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.
Viewpoints in Panchgani
Located very close to the city of Pune, Panchgani is an ideal getaway from Mumbai and Pune to find rest and peace in the lap of nature. Spread over an area of 95 acres, Table Hill is one of the stunning beauties of Panchgani. It is the second largest mountain plateau in the whole of Asia. Not only is it a wonder in itself, but the top hill also offers a spectacular view of the Panchgani hills.
Other viewpoints of Panchgani are Sydney Point, Kate Point, and Parsi Point. While you are in Panchgani, don’t miss out on one of the thrilling experiences this small hill town has to offer. Paragliding over the lush green hills of the Western Ghats is a must-do activity in Panchgani.
History of Panchgani
Panchgani was discovered during the British Raj and was marked as their summer capital. The improvement and beautification of the hill station during the 1960s can be attributed to a British superintendent named John Chasen. Initially, Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the British, but they could not retire there during the monsoons. Later, they decided to head for Panchgani for the same as the city remains pleasant throughout the year.
John Chasen was tasked with finding a suitable location for a summer retreat. Finally, he settled in the scenic area between five villages- Dhandeghar, Godavali, Amaral, Khingar, and Taighat. After the discovery of the beautiful area, John was made the superintendent and the place was named Panchgani.
Restaurants in Panchgani
Panchgani doesn’t really have a unique local cuisine, but it is famous for its strawberries. The fruit must be tasted and maybe even taken home. Furthermore, the region, befitting the nature of the state, maintains a vast diversity in the cuisines available here. One can choose from a Gujarati, Parsi, Continental, Chinese, Mughlai, Punjabi, South Indian, and Marathi menu with a myriad of dessert options. Those interested in non-vegetarian cuisine will find a lot to enjoy from sumptuous biryani to various chicken and mutton preparations.
Places To Visit In Panchgani
- Kaas Plateau
Declared one of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites of India in 2012, the Kaas Plateau in Panchgani is a magical place with lakes, flowers, and butterflies all around. The Kaas Plateau is a biodiversity hotspot situated at a mighty height of 1200 meters and is a major biodiversity hotspot due to the many varieties of endemic flowers and butterflies found here.
Home to about 850 species of beautiful wildflowers, the 1000-hectare area of the plateau is now a reserve forest that is famous for its natural beauty and flora, the Kaas Lake, and how it turns into a valley of flowers during the monsoons. Recently, this place has started gathering tourist hordes and popularity for all the natural treasures it has. However, to maintain the untouched charm of the place, the number of visitors has been restricted to 3,000 per day. State transport buses run from the parking area to Kaas plateau and cost 10 rupees per person each way.
- Table Land
Table Land is a plateau that marks the highest point of Panchgani with an elevation of 4500 feet above sea level. It is also the second-longest mountain plateau in Asia. It is a famous tourist attraction as it offers amazing views of deep valleys and majestic hills. It is best viewed during sunrise and sunset.
Table Land is also known for its activities like horse riding, trekking, merry-go-round, arcade games, and mini trains. Described as a beautiful marvel of nature, this plateau is a very popular attraction in the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani region. The base rock of this plateau is majestic laterite which is completely covered with dense foliage of miniature bluebonnet grass.
Less than half an hour from Panchgani is the town of Mahabaleshwar, an expanse of its landscape with countless viewpoints and strawberries and raspberries. Do visit Mahabaleshwar while staying here. Wilson Point, Elephant Head Point, Pratapgarh Fort, Arthur’s Seat, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Lodwick Point, Elphinstone Point. Lingamala Fall, Chinaman’s Fall are some of the fascinating attractions of Mahabaleshwar.
- Kate’s Point
Kates Point is a famous viewpoint in Maharashtra, situated about 15 km from Panchgani on the way to Mahabaleshwar. The huge rock overlooking the Krishna Valley is often crowded with tourists. The point offers a spectacular view of the Dhom Dam and the valley and waters of Balakwadi. Kate’s Point is named after the daughter of British Governor Sir Malcolm. Kates Point is the most picturesque point of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani and is often used as the cover image by most magazines.
- Paragliding in Panchgani
Panchgani is a great destination for paragliding because of its beautiful scenery. There are various reliable paragliding clubs in the city. You can go on joy rides or take courses at every level, from beginner to advanced.
- Mapro Garden
Mapro Garden is a famous tourist attraction situated in the beautiful hill station of Panchgani. Mapro short for Mahabaleshwar Products is a brand name associated with delicious fruit-based products. With greenery all around, one will find a chocolate factory, a restaurant, a small nursery, a children’s play area, and a retail outlet selling Mepro products.