The hill stations across the globe are perfect summer retreats for those who wish to enjoy nature at its very best. Pristine, enchanting and tranquil are probably the best adjectives that can describe the natural beauty of one such hill station-Mahabaleshwar. It is one of the most popular hill stations in India and attracts thousands of tourists every month from around the world. Its name is derived from a Lord Mahadev temple and three Sanskrit words, Maha (Great), BAL (Power) and Ishwar (God). Britishers developed this place as their summer capital. They had built their own mansions, cottages and bungalows around the town. The area also has strong historical connections with Shivaji, the heroic, Maratha warrior king.
Located about 120km southwest of Pune and 285km from Mumbai, Mahableshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150km2, bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1439m at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise point. It is the origin point of Krishna river, which shares it’s waters across the states of its own home state Maharashtra then continuing towards Karnataka and then to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The cool climate here makes it favourable for the cultivation of Strawberries. The Geographical Indication has bestowed the Maharashtra strawberries with Geographical Indication tag in 2010 and bought glory to the region.
Major Tourists Attractions
A) VEENA LAKE: You cannot afford to miss this place which offers not only a spectacular view with greenery all around but the lake also offers boat riding options.
B) MAPRO GARDEN: A delightful place for all the strawberry lovers where strawberry jams, ice-cream, toppings, syrups, shakes etc. are sold.
C) PRATAPGAD FORT: Built-in 16th century by Shivaji Maharaj the fort is popular in the history of India as Commander of Bijapur Afzalkahn was defeated and killed by Shivaji Maharaj at Pratapgad.
D) LINGMAL FALLS: The water here which falls from a height of approx. 600 feet can captivate any nature lover’s heart. It is in close proximity of the majestic Dholi waterfall and Chinaman waterfall.
E) ELEPHANT’S HEAD POINT: Also popular as the needlepoint, it’s an ideal spot for a picnic in fresh air amidst greenery.
F) PARSI POINT: Providing a spectacular view of the Krishna River it is a perfect place to hang out with friends and family.
G) ARTHUR’S SEAT: The specialty of this point is that, in case you throw the light-weighted thing on the valley, it comes up again due to air pressure.
H) VELOCITY ENTERTAINMENTZ: An alluring spot for all fun lovers, the place offers a variety of indoor& outdoor games, for both children and adults.
I) DHOBI WATERFALL: The water from here cascades into Koyna River, a tributary of the Krishna River.
J) PANCHGANI: Located at a distance of a few km from Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani is well known for trekking and other adventure activities.
WELL KNOWN HOTELS IN MAHABALESHWAR
2) Bella Vista Resort
3) Regenta MPG Club Mahabaleshwar
4) Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa
5) Hotel Dreamland
6) Shiavsagar Farm House
7) C.P Cottage
8) The Grand Legacy
9) Rockford Resort
10) Forest Country Resort
Mahabaleshwar is located around 32 km from Wai. It is around 260 km from Mumbai, the state capital. The nearest major city is Satara, around 45 km away, and is 120 km from Pune. Mahabaleshwar is connected by National Highway 4. Bus services by state-run MSRTC and private organizations connect it by buses from Pune, Mumbai, Sangli and Satara.
Nearest railroad is Satara, around 60 km. nearest major railway junctions include Pune (120 km), Miraj (170 km). Private cars and cabs, as well as state-run bus services are available in these locations to Mahabaleshwar. Also, a Rail station named Diwan Khavati on Kokan Railway near Khed gives a route of 60 km via Poladpur to Mahabaleshwar not so frequented though.
The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, serving the city of Pune, about 120 km from Mahabaleshwar. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai is 270 km.
What is the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar?
The best time to visit Mahabaleshwar is from December to February when Mahabaleshwar witnesses great climate. Since it lies at an altitude of 1438 metres above sea level, the weather at this height is pleasant throughout the year with intermittent rainfall. The summer months of March to June are also good but the afternoon heat can make it difficult to explore as the temperature can rise up to 35 degrees. The Western Ghats is most beautiful during monsoon. However, during floods/landslides, it could become problematic. Given that Mahabaleshwar is a known place for a weekend getaways, the decision should be made basis current.