiful beaches and historic temples, Vengurla is 57 km from Amboli.

Sindhudurg

This place is famous for Sindhudurg fort, palaces, Navadurga temple, Napane waterfall, etc. and is 72 km from Amboli. Sindudurg also serves some of the most delicious Malvani delicacies.

Tarkarli

Famous for its beaches lakes, forts and temples, Tarkalri is a popular tourist destination around Amboli at a distance of 101 km.

Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary

A famous sanctuary 114 km from Amboli, Dajjipur Wildlife Sanctuary’s most famous resident is the Indian bison.

Kolhapur

Situated on the banks of the river Panchganga, Kolhapur is famous for Dakshin Kashi and Bahubai temples, Kolhapur is a popular tourist spot. Kolhapuri footwear, tobacco and jewels are world renowned. Kolhapur is 121 km from Amboli.

Things to do in Amboli: You can spend hours angling for a fish at Hiranya Keshi or picnic at Nagatta Falls, Mahadev Gad and Narayan Gad.  Trekking, rock climbing, bird-watching and camping are some other activities in Amboli that one may enjoy.

Best time to visit Amboli: The best time to visit Amboli is between October and February when the weather is pleasant enough to explore outdoors.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport would be Dabolim, Goa (127 km), connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai. From here taxis and buses are available for Amboli hills.

By Rail

The nearest railhead is Sawantwadi which is 28 kms from Amboli. Swantwadi is connected by rail to Margaon which is connected to almost major cities in India by rail like like Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune  etc. Regular buses are available from Sawantwadi to Amboli.

By Road

Amboli is well connected by road to cities in Goa and Mumbai. Mostly taxies and three wheeled rickshaws are running in these roads. Tourist buses are available from Mumbai to Sawantwadi. It is a distance of nearly 525 km.

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Where to stay ?

There are an array of accommodation options available in Amboli. Some options are:

MTDC Resort: +91-02363-240236, 239
Silver Spring Resort: +91-02363-240260  Website: www.silverspringresort.in
Shiv -Malhar Hotel: +91-02363-240301-022-21633383  Website: www.shivmalharhotelamboli.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra – 285 km from Mumbai, this is a beautiful hill station with spectacular green carpeted valleys and cool crispy breeze

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With the soaring peaks, breathtaking valleys,  lush flora and cool and adoring mountain air Mahabaleshwar is one of the tourist’s favourite. Located about 120 km southwest of Pune and 285 km from Mumbai, this is Maharashtra’s most popular hill station, and once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj. Mahabaleshwar means ‘God of Great Power’ in Sanskrit. The place is great and rewarding the visitor with a mixture of old-world charm, natural beauty and modernity.

Places to see at Mahabaleshwar: There are diverse spots of tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar. These are:

Pratapgarh Fort

Built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja in 1656, the Pratapgarh Fort is located about 24 km west of Mahabaleshwar. The fort encompasses two ancient forts; the Upper Fort – built on the top of the hill and the Lower Fort. Within the fort walls, tourists can see the BhavaniTemple, the tomb of Afzal Khan and Mahadev temple. The fort also has a maze chambers and long dark walkways, some of them lead to trap doors with a 100 meter fall. The fort is the witness of historic Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. The Pratapgad fort offers exhilarating and excellent views of the Konkan valley.

Venna Lake

The Venna Lake is situated around 2 km from the ST bus stand and is among the most popular tourist places in Mahabaleshwar. The lake is 2.5 km long and is encircled by trees on all sides. Tourists can enjoy activities like fishing and boating at the lake, they can even do a little horse riding. There are a few small eateries and strawberry stalls lined up at the banks of the lake.

Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple

Situated in the Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar, about 6 km north from the main city, the Mahabaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple was built by the Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century and is a model of the Hemadant architectural style of South India.

Waterfalls

There are three waterfalls in Mahabaleshwar; the first one is the Lingmala Falls which is located about 6 km from Mahabaleshwar. Formed by the River Venna, the waterfall plunges down from a height of 500 ft and can be seen in its glory during the rainy season. The second one is the DhobiFalls which is located around 3 km from Mahabaleshwar, on the trail which connects Petit road with Old Mahabaleshwar road. The water plunges down into a deep valley and finally merges with Koyna River. The waterfall is a popular picnic spot. The last one is the ChinamonsFalls. It is located at around 2.5 km from Mahabaleshwar in an exotic place with Chinese cultivated gardens at close proximity.

