Lindsay Ford, a criminal, convicted of committing multiple robberies in Australia, escapes from prison and lands on the shores of Bombay, and so begins Lindsay’s epic adventure in the novel Shantaram.
A worldwide bestseller, Shantaram depicts the love, tragedies, and pursuits of Lindsay’s life in Bombay– the city of dreams. The book is widely loved for its vivid, vibrant, and nearly accurate descriptions of Bombay of the 1980s, exploring the city in its full colors. Slums, hotels, the common Marathi people, and the underworld– everything comes to life while reading this grand story.
Often, when we talk about Maharashtra, Bombay (now Mumbai) is among the first words to pop up in the back of our minds. Indeed, Mumbai has largely been considered a mirror of everything related to Maharashtra and its people. The city is on the bucket list of every traveler planning to visit the state for the first time.
However, the rest of Maharashtra is largely overshadowed by the grandeur of its capital city. True, Mumbai is the heart of Maharashtra. But is the heart the only part of the body? You know tens of reasons why you should visit Mumbai. But is that all Maharashtra has to offer?
For the next few minutes, we will discover eight hidden gems of travel destinations often overlooked by people visiting the country’s third-largest state. Read on to learn about 8 offbeat places in Maharashtra that you don’t miss out on!
Here is another place near Mumbai you can’t miss. This beautiful tourist spot is nestled in the Sahyadri Hills and offers you an exclusive experience away from the hustle-bustle of city life.
When most places today are brimming with the crowd and noise of vehicles, Matheran is the best place to take refuge and avoid automobiles altogether. This is because automobiles are not allowed in Matheran.
How amazing that is! By coming here, you can listen to the spellbinding eloquence of the chirping of birds, the hustling wind, the gushing waterfalls, and the animals that inhabit the place.
Well, you can’t go on a Maharashtra trip without exploring the city of Mumbai. But there is a place that most Mumbai-goers overlook despite its vicinity to the city.
The Kanheri Caves – located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the island of Salsette – is a great example of rock-cut architecture that dates back as far as 2100 years in the past. The group of rock-cut caves, which used to be a Buddhist Monastery in the past, contains around 109 individual caves built over a period of twelve hundred years.
Once you reach the caves, you can indulge yourself in exploring the caves and the Buddhist sculptures to get a firsthand experience of history, art, and religion.
Now, you might have already heard of Nashik and the many of the things it stands for. But have you ever experienced the city in its fullness? If not, it’s high time you did that.
If the stories of Ramayan have been a part of your childhood, you can experience some of those stories here. People believe that this was the place where the trio of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman spent many days during their 14-year-long exile. Nashik is the place where you would find temples, ghats, and many other religious centers that can whet your religious cravings.
Another hill station is on the list, but we cannot help recommending it to you. Amboli is the perfect spot for you if you want some new refreshments in your travels through Maharashtra.
Located in the Sindhudurg district, Amboli is the perfect blend of greenery, peace, and wildlife, offering you some great places to experience. The forests of Amboli can give that exotic mix of thrill, peace, and tranquility. The place also shelters some great picturesque places, including Amboli Falls, Madhavgad Fort, and the spellbinding Shirgaonkar Point.
If you love being surrounded by greenery, fog, water, and an everlasting feeling of peace, Amboli can give you what you desire. Once you are in Matheran, we bet you won’t return to the city at all!
Adventure junkies, this is for you! If you want to experience the fun of water sports without having to go to other crowded places, stop by the Kundalika Valley and indulge yourself in river rafting in the Kundalika River.
You can choose and buy any of the several rafting packages available and start the adventurous and challenging 12-km whitewater stretch. To start your adventure in the daunting Kundalika River, you can reach Kolad via road from Mumbai or Pune in less than three hours.
Since the place is much less crowded than other popular river rafting destinations, you can have your adventure-last fulfilled without compromising on peace and tranquility.
Want that perfect blend of greenery and wildlife to add to your Maharashtra travel bucket list? You just expressed your desire to visit Melghat.
One of the oldest tiger reserves in the country, the Melghat Tiger Reserve is situated in the Gavilgadh Hill region in Maharashtra. Here, you can nestle yourself amid the scenic beauty of the hills and the surrounding greenery.
Indulging in the exploration of the vast fauna is also an exciting prospect for most travelers. The wildlife you’re most likely to encounter here includes birds of all colors, elephants, deer, snakes, and of course, tigers.
Whether you want to experience nature in its pristine form or want a bit of excitement and adventure in the jungle, Melghat can give you exactly what you need and more.
If you plan to visit Melghat, you cannot afford to miss Chikhaldara, as this place is less than 100 kilometers away from Melghat and will likely come on the way.
At the height of 1118 meters, Chikhaldara can prove to be an awesome choice for you if you want to visit a hill station that contains magnificent flora and brims with bustling fauna. Besides, the place is the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. So, if you are a coffee lover, don’t forget to taste Chikhaldara’s coffee during your visit.
The area gets heavy rainfall during the monsoon, which, while making the region more beautiful, can disrupt your traveling experience. So, if you want to experience Chikhaldara fully, it’s a good idea to visit around October-November.
Mumbai can introduce you to the magic of bustling city life. But it cannot provide you with the peace that comes with being in the lap of nature. Welcome yourself to Bhandardara!
Situated 168 kilometers away from the state capital, Bhandardara is a beautiful village in the Igatpuri district of Maharashtra. Like most villages, Bhandardara nests enough greenery to keep your eyes and thoughts occupied. But it is not just any other village and has many more things to offer.
The breathtaking Umbrella Falls are enough to make you love the place, while the grandeur of the British-era Wilson Dam can take you back in time with a tinge of natural beauty in the background. The vast Arthur Lake, the majestic Randha Falls, and the majestic Pravara River are here to keep you enchanted for a long, long time.
Wrapping it Up
Rivers, mountains, beaches, plateaus, ghats, you name it– Maharashtra has pretty much everything you would ever need during your travels. But sadly, many such amazing places in the state are too underrated to be recognized for their full potential.
We have prepared this blog to change that. Here, we have discussed eight such underrated places in Maharashtra that can not only satiate your wanderlust but also leave you craving for more. The places mentioned above have everything– wonderful waterfalls, rivers, mountains, wildlife, and everything in between.
So, if you are planning your next trip to Maharashtra, you know where to go.
Are you a travel freak always on the lookout of planning your next getaway? You have to check our Travel & Adventure section to build your ideal bucket list today!