15 Best Places to Visit in Monsoon in Maharashtra
- KETKI HANAMSHET
- UPDATED Aug 21, 2018
- 345 Views
The first rains have already hit Maharashtra and the locals are in a state of ecstasy. The smell of earth has filled the air, cool winds are soothing the hot temperatures, and lush greenery has started carpeting the barren fields. The majestic Sahyadris have come alive with the Western Ghats making way for roaring waterfalls. Harihareshwar, Bhandardara, Thoseghar, Matheran, Bhimashankar, Karnala, and Tapola make for the top places to visit during monsoon in Maharashtra. No doubt this lovely State of mine in India, where I was born, keeps my weekends occupied during the rainy season.
I hardly unpack my bags during monsoons, for this season makes me want to leave for a mesmerizing place in Maharashtra on a whim. After visiting a considerable number of places, here I put together a list of the best places in Maharashtra to visit during monsoons.
1. Rajgad Fort: A Trekker’s Paradise During Monsoon in Pune
Since I love hiking ever since childhood, a fort built on a mountain undoubtedly makes to the top of my must-visit places in Maharashtra during monsoons. Rajgad, which literally means ‘king of all forts’, can be reached by hiking along two different routes. If you are a beginner, trek along the path leading to Pali Darwaja (Pali Gate), else you may take on the challenging Gunjavane trek via Chor Darwaja leading to Padmavati Maachi. The double-walled fortification, well-built water cisterns, ruined yet magnificent parts of the fort, and panoramic vistas of the Sahyadri ranges keep calling me back to Rajgad every rainy season.
Weather in monsoon: Heavy rains in August; temperature lies between 20°c - 32°c.
Distance: 65 kilometers from Pune (1.5 hours); 208 kilometers from Mumbai (3 hours)
2. Thoseghar Waterfalls: A Glorious Milky Cascade Near Satara
Come rainfall and people from all over Maharashtra make a beeline for Thoseghar Waterfalls. Cascading with all its might during monsoons, this milky waterfall may allure you, while its roaring sound may make you take a step back. There are a number of waterfalls, with the shortest ones falling from 15-20 meters and the tallest one rushing from a height of about 200 meters. The mist created by the gushing waterfall is enough to get you downright wet. The area surrounding the waterfall is now well-developed with a picnic area and observation platform.
Weather in monsoon: Heavy rains in July and August; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c
Distance: 28 kilometers from Satara (1 hour); 140 kilometers from Pune (3 hours)
3. Kaas Plateau: A Land of Lovely Wildflowers in Satara District
Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pathar, as it is locally known, brings the Valley of Flowers from Uttarakhand right at your doorstep. This achingly beautiful place blooms with a variety of seasonal wildflowers and is flocked by numerous species of butterflies during the monsoons in August and September. Since it draws many visitors like me during these two months, the Forest Department of Maharashtra now levies a minimal entrance fee for maintaining the place. But, the plateau proves to be worth every penny since you get to see many rare flowers that are said to bloom only here. Known as a biodiversity hotspot, Kaas Plateau is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Weather in monsoon: Heavy rains during July and August; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 25 kilometers from Satara (45 minutes); 136 kilometers from Pune (3 hours)
4. Malshej Ghat: A Mountain Pass Spilling Waterfalls During Rains
You must take the Maharashtra State Highway 222 to witness the glory of Malshej Ghat during monsoons. As you drive along the mountain pass in the rainy season, you will be stunned at the sight of the Western Ghats pouring a series of gushing waterfalls on one side and the deep valleys enveloped in verdant greenery on the other. Malshej Ghat also turns into an abode of several bird species such as quails, rails, crakes, flamingos, and cuckoos. You must head towards Pimpalgaon Joga Dam to view the lovely flamingos. Since Harishchandragad is quite near to Malshej Ghat, I make it a point to trek it every time I head towards this place during the rainy season.
