Mahabaleshwar : The Queen of Hill Stations in Maharashtra

Table of Contents

Introduction

Mahabaleshwar is fondly called the Queen of Hill Stations in Maharashtra. It has been a preferred weekend getaway for Mumbaikars and Puneites for decades. There are several places of interest in Mahabaleshwar that can keep all kinds of travelers intrigued and happy. In this guide, we will tell you everything that you need to know about Mahabaleshwar.

Geography

Mahabaleshwar is a small town and hill station located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It is a pilgrimage for Hindus since the River Krishna is believed to have its origins here. The town is spread across an area of around 137.15 square kilometers. It is divided into three parts: Malcolm Peth, Old Mahabaleshwar, and a part of the Shindola village. Mahabaleshwar contributes to around 85% of the strawberries produced in India.

History

Mahabaleshwar-infographic

It is believed that a 13th-century Yadava Ruler built a small temple and water tank at the source of the Krishna River. The area around Mahabaleshwar was ruled by the More clan. In 1656, the Maratha Empire killed the ruler Chandrarao More and seized the area. Apart from this, there are many mythological, historical, and cultural stories associated with Mahabaleshwar. You can discover them as you explore the land.

Best Time to Visit Mahabaleshwar

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If you are planning a trip to this hill station, best time to visit is the winter season. From November to February (winter months), the temperature varies between 10 and 32 degrees C. This makes it possible to step out at any time of the day without worrying about the sun. Nights can get cool snuggly. While summers (March to June) are slightly warm with the temperature rising to 15-35 degrees C, it is much better than the heat in the rest of the state. This makes it a good option for getting away from the summer sun. Monsoon is particularly beautiful in Mahabaleshwar. However, travel during the months of July to October only if you are comfortable getting out in the rain.

How to reach Mahabaleshwar from Pune

Mahabaleshwar is connected to all important cities via a network of highways and well-maintained roads. Here are some ways to travel to Mahabaleshwar from Pune:

By Train

Wathar is the closes railway station to Mahabaleshwar from Pune. There are 7 trains from Pune to Mahabaleshwar including 2 DEMU trains. The fastest train is the Maharashtra Special (PT) that takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach Wathar from Pune. All the trains run on all days of the week. The distance between Wathar and Mahabaleshwar is around 65 km. You can book a cab from Wathar to Mahabaleshwar and reach there within two hours.

By Road

Mahabaleshwar is around 120-125 km by road from Pune. You can take the NH48 and reach there within three hours. You can book a chauffeur-driven Pune to Mahabaleshwar taxi and travel comfortably.

By Flight

Pune Airport is the closest airport to Mahabaleshwar. The distance between Pune Airport and Mahabaleshwar is around 135 km. You can book a cab from Pune Airport to Mahabaleshwar and reach there in around 3 hours and 20 minutes

Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is famous for a lot of interesting places that attract tourists around the year. Here are some places to consider for Mahabaleshwar sightseeing:

