Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Western Ghats in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Apart from its strawberries, Mahabaleshwar is also known for its many rivers, gushing waterfalls, and majestic peaks. It is one of the most sought-after weekend getaways from Pune and Mumbai, located approximately 120 km southwest of Pune and 285 km from Mumbai.
Mahabaleshwar is also a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus as the river Krishna originates here. Once the summer capital of the British, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar comprises ancient temples, boarding schools, mesmerizing and lush green forests, waterfalls, hills, and valleys. It is often used as a base for excursions to the magnificent Pratapgad Fort, located an hour away. Malcolm Peth, the old area of Mahabaleshwar, and an area of Shindola village are the three villages that make up Mahabaleshwar.
Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar
- Elephant’s Head Point
Elephant’s Head Point is one of the most picturesque viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar which is famous for its stunning view of the Sahyadri ranges. Also known as Needle Point, this famous tourist spot is best viewed during sunrise and sunset. Elephant’s Point got its name because it resembles the head and trunk of an elephant.
Viewed from a distance, the space between the elephant’s head and trunk resembles the tip of a needle, thus the name Needle Point. Located beyond Lodwick Point, Elephant’s Head Point turns green during the monsoons. Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the massive fort of Pratapgarh surrounded by the Kova Valley on one side and the Savitri Valley on the other.
How to reach elephant head point
Elephant Head Point is situated towards the end of the hill beyond Lodwick Point. It is easily accessible on foot or by pony ride from the parking lot located at a distance of 1 km. The location is very accessible.
- Chinaman’s Falls
A trip to Mahabaleshwar is more or less incomplete without witnessing the breathtaking descent of Chinaman’s falls, one of the most important waterfalls in the state. The place is named after the Chinese prison located in the vicinity. It serves as an ideal holiday destination to enthrall a mesmerizing experience.
- Dhobi Waterfall
Dhobi Falls is a group of waterfalls that connects Lodwick and Elphinstone Point and further connects Petit Road with Old Mahabaleshwar Road. Surrounded by greenery and rocks, these are ideal for a true experience amidst nature. The waterfall flows into the Koyna River and is a spectacle with mist and rainbows.
Located 3 km from the main Mahabaleshwar city, Dhobi Falls is an ideal picnic spot. One has to do a small climb to reach the waterfall. It is best visited during the monsoon season.
- Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar, located about 13 km away. Also known as Suicide Point, it is popularly known as the queen of all points as it offers the most mesmerizing and alluring view of the dense valleys of Brahma-Arayan and Savitri Rivers.
Arthur’s Seat Point is made up of 6 viewpoints – Arthur’s Seat Point, Tiger Sprint Point, Hunter Point, Echo Point, Window Point, and Malcolm Point. Arthur’s Seat is famous for floating light objects. This means that if you throw something as light as a bottle cap into a canyon, it will float up due to the pressure of the air. It is named Arthur Point after Arthur Mallet, whose wife and daughter drowned in the Savitri River. He used to sit at this point and watch the river below. Reaching the viewpoint requires a 30-minute trek from the parking lot.
- Venna Lake
Venna Lake is a beautiful man-made lake in Mahabaleshwar. The lake offers rowboats and paddle boat rides for the visitors and hence is usually very crowded. There are horse rides and rides for kids like a merry-go-round and toy trains. There are many eateries around the lake that are famous for street food like corn, and bhelpuri and fresh fruits like mulberry, strawberry, and carrot.
Venna Lake was built in 1942 by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj, the ruler of Satara and a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The lake is spread over an area of 28 acres with a circumference of 7 to 8 km. It was initially built with the aim of meeting the water needs of the city of Mahabaleshwar.
How To Reach Venna Lake
Venna Lake is situated at a distance of 2 km from the market of Mahabaleshwar. You can hire a taxi from here to the lake. The ride will cost around INR 80 to INR 100. ST Bus Stand is also located at a distance of about 2 km from the lake. Due to its favorable location, most tour operators include Venna Lake in their itineraries. You can also request your private drivers to stay at this picturesque lake during your visit to Mahabaleshwar.
- Wilson Point
Wilson Point is the highest point of Mahabaleshwar, situated at an altitude of 1439 meters. Also known as Sunrise Point, it is a famous tourist attraction for viewing the stunning sunrise. Wilson Point is a vast plateau consisting of three watchtowers at different places which offer spectacular panoramic views of Mahabaleshwar. Originally known as Sindola Hill, Wilson Point is named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay Province from 1923 to 1926.
