I had no idea what a road trip near Mumbai might reveal. Turns out, pristine lakes, virgin beaches and stunning villages await on a road trip in Maharashtra.
I am transiting through Singapore on my way to South Australia as I pen this. Amid the excitement of visiting the land down under, I find myself looking back fondly at the last week, which we spent road tripping through rural Maharashtra.
Just 2.5 hours away, this road trip near Mumbai revealed many hidden surprises! We drove along pristine lakes, stayed at a work-in-progress art village just off Panchgani, and lazed in the warm afternoon sun on virgin beaches along the Konkan coast.
Here’s my visual ode to the state – and some ideas for your own road trip in Maharashtra:
READING MURAKAMI BY PAWNA LAKE
near Lonavala, finishing this picture of tranquility.
A GORGEOUS SELF-CATERING ABODE IN PAWNA NAGAR
on a hill, overlooking Pawna Lake – making for a perfect stop on a road trip in Maharashtra.
A PRISTINE OUTDOOR OFFICE
by the mango trees, quaint villages, untraversed hills and pristine lake of Pawna.
GOLDEN SANDS ON THE KONKAN COAST
shining at sunset. Who knew a stunning deserted beach awaited us on a road trip near Mumbai?
FINDING A LITTLE BIT OF PARADISE
at Devrai Art Village, just off Panchgani. A highlight on our road trip in Maharashtra.
TASTING CORN DELIGHTS IN MAHABALESHWAR
Corn is grown widely in the region and this little restaurant serves innovative and delicious corn snacks.
LIFE IS MADE FOR MOMENTS LIKE THESE
on a virgin beach along the Murud-Alibaug route. This evening alone made our short but sweet road trip in Maharashtra feel worth it.
AFFLUENT BUT HARDWORKING, THE VILLAGE FOLK
of this part of rural Maharashtra. Land values have gone through the roof, especially along the coast. Yet they choose to live simple lives, working on their fields and sending their kids to school.
THE COSY DEVRAI ART VILLAGE HOMESTAY
The art village is a work in progress by a local NGO, that helps families from Naxal-affected areas to relocate to Panchgani and work on their Dhokra Art from Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, as a sustainable source of livelihood.
SPRING IS IN THE AIR
and the serenity of a road trip in Maharashtra is everywhere.
THE VIEW AT THE END OF A FOREST HIKE
This trail in Mahabaleshwar was first charted out by the British. It has long been forgotten and covered by the hideous facade (think boating and horse riding) of touristy Mahabaleshwar. Luckily, we met someone who knows these forests like the back of his hand!
Have you been on a road trip in Maharashtra? What gems have you discovered?
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I’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star.
In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life.
Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.