Weather in monsoon: very cloudy and rainy; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 130 kilometers from Pune (2.5 hours); 154 kilometers away from Mumbai (3 hours)
5. Bhandardara: Best Place to Campout Near Nashik in Monsoon
Gushing waterfalls, pristine lakes, and flourishing greenery make Bhandardara postcard perfect. This hill station is blessed with serene atmosphere and is away from commercialization as of now. The surrounding hills offer ample of opportunity for trekking during monsoons in Maharashtra. Packed with a number of campsites, this is a great place to camp with your friends. On one such windy monsoon camping night, my friends and I sat around the campfire, and our conversations got carried until dawn. We also got lucky in spotting many fireflies through the night.
Weather in monsoon: Heavy rains during July and August; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 71 kilometers from Nashik (1.5 hours); 172 kilometers from Pune (4 hours)
6. Amboli: A Tiny Monsoon Heaven in Sindhudurg District
I always make a quick stop at this small hill-station called Amboli while heading towards Goa during monsoons. Driving along the Amboli Ghat (mountain pass) while moving towards Goa, you will come across a huge waterfall. As soon as it rains in Maharashtra, people rush towards this mountain pass just to admire the scenic waterfall. Falling right by the highway, people stop on their way to get drenched in the uber cool waterfall. Amboli is also said to be a biodiversity hotspot since a variety of flora and fauna can be spotted here. An ancient temple of Shiva is another attraction in Amboli.
Weather in monsoon: Abundant rains during monsoon; temperature is between 18°c - 28°c.
Distance: 235 kilometers from Satara (4 hours); 346 kilometers from Pune (6 hours)
7. Bhimashankar: Best Monsoon Pilgrimage Center Near Pune
Although Bhimashankar is primarily known as a religious place to visit, I insist you to head towards this place during the rainy season. Nestled within the rugged Sahyadri Hills, Bhimashankar gets engulfed in a finest shade of green, allowing to view a variety of flora and fauna. Besides, if you are an adventurer, then you have ample of trekking opportunities. For wildlife lovers, there is the Sahyadri Wildlife Sanctuary. Also, it would not harm to visit the Jyotirlinga Temple which is said to date back centuries.
Weather in monsoon: Cloudy atmosphere with moderate rains; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 115 kilometers from Pune (3 hours); 213 kilometers from Mumbai (4.5 hours)
8. Harihareshwar: An Ideal Monsoon Beach in Raigad District
I usually avoid beaches during monsoons, but the Harihareshwar Beach stays an exception till this date. Surrounded by 4 hills that are named after Lords Brahmadri, Pushpadri, Harshinachal and Harihar, this place turns into a green abode after receiving the first few rainfalls. The temple here makes it a religious site and locals have been believing since many years that the place is blessed with healing powers. Well, wouldn’t doubt that; but Harihareshwar is certainly blessed with abundant natural beauty. If you are travelling to Harihareshwar from Pune, I would insist you to take the Tamhini Ghat road for a mesmerizing scenic drive.
Weather in monsoon: Moderate rainfall; temperature lies between 18°c - 26°c.
Distance: 170 kilometers from Pune (4 hours); 210 kilometers (4.5 hours)
9. Kalsubai: Highest and Best Summit to Trek During Monsoon
Gloriously known as the ‘Everest of Maharashtra’, Kalsubai is the highest peak in State. This makes it one of the favorite monsoon destinations in Maharashtra amongst those who love trekking. Although the trek is moderately easy, rainfalls may make it a little challenging if you are a beginner. But, the panoramic vistas that welcome you at the peak are worth all the hassle. The first time I had visited Kalsubai village, I had enjoyed my stay at the foot of the hill while admiring the magnificent surroundings, and had trekked to the peak on my next visit.
Weather in monsoon: Very cloudy and heavy rainfalls; temperature is between 18°c - 26°c.
Distance: 180 kilometers from Pune (4 hr 45 min); 153 kilometers from Mumbai (3 hours)
10. Matheran: A Perfect Hill-station near Mumbai to Visit in Rains
This list would never be completed without mentioning Maharashtra’s all-time-favorite hill station, Matheran. With no cars allowed on roads, this quaint hill-station can be explored on foot or by riding horses. But my joy lies in riding the toy train which runs between Neral and Matheran. Witnessing the rugged Sahyadri Ranges enveloped in soft green while sitting in the toy train can match no other experience. Also, do not miss to catch the sunrise and sunset at the respective points in Matheran. Being one of the best places to visit near Mumbai in monsoon, it is a favorite weekend getaway amongst Mumbai-ites.
