Hill Stations in Maharashtra

15 Tranquil Hill Stations in Maharashtra

Maharashtra, the second-most populated state in the nation and the third-largest state overall, is frequently referred to as the “Gateway to the Heart of India”. Maharashtra boasts a treasure trove of enchanting hill stations with natural splendor and cool climate. Due to its close proximity to the Western Ghats, it enjoys a scenic mountain backdrop on one side and the stunning Konkan coastal belt on the other. 

Maharashtra is graced by the stunning Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats. The tall mountains are blanketed by the morning mist, and the sweeping Konkan Coast offers stunning views. The verdant hill slopes against the expanse of white beaches mesmerize the senses.

The historic forts and palaces that are still standing today, including those at Ratnagiri and Pune, proudly tell the tale of the once-powerful Maratha kings. The little hill towns of Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, and Matheran, tucked snugly within the pristine Western Ghats, provide travelers a break from the bustle of the city. There is a significant discussion regarding the culture of Maharashtra, which has gracefully absorbed different civilizations that have come to call this state home while keeping its native Marathi culture intact.

1. Lonavala

Lonavala, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Lonavala, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: kushagradhall)

Located close to the prominent cities of Mumbai and Pune, Lonavala is the perfect weekend getaway. The hill station, surrounded by verdant valleys, lies on the Sahyadri Range of the Western Ghats. It is dotted with historical places, pristine lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, lush landscapes, sacred sites, natural wonders, and spectacular caves. You can delve into the allure of a one day Lonavala tour, accessible from multiple locations across the state, promising a seamless escapee.

Located at a height of 624 m, it also offers exciting recreational activities like trekking, camping, rappelling, and hiking. The most popular attractions of Lonavala are Tikona Fort, Tiger’s Leap with an echo point, Pawna Lake, Bhushi Dam on the Bhusi Lake, Duke’s Nose or Nagphani resembling a snake’s hood, Rajmachi Fort, and Ryewood Lake. Karla and Bhaja Caves are a treat for history buffs. It is one of the oldest rock-cut caves in India. The hill town is famous for Chikki, a hard candy made of nuts and jaggery.

2. Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Mahabaleshwar, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: lukelung)

Situated on the forested Western Ghats, south of Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar entices its guests with an uncanny captivating charm. It is also close to Pune city and boasts of being home to one of the only evergreen forests in the world. The tourists can easily unwind amidst the beautiful scenery. Some of the interesting tourist places in Mahabaleshwar include Arthur’s Seat, Deccan Traps, Kate’s Point, Wilson Point, Needle Hole Point, and Monkey Point offer panoramic views of the lush valleys and hills, majestic waterfalls, and numerous streams. 

The delightful gardens, historical sites, majestic peaks, serene lakes, and sunset and sunrise points make it an ideal summer destination. It is also famous for boarding schools, pilgrimage centers, corn, mulberries, and strawberries. Tourists can enjoy several thrilling activities like trekking, rock climbing, boating, horse riding, and bungee jumping. Create memorable moments with a quick one-day Mahabaleshwar tour by car.

3. Khandala

Khandala, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Khandala, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: rimjhimagrawal)

At an altitude of 571 m, Khandala is only 3 kilometers from Lonavala. It is very close to the cities of Mumbai and Pune. Nestled in the foothills of Sahyadri mountain Ranges, it has pleasant weather with a touch of mist in the air. With its scenic landscape, imposing ambiance, and steamy waterfalls, it has an amazing setting for an unplanned vacation. Its charm increases during the rainy season. 

Khandala is also popular for its rock formations, like Shiva Linga Rock, Bedsa Caves, and Tiger’s Leap. Other important tourist spots in Khandala include the three-tiered Kune Waterfalls, Reversing Station, the Shrivardhan Fort, Lion’s Point, the Tamhini Ghat mountain pass, Visapur Fort, and the ancient Bhaja and Karla Caves. The mesmerizing location is even ideal for budding and experienced photographers.

