Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar...

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.

Pratapgad Fort
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
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 life.

Chinaman's Waterfall
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.

Krishna Temple
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.

Elphinstone Point
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
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.

Mapro Garden
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
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
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
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 from here.

Lodwick Point
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’.

Galoni Point
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 here.

Baghdad Point
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.

Robbers Caves
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 trinkets.

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
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
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
Sydney Point offers amazing views of Dhom Dam. It also overlooks Pandavgad and Mandhardeo.

Rajapuri Caves
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 market.

Parsi Point
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
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.