Mumbai, Maharashtra’s capital and the economic centre of India, is additionally the foremost populous city in India. It’s known as a city of opportunity, making hard work a currency for a life well-lived. Its fast pace, therefore, can get frustrating. It’s a good thing that multiple great getaways are just a drive away, promising relaxed weekends. Being blessed with the Western Ghats a few kilometres from the heart of the city, there are many hill stations near Mumbai that are worth visiting for a perfect unwinding break.
Mumbai lies close to many hill stations, ideal for summer or monsoon retreats, offering a breath of fresh air to rejuvenate one’s senses, infusing a much-needed dose of relaxation for every traveller. They are all easily accessible by road, varying between a couple of hours to reach by bus, train or car.
Also read: 10 incredible road trips to take from Mumbai
Here Are 15 Best Hill Stations To Visit Near Mumbai, India
1. Recognised For Its Exceptional Beauty, Karjat
Situated in between the Sahayadri range of the Western Ghats and the Konkan shoreline, Karjat is a famous hill station and tourist spot, known for its unparalleled beauty and unrivalled access to the stunning hilly terrains. It is a city and municipal council in the scenic and mountainous district of Raigad in the state of Maharashtra. You can indulge in adventure sports, such as trekking, mountain climbing, river rafting, or go spelunking in the Kondana Caves. Peth Fort, Kondana Caves, Bhor Ghat, and Ulhas Valley are the most frequently visited places in Karjat.
Distance between Mumbai and Karjat: 63 km
2. Popularised By The Famous Song In The Movie ‘Ghulam’, Khandala
Khandala is a popular hill station at an elevation of 550 m above sea level. It has been one of the most popular hiking and trekking destinations due to its close proximity to Mumbai. Made popular around the world thanks to Bollywood, it is also home to several picturesque peaks, age-old caves as well as pristine, and crystal-clear lakes. Tiger’s Leap, Duke’s Nose, Karla and Bhaja caves, Bhushi Lake, Ancient Jail, and Amrutanjan Point are the tourist attractions in Khandala. Kune Waterfalls, which is the 14th highest waterfall in India, with a height of 200 m, is situated in Khandala.
Distance between Mumbai and Khandala: 78 km
3. One Of The Smallest Hill Stations In India, Matheran
Nestled at an altitude of 800 m in the Western Ghats, Matheran, the smallest hill station in India, is an eco-sensitive region and automobile-free hill station. The term ‘matheran’ means “forest on the forehead”. There are approximately 33 lookout points offering panoramic views of the area, abundant natural beauty, and trekking trails, all of which makes it a top choice for nature lovers, photographers and adventurers. It is famous for rock climbing, trekking, and horse riding. It was developed by the British as a summer resort in 1907 with the building of the Matheran Hill Railway. To really enjoy the most of what Matheran has to offer, ride the ‘toy train’ that covers the dense forests and hills of the town. Alexander Point, Porcupine Point, Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir, Celia Point, Charlotte Lake, and the Olympia Race Course are some of the places you must visit in Matheran.
Distance between Mumbai and Matheran: 83 km
4. Famous For Its Production Of The Hard Candy ‘Chikki’, Lonavala
Situated at an elevation of 624 m above sea level, Lonavala is a hill station located in close proximity to the town of Pune and Mumbai. The region was once a part of the Mughals empire for a long period of time, housing several medieval forts that were originally part of the Maratha and Peshwa dynasties. During his time as the governor of the Bombay presidency, Lord Elphinstone in 1871 developed the town as a hill resort. It is known for its beautiful forts, caves, landscapes and temples. Some of the activities that you can engage in are trekking, camping, farm tours, and waterfall rappelling. Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake and Shivaji Udyan, Valvan Dam, Ryewood Park, Della Adventure Park, Duke’s Nose, Tiger’s Leap and Lohagad, and Visapur Forts are some popular attractions in Lonavala.
Distance between Mumbai and Lonavala: 83 km
5. A Place To Learn The Ancient Meditation Technique ‘Vipasana’, Igatpuri
Located at an elevation of 600 m above sea level amidst the Sahayadri range of the Western Ghats, Igatpuri is a hill station known for trekking, rappelling, zip-lining, and hiking. The hill station boasts the Dhammagiri meditation centre, where visitors can partake in insight meditation (Vipassana) to indulge in spirituality and serenity. The town’s major source of economy is tourism as it has scenic surroundings. Some of the highlights include Tringalwadi Fort, the Bhatsa River Valley and Camel Valley, the Ghatandevi Temple, and Amruteshwar Temple.
