The bustling city of Mumbai could prove sultry and stifling in summer, like any other city on the seashore in a tropical country like India. Fortunately, the city is really close to many beautiful resorts and hill stations which beckon visitors with their cool climate, excellent ambience and facilities.
All of them offer you a combination of scenic surroundings in the lap of nature and an opportunity to observe the flora and fauna. Some have religious significance while others offer adventure sports or bird-watching treks. It’s time to start planning your summer retreat at one of these hill stations of your choice. We bring you the 15 best places to visit in May near Mumbai.
Places To Visit Near Mumbai in May – within 100 km
An astonishingly beautiful place, Karjat is surrounded by lush greenery. It offers activities like trekking, hiking, mountain climbing and even river rafting to the visitors who flock here to enjoy such adventures.
Karjat can be visited during monsoons, too, to look at a completely full Ulhas river, the surrounding greenery and waterfalls. Karjat boasts sixteen man-made caves, with stupas (pillars) and statues that date back to the 1st century B.C. These caves were later home to Buddhist monks and were called Kondana caves, after the local God, Kondeshwar whose temple can be visited, if interested.
- Distance: 62 kilometres
- Attractions: River rafting, trekking and climbing, scenic beauty, forts, ghats and caves
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From certain parts of Mumbai, in the North, you could get to Matheran in an hour. And yet, it’s a completely different place. At a height of 2,625 feet above sea level, it is totally green, has great weather, allows no motorised vehicles and is full of nice places to stay and great food.
In short, it offers a complete escape from city life, just what you need in the summer holidays. Do check out the various points, particularly Panorama Point, which will give you a complete view of the Sahyadri range.
- Distance: 80.3 kilometres
- Attractions: Horses, greenery, views
A twin hill station to Lonavala, Khandala is the leading choice for trekking and other outdoor activity enthusiasts in both Mumbai and Pune. The panoramic views offered by its peaks, from both the Amrutanjan Point and the peak named Duke’s Nose, make it an extremely suitable location for activities like hiking, trekking, adventurous climbing, valley crossing, rock climbing and rappelling.
The aptly named Tiger’s Leap, which looks as if a tiger is leaping into the valley below, is one of the major attractions of Khandala. Don’t miss visiting the ancient jail which was built in 1896, where the British imprisoned the founders of St. Xavier’s College. A great place to visit near Mumbai in May with the whole family.
- Distance from Mumbai: 81.9 kilometres
- Attractions: Tiger’s Leap, Amrutanjan Point, Duke’s Nose and Bhushi Lake
Lonavala is a perennial favourite but is very popular in the summer. This is because it’s close enough to Mumbai to make it a worthwhile trip just for the weekend and there’s lots to do for the whole family.
The adults can shop and enjoy the good weather, the children can go to nearby amusement parks and teenagers will love going trekking. People of all ages must try the chikki and chocolate fudge at the countless shops in the area.
- Distance from Mumbai: 83 kilometres
- Attractions: Chikki, trekking, adventure sports
5. Lohagad Fort
You can visit the Lohagad Fort by trekking or even by train. Located 50 kilometres from Pune and built at an elevation of 1033 metres above sea level, this fort passed through the hands of many dynasties and was used as the treasury under Shivaji.
It offers a great picnic spot in summer, with picturesque beauty. If you are new to trekking, Lohagad should be the first location on your list of places to trek to. You may also see the Buddhist caves, Karla and Bhaja, when you are there.
- Distance from Mumbai: 98.6 kilometres
- Attractions: Karla caves, Bhaja caves, Lohagad Dargah and Pavana Reservoir
Places To Visit Near Mumbai in May – within 100-200 km
If you are looking for peace and tranquillity, go to Igatpuri, which regularly features in films, as it is regularly chosen as a location for movies. You can go on nature walks or go trekking and hiking in the surrounding hills of Igatpuri.
You can also visit the Amruteshwar or Ghatandevi temples or go to the famous Vipassana centre, with a golden pagoda for a gate located there. The weather there is very pleasant, even in May, making it the perfect getaway for summer. The Bhatsa river valley and the Camel valley are places you can go to, as are the waterfalls and the wildlife sanctuary.
- Distance from Mumbai: 121 kilometres
- Attractions: Wildlife, rivers, scenic beauty, meditation, trekking and climbing
7. Malshej Ghat
This densely forested part of the Western Ghats is popular for trekking in summer and for a highly enjoyable communion with nature, during the monsoons. Nature lovers will be completely held in thrall by its verdant greenery, gushing waterfalls and the birds, like pink flamingos, which enchant a visitor.
Do visit the Khireshwar village on your way to Harishchandragad Fort, and include the other important forts in the area Jivdhan and Shivneri. Take in the animals at the MTDC resorts which include tigers and leopards and look at the Lenyadri caves and the scenic beauty of the Pimpalgaon–Joga dam.
