Maharashtra is blessed with amidst serenity and composure with hundreds of secret places that are still far away from the eyes of ordinary tourists and subsequently, from the influence of commercialization.
These hidden beauties are characterized by pleasant weather, natural setting, and tranquil aura and are perfect stoppages for those unconventional travelers bitten by the travel bug.
From historic forts to mountains, dense forests to temples, valleys to rivers and waterfalls to meadows, these secret places in Maharashtra host everything a nature lover and a traveler would wish for.
1. Sandhan Valley- An Ideal Camping Destination
It is known as the Valley of Shadows (as the sun’s rays don’t reach the ravines). It is a beautiful carved valley in the magnificent Sahyadri mountain range, which is part of Western Ghats in Maharashtra.
Surrounded with mighty and jaw-dropping mountains of Ratangad and Kalsubai, the valley stands at the height of 4255 ft high above sea level, which is the perfect spot for trekking and other adventure activities.
The adventurous part of the trek kicks in when you are left to rappel down the 100 ft rocky patch with the help of experienced guides and equipment.
Unlike all treks, you have to descend down in the valley on the first day and climb up the next day. This trek is not for people who want to give up halfway!
2. Tapola- Also Called As Mini Kashmir
If you are looking for a quaint getaway in a mountain destination, then look no further than Tapola in Maharashtra that boasts of beautiful lakeside, lush greenery, and seasonal waterfalls.
During monsoon, the peaks around Tapola is covered in a blanket of lush greenery dotted with pretty wildflowers that give this hill town a surreal appeal.
Tapola is a perfect place for those with an appetite for adventure and nature lovers who can enjoy the picturesque landscapes around. Tapola is also known for its Gerbera farms and strawberries. You can visit the farms to relish on some fresh strawberries.
The main attraction of the town is the Shiv Sagar Lake which offers various activities like kayaking, scooter rides, boating, and swimming.
3. Sindhudurg Fort- Mighty Floating Fort
Have you ever seen a mighty fort floating in the blue buzzing sea? Sindhudurg fort in Maharashtra, one among the many forts built by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is a fusion of elegance and antiquity.
The construction of Sindhudurg Fort utilizes the natural protection of the surrounding rocks to their advantage. With its solid walls and conspicuous gateways, this fort is a fascinating piece of history that makes it a favorite spot.
Facts about this fort: 1. There is a branched Coconut tree that provides fruits! You won’t get to see a branched Coconut tree anywhere in this world, but here. This is one of a kind in the world and is a major attraction here.
2. Wells that do not parch!? This fort has 3 pretty water reservoirs that do not get dry even during the summertime when the rest of the wells in the nearby villages dries up.
3. Underwater passages are still a matter of awe and the brilliant tactician and monarch in Shivaji had made it possible in the 16th century. The fort has a hidden passage in the temple which looks like a water reservoir. This passage goes under the fort for 3 kilometers and 12 kilometers beneath the sea and from there 12 kilometers into a nearby village which was used as an evacuation pathway.
4. Kaas Pathar – Plateau Of Flowers
Kaas Pathar is one of the famous tourist attractions in Maharashtra and also a popular spot among nature lovers during the late monsoons.
The small plateau is so rich and unique in its flora that almost 70% of the flowers of Maharastra are found only here. As much as it is famed, the biodiversity of the region is also extremely fragile, and conversation is often a race against time.
Kaas Pathar was formed by volcanic activities and is covered by a thin soil cover as a result of which, no vegetation thrives in the region. This area comes under a very high rainfall zone. Due to this, the flora and fauna of the region is quite unique.
5. Tadoba Andhari National Park – Maharashtra’s Largest National Park
Tadoba National Park is a popular TIGER national park in India is located in Maharashtra.
The area of Tadoba is being flourished with a large biodiversity, the place which also boasts to grip one of the highest density of tiger population in India. Similarly, the park also beholds the large breeding population of leopards and various species of deer.
Over the years, the park has shown a great number of increases in the count of the tiger species and this is the reason why tiger tours are so famed to attract a large number of travelers in its vicinity.
According to the 2010 National Census on Tigers, there are about 43 tigers in the reserve, which is one of the highest in India.