Weather in monsoon: Pleasant weather with moderate rains; temperature is between 17°c - 26°c.
Distance: 80 kilometers from Mumbai (1.5 hours); 125 kilometers from Pune (2 hours)
11. Panchgani: Favorite Monsoon Destination in Satara District
Panchgani is a popular hill-station in Maharashtra that lies just before another popular monsoon destination - Mahabaleshwar. As the name suggests, this is a place with five hills that adorn a lovely green carpet during monsoons. Since most of the visitors make their way towards Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani remains lesser explored, making it one of the best places to visit for people like me who are constantly in search of solitude. Mount Malcolm, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Panchganga Mandir, Wilson Point, Sydney Point, Table Land, Venna Lake, Lingmala Falls, Dhom Dam and Bombay Point are a few nearby points of interest that you must add to your itinerary while visiting Panchgani.
Weather in monsoon: Moderate rainfall; temperature lies between 15°c - 26°c.
Distance: 56 kilometers from Satara (1 hour); 101 kilometers from Pune (2 hours)
12. Tapola: Offbeat Monsoon Destination Near Mahabaleshwar
Rapidly gaining popularity as the mini Kashmir in Maharashtra, Tapola is a hill station tucked away in the Mahabaleshwar region. The hills covered in a dense forest make this an ideal place for nature-lovers. This is a place for those who are looking for a relaxing weekend, away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Since Mahabaleshwar has now gotten too commercilalized, you may make your way to Tapola and avoid the crowds.
Weather in monsoon: moderate rainfall; temperature lies between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 146 kilometers from Pune (3.5 hours); 289 kilometers from Mumbai (5.5 hours)
13. Durshet: A Complete Monsoon Package in Raigad District
Not yet known to many, Durshet is one of the best places to visit during rainy season in Maharashtra. The place is an absolute gem and has numerous attractions, allowing you to make the most of your holidays. Durshet has to offer hot springs, beginner level treks, night safaris, ancient forts, breathtaking views and much more to the visitors. I had my best experience by accommodating a forest cottage that allowed me to stay in the densely wooded area.
Weather in monsoon: Pleasant with moderate rainfall; temperature is in between 19°c - 28°c.
Distance: 99 kilometers from Pune (1.5 hours); 76 kilometers from Mumbai (1 hour)
14. Karnala: A Serene Place Near Mumbai to Visit During Rains
Karnala is another best place near Mumbai to visit during monsoon. After showers, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary adorns a blanket of greenery and the beautiful abode of 222 lovely species gets frequented by many bird-watchers. Since I love a little of adventure, I do not miss a chance of trekking the Karnala Fort. This ancient hilly-fort lies within the premises of Karnala Bird Sanctuary. As you trek, the breathtaking surrounding vistas leave you mesmerized and in awe of nature. Being an easy trek of about 1 hour, it is just right for everyone.
Weather in monsoon: Cloudy with heavy rainfall; temperature lies between 19°c - 30°c
Distance: 50 kilometers from Mumbai (1 hour); 124 kilometers from Pune (2 hour)
15. Lonavala: Ideal Monsoon Weekend Getaway Near Pune
No one can ever deny that one of the best monsoon destinations near Pune is Lonavala. This place has always allowed me to enjoy an adventure as well as relish a laid back holiday. Although the place has got a lot commercialized, it has many offbeat attractions nearby. Bhaja Caves, Bushi Dam, and Karla Caves are a few places that remain unexplored near Lonavala. Just before the heavy showers, you must trek to the Rajmachi Fort at night to see hundreds of fireflies swarming the place. Also, do not forget to visit the Tiger’s Point which treats you to magnificent views of surrounding nature.
Weather in monsoon: Moderate rainfall; temperature lies between 17°c - 26°c.
Distance: 67 kilometers from Pune (1 hour); 83 kilometers from Mumbai (1 hr 45 min)
Maharashtra has numerous more places that blossom during rains. But these are the ones that keep calling me back. If you are ready to celebrate the season of monsoon, then pack your bags and leave for one of these places. Do not forget to carry a raincoat or an umbrella. On a second thought, just leave them behind and soak in the beloved rainy season.