Mahabaleshwar a most preferred Hill station near Pune and Mumbai is having many
exciting places to be visited. Its importance lies in its climate as well as its
historical background. The Mahabaleshwar places to visit include sightseeing tours,
Forts, Temples and many more. From the huge list here are some places which must
be visited during your tour to Mahabaleshwar.
This legendary fort was built by the eminent Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji
Maharaja in the year 1656 in order to be in command of the rebellious rulers of
Javali basin located nearby. It is a maze of ponds, chambers and long dark walkways,
some of which lead to trap doors that open to a 100 meter fall. This place is also
the site of the historic battle that took place between Shivaji and Afzal Khan,
who was the ruler of the Bijapur Sultanate. It is at Pratapgad that Shivaji killed
Afzal Khan on 10th Nov 1659. Climbing Pratapgad is exhilarating and offers excellent
views of the Konkan valley. There is an important Bhavani temple built by Shivaji
whose idol was brought from Nepal. A visit to Pratapgad Fort, 24 km from Mahabaleshwar,
adds a historical dimension to the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani holiday.
Lingmala Waterfalls present an enthralling sight of cascading water as it scatters
from atop a steep cliff into thin silver streaks, often encircled by rainbow colors.
The other waterfalls Chinaman and Dhobi are popular with picnickers. The former
can be reached by the Carviali Road. Dhobi waterfall is on a bridle path connecting
Petit Road with Old Mahabaleshwar Road. A boat ride on the tranquil, crystal-clear
waters of Lake Vena entices one beyond appreciation. The cool whispers of the surroundings
add to the serenity of the landscape. Lingmala Waterfalls is a beautiful waterfall
located just six km from Mahabaleshwar, in Maharashtra. Situated at the top of Venna
Valley, this glittering waterfall is at its best during monsoon when the water level
rises and cascades down. The water which plunges from a height of 600 ft from the
cliff offers the most scintillating of the sights. It lies on the Mahabaleshwar-Pune
road. July to December is the best time to see the waterfall. The stream here precipitates
over the face of steep cliff, unbroken when the torrent is swollen by rain but ordinarily
divided by projecting rocks about one third of the way down into thin silver streaks
and sprays often circled by rainbows. We can see Dhobi Waterfall, and Chinaman's
waterfall in Mahabaleshwar.
The Dhobi Waterfalls
The Dhobi Waterfalls is situated on a bridle path connecting Petit Road with Old
Mahabaleshwar Road, about three km away from Mahabaleshwar. Dhobi Falls drop into
a deep valley and then merge with the Koyna River. The picturesque locale makes
for a perfect picnic spot with families in and around the area. A Sunday afternoon
usually reveals teeming crowds of families sitting around, enjoying a nice break,
set against the gorgeous Dhobi Waterfalls. While anytime of the year is good
to visit the Dhobi Falls, it is highly recommended to go here during the months
from July to December, which is the best time to see these waterfalls. This small
scenic spot overlooking the Koyna river valley is a much sought after tourist destination
for tourists, as well as the local people. A romantic getaway, this is an ideal
place to get away with your partner, far away from the rush and the bustle of city
Chinaman's Waterfall is on the Carviali Road, which can also reach by the Tiger
Path Road or from Babington Point. Chinese convicts to cultivate the adjoining fields
formerly used it; hence the fall is known by this name.
Venna Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is
surrounded by trees on all sides which is 2.5 km long and has boating facilities.
Close to the lake are strawberry stalls and people can even go for little horse
riding. A late winter evening boat ride through the slight fog is well appreciated.
Tourists can enjoy a boat ride over the lake or a horse ride next to the lake. A
number of small eateries line the banks of the lake. The Mahabaleshwar city market
and the S.T. bus stand is about 2 Km from the lake and makes for a nice walk during
the day. Most tour operators include the Venna Lake in their tours. Most buses,
private vehicles will stop at the Venna Lake on their way to Mahabaleshwar on request.
Old Mahabaleshwar is situated around the origin of the Holy Krishna River. There
is a temple here dedicated to Lord Krishna. This place is locally known as "Panchganga"
meaning "Five Rivers" i.e. Krishna, Konya, Yenna, Gayatri and Savitri.
