Mumbai is seen by many as a dirty overcrowded metro, but it is set in a very beautiful place on the sea coast of India. It has a beautiful sea shore on one side and the scenic Sahyadri Hills on the other. You can go start on a road trip in any direction and have a beautiful ride, once you get out of the traffic and mess of the city.
Explore the coastline on the North of Mumbai by embarking on a spectacular road trip to Daman. Set out of the city on the Delhi highway, by the Mumbai Ahmedabad road, and you will find some of the most wonderful coastlines, historic sea forts, forest sanctuaries and ancient temples. You can exit Mumbai through the Vasai Bridge and explore the northern sea coast towns of Vasai, Virar, Palghar, Dahanu and Bordi to name a few. Each beach portrays distinctive characteristics which are easily visible in the form of exquisite sand textures and mud flats. You can explore the massive Portuguese forts of Vasai and Arnala and soak in the beauty of the ancient temples of Nala Sopara. The Parsi immigrants from the dying Persian Empire entered India at Sanjan and created their most holy Shrine at Udwada. They have even planted Sapota (chikoo) farms in the hills of Dahanu. You can follow the coastline and check out their Legacy. There are a string of sea forts all the way up the coast till Gujarat which are worth exploring. The whole area was a jungle where tiger hunting was a royal sport, and you can see the remains of those massive jungles in the Nagla block of the Sanjay Gandhi national park and in the hills of Saputara. Go further up that road and explore the wonders of the Gujarat coastline, until you reach your journey’s end at Daman. Daman is a UT, so you can refresh yourself with a cold beer and enjoy the sea breeze. While you are here, stay at the magnificent Daman Casa Tesoro for a memorable holiday experience.
The Sahyadri range lies to the east of Mumbai. This royal chain of mountains has so much history embedded in it, that you could spend a lifetime here and not explore all of it. The hills of Sahyadri and the forests of the Maval region are now popularly known as the land of Shivaji, but this land has been occupied and fortified from times immemorial. You can drive on the Mumbai Pune expressway and explore the Lonavala region. From the spellbinding forts of Lohgad and the ancient Buddhist era cave temples of Karla to the fun-filled amusement parks of Imagica and meditation retreats of Kaivalyadham, the options are endless. The picturesque dams constructed on local rivers serve as the perfect picnic spot amidst the tranquil water bodies like the Pawna Lake which is amazing to explore. Complement your vacation with a comfortable stay at Lonavala Under the Over for the holiday of a lifetime.
Drive down the Thane Kalyan road, and you will find another amazing patch of the Sahyadris – the Kasara range. Drive past Thane and get on to the Nasik highway. You can take a stop at Bhandardara and enjoy the sight of the beautiful Bhandardara lake, and maybe trek up to the beautiful Ratangad fort. Then get back on the highway and cross the scenic Kasara Ghat. You can check out the famous Sula vineyards, the Vipassana centre, the Ghats of Trimabkeshwar and Nasik and finally land in the salubrious hills of Igatpuri.
Alibaug, Goa and Karwar
South of Mumbai lies some of the most wonderful coast lines of the Konkan coast. You can either drive on NH17 (now called NH66) – better known as the Mumbai Goa road – and enjoy a drive through the highway, or you can take the coastal road and drive much slower, but right along the sea shore and check out the beauty of the Konkan coastline. If you take the second option then you can enjoy the experience of taking various ferries to cross rivers and water bodies. Just park your vehicle on the ferry and relax while the boat takes you to the other side. There are many destinations to check out here – the massive sea forts of Alibaug, Murud Janjira and Sindhudurg, the temples of Harihareshwar and Srivardhan and the jungles of Phansad and Radhanagri. Make sure you tickle your taste buds by experiencing the vast variety of mouth-watering dishes each location has to offer. This highway is also the prettiest national highway you will drive on and is an awesome travel experience, which will end with a spectacular stay at the party land of Goa. Goa needs no introduction – chill out on the beaches and enjoy awesome food with a memorable stay at Goa La Vida Varca. Furthermore, keep going down NH17 and explore Karwar in Karnataka. You can check out the Naval museum and authentic Uttara Karnataka cuisine and of course, the pristine Karwar beach. Make sure you stay at the gorgeous Karwar Emerald Bay and treat your family and friends to luxurious living.
This is just a small sample of the road trips you can do from Mumbai – so do go out there and explore. It’s a wonderful experience.