Viewpoints

Mahabaleshwar is well known for its points which offer panoramic views of the amazing landscapes. There are more than 14 viewpoints which present impressive views to the tourists. These points are within close range of each other and are named after notable Britishers. Some of the most popular points in Mahabaleshwar are: Elphinstone Point, Arthur’s Seat, Galoni Point, Lodwick Point, Wilson Point, Babington point, Connaught Peak and Hunter Point.

Mapro garden

Mapro garden is set on Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani road around Mapro Jam factory where one arrives for purchasing all kinds of local produce such as Strawberry Jams, crush etc. The snack counter outside that serves sandwiches and shakes is also very popular.

Nearby attractions of Mahabaleshwar: Mahabaleshwar is an ideal spot to make excursions to places like:

Tapola

Tapola is a quaint location in Mahabaleshwar, located at a distance of about 27 km to the south. The small town is situated down the Tapola Ghat in the Koyna valley on the extreme backwaters of the Triveni Sangam of the Koyna, Solshi and the Kandhati River. The place is locally called as Mini Kashmir due to the tranquillity and the splendour of the Shivsagar Lake. The Shivsagar dam located here is popular for motor boats. One can enjoy riding motorboats, speed boats and scooter riders on the waters. There are many unidentified forts in the deep forests around the lake too.

Panchgani

Panchgani is a picturesque hill station, located at a distance of 20 km from Mahabaleshwar and is perfect place for adventure lovers. With a year round pleasant climate, Panchgani provide good opportunities for those who love trekking and hiking on several tracks leading through thinning forests. The hill station got its name from the five hills which surround it. There are also a few more attractions in Panchgani for tourists to enjoy.

Wai

32 km from Mahabaleshwar, Wai has the epithetic name “Dakshin Kashi”. In old times, it was known as Virat Nagari. Wai is known in Maharashtra for its ghats on the banks of the Krishna River and the temples, including especially the “Dholya Ganapati” temple on the “Ganapati Ghat”.

Things to do in Mahabaleshwar: The strawberry capital, Mahabaleshwar, boasts off a fairly good list of things to do that incorporate variety in activities and sightseeing. With its picturesque sights, misty cascading waterfalls, hidden trails and lovely farms growing berries, this hill station forms a paradise for nature lovers. Pack your picnic baskets and head to WilsonPoint for spectacular sunrises and sunsets or simply enjoy the rumbling of water at numerous soothing waterfalls.  Shop for fresh honey or canned jams made from strawberries, mulberries and raspberries freshly grown in farms around. For a bit of history, make a visit to Pratapgad fort, which is 27 kms from Mahabaleshwar or choose to visit nearby hill station Panchgani to pick some fresh berries and enjoy stunning scenes.

Best Time to Visit Mahabaleshwar: Mahabaleshwar is an all  year-round destination.

By Air

The closest airport is Lohegaon Airport in Pune and is located at a distance of 80 kms from Mahabaleshwar. You can also get to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai’s International Airport, Chatrapati Shivaji (160 kms away). From the respective airports one can hire a taxi or avail the bus service to get to Mahabaleshwar.

By Rail

You can reach Mahabaleshwar via rail too. The nearest railhead is Satara, at a distance of 47km. There is another railhead located at Wathar (60 kms). One can reach Mahabaleshwar via Pune (120 kms) as it boasts of an efficient rail network. Get off at the railway station and catch a taxi for Mahabaleshwar.

By Road

Mahabaleshwar is well connected by road from Mumbai as well as Pune. Maharashtra State Road Transport provides bus services to all the nearby cities of Pune, Mumbai, Nasik, Satara, Panchgani and Kolhapur. Driving down to Mahabaleshwar from the neighbouring cities of Alibagh, Adavali, Pune, Nasik, Panchgani is a good option. Private and shared cabs/taxis can also be hired from Mumbai and Pune.

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Where to stay ?

Being a popular hill station, Mahabaleshwar has a number of accommodation options. Some are:

Regal Hotel: +91 02168- 260001-3  Website: www.hotelregal.com
Hotel Dreamland: +91-02168-260228, 260060 Website: www.hoteldreamland.com
Hotel Sai Regency: +91-02168- 260 157
Hotel Anupam: +91- 094 20 999690

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Shiroda

Shiroda, Maharashtra – A perfect holiday spot with glittering silvery sandy beach and sparkling blue waters of the sea

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Shiroda also known as Shirodem in Konkani, is a small village in South Konkan in Vengurla taluka, Sindhudurg district, in Maharashtra with a long stretch of beach. Shiroda is a place that really fulfils a tourist’s experience. Here one can enjoy this calm place having multiple aspects like social, cultural, historical, nature’s beauty etc. The beautiful beach hemmed with coconut palm trees, cypress woods along with sparkling blue waters, long stretch of silver sands, and the cool sea breeze is worth a visit giving the visitors a soothing and relaxing experience.  Shiroda is a perfect holiday destination with a beauty as the feast for the eyes of visitors.