There are many pre historic shrines found here. The Krishna temple in its present
form is related to Singhan, a Yadav King ruling from Devagiri in the 13th century.
This temple then went into the hands of Chandra Rao in the late 16th century and
later it was restored by Great Maratha Shivaji himself in 1635. Then it was taken
over by Sahu (1670-1709) and lastly by the 19th century banker Parashuram Angal.
Mahabaleshwar is one destination that never ceases to surprise. Disappointment is
a word that will never pop into your head when you go travelling to Mahabaleshwar.
While there are several tourist destinations around the city, two places highly
recommended are Elphinstone point and Arthur's Seat. One of the most famous and
beautiful destinations in Mahabaleshwar, Elphinstone point was named after the Governor
of Bombay, Sir Elphinston and was originally discovered by Dr. Murray in 1830. From
the Elphinstone point, one can get a supremely clear view of Pratapgarh and it also
overlooks two valleys, the Koyana on the left and the Savitri on the right. The
ravine between Elphinstone Point and Arthur Seat is the rise of the Savitri River,
with Arthur’s seat located a mere two miles away from Elphinstone Point.
Arthur’s seat is named after British actor Arthur Malet. Towards the north-west
of Mahabaleshwar is Arthur's seat. He first built a house here, the view of
the valley, Savitri River and the valley of Jor is truly exhilarating. In the summer
season the haze usually obstructs the view but in the months from October to November,
these hills are seen to a fine advantage. At a height of around 1470 metres
high, Arthur's Seat is compared to the world famous stratification of rocks of the
Grand Canyon in Colorado. A fun feature of this destination is that any item, like
a straw hat or a handkerchief, when tossed down from this spot, never falls directly
but floats in the air like a spread out parachute.
A temptation for passer-by, motorists and visitors, Mapro Garden is right ahead
of the hoardings and billboards overhead advertising Mapro’s scrummy delicacies
like jams, jellies, strawberry milkshakes and loads of ice-creams. The garden today
has 21 varieties of squashes, syrups, crushes and jellies varieties on display as
well as sale. To add, Mapro has 6 jams, 9 flavors of ice-cream and 6 flavors
of ice-cream toppings. A ‘Food Court’ or ‘Fruity Delicacies’, call whatever
but Mapro Garden that is today was just an initiative by Kishore Vora, a Pharmacist
by occupation, in 1960s. Eventually, down the years the meagre initiative graduated
into a full-fledged business converting Mapro into a delight for foodies. Mapro
Garden is a favorite snack halt for travelers and visitors. During visits guests
are invited for strawberry farm visit where they are allowed to taste and pluck
strawberries and other fruits. A tour to Mapro factories is also arranged for the
guests to see the jams and squashes are processed. A special facility provided here
is that buyers can taste the products before buying the products at the sales counter.
A huge collection of Cactus and roses is another attraction of the Mapro Gardens.
You will also remember this point for the excellent fast food provided ranging from
Pizza to Burgers and lot more.
Wilson Point is the nearest and the highest point in Mahabaleshwar. It is a vast
bare rock with three observation towers erected at different spots. It is a major
attraction for tourists as it offers a beautiful view of the sunrise.
Babington point is 2 km from the bazaar offers a beautiful view of the Koyna valley
and Chinaman's waterfall. Helen's point is about a kilometer's ride from here by
the Blue Valley road. It takes one into the midst of the valley and gives an enchanting
view of tiny fields and neat little huts.
Bombay point - is one of the earliest known points in Mahabaleshwar. Every evening
visitors rush to the peak to get a spectacular view of the sunset. From the peak,
one can also see Pratapgad and Makrandgad at their best.
