• Jayesh Paranjape

5 Getaways near Pune Perfect for the Weekend

Updated: Jul 31

Hit any road going out of Pune and within an hour or two you will find yourself in a place you can spend a peaceful weekend at! This weekend get out of the city and explore these places around Pune, handpicked by us, which are great during the summers!


TAPOLA

Tapola is a small village near Mahabaleshwar, about 25 km down the valley. Termed as ‘Mini Kashmir’, owing to the pleasant weather through the year and of course the presence of the backwaters of the Shivsagar lake formed by the Koyna Dam. The forests around Tapola offer the perfect place for jungle treks. In fact, Tapola is one of the base villages for the arduous trek to the Vasota Fort. Another major attraction at Tapola is an array of water sports activities offered by the local boat club. You can choose between row boats, speed boats, water scooters, and kayaks or simply decide to swim in the lake!

Distance from Pune: 140 km


WAI

Everyone passes through Wai, whenever they have to reach Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. But hardly anyone has completely explored this temple town located at the foothills of two of our favourite hill stations. Located on the banks of Krishna River, Wai is a small temple town which is often referred to as ‘Dakshin Kashi’, due to the presence of more than 100 temples in and around. The Dholya Ganpati temple and the Kashi Vishweshwar temple are the main attractions of the town. But beyond these two temples, Wai has many other places worth exploring. Start with the Nana Phadnavis Wada at Menwali village which was built in 1780 and the adjoining Krishna ghat. Another must-visit place is the Laxmi Narsimha temple at Dhom village. According to local legend, this temple was built by the Pandavas. Built in the Hemadpanti style of architecture, the main attraction here is the central pond with an enormous tortoise statue built in stone. The Dhom lake formed by the dam also offers boating and other water sports activities through various boating clubs along the banks.

Distance from Pune: 90 km


ANJARLE BEACH

Anjarle is one of the most secluded beaches in the Konkan belt. You might have already been to Dapoli, Karde or Murud, but Anjarle is truly a hidden gem. The 2 km stretch at Anjarle is full of white sand and sparkling clean water, surrounded by an array of palm and suru trees. Anjarle is also known for the legendary ‘Kadyavarcha Ganpati’ (temple on a cliff), which is one of the well-known prehistoric temples of India and dates back to 1500 AD. The temple has a beautiful décor with stone staircases leading to the temple’s Kalas on the top. The Ganesh idol here is rare and locally called as ‘Ujwya Sondecha Ganpati’ (trunk turned to the right side). Once at Anjarle and if you are a sea-food lover, don’t miss the morning fish auction which happens at Harnai beach. This is a great place to buy the best and the freshest prawns, crabs, surmai and pomfret!

Distance from Pune: 190 km


BHIMASHANKAR

If you are looking for a weekend getaway filled with patches of untouched evergreen forests coupled with some religion and culture then Bhimashankar is definitely the place to go. The Bhimashankar temple is built in the Nagara style of architecture, and dates back to the 18th century. It is one of the twelve ‘jyotirlingas’ in India. The temple is situated right in the heart of the forest and if you go beyond the temple along the river bed, and tolerate some amount of garbage on the way, you will enter the beautiful forest which is a part of the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary was notified in 1984, primarily because it is among the very few forests in India which support a thriving population of the endangered and elusive giant squirrel. Known as ‘shekru’ in Marathi, the giant squirrel is the state animal of Maharashtra. Extremely shy the animal can be spotted due to its long bushy tail. But before it is seen, the giant squirrel is often heard. So keep your ears open for the animal’s loud repeated rattling call, which sounds like a firing machine gun! If you are lucky, you will be able to spot the squirrel on the Gupt Bhimashankar trail behind the temple. Apart from the shekru, the forests also offer excellent opportunities for spotting birds, reptiles, butterflies, plants and sometimes smaller mammals like the barking deer.

Distance from Pune: 120 km


MULSHI & TAMHINI GHAT

Just 40 km on the west of Pune, Mulshi is perfect to spend a weekend with friends or family. The area is surrounded by the rugged mountains and forests of the Sahyadris. The Mulshi Lake in all its grandeur is visible throughout the road journey. The best way to see this place is to park your vehicle on the road and just walk your way to the lake and explore a new place. If you keep driving beyond the Mulshi Dam, you would pass through Tamhini Ghat. The drive is through dense and rich forest areas and is definitely worth an extended trip. Recently around 50 sq km of this area was notified as a wildlife sanctuary. Tamhini is wildlife heaven - birds, reptiles and amphibians in particular. Once here, do visit is the Kalika Mata mandir located inside a 'devrai' (Sacred Grove). If you venture a bit into the forest behind the temple, you might be lucky to see the rare Giant Squirrel!

Distance from Pune: Mulshi – 40 km, Tamhini Ghat – 70 km


Photos: Vidyuth Singh, Vinit Godbole, Anagha Bodas


Note:

This article was originally published on Whats Hot Pune. Read about it HERE.

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About Me

A true Punekar at heart, I am a traveller by passion and profession. Rustic and local flavours excite and inspire me while on my food explorations. In 2012, I founded The Western Routes a Pune-based travel company. Along with that, I also write restaurant reviews for Pune Times every Friday.

 

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