Places to see at Shiroda: There are a number of tourist attractions in Shiroda. These are:

Shiroda Velagar Beach

With immense natural beauty, privacy, sparkling blue waters, long stretch of silver sands, cool sea breeze whispering through towering cajuring plantations on the beach, amenities and salt depots around the village, Shiroda is feast for the eyes of visitors.

Redi Ganesh Temple

Reddi’s very famous Ganesh Temple finds has its root in an intuitive and interesting story about Lord Ganesh, This is a vigilant deity, who is very effective towards its devotees’ call. The occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi, Sankashta Chatarthi one observes floods of devotees. The temple was established after a truck-driver, Sadanand Nagesh Kambali parked his truck at a particular place and slept there. He had a dream in which God Ganesha gave him divine appearance and told him to dig at the very same place where he is residing. As per his dream, he started digging there and there appeared two-handed idol of Lord Ganesha, carved in solid rock astonishing all the villagers.  It was decided to build a temple at the very spot and establish this deity. After few days, in the same area they excavated a big idol of mouse, which is a traditional vehicle of Ganesha. These idols are very pretty and graceful. Today one can visit beautifully built temple and get delighted by taking “Darshan” of the adorable deity.

Sagareshwar Beach

On the way to Shiroda from Vengurla take a right turn at Ubhadanda and you the huge stretch of shiny silvery sand dunes will be visible to you. By trampling the sand under the foot, a short walk, climbing the sand dunes and   lo behold you are at the sparkling beach and crystal blue waters of Sagreshwar. This beautiful beach is just 3-4 kms from Vengurla. A small temple of Sagareshwara(Lord of the Sea) is situated on the beach.

Mochemad Beach

The 200 feet high mountains and hills surrounding a beach creates the beautiful beach of Mochemad. The coastline is extremely beautiful with the plantations of cyprus trees. Tourist seeking seclusion and solace frequently visit this place.

Tiracol Fort

The fort is situated at the mouth of Redi creek. Towards the south of the fort is the seashore. Redi village is well known for its manganese business. Otavne river meets here to sea and hence the area of beach is very broad. And because of this otavne river, one natural boarder is maintained in sindhudurg and goa. From tiracol fort you can see beautifull view of otavne river where meets to sea.

Nearby Attractions from Shiroda: The nearby attractions around Shiroda includes:

Vengurla

Just 10 km from Shiroda, Vengurla is a spectacular coastal town located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is the pretty place with roaring beaches is adorned with cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves.

Sawantwadi

Resting at an altitude of 690 mts this beautiful hill station is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Sawantwadi offers you incredible sceneries of nature with lush, verdurous landscapes. Its meandering waterfalls and glittering lakes attributes to the majestic look. The place is 23km from Shiroda.

Tarkarli

Want to breathe in the fresh natural air, or enjoy the serene atmosphere, ignoring all your worries – then you must visit the Tarkarli beach, located in Tarkarli, a spectacular coastal city of Maharashtra. It leaves the onlookers speechless with its crystal clear waters. This fabulous ‘QueenBeach’ proudly shows off the 20 feet deep sea bed on a bright sunny day.

Things to do at Shiroda: Nature walk along the spectacular beach is the most interesting activity here. Spend some time rediscovering yourself forgetting all the worries. Besides the sight seeing tour will also entertain you to the fullest.

Best time to visit Shiroda: The best time to visit Shiroda is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport located at a distance of 100 km from Vengurla connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai. From here taxis and buses are available for Shiroda.

By Rail

Madgaon Railway Station is major railway station 9 KM near to Shiroda which is connected to railway stations of almost all major cities in India like Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc.

By Road

Vengurla is located 16 km away from Shiroda, is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur. From here you can take any local transport to reach Shiroda beach.

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Where to stay ?

Shiroda is ideal for a day trip. However you can stay at Vengurla located at a distance of 16km. Some options are:

Sagareshwar Tent Resort (MTDC): +91-093263-43357
Hotel Lovkik: +91-02366-263418
HotelSea View: +91-02366-262193

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Aurangabad

Aurangabad, Maharashtra – Famous for the World Heritage sites Ajanta and Ellora caves

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The gateway to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is named after the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Aurangabad the only tourist location in India having two-world heritage monuments to its credit. Moreover it is hoped that there will be good addition of two more in near future.  Barring these heritage monuments of Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad and Bibi-Ka-Maqbara the district is rich in monuments, historical and religious, of National importance.  Hence, it deserves the epithet as Tourist District of India. Lying along the right bank of the Kham River, the city is the district headquarters, which offers visitors all the modern comforts and amenities.

