Mumbai, the dynamic metropolis on India’s western coast, is frequently linked to the high-speed worlds of Bollywood, finance, and commerce. Yet, hidden from the view of many visitors to this lively city, are some genuinely stunning hill stations nearby. When the city’s hustle and bustle becomes overwhelming, finding solace in the tranquil landscapes of Khandala and Matheran is the ideal remedy.
Khandala: The Lush Retreat
Located approximately 80 kilometers from Mumbai, Khandala is a serene hill station in the Western Ghats. The journey from Mumbai to Khandala is an adventure in itself, with picturesque landscapes and winding roads.
Here’s what you can expect in Khandala:
- Breathtaking Views: The misty hills, lush greenery, and waterfalls make Khandala a paradise for nature lovers. Don’t forget your camera to capture the mesmerizing landscapes.
- Trekking and Hiking: Khandala offers a range of trekking and hiking trails, including the famous Duke’s Nose, where you can witness panoramic views of the valley.
- Karla and Bhaja Caves: Explore these ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves that date back to the 2nd century BC.
- Lonavala: Khandala’s neighboring hill station, Lonavala, is known for its chikki (a sweet treat) and offers more scenic beauty and adventures.
Matheran: A Vehicle-Free Paradise
Matheran, which means “Forest on the Forehead” in Marathi, is a hill station located around 80 kilometers from Mumbai. What sets Matheran apart is that it is a vehicle-free zone, and you can explore its beauty on foot, horseback, or by toy train.
Here’s what to experience in Matheran:
- Toy Train Ride: The journey to Matheran on the toy train is a delightful experience, offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills.
- Panorama Point: As the name suggests, this viewpoint provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
- Charlotte Lake: A serene and picturesque lake surrounded by lush greenery. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely picnic.
- Hiking and Exploring: Matheran offers several trekking trails, including those leading to various viewpoints and the pristine forests.
- Sunset Point: Witness the sun setting behind the hills, casting a warm, golden glow over Matheran.
Mumbai’s hill stations, Khandala and Matheran, offer a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. By including a Mumbai sightseeing tour in your itinerary, you can combine the best of both worlds: the vibrancy of Mumbai and the tranquility of the hill stations. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking solace in the hills, these destinations have something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, and let the hills of Khandala and Matheran cast their spell on you during your Mumbai tour.