Distance between Mumbai and Igatpuri: 121 km
6. Nestled In The Lofty Western Ghats, Malshej Ghat
Known for its mountain passes where you can be at one with nature in peace, Malshej Ghat is a scenic hill station in the Western Ghats in the Thane district of Maharashtra. The dark forests of Malshej houses animal species like the Bengal tiger, leopard, rabbits etc. and is also visited by a huge number of birds during the monsoon season. From July to September, bird watchers will be delighted at the sight of pink flamingos. Nature lovers can marvel at the gushing waterfalls, and those seeking adventure can go hiking or trekking in the surrounding hills. Shivneri Fort, Bird Graveyard, and Malshej Falls are a few of the most famous tourist attractions that can be visited here.
Distance From Mumbai: 140 km
7. Familiarised As Mini Mahabaleshwar, Jawhar
Known as the Mahabaleshwar of the Thane district, Jawhar is a hill station situated at an elevation of 447 m above sea level. It is visited by several Hindu pilgrims as the Katya Maruti temple is located here. Warli paintings, a famous form of art that belongs to the Adivasi tribe, is very prevalent here in Jawhar. Hanuman Point, Kalmandavi waterfall, Jaivilas Palace, Jai sagar dam, and Warli paintings are some of the tourist attractions here.
Distance between Mumbai and Jawhar: 160 km
8. Experience Nature At Its Best, Bhandardara
With elevations reaching upto 1,600 m above sea level, Bhandardara is a famous hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra that houses tourist attractions like waterfalls, hills, lush green surroundings, rivers and lakes, and several ancient forts. The name Bhandardara literally translates to “valley of treasures” and it is often called the ‘Queen of the Sahyadri Ranges’ for its lush green landscapes. Wilson dam, Ghatghar, Mount Kalsubai, Ratangad Fort, and Amriteshwar Temple are a few attractions in Bhandardara that should not be missed.
Distance between Mumbai and Bhandardara: 164 km
9. Inspired By The Italian Town Of Portofino, Lavasa
Situated at an elevation of 640 m above sea level, Lavasa is a modern hill station in the Western Ghats. Although the town’s status as a hill station is still under development, the lush green surroundings, vibrant town centres and lakes with the backdrop of green hills make it a fantastic place for adventure and leisure activities like rock climbing, boating, and trekking. You can soak in the beauty and gaze upon the multi-coloured buildings and the Temghar Dam, which is one of the major attractions here. Inspired and developed to imitate the Italian town ‘Portofino’, Lavasa is stylistically built with several buildings resembling the Italian town and a street bearing its name.
Distance between Mumbai and Lavasa: 190 km
Read more: Why should go for a day trip to Lavasa
10. Translating To ‘Abode Of Serpents’, Saputara
Situated in the Dang district of Gujarat, Saputara is a hill station that offers a spectacular view of the Western Ghats. It is located at an elevation of 1,000 m above sea level and attracts tourists, especially during summer. It offers tourists plenty of outdoor experiences, such as trekking, river rafting, and hiking. The Artist Village, only a few kilometres from Saputara, is a place that displays artwork by various national and international artists. Another tourist attraction is the Hatgadh Fort, built by Shivaji, with a beautiful statue of Shiva lying on top of the fort.
Distance between Mumbai and Saputara: 244 km
11. Revered For Its Natural Beauty, Panchgani
Surrounded by five rolling hillocks and beautiful crystal clear lakes, all at an elevation of 1,293 m above sea level, Panchgani was once a summer resort town used by the British in the mid-eighteenth century. Today, it is one of the popular hill stations near Mumbai, home to well-preserved British architecture. It became famous as a retirement town for British officials because of its all-year-round cool climate. The region has flora like no other place in India as several western plant species like poinsettia and silver oak were introduced here by the British. Rock climbing, paragliding, camping, trekking, and hiking here is particularly rewarding, with routes passing through hills, lush valleys, and forests. Sydney Point, Table Land, Parsi Point, Devil’s Kitchen and Marpo Garden are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Panchgani.