Places to see in Aurangabad: The sight seeing spots of Aurangabad includes:

Bibi Ka Maqbara

The tomb of Rabia Durani, wife of Emperor Aurangazeb is an excellent example of Persian architecture. It is reminiscent of the Taj Mahal though less ornamental.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Tourist attractions in Aurangabad that have made it to the list of World heritage sites are the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The Ajanta and Ellora cave shrines cut out of rock, by hand, rank amongst the most outstanding historical tourist attractions in India. It is believed that, originally, Buddhist monks sought shelter in these natural grottos during monsoons and began decorating them with religious motifs to help pass the rainy season. Later they taught and performed rituals in these caves, which became their Chaityas (temples) and Viharas (living quarters), the ancient seats of learning, and centers of the Buddhist cultural movement. Using simple tools like hammer and chisel, the monks carved out the impressive figures adorning the walls of these structures, depicting the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD.

Panchakki

A watermill dating back to the pre-mughal period, which was used to operate large grain grinding stones, which served as flourmills, is an example of the engineering marvel of the 17-century.

Aurangabad caves

It lies 3km north of Aurangabad, and excavated out of a south-facing hillside between 3 and 11 century and belong to the Buddhist era.

Daulatabad Fort

The magnificent Daulatabad Fort, once known as ‘Devgiri’ stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad was given the name Daulatabad, the ‘city of fortune’, by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi who made a blunder trying to shift the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. This fort is considered as one of the oldest existing and invincible forts of India.

Nearby attractions from Aurangabad: Aurangabad is an ideal base for making excursions to places like:

Paithan

The ancient city of Paithan, 56km South of Aurangabad, now known Paithan, was the seat of the Satvahana dynasty that ruled from 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD. Situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari, the little town is famous for its Shrine of ‘Sant Eknath’ where people flock every year during the time of ‘Paithan Yatra’. Paithan, which was once an important seat of learning, is also famous for its beautiful silk saris which sport intricately embroidered gold or silver borders called ‘Paithani’. The Shrine of Sri Sai Baba, Shirdi, 130 km from Aurangabad is a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Sri Sai Baba.

Grihneshwar Temple

Grihneshwar Temple, 30 km from Aurangabad near the Ellora caves, is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and sacred to Hindus.

Things to do in Aurangabad: The heritage site of Ajanta and Ellora is really attractive. Try to visit each and every caves. The intricate Buddhist architecture is mesmerizing. Inside the caves the giant size Buddha statue will take you to the ancient times. Apart from this the other sight seeing spots are also worth a visit.

Best time to visit Aurangabad: Aurangabad generally offers moderate temperature with low humidity and the best time to visit the place is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Aurangabad Airport (Chikkalthana Airport) is an airport serving the city and has connecting flights to Hyderabad, Delhi, Udaipur, Mumbai,Jaipur, Pune, Nagpur and Kolkata.

By Train

Aurangabad railway station is not in the main route but is directly connected to Delhi (Sachkhand Exp), Mumbai (Janshatabdi Exp) and Ahmedabad (Rmm Okha Expres). Nearest Railway Station is Manmad which is 120 km away from Aurangabad. From here connecting trains running through the major cities across the country are available.

By Road

You can easily get regular buses to Aurangabad from other cities of Maharashtra like Pune, Nasik, Mumbai etc.

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 Where to stay ?

There are plenty of accommodation facilities in Aurangabad.  Some options are:

VITS Hotel Aurangabad: +91-0240-2350701, 60017555  Website: www.vitshotelaurangabad.com
Lemon Tree Hotel: +91-0 240 6603030  Website: www.lemontreehotels.com
Hotel Regal Plaza: +91-0240 2329322, 2345578  Website: www.hotelregalplaza.com
Hotel Rama International:  +91 -0240- 6634141  Website: www.itchotels.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mumbai

Mumbai, Maharashtra – Capital of Maharashtra state, it is the city that never sleeps

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The city that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant, Fun — this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to — Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernisation. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India — the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. This is the capital of Maharashtra state. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. It is the Las Vegas of India.

