Igatpuri : A small town, Igatpuri is beautiful hill station and one of the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai as well as Pune. Located in the district of Nasik in Maharashtra, Igatpuri is nestled between the lush greenery of the Western Ghats. The pleasant climate, quaint old fort, waterfalls and majestic mountains make Igatpuri an ideal place for a relaxed vacation. The beauty of this place increases many folds during monsoon when its dense forest becomes greener and the waterfalls get revived. Igatpuri attracts nature lovers and trekkers. With many forts in the surrounding region, it is a paradise for hikers and trekkers.
Igatpuri is located on the NH3 Mumbai-Agra highway and is just 130 km north of Mumbai and 47 km south of Nashik. Igatpuri is close to Thal Ghat, which is a gateway to Nashik and Pune. The ruins of forts around Igatpuri is proof of it was situated at a strategically important location. It has gained popularity among those who seek peace and spiritual rejuvenation, as Igatpuri is home to the Vipassana International Academy. This meditation center offers training in the ancient technique of meditation, Vipassana. It is a major attraction in Igatpuri and is also called Dhammagiri. This vipassana center is considered to be the world’s largest meditation center. Ten-day meditation courses are offered by the academy.
Igatpuri is among the best places to indulge in activities like rappelling, rock climbing and trekking. The Ratangad forts and Tringalwadi Fort are famous tourist spots. Amruteshwar and Ghatandevi temples also attract many visitors. Although you can visit Igatpuri throughout the year but the best time to visit this place is from June to September and November to March.
Trimbakeshwar Located about 57 km north of Igatpuri, Trimbakeshwar is home to one of the unique and most popular jyotirlings of Shiva. The name of the town is Trimbak, but it is known as Trimbakeshwar after the famous temple located here. The temple has a unique jyotirlinga with three faces on it and these faces symbolize Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The lingam is made of black stone. There is also a spire with a golden trident. The temple complex has a pond, which is the source of Gidavari River. The walls of the temple are decorated with figures of vaiorus goddess and god and intricate sculptures. The pillars are beautifully carved. It is believed that the temple was constructed by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao. Trimbakeshwar is a perfect place for people seeking a spiritual getaway or nature lovers.
Bhandardara Located 45 km south of Igatpuri, Bhandardara is a beautiful hill station. This place sits on the bank of the river Pravara. Bhandardara has several forts and trekking trails criss-crossing its lush green terrain. Kalsubai Mountian here is the highest peak in Maharashtra and very popular among trekkers. Other popular places are the Ratangad Fort, which is around 200 years old, and the Harishchandragad fort. Monsoon is the best time to visit this hill station as during this season many waterfalls gushes down from the hills and the entire region is covered in greenery.