Here are three Hill Stations near Mumbai that certainly the Mumbai people will be aware of but those hill stations may sound unfamiliar to most of us.
Mumbaikars (people who live in Mumbai, India) prefer to visit holiday destinations that are close to their fond city. If you travel to all the holiday destinations across India, you will find North Indians but among them, it is rare to find the citizens of Mumbai. This was revealed to me by a traveler from Mumbai. I don’t know how far it is true.
I know Mumbaikars love Marathi cuisine more and I think this could be one of the reasons they like to holiday near their city, Mumbai.
Hill Stations near Mumbai: Bhimashankar
Never heard of it-eh? From the video clip above, the Bhimashankar hills that are situated at a height of 3600 feet, looks charming and refreshingly fresh. I guess the video must have been taken immediately after a rainfall. The Bhimasahnakr hill is located 220 km from Mumbai in Bhorgiri village.
As there is no place to stay, Bhimashankar is fit for a day trip only. For two reasons, people visit Bhimashankar hill near Mumbai; either to visit the Jyotirlinga temple or to trek the Malshej Ghat to reach the peak located at about 3200 feet.
Attractions in Bhimashankar Hill Stations near Mumbai:
- The Bhima River
- Devi lake
- Hanuman lake
- Lenyadri Caves that date back to 3rd century B.C.
- Shiveneri Fort, the birthplace of the Maratha king Chhatrapathi Shivaji
- Panshet Dam
Bhimashankar Wildlife, Hill Stations near Mumbai
Animal enthusiasts will certainly love the small (130 sq km) the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. The prominent and easily spotted wildlife in Bhimashankar hill are:
- Indian Giant Squirrel,
- Malabar Hornbill
- Rhesus Macaque
- Spotted Eagle
- Green Pigeon
- Malabar Whistling Thrush
- Quaker Babbler
Reaching Bhimashankar Hill Stations near Mumbai:
By train, you reach Pune from your place of origin. From Pune, you can go to Bhimashankar hill station only by car. It is located about 110 km from Pune.
Is there a place to stay in Bhimashankar Hill Stations near Mumbai?
Yes, there is only one worth mentioning. It is “Neelam Hill Resort”.
Contact the resort to reserve your Bhimashankar hill station stay at http://www.neelamhillsresort.in/
Bhandardara, Hill Stations near Mumbai
Bhandardara hill station is another lesser known holiday place near Mumbai. A mere 3 hours drive from Mumbai will take you to this beautiful hill station. The distance is only 160 km from Mumbai.
Like any less visited hill station, Bhandardara too is happy not to have been trodden by a large number of tourists from Mumbai. The range of beautiful flora and rare fauna too join the hill in thanking the yet-to-be-visited people.
Attractions in Bhandardara hill station near Mumbai:
- Bhandardara lake
- Wilson dam
- Umbrella waterfalls
- Randha waterfalls fed by Pravara River
- Mount Kalsubai ( 5400 feet)
- Amruteshwar Temple for Lord Shiva
- Ratangad Fort at Ratanwadi village
- Agastya Rishi Ashram on the shores of Pravara River.
What about hotels to stay in Bhandardara hill station near Mumbai?
I gathered there are 4 good resorts in Bhandardara that are better places than hotels which are not recommended by good sources.
- Yash resort
- Anandavan resort
- Malpani club and resort
- MTDC holiday resort
Reaching Bhandaradara Hill Station near Mumbai
Driving by car is the best option to reach the Bhandardara hill station. From Mumbai, it is only 160 km away.
By train, the nearest railway station is Igatpuri. It is 105 km from Mumbai. From Igatpuri, the Bhandardara hill station is just 45 km away and can take a taxi to go there.
Note: Igatpuri itself is a hill station near Mumbai.
Panhala Hill Station near Mumbai.
Well, to be frank, it is not near Mumbai which is more than 380 km away. Nevertheless, it is a hill station for Mumbai people who don’t mind traveling such a long distance, whereas, the more familiar Lonavala hill station is only about 15 km from Mumbai, on the way to Pune. Panhala attracts us with its height which is about 3200 feet.
Panhala was Shivaji’s capital until 1782. A few decades later, the British captured the place.
How to go to Panhala Hill Stations near Mumbai?
If you are a train buff, go to Kolhapur first from where you are in India. If you start from Mumbai, Kolhapur is 375 km. Panhala is only 20 km from Kolhapur.
What to see in Panhala Hill Stations near Mumbai?
- Panhala Fort
- Parashar caves
- Sambhaji temple
- Panhala tank
- Jyotiba temple
- Sajja Kothi
- Ambarkhana fort
- Botanical garden
There are more than 10 temples in Panhala that may not be of interest to all visitors but the Maratis revere them.
Where to stay in Panhala?
The staying options in Panhala are one too many that would make the selection laborious if you decide to make Kolhapur your headquarters. I mean, you have to read a lot of users’ reviews before narrowing down your option. I have lessened your workload by suggesting three best places to stay in Panhala hill station.
MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) offers rooms that are typically spacious and not-very-comfortable furniture.
Hotel Hill Top is also highly reviewed about in travel related sites.
Aishwarya Deep hotel
So, do you agree now that these three hill stations near Mumbai (Bombay) are relatively lesser known weekend holiday destinations?