Charming, serene and strawberries are the few words one can associate Mahabaleshwar with. This hill station of Maharashtra was established by the British and highlights various temples and sigh seeing points. Sobriquet as ‘Queen of Maharashtra’s Hill Stations’, the town also has many waterfalls where tourists can enjoy bathing.
Strawberries are grown here in abundance and enjoying the ‘Strawberry Cream’ delicacy a must indulgence. The town is well linked by roads from Pune and Mumbai.
When To Go
Mahabaleshwar has a moderate climate all through the year and can be visited any time of the year. However, the best time would be from October to June.
October to May is very pleasant with moderate to cool climates and ideal for all sightseeing in Mahabaleshwar. June to September is ideal for short sightseeing. Natural vista is at its prime during these months.
- Winters (December to February) are cool and the temperature varies minimum 10°C to maximum 32°C. It is nice for wandering around the city and also for sightseeing. It is also a favorable time for enjoying honeymoon in Mahabaleshwar.
- Summers (March to June) are pleasant and temperature varies between a minimum of 15°C to a maximum of 35°C. Good time for Mahabaleshwar tourism as the weather is very pleasant. Sightseeing and other tourist activities are enjoyable in this period.
- Monsoons (June to September) offer average annual rainfall. The place looks beautiful in rains.
Travel within city
Travelling around Mahabaleshwar is easy, due to the number of options available for tourists. There are buses, auto rickshaws and taxis that are available regularly for travelling purposes and these will be available from all the major destinations in the hill station of Mahabaleshwar.
Buses are cheapest and easiest mode of transport in Mahabaleshwar. These buses ply to almost all areas in the town, and you can take a bus ride to any destination of your choice provided you know the location well beforehand. Getting help from the locals can make things easier during a bus journey, and ticket fares will normally range between Rs 4 to 10. Government run buses are also available for sightseeing purposes. These can be helpful as they will allow you to comprehensively cover all major portions of the town. Sightseeing trips through a government bus can cost you around Rs 60 to 70 per head. These start at 9:15 in the morning and 2:15 in the afternoon from the bus stand and the transport office.
Taxis are a good way to travel through Mahabaleshwar at night, and these do not run on meter too. They can charge you anywhere between Rs 30 to 200.
Auto rickshaws in Mahabaleshwar do not run on meter, so fixing up a particular rate beforehand is a good idea.
Horse rides are also very popular in Mahabaleshwar, and this mode of travel can be quite adventurous too. A horse ride can cost you anywhere around Rs 50 to 100.
Connaught Peak, located on the Old Mahabaleshwar road is the second highest peak in the hills and offer magnanimous views of the Venna Lake and Krishna Valley. Earlier known as mount Olympia, the peak got its current name from the Duke of Connaught, who fell in love with the place and named it after him. Elphinston point and Pandavgad are located in vicinity from the peak.
Elephant's Head Point
Elephant’s Head Point is one of the most visited sightseeing points in Mahabaleshwar. The point derives its name from the overhanging cliff that resembles an elephant’s head and trunk. Situated at the end of the mountain, it allows the tourists to enjoy some of the most breathtakingly beautiful sceneries.
Perched on a 50mts high hill is the Kate’s Point, which never falls short of enthralling the tourists with its magnificent views. Named after John Malcom’s daughter, trekking is a great options to enjoy the hidden beauty dotted near the point. Proffering panoramic views of Kamalgad and Pandavgarh, one can also see the confluence of River Vedganga and Krishna.
Pratapgad Fort is the most popular monumental attraction in Mahabaleshwar. Perched on top of a hill 24 kms from the main city, the mountain fort was built by Shivaji and the historic battle between Bijapur Sultan and Shivaji was fought here. The tomb of Afzal Khan and the Bhavani Temple located in vicinity as also worth seeing. The fort is situated 900 metres above sea level and was built in the year 1656.
Arthur’s Seat or Suicide Point, 12 kms from Mahabaleshwar town is also known as the Queen of all points and offer spectacular views of the dense valleys of Brahma-Arayana and the Savitri River located in the Konkan Valley. The point is a huge table that stands on a natural pillar, making the experience of sightseeing very enthralling. 140 metres above sea level, one needs to indulge in a 10 minutes walk to reach the point.
Babbington Point in Mahabaleshwar is very similar to the Bombay Point in appearance; however, it is at a higher level. The point proffers great views of the Chinamen waterfall. The best time to visit his point is during the monsoon when the Chinamen’s waterfall is in full swing. Just in front of this point is Makaranadagad which further leads to the scenic hamlets of Dudhgaon and Birwadi.
Bombay Point (Sunset Point)
Also known as the Sunset Point, the Bombay Point has a large open area with a bandstand. Located near the highway of Mumbai-Goa, the point offers spectacular views of sunset. Also serving as an ideal afternoon picnic spot, the Bombay point attracts a lot many tourists from all over.
Carna point, named after St. James Rivett Carnac, is one of the best places to view some of the most spectacular sceneries on Mahabaleshwar. Though a little thwarted, but the view of the sunset from here is spectacular.
