Top 5 places to see in Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in the Western Ghats, is the ultimate retreat if you want to get away from the mad crowd in the city. Once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj, today this hill station includes three villages (Malcolm Peth, Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar and a part of the Shindola village). Places to see in Mahabaleshwar There are several places to see in Mahabaleshwar that offer breath-taking views, which are bound…

Continue reading

Daman Travel Guide for a Weekender

Jhampore beach Daman

Daman is one of the smallest union territories in India, sandwiched between Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is a great getaway for weekenders with alluring places to explore. Of course, cheap alcohol is a bonus! Daman has a history that dates centuries old and a Portuguese influence which is hard to ignore. Portuguese ruled Daman along with Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Goa for over 400 years. The 4 territories were ceded by Portuguese in…

Continue reading

A quick itinerary for Hampi-Hospet

Hampi is an ancient town in Karnataka with a population of a few thousands. The focal point of your visit here is the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, once a flourishing kingdom dating 1 CE. It has been pronounced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spread over 11 km, the ruins can take up to 2 to 3 days to explore by yourself. But if one is pressed for time, here is an option to do…

Continue reading

I finally tried Zoomcar and here’s what I think

Note: I paid for the trip and the review was conducted anonymously. Views are my own. Promise! For someone who LOVES driving as much as she LOVES travelling, Zoomcar and similar concepts are a blessing. You’ll notice many of travel experiences involve road trips, because…I simply love the roads. It’s not about getting to a destination but the journey itself – watching the landscape change from your windshield – one moment it’s barren, the other…

Continue reading

Off the beaten path in Maharashtra: Phaltan-Satara with Jakson Inns

This is my 100th post on Wannabemaven. Three years and 100 posts, that’s the longest I have stuck to any hobby. Many persistent efforts later, the blog is getting noticed. Occasionally travel brands reach out and if it interests me, I am always willing to collaborate. Earlier this year, on the Independence Day long weekend, I headed to a rural town in Maharashtra called Phaltan. How many of you have heard of Phaltan? I’ve been…

Continue reading

Meeting Olive Ridleys at the Velas Turtle Festival

A small coastal town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra is home to the annual Velas Turtle Festival. The endangered Olive Ridley Turtles thrive in warm tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean and India is a hotspot breeding ground for them. If you want to see hordes of these turtle hatchlings then the coast of Odisha is the place to be. Closer home, a town named Velas accounts for 40% of the hatchlings in Maharashtra. Every…

Continue reading

Add Silvassa to your list of weekend getaways

After returning from Udaipur, there was going to be no big trip for a while. But my feet were itching to travel. So I decided to do a short road trip to Silvassa. Silvassa gets its name from the Portuguese word ‘Silva’ meaning wood. The city is the capital of Union Territory – Dadra and Nagar Haveli, sandwiched between Maharashtra and Gujarat, with Daman (another Union Territory) 30 km away. Silvassa has picked up popularity…

Continue reading

Celebrating the Bhandara festival at Khandoba Temple, Jejuri

bhandara festival jejuri - Khandoba Temple near Pune

I was randomly surfing the web one evening when I saw a picture of a temple in Jejuri covered in carpets of yellow. A quick search told me that the spectacle is called the “Bhandara Festival”. Bhandara is turmeric and the festival is related to a local God named Khandoba. Khandoba was a folk deity belonging to the 9th century. He was believed to possess qualities of Lord Shiva and his wives: Mhalsa and Banai – who…

Continue reading

11 takeaways from my first trip to Hyderabad

Hyderabad had always fascinated me. While the city of Nawabs is rich in culture and history, there was also the thrill of driving down from Mumbai to another Indian state. In October 2015, prior to switching my job to boost my ‘so called’ corporate career, I took a two week break. The plan was to do a road trip, 720 km all the way to Hyderabad. Here’s what I learnt about Hyderabad from my first…

Continue reading

Beach Hopping in Maharashtra

The one thing Maharashtra must be thankful for is the Arabian Sea. Western Maharashtra is blessed with a wonderful coastline stretching 720km and dotted with beaches, both popular and pristine. There is a beach in Maharashtra for whatever your reasons – adventure sports, powdery white sands, virgin, secluded and/or a sea fort. Earlier this year, when Republic Day coincided on a Monday, I capitalized on the long weekend to cover some of the beaches on…

Continue reading

A Dash of Luxury in Panchgani

In 2009, when I visited Panchgani for the first time, I was certain that this is a perfect weekend getaway in Maharashtra, away from the chaos of work-life monotony. Panchgani throws a nice colonial vibe and offers breathtaking views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Back then, I stayed in a ‘No frills’ B&B near the main market area in Panchgani. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Panchgani again. This time to check out a villa…

Continue reading

Rafting the Kundalika – My Tryst with Adventure in Kolad

Kolad River rafting-Kundalika River

I’ve been discovering places one weekend at a time. But slowly my wanderlust was wearing off from exploring food, forts and treks around Mumbai. I now wanted a new adventure! I happened to read about river rafting in Kolad, a small village in Maharashtra with a population of thirteen thousand. Kolad is home to the Kundalika River, an important source of water not only for the villagers but also hydroelectric plants around the region and the Maharashtra…

Continue reading

Everything you need to know about Exploring Aurangabad in 3 Days

It was a long weekend when Holi coincided on a Friday. I quickly planned a trip to Aurangabad. Three days is all I had and it was sufficient time to explore Aurangabad (strictly from a corporate slave perspective). Aurangabad is great for history lovers. There are caves, forts, Mughal architecture and traces of Buddhism. The best part about Aurangabad is that it’s conveniently accessible from major metros like Mumbai and Pune. I’m sharing my itinerary…

Continue reading

Sula Vineyards Tour – Day Trip from Mumbai

I’ve been planning a trip to Sula Vineyards since time immemorial. Sula Vineyards is quite versatile a location – Perfect for wine lovers, great for offbeat travel and apt as a weekend getaway. You must know, Nashik is the wine capital of India and Sula Vineyards has had an important role in contributing to that title. They are the pioneers in Indian wine making, selling and distributing. And they’ve made wine tourism an in-thing in…

Continue reading