Distance between Mumbai and Panchgani: 244 km
12. Origin Of The Sacred River ‘Krishna’, Mahabaleshwar
Located in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, Mahabaleshwar is one of the most popular hill stations near Mumbai that sits at an elevation of 1,438 m above sea level amidst the Western Ghats. It is considered to be the source of the Krishna River and is said to have originated from a mythical cow-shaped spout located inside an ancient temple. It was once a summer capital during the British Raj, and the city, therefore, is full of British influences. It is also bordered by a few waterways, evergreen timberlands, captivating slopes and mountains. Some of the things you can do here is take a boat ride on the Venna Lake, hike the Pratapgad Fort for unbeatable views, cool off and enjoy a picnic at the Lingamala Falls, revel in 360-degree views from Connaught Peak or Lodwick Point, sample fresh strawberries picked up from the Mapro Garden, and marvel at the spectacular natural rock formation called Elephant Point—there is something for everyone from nature lovers to adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Distance between Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar: 263 km
13. Acknowledged As The Smallest City In Maharashtra, Panhala
Located in the Kolhapur district in Maharashtra at an elevation of 754 m above sea level, Panhala is one of the calm and quaint hill stations near Mumbai. It is built in the famous historic Panhala Fort, brimming with medieval forts and spectacular vistas of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. It was once the Maratha capital between 1782 and 1827, and is also known to be the only place where Shivaji spent more than 500 days other than his childhood home. One of the most notable attractions is the Panhala Fort, perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the area. Other highlights include Sajja Kothi, Parashar Caves, Sambhaji Temple, and Someshwar Tank.
Distance between Mumbai and Panhala: 378 km
14. Enjoy The Pleasant Climate, Toranmal
Famous for being a spot for Hindu pilgrimage during the festival of Mahashivaratri, Toranmal is a hill station located at 1,150 m above sea level in the Satpura mountain range in Maharashtra. You get to see lush green surroundings, tranquil lakes, splendid views of gushing waterfalls, and several man-made marvels in this hill station. It was once a tribal area and has therefore derived its name from Torna, a tribal goddess who is the presiding deity of a temple located in hilly regions of this plateau. Machhindranath Cave, Sita Khai, Sunset Point, Lotus Lake, Aawashabari Point, Coffee Garden, Seven Steps View Point, Yashavant Lake, and Nagarjun Point are a few of the popular attractions that are frequently visited.
Distance between Mumbai and Toranmal: 460 km
15. Discover Magnificent Waterfalls, Amboli
One of the smallest hill stations near Mumbai, Amboli, a popular eco-hotspot, is close to Goa, attracting a lot of visitors for a relaxing weekend. It has plenty to offer to nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers. Waterfalls and misty mountains are some of the best attractions that can be witnessed during the monsoons. You can trek to Madhavgad Fort, take in a nature walk in the verdant forests brimming with a wide variety of flora and fauna, or admire the beauty of Amboli Falls or Nangarta Falls.
Distance between Mumbai and Amboli: 491 Km
How Can You Get The Best Out Of These Beautiful Destinations?
To make the most of this trip when travelling to hill stations, always make sure to carry appropriate warm clothes. The cooler weather is a sharp contrast from the heat and dust of Mumbai, and most travellers are unprepared for it.
A trip to one of these hill stations near Mumbai will refresh your mind and spirit. So, the next time you’ve made up your mind to experience the joy and beauty of nature, make sure to include one of these on your travel itinerary.
In a tropical country like India, where the climate is predominantly hot and dry, hill stations help in providing a comfortable stay and travel for tourists. However, in the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of tourists which therefore has left the hill stations sore. Infrastructure is being developed solely for the tourists, causing irreversible damage to the local natural resources, ecology and support systems. To avoid any further damage, we must follow certain measures to preserve the beauty of the hill stations. While the influx of tourists cannot be stopped, instead we can make responsible travel choices by making travel “greener”. We should respect nature and avoid littering the roads. We need to reduce our overall impact as well as minimise and mitigate potential impacts and deliver lasting benefits at the hill stations. So when planning your next wilderness adventure at the hill stations, consider asking yourself these questions – how big is your travel footprint? Can you get to your destination by using an alternative means of transport such as a train or bus? Thinking about these aspects and making changes, however small, will definitely help us become better travellers.