The Best One Day trips around Pune during monsoons!

Sometimes you have only one day to explore something new, and so here is the exhaustive list of one day trips near Pune to simply enjoy nature! With the onset of monsoon (I can already hear the thundershowers as I type), the hills around the city will soon be green and alive, and this will be the best time to get out of your comfort zone and get out to explore!

Here are my top recommendations to enjoy nature around Pune. I have been to most of all these places, except two, and I hope to visit those as well this year. Of course if for some reason you just can't leave Pune, the best place to enjoy nature in the city is Vetal Tekdi. Read my exhaustive guide: Vetal Tekdi: the lungs of Pune.

Monsoon in Matheran

So without much ado, here are my favourite recommendations for exploring nature this monsoon around Pune. They are placed in order of their distance from Pune - the closest is first and the farthest is the last.

Mulshi

Distance from Pune: 45 km (1.5 hours by road)

Mulshi is most famous among the travellers because of it's dam. The dam is over Mula river before it enters Pune, but during the monsoon season the entire are becomes green and the dam is a major tourist attraction. Due to this the place also has hotels etc for meals and overnight stays.

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Key attractions: The dam is the most popular spot here.
To reach: Drive down or hire a cab.

Khandala

Distance from Pune: 70 km (1-2 hours by road)

Famous for multiple exciting points like Tiger's leap, Duke's nose and Karla caves, Khandala is an extremely popular hill station of the Western Ghats.

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Located on the Bhor ghat, Khandala is extremely well connected from both Pune and Mumbai as the Expressway passes through it.

Read more: Guide to Lonavala-Khandala

Key attractions: Apart from the ones mentioned above, do check out the Kune Mission, Shooting point and Bhushi Lake.

To reach: Well connected by road, train and buses. However, to save time a car would be the best bet (unless the expressway is blocked during the monsoons).

Matheran

Distance from Pune: 120 km (4 hours by road)

A hill station located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, Matheran is unique because it does not allow any vehicles inside the town limits. One can drive or take a cab, but these have to left behind when you enter. The only way left is to simply walk (I highly recommend that), take horses (I am always opposed to this due to animal abuse issues) or take the British era toy train. During non-monsoon months, the tot train take you all the way up from Neral to the town centre, but in monsoon the journey is much smaller and its starts only from top of the mountain.



Key attractions: There would be many people yet you will easily find solitude in the forests within which the town is located. There are lovely viewing points, risky waterfalls, cafes, tons of street art and much much more. I also strongly recommend that you plan for more than one day in the town to enjoy it more.

To reach: The first option is simply to drive or take a cab from your city. The better option is to take train from Mumbai (local train Thane line) or Pune and get down at Neral. Take a cab or the sou train (non-monsoon months) and go up the hill, and then simply walk to the town :)

Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Pune: 120 kilometres (3-4 hours by road)

Mahabaleshwar is the strawberry capital of India and the best time to visit is the strawberry harvesting time! The streets are lined with fruit sellers with some of the most beautiful strawberries, and cafes which will make the best strawberry shakes!



Even though I have been to Mahabaleshwar a few times, it's not my favourite hill station in Maharastra. Why? Well, it's beautiful but extremely crowded, especially during the weekends. However, if you must go then do book a place to stay in advance.

Key attractions: Strawberries, of course! Travellers also enjoy the main market which has nice feel during the evenings, and the numerous hikes and points all around the town.

To reach: It's best to drive in your car or book a cab. Buses are also available but take much longer and you will spend a better time of the day on the road.

Kaas Plateau

Distance from Pune: 136 km (3.5 hours by road)

Also known as 'Kaas Pathar', this natural UNSECO world heritage site is a biodiversity hotspot for many wild flowers which are endemic to only this part of the world. Also known as the 'Valley of Flowers' of Maharashtra, the flowers here bloom only in the months of August and September. There are close to about 1000 varieties of flowers here and many are now endangered.

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Key attractions: Some rare flowers are quite are major attractions. It's always good to have someone around who can show you these as some of these rare flowers are only a centimetre or two in size and can be easily missed. Do not miss the carnivores of haas which eat insects for survival.

To reach: You can drive on your own or join a group which is going there, like Pune Hikers. Parking can be a huge challenge so it's good to reach early and leave early as well.

Malshej Ghat

Distance from Pune: 120 km (3 hours by car)

Malshej Ghats rose to fame when the climax of box-office disaster Ravan was shot here a few years back. It was always a well known destination in Maharastra but with the movie, it rose to national fame.

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During the monsoon the beauty of the ghat is unparalleled and is certainly worth the visit. There are small hikes, trails, many waterfalls and gorgeous views of the valley all through the ghat.

Key attractions: Well, its not just one thing but a combination of all that makes this place special. Go there to enjoy nature and unwind in it's lap.

To reach: Take your car or hire a cab.

Alibaug

Distance from Pune: 142 km (3-4 hours by road)

Located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, Alibaug has one of the closest beaches from Pune. The place is not just popular for beaches, but also forts. There was once a large Jew community here and their is also a synagogue here which is a must-see!

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Key attractions: Alibaug beach, Alibaug fort, Khanderi and Under Islands, Magen Avot Synagogue,
To reach: Drive down or hire a cab. Buses are available but they will take up much of your time.

To reach: Drive down or hire a cab.

Bhandardhara

Distance from Pune: 162 km (4-5 hours by road)

Bhandardhara is a land of waterfalls and greenery and so is also one of the most popular weekend getaways form both Pune and Mumbai. There is something for everyone here. There are lakes, monsoon waterfalls, hikes and treks. It's also known to be a good spot for bird-watching. Kalsubai is close by but it isn't a trek for everyone and requires a bit more planning.



Key attractions:  Bhandardara lake, Wilson dam, Randha falls, Umbrella falls and many many more.
To reach: Drive down or hire a cab.

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Did I miss your favourite sport to enjoy nature around Pune? Do leave a comment and let me know - I will include it above :)

Comments

  1. Never heard of Pune and now I'm sad. This place looks so intriguing and I just looked up Pune and fell in love with its nature.

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  2. Oh wow, some of these trips looks amazing, especially the mountains and waterfalls. Anything to do with nature and I am there. :)

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  3. Having stayed in Pune for 6 years I can very well relate to this post. Have been to a lot of places you have mentioned in this list, but that time I dint have a good camera, to get some amazing shots. Pune in general becomes beautiful and all green during monsoon.BTW you missed out adding Lavassa to the list.

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  4. Wow!! Many beautiful places!! I should make a trip to Pune.

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  5. I'd add Purushwadi too for its awesome firefly show. I was at Kaas last year and truly it is a magical place during monsoons. The place looks heavenly with its spread of flowers and the mist! :) This is a wonderfully compiled list. The photographers have done a great job with their captures.

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  6. Beautiful. I love the way monsoons cover India in a velvet of green. Matheran in particular reminds me of B R Hills back home in Karnataka. I would love to explore these destinations

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  7. I cannot miss these exotic places after reading this blog and the scenic view allures a lot.

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