Cascading in the Koyana Valley, just 2.5 kms from Mahabaleshwar is the Chinama’s waterfall. Named after an open Chinese Prison located near to the fall, one can reach it by taking the Carviali Road route. Serving as a perfect holiday and picnic spot, this waterfall is one of the most surreal place to enjoy some cool and relaxing ambiance.
Dhobi Waterfall in Mahabaleshwar is popular for being a picnic spot. The fall connects Lodwick and Elphiston Point and further and also joins Petit Road with Old Mahabaleshwar road. Filled with rocks, the waterfall is scenically located on a bridle path and the presence of the rocks makes the water appear green. It is a famous tourist spot in Mahabaleshwar which allows the travelers to unwind in the best of the nature’s green.
Elphinston point got its name after the Governor of Mumbai, Sir Elphinstone, who is believed to have been the discoverer of this natural delight. Bearing a striking resemblance to an Elephants head and trunk, the place is best suited for picnic. Pratapgadh Fort and Valleys of Koyna and Savitri can also be sighted from here.
Falkland Point in Mahabaleshwar proffers compelling views of the Koyna valley. Best viewed during the time of sunset, this point is also suited for family picnic outings.
At a distance of 4kms from the main market in the city, is the Helen’s point, noted for its picturesque views of the small huts and deep valleys. Also referred as Blue Valley, the Helen’s point also boasts of a waterfall flowing nearby. The spot is idyllically located close to the other main attractions of the town including Robber’s Cave, North Coat Point and Gavalani Point.
An exotic point to enjoy the best of nature, Hunter Point in Mahabaleshwar, is situated near the Cannaught peak on Old Mahabaleshwar Road. Overlooking the Koyna Valley, Hunter’s Point, is point from where once can enjoy the view of the valley along with Lodwick and Elphinston point from various angles. The best way to reach this point is by undertaking a one and a half km trek that will reveal to you some of the most exotic views of nature.
At a mere distance of 7 kms from Mahabaleshwar lies the scenic fall of Lingamala. Noted for its glittering cascades, the waterfall is falls from the Venna Valley from a height of 600 feet. The waterfall is best visited during the monsoon months from July to December, when the waterfall plunges to its maximum. Lying on the Pune-Mahabaleshwar road, the waterfall is often circled by rainbows, making the sight ethereal.
Lodwick point, often spelt as Lordwick Point, gets its name from General Lodwick, the discoverer of the site. Just 5 kms from Mahabaleshwar, the point is known to have exhilarated General Lodwick to such an extent that he fell in love with the place. Earlier known as Sydney Point, the point got its name changed in order to commemorate General Lodwick.
Mahabaleshwar Temple in Mahabaleshwar is dedicated to Lord Shiva Shankar and highlights the small black stone Shivalinga as its main attraction. Divided into the inner room and outer room sanctum, the temple is highly revered and people come here in huge numbers to offer their prayers. Enveloped by 5 feet high stone wall on all sides, the temple is an important pilgrim site in Mahabaleshwar and invites pilgrim from all over the country.
Located at a nerve racking height in Mahabaleshwar is the Marjorie point. Located near to the Savitri Point, it offers stunning views of the valley. Situated on the way to Arthur’s seat, the point is around 500m below the Konkan Valley and the view of the Sahyadri range of mountains from here is very good.
Morarji Castle, located on a hilly terrain in Mahabaleshwar is a popular tourist spot. Built in the British style of architecture, the castle boasts of serving as the rest place for the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. To enjoy the natural splendor around the castle, one is advised to drive around and enjoy the views of some of the most exotic colonial structures that are dotted around the Morarji Castle.
Mount Malcolm is quaint tourist spot that highlights the charm of the bygone days of the British rule in India. The landmark has been named after John Malcolm, who founded the hill in the year 1828, and constructed a home for himself. Though not very popular but it still draws the tourists who wants to enjoy serenity along with experiencing the colonial charm.
The Tiger’s spring at Mahabaleshwar is a pictographic delight. It is a natural thermal spring near River Savatri and is believe to be infused with spiritual powers. At just 1 kms from Arthur point, Tiger’s spring can be reached by following the steep steps from the Arthur point. An ideal picnic spot, the shallow water invites all the tourists who seek to spend some solitary relaxing time amidst the cool and attractive natural ambiance.
Venna Lake, the prime attraction of Mahabaleshwar is located around the main market area and is believed to have been built by the King of Satara. The 24 acre spread lake is the main supplier of water to the locals and offers various options of boating and fishing. Horse rising is also conducted. Charges are Rs 100 for half an hour ride. The major highlights around the lake include eating joints and strawberry gardens.
Wilson Point (Sunrise Point)
Wake up early to catch the view of the sunrise at Wilson Point in Mahabaleshwar. No where in the country can one enjoy such a scenic view. Located at the height of 4,710 feet above sea level, the point also commands compelling views of various other points located in vicinity. Also called as the Sunrise point, the view of Old Mahabaleshwar from the point is simply wonderful.
