4 Places to halt and enjoy while travelling from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar

by Riya Bagaria
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They say, ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder.’ There couldn’t be a more apt quote for this year. It applies to all aspects of everyone’s lives, especially right now, including travel. Travel has become that one thing that we desperately want to do, but just can’t. Forbidden things have a certain inexplicable allure. The lack of excitement has been vehemently filled with an unending monotony. While an immediate escape might not be on the cards, that doesn’t mean that there is no wriggle room. What if I told you, there is a way after all, to get out of the house, and maybe enjoy a little. There just might be a solution, in fact, there is a solution – road trips!

In the recent months, road trips have become just the escape needed. Already, immensely popular before, road trips have become an even more common occurrence. Not only are they convenient but also make up for the lack of travelling options. With limited flights, out of state travel being restricted, road trips have just become a comparatively inexpensive, convenient and fun alternative. Be it families going out for a two-night trip at a nearby hill-station or friends going for a day trip to let off some steam, getting together and just taking out the car is undoubtedly convenient.

Well if you are looking for a beautiful road trip from Mumbai, head over to Mahabaleshwar. Located amidst stunning mountains, Mahabaleshwar is situated at a high altitude of 4439 ft. Featuring several stunning viewpoints overlooking the western ghats, Mahabaleshwar is an approximately 5-7 hours ride away from Mumbai, depending on the number of stops you make and the route you take.

With beautiful, chilly winters, and even comparatively pleasant summers, Mahabaleshwar makes for a perfect weekend getaway with friends and family alike. While this hill station is famous for its strawberry picking, beautiful Mapro gardens, the Table Land and horse riding, and stunning and spacious holiday homes, there are many things you can do while on the way there too! Pit stops are part of all road trips, but when it is a 7 hour journey, you will definitely come across places that are worth being stopped for more than just a few minutes.

The journey from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar is long, hence making pit stops would just make an otherwise dreary trip memorable. Ideally, it is recommended to start your trip at the crack of dawn, so you can actually enjoy all the stops, instead of rushing from one place to the other. After all, what is the point of a relaxed road trip if you have to hop from one destination to the other without actually fully experiencing it? Here are a few places to make your road trip a little more lasting, a little more scenic and just a tad bit long but worth.

Dadanji Tanduri Misal

Start in the morning, and about 2 hours in, you will reach your first, Lonavala, or more specifically Dadanji Tanuduri Misal. A famous spot serving mouth watering authentic maharashtrian delicacies, Dadanji Tanduri Misal makes for a perfect place for a quick breakfast or snack stop. Enjoy the beautiful misty mornings of Lonavala with a side of hot piping cup of chai and a plate of spicy, hot misal pav. If you are craving some dessert, you can always look for the delicious and famous Lonavala Choco-Walnut Fudge, maybe even take some back for your loved ones!

Enjoy spicy misal-pav at Dadanji Tanduri Misal

Lohagarh Fort

If you are a fan of treks and trails, this more-than-just-a-pit-stop will definitely interest you. About a half hour away from Lonavala, and about 3 hours away from Mumbai, Lohagad fort is a fort located at an altitude of 3389 ft. Literally meaning ‘Iron Fort,’ It is an effortless blend of ancient architecture and beautiful surroundings, and makes for an amazing scenic and picturesque stop, especially during monsoons. A comparatively easy hike, this fort has approximately 300 steps, hence if you intend to go all the way to the top, your halt here will have to be for a few hours. For beginners and experts alike, Lohagad Fort will not only be a cakewalk for regular trekkers but also for beginners. The views atop are stunning and indescribable. Prolonging your road trip by a few hours is definitely worth it when visiting the Lohagad fort.

Enjoy the trek to the fort and soak in the amazing views from atop

Pashan Lake

Pashan Lake is a man-made lake located on the outskirts of Pune. With a rich history, this beautiful lake was built during the British era in the Pashan Village. Just a little bit off the route, Pashan Lake has recently gained popularity owing to its beautiful surroundings. Home to some of the most beautiful birds like Cotton Teal, White-Breasted Kingfisher, House Crow, Purple Moorhen and more, this man-made lake is a gorgeous spot for a refreshing halt after hours of being cooped up in a car. Stop, soak in the views, capture beautiful pictures and even go for a boat ride, Pashan Lake will not disappoint you.

The breathtaking Pashan Lake

Sydney Point

One last stop before you enter Mahabaleshwar, Sydeney point is a scenic spot located just a few minutes away from Mahabaleshwar. Known for offering beautiful views of the Krishna Valley and Kamalgad Fort, Sydney Point is a viewpoint on the top of the high land. Offering stunning views of the sunrise and sunset, this is the perfect point to end your road trip to Mahabaleshwar, amidst the nature, the sun and your loved ones.

Enjoy the stunning sunrise and sunset from the Sydney Point

While Mahabaleshwar is a stunning destination brimming with beautiful waterfalls, various viewpoints and amazing weather, the road leading there is no exception. Afterall, sometimes it is about the journey, not the destination, right?

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