While the fight against coronavirus left the world worn out for a majority of this year, December 2020 brought a ray of hope in the lives of people. A steep decline in the new COVID cases, the recent breakthroughs on vaccines, two long and relaxed weekends with friends and family, year end holiday vibes, and finally, a promising 2021 to look forward to – this month had more positivity than the entire year combined!
Amidst the heightened enthusiasm, just when Mumbaikars planned their perfect goodbye to 2020, the Maharashtra government announced a seven-hour night curfew in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra until January 5, 2021. Following this, pubs, restaurants, bars, food joints, malls and theatres can now remain open only up to 11 PM, even on Christmas and New Year’s Eve!
While this dampened the Christmas and new year plans for the Maharashtra folks, we decided to offer them this long list of equally enticing Plan-Bs so they can start their new year in a celebratory mood! Check out these top getaways near Mumbai:
1. Go trekking at this 52,000 year-old Lonar Crater Lake
One of Maharashtra’s best kept secrets, this surreal lake was formed when a meteor weighing 2 million tonnes hit the ground! Ranking high on every geologist’s bucket list, this hidden gem is an admixture of rustic beauty, science and faith. But if you’re no stone or religion enthusiast, come down to this place for a unique trekking experience around the 6 km perimeter of the lake and witness its one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Located in the humble district of Buldwana, about 4-hour drive from Aurangabad, the pilgrim town of Lonar is also home to medieval times’ crumbling stone temples. So Mumbai junta, pack your bags and head out for an eccentric welcome to the new year. Not only are winters the best time to visit the lake but also the offbeat nature of the destination will ensure you have a worry-free, socially-distanced adventure!
- Distance: 500 km from Mumbai, 380 km from Pune
- Time: 10 hours from Mumbai, 8 hours from Pune
- How to get there: You can get a bus, flight or train from Mumbai to Aurangabad and then hire a cab to Lonar. Alternatively, you can book a direct from Pune to Lonar or Mumbai to Lonar cab.
2. Explore the historical trail in Aurangabad
If you are a history buff, there’s no better way to start the new year than exploring the historical trail of Aurangabad. With as many as 52 gates strewn across the city, Aurangabad is aptly known as the City of Gates. Each gate has a charming local or Mughal age story associated with it. Simply hire a guide and travel around the city, listening to the tales of the forgotten era! Our top recommendations in the city include Panchakki water mill, Bibi ka Maqbara (the Mini Taj), Khuldabad, Pitalkhora caves, and the breathtaking Daulatabad Fort hike. This 2-hour hike will reward you with panoramic views of the city!
- Distance: 360 km from Mumbai, 235 km from Pune
- Time: 7 hours from Mumbai, 5 hours from Pune
- How to get there: You can get a bus, flight or train from Mumbai to Aurangabad. You can also book a cab from Pune to Aurangabad or Mumbai to Aurangabad.
3. Witnessing mud-wrestling in Kolhapur
While mud-wrestling has been a traditional sport in India and its mentions date back to the epic Mahabharata times, it is only the Phogat sisters who brought wrestling into the limelight today. If the sister-duo impressed you with their charisma in the onscreen akhadas, how about witnessing it live in Kolhapur Taleem? Introduced 300 years ago by the Maratha rulers, Kolhapur continues to train wrestlers and organize wrestling tournaments even today. Attending one of these championships in the Colosseum inspired Khasbag Stadium, one of India’s biggest wrestling stadiums, is an underrated and unique experience in equal parts. Are you ready to welcome the new year with a bang?
- Distance: 375 km from Mumbai, 230 km from Pune
- Time: 6 hours 30 minutes from Mumbai, 4 hours from Pune
- How to get there: You can get a bus, flight or train from Mumbai to Kolhapur. You can also book a cab from Pune to Kolhapur or Mumbai to Kolhapur.
4. Chill on the pristine beaches of Malvan
While Mumbai to Goa still remains the most searched itinerary for the city folks who wish to spend some time soaking up the vitamin sea, simultaneously enjoying Goa’s incredible nightlife, we recommend a trip to Malvan instead. Malvan, a beach town in the Sindhudurg District, is a haven for seafood and water sport lovers. Not only does Malvan house a picturesque coastline with white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, but it is also scantily crowded, thus promising you a safe holiday experience. Do not miss snorkelling and scuba diving in Malvan for a peek into its stunning marine life. Beach babies, where are you!
- Distance: 530 km from Mumbai, 390 km from Pune
- Time: 10 hours 30 minutes from Mumbai, 8 hours from Pune
- How to get there: You can get a bus, flight or train from Mumbai to Malvan. The nearest airport to Malvan is Dabolim in Goa. You can also book a cab from Pune to Malvan or Mumbai to Malvan.
5. Head over to Igatpuri for a relaxed mountain holiday
Bored with the quick escapades to Mahableswar and Lonavala? If you’re a mountain lover seeking a perfect getaway amongst the hills, take a trip to this hidden paradise tucked into the Sahyadris – Igatpuri. Visit its ancient forts, temples, and ghats to welcome the new year in the lap of nature. Go camping and stargaze the night away, cuddled with your loved one! And if you’re seeking a spiritual awakening (with the year that we have had!), enrol yourself for a Vipassana course at the Dhamma Academy in Igatpuri.
- Distance: 120 km from Mumbai, 250 km from Pune
- Time: 2 hours 30 minutes from Mumbai, 4 hours 50 minutes from Pune
- How to get there: You can get a bus, flight or train from Mumbai to Igatpuri. The nearest airport to Igatpuri is Nasik. But booking a cab from Pune to Igatpuri or Mumbai to Igatpuri is a more convenient option.
While 2020 was the year of staying home, let’s plan our #TravelReboot as the perfect goodbye to this year! Start the New Year 2021 at your favourite holiday destination by booking Savaari’s safe and reliable services in 2000+ cities in India. Let us know your new year plans in the comments.