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Places to visit in Mahabaleshwar

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by KananMangla, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. KananMangla

    KananMangla New Member

    I am going to Mahabaleshwar for 8 days with my family, and I would like some suggestions to the places to visit there so that we can plan the holiday properly.

    I don't think the place is that big, but still, I would like to visit most or all of the places there as sometimes the smallest of things to see and visit can be interesting and plus we have eight days which is a lot of time.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    There's this hidden gem in Maharashtra, which is known as Mahabaleshwar. Its beauty, surrounded by deep valleys and lush greenery, is not that known by many people. The views of the Sahyadri ranges can be seen from any point in the hill station too. Calm, peaceful, serene... There are many more words to describe this place, yet words are just not enough to fully explain its wonder. Oh, it is also home to about 80% of the country's supply of strawberries, yum! Here are the best places to explore around Mahabaleshwar:

    Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar

    Religious
    • Panch Ganga Temple - While most people believe that the Panch Ganga Temple is where the five rivers of Krishna, Koyana, Venna, Gayatri and Savitri originate from, that is really not the case. The temple was built quite close to the surrounding areas where the rivers originate. It was built to preserve the purity and cleanliness of these rivers. Several rulers and individuals can be attributed to the building of this temple, but mainly the Devagiri dynasty has built many of the structures around the temple. The water from the different rivers come out of a spout, shaped like the head of a cow. Many pilgrims, and even locals, drink this water as well as take a dip in it. There are also two more rivers that originate from this temple, the Bhagirathi River and the Saraswati River. However, the first one only appears every 12 years while the latter only appears every 30 years.
    • Krishna Devi Temple - A little less known than the former temple is the Krishna Devi Temple, located just behind the Panch Ganga Temple. This is where the Krishna River really originates and just like the former temple, there is a spout here where the water from the river can be seen. Unfortunately, the temple is not that well maintained and you can see moss growing from even the walls of it. The main sanctum of the temple houses a shivalinga and you can also spot a Nandi outside guarding the premises.
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    Krishna Devi Temple (Image Courtesy of Maradhi Manni)
    • Mahabaleshwar Temple - On the other side of the Panch Ganga Temple, opposite the road leading to the Krishna Devi Temple, you would find a path that would lead to the Mahabaleshwar Temple. You need to climb a bit to reach the temple. The main sanctum here holds a shivalinga in a form of a rudraksha. The temple is very old though and needs some maintenance. But the serenity here is very apparent and even the views are quite stunning as it is surrounded by lush greenery.
    • Holy Cross Church - The Holy Cross Church in Mahabaleshwar is pretty small but looks quite beautiful with its red and yellow facade. It was built around the 18th century and can accommodate up to 30 people only at a time. It has very simple interiors, with whitewashed walls along with a shrine for Mother Mary. The church though is a functioning one and you can join in a mass here every Saturdays and Sundays.
    • Atibaleshwar Temple - Located close to the Mahabaleshwar Temple is the Atibaleshwar Temple. It is almost the same age as the Mahabaleshwar Temple but relatively less maintained. It has the same Nandi as well as a main sanctum with a shivalinga. It is less crowded though as not many devotees know about this place and tend to skip it. The quietness and seclusion of the place exudes a spiritual vibe which sometimes, can be covered by throngs of tourists to religious sites.
    View Points
    • Arthur's Seat - Although this view point takes some time to reach by walking, it is still one of the most popular points in Mahabaleshwar. From the parking lot, you need to walk about one more kilometre to reach the view point. Even from the city centre of Mahabaleshwar, the view point is about five to six kilometres away. The view here is of the Savitri River along with the rocky outcrops of the mountains. The point was named after Arthur Malet, who used to sit here to view the river, where he lost his wife and son in a tragic accident. The view point also has this phenomenon where all light objects thrown into it float back into the air because of the pressure of the air here. You can also visit the other view points around the Arthur's Seat, like the Echo Point, Tiger Spring Point, Window Point, Malcom Point and Hunter Point. All these view points are located en route to the Arthur's Seat.
    • Elephant's Head Point - This point is located just close to the Echo Point and Kate's Point. The road to reach the view point though is terrible and full of potholes so do bring a car with higher ground clearance or just rely on local cars. From the parking, you need to walk for another 300 metres to reach the view point. From here, you can spot a rocky outcrop resembling an elephant's head, hence the name. You can also clearly spot the Krishna River and the valley below from here. However, during winter, the view point might be foggy and the views might be obstructed.
    • Elphinstone Point - This is one of the highest points in Mahabaleshwar. It is located about three kilometres away from Arthur's Seat. The view point is easily accessible by road too and you only need to climb a few steps down to reach the main view point itself. From here, you can view the Savitri River along with the Konkan Plains. The nearby Pratapgarh Fort can also be seen from this view point.
