Despite February being the shortest month in the year, you can make every weekend count when it comes to your travel goals. This month, we’re recommending gorgeous getaways a few hours’ drive from your city. This means you can have a mini vacation and head back to the city within a day! Think time constraints are throwing in the spanner for your travel plans? Think again! If you’re in Mumbai, rent a car and explore the beaches of Alibag, head to the gorgeous Murud Janjira, go on a trek in Tungareshwar or go camping at the base of Karnala Fort.
Located less than 100 kms south of Mumbai, Alibag makes a perfect weekend destination for explorers. The biggest attraction here is the long beach of the town. The coastal Kolaba fort dates back to the time of Maratha kings and its medieval ramparts are a fascinating place to explore. The islands of Khanderi and Underi are also interesting locales, with a history going back to Shivaji’s time. One of the activities you can engage in Alibag is a trek to the picturesque temple of Shiva situated in the hills near the town. The black sands of Nagaon are another unique attraction in this neck of the woods. Kashid and Korlai are two of the other popular beaches in the area. Alibag offers quintessential coastal scenery and stunning sunset views, and visitors can dig into some of the local seafood delicacies. Choose a reliable provider of Mumbai to Alibag cabs and have a rejuvenating trip.
Murud Janjira fortress belongs to the 17th century and is located off Rajapuri near Murud. This fort is also known as Janjira fort and belonged to the then rulers from the Siddi clan with roots in Abyssinia. The height of the bastioned ramparts of the fort is 15 meters in the midst of the sea. History says that the fort had as many as 572 cannons always kept ready to fire at any approaching enemy. Some of these cannons can be seen even today. Though most of the structures inside are in ruins, visitors can still identify the meeting hall, school, and the mosque.
The Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Vasai is home to waterfalls, forests and a magnificent Shiva Temple. The sanctuary is lush green during the monsoons and is ideal for a refreshing trek to the Tungareshwar Hill. If you’re a novice at trekking, we recommend you cover some easier treks before attempting the 18km trek through this rough terrain. If you’re planning to visit the temple, you’ll have to pay an entry fee of about Rs 20 to the authorities. The Shiva temple in Tungareshwar is about 5kms from the highway. You could either walk or take a cab to the entrance of the temple. The temple is fairly crowded around the time Maha Shivratri is celebrated.
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the bustle of Mumbai, hire a taxi in Mumbai and head to Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Karnala Fort for a break in nature. With a couple of campsites in the sanctuary, you can spend time watching birds. If you’re not an outdoors person or if camping is not your thing, the sanctuary also has a few resorts and a forest guest house you can stay at with stunning views. With the elevation that the fort is at, you’ll also be able to see Prabalgad, Manikgad, Matheran, Chanderi Fort and Rajmachi.
If you are looking for more relaxed and laid back holiday, there are a plethora of offbeat options available – Pelhar Dam, Igatpuri, Kashid and more. Mumbai to Lonavala is one of the most popular short road trips which is hot favourites amongst Mumbaikars.