- Distance from Mumbai: 140 kilometres
- Attractions: Trekking, forts, caves, dams and waterfalls
The Mulshi dam offers a serene beauty and excellent weather year-round offering an ideal picnic spot for both Mumbai and Pune. This beauty is further enhanced by the Mulshi lake, which is formed in its catchment area.
The Sahyadri hills are scenic and offer a magical experience for ornithologists and nature lovers. The area is very popular as a getaway both in the summer and in the monsoons. The road to Mulshi is periodically repaired but often deteriorates. This makes it necessary to ascertain the state of the approach road as a precaution if you are planning a road trip to this location.
- Distance from Mumbai: 168 kilometres
- Attractions: Varasgaon dam, Temgarh dam and Panshet are some of the interesting places around Mulshi.
The backwaters of the Panshet dam form the Panshet lake. Panshet offers amazing views of the Sahyadri mountains. Its claim to fame, however, is as a watersports centre and picnic spot. Even if you are not interested in watersports, you could visit the area to enjoy its impressive beauty and the other dams like Varasgaon and famed forts like Sinhagad which are nearby.
- Distance from Mumbai: 180 kilometres
- Attractions: Nature, dams, forts and wildlife
Lavasa is a privately-owned hill station which is designed on the lines of a hill-side town in Italy, called Portofino. The award-winning city is being built as four or five towns on seven hills, replicating the names of buildings and a street from Portofino.
It is connected by a number of mountain passes which are a preferred route for many a motorcycle enthusiast across the country. There exist plans for a golf course, a football stadium and a theme park, all of which are yet to be added as the completion date for the project was pushed from 2018 to 2020.
- Distance from Mumbai: 187.4 kilometres
- Attractions: Picturesque surroundings, Great weather and Adventure Sports.
Places to Visit Near Mumbai in May – 200+ km
Surrounded by the four green hills of Harihar, Harishinachal, Brahmadri and Pusphadri on the Konkan coast, Harihareshwar offers you secluded beaches, stunning scenic beauty and an excellent opportunity to unwind. If so inclined, you could include a visit to the famous temple to Harihareshwar here.
- Distance from Mumbai: 201 kilometres
- Attractions: Beaches, Scenic beauty, Kuda caves, Harihareshwar Temple
Lakes, dams, waterfalls and hill stations are all fun but how can summer end without your hitting a beach? Dapoli is your answer, as you find plenty of spaces where you can indulge in water activities with friends or family.
You can also visit the imposing sea port of Suvarnadurg and the smaller Fort Kanakdug near Harnai and marvel at the archaeological site of Panhalekaji and the Buddhist rock-cut caves there.
- Distance: 225 kilometres
- Attraction: Ladghar, Murud, Kolthare, Karde, Tamastirth, Kelshi, Savane, Anjarle
The drive up to Mahabaleshwar is excellent, offering a splendid view of the peaks of the Western Ghats. Often called the Queen of Hill Stations, it features great local produce (a Strawberry festival is held every year) and a host of viewing points, such as the Elephant Point pictured above. The colonial homes in the area, many belonging to generals from the British Raj, are also worth a visit. Try Treebo hotels in Mahabaleshwar for a comfortable stay.
- Distance from Mumbai: 231 kilometres
- Attractions: Road trips, architecture, landscape, forts, lakes. Check places to visit in Mahabaleshwar
This hill station is great for parasailing and gets its name from the five rolling hillocks which surround it. You can see the waters of the Dhom dam from Sidney Point, which overlooks the Krishna Valley. Panchgani is also where you can see the second longest mountain plateau called, rather prosaically, Table Land.
Parsi point is another scenic point with a view over the valley. You will also see Devil’s Kitchen, a cave where the Pandavas of Mahabharat were said to have stayed, and the Pandavagad caves which are said to have been built by them. Panchgani has a lot of boarding schools and is sought after as a place for convalescence from Tuberculosis. Try Treebo hotels in Panchgani for an amazing budget stay.
- Distance from Mumbai: 244 kilometres
- Attractions: Parsi Point, Devil’s Kitchen, Ganesh & Kartikeya Temples, Pandavagad caves and Sidney Point
Chikhaldara is not very close to Mumbai and needs you to travel 660 kilometres to the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. If you do make the trip, you will get to enjoy the amazing atmosphere of its mist-filled valleys, where tall trees and coffee plantations abound.
Chikhaldara is also associated with the story of the Mahabharata where Bhima is supposed to have engaged Keechaka in combat and killed him, for misbehaving with his wife Draupadi. You can visit the Melghat Tiger Reserve and many other spectacularly beautiful parks, dams and forts, including the Gawilgarh fort.
- Distance from Mumbai: 660 kilometres
- Attractions: Long Road/Train journey, Scenic beauty and Coffee plantations, Wildlife esp. Tigers, Dams, Forts, Lakes and Vantage Points from which you can see the valley.
Did you know that Mumbai is surrounded by such an eclectic mixture of panoramic beauty, history, religion and bits of mythology? After all, is that not the very framework of Indian culture? Do let us know your experience if you do visit any of these places in May in the comments section.