Trekking across the misty mounds, angling around some animated water spots, picturesque landscape and bag full of goodies; doesn’t it sound exhilarating? Well, this is what the misty hill station Mahabaleshwar is all about for a visitor. Located around 284 Kms from Mumbai and nearly 120Kms from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is an excellent destination for the weekenders from Maharashtra.
Nestled in the lap of the mountain ranges of Western Ghats, the beautiful hill station Mahabaleshwar is delimited by vales on its all sides. There was a time when the magnetic mound of Mahabaleshwar was recognised as Malcolm Peth. Gradually over the periods of time, the overwhelming splendour of Mahabaleshwar grabbed the attention of the British. As a result, in 1829 the site has become the summer capital of the former Bombay presidency. Moving ahead, the place has turned later to one of the spectacular hill resorts in Maharashtra under the foreign authority. Even today, the grandeur of Mahabaleshwar pulls lot many Mumbaikars for an adventurous weekend.
The popular hill station Mahabaleshwar witnesses a soothing climate all round the year making the place an ideal weekend hideout for visitors even during the summers. If you need a desperate break from the scorching summers of Mumbai or Pune, look no further than Mahabaleshwar.
Summer enters the terrain of Mahabaleshwar in the month of March and it lasts here till June offering you a maximum temperature up to 340C. Summer is considered to be the best time for sightseeing here. After summer, monsoon hits the region in the month of June and it continues here till September. Intense rainfalls amidst the mountain make the destination equally a worth visiting site for nature buffs. In order to reveal the best fresh greenery view, visiting Mahabaleshwar during monsoon is a great idea to execute.
Akin to summer and monsoon, winters are also quite pleasing in Mahabaleshwar. To enjoy a relaxing winter, December to February is the best time to be a part of this hill station. The temperature lies between 100C to 230C that time, which is comparatively breathtaking for visitors.
Best time to visit:
Pleasant climate throughout the year makes the destination one of the popular weekend getaways near Mumbai. With a blend of scenic elegance and soothing climate, Mahabaleshwar leaves you lot of reasons to flock here all round the calendar. However, the best time to explore the hilltop here is from October to June when the natural exquisiteness emerges at its best.
Places to see:
Being an absolute paradise for summer escape near Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar has no dearth of enthralling sites and adventure activities for weekenders. Starting from lively waterfalls to thrilling caves, the place has ample of attractions to offer. Let’s take you for a ride to the major attractions here:
Let’s start the excursion with a cave that has religious significance in it. Sprawled nearly 8Kms reach from the city centre, Rajpuri Caves is a worth exploring site in Mahabaleshwar. A mythological tale goes with Rajpuri Caves is that the caves here were in use for performing some religious rituals by Lord Kartikeya (son of Lord Shiva). The place also has a significant connection with the Mahabharata. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Pandavas used to stay here inside the caves during their exile.
On accessing the caves, you will get to notice different kunds on which, water flows from the holy river Ganges. In addition, a temple of Lord Karthikeya, temple of Ghatjal Devi and traditional images of Nandi can also be spotted at Rajpuri Caves. At the entrance, you can also catch a glimpse of various stone plates portraying some inscriptions carved on them. Every year a local festival is celebrated here during the harvest season. Visitors can access here all day a week from 6AM to 7PM.
It is always believed that nothing could as sacred as starting your day visiting a holy shrine. No matter if you are living your routine life or you are in a vacation, temple is always worth visiting from any point of location. As the name suggests, the temple resemblances its name with the name of the location and the temple was built here dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mahabaleshwar Temple is a must visit for Hindu pilgrims and worshipers of Lord Shiva. The temple showcases various religious belongings of Lord Shiva, which include a trishul, damru and Lord Shiva’s bed.
It is said that the temple was built ages baked in the 16th century by the Chanda Rao More dynasty. Visitors also flock here to witness the architectural brilliance of Mahabaleshwar Temple, which was designed here in South Indian Hemadanta style. The temple is also known as Mahabali. The temple complex is segregated into inner and outer rooms. On entering the inner room, you get to see a black stone lingam, which is the key attraction here. In addition, some eye-catching carvings of sacred bull can also be spotted inside the temple. The tranquil and divinely ambience around the temple premises drives you to a different level of spirituality.
