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5 Places to Visit around Pune this Winter

The beautiful rosy winters are almost upon us Punekars. For any average Punekar, winters can be called winters only if the temperatures drops below 10 degrees and the morning air has such a chill that you can pretend to blow smoke out of an ‘O’ shaped mouth! What better time to see the glory of our blessed Pune countryside than this? Winters just bring out the best of natural bounty near Pune. Here are our top winter getaways from Pune.
1. Tapola
Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar overdone for you? Then welcome the winter chill in this lush, rustic, picturesque lakeside town just ahead of Mahabaleshwar, which is also called the ‘Mini Kashmir of the Western Ghats’. Located at just about 150 km from Pune, the drive to Tapola is truly scenic. While here, indulge in some boating activities in the foggy lake or for the more adventurous lot, there are many unknown forts in the dense forest around the lake in Tapola like Vasota and Jaygad.
2.  Kaas Plateau
Anybody who can boast of being a traveler has to visit this blooming plateau of flowers near Satara on the outskirts of Pune. Even though November is the last month when you can see the plateau in full bloom, you can visit the place now as well because it’s just as beautiful. Click some awesome dew kissed selfies, walk among a lush bed of over 150 varieties of flowers or just pour some coffee out of your thermos and enjoy the scenic beauty.
3. Village Purushwadi
Sometimes the city life can become too much of a hassle for you and driving down to another crowded tourist destination seems like too much of work to do! Let grassroutes take care of you. Next time you are in the office lustily browsing holiday magazines, just navigate to and take your pic from their rustic village holidays. We picked Purushwadi, a village located at just 220 km from Pune. This tribal village is inhabited by the ‘Hindu Mahadeo Koli’ tribe. Renowned for being rice cultivators and skilled animal herdsmen; these villagers are warm, simple and full of wonder. Stay in tents, participate in local activities and come back more prosperous than you ever were!
4. Panahala Fort
The jewel of the Sahyadris, Panhala fort is situated near the city of Kolhapur.  Standing tall at 3177 feet, the fort overlooks a pass in the Sahyadri Mountain range. Winter brings out a totally different side of this beautiful fort.  Marvel at history in a hidden well called the Andhar Bavadi, granaries called Ambarkhana and Dharma Kothi, a viewing pavilion called Sajja Kothi and the gateways or Teen Darwaza. Panhala Fort is a famour tourist attraction and can get pretty crowded during the weekends and so, we recommend picking a weekday to visit.
5. Dapoli
This one’s for all you beach bums out there. We all know Goa is the place to be but, this winter, why not take a break from the usual and drive down the scenic ghaats to the beach town of Dapoli? At just 184 km, Dapoli is ideal for that extended weekend break. The best part is that even if you are NOT a beach bum, this town has something for everybody. For the history buffs, it has Suvarnadurg and Kanakadurg forts, for the water babies, there are the pristine beaches; the ones at Murud and Ladghar are definitely worth visiting. For the devoted lot, there are many Ganesh temples around the town too. If you are an explorer, Panhalakaji caves, 29 in total, are sited near the Kotjai and Dhakti rivers.
Image Credit: By  Captured_By_Anoop used under Creative Commons License