10 ways to explore the outdoors in and around Pune
With bountiful natural surroundings, hip lifestyle and yet a touch of age-old tradition to every element of it, Pune has shaped up to be an all-rounded place. Whether you want to unwind after a long week or explore the town and its neighborhood as a tourist, the city has every kind of outdoor activity that you can imagine. And you won’t have to go too far. Because every road, every highway turns into a place which you wouldn’t have explored before.
With these top 15 options of adventure and enjoying nature, Pune will leave you spoilt for choices.
Gear up for an exciting paragliding experience at Kamshet- one of India’s top 10 paragliding spots. Just at a distance of 45 KM from Pune, you will land at the flat grasslands of Kamshet, atop a plateau. With certified gliders and flying enthusiasts, you can choose from different sessions- classic, instructional or Acro. You get to fly with a certified instructor and enjoy the panoramic view of the Sahyadri Mountains and its valleys.
Paint Ball Fun
Want to give it back to your opposing game team or your office bunch, gang up with your buddies for a paintball fight. Catching up to be the most popular outdoor entertainment activity in Pune, this simulated war activity is fun for all age groups. The Paintball Zone at Kalyani Nagar is open to the public all year round.
Want to blaze the trails down the dusty roads? Then head to Della Adventures, in Lonavla, at just an hour’s drive from Pune and explore their All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) rides. Riding a monstrous quad-bike on the rugged natural terrain can pump your adrenaline and give you thrill you seek. The best time to go wild with these bikes in during the months of September to March. But remember not to tag along with your younger siblings or little relatives below 12 years of age.
Rock climbing against the wet and frothy waterfalls- the perfect summer adventure! And Madhe Ghat near Pune (64 KM from the city) is probably one of the best spots for the same. Try rappelling at 120 feet from the ground, against the gushing waters falling down rocky slopes. Go there during the monsoon months or right after, to get abundant water flow. Good for both pros and hobby climbers, this scenic natural locale is one of the best adventure spots near Pune.
For the young and daring souls, nothing gets the blood pumping more than diving from a height. For the adventure junkies, Della Adventures near Lonavla also offers bungee jumping. Dive down a height of 45 meters above the ground and feel the thrill. The best time though to take the leap is either in the winter months or right before the monsoon
The tranquil little hamlet of Mulshi, with a central lake surrounded by the Sahyadri Ranges, can be a refreshing change from the urban routine. The Mulshi dam creates a catchment area at the bottom, making it an ideal spot for camping. Though it’s covered in greenery all year round, the best time to explore the lake area is in or after the monsoon.
The coziest hill station with traces of its colonial past, Panchgani is a favorite escapade for most urban travelers from Pune and around. Sitting at the foothills of five hills (hence the name), this sleepy little town makes for a refreshing retreat with nature walks, fruit orchard tours and exotic resort stays. Plan your visit in monsoon or the cold winter months to experience Panchgani’s real beauty and charm.
If you love water sports but cannot head to the sea, fret not, because Pune sorts that out too for you! Right around Mulshi, is yet another lakeside natural retreat called Panshet. Known for water sports, Panshet is great for swimming, boating, and kayaking. Head for a day trip with family, friends or camp up for a romantic night out.
The Khadakwasla Dam creates a huge lake of its namesake which is a great hangout spot for youngsters and couples. But the highlight of the town is the lip-smacking street food and unique local delicacies. Drive down for an hour and you can spend the entire day. For overnighters, Khadakwasla has also come up with cozy and well done up homestays and resorts.
At a three-hour drive from Pune, in the Ratnagiri district, sits the quaint coastal village-town of Dapoli. Despite being quite far from the city, this seaside retreat is totally worth the visit for its rocky cliffs, virgin beaches and the sparkling waves of the Arabian Sea. For those who seek and enjoy privacy, there are a few comfy homestays atop the cliffs, with breathtaking views of the sea.