    • Wilson Point - So called the highest point in Mahabaleshwar is the Wilson Point. Its other name is Sunrise Point, rightfully so because there's no better place in Mahabaleshwar for viewing the rising of the sun than in here. Unfortunately, the road leading to the view point is quite bad too. Make sure that you bring an appropriate vehicle or else your smaller car might get scratches in here. You can also bring a small blanket or a picnic mat as there are flat areas around the point where you can lay and enjoy the rising of the sun.
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    Wilson Point (Image Courtesy of Holiday IQ)
    • Mumbai Point - In contrast to the Wilson Point, we have the Mumbai Point, also known as the Sunset Point. Again, the roads leading to it are quite terrible so be prepared for that. At the peak, there are numerous stalls selling food and beverages to tourists. You have to reach the place early though as there are plenty of crowds here waiting for the setting of the sun. The views are quite stunning though, with the surrounding valleys and the orange hue of the sun.
    • Connaught Peak - This peak is not as well-known due to its remoteness. You need to trek through a forest to reach the view point itself but it's all worth it. The views here are of the entire valley, on a clear day but can be covered with mists during a cloudy day. But don't worry as the peak itself has beautiful flowers and plants that are worth visiting. If you're travelling with children though, it can be quite challenging to reach the place but you can hire a horse to take them there.
    • Marjorie Point - This is a relatively smaller and lower view point on the way to Arthur's Seat. Although the views here are nowhere as stunning as the others, it's easily accessible as it is located on the road side. It's a good option for those who have elderly people or small children with them. You won't need to walk for long distances to enjoy the views here. You can easily view the Arthur's Seat and even the Pratapgarh Fort from here.
    • Babbington Point - This is one of the oldest view points in Mahabaleshwar, located in Tapola Road. Unfortunately, it is not at all maintained nor does it have stunning views. The outgrowth of shrubs and bushes here cover the main views as well. On the other hand, it is less visited so you can enjoy a nice short stay here with your loved ones. There are benches around that you can sit in and just relish the greenery around you.
    Waterfalls
    • Lingmala Waterfalls - This waterfall is located on the Satara Road, about six kilometres away from the Main Market of Mahabaleshwar. It is actually comprised of two waterfalls, namely: the Bada Dhabdhaba (Big Waterfalls) and the Chota Dhabdhaba (Small Waterfalls). Both requires a bit of trekking to reach which lasts for about 30 minutes. The Bada Dhabdhaba falls from a height of 152 metres and can be viewed from a point. On the other hand, the Chota Dhabdhaba has smaller waterfalls falling into a huge basin of water where tourists can enjoy a bath.
    • Dhobi Waterfalls - While this waterfall is not worth visiting during the summer season, it becomes alive during the monsoon season. The water here becomes fuller and the small basin below it reaches up to the chest level. The water also merges with the Koyna River, after it drops down to the beautiful valleys. Do hire a local guide as the trek to reach the waterfalls can be very challenging.
    Historical
    • Pratapgarh Fort - This fort is located about 21 kilometres away from Mahabaleshwar. It is historically important because this is where Shivaji won his first fight ever against Afzal Khan. The fort is divided into two parts, an upper fort and a lower fort. You need to climb about 450 steps to reach the top of the fort, located on the northwestern side of the hill. From the top, you can have a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys. You can also visit the ancient Shiva Temple here as well as the statue of Shivaji on a horse. On the lower fort, located on the southeastern side of the hill, you can visit the Temple of the Goddess Bhavani, whom Shivaji used to worship.
    • Morarji Castle - Built around the colonial period, the Morarji Castle isn't as visited as the Pratapgarh Fort yet it holds a charm of its own. Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi stayed here during the 19th century? Aside from that, the architecture and design of the heritage home is reminiscent of the bygone colonial era. It has a simple white facade and sloping green roofs. The surrounding greenery adds to the charm of the castle.
    Nature
    • Venna Lake and Pratap Singh Park - The Venna Lake is located just about 1.3 kilometres away from the city centre of Mahabaleshwar. Here, you can indulge in boating for a surcharge of course. You can also just enjoy the scenic views around the lake. Just beside it is the Pratap Singh Park, complete with benches, gardens and play areas for children. The view of the lake from here is quite stunning too, perfect for ending your hectic day of sightseeing around Mahabaleshwar.
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    Venna Lake (Image Courtesy of Indian Travels)

    Other
    • Mapro Garden - Mapro stands for Mahabaleshwar Products and truly this is what the Mapro Garden has in store for guests. From delicious chocolates, strawberry products and other dry fruits, you can buy them all here. You are even entitled to a 10% discount when you buy the product directly from here. There's also an in house restaurant here serving sandwiches, ice cream, shakes and all kinds of delicious meals to guests. Keep in mind too that they have open kitchens and factories so the cleanliness and hygiene here is guaranteed.
    Enjoy your trip in Mahabaleshwar!:)
     

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