Elephant-Point-Mahabaleshwar
Elephant Point
  1. Elephant Point Mahabaleshwar – Also known as the Elephant’s Head Point, this is a mountain rock that resembles the head of an elephant. Located at an altitude of around 4500 feet, it offers some mesmerizing views of the Sahyadri Range. This is one of the most popular places to see in Mahabaleshwar.
  2. Mahabaleshwar Fort, Pratapgad – This is a popular fort near Mahabaleshwar that stands witness to the famous battle between the armies of Adil Shahi General Afzal Khan and the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  3. Venna Lake Mahabaleshwar – A man-made lake that stretches over an area of 28 acres, the Venna Lake, also known as the Mahabaleshwar Lake, is one of the best places in Mahabaleshwar to unwind and relax while witnessing a stunning lakeside sunset.
  4. Mapro Garden – Located in Panchgani, the Mapro Garden is one of the most popular places to visit near Mahabaleshwar. The garden has a chocolate factory, play area, and restaurant.
  5. Waterfalls – There are many waterfalls in Mahabaleshwar especially during the monsoon and post-monsoon months:
    • Lingmala Waterfall – This is a breathtaking waterfall situated right behind the Lingmala forest bungalow. It is serene and peaceful.
    • Dhobi Waterfall – This is a lesser-known attraction in Mahabaleshwar and is perched in seclusion amidst some beautiful valleys. The waterfall cascades into the Koyna River.
    • Chinaman’s Falls – This is one of the best waterfalls in Mahabaleshwar and is perched at the top of the Venna valley. The waterfall flows from two streams merging into one.
  6. Parsi Point – The best vantage point in Mahabaleshwar, the Parsi Point offers some picturesque views of the Krishna Valley and backwaters of the Dhom Dam.
  7. Arthur’s Seat – Also known as the Suicide Point, Arthur’s Seat offers one of the most fascinating views of the Brahma-Narayana valley and the Savitri River.
  8. Sunset Point Mahabaleshwar – Every hill station has a designated sunrise and/or sunset point that offer the best view of the skyscape at dawn/dusk. In Mahabaleshwar, the Sunset Point or the Bombay Point is one such point that will etch itself in your memory for a long time.
  9. Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple – This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva housing a 500-year-old self-originated lingam. According to legends, Maratha King Shivaji had weighed his mother, Jijabai in gold at this temple and given it away in charity.

[Also Read: 10 Incredible Places To Visit This Monsoon]

Things to Do in Mahabaleshwar

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  1. Visit View Points – Mahabaleshwar gained popularity due to the numerous vantage points that offer some unbelievable views of the surrounding areas. While some of them are listed above, there are many more that the hill station has to offer.
  2. Boating – The Venna Lake is surrounded by trees on all sides and has a relaxing vibe. Go boating with a loved one and enjoy the serenity the place has to offer.
  3. Trekking – If you are looking for adventure activities in Mahabaleshwar, then trekking tops the list. The rugged trails, greenery, and pleasant climate make it a good place to push your limits.
  4. Visit the Wax museum – If you are looking for some relaxing activities to do in Mahabaleshwar, then a visit to the Wax Museum can be a good idea. There are more than 30 life-sized replicas of famous personalities from around the world.

Places to Eat in Mahabaleshwar

  • The Grapevine Restaurant, Jama Masjid Road – famous for seafood and Parsi cuisine
  • Natraj Chikki, Dr Sabne Road – for fresh chikki and chocolate fudge
  • Rustam’s Strawberry Inn, Panchgani Mahabaleshwar Road – for Parsi snacks and strawberry deserts
  • Plunge Bar, Off Kas Mahabaleshwar Road – a relaxed rooftop bar for a drink and a snack
  • Mad Smoke House, Evershine Resort, Gautam Road – an open-air restaurant with barbecue, live seafood, grills, and Mediterranean cuisine.

Places to Visit Near Mahabaleshwar

Here are some places near Mahabaleshwar that are worth a visit:

  1. Tapola – Also known as Mini Kashmir, Tapola is at a distance of around 25-30 km from Mahabaleshwar. It is famous for its panoramic views and adventure sports.
  2. Kaas Lake and Plateau – The Kaas Lake is the primary source of water for Satara and the plateau is home to multiple species of plants and herbs.

Places to Stay in Mahabaleshwar

Here is a list of hotels and resorts to help you find the best place to stay in Mahabaleshwar:

  • Royal Nest Bungalow, Machutar Village
  • Lotus Farms, Behind Mapro Gardens
  • Hotel Rainforest, Near Parsi Point
  • Exotica de Swiss, Near Janani Mata Temple
  • Le Méridien Resort & Spa, Medha Road
  • Honeywood Holiday Homes, Duchess Road

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Mahabaleshwar - The Queen Of Hill Stations
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Mahabaleshwar - The Queen Of Hill Stations
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Mahabaleshwar is fondly called the Queen of Hill Stations in Maharashtra. It has been a preferred weekend getaway for Mumbaikars and Puneites for decades.
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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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