#Elephant’s Head Point
Visiting a hill station can offer you variety of peaks and points from where you can capture an awe-inspiring panorama of lush green surroundings. This is one such place in Mahabaleshwar that can offer you some thrilling vistas and trekking opportunities. As the name suggests, the shape of the place resembles to an elephant’s head, which pulls plenty of visitors here on regular basis. Positioned on the extreme end of the mountain range, Elephant’s Head point is a great place for picnicking, photography and adventure. In addition, one can also witness a captivating view of sunset and sunrise from the Elephant’s Head point. So, you can say that Elephant’s Head point is a fascinating place from where you may start the thrill of hill exploration in Mahabaleshwar.
Whenever you get to visit a lake, the first thing you start looking around the lake is a boat. Yes, a joyful boating in the water of a lake always manifolds your delight. Surrounded by lush bush and tall stand trees, Venna Lake is an absolute paradise to visit with your family members and buddies. Taking a boat ride in the midst of the lake water may add more spice to your visit here. The breathtaking pathways near the lake offer you a great opportunity to go for a relaxing walk. You will find number of eateries on the bank of lake offering you some scrumptious platters after a walk. The lush green environs and tranquillity across the lake has gradually turned this location to a bustling tourist spot in Mahabaleshwar.
# Lingmala Waterfalls
Situated nearly 6Kms from Mahabaleshwar, Lingmala Waterfalls is one of the leading tourist pullers in Mahabaleshwar. The site witnesses a large number of visitors during monsoon as the water level starts mounting to a great extent that time. However, post monsoon is equally a happening time to reveal the best out of Lingmala Waterfalls. Nestled in the midst of natural splendour, the water reaches here from an elevation of around 600 ft. A part from experiencing a great time around the cold and clear water, one can also visit Lingmala Waterfalls for picnic and angling purposes.
# Pratapgarh Fort
If you like history and enjoy exploring places related historic battles, you just need to travel 24kms from Mahabaleshwar. Built way back in 1665 by the Maratha Kings, Pratapgarh Fort has witnessed one of the vicious battles of history i.e. the battle of Pratapgad. Even today, the remnants of this ancient fort silently tell you many such war tales associated with this place. There is a blend of temples atop the fort, which were built here in reverence of Lord Shiva and Goddess Bhavani. In addition, a maze of ponds and gloomy pathway add more thrill to this historic destination. Pratapgarh Fort is an absolute delight for photographers and history buffs. So, what are you waiting for? Get soaked in the mist of majestic fortification and feel the thrill of battle, which was fought here dates back to decade.
The more you plunge into the natural beauty of Mahabaleshwar, the greater you find to explore. Mapro Garden is one of the major tourist attractions here known for abundance of strawberries. This place is best to be visited in the month of May when the famous strawberry festival takes place here. During the festival, the garden hosts a variety of fruits, salad and strawberry delights including toppings, marmalade, Jams etc. In addition, different flavours of strawberry ice creams can also be tasted here during the festival. For visitors the garden is open from 8AM to 8PM all day a week.
# Parsi Point
Having said the thrill of getting a valley view from the peak of a hill, Parsi Point is one more addition to that list, which can enrich the level of your excitement to a great extent. This beautiful site has been named after the Parsi community. Once you scale the pinnacle of the site, you get to witness an aerial view of the surrounding valley and breathtaking landscape before you. To catch a close view of the nearby valley, you may also use Telescopes. Parsi Point is undoubtedly an absolute destination for hangout with your family and friends. One more attraction to this amazing place is the magnificent vista of sunrise and sunset from the hilltop.
If you are looking for a spot where you can feel the blend of solitude and serenity, Babington Point is the place you should travel by. Positioned at an elevation of nearly 1295 metres above sea level, Babington Point offers you an amazing view of green valley, tall trees and misty clouds. If you happen to be here with your beloved buddy, the captivating scenery around Babington Point takes you to dreamy and romantic ride amidst the natural splendour. Two key attractions that you can’t skip observing from the Babington Point are Chinaman’s waterfall and Koyna valley.
The list of peak point seems to be never ending when you are in Mahabaleshwar. Lodwick Point is one more popular site here that offers you a great valley view of Elephant’s Head Point and historic Pratapgarh Fort. This is one of the amazing places to see in Mahabaleshwar. Earlier, Lodwick Point was recognized as Sydney point. However, over the periods of time Sydney point has been renamed as Lodwick Point honouring the British General Lodwick, who was the first British officer to scale this hill. You can also spot a 25 ft high pole here, which has been positioned in reverence of General Lodwick. If you want to experience some adventures like trekking and mountain biking in Mahabaleshwar, Lodwick Point may be the spot for you.
Apart from the above cited peaks, you can also head towards one more stunning peak in Mahabaleshwar, which is popular as Connaught Peak. This place is positioned at an elevation of nearly 1400 meters above sea level.