4. Panchgani

Panchgani, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Panchgani, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: rushishelar)

Comprising five majestic hills, Panchgani is a popular hill station in Maharashtra for exhausted souls stuck in cities. The scenic location at 1,334 m attracts tourists of every age and taste. There are coastal plains on one side and green and foggy hills on the other. It is renowned for many premier residential institutions. Moreover, it houses popular venues like Table Land, the 2nd longest mountain plateau in Asia, Kamalgad Fort, Venna Lake, Mapro Garden, known for its strawberries, Devil’s Kitchen, Parsi Point, Rajpuri Caves, Dhom Dham, Wai, Shivaji Circle, and Sydney Point. 

Besides visiting popular tourist attractions in Panchgani, stunning scenery and unwinding, tourists can perform myriad adrenaline-pushing activities, such as trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, speed boating, and horse riding. Night camping is another popular outdoor activity. February and March are ideal for enthralling views of juicy strawberries.

5. Malshej Ghat

Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Malshej Ghat, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: sonikaagarwal)

Situated on the Western Ghats, Malshej Ghat is a mountain pass and a famous weekend getaway from Mumbai. It is home to extensive wildlife, especially birds, like Pink Flamingos during the monsoons, crakes, quails, cuckoos, and rakes. Again, it is blessed with tranquillity and astounding beauty. Tourists can enjoy the cool and refreshing atmosphere. Harishchandra Fort is a popular trekking point. There are also dams, ravishing waterfalls, mesmerizing streams, and numerous lakes. 

The ancient temples are great architectural wonders. Other notable attractions in Malshej Ghat include Pimpalgaon Dam, Ajoba Hill Fort, and Ashtavinayak Ganesha Temple. It is also thronged by adventure lovers for sports like trekking, mountain climbing, camping, and waterfall rappelling. Nature enthusiasts delight in nature trails, birdwatching, and sightseeing. Clicking some of the best moments and wonderful photography are also made possible. Discover the best of Malshej Ghat on a one-day tour by car.

6. Matheran

Matheran, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Matheran, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: ashwinichaudharymonty)

Matheran is a cozy small hill station located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Nestled amidst the Sahyadri range at an elevation of 2600 feet above sea level, it is just 100 kilometers from Mumbai and makes for an ideal place to visit near Mumbai. The smallest hill town in India, Matheran, whose name literally translates to “overhead forest,” is incredibly popular with travelers seeking a quick getaway amidst breathtaking views and tranquility.

You will be immediately taken to a romantic old-world era of red-soiled roads, automobile-free walkways, and lush green hills. There is minimal pollution here since Matheran is one of the very few sites in the world that does not allow any vehicles at all. The brisk breeze and the clean, pollutant-free air are more than enough to draw travelers to Matheran throughout the year. Like every other hill station in Maharashtra, Matheran is well-known for its vistas. 

Explore the prominent places in Matheran like Charlotte Lake, stroll through the lush Paymaster Park, or embark on a scenic journey aboard the Matheran Toy Train. Don’t miss the enchanting Louisa Point for breathtaking sunsets and the historic Hart Point for its colonial-era allure.

7. Lavasa 

Lavasa, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Lavasa, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: ashwinichaudharymonty)

The Lavasa Corporation is creating this exclusive metropolis, which is referred to as Maharashtra’s newest hill station. Beautifully designed, Lavasa city is modeled after Portofino in Italy. Lavasa spans 7 hills and encompasses a total of 25,000 acres. It is the ideal fusion of natural beauty and modern infrastructure.

Located close to Pune, the privately developed hill city of Lavasa is also a popular destination for a one day tour from Mumbai. This contemporary hill station is a pleasant getaway for all of its guests and has a lot to offer. From gorgeous scenery to an incredibly well-developed infrastructure comprising hotels, resorts, educational institutions, malls, residential property, and IT firms, there is much to explore in this city.

Lavasa is emerging as an important destination for those seeking a brief escape from the stress of busy city life. Its location in the center of verdant hills makes it unquestionably a destination for leisure travel. In Maharashtra’s Western Ghats, Lavasa City charms visitors with its captivating scenery. It is located in Mose Valley, around 200 kilometers from Mumbai, 65 kilometers from Pune, and roughly an hour’s drive away.