Places to see in Mumbai: Mumbai is the mixed bag of sight seeing spots in India. These include:

Gateway of India

Built during the British rule, the monument is a specimen of Indo-Sarcenic school of architecture. It was built to commemorate the visit of the then British monarch King George V and Queen Mary. Designed by British architect George Wittet, this wonderful gateway was constructed at a cost of Rs 21 lakhs. The archway, 26 m high is joined by four turrets and complex lattice work carved on stone.Gateway of India occupies an important place in the history of India. It was built to welcome a British sovereign, ironically it served as the exit point of the British rule in India when the last of the British troops left the land through this gateway. Today, however, the place is famous as a tourist hot-spot. Here you can enjoy a number of recreational facilities like a short cruise around the city of Mumbai or a motor-boat ride. Tourists who go to Mumbai find the Gateway of India and irresistible attraction. Among some of the wonderful monuments in India the Gateway of India can be counted among the best.

Prince Of Wales Museum

The Prince of Wales Museum is one of the few monuments that stand testament to the British rule in India. The museum clearly displays a combination of Indian and English style of architecture. The dome of the museum was modeled on the Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur. The construction of the building was completed in the year 1914 and it was at this time that the World war I engulfed the world. The building was then used as a Military hospital. The style of architecture of this building is called Indo-Saracenic and the facade of the mansion is done up with yellow and blue stone. The design of the building was inspired by many Indian architectural styles. You can see a combination of Muslim jalis and Rajput jharokhas. Among some of the must see tourist places in Mumbai, Prince of Wales Museum is a great attraction.

Mahalakshmi Temple

Dedicated to the Goddess of wealth, this beautiful temple is located near the north of the Malabar Hills. The beauty of the temple, its mythological importance and its proximity to the sea shore all combine together to make the place a wonderful tourist attraction. The gateway to the temple is ornately designed. Inside the compound the place is all abuzz with vendors selling flowers, garlands and other mementoes symbolizing piety.  Devotees come all the way from Mumbai to offer coconut, flowers and sweet to the goddess. Located at Breach Candy, this is one of the greatest attractions of Mumbai.

Chowpatty Beach

Among some of the fascinating beaches that you will find in India, Chowpatty beach is one of the most popular. During the time of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the place becomes all abuzz with people. A walk along the beach is sure to fascinate you with the variety of people that you will meet and different shopping options that you will get. This wonderful beach acts as a base to other beautiful destinations like Malabar Hill, Girgaum and Gamdevi. If you want to go to a beach full of entertainment, Chowpatty beach is the perfect place to be. To the north end of the Marine Drive, you will find a beach all bedecked with festive spirit. Children will enjoy the visit to the beach simply because of the fact that it has plenty of enjoyment opportunities. Here you can ride ferry wheels or merry-go-round. You will also have the opportunity to ride camels and pony here. It is hard to resist the temptation of mouth watering delicacies. The evenings here are like carnival. There is so much activity in the beach that you will find time fleeting by if you only stand still and watch people go about their business. During Ganesh Chatturathi festival, the beach becomes one of the major attractions of Mumbai

Juhu Beach

Just 18 km north of the city you will find a beautiful beach where the waves from the Arabian Sea lashes on the sandy shore. Juhu beach is in that part of the city of Mumbai that is famous for its happening lifestyle and fashion. Some of the famous Indian film personalities live here. The beach is also one of the most sought after shooting destinations. The rolling waves, fine sand and picturesque surrounding combine together to make the beach an extremely popular tourist destination. Juhu beach is always crowded with chaotic children, romantic couples and relaxing elders. In the beach front you will get a perfect view of the sunrise and sunset. There are innumerable vendors selling everything under the sun. You can also find some peculiar entertainment like dancing monkeys, snake charmers, toy sellers and acrobats.It is difficult to resist the temptation of a bite at the Juhu beach. There are so many eating joints that you will simply be confused about what you should try out. “Bhel-puri” is the specialty of Mumbai and you should try that out. You can also have “kulfi”. This is sweet and cold. On a hot an sultry day you will surely love to have one surely.Juhu beach has some special attractions which you must explore. To the north of the Juhu beach you can visit the VersovaBeach. This place is the home to the largest fishing community of Mumbai, the Kholis. If you want some seclusion then you can find some time to visit some of the less busy beaches like Versova, Madh Island, Marve, Manori and Gorai. Some of these beaches are not safe for bathing and these are suitably marked.

Marine Drive

Marine Drive is located in the south of Mumbai. This wonderful beachfront is nestled between two extremes. On one side of the marine drive is the bustling jungle of concrete and wood, Nariman Point, while on the other side is the green and beautiful Malabar Hill. Marine drive is swept by wind and this beautiful beach has become a wonderful attraction of the city of Mumbai. Stretching for over three kilometers, this beautiful beach is just the perfect place for boisterous children and love struck couples. While the vehicles flow in unending streams, you can enjoy your time at the beach without a worry in the world.