- Mahabaleshwar Temple
Located at a distance of 6 km from Mahabaleshwar city; Mahabaleshwar Temple is an ancient temple and a perfect example of Maratha heritage. Popularly known as Mahabali, the temple is thronged by tourists and devotees throughout the year to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the place. The temple is extremely popular among Hindus as Lord Shiva is the main deity here. This beautiful temple built amidst hilly terrain glorifies the Maratha Empire and its rule during the 16th century.
Mahabaleshwar Temple near Satara is one of the ancient temples of Maharashtra. It was built by the Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century. The magnificent temple is protected by a five feet wall and has two sections – the inner zone and the outer zone. The inner part, known as the sanctum sanctorum, has Shiva as the presiding deity. The temple complex houses many paraphernalia of Lord Shiva, such as carvings of his bed, damru, trishul, his sacred bull, and Kalabhairava (his bodyguard); Which aptly defines his presence here.
The main and central attraction of this temple is the 6 feet tall Shivling, with only its tip visible, representing the stone incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Mahabaleshwar Temple has a very serene and spiritual atmosphere. Devotees throng the temple throughout the year to witness the calm and peaceful aura of Lord Shiva. There are two more temples near the site, namely Atibaleshwar Temple and Panchganga Temple. The Mahabaleshwar Temple is quintessential of the authentic Hemdanta architectural style of South India.
Deriving its name from the five hills surrounding it, Panchgani is a popular hill station near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, famous for its various sunset and sunrise points and beautiful valley view. Situated at an altitude of 1,334 meters, Panchgani is also known as Panchgani as the five hills that make up the Sahyadri mountain range give Panchgani its name. The picturesque backdrop of hills on one side and the coastal plains on the other make for a wonderful sight. During the British period, this place was considered a summer resort and hence many colonial-era establishments can be found here. Mahabaleshwar is like a twin city to Panchgani.
Apart from the lush green valleys and soothing climate, red, juicy strawberries are a major attraction of Panchgani. Known as the ‘Strawberry Garden of India’, the fields of Panchgani are filled with enchanting views of the luscious berries, especially during February and March.
Located in Mahabaleshwar, Tapola is a satellite village that is famous as ‘Mini Kashmir’. It has some of the most picturesque natural beauty which makes it a perfect place to experience nature. The dense forest surrounding the lake at Tapola houses several unexplored forts like Vasota and Jaigarh, which are an adventure in themselves.
Jungle treks, especially the trek to Vasota Fort are an exciting activity in Tapola and are fast gaining popularity among tourists. You can also explore the many unnamed islands located in this vast 90-km body of water, or take a boat ride in the Sivasagar Lake. With a plethora of fascinating things to do, Tapola is an ideal weekend getaway.
- Shopping in Mahabaleshwar
Whereas in Mahabaleshwar, essentials include the freshest strawberries and raspberries that the city is known for. Also take home jellies, honey, jams, and more. You can also buy handicrafts, leather goods, Kolhapuri shoes, and a lot more from the Town Bazaar.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Mahabaleshwar
Q. Why is Mahabaleshwar famous?
A – The enigmatic Mahabaleshwar is a quaint hill station known for its natural beauty and of course strawberries. Situated in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, it was the summer capital of Bombay province during colonial rule.
Q. What is the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar?
A – Winters are from December to February and this is the best season to visit Mahabaleshwar. The weather is just perfect, and one can go out without worrying about the scorching sun. The temperature remains between 10 to 32 degree Celsius.
Q. Is 2 days enough for Mahabaleshwar?
A – There are many places to visit in Mahabaleshwar in two days. You can plan your trip according to the places that the small hill town of Mahabaleshwar boasts of. If you are an ardent lover of nature, then you must visit the various points here.
Q. Is Mahabaleshwar worth visiting?
A – Apart from serene picnic spots, Mahabaleshwar has some colonial architectural structures, historical sites, and religious temples. Known for its pleasant weather and breathtaking views, visiting Mahabaleshwar in the summer is definitely worthwhile.
Q. Which dish is famous in Mahabaleshwar?
A – The popular variety found in Mahabaleshwar is the Maharashtrian Puran Poli. It is chapatti filled with Puran – a special mixture of boiled gram, ghee, and jaggery. It is best eaten as a snack with tea or after a meal. During festivals, they do special preparation of Puran Poli in Mahabaleshwar.
Q. Which is better Lonavala or Mahabaleshwar?
A – Lonavala is going to be very crowded on weekends, so if you don’t mind traffic jams, choose Mahabaleshwar. If you don’t like spending much time on the road, then Lonavala is a better option, especially if you are from Mumbai. Mahabaleshwar is better than Lonavala in terms of cleanliness.