Since Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay presidency, it had a tremendous populace of English people there in the past. Roman Catholic Church in the town might be constructed by them for their Sunday adorations and holy masses.
One of the alluring attractions in Mahabaleshwar is the Roman Catholic Church that stood as a proud reminiscent of the past glory. Though in a deserted condition, the church offers something worthy for a watch. Its stained glass windows still hold the elegant look even after so many decades. Another interesting aspect about the church is that a Hindu family looks after the church.
One of the holy places in Mahabaleshwar is the Panchganga Mandir. Water from five different rivers that is the Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri join in this place.
The confluence of five rivers has given the name Panchganga where Panch means five and ganga means river. All the rivers come out of a cow’s mouth which is carved out of stone. Thus the place being called Panchganga Mandir.
This famous mandir was built by Raja Singhandeo. He was the king of the Yadav of Devgiri in the 13th century. In the 16th century the temple was improved by the Maratha Emperor Shivaji.
Tapola is 28 km away from Mahabaleshwar. The place is ideal for picnic and boating because of its beautiful environment and the Koyna Dam’s back water.
Tapola is otherwise known as Mini Kashmir. The view of the dam, the rivers, the beautiful Sahyadri range and the deep forest all look so beautiful from this place that there is no wonder the place is known as mini Kashmir. The Koyana river on one side and the Solshi on the other and the merging of both these rivers at Tapola is a breathtaking sight. The dam built here is the biggest in Maharashtra and is called the ‘Shivsagar’.
Panchgani, literally mean the place of five hills, is a renowned hill station in Maharashtra. This majestic hill resort is located at 1,334 mt altitude. Panchgani is a vibrant scenic destination and its beauty multiplies with the backdrop of hilly terrains at one side and coastal plains at the other side. This place had been used by the British officials as their summer resort.
The Panchgani hill station is known for its unpolluted air and it is believed that the oxygen content in atmosphere is more here compared to other regions. Due to this many people select this for convalescing from diseases. The ambience is very cool and calm and the exquisite environment is a perfect background for rejuvenation.
Panchgani is spotted with many attractive colonial period cottages with all luxurious facilities for the tourists to spend their vacation in perfect seclusion and enjoyment. This place is bestowed with buildings of British architecture, Parsi houses and the boarding schools. The town, a natural relaxation spot, adds its comforts with the soothing effect of cool breeze rustling through the thick woody regions. Panchgani has many western plant species including poinsettia and silver oaks, which are originally planted by British people.
Fresh air, unspoiled natural beauty, breathtaking panoramic views and lush greeneries make this place one of the most sought hill station in Maharashtra. This place is renowned for international quality education and there are at least three dozen schools offering high standard facilities for the children. The Mahabaleshwar Hill Station and Venna Lake are some attractions nearby.
At a distance of 10 kms from Panchgani and 20 kms from Mahabaleshwar are the Rajpuri Caves popular for being a religious place. It is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva’s son, Karthikeya. It also has thermal springs and the pilgrims believe the water to have been blessed with curative powers. A temple and Kamlgad Fort in vicinity and a local fair held in the harvest season are also popular attractions here.
Parsi Point is a renowned picnic spot lies on the Mahabaleshwar road in Panchgani. It offers panoramic views of picturesque Dhom Dam backwaters and the lush green Krishna valley. Sydney point is another breathtaking beautiful spot near Parsi Point.
The grandeur view of Wai village from these points are mind blogging and eye catching. This is a spot in Panchgani which is blessed with all worthy natural beauties. One can spend many hours in this calm and cool ambience enjoying the fragrant breeze emerging out from the hilly ranges.
Lord Karthikeya Temple
Lord Karthikeya temple is located at Rajpuri Caves in Panchgani. The temple is dedicated to Lord Karthikeya (Lord Muruga, Son of Lord Shiva). Rajpuri caves got the religious importance due to this famous temple. Thaipooyam festival during January-February month is celebrated here with lots of enthusiasm. Thousands of devotees visit this temple during this period.
The temple premise is a calm and cool place and is a best suit for people looking for serene environment for relaxation and meditation. The spiritual atmosphere adds impetus to relaxing moments.
Sherbaug, a picturesque and naturally well designed landscape, is an eye feasting valley in quaint hill resort Panchagani. Serbaug thrives with a wonderful children’s park and a beautiful rose garden. This unspoiled and unpolluted land is the home to many kinds of bird fauna, various kinds of rabbits, turkeys and swans.
Serbaug visitors can see the majestic scenes of young children participating in various artistic and sculptural activities here. Clay pot making and sculpturing are the important promotional activities undertaken here for the benefits of children.
Tableland has been credited with the privilege of being Asia’s second longest mountain Plateau. This is a wide expanse of laterite rock and this place offers the grandeur view of Panchgani hill station itself. One can get breathtaking views of Rajpuri caves and the place known as “Devil’s Kitchen�? from here.
Tableland provides a natural protection for the Panchgani from strong winds, heavy rains and it helps Panchgani to keep its ambience enjoyable for tourists. Table land serves as a great sports and games place for children and young.
|Ajanta and Ellora Caves