Kamala Nehru Park

Kamala Nehru Park in Mumbai is the perfect spot for nature lovers, who want to spend their evenings or mornings in the lap of nature. It was established in 1952 and spread over an area of 4,000 sq. yards. The park derived its name after the wife of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Kamala Nehru Park is located on the top of Malabar hills, from where you can enjoy the wonderful view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Both kids and adults love to visit the park because of its peace, greenery and beauty. Kamala Nehru Park gives an amazing view of the Mumbai city and the sunset over the Arabian sea. The lush green garden, has “Old Woman’s Shoe”, beautifully trimmed hazes and walkaways. KamalaNehruPark is very well maintained with many varieties of plants and trees. Its an ideal place for family outing close to nature.

Hanging Garden

Hanging Garden in Mumbai is located opposite to the Kamala Nehru Park and is also known as Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, after the famous barrister. The garden provides a stunning view of the sunset over the Arabian Sea. It is believed that the terraced gardens were built over the three main reservoirs of Mumbai, to protect the reservoir’s water from contamination of the nearby Towers of Silence. The three reservoirs has the capacity of storing 30 million gallons of water. The Towers of Silence are used by the Parsi community to dispose off the dead bodies. The garden provides a panoramic view of Mumbai city.  The lush green Hanging garden is a nice break from the hum drum of city life. The hedges in the garden are cut in the shape of animals giving it a unique look. The flower clock of the garden is one of its main attractions.

Elephanta Caves

Elephanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful carvings and sculptures. In the vicinity of the financial capital of India, Mumbai, these caves offer you the much-needed peace from the chaos of the metropolitan. It is a good place to look into the past culture and art. Here you will find two categories of caves; one is the Hindu rock art and the other is the Buddhist rock art. The place is still worshipped by the locals, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can spot some resemblance to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, which are around 300 km from Elephanta.

Siddhivinayak Temple

The Siddhivinayak Temple is a very famous temple in Mumbai. It is also known as Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple. This temple is situated at Prabhadevi in Mumbai. It is a two hundred years old Temple. People believe that Lord Ganesh of Siddhivinayak Temple fulfils the desire of His worshippers.

Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque in Mumbai built in the middle of the sea with a constricted path leading to the dargah. It is the tomb of Saint Haji Ali. The white mosque is located 500 yards into the sea and can be accessed only during the low tide. Two legends are popular regarding Haji Ali Dargah. According to the first legend Haji Ali, was a rich businessman who renounced the worldly pleasures after his visit to Mecca and was then engrossed in meditation. While the other suggest that Haji Ali went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and died there but his casket miraculously drifted back to the shores of Mumbai. In accordance with the Muslim tradition, Haji Ali Dargah has different praying rooms for ladies and gents. Since one cannot visit the mausoleum during the low tide, so there’s an offshore location, which is situated on the opposite side of Mahalakshmi racecourse. After passing through the carved entrance of Haji Ali Dargah, you enter the marble courtyard containing the main shrine. Hundreds of devotees come to the mosque to get the blessings of the saint. The tomb is covered with red and green coloured chaddar, enclosed in a wonderful silver frame. The tomb is ornamented with beautiful mirror work of different colors and the ninety-nine names of Allah are inscribed on it in Arabic. The courtyard is huge with a number of refreshment stalls.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a beautiful park in Mumbai. It is situated on the northern part of the suburbs of Mumbai and spread over a total area of 104 sq. km. A huge number of people visit the park, it is roughly estimated that 2 million visitors come here annually. The park is decorated with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Sanjay Gandhi National Park was called Krishnagiri National Park before independence. But after independence it was called Borivli National Park as it is close to the residential area of Borivali. In the year 1981 the park was renamed as Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in memory of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son, who died in an air crash. The 2,400 years old, Kanheri Caves are located inside the park. There are 109 caves in the center of the park which were used as viharas (monasteries) and chaityas (temples) by the Buddhist monks of the 2nd and 9th centuries.  The region of Sanjay Gandhi National Park is hilly and densely covered with trees and inhabits many animals. It is located at a height of 400m. The two lakes of the park are the Vihar Lake and the Tulsi Lake. These lakes cater to the water requirements of Mumbai. Nearly 800 varieties of flowering plants, 284 types of birds, 5,000 types of insects, 36 species of mammals, 50 kinds of reptiles and 150 species of butterfly are found here.

