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Cool – Cool Summer: Hill Stations in Maharashtra

Matheran


image credit:matheran.org
 This small hill station is situated at about 94 km from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai. This hill station is a most adored weekend getaway for Mumbai people. Secluded from the vehicle pollution, this hill station gets crowded during weekends.
Matheran is declared Eco-Sensitive hill station. Motored vehicles are not allowed within 10/20 km circuit. Even if you go by your own vehicle you will have to park your car at Neral and from Neral a Toy Train takes you to the hill top. Make prior reservation for the train. You can decide to walk along the railway track by enjoying the scenic beauty around.
Situated at about 800 meters above the sea level, the hill station provides many viewpoints. You can even watch Bombay city from one point. MTDC self contained rooms are available here. There are private hotels also. Restaurants provide thali (plate) meals.
This place is for complete relaxation. Enjoy vehicle free zone, go for early morning walks to refresh yourself and you would be ready for a new week.

Malshej Ghat
Malshej Ghat is famous for Flamingos, and it is near the Shivaneri Fort. Shivaneri Fort is the birth place of Shivaji, the great warrior. This hill station also houses Buddhist caves dating back to 3rd century.
image credit:whatisnature.wordpress.com

You can approach this place via Mumbai or Pune. The hill station is located near Thane and Ahmednagar borders. But you can reach the destination by road only.
MTDC Flamingo Hill resort is the best option for staying overnight. Best time to visit is Monsoon season when the Flamingos start migrating to Malshej Ghat. Not only Flamingos migratory birds of other kinds also come here during monsoon.

You can visit Harischandraghad and Shivaneri fort along with Malshej Ghat.  

Weekend Surf

When we used to travel some years back with our parents, relatives and family friends do you remember there used to be lots of discussions and planning of dates that who is free on which dates and then the destination and dates of travelling had been fixed. This all used to be mostly for long vacations here in India like Diwali holidays or summer holidays where children have holidays and elders can tag along taking the leaves from offices. Before some years a concept came of weekend traveling, why one should wait for Diwali or summer holidays to pack your bags and be ready for roll, why not travel on weekends also to the places nearby our town. These days Airfares have been affordable for common man and cheers to that! Due to affordable airfares one can actually travel a bit away from the city you are living in and go to outstations. Getaways from the main city are small vacations which can be utilized as the stress boosters.

We work all the week and wait for weekend, some may use it to sit and relax at homes and then there are hardcore travelers who do the same thing of relaxing going to outstations. These days’ getaway vacations are popular since they are short and sweet. It needs not to be planned months back and can work out perfectly. 
Image Credit: www.sarahaustinart.com

October has arrived which is the best time to travel in India since the Monsoon rains have eased up, climate is pleasant and flavor of festival is in the air. So which places should we go to on weekends this year?? Well there are many options available around the corner but lets discuss few of them.
  • Goa
The favorite destination of every Indian, beaches, feni, seafood, water sports, beautiful hotels and resorts at your service if you are looking for spas, beautiful churches party place which can never fade in any season. One can reach there by air if your city is far from the place but if it’s nearby like Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, and Bengluru etc one can enjoy the rods for its scenic beauty but as we are talking about weekend plans its better to invest less time in reaching the destination. Park Hayatt and Taj exotica have very beautiful sea views and accommodations.
One can rent a car for whole weekend and roam around in Goa.
Image Credit: tamarindtours.in
  • Puducherry
Puducherry is also known as the Pondicherry is one of the best getaway destinations in Tamilnadu. The town has two parts French sector and Indian sector. It was designed on the French grid pattern. Many roads still have the French names,. French typos buildings or villas are a common sight here.
image credit: thehindu.com
One can visit Aurobindo Ashram while their stay in puducherry. Many foreigners are seen here for yoga and meditation.
The beauty of beach is but of course unavoidable. Lie back in beach side shack, relax and enjoy your cuisine and coconut water.


image credit: www.puthuchery.com
It is a coastal town in Maharashtra in Riagad district. It is one the Mumbai-goa highway. A quiet place to stay and enjoy your weekend in your own way. Alibag beach, varsoli beach and Nagaon beach are the main beaches here. Unlike other crowded beaches in India beaches here are clean with fresh air and neat sandy ambience. Even though it is a famous place beaches are pollution free. The perfect getaway for Mumbaikars and punekars.
image credit:www.journeymart.com
October is the best time to travel to these places and many others too. Pack your bags, get ready with our family and move for your customized small tour.
Bon voyage!!!!  

