Travel Guide: Mahabaleshwar- Jewel in Sahyadri's Crown!!

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#1 Jun 13th, 2010, 16:50
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#1
When you hear the Word MAHABALESHWAR, what Strikes First??

Evergreen FORESTS
Mesmerizing Endless TABLE TOPS??
Beautiful Mountains?

Yes, that's why it is A JEWEL in sahyadri's Crown!!
Maharashtra's Favorite and most famous and be-loved Hill station, it is Indeed beauty at any time of the year...

Being brought up in these valleys, i have been always in love with Sahyadri's which hold up ONE of the Biological HOT-SPOTS of WORLD..

Nestled in heart of sahyadris, and the SECOND highest Peak of Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar nestles at a ALTITUDE of 1350 Mts MSL..

Super Famous for its RED Cheeky STRAWBERRIES, Honey, Home to WORLDS LARGEST CACTUS, and a Recent addition, the Mouth Watering MAPRO Jam and JELLIES Chocolates!!

Driving down in an Attempt to capture that Altitude, you are blessed by some of the Most beautiful sights, and a poses a healthy Challenge to drivers and Bikers..

HISTORY:

Mahabaleshwar, Wild and Evergreen and was one of the IN-HOSPITABLE terrains of Indian Subcontinent, until 17th Century where the Military genius Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, took over JAOLI and Mahabaleshwar..

Mahabaleshwar is a SACRED Hindu pilgrim place, which hosts Mahadev temple dating back 12th century in today's Old Mahabalehswar...

There are Several Mythological stories associated with this place and hence has gained utmost importance..

How to Reach

BY ROAD:
Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible these dayz, thanx to the Central and State govts to make Roads healthy!!

The approx road distances form various places are as follows:

Mumbai - 290 km via Pune (Via Yashwantrao Chavhan ExpressWay) (NH-4) and 247 km via Panvel-Pen-Mahad-Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar (via the deadly NH-17 Goa Highway)

Pune - 120 km
Sangli - 165 km
Satara - 55 km
Bangalore - 782 km

From Mumbai/Pune Route goes as:
Mumbai-Pune-Surur-Wai-Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar.

Though, NH-17 is 50 odd km less than NH-4, i would personally suggest to take the NH-4 Route via Pune, bcoz it is less tiring, less fun and Probably more safe than NH-17!!
NH-17 is One lane, Two way, and has a notorious reputation of being "Trafficked"!!

A Road Snap of NH-17
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A Road Snap Of Express Highway
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By Train:
Pune is NOT the Closest Rail head, But is the Most Convenient, to reach Mahabaleshwar...
There are Local ST buses right Next to the Pune Railway station... Check MSRTC and IRCTC official site for more detailed info..

Getting Around:
Taxis, auto rickshaws and buses leave from the center of town near Irani's petrol pump opposite the Club.

The main destinations are the "points", named after prominent British administrators who found these splendid locations with unbeatable views. 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 only.Cost is around 60/- to 70/- per individual.

Govt. Bus (Also called as DARSHAN BUS) has two tour one is Pratapgad darshan in morning 9.15AM and Mahabaleshwar darshan in noon 2.15PM..

Points:

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:

* Lodwick Point
* Arthur's Seat
* Wilson Point
* Kate's Point
* Bombay Point (Sunset Point)
* Elephant's head Point
* Lingamala Falls (best viewed from behind Surya Resort)
* Bee keeping Center..

Lodwick Point:
Protruding towards pratapgardh from M'war plateau you will see the surrounding scenery with awe.

Arthur's Seat:
Queen of all points.
Some compare it with the stratification of rocks on southern side to the world famous stratification of rocks of the Grand Canyon of Colorado. USA.

It is fascinating to see the barren deep valley Savitri on the left & shallow green valley on the right. It is more fascinating to know that Arthur's seat is the only place showing geographical distinction of kokan & Desh (Deccan), two territories of Mahabaleshwar, so clear & so near.

