A road trip from Pune to Mumbai
My impromptu road trip to Mumbai from Pune left me wondering “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”
I have been living in Pune for quite some time now and have traveled to Mumbai at least thrice since then.
However, each of these times, the only mode of conveyance I could restrict myself to was either a train or a flight. This time, when suddenly I had to rush to Mumbai for a professional project, I thought of exploring a new mode and hit the road.
Little did I know that this road trip would help me unravel the hidden gems of Maharashtra.
Commencing The Journey:
Since it’s a road trip and I don’t own a car, I was completely dependent on car rental service companies. Luckily, my friends also agreed to rope in and get along with me for the trip. As it was quite difficult to accommodate everyone in the car, we opted to get a tempo traveler on rent in Pune.
Choosing a tempo traveler was a good decision on our part, as it provided a comfortable journey with no worries.
Marking the Route We Took:
To my utmost surprise, there are various routes to drive from Pune to Mumbai. However, amidst the available options, our experienced driver suggested that we choose the Mumbai Pune expressway (also known as Chavan Mumbai Pune Expressway), courtesy to the route being the shortest and fastest.
The distance between Pune and Mumbai is about 147 kilometers and the driver calculated that with normal traffic, we could comfortably reach the destination in and around 3 hours.
Scenic Landscape Throughout the Route:
This Pune to Mumbai highway is known to run parallel to the Western Ghats. And hence, we were looking forward to experiencing some topographic sceneries. The lush green haven filled us with rejuvenation and served as music to the eyes. Moreover, the glimpses of nature gave a soothing relief, which is hard to find in the city.
Exploring Tapovan Hill:
This is a popular getaway destination near Pune. Known for its beautiful landscape and stimulating eco-friendliness, our small detour took us to the viewpoint that gave us a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area.
Along with that, there are a few more small retreats encompassing the space that we visited for further exploration.
A Visit to Rajmachi Fort:
Another reason why I personally loved this road trip was that we passed through Lonavala. Being a history-geek, I suggested visiting this alluring place called Rajmachi fort. There were various trekking and adventure sports options at the fort but due to paucity of time we couldn’t try much.
So, we had to leave the fort shortly, but not until I added coming back here and trying the trekking places in my bucket list.
The Romantic Lonavala:
As I mentioned above, on the way we also passed through the popular hill station in Maharashtra called Lonavala. This place has a lot to offer, right from the Bushi Dam to the Pawna lake, an oodles of chocolate shops and more.
While visiting the Pawna lake, there was a sense of belonging that I felt. Maybe it was because of the presence of people around or could be even because of the breath of relief that one can take there. Just a quick tour was enough to leave us with life-long memories.
Aati Kya Khandala?
“When in Khandala, be like Aamir Khan was.” Thanks to the movie Ghulam’s famous song, this spot made its place in almost every Indian’s must-visit list. For tourists like me, who are always in search of hidden treasures, Khandala has a lot to offer.
Being there, I got to know that it’s possible to walk through misty clouds all throughout the rainy season. And, guess who got her bucket list updated again?
Finding the Hidden Gems with Karnala :
Almost always, migratory birds have fascinated me. And, this road trip unknowingly led me to a hidden destination, called the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. This place is a mecca for birds and is situated just before entering Mumbai.
Food for thought:
None of my trips could be completed without mentioning about food. This route from Pune to Mumbai also has some amazing food joints, like the food plaza at Dheku, Rama Krishna veg and non-veg at Lonavala, and the famous Himalaya Punjabi family restaurant at Panvel. Least to say, my satiated tummy was also happy from this road trip.
Earlier, all I knew was how to avail comfortable and reliable Pune to Mumbai airport cabs, get the flight, and reach the destination. However, this road-trip filled me up with a new sense of adrenaline rush. Further, the fact that my entire gang of friends was traveling together in a big tempo made the road trip a memorable one. Also, I loved discovering the several unexplored territories of the local places en route. It truly helped me unravel a different but spectacular side of the state.