There are several ways to spend a holiday; traveling to a famous tourist destination being a common and worthy one. This method of utilizing the holiday is a common practice because it invokes an altogether different thought process or in some cases, eliminates all thoughts and clears the clutter, allowing new thoughts and ideas to occupy the mind; thereby allowing the person to get rid of the monotony and come out of the spiral within which he/she has been living. There are several holiday destinations that allow people to exfoliate their spirit, one of them being Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in the state of Maharashtra which entertains thousands of visitors every year.
Where's Mahabaleshwar located?
The famous hill station is a city and a municipal council itself. It falls under the District of Satara and is also known as the “Land of Strawberries” due to the presence of large strawberry farms.
How to Get
The nearest international airport from Mahabaleshwar is located in Pune, at a distance of approximately 120 kilometres, while the nearest railway station is located in Satara, at a distance of approximately 58 kilometres.
Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible through road transport from nearby cities and districts. Tourists can board a state run or private bus from Mumbai, Pune, Satara and other cities.
Tourists arriving through buses or other modes of public transport have to get down at Satara and hire a taxi or cab to run to the hills.
Best Time to Visit
According to a reference, the first person to visit the hill station is said to be a ruler from Deogiri in 1215, who constructed a temple and a water reservoir here. During the 14th century, the area was ruled by a Brahman Dynasty, which was defeated by Chandarao More and his family during the 16th century.
During the reign of Chandarao More, a temple was constructed here. Chandarao More lost Mahabaleshwar and the nearby village Javli in a battle to Shivaji Maharaj, who constructed the famous Pratapgad fort.
The hills of Mahabaleshwar became a part of the territory of King of Satara during the British rule. People started flocking to the hills after the expedition led by Sir John Malcolm during the 19th century. Initially, it was known as Malcolm Peth, which was later changed to Mahabaleshwar though a small village is still known by the former name.
What to See
Mahabaleshwar is as sacred as a hill station should be. There are several interesting places and points in and around the hills where visitors usually spend their time and appreciate the beauty of this majestic place.
The Mahabaleshwar Temple is an ancient temple which has become a famous pilgrimage center of the district. Another ancient and a very beautiful part of the hill station is Venna Lake, constructed in 1842 by the then King of Satara.
Other attractions of the hill station include:
The view from this point is one of the memorable views a visitor can get from a hill station. Located at an elevation of 1340 metres, this point is named after Sir Arthur Mallet, who came here and looked at Savitri river where his wife and son died in an accident.
At an elevation of 1280 metres, this point is known for the water reservoirs built during the ancient period.
The point got its name from the gap between the rock formation, which resembles the hole in a needle. It is located close to Kate’s Point.
At an elevation of 1439 metres, this point is the highest amongst all in the hills. A panoramic view of the surroundings and an equally amazing sight of the sunrise and sunset is the reward of climbing to this point.
This point is famous for the stone sculptures that resemble three monkeys.
Other famous spots of the hill station are Babington Point, Elephant’s Head Point, Lingmala Falls, etc.
Trekking, boat riding, boating and watching sunrise and sunset are some of the activities that visitors engage themselves to explore the beauty of the hill station.
Various species of flora and fauna contribute in enhancing the charm of the surroundings and allow the visitors to open the lens shutter and capture different shades and moods of wildlife.
Visitors of Mahabaleshwar can also visit Panchgani, another hill station located at a distance of approximately 20 kilometres. Tour operators usually include Panchgani in the itinerary.
The famous spots of Panchgani include Sydney Point, Table Land, Parsi Point and Devil’s Kitchen. There is a beautiful garden named Mapro Garden, located on the route between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, where strawberries are grown.
Facts & Figuries
Mahabaleshwar is one of few evergreen forests of india, which remains green throughout the whole year.
Panchgani’s plateau is the second longest in Asia after the Tibetan plateau. This volcanic plateau is popularly known as table land.
In 1828, Mahabaleshwar was established as sanatorium and health resort. Mahabaleshwar was originally named Malcolmpeth in the honour of Sir John Malcom, the Governor of the Bombay Presidency,
Mahabaleshwar served as the summer capital of Bombay province during the British Raj.
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