Aksa Beach

A popular beach and a vacation spot in Aksa village at Malad, the Aksa Beach is situated close to Malvani. This beach was one of the most silent and least visited beaches. It is very clean beach with a large variety of snails and shells. It is a popular weekend destination with youngsters and dotted with many private cottages and hotels, some of which are rented out to tourists and visitors

Nearby attractions of Mumbai: From here you can make short trips to the destinations like:

Lonavala

84km from the bustling crowd of Mumbai, the hilly region of Lonavala invites nature lovers and footloose travellers alike. The natural beauty here is splendid, and it is also a place where trekking enthusiasts gather. There are plenty of sightseeing options as well. From forts to water bodies and mountains covered with lush greenery, there are many things to explore in Lonavala like Bhaja Caves, Tungarli Lake, Ryewood Park, Iron Fort or Lohagad.

Khandala

Situated in the Sahyadri range of western Maharashtra, Khandala is 100km away from Mumbai. It is a picturesque hill station with fabulous lakes, waterfalls and deep green valleys. This place is a very favorite weekend escapade for tourists who want to avoid the commotion of the busy cities. The most popular Tourist Spots of Khandala are-  Khandala Lake, Bhushi Lake, Karla, The Bhaja Caves, Duke’s Nose, Shiva Temple, The Reversing Station Point and the Tiger’s Leap. Once visited it will never be forgotten. Khandala dazzles the visitors.

Alibag

Alibag is a lovely gift of Nature. Eye soothing greenery with coconut trees standing in Queue near Quick sandy beaches really soothes the heart. Here the atmosphere is pleasant with Twitter of birds, Tasty food, and The festival of colours in the sky.

Things to do in Mumbai : Shopping in Mumbai is a memorable experience as one wanders through its bazaars with charming names like Chor Bazar, Mutton Street and Zaveri Bazar. Chor Bazaar is believed to have the original name Shor Bazaar or the Noisy Market, that aptly described the yelling and shouting of the local traders on Mutton Street while selling their second hand house hold goods. Today, it is a bustling market selling a range of new and old furniture, antiques, jewellery, wooden articles, leather wear and other curios. Mutton St in Chor Bazaar specializes in antiques, ingenious reproductions and miscellaneous junk. Crawford market is famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish. Zaveri Bazaar is the main retail centers for gold and diamonds, and nearby Pydhoni for silver. Apart from shopping the multiple sight seeing spots is heart stealing. Enjoy the dazzling view of the city from Marine drive at night. Do not miss the Mumbai special street foods like Pav Bhaji, Bhel puri etc. The sunset view from Juhu beach and Chowpatty beach is also spectacular. On the whole Mumbai will entertain you throughout. Your holiday here will be fun filled and exciting.

Best time to visit Mumbai: Having a moderate climate, Mumbai can be visited throughout the year. 

How to go ?

By Air

Mumbai can be reached through numerous flights. The international terminal Sahar, renamed as Chatrapati Sivaji International Airport operates round the clock. Hotel bookings and pre-paid taxis are available at the terminal. The domestic terminal Santa Cruz is about 5km apart and can easily be reached through regular shuttle buses between the two terminals. The domestic airport is well connected and can be used to visit most parts of Western and Southern India.

By Train

Mumbai is a prominent railway hub of the country. It is the headquarters to two railway zones, central and western. While Central Railways handles services to the east and south, Western Railways has services to the north from Churchgate and Central stations. The main railway station Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly known, as Victoria terminus (VT) is located in the heart of the city. Local and outstation trains ply from here. Other railway stations are Dadar, Churchgate and Kurla. Bookings are to be made in advance to avoid the last minute rush, as trains are the most used mode of transport. The extensive system of suburban electric train network is the most sought after transport means in Mumbai for city travel.

By Road

Mumbai is well connected by a network of roads to the rest of India by and state highways. Mumbai has one of the best public bus systems of any major Indian city called BEST buses. Mumbai has a huge fleet of metered black-and-yellow taxis as well.

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Where to stay ?