Connaught Peak and Hunter Point
Connaught Peak and Hunter Point are situated off the Old Mahabaleshwar Road. Connaught
Peak is the second highest peak of these hills. It offers a panoramic view of the
Vena Lake and Krishna Valley. It was first known as Mount Olympia, and was a favorite
spot for riders. The Duke of Connaught was so enchanted by its majestic view that
he could not resist the temptation of associating his name with the spot. Hence
in 1880, Mount Olympia became Connaught Peak. From here one can see Old Mahabaleshwar
and Elphinston Point to the north, Pandavgad and Krishna Valley to the east. Hunter's
point approached from Old Mahabaleshwar road, gives a picturesque view of the Koyna
valley. On the way to Arthur's Seat one comes across Elphinston, Marjorie and Savitri
Points and also Castle Rock. The cliffs at these points rise from the Konkan valley,
which are some 500 meters below the level of the Koyna Valley. The ravine between
these points is the rise of Savitri River which rushes down 700 meters straight
Lodwick Point is named after a General who reached this point in 1824. The most
exotic view of the forest, from the parking area a walk leads to the top of a summit
where lies a monument erected in the memory of general Lodwick erected by his son
in 1870. He was the first European to set foot on the Mahabaleshwar hills. Beyond
Lodwick Point is the extreme end of the mountain range known as Elephant's Head.
It is only 12 feet to the Koyna Valley below from Lodwick's point, the overhanging
cliff looks like an elephant's head and trunk, and hence the name.
Only few people know about Tapola which is only 25 Km from Mahabaleshwar. On the
south of Mahabaleshwar down the tapola ghat in the koyna valley is a small town
on the extreme backwaters of the triveni sangam of the koyna, solshi and the Kandhati
River, locally referred as Mini Kashmir due to the serenity and the beauty of the
Shivsagar Lake is an excellent boating and picnic spot. Tapola is to the other side
of Mahabaleshwar than Pune, the popular side. The journey of one and half hrs is
pretty interesting as one goes between the high hill ranges and the dark woods.
The view of Koyana River on one side and Solshi river on the other is beautiful.
Both these rivers meet at Tapola. The dam is the biggest in Maharashtra - Known
as 'Shivsagar'. Shivsagar dam is very popular for motor boats. One can enjoy boating
here with nominal charges. Motorboats, Speed boats and scooter riders are the popular
boating means here. There are many unknown forts and deep forest around the lake. 'Vasota' is one of the famous forest/fort here. The other is 'Jaygad'. Though one
cannot reach the forts easily through motorboats, still the view of these forts
and forest nearby is very pretty. One can find various animals in the dark forests
such as tigers, bears and wild fox. Tapola is truly a different place to visit.
It is a must to visit place for nature lovers. The view of Lake, jungle and forts
nearby is magnificent, worth calling it ‘The mini Kashmir’.
1274 mtrs off the Tapola Road past the Maharul Village, a walk leads to this point
above the Tapola ghat giving a view of the Mahabaleshwar plateau and the koyna and
the blue river valleys. It is recommended to take the assistance of the local guide
Pass the Satara road on the kelghar Ghats towards the villages of rengdi, it is
easier to locate it as the end of the road takes us to backwaters of the kanehar
dam a beautiful spectacular view of the Mahabaleshwar plateau and the valleys below.
Scary as it sounds is also known as shin-shin gully located on the Tapola Road on
the ride just a few yards before the village of Manghar towards Tapola on leading
the ride one comes to an opening in the ground which has a sudden fall leading to
concealed fall in the form of a cave.
Besides, an excursion from Mahabaleshwar would take you to Panchgani which is a
picturesque hill station and is ideal for adventure activities like trekking and
hiking. On the way to Mahabaleshwar from Pune, Panchgani is a picturesque little
town in the shade of groves of casuarinas and silver oak. Protected from harsh winds
by a tableland on one side and high cliffs descending into a valley on the other,
Panchgani has a pleasant, bracing climate throughout the year. Panchgani is also
an ideal base for some good trekking from where one can explore several mule tracks
that lead through the now thinning forests.
The hill resort derives its name from the five hills that surround it. At an altitude
of 1334 meters it is just 38 meters below Mahabaleshwar. These 38 meters translate
themselves into a breathtaking 19 km approach that swoops around bends with carefree
abandon, offering attractive views of the river Krishna on one side and the coastal
plains on the other.
Panchgani was brought to focus in 1853 by John Chesson who was sent out by the East
India Company to find a suitable place where the wives and children of the officers
of the company could reside instead of going back to England frequently. Since then,
Panchgani has been an educational center and hill resort. It has the impressions
of the British Raj stamped over it. It can be seen in the architecture of the old
British buildings, the Parsi houses and the boarding schools that have been around
for a century or more. Flocked by viewpoints, Panchgani is full of wonders as it
overlooks the scenic magnificence of the Krishna valley, which extends many kilometers
from east to west its numerous hamlets, cultivated fields and sparkling rivers.
