There are several places around Mumbai that make for a perfect weekend getaways destination. However, with such tourist places remaining heavily crowded for the better part of the year, it is advisable to look for alternatives. The religious getaways around Mumbai are ideal destinations that offer you both spiritual as well touristy experiences. At most of these religious getaways, you will find a range of activities that are targeted at people seeking a vacation rather than religious solace. While that has led to some discussion on commercialisation of religious places, visitors will surely get the best of both worlds.
Mumbai is surrounded by some divine places which are ideal for some spiritual as well as holiday experience. One of the most iconic tourist places in Maharashtra, the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is located at about 170 km from Mumbai. Shirdi holds a special place in the hearts of Sai Baba followers. The town is full of religious activities that will definitely soothe your soul. You can easily sense the spirituality in the air filled with the chants and bells. The Shani Shingnapur temple near Shirdi is also one of the destinations that can be visited from Shirdi. The houses in this village have no doors as people believe that they are protected by Lord Shani. You can hire Mumbai to Shirdi taxi
available at reasonable costs for a comfortable vacation.
The Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik is considered as one of the holiest temples in India. The temple situated at the foot of Brahmagiri Hills is home to one of the Jyotirlingas. The Trimbak town finds a mention even in the Mrityunjaya Mantra, a verse in Rigveda. The present-day town was built in the 18th century by Peshwa Nana Saheb and is nothing short of heaven. The town will leave you spellbound with its spiritual and serene atmosphere. Harihareshwar is another religious town that is home to a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Harihareshwar town is blessed with black sandy beaches that are yet unspoiled and sparsely crowded which are ideal for a weekend getaway.
Ganapatipule like Harihareshwar is a temple town on the Konkan coast. The Ganesha temple in Ganapatipule is home to a 400 years old Lord Ganesha Idol which is believed to have been self-incarnated. The beautiful beaches are not yet fully commercialised making them perfect to unwind amidst nature. Water sports facilities are available in Ganpatipule. There are other tourist places near Ganpatipule such as the Jaigad Fort, Malgund which is the birthplace of famous Maratha poet Keshavsut, and several beaches.
The Kadyawarcha Ganapathi Temple in the Anjarle village is a completely off-beat destination. Located in the Ratnagiri district, the Kadyawarcha Ganapathi Temple was built in the 1150 AD using wooden pillars. The idol of Lord Ganesha in this temple has a trunk curved towards the right which is considered divine as per the Hindu mythology. The devotees believe that the Ganesha idol here is a live deity who comes to the aid of devotees in times of trouble. The Anjarle beach is a white sandy beach with the coconut palms in the backdrop. The virgin beach is a perfect destination for swimming, water-sports, and bird watching.
Finally, one place that holds major significance in the Maratha History is the town of Wai. Wai is a small town situated on the banks of River Krishna in Satara district at about 240 km from Mumbai. One can either reach Pune and hire a car or rent a car in Mumbai
itself to go all the way up to Wai. The town is associated with Queen Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and Rani Gopikabai, wife of Nanasaheb Peshwa. There numerous temples on the seven Ghats of Wai. Some of the most visited sites include the Kaunteshwar Temple, Dholya Ganpati Temple, Menavali Ghat, and backwaters of Dhom dam.