6. Purushwadi- Fireflies Festival
Who wouldn’t want to dive into the myriad of colors dissipated by the sparkling fireflies? Come June, head to Purushwadi Fireflies Festival where you get to celebrate the beautiful and vibrant colors of nature amidst glowing fireflies.
In June, millions of fireflies come out in the open and create a fascinating spectacle for the onlookers. Fireflies are actually not flies but beetles with glowing abdomens.
Located in the Akole block of Ahmednagar, the village of Purushwadi is situated 220 km from both Mumbai and Pune, en route to Nashik. This tribal village is inhabited by the Hindu Mahadeo Koli tribe, renowned as rice cultivators and skilled animal herdsmen.
7. Morachi Chincholi- The Village of Peacocks.
Hidden in Maharashtra is one true gem. A village that has more peacocks than its population. It is spread over 25 acres that are still undiscovered by the commercial circuit of travel operators.
It’s a place no traveler can afford to miss. Based on the model of Agritourism that is fast catching up in India, this village gives you a quick peep into the rural lifestyle of Maharashtra.
It is situated at a distance of 50 kilometers from the city of Pune. In addition, the village is full of tamarind grooves with the barley field which enhances its beauty more positively. The peaceful ambiance of this place is unbeatable and is the main attraction.
8. Sula Vineyards- India’s largest wine producer.
If you are a wine lover, Sula Vineyard is the place for you and if you aren’t into wines and all, do not worry, it can still be a perfect weekend getaway for you. Serene, beautiful place cuddled in the profoundness of nature, Sula Vineyard has everything that can make your trip a memorable one.
Sula is home to a variety of award-winning wines that are made exclusively from premium grapes harvested within the local farms. It offers a wide range of exotic wines including special editions, premiums as well as reserves.
The wines at Sula Vineyards are imported from Sula selections who are one of the leading importers of exclusive wines in India including international brands like Remy Cointreau and Asahi.
Once you reach there and witness the grandeur of the wine grapes spread over the acres of land accompanied by a fantastic wine factory and wine tasting, you will know what exactly beauty is.
So, a day trip to Sula is the only thing you need to unwind from the hustle-bustle of the monotonous chaos of the city and enjoy life to the fullest.
9. Harihareswar Beach- Cleanest Beach In Maharashtra
Shriwardhan Harihareshwar beach is ranked among the most popular and one of the cleanest beaches in Maharashtra. Harihareshwar is often referred to as Dev-Ghar or “house of God”. It is usually called as ‘Dakshin Kashi’ because of its temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
You can also go for an adventurous boat ride to the north side of the Shriwardhan Bay, to explore the once existent kingdom of the ‘Peshwas’.
Popular Activities at Shriwardhan Harihareshwar Beach: Boating, sailing, swimming, beach volley and beach walking tours are some of the most popular activities among travelers in Shriwardhan Harihareshwar beach.
Shriwardhan Harihareshwar is also well known for its rich Maharashtrian thali, which offers something for everyone, from Vada Pav to Karanji.
Do not forget to try out Maharashtrian cuisine. Some of the lip-smacking local delights are Potato bhaji, Kadhi, Valachi usal, Khamang kakdi, Toorichya daalichi aamati, and Coconut chutney.
10. Lonar Lake – The Meteor Mystery That Has Even NASA Intrigued
Lonar is one of Maharashtra’s best-kept secrets. Home to the Earth’s only hyper-velocity impact crater in basaltic rock, Lonar is named after the demon, Lonasura, and is ringed by fascinating temples, including one with erotic sculptures reminiscent of Khajuraho.
The crater was formed fifty-two thousand years ago, when a meteor crashed into the earth at an estimated speed of 90,000kmph, weighing 2 million tonnes. It gouged a hole that was 1.8km wide and 150m deep.
Lonar Lake has triggered NASA scientists and officials from the Geological Survey of India to attempt answers to questions like: Why is the lake alkaline and saline at the same time? Why does it support micro-organisms rarely found elsewhere on Earth? Why do compasses fail to work in certain parts of the crater? And what lurks at the bottom?
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