The view from Tableland, a flat mountain peak measuring about one square kilometer,
exposes the mysterious valleys and the miniature looking plains on all sides. The
caves, Kamlagad fort, Municipal Garden and the Children's park add to Panchgani's
unending beauty. The walkways, thickly canopied by lush trees and vegetation, offer
many delights and unravel many a secret. Visitors can select a horse from one of
the numerous stables at the resort and wonder along uncharted routes through hidden
lover's lanes, to the caves or while away their time at the bazaar. Like Mahabaleshwar,
Panchgani is also known for strawberries, blackberries, jams and fruit jellies.
Also available are the famous Mahabaleshwar shoes, pith flowers, exclusive saris
shawls, readymade garments, eye-catching decorative items, leather goods and tribal
The Devil's kitchen, situated to the south of Tableland is a place of mythological
interest. According to one legend, Pandavas resided here for some time during their
exile. Pandavgad caves near Wai are believed to have been built by them and bear
their name. Near the Octroi Naka, lies Sidney Point a flattened area on the apex
of a conical hill. From here one can see Wai and the Sanatorium in the distance
and also the sparkling waters of Dhom Dam. Parsi Point and Graves Point are located
on the Panchgani Mahableshwar road and offer a view of the Krishna Valley. Six kilometers
away are the Rajpuri caves, located in a temple of Kartik Swami, son of Lord Shiva.
Panchgani has the Moral Rearmament Training Center founded by Mahatma Gandhi's nephew
Raj Mohan Gandhi. Its modern structures stand distinctly in the Victoria surroundings. A visit to the Center means a beginning of a new moral awareness. MRA consists of
hostels, conference rooms and a multipurpose auditorium. Scenic Panchgani was discovered
by the British during the British raj as a summer resort, and a superintendent named
John Chesson was placed in charge of the hill station in the 1860s. He is credited
with planting many plant species from the western world in Panchgani, including
silver oak and pointsetta, which have flourished since then in Panchgani. Mahabaleshwar
was the summer resort of choice for the British, but it was uninhabitable during
the monsoons. Panchgani was developed as a retirement place for the Britishers because
it remained pleasant throughout the year. John Chesson was deputed to find a suitable
place. He surveyed the hills in this region with the help of one Dubash (translator),
and finally decided on this nameless area in the vicinity of the five villages:
Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. The place was named Panchgani,
and Chesson was made Superintendent. To develop the infrastructure, Chesson encouraged
various professionals - tailors, dhobis, butchers, vegetable vendors, building contractors
etc to also settle in Panchgani. The area below the bazaar was allotted to them,
and is known as the gaothan. As varied as the different parts of the state of Maharashtra,
a Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani-Pratapgad Fort experience offers a secluded sanctuary
with all the elements of adventure, scenic sights, and a restful holiday, away from
the crowds one finds at other hill resorts. Truly a holiday with a difference. Following
places around Panchgani can also be visited.
Table Land is located at an altitude of 60 meters. It is the second
longest mountain plateau in Asia. The hills are a formation of laterite rock. They
overlook some exquisite caves.
Devil's Kitchen has a legend attached to it. It is believed that Pandavas stayed
here for some time and cooked food here.
Sydney Point offers amazing views of Dhom Dam. It also overlooks Pandavgad and Mandhardeo.
Rajapuri Caves are situated at a distance of 10 km from Panchgani. Famous Temple
dedicated to Lord Karthikeya is located here. Finest strawberries in the country
are grown here. On local Wednesday market also called "Budh ka bazaar"
villagers from neighboring areas gather to sell fruits, vegetables and household
items. You can purchase delicious jams, jellies, fruit crushes and honey from this
This windy road situated on the way to Mahabaleshwar overlooks the Krishna valley
and the blue mirror like waters of the Dhom Dam.
Dhom Dam water sports are one more amazing attraction for tourists which is 21 km
away from Panchgani beautiful boating spot. Here one can enjoy with Scooter boats
and Speed boats. Sporting in Krishna river stream with the beautiful natural surrounding
is a wonderful experience in itself.