With the weekends beckoning and the pressure from work a tad bit too much, ease off the tension and relax on your getaways to these locations near Pune. The sprawling city, which was once the base of the Peshwas, is recognised as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. A major education hub, the city's population has seen a major boom in the recent years with industries establishing their headquarters here.
The added influx of people had contributed significantly to the hustle and bustle of the city. While Pune, at a time, used to be getaway for those looking for a break from Mumbai, it is now no longer so. Located close to Sahyadri Mountain ranges, Pune is only a short trip away from several major attractive locations.
A two-hour drive from Pune, the Tamhini Ghat is a mountain passage which cuts across the Sahyadri range to join the education city and the Konkan region. Comprising of scenic waterfalls, lakes, and dense woods, the place is an ideal retreat to cool off and relax while basking in the eternal beauty of nature. during the monsoon, a bed of lush green takes over the area with smaller streams also forming. Close to the ghat is the waterfall at Palse, a drive along the Mulshi lake will bring you to the desired location.
Accessible through a toy train which takes visitors to this hill station, Matheran has 38 designated viewpoints bringing about a dramatic sunset and sunrise. Panaroma Point (sunrise) and Porcupine Point (sunset) in particular offer breathtaking views. Cars aren't allowed inside Matheran, however, you can drive up to the Dasturi Car point from where one can take a 40-minute horseback ride or a man-pulled rickshaw ride.
Very close to the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaja, Junnar is a city in the Pune district gifted with beautiful forts. However, it is the Junnar Caves that make the three-hour drive from Pune really worthwhile. With more than over 220 individual rock-cut caves located in four hills around the city, Junnar has the largest cave excavations in the country. The Lenyadri complex, a series of Buddhist caves, along with cave 7 which is home to the Ashtavinayak shrine is a must visit. The shrine is one of the eight dispersed across the state built in tribute to Lord Ganesha.
A Jyotirlinga shrine located about 130 KMs from Pune, it is one of the several such sacred places in the state. A beautiful combination of the old and new structures of the Nagara style, it is a prominent representation of the excellence of ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. Dating back to the 13th century, Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have made donations to facilitate services at the temple.
A destination on most people's wish-list, Goa is that one location where so many plan for but very few go. So, make your plans a reality and take off to this worldly vacation spot. Stroll alongside the banks of the Calangute Beach as the sunsets on your watch. A short trip to the Bascilla of Bom Jesus should also make way to your agenda. An exquisite blend of Doric and Corinthian styles are sure to leave you awestruck. The Reis Magos Fort is also an essential element of Goa. Built in the 18th century for its defence, it was used as a shelter for viceroys and dignitaries coming from London.