We associate Shirdi in Maharashtra with the spiritual sage, Sai Baba. Every year, thousands of devotees visit this place to pay their homage to the Sage. Thus, Shirdi holds as much significance in India, as Tirupati in Tamil Nadu, or Kashi Vishwanath at Varanasi. Apart from being an eminent spiritual destination, this location also houses several places that are of equal importance among tourists. From waterparks to museums, this location has everything to cater to your desires. Plus, you will be surprised to know it also has heavenly hill stations on its boundaries.
When I read about these hill stations in a magazine, I couldn’t wait to visit them. So I took a flight from the broad range of Chennai to Shirdi flights available on an eminent travel website online and made a hassle-free journey to the city. Since I already toured Shirdi before, this time my target was the nearby hill stations. According to the plan, the following are the picturesque hill stations near the city where I checked in for visit.
Malshej Ghat is a beautiful hill station located at a distance of 139 kilometres from the town of Shirdi. It is an untouched location and therefore, is an ideal place for a city escape. You can easily travel to Malshej Ghat by private vehicle or bus which leaves from the Town Bus Terminus at Shirdi. This hill station is home to some mesmerising waterfalls and scenic cascades. Since the roads along the hills are a bit crooked, you must drive carefully if you are planning to take your private vehicle. Providing a breathtaking sight from 700 metres above sea level, this place is worth taking all the risk. Taramati, also known as Taramanchi is the highest peak here that provides an enthralling view of the Naneghat range and Murbad Forts.
With no dearth of intriguing hiking and trekking trails, Koroli Hills is an unexplored gem in the Western Ghats. It is devoid of the chaos and unnecessary crowd of tourists and hence is perfect if you are looking for a short weekend getaway or a romantic holiday in the lap of nature. Quite a few hill resorts and homestays have come up and provided amazing hospitality services to the tourists who come here to visit this paradise. The scenic splendour of the hills is going to leave you spellbound with its beauty. This place has pleasant weather throughout and therefore, you will hardly face any difficulty on your trip to Koroli Hills.
Saputara in the Dang district of Gujarat is one of the most favourites among the tourists. For those looking to stay close to nature and its beauty, this town is a perfect choice. The Sahyadris in the Western Ghats take a majestic form here and become a boon visually. Pristine hills, gurgling waterfalls, mighty boulders and cubby holes are bound to impress you. Besides, Saputara also has a range of hotels and adventure resorts for facilitating a comfortable stay. The name of the place translates to the ‘land of snakes’ and is named so because the native tribes worship the beast here during several cultural celebrations. Nature here is considered equivalent to God and hence is worshipped by many tourists who pay a visit here.
Igatpuri is a quaint hill station that lies in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. This town is engulfed with dense greenery, an old fortress and has a splendid cover of vibrance, every monsoon. It is covered with forests, fresh leaves and waterfalls that add to the beauty of the place. With bits and pieces of the old fortress scattered all around, Igatpuri is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. A famous meditation centre or The Vipassana International Academy is located here and is considered to be the world’s largest meditation hub. The Academy is also known as Dhammagiri and offers convenient packages for yoga courses. Coming to the hill station, several thrilling activities like rock climbing, trekking and rappelling are conducted here which are too good to miss. Apart from the thrilling activities, there are also two eminent temples of Ghatandevi and Amruteshwar that you can visit at this incredible location.
Every hill station near Shirdi has a charm of its own and therefore, you will have a mind-blowing experience visiting them all. So, consider this list for your next trip and you will thank yourself later for including them in your itinerary.