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Maharashtra: Mahabaleshwar - The Drenched Hill Station - A Travel Guide
Season: October to June
Best time to see the natural splendor: March to 1st half of June and October- November
Rainfall: 6635 mm/year.
Spread across 10 square km of protracted land, the hillock Mahabaleshwar, is naturally surrounding the riveting Venna Lake which is the largest Lake of Maharashtra. The city draws attention along with the charming Venna Lake, placed at a height of 1372 meters of Sahyadri hill of western Ghat range. The city was built around the Venna Lake during 13th century by the emperor called Singhan of Yadava Dynasty to store water of the river Krishna in the Lake. Later on, the entire city was developed after Sir John Malcom rediscovered the city newly. It was one of the famous summer resorts of British. Indian freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi, had once visited the historical city in 1945.
Swarms of holiday makers are always attracted towards the city for its serenity. Countless numbers of swaying trees offer a very important natural shelter to the city dwellers here. The city welcomes and greets tourists warmly with its different colors at different times of the year. The pebbly hills of the city get covered up with green foliage during June- September where as city looks quite different altogether during March- June. Enjoy the salubrious climate staying amidst the pretty natural locale for few days. The appeal of the city to the spiritual crowds is immense as well. Normal woolen textiles would be sufficient for this trip. Rainfalls of Monsoon at times play spoilsport for the tourists. To safeguard the homes of the territory from the disastrous rainfalls of monsoon, roofs of a number of homes are protected with Kulum trees. Previously the city could only be accessed by Hindus. This tradition, however, was changed in 1824 by General Loadwick.
Nearby Robbers Cave was said to be the devil’s paradise previously. It is believed that this cave once had offered a safe shelter to the general Tanaji who belonged to the troop of Shivaji. Tourists, however, are now not allowed to go inside the cave for the presence of poisonous gasses.
About 5.2 km away from the city of Mahabaleshwar, the holy Krishnabai temple, is another special attraction of Mahabaleshwar. This famous temple of Mahabaleshwar was creatively designed and was built by the emperor Singhan of Yadava dynasty during 13th Century. This historical temple was renovated by Shivaji. The Krishnabai temple was also known as Panchganga Temple (Krishna, Venna, Koyna, Savitri, and Gayatri). Holy water streams of five rivers mark their ways through the five different canals. Devotees pay tributes to the Hindu deity, Hanuman, who is residing on his throne in his own temple, on the banks of the Panchganga. Another nearby temple houses the holy Hindu deities, Ram, Lakshman and Sita.
The divine Atibaleshwar and Mahabaleshwar temples are positioned at a lower acclivity. The name of the hillock had been derived from the name of the temple, Mahabaleshwar. According to a mythological tale, both of these temples were constructed to recall the battle between Vishnu, the Hindu deity and two devil brothers, Mahabal and Atibal.
The Shiva Lingam of Mahabaleshwar temple is there under the ground. Other deities, such as, Parvati, Ganesh, Brahma and Vishnu are accompanying Shiva in this temple.
Devotees would like the grandeur of the contiguous Rameshwar Maharaj Math as well. The Maha Shiva Ratri festival, organized here, brings all the city dwellers and pilgrims together at the same divine premise of the temple.
Nature lovers would also be thoroughly entertained in Mahabaleshwar. More than 30 view points are scattered in and around Mahabaleshwar. The Arthur seat view point, about 12.4 km away from the city, located at an elevation of 1347.5 meters, is one of the most visited tourists’ spot of Mahabaleshwar. Plenty of fascinating stories are associated with this enthralling spot. It is believed that if something is thrown from this point, then the movement of air throws it back to the thrower. Once, Arthur tried to test it and jumped. Since, then it’s popularly known as the suicide point in the vicinity as well. The panoramic sight of the hill, well covered with compelling greenery, looks lovely from this beguiling spot. It seems like a dinosaur is taking rest on the lap of beautiful nature on the slope of the hill. The bird’s eye view of the captivating Konkan valley can be enjoyed from the Arthur view point as well. Take pleasure in the pleasing sights of the Raigarh, Tobala and Pratapgarh forts from the Arthur view point.
Take a walk through the hilly tracts to access the British Hunting Point. Watch the pretty Koyna Valley from here. Shout standing on the premise of the Eco point to listen to your own reverberated words.
The Malcolm point of the architect of Mahabaleshwar is not very far away. The contiguous Tiger spring is said to be a place in Mahabaleshwar where the footsteps of thirsty tigers are still seen. It is believed that tigers still visit the spot to quench their thirsts.
Located at a distance of 2 km away from the market of Mahabaleshwar is the Wilson point. It’s a heavenly paradise for all the nature lovers. The natural locale of the Wilson point would give you an opportunity to stay very close to nature and enjoy it. The Wilson point, positioned at an altitude of 1435.6 meters, is the highest point of Mahabaleshwar. Visit this place early in the morning to watch the wonderful cosmos during the agreeable sunrise. The Wilson Point houses a radio transmission center as well.
The place where from tourists can take pleasure in the panoramic view of the Pratapgarh fort of Shivaji is the Marjorie point.
Another attractive and appealing spot nearby is the Monkey’s point. The castle rock, Savitri Point, Marjori point and Alpston Point are the other coveted destinations. Tourists assemble here to catch a glimpse of the panoramic view of the surrounding places and tall mountains around.