There is no dearth of places to see in Lavasa, you can enjoy the serene beauty of the lakeside Promenade, indulge in water sports at Dasve Lake, and explore the vibrant Dasve Viewpoint for panoramic vistas. The Lavasa Nature Trail and Lakeside Adventure Park offer outdoor enthusiasts a thrilling experience, making Lavasa a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities.

8. Bhimashankar

Bhimashankar, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Bhimashankar, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: jayeshsingh)

Bhimashankar, which is 223 miles from Mumbai and 100 km from Pune, is a well-known temple town. It is one of the twelve conventional Lord Shiva “Jyotirlinga” shrines in India.

Bhimashankar is situated in the Bhorgiri village in the Sahyadri range’s ghat region. Bhimashankar, which is located at a height of about 3,250 feet, is encircled by hills and is cloaked in a dense canopy of greenery. 

According to legend, the name Bhimashankar was derived from the river Bhima, which dried up as a result of the conflict between Lord Shiva and the demon Tripurasura. The presence of the jyotirlinga makes it one of India’s holiest locations. The renowned trekking location is Bhimashankar.

One  of the most visited tourist attractions in Bhimashankar is the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary which offers a chance to spot unique flora and fauna. Trek to Hanuman Lake for a serene experience or explore Nagphani, known for its stunning views. The tranquil ambiance and spiritual significance make Bhimashankar a captivating hill station for nature lovers and pilgrims alike.

9. Igatpuri

Igatpuri is a hill station and city in the Western Ghats. It is approximately 130 kilometers from Mumbai in the Maharashtra district of Nashik. Igatpuri, which lies near the Mumbai – Agra National Highway, is a haven for those who love the outdoors. Additionally, it contains some of the Sahyadri range’s tallest peaks.

Igatpuri is well known as the home of the Vipassana International Academy, the largest Vipassana meditation center in the entire world. It teaches the exact method of meditation that Gautam Buddha first distributed in the sixth century BC.

Igatpuri is a well-liked weekend escape from Pune and Mumbai and one of the top locations to visit in Maharashtra during the monsoon season. Additionally, it serves as a significant railway hub in Maharashtra, linking the state’s largest cities. Igatpuri is an excellent location for rock climbing and trekking in addition to old forts, magnificent waterfalls, and huge mountains. 

Igatpuri features Bhatsa River Valley, Camel Valley, Konkankada Valley, and the Randha Falls, all of which are embellished with rivers and waterfalls, for photographers and environment enthusiasts. Tringalwadi Fort, located in Igatpuri at a height of 3000 feet, is a popular hiking destination. The fort offers a captivating perspective that you can enjoy.

10. Karjat

Karjat is a beautiful hill station in Maharashtra that is decorated with lush woodland areas and is admired by hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. The breathtaking location, tucked away in the vast Western Ghats, is perfect for honeymooners, who can take in the breathtaking view of mighty mountains and ancient mysterious caves. 

Without a question, Karjat is a must-visit location and an excellent addition to Maharashtra’s tourism portfolio. Karjat, where the river Ulhas originates, is a well-liked location for hikers and adventure seekers due to its hiking opportunities and historical attractions. It is 90 kilometers from Mumbai and has grown in significance because it links Mumbai to Lonavala and Pune.

11. Rajmachi

Rajmachi, Maharashtra, India Tourism
Rajmachi, Hill Station in Maharashtra, India Tourism (courtesy: alvincp)

Rajmachi is a little village located in Maharashtra’s Konkan area, amid the Sahyadri mountain range. It is a popular tourist destination in Maharashtra. Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, two fortified peaks of Rajmachi’s medieval citadel, are situated close to the well-known hills of Lonavala and Khandala. The settlement of Udhewadi, also known as Rajmachi, is located at the base of the fort. 