Let’s Hit the Offbeat Road

When it comes to vacations, usually a lot of time is spent on planning and preparations. Generally once we decide the place it is explored according to the gathered information, experiences of others (family friends, relatives etc.) and famous tourists’ spots that we read about on internet. Usually we don’t opt for offbeat destinations.
We can enjoy the perks of visiting these offbeat destinations.
  • The “hatke” vacation- all the famous places are in list of everybody, very few have the mindset and wish to explore the different place which is not so famous but worth being experienced. “Kuchh hatke” factor is covered here.
  • Crowd free- since it’s an offbeat place it will not be crowded with large number of tourists and guides running behind you to hire them.
  • Mastermind of own vacation- as we will be planning on our own the whole tour one can plan impeccably about accommodation and transportations.
  • Relaxed ambience- because we will be going to such a places which are planned according to our convenience one can stay there as much as they need to relax and unwind themselves as there wont be hurry to miss any famous spot.
These are the benefits of going to offbeat destinations. Now these can differ one to one, some of us may like quiet beach to be at or some of us may like hilly areas. Since we are talking about our own country lets take a look at some of the offbeat destinations in India.
  • Bhedaghat

    Image Credit : Flickr.com

Image Credit: trawellguide.com
We have seen sizzling kareena kapoor dancing here in “Raat ka Nasha “in movie Asoka, this is bhedaghat. The main attractions are marble mountains as we can see in the pictures. Narmada River makes its way through these marble rocks making the amazing view. Especially the boat ride here in moonlight in enchanting. While you are riding in a boat a point comes which is known as “Bandar Kodini”. 


At this point mountains come so close that monkeys can jump across them easily and hence the name of a point is Bandar kodini. The other point that we shouldn’t miss is dhunvadhar waterfalls. The meaning of dhunvadhar is “dhunva” meaning smoke and “dhar” means the flow of water and it truly stands by its name. The roar if this waterfall is heard from far distance.
Bhedaghat is in Jabalpur district of MP. We can hire a cab once we reach Jabalpur and reach Bhedaghat. For accommodations there are plenty of hotels and MPTDC guest’s house available.

  • Bhangarh
    image credit:www.goldenassay.com

image credit: undiscoveredindiantreasures.blogspot.com
This is a place in Alwar district of Rajasthan. It is on the way from Jaipur to Alwar. It is a prehistoric site. This is included in our list because it is the only legally haunted place in India acclaimed by Indian Govt. Every heritage site has an Archeological office in India but this is the only place where ASI office in not present but quiet a far from the place. The ASI has put the board around the site saying that the entry is prohibited from sunset to sunrise. The fort was built in 1613 and the town was established by King Madho. There are many stories behind this town being haunted but the travelers who have been there claim that the place makes you feel restless and hyper, may be the mindset becomes so due to the tales and ASI boards. Rajasthan is known for heritage palaces and their beauty, so while you have plans to travel in Rajasthan one should definitely visit this strange place, of course during the day.
  • Malana
Malana is a town situated in valley called Parvati in Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as the little Greece in Himachal Pradesh.
Image Credit: mysterioushimachal.com
It is an ancient village 3029 meters above from the sea level. We all know the mesmerizing beauty of Himalaya Mountains and hence the famous destinations in HP such as Shimla, Manali then why Malana? It is isolated from the outer world. The citizens of this town consider themselves the descendants of the Alexander’s Army. Every city has its own tale and cultures but this town seem to have many stories. When Alexander came in Asia to his quest of conquering the whole world he was defeated here and while going back, some of his army found solace in Malana and stayed back. These people consider the outsiders inferior to them, so when you travel here you should not leave prescribed path and follow their rules strictly. They have kind of strange concepts which they follow till the date as in even if unintentionally if you touch any person there you have to pay the fine. This goes for any walls, houses and people there. Malana had the one of the oldest democracy in the world. It is a quiet yet strange place because of its customs and their beliefs to visit. Treat for nature lovers to go and relax. It is also infamous for the Malana cream which has the large amount of demand internationally. This is considered to be one of the finest Hashish in the world and that’s why drug mafias and some foreigners seeking for malana cream come here and stay. Indian govt. had to interfere here to control the acts which have not been proven successful so far. People being isolated from the other part of the country had the main occupation of growing the cannabis plants. Gradually things will change here that is what we hope for and the hydro electric power plant is raised here by the govt. which serves as one of the effort for the employment option for the localities here. Exclude the cannabis plantations here from the picture and this is one of the beautiful places to visit when we go to HP.
There are many more places in India to consider as offbeat destinations. The best way to reach all these places is reach to the main city near by from these places by any mode of transport which is favorable for you as in by train or air or travel buses and then hires a cab for your journey. The benefit here is it is convenient as well as safe since the hired cab will be at your service all the time. For an ex. CCR Clear Car Rental where we can book our cabs online in advance, can book our ride, I mean the car that we want since they have many options for cars too and plan accordingly. They also have the different packages, as in pick and drop services or destination packages by which we can book it right from picking us up from the airport or railway station and then taking us to the desired destination and drop us back to the stations from where they picked us.
Lest pack our bags for some of the offbeat destinations this year and “hatke” tours but safe and sound. What are offbeat destinations in your list? Reply for this post with the names of the places that you have in mind.
Ciao.


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