Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

Towering peaks, Breath taking valleys, lush flora, cool crisp mountain air...this is Mahabaleshwar. Maharashtra’s most admired hill station, and once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj. Mahabaleshwar means ‘God of Great Power’ in Sanskrit. Indeed, the place is enormous and profuse, rewarding the visitor with a mix of old-world charm, natural magnificence and modernity. Mahabaleshwar has proper motorable roads to every point worth visiting. So one could tour the place by car, jeep or even horseback. There are many buildings and sites that take one back to the days of the Raj. There is Mount Malcom, the one-time residence of Governor Malcom; Morarji Castle, where Mahatma Gandhi lived during 1945; and the Mahabaleshwar Club. A tour of Mahabaleshwar town and the neighboring countryside would take at least a couple of days as there is much to see and experience. The town bazaar is called Malcom Peth and it lies at the middle of Mahabaleshwar with its hotels, shops, restaurants, outlying bunglows, government offices and jostling crowds. Mahabaleshwar has many points offering great views of flat topped ghats, dense forests and lush green valleys. Lodwick point, towering almost 1,240 meters above sea level, is one of the most visited Points and holds a monument in memory of General Lodwik. Arthur’s Seat is well liked too for its great view of the Jor Valley.  About a kilometre away lies Tiger’s Spring, and if you venture further down you will come to a ledge named The Window – a Point that’s famous for its thrilling view. Mahabaleshwar is famous for its fruit products. Strawberries, honey, jams, crushes and chikki are a favourite buy and so handcrafted leather footwear.

Fast Facts
STD Code: 02168
Climate: Mahabaleshwar is having pleasing climate in the months of February to April when the temperature remains at an average of 20 degree whereas summers (from May to June) follow with a slight higher temperature of 30 degree. Winter temperature can be as low as 5°C. Hence Mahabaleshwar weather is ideal of tourists throughout the year.

Getting There & Away: How to reach Mahabaleshwar
Road: Mumbai–Mahabaleshwar via Mahad is 247 km. State transport buses ply regularly between Pune-Mahabaleshwar and Mumbai–Mahabaleshwar.
Rail: Nearest Railway station is Wathar, but Pune is considered to be more convenient.
Air: Nearest Airport is Pune at 120 km away.

Tourist Attractions in Mahabaleshwar

Mount Malcolm: Built in 1829, this was one of the famous buildings of its time.

Holy Cross Church: The stained glass windows of this old Roman Catholic church still remain their beauty.

Mahabaleshwar Club: Built in 1881, the Mahabaleshwar club offers a peaceful retreat for those wanting to get away from it all. The Club offers many recreational facilities, including a badminton court and a mini golf course. Facilities are available to everyone at a very low fee. For those who fancy the quite outdoors, there is a jogging tracking the premises, edged with beautiful rose bushes. The club also offers a clear view of Venna Lake below. Every year, Christmas is celebrated here with much dedication and showiness by the club members.

Morarji Castle: Once home to Mahatma Gandhi in 1945, Morarji Castle is worth for its old-world charm.

Pratapgad Fort: About 24 km away from Mahabaleshwar lies Pratapgad, the pride of Maratha Empire. Built in 1656, 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. It was here that Afzal Khan, the mighty general of Bijapur, met his untimely death at the hands of Shivaji. Since Pratapgad lies slightly off the road to Mahabaleshwar, a visit to this historic monument is recommended in all travel itineraries.

Venna Lake: A short drive from town is the beautiful Venna Lake, where one can go boating, fishing and pony riding. Or indulge oneself at the entertainment centre with its numerous food band game stalls. Near the lake, further down the road on the way to neighbouring Panchgani, are the great strawberry fields.

There are amusing waterfalls also worth visiting, such as Chinaman’s Falls, Dhobi Falls and Lingmala Falls, the latter being the most striking, cascading almost 600 ft from a cliff. Another tourist attraction is the Sangam, the confluence of the five rivers that flow over the Deccan Plateau. There are many old temples too, which become the focus of attention during the festive season.

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