One does not need a specific agenda to enjoy a journey. The joy is in the scenery itself – the mist that shrouds the mountaintops, and the quaint cafes that overlook a viewpoint. A majestic sunset can soothe tired minds while a walk up the ruins of an old fort can spark the adventurer hidden in all. Pune is a city that is close to some of the most picturesque destinations in the Western Ghats. With self-driven cars easily available, one can plan a road trip anytime. Here are some destinations worth the drive.
Mahabaleshwar is a town with a blended heritage – a medieval centre of the Maratha kingdom and also a colonial station that offered respite from the hot plains. The strawberry farms around the town are becoming very famous while some of the more prominent landmarks here include the Panchganga Temple, built near the source of the Krishna River, and the Venna Lake, a hub for boating. The Needle-Hole Point warrants a visit while Pratapgad Fort, which was built by Shivaji, is a fascinating historical landmark.
A short and captivating 120-km drive from Pune, Matheran is a tiny hilltop town that has a unique distinction. The main area is pedestrian-only so one will be compelled to enjoy nice walks in the cool air and explore the surroundings in detail. Like any other hill station in the Western Ghats, this one too has its share of viewpoints that reward visitors with panoramic vistas of the surrounding valleys. The town is also known for its primate residents – there are groups of patrolling bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs. Lake Charlotte is a serene spot where one can sit back with a book or just soak in the calm sounds and sights.
10 hours north of Pune, Toranmal is perched at more than 1000 metres above sea level in the Nandurbar district. The high plateau is famous as a pilgrimage stop and it is also known for its caves and waterfalls apart from the scenery. The famous Lotus Lake is one of the prominent attractions here along with the Yashavant Lake. Toranmal during the dry winter seasons is a good area to go for short hikes. Some of the popular viewpoints to visit include the Sunset Point and the Awashabari Point.
Read: Pune reminiscences
Self drive cars in Pune are becoming top choices for travellers who like their freedom. A rental offers complete privacy and total control over the pace and route of the journey. One can make stops and detours wherever they want and the extra space is always appreciated. Platforms like Zoomcar offer app-based booking and affordable rental plans. Travellers get a chance to drive the latest cars – hatchbacks, SUVs and classy sedans, so a comfortable journey is assured. GPS tracking and 24/7 on-road support ensure that the journey will be a hassle-free experience.
The captivating landscapes of Maharashtra are there to be explored. Make Pune a base for adventure – get behind the wheel.