The rulers of Rajmachi have changed numerous times, including Shivaji Maharaj, Emperor Aurangzeb, Shahu Maharaj, and ultimately the British rule. Trekkers and adventure seekers are well-known for their love of Rajmachi Fort. You can drive right up to Udhewadi village and hike for only 20 to 30 minutes to the top of the fort, or you can start from the side of the Kondhane caves and climb for 3 to 4 hours.

12. Amboli

Amboli is a charming tiny hill town in the Maharashtra state that is located at a height of roughly 700 m. This popular tourist destination is located in the Sindhudurg District and is part of the Sahayadri Ranges. Amboli demonstrates to be an excellent location for both a quick weekend getaway and a romantic getaway! Visit this location to slow down from the fast pace that is constantly changing in our daily life. 

Waterfalls thrive in Amboli. Among the many waterfalls that can be found here are the Shirgaonkar Falls, Mahadev Falls, and Nagatta Falls. The Nagatta Falls offers a wonderful setting for picnics and relaxation.

A modest, antiquated Shiva Temple may be seen close to the cave entrance at the HiranyaKeshi Falls. The temple is said to have been created by Shiva’s physical manifestation. It’s interesting to note that Goddess Parvati, also known by the name Hiranya Keshi, inspired the temple’s name. 

Amboli boasts numerous vistas because it is a hill town, including the Sea View Point, the Kavelsad Point, the Parikshit Point, and the Mahadevgad Point. These locations provide sweeping views of the Arabian Sea and Konkan Coast coming together.

13. Durshet

Durshet is a town located halfway between Mumbai and Pune, tucked away in the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Hillocks and plateaus surround the area, and rivers and waterfalls adorn the landscape. This instills a sense of renewal and wanderlust in the vacationers. You can conquer the formidable slopes in Durshet and catch a glimpse of nature’s ethereal splendor there. It is a well-known tourist destination because of the waterfalls that run through the hills, the lush vegetation, and the surrounding natural beauty.

Mountaineers and trekkers might find refuge at Durshet as well. The region surrounding River Amba is a thriving natural reserve for the local flora and foreign fauna. The region is home to a number of historic temple ruins and tourist attractions, including the group of Siddi Ashtavinayak Temples. The worshippers and guests who come to seek the blessing of the gods are shown off by these temples in all their splendor. They provide a stunning perspective of the nearby waterfalls, rivers, and lakes.

14. Satara

The city of Satara, which is quietly preached on the meeting point of the Krishna and Venna rivers, was founded in the fifteenth century. This city, which is a part of Maharashtra, served as the Maratha Empire’s Chhatrapati for a time. Satara is full of historical ruins and dream-like locations, showcasing the pure enchantment of nature. 

The city of Satara, which is located on the Sahyadri Range, is home to some of the most breathtaking mountain views as well as a diverse diversity of flora and animals. Satara has been designated as a UNESCO Biodiversity World Heritage Site

Satara is mostly recognized for its valley of flowers, the Kaas Plateau. This tiny city is full of beautiful landscapes and terrain that will send your heart racing, whether it’s the scene of gushing waterfalls or the pristine vistas of lakes.

15. Panhala

The Panhala Fort is located 20 kilometers away from Kolhapur’s main city. It is the biggest fort in the Deccan region. The Panhala hill station continues to rank among the largest places in the nation. It was constructed in a key location where a crucial commercial route flowed across Maharashtra from Bijapur to the Arabian Sea beaches. It is a must-see destination for travelers who enjoy fun activities such as hiking as well as those who enjoy exploring historical sites.  

It boasts almost 7 kilometers of fortifications that overlook the lush Sahyadri mountains, and three enormous double-walled gates provide complete protection. The entire Panhala Fort is littered with parapets, walls, and bastions that are decorated with designs inspired by the various dynasties that controlled the fort, including the Marathas, Bahamas, Mughals, and others. 

Raja Bhoja built the original Panhala Fort in the final decades of the 12th century. It was built between 1178 and 1209 AD, and the Marathas later modified it. The great Maratha monarch Shivaji and the Queen Regent of Kolhapur, Tarabai, both lived in the Indo-Islamic style fort.