Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is the largest hill station in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra state. It is situated at an altitude of 1372 m above seal level in Satara district, about 115 km southwest of Pune.

Understand

Due to its high altitude, the town has a cool climate and offers many pleasant walks. There are several lookout points which offer spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is an old Shiva temple in the forest, which is the source of five rivers, including the Krishna river which is the second longest river of peninsular India.Its very good place to visit.

Mahabaleshwar is visited by many thousands of tourists every year. It is well connected by bus with the important towns of the region. There are numerous hotels for every budget. The peak season is March-May; it rains very heavily from June to September.

Get in

You can take a tourist bus (Volvo) from Mumbai, departing from Dadar East, Sion or Vashi. The ride will take you 6 hours and will cost around ₹1500. An ordinary AC bus will cost ₹200. The Volvo bus from Pune is currently operated by two private companies (Neeta and Konduskar), and they charge approx ₹250 each way. The Govt. Express bus from swargate starting 5.45AM and every hour with a moderate price of 120/- per individual.

Mahabaleshwar is also accessible by road from Mumbai, about 247 km. It takes about 4 to 5 hours by car if taking a route via Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur.

After the opening up of the Mumbai -Pune expressway and the highway onwards from Pune to Satara, this is the much better and preferred option to drive down from Mumbai.The distance via this route about 40 kms more but you reach much faster. You have to get off this highway at a place called Sirur and then travel via Wai and Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar.The road is less winding than the other one via Poladpur but more easy as far as driving is concerned.

You can also reach Satara by train from Mumbai or Bangalore. Mahabaleshwar is 47 km from Satara and takes little more than one hour from there.

Try to arrive here in the morning because most of the hotels have a check-in time of 9AM. If you arrive later you may have to wait until another room becomes vacant.

A must see is a water well in the heart of market in the compound of the Library which is almost 150 years old. It still provides water to locals and is some 100 feet deep.

You can get latest timetable for buses for Mahabaleshwar here.

Get around

Mahabaleshwar is built on a plateau and getting around is quite easy. Taxis(Cabs) and buses leave from the center of town near Irani's petrol pump opposite the Club.('Surprisingly, I did not find any auto rickshaws there'- Rajesh.)Taxi/Cab drivers charge only ₹50 for ferrying at local places within or around New Mahabaleshwar. Taxi/Cab service for sight seeing or local ferrying is centrally regulated with the office opposite the gate to the Govt Bus Stand.

The main destinations are the "points", named after prominent British administrators who found these splendid locations with unbeatable views. The points are located at various edges of the plateau in different directions. Rental cars and taxis can get there quickly. For the more adventurous, horses are available in town and there are lovely shady bridle paths for delightful rides. The best way to get around is by bus which is provided by Govt. You can book ticket prior day only.Cost is around 80/- to 85/- per individual. Govt. Bus has two tour one is Pratapgad darshan in morning 9.15AM and Mahabaleshwar darshan in noon 2.15PM (4 hours covering 11 Points Arthur,Kate.., Strawberry farm and finally ending with Sunset , a Semi luxury bus 37 Seats , The driver speaks only in Marathi with some Hindi. During Offseason there is Only one Bus but during season 3 buses ply on this Darshan. Beware of Monkeys.) They are best.

See

Although there are close to 25 'Points' in Mahabaleshwar, lots of these points would give you the same view (of mountains/valley) from a slightly different angle. The following are a must:

View from Arthur's Point
View of Balakwadi Dam from Kate's Point
Pratapgad Fort
Venna Lake

Typically five Sightseeing tours are conducted from Mahabaleshwar each of 2-3 Hr duration and costing between ₹350-₹550 (January 2010).

  1. Mahabaleshwar 1
  2. Mahabaleshwar 2
  3. Panchgani
    1. Table Land
    2. Mapro garden
    3. Parsi Point
    4. Sidney Point
  4. Mini Kashmir (Tapola)
  5. Pratapgad
  1. Shri Kshetra Mahabaleshwar (Old Mahabaleshwar)
      It is only 8 kms from new Mahabaleshwar, North side from S.T Stand of the Mahabaleshwar. It is a holy place of lord Shiva. Also there is UGAM (Origin) of the rivers- Krishna, Savitri, Venna, Gayatri and Koyna,


Do

Trekking in Mahabaleshwar
Trekking in Mahabaleshwar

There are many things to do in Mahableshwar. In your leisure time you can roam about the bazaar and do lots of shopping. You can also try your luck at the poker machines

Buy

The Bazaar is in the center of town and consists of a pedestrian-only street with shops selling everything from fancy locally-made walking sticks to snacks and the specialty of the region - roasted chickpea nuts. At the far end of the bazaar stands a Mahabaleshwar institution, Imperial Stores, owned and run by generations of the Irani family. Here you can get anything from videos to provisions to ice cream to beer.

Eat

Strawberries, Mulberries and carrots are the speciality of Mahabaleshwar. One should not forget to try the Corn grown locally available in both roasted and boiled form. Corn pattice made from it is delicious. The food prepared with local vegetables has a unique taste and one should also try the small tomatoes which look like cherries! Don't forget to have the staple food of Maharashtara the Vada Pav which is deliciously prepared by the local vendor next to the Hanuman Temple in the main market.

Almost all the hotels have their own restaurants. Hotel DreamLand, Hotel Panaroma & Hotel Shreyas have a nice restaurant and good food, and all three are close to the State Bus stand. Many hotels, like Hotel Regal, Bharat Hotel and Hotel Rajesh serve a buffet meal in a platter, also known as the 'Gujarati thali'.

However, eating at the hotels you stay is excessively costly.It is advisable to take meals at other restaurants as an outsider.Hotel Panorama, which is just behind the Govt Bus Stand, offers good quality veg food at reasonable cost.

Drink

Sleep

Never go to the old mahabaleshwar for accommodation. it's better to stay near to bus stand. to enjoy the nature or the calmness of the forest then it is advisable to prefer old city.

Splurge

These hotels can cut a few more bucks from your wallet and these cost in range of ₹3,000-₹5,000 per night, depending on season.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.