There are numerous hotels available in Mumbai suitable to all budgets. Some options are:

The Karl Residency: +91-022 4236 2121  Website: www.hotelkarl.com
Hotel Kohinoor Continental: 8287012302 Website: www.hotelkohinoorcontinental.com
The Taj Mahal Palace: +91-022- 6665 3366 Website: www.tajhotels.com
Sea Shore Hotel: +91-022 2287 4238

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Vengurla

Vengurla, Maharashtra – Located in the Sindhudurg district, it is a scenic location admired for tremendous natural beauty

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With the long stretch of silvery sands, and hills shrouded with cashew, coconut, jack fruit and mango groves that’s Vengurla. This is a pristine and beautiful town in Maharashtra. This serene hamlet is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, just north of Goa. Vengurla is well known in history books as a trade settlement. The place was burned to the ground twice. It was the prey to the repetitive attacks and plunders between 1664 and 1812. To the west-north-west lie the Vengurla Rocks, also called Burnt Islands. On what was once an inner island, and is now part of the mainland, lies the old town of Malvan, almost hidden by palms. The rocky terrain of Malvan holds 2 forts: Sindhudurg and Padmagad. Formerly a trading zone, Malvan has good name for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and the special Malvani cuisine which is quite distinct from Konkan food.

Places to see in Vengurla: The sightseeing spots of Vengurla mainly consists panoramic beaches. However there are other sight seeing spots too. These includes:

Bhogave Beach

This beautiful and clean beach is located approximately 10 to 12 km from Malvan. The beach is gifted with foamy waves and silver sand. Facilities available at Bhogave beach are boating and fishing. This beach is a habitat for Dolphins. One can witness the charming tricks of dolphins at the Bhogave beach.

Kille Nivati and Nivati Beach

Kille Nivati is a fort which was constructed by Shivaji. One can view the Bhogave beach from this fort. While visiting here enjoy the excellent local cuisine. Range of rocks is situated at the bottom of this fort. It is an interesting sight on this beach, to watch the fishermen launching their traditional boats and nets daily into the sea. Nivati Beach supports an amazing stretch of Golden sand.

Velagar Beach

Velagar beach is a marvellous beach with coconut and Carijuana trees in the backdrop. Surrounded with greenery, this beach is characterized by natural beauty, sparkling blue waters and cool sea breeze.

Khavane Beach

Khavane beach is a natural beach with clean blue water. It is surrounded by hilly area.

Vetoba Temple

Vetoba temple is dedicated to lord Vetoba, who is a revered deity of Arawali. This temple was developed in 1660 by a saint named Bhumaiya. Vetoba is considered as the watchman for Aravali village. The temple is surrounded by coconut plantation. Close to this temple, there is another small temple of Devi Sateri which is also surrounded by the plantation of mango tree and a small lake.

Redi Beach

Redi Beach is a yellow sand filled beach. This is a clean and a rocky beach. There a few hamlets seen in and around Redi Beach. The Ganesh idol in the temple is 6′ tall and approximately 3′ wide. The idol is in a sitting position. The Ganesh idol is carved from one single black stone and dates back to the early 100s. Presently, the Ganesh idol is painted in hideous modern colors. Redi beach is situated behind the temple.

Mochemad Creek and Back Water

One should not miss a journey by the costal highway bridge on this backwater. The Mochemad Creek and Back Water is very delightful. It is surrounded by 200 feet high mountains and hills. The coastline is lined with the plantations of cyprus trees.

Kondura Beach

Kondura beach is a beautiful beach. It is very clean beach which is situated in Vayangari village.

Terekhol Fort

Located on the northern bank of the Terekhol River, this fort was built by the Raja of Sawanwadi. In the middle of the fort is the St. Anthony church. Church is generally not open for public to visit. Presently the fort houses a tourist hotel. The fort is located at the confluence of the Terekhol River and the sea.

Nearby attractions of Vengurla: About40 km from Vengurla, Siolim in north Goa is a placid riverside getaway with virgin beaches and cozy accommodations. It is ideal for a perfect excursion trip from Vengurla.

Things to do at Vengurla: A lazy stroll along the mesmerizing beach is worth apart from sight seeing.

Best time to visit Vengurla: The best time to visit Vengurla is from October to May.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport located at a distance of 100 km from Vengurla. From here taxis and buses are available for Vengurla.

By Rail

Sawantwadi Railway Station is the closest station to Vengurla, lying 20 km away. It is well connected to cities like Mumbai, Pune, Goa, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. Tourists coming from other cities have to reach Margaon station. Express trains like Mandavi Express or Konkan Kanya Express will take you upto Sawantwadi. Vengurla is just 30km from Sawanwadi by road. Auto-rickshaws and buses are available on route to Vengurla. No Taxis are available.

By Road

Vengurla is located 535 km away from Mumbai, 200 km away from Ratnagiri and 110 km away from Goa. It is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur.

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Where to stay ?

There are few accommodation options in Vengurla. Some of these include:

Sagareshwar Tent Resort (MTDC): +91-093263-43357
Hotel Lovkik: +91-02366-263418
Hotel Sea View: +91-02366-262193

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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