The geography of Maharashtra shows evidence of a divine hand. Running north to south, throughout its length are the steeply rising Western Ghats. The foothills sometimes approaching the seashore and sometimes withdrawing 40 or 50 kms away seem to be playing an eternal game with the Arabian Sea.
Nestling shyly in these mountains, some at an altitude of 2000 metres, are the hill stations of Maharashtra. These towns offer clean, calm and a thoroughly refreshing alternative to city life. They are probably the only places in India where you can observe the fall of the land all the way to the shimmering sea. Mumbai, India's commercial capital, and easily the most accessible city in this country, is the perfect gateway to Maharashtra's hill country, with convenient and comfortable links by road, rail, and air.
Amboli :- Snuggling coyly, in the southern ranges of the Sahyadri hills, Amboli at an altitude of 690 m is the last mountain resort before the coastal highlands settle, with a sigh, to form flat beaches. Visit numerous view points for a pleasant view of the lush hills and fertile plain. Seaview Point offers a rare view of the land all the way to the golden Konkan coast. You can spend hours angling for a fish at Hiranya Keshi or picnic at Nagatta Falls, Mahadev Gad and Narayan Gad. Another pleasant and different expedition is a visit to the Bauxite Mines, 10 kms away. For a few days of isolation, Amboli is an ideal resort.
Chikaldhara:- Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout and then threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara -- Chikhaldara is its corruption. But there's more to Chikhaldara. The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. It abounds in wildlife -- panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild boar, and even the rarely seen wild dogs. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project which has 82 tigers. The scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, and Devi Point. Other interesting excursions include Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens, the Tribal Museum and the Semadoh Lake.
Mahabaleshwar :- Mahabaleshwar is a very popular hill station at an altitude of 1372 mtrs. above sea level. When you feel like even fresher air, go there during winter (October to February)or when you want to flee from the heat of the plains, go there during summer (March to June) or during the damp Monsoon (June until September). Mahabaleshwar is also better known as Strawberry Country and is a true paradise for honeymoon couples. A good idea for a daytrip is a visit to the Pratapgadh Fort, some forty kilometres away from Mahabaleshwar.
Lonavala-Khandala is a Hill station in Maharashtra. Also known as the jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains. This Hill Station is also a popular Health Resort in the western ranges on the Sahyadri. Situated at a height of 625 mtrs. above sea level it is a popular getaway from Mumbai and Pune, located just 110kms from Mumbai and 64kms from Pune. The population is approximately 50,000.
The weather in Lonavala is pleasant. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September. The mountainous terrain of Lonavala is ideal for trekking and hiking. Lonavala is very famous for Chikki. It is a sweet preparation made of jaggery and peanuts or cashewnuts or sesame seeds. It is a harder version of fudge which is also available in different varieties.