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If you are tired of the chaos of city life in Mumbai and have been looking for a respite then the serene vistas of Mahabaleshwar make for a perfect change. Embark on a Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar road trip that beckons the travellers with its cascading waterfalls, sprawling strawberry fields, and breathtaking viewpoints. This 231 km journey can be covered in 5-6 hours but takes you through a journey much better than the destination. Every road unveils a scenic beauty and offers a glimpse into Maharashtra’s vibrant culture and natural beauty. To simplify all the details, this guide will highlight everything you need to know about this exciting road trip.

Best Time To Plan Your Mumbai To Mahabaleshwar Road Trip

Pratapgarh fort, a must-visit place after Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar road trip

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The best time for planning and executing a road trip to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai depends on your preference for weather and activities. Usually, the months between October and February are considered the best for this journey. Moreover, the post-monsoon months offer cool and tranquil weather conditions, translating to a comfortable long-drive experience. However, the pleasant weather also translates to larger crowds and higher prices of the local items and accommodation.

In Mahabaleshwar, the peak of the strawberry season is between February and March, so if you travel outside of those months, there is a chance that you might not be able to witness the strawberry season, which is a highlight of this place. Summer months are usually not an ideal time frame for exploring Mahabaleshwar or opting for a road trip either. Be prepared for slightly higher temperatures, especially during the initial leg of the journey from Mumbai. Moreover, the weather does settle down the closer you get to Mahabaleshwar.

Must Read: Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar

Route For Your Mumbai To Mahabaleshwar Road Trip

When discussing the Mumbai Mahabaleshwar route, people primarily opt for two based on their comfort and preferences. Among them, the route via NH66 is the most picked one. The route is comfortable and shorter, and the views are beyond anyone’s comprehension. Here’s a breakdown of the popular routes:

Mumbai – NH 66 – Khopoli – Pali – Thoseghar – Wai – Mahabaleshwar (Distance: Approx. 220 km)

Strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar, a must-visit experience during the Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar road trip.

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This scenic route offers a glimpse into rural Maharashtra. Expect some traffic on NH 66, particularly near Mumbai, and potentially narrower roads as you ascend the ghats. This route is a good option if you enjoy nature and don’t mind incorporating a bit of extra time for a more leisurely exploration.

Mumbai – Expressway – Pune – Katraj – Expressway – Mahabaleshwar

A stunning view of Pune expressway

Image Credit: Nikhil.kawale for Wikimedia Commons

This Mumbai Mahabaleshwar route minimises travel time by utilising expressways for most of the journey. Consider toll taxes and potentially heavier traffic, especially during weekends and holidays. Furthermore, if you don’t mind the extra travel time and prolonged road trip experience, this is a great alternative, especially if you live in Pune and plan to go to Mahabaleshwar.

Note: Irrespective of the route to cover the Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar distance by road you choose, one thing is standard for them both – Proper research. Before you finalise your route of choice, take some time to research the different routes, and their current condition and then finalise the one best suited to your needs.

Must Visit Places Route Mumbai To Mahabaleshwar Road Trip

No road trip is complete without stopovers. Even when the Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar distance is under 250 km, there are a few stops along the way that are a must-visit. These experiences will enrich your vacation and make your road trip to Mumbai from Mahabaleshwar mesmerising. Following are a few of the stopovers that you have to consider adding to your itinerary:

1. Karnala Bird Sanctuary

A gorgeous view of birds at Karnala Bird Sanctuary

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A haven for birdwatchers, Karnala Bird Sanctuary boasts over 150 bird species. Take a short detour and enjoy a nature walk amidst the lush greenery. Furthermore, keep an eye out for peacocks, kites, and owls. Given the nature of the place, you must set aside 2-3 hours to explore the entire sanctuary. Also, it is located off the Mumbai Pune expressway, so plan things accordingly.

Suggested Read: Things To Do In Mahabaleshwar

2. Lonavala

A picturesque view of Lonavala

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This popular hill station offers a refreshing break from the highway in Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar by road. Indulge in local delicacies like chikki (peanut candy) and fudge is a must to add an extra dose of charm to your trip. Moreover, explore the wax museum or ride on Lonavala Lake. To be fair, you can’t head to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai without stopping to explore Lonavala.

3. Karla Caves

An amazing view of Karla Caves

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Carved out of rock in the 2nd century BC, these Karla Caves are a marvel of Buddhist architecture. Explore the grand Chaitya hall and intricate sculptures depicting the life of Buddha. It is one of those offbeat and underrated places between Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar that you won’t regret adding to your itinerary.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit Near Mahabaleshwar

4. Thoseghar Waterfalls

A breathtaking view of Thoseghar Waterfalls, visit during Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar road trip

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During the monsoon, Thoseghar Falls comes alive with a cascading torrent of water. Enjoy the scenic beauty and take a refreshing dip in the natural pool below (ensure water levels are safe). Also, when checking the safety of the waterfalls and the area around them, it’s always best to discuss the same with the local guides. They will surely be able to guide you around the situation.

5. Mapro Garden

A wonderful view of Mapro Garden

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Located near Panchgani, Mapro Garden is a popular tourist attraction for its strawberry fields, delectable fruit products, and refreshing strawberry cream. You can also find local vendors selling fresh strawberries there. Also, while you are there, don’t forget to try their iconic strawberry and cream dessert, a popular staple there. It is quite delectable and has a unique taste and texture. Also, don’t forget to buy naturally flavoured chocolates too.

Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Mahabaleshwar

6. Pratapgad Fort

An amusing view of Pratapgad Fort

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History enthusiasts will appreciate visiting Pratapgad Fort, around 24 kilometres from Mahabaleshwar. Explore the fort’s architecture, learn about its historical significance, and soak in panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, making a quick stop at the fort takes you back in time with the intricate architecture on the walls of the fort.

Tips To Keep In Mind During Mumbai To Mahabaleshwar Road Trip

To make your road trip to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai a success, you have to follow a list of the practical tips we have sorted for you here:

Have A Plan
Proper planning for Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar by road includes researching the best routes and implementing a seamless road trip experience without disruption.

Pack The Items Of Need
‘Items of need’ include your car’s documents, identification, food, first aid kit, emergency contact essentials, power bank, water, etc.

Plan The Stopovers
You don’t want to leave things to the last minute. So, when you are researching the routes, make a list of the stopovers that you can make along the way.

Try The Local Cuisine
Maharashtra has one of the most underrated cuisines in India. The delectable dishes like Puran Poli, Bombil, Rava Fish fry, Chicken curries, etc. are a treat to your palate. Don’t miss to have these on your plates.

Be A Responsible Tourist
Respect the local culture and environment. Dispose of waste responsibly and avoid littering. Minimise noise pollution, especially while enjoying nature stops.

Further Read: Mahabaleshwar Vs Lonavala

A Mumbai-to-Mahabaleshwar road trip is an enriching experience that combines the thrill of the open road with the serenity of nature. By planning your route, choosing the perfect stopovers, and keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure a smooth and memorable journey. Get ready and pack your bags for your next trip to Mahabaleshwar, and indulge in the natural beauty and delectable strawberries in the quaint hill station.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mumbai To Mahabaleshwar Road Trip

What is the best mode of transportation from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar?

Cars are usually considered the best mode of transportation, especially when multiple people are travelling. Take the time to get the car serviced though before you start the road trip.

What are some local foods to try?

As you make your way to Mahabaleshwar, don’t forget to try Maalipu, Vaanar Shaan, Kolhapuri Misal, and strawberry products.

What are some things to do in Mahabaleshwar besides sightseeing?

Mahabaleshwar offers a variety of activities that you can indulge in besides sightseeing. You can trek to the viewpoints to soak in the beauty of the lush greenery around. You can also visit the historical forts like Pratapgad and Shivrai. The local market is also a great place to buy souvenirs.

Can you enjoy the Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar road trip with children?

Your road trip from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar is a great option for kids and families too. The scenic view and the experiences in Mahabaleshwar are great for family bonding and for creating lasting memories for a lifetime.

What is the best time to witness strawberry cultivation in Mahabaleshwar?

The strawberry season in Mahabaleshwar typically spans from November to March, with peak harvests occurring between December and February.

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