Many love to watch the colorful hues of nature during sunset. Mumbai Point, about 4.5 km away from the city of Mahabaleshwar, at an elevation of 1294 meters, is a sought after destination for all of them.
A number of other view points were also created at various corners of the city by the British. They were the true worshipers of nature and had developed the city entirely for staying in tune with nature.
The Loadwick view point, about 4.8 km away from Mahabaleshwar, located at an altitude of 1239 meters, was built as a commemorative of General Loadwick in 1874.
Tourists and nature lovers congregate at the Elphinstone Point, about 9.6 km away from Mahabaleshwar, to watch the vista of the Konkan valley and Koyna valley. The Bebington Point, located at a distance of 1 km away from Mahabaleshwar is famous for the uncultivated Chinaman falls.
To watch the splendor of the dale of Krishna River and the elephant’s head-shaped hill, you have to drive your car to the Ketis point, situated at an altitude of 1290 meters. It’s an enticing experience to gaze at the Krishna River from the Ketis point. Listen to the reverberation of your own words standing here.
One of the largest waterfalls of Mahabaleshwar is Lingmala fall which is situated at a distance of 6 km towards Panchgani. Get pleasure in the panoramic view of both the Krishna and Koyna rivers from the Kanat peak, located at a height of 1395 meters, about 3.8 km away from the city of Mahabaleshar. Other interesting viewpoints nearby are the Helen’s Point (3.2 km), Corner Point and Falkland Point.
You can spend an entire day around the Venna Lake, a very popular destination of Mahabelshwar. This is an enthralling spot where you all can enjoy fishing and boating.
The sweet aroma of roses would attract you many times to the Mahabaleshwar club, built in 1881. Members of this club can stay inside overnight and enjoy the fragrance. The Catholic Church here pulls innumerable Christian devotees.
The Morarjee Castle is carrying the memories of the Indian Patriot Mahatma Gandhi. He stayed here for few days.
Even though the Pratapgarh fort, about 21.5 km away from Mahabaleshwar, is in ruins but the fort, built by Shivaji in 1656 is recollecting the old memories of Shivaji. The fort, placed at an elevation of 1030 meters, can be access through 450 stairways. The holy Bhavani Mata temple and two dweep malls can be accessed on the way to the historical fort. The holy Shiva temple, atop the fort, is still quite popular to the throng of spiritual people. It is said that there was a secret road to fort. The road, however, has now been demolished. To recollect the reminiscences of the ancient ruling period of Shivaji, a bronze idol of 4500 kg was built in 1953. At that period, it was next to impossible to access the fort without permission of the authority. The prisoners were thrown mercilessly from the hilltop to 2000 feet deep Konkan valley and were killed. Shivaji and Afzal Khan had met each other on the way to the fort and Shivaji had killed Afzal Khan. The shrines of Afzal Khan and his bodyguard are positioned near the Pratapgarh fort. A tower had also been erected on the premise where the head of Afzal Khan was buried.
Hire a car to visit the Tapola Lake which is also popularly known as the Dal Lake of Maharashtra. The enchanting Tapola Lake was excavated in the backwater of the Krishna River. Tapola Lake is situated at a distance of 30 km away from Mahabaleshwar. The wonderful natural grandeur of this place would amuse each and everyone. The hilly lake, on the slope of the hill, amidst the Greenland, is one of the best places where tourists can take pleasure in boating along with their family members.
The contiguous Vasota fort is another interesting tourist's spot.
Satara: About 57.3 km away from Mahabaleshwar, Satara, was known to be the ancient capital of Shahu Maharaj, the grandson of the great Maratha leader Shivaji and is now the district capital.
The hilly hamlet, Satara or Mahuli, is located at an altitude of 670 meters on the banks of both Krishna and Venna Rivers. The hamlet is famously known for a primeval historical fort called Wasota fort of 12th century. Besides the attractive fort, other coveted destinations of Satara are Residency in cantonment, Mansion and scattered holy temples.
The well-known Shivaji Maharaj Museum was built at the opposite side of the Satara Bus Stand in 1930. The attires, ornaments and swords of Shivaji are kept in the nearby exhibition center.
How to reach: Satara is easily accessible from Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Panaji and many more neighboring destinations by bus. Tourists can access Satara by train from Pune, Mumbai and Miraj as well.
Where to stay: Lords Yamableshwar Club, Hotel Hem Executive, Hotel Monark and Hotel Sangam.
Wai, about 57 km away from Pune, on the banks of the Krishna River, houses Temples of Ganesh, Shiva and Lakshmi. A number of mythological tales are associated with the divine land of Wai. If you are interested then you can enjoy boating on the water surface of the Lake, excavated due to the installation of the Dhom dam. The towering hill is located at the back end of city of Wai. According to the mythological tales, Ram Chandra had once visited Wai during his exile.
Pandavgad, about 6 km away towards the north- west side of Wai, is another tourists’ destination.
How to reach: The nearest major railway station and airport of Mahabaleshwar is Pune. Buses are regularly travelling to Mahabaleshwar from Pune. Share taxis are also running frequently on this road. Mahabaleshwar is well connected to Pune, Mumbai, Satara district, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Mahad, Panchgani and Panaji.
Where to stay: Hotel Rajesh, Hotel Blue Park, Hotel Anupam, Dave Hotel, Fredrick Hotel, Hotel Ananda-Van Bhuvan, Dind Hotel, Dreamland Hotel, Hotel Panorama, Blue Park Hotel and Tribeni Lodge. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.