From time immemorial, humans have expanded their knowledge of territories through exploration of new lands. During initial days, if it was for survival, later it became for power. Now in these modern days of 21st Century, travelling and experiencing new paces, culture, cuisine, etc. is purely for entertainment, joy and stress relief!
India is already one of the toppers in the list of holiday destinations globally due to its rich cultural heritage and diversity. The latest tourism trend in the major metropolitan cities including Mumbai and Pune is weekend getaways and long weekend holiday packages.
The addition of new places to the list of best holiday destinations near Mumbai and Pune is rapid and the focus on tourism sector across the country is encouraging state governments and regional private tour companies to invest in protection of natural landscapes, vegetation, flora and fauna, and also have come up with commendable efforts to preserve and instil pride in the culture, traditions, art forms, historically significant entities and local cuisines in cities and small towns.
Such a small township that is gaining popularity among the weekend getaways near Pune is Koynanagar – the upcoming most popular hill station near Mumbai. Located on the Pune-Kolhapur route, Koynanagar is a lake town in the Satara district of Maharashtra, set on the banks of River Koyna.
The stunningly beautiful range of the Western Ghats – Sahyadri surrounds this place, bordered by the evergreen forests of the Koyna Bio reserve Park and the famous Koyna Dam, which is the largest hydroelectric project of India. The gushing river, enchanting forest belt and the amazing view of the hills and valleys mesmerize the travellers who reach here in search of their best weekend getaway from Mumbai or Pune.
The cosy and cool climate throughout the year attracts tourists throughout the year, which is again an added advantage for Koyna compared to all other common hill stations around the city.
The major attractions that lure people to visit this best holiday destination near Mumbai are the following:
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
Declared as a natural World Heritage site by UNESCO, this sanctuary is an apt choice for families or couples who are looking forward for best jungle destination near Mumbai. Spread across an area of 42355 sq. km, with elevations ranging from 2000 to 3600 ft., the sanctuary is rich in diverse flora and fauna, including rare bird species. This area is actually the northern part of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, the southern portion of which is the Chandoli National Park.
Constructed with rubble concrete over the River Koyna, this is the biggest dam in the state of Karnataka. It was mainly built for generating hydroelectricity and to supply irrigation water to the nearby areas. The view of the catchment area of the dam from the Nehru Botanical Park should not be missed by any traveller. Boating, fishing and swimming in River Koyna and Shiv Sagar Lake are some other best things to do near Mumbai. As per the rules, the hydroelectric power project can be viewed in detail only with prior approval from concerned authority, whereas others can enjoy the view from the botanical garden.
Nehru Botanical Garden
Situated very near to the town, this garden is a must visit place in Koyna due to the popularity of the audio visual shows about Koyna Dam that is conducted every half an hour. The garden is said to be the house of many medicinal plants and herbs, and also gives the clearest view of the catchment area of the dam. You best weekend getaway from Mumbai would remain incomplete in Koyna, without visiting this garden nearby.
Ghatmatha and Ozarde Waterfalls
Just 15 minutes away from town is Ghatmatha – the highest peak in the Sahyadri, which is a mountain pass that connects Western Ghats and Konkan. People reach here to capture the beautiful sky during sunset and refresh in the cool breeze. Ozarde Waterfalls can be reached only by trekking through dense forest. But, the sight of the gigantic mass of water falling from a height of 200m is worth the effort, especially if you are reaching this best holiday destination near Mumbai during monsoon!
Reaching Koynanagar from Mumbai
If you have decided to go for your best weekend getaway from Mumbai, the most sought option is driving 295 km from Mumbai, watching the Gulmohar trees and mango plantations on either side of the drive way. If you are an adventure travel addict, your best jungle destination near Mumbai take a local train from Mumbai to Chiplun, and then hop on a cab, or choose any of the red bus service that runs between Mumbai and Koyna at regular time intervals. The nearest airport from Koynanagar is Kolhapur, which may be convenient for those reaching from other Indian cities.
Reaching Koynanagar from Pune
Option 1: Start your vacation with an exciting car drive from Pune, rolling through the amazing view of green forests and farm lands that calms your senses, to prepare you for the best forest adventure near Pune.
Option 2: Take an overnight bus from Pune to Koynanagar or go for an overnight train journey from Pune to Chiplun and then continue to Koynanagar in a taxi or bus.
Stay In Koynanagar
‘Agreen Hotels’, with its sprawling & amazing Hotel properties in Koynanagar, offers the best luxury or budget stay options in Koyna. Travelling Couples, Families or Corporate teams prefer Agreen Hotels in Koyna for a comfortable stay with planned activities in Koyna including fishing, trekking, birdwatching, camping etc. Agreen Hotels also helps in scheduling visit to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. Contact Agreen Hotels to know more about the Safari trails in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary.