India >> Maharashtra >> Mahabaleshwar Travel Guide
Mahabaleshwar Hotels and Travel Guide
Mahabaleshwar is the largest hill station in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra state. It is situated at an altitude of 1372 m above seal level in the Satara district, about 115 km southwest of Pune.
Due to its high altitude, the town has a cool climate and offers many pleasant walks. There are several lookout points which offer spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is an old Shiva temple in the forest, which is the source of five rivers, including the Krishna river which is the second longest river of peninsular India.
Mahabaleshwar is visited by many thousands of tourists every year. It is well connected by bus with the important towns of the region. There are numerous hotels for every budget. The peak season is March-May; it rains very heavily from June to September.
Among the local delicacies, strawberry shakes and corn patties are well known. Ingredients for these are all local grown.
Although the monsoon season is not the time for enjoying ripe strawberries, mulberries and gooseberries which are available throughout the pre-monsoon months, one can still buy their processed varieties in the form of jams, jellies, squashes and crushes. The "chana" (green gram) shops near the S.T. stand sell roasted "chana" which along with a dash of spices, is a treat for the taste buds. For avid shoppers, the government owned Madhusagar Apiary offers pure honey, fruit squashes and jelly sweets. The latter are a favourite with young and old alike. Near the S.T. stand, one can buy pith flowers. The shopkeeper will happily demonstrate their making. They are a good buy to decorate the home.
Mahabaleshwar's 30 exotic viewpoints provide one with a spectacular access to the ultimate in fascinating landscapes. Most of the points derive their names from some former British dignitary and are situated in the 10-kilometer radius of the bazaar in Mahabaleshwar. Some points can be reached by motorable roads, whereas other can be reached on foot
On the way to Mahabaleshwar from Pune, Panchgani is a picturesque little town in the shade of groves of casuarinas and silver oak. Protected from harsh winds by a tableland on one side and high cliffs descending into a valley on the other, Panchgani has a pleasant, bracing climate throughout the year. Panchgani is also an ideal base for some good trekking from where one can explore several mule tracks that lead through the now thinning forests
A visit to Pratapgad Fort, 24 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar, adds a historical dimension to the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani holiday. Made famous by the Maratha leader Shivaji, the fort built in 1656, saw a decisive encounter between him and Afzal Khan, a general sent by the ruler of Ahmednagar to subdue the rebel. Afzal Khan was killed in the clash and Shivaji established himself as a significant force in the contemporary power politics.
Mahabaleshwar Water Falls
Venna Lake , Mahabaleshwar
Attractions and Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar
Some of the famous lookout points are Elphinstone Point, Babington Point, Kate's Point, Bombay Point. Waterfalls also adorn this hill station. Some of them are the Chinaman's (2.5 km), Dhobi (3 km), and Lingamala (6 km). The most spectacular one is Arthur's Seat, 12 km from Mahabaleshwar which looks out over a tremendous drop of 600 metres, to the coastal strip of Konkan.
Venna Lake is a major attraction of Mahabaleshwar which provides good fishing and boating facilities.
Pratapgad Fort which is 24 kms, away is a place worth visiting. It was built by Shivaji in 1656. It was built to control the rebellious Satraps of the surrounding Javali Basin. Legend has it that Shivaji was blessed with a shining sword at the temple of Goddess Bhawani here. It was the site of the famous battle between the Maratha chieftain Chhatrapati Shivaji and Afzal Khan, the commander of the Bijapur Sultanate.
How to Reach Mahabaleshwar
By Air: Pune is the nearest airport both for Mahabaleshwar (120 km and Panchgani (98 km)
By Rail: For Mahabaleshwar, the nearest railhead is Wathar (62 km) but Pune (120 km) is the convenient railhead.
By Road: From Bombay via Pune, Mahabaleshwar is 290 km and via Mahad it is 247 km. The State Transport buses ply from Bombay and Pune to Mahabaleshwar. MTDC operates daily bus services except during the monsoon, between Bombay-Mahabaleshwar-Bombay. Also sightseeing tours for Mahabaleshwar and Mahabaleshwar-Pratapgad Fort.