Winter is finally here and it is the perfect time to pick up a day pack and go for a hike. The weather is breathtakingly beautiful and this makes the entire experience fun and enjoyable. For photographers, filmmakers and artists it blossoms creativity but for the average Joe, it brings relief from the scorching heat. The winter in Maharashtra transforms the landscape from something tardy and boring to something fresh, green and beautiful and its a great feeling having the cold wind on your face. There are many places near Mumbai to visit during winters such as Lonavala, Khandala, Matheran, Lohgad, Kalsubai peak and much more. One of my personal favorites is Igatpuri or Igatpuri Hill Station.
Igatpuri Hill Station
Igatpuri is a small hill station located in the Western Ghats and is approximately 130kms from Mumbai city and is located on the Mumbai – Agra Highway. It boasts of having the highest peaks in the Sahyadri range and thus has become a paradise for adventurers, nature lovers and thrill seekers.
There are many ways to reach Igatpuri as it is well connected via Rail, Road, and Air. The best and the cheapest mode of transport would be by taking the direct train from Mumbai city. Other alternatives would be taking a local bus or a hired car. You can also drive down and it will take around 4 hours 30 minutes to reach.
There are luxury hotels, resorts, and hostels which meet the needs of both travelers and trekkers. Getting accommodation is pretty easy and generally, no prior booking is needed. However, during the monsoons, prior booking is needed as many colleges and schools have their outings during this time.
The local cuisine is dominated by Maharashtrian Food and the simple yet humble vada pav takes the top spot. However, there are many restaurants in the vicinity which serve both north and South Indian cuisines.
There are many good restaurants like Zaika, Greenland and Anand Bhavan which provides good food.
Igatpuri Places To Visit
There are many scenic places to visit while in Igatpuri.
Bhatsa river valley: It is located just before entering Igatpuri from Mumbai. The valley lies in the Basin of the Bhatsa river at the end of Thal Ghat. This place is rich in vegetation and rock formations.
Camel Valley is few kilometers ahead of the Bhatsa River, on the right. There is a waterfall there, which is the main attraction of this destination.
Tringalwadi fort is behind Ghatanwadi temple situated at an altitude of 3000ft above sea level. The view from here is absolutely breathtaking.
Kalsubai peak is the highest peak in the Sahyadri range.It is also known as the Everest of Maharashtra. It is situated 35km from Igatpuri.
The other places to see are Vaitarna dam, Vaitarna waterfalls, Ashoka waterfalls, Dharan dam, Bhavali dam and the adventure camp zone. The adventure camp zone is quite popular for its river rafting, tubing, water sports and other boat tours.
Igatpuri is great for a single day trip (or a weekend getaway). It would be even better if you use your own means of transportation instead of relying on trains and buses as you will be able to explore the place better that way. It is a Paradise for travelers and photographers/filmmakers. It is less crowded than other popular destinations and is more picturesque. It proves to be a perfect holiday destination to get away from the hustle-bustle of city living.
Hope you enjoyed this article on Igatpuri Hill Station.
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