A thrilling horse ride and paragliding in the midst of murky hill always leaves you spellbound. Positioned at an altitude of nearly 4,551 ft above sea level, Table Land is the place where you get an opportunity to meet up your daring desire. This spot is eminent as the second highest mountain plateau in Asia after the Tibetan table. Sprawled over 90 acres terrain, Table Land offers you a charismatic panorama of green valley and adjoining caves. Apart from thrill and scenic splendour, visitors can also experience some mouth-watering dishes here in some of the eateries. If you want to reveal the best natural view of Table Land, visit here from August to September.
Well, the panoramic ride to Mahabaleshwar doesn’t limit you till the above cited destinations. Depending on your travel plan and days of stay, you can also go for exploring some other luring destinations like Tapola, Bhushan Mahamuni and Panchganga Temple.
How to Go:
For Mumbaikars, reaching Mahabaleshwar is not a fuss. Even people outside Maharashtra can also plan a comfortable voyage to reach Mahabaleshwar with ease. Here’s how one can travel to Mahabaleshwar through the following modes of transport:
By Air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Pune, which is situated around 120Kms away from the destination. The connectivity between Pune Airport and many other major destinations in India is quite convenient. There are various renowned carriers that ply here on regular basis. Some of these are IndiGo, Air Asia and GoAir. From airport you can hire a taxi, cab or you can even take a bus to reach Mahabaleshwar.
By Train: If reaching Mahabaleshwar by train is in your travel plan, worry not. Plenty of trains are there to reach Mahabaleshwar from the places like Mumbai, Pune and Wathar (60Kms). However, the most convenient and nearest railhead is Satara, which is located merely 45Kms from Mahabaleshwar. From Satara railway station, you can hire a taxi or get into a State Transport that will reach you till Mahabaleshwar. Some of the major trains to reach Mahabaleshwar are Chennai Mail, Hyderabad Exp, Udyan Express, Mumbai Mail, Mahalaxmi Express etc.
By Road: One who is planning for a joyful road drive to reach Mahabaleshwar, the place is well-knitted with its neighbouring places like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Solapur, Shirdi, Kolhapur, Aurangabad etc. You will find ample of buses to reach Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai and Pune that run under Maharashtra state transport. In Mumbai, buses are mostly available from Vashi, Dadar East and Sion. The road journey from Mumbai will take 5-6 hours. Alternatively, you can also hire a cab from any of the cited cities in Maharashtra to reach Mahabaleshwar.
If you are travelling from Mumbai by car, drive towards Panvel and reach Pune following the Mumbai-Pune Express way. From Pune, further you need to follow the route via Wai and Panchgani to reach Mahabaleshwar.
Places to stay:
Being one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar pulls numbers of tourist’s footfalls all round the year. Keeping in mind the requirements of their basic amenities like food and lodging, hygienic ambiance, comfy stay and other advanced facilities, numbers of budget and luxury hotels are set up here from time-to-time.
With prices ranging from INR 700 to INR 6500 or more, you will get ample of comfortable staying options in Mahabaleshwar. However, depending on the type of hotel you book or the kind of amenities you avail the cited charges may vary.
In order to cater you a pleasant stay in Mahabaleshwar, some of the comfy staying options are listed here for you:
#Hill Top House
Bondarwadi Village, Panchgani,
About 1.5km from Mapro Garden,
Mahabaleshwar, India 412806
Main Market, Murry Peth,
Satara Dist. Mahabaleshwar,
Maharashtra, India 412806
Near Venna Lake, Besides Bagicha Corner
Panchgani Road, Mahabaleshwar, India 412806
#Forest Villa Bunglow
Jai Durgamata Hsg. Society,
Mahabaleshwar, India 412806
#Shanti Kunj Bungalow
At Post -Machuter Village, Satara Road,
Mahabaleshwar, India 412806
#Bella Vista Resort
19/9a Panchgani, Mahableshwar Road
Mahabaleshwar, India 412806
When an amazing blend of nature and adventure is rejoiced at any destination, a trip to such location pleases your visit like never before. Mahabaleshwar without a second thought is one such place of your choice. The captivating environs and misty hills of Mahabaleshwar have all such travel recipe that can add more spice to your weekend voyage. Be it horse riding, boating, trekking, mountain biking, angling or bag full of Shopping, nothing could be as charming as exploring the beauty of Mahabaleshwar.
Do visit Mahabaleshwar, a perfect hill station for a summer escape near Mumbai. So look no further. Give your weekend a nippy boozer in the midst of knolls and adventure.