Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Pune
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. The caves include paintings and sculptures described by the government Archaeological Survey of India as “the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting”. The Ajanta caves are cut into the side of a cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on the small river Waghur.
Ellora is an archaeological site, 29 km North-West of the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is also known as Elapura. Well known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 “caves” are actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Ellora is known for Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples.
Kamshet is located in Pune district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is away 110 km from Mumbai City and 45 km from Pune. It is 16 km from the twin hill stations of Khandala and Lonavala. The area around Kamshet is surrounded by scenery and is home to small villages that are still built in the traditional style (with mud, thatch and reeds).
Kamshet has a Cold semi-arid climate bordering with tropical wet and dry with average temperatures ranging between 20 to 26 °C. Kamshet is one of the two main paragliding spots in Maharashtra. The season for paragliding in Kamshet is generally from October to end of May. From Jamboli you can trek to the waterfall at Kondeshwar Temple and further along the drop of the ghats. Trekking to Kondeshwar Temple is entry level trekking mostly flat. Vadivali Lake is one of the larger lakes in the area. It is an artificially created lake due to the backwaters of the Uksan Dam.
Alibag is a coastal town in Raigad District in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. The original name of this place was Ramnath which is just adjacent to main city Alibag. Alibag beach is the main beach of the town. Reasonably clean beach and has thin crowds during the week. The sand has a hard texture and is a shade of black. Not easy to create sand-castles.
Siddheshwar Mandir near Khandale is famous Shiva temple situated near picturesque hills near village Khandale just 4 km from Alibag-Pen state highway. Khanderi & Underi Islands are heavily fortified and built by Shivaji Maharaj as sea observation. In and around Alibag there are many beaches and temples like Alibag beach, Varsoli Beach, Akshi Beach, Nagaon beach, Korlai Beach, Datta Mandir, Hingulja Mandir, Balaji temple, Shitaladevi Temple, Kanakeshwar temple.
Kolhapur is an historical city in the Panchganga river basin in southwest Maharashtra state, India. The city has a textile manufacturing sector, particularly known for the Kolhapuri chappal. Kolhapur’s attractions include: an 85 feet idol of the Lord Ganesh at the Chinmaya mission (top-Sambhapur), Mahalakshmi temple, the Tara Rani equestrian statue which stands on two of the horse’s legs and a bronze statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar at Bindu chowk.
At the annual Dusshera procession, the Kolhapur Maybach car of the chhatrapatis of Kolhapur is displayed to the public. Kolhapur cuisine is noted for special mutton dishes like Tambada rassa and Pandhara rassa. In snack, Kolhapuri misal is very famous.
Mulshi is to the west of Pune and close to Lonavala as well as Konkan region. Mulshi Dam and the surroundings are full of natural beauty that includes a dam, a hilly region of Sahyadri’s deep forests and forts like Dhangad and Koraigadh. The beauty of Mulshi Lake can be observed from ‘Valanewadi’ – 6 km from Mulshi.
Sahyadri is famous for its deadly hills and its beauty. The hills of Ratnagiri and hill ranges of ‘Hattihant’ and ‘Pagota’ are huge ones and terrific. Some of these hills are almost 4000 feet high. Mulshi is very near to Pune and a short trip here can be arranged. One must enjoy the marvelous lake, the dam, forest and hilly region of Mulshi. If you are lucky then you can enjoy boating here as well.