The busy cities of Mumbai and Pune in the western Indian state of Maharashtra are connected by the Mumbai to Pune Expressway, also known as the Yashwantrao Chavan Expressway. The distance between the two cities is reduced significantly thanks to this six-lane, controlled-access highway, which runs for approximately 94.5 kilometers (58.7 miles). The expressway serves as both a crucial transportation route and a scenic route through the Western Ghats’ beautiful scenery.
Where is the Mumbai to Pune Expressway located?
The Mumbai to Pune Expressway begins, in fact, at Kalamboli, a suburb of Navi Mumbai, and ends at Dehu Road in Pune. The expressway runs parallel to the older Mumbai-Pune National Highway (NH 48), providing a faster and more convenient alternative for travelers. The expressway passes through the beautiful mountainous terrain of the Western Ghats, offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys and hills.
The map below shows where this road is located:
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Information about the route:
The Mumbai to Pune Expressway was inaugurated in 2002, becoming India’s first six-lane, controlled-access highway. The road has significantly reduced travel time between Mumbai and Pune. With an average journey time of approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. The expressway features multiple toll plazas, rest areas, and food courts along the route, ensuring a comfortable and convenient journey for travelers.
One of the most notable features of the Mumbai to Pune Expressway is the Khandala-Lonavala section, which offers breathtaking views of the Western Ghats. This section of the expressway is particularly popular during the monsoon season when the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls create a mesmerizing landscape.
Tourist Attractions Along the Mumbai to Pune Expressway:
The Mumbai to Pune Expressway offers several tourist attractions along its route, making it obviously an ideal road trip for those looking to explore the region. For example, some of the popular attractions include:
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Located near Panvel, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The sanctuary is home to over 150 species of birds. This includes the Malabar Whistling Thrush, the Paradise Flycatcher, and the Crested Serpent Eagle.
- Lonavala and Khandala: These popular hill stations are situated along the expressway and offer a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of city life. With their pleasant climate, lush greenery, and numerous trekking trails, Lonavala and Khandala are perfect for a weekend getaway.
- Karla and Bhaja Caves: These ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves, dating back to the 2nd century BC, are located near Lonavala. In addition, the caves are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, offering a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
- Rajmachi Fort: This historic fort, located near Khandala, offers a challenging trek and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The fort comprises two citadels, Shrivardhan and Manaranjan, and is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts.
- Imagicaa: This popular theme park, located near Khopoli, offers a fun-filled day for the entire family. For example thrilling rides, live shows, and themed attractions, Imagicaa is a must-visit destination for those traveling along the road.
You can obviously see a portion of the route in this YouTube video to get an overview of the journey:
How to Access the Mumbai to Pune Expressway?
To access the road, travelers can begin their journey at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. From there, the expressway runs eastward, passing through the Western Ghats and ending at Dehu Road in Pune. The expressway is easily accessible from both Mumbai and Pune, with multiple entry and exit points along the route.
There are other roads to discover in India, for example, the road to Mount Abu.
You can obviously visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:
Safety and Road Conditions:
The Mumbai to Pune Expressway is well-maintained and monitored by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). The expressway features multiple lanes, wide shoulders, and clear signage, ensuring a safe and comfortable driving experience. However, it is essential for drivers to adhere to the speed limits and follow traffic rules. It is important to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.
The Mumbai to Pune Expressway, which connects two of Maharashtra’s most significant cities, is proof of the country’s progress in the development of its infrastructure. The expressway not only increased connectivity but also gave motorists a memorable driving experience through the Western Ghats’ alluring scenery. The Mumbai to Pune Expressway is a must-experience route for anyone looking for a smooth and beautiful journey through western India. And this is regardless of whether you are a local or a visitor to the area. The expressway offers an unforgettable driving experience that is sure to make an impression thanks to its abundance of tourist attractions and stunning natural surroundings.
Picture credit: By neelnimavat – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49735402 / By Aaditya Bardhan – Adlabs Imagica 2013, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31280856
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