If you go by the steps you come across a spring known as Tiger's spring which is supposed to be the source of the river Savtri.

Kates Point: Offers breathtaking view of krishna valley & deep waters of the dhom dam. From southern side it looks like an elephants head. There is also an echo point.

Wilson Point: (Sunrise Point)
Also called as Sunrise point. The highest point. 4710 ft above sea level. It is a vast plateau. There are three masonry round platforms to see the sunrise. You are advised to see sunrise from platform no:2. You can see sunset also from this point..

Bombay point (Sunset Point)
Very popular sunset point. Shows the sahyadri range koyana valley & pratap garh.

Lingmala Point:
Has a WaterFall, huge one, but opens in Late July..

Bee Keeping Center:
Educational displays on the manufacture of honey by bees.

OLD MAHABELSHWAR:

Panchaganga Mandir:

As per the hindu mythology five holy rivers krishna, venna, koyna, Savitri & gayatri show their token appearance here in five springs flowing closely.

They are seen flowing in five stone conduits & joining in one horizontal half channel leading to the Goumukhi cowface spout.

From the conduit on the southern side flows the holy saraswati when the following astrological times come together, namely, Bhadrapad month, shasthi (6th day) ,Tuesday sun in hasta nakshatra, Rohini nakshatra in predominance & Vyatipat.
This miraculous yoga (coincidence) is known as the "Kapila Shasthi Yoga", which is believed to be very auspicious occassion as per the Hindu faith.

Shri Shankar Mandir:
The Mahalinga of the lord Shiva is of Rudraksha shape & believed to be 'self-bodied' (swayambhoo) It is called Trigunatmaka meaning Brahma-Visnhu-Mahesh are on it for ever. On the head of the mahalinga you see the marks of the five holy rivers (Panchaganga) & their waters never loose their level. Mother Jeejabai was weighed by gold by Raje Shivaji in this temple & then the gold was distributed in charity. This Mahalinga is considered to be superior to the twelve jyotirlingas.

Shri Krishnabai Mandir:
This is also an old temple. The carving in the stones of the columns & the ceiling is attractive. You can also see the grand view of krishna valley from the temple.

Excursions:

Pratap Gadh:
A MUST SEE MONUMENT.,.

Pratap Gadh At a distance of 16 kms from Mahabaleshwar stands the majestic Pratapgadh housing the tomb of Afzalkhan at the toe of the fort.

There is a temple of bhavani mata, the idol of worship of King Shivajiraje Bhosle. There is a statue of Shivaji Maharaj inside the fort called Bale killa.

More Info:Afzal khans tomb is Closed for tourists, after an community instability few years ago..
Also, Hire a GUIDE to Know the HISTORY embedded behind the Fort, without which the fort is like other come and go..
We hired @ 100Rupees per Group, no matter how many person in group..

Panchgani:

Table land:
Flat table top, Largest in Asia, houses one of the FINEST Destinations for PARAGLIDING..
There are Various companies and Hotels providing this service...
This sight is a Hot Spot for FOREIGNERS, often flocked in huge Nos only for Paragliding!!!

JOY RIDE PARAGLIDING PARA-SAILING PILOTS TRAINED APPROVED BY GOVERNMENT

Sydney point:
2Kms from Panchgani towards Wai, having some of fascinating views of DHOM dam..

That's for Tourist Spots....
Tourist Spots retrieved from wikitravel.org and Mahabaleshwar Tourist Guide to Mahabaleshwar | Travel Guide Mahabaleshwar | Mahabaleshwar Sightseeing Points | Mahabaleshwar Maps

Staying options:
It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to get an ADVANCE booking of Hotels,(Especially in Tourist Season) Although you might NOT be STRANDED without it, but it might posses difficulties..
In Off season: Just Walk in, any time!

Various famous Hotels:
Mahabaleshwar is More often a DEVELOPED tourist destination and whose bread and butter depends on tourism to a MAJOR extent,
Some people have given up farming, and Now concentrating on Tourism...

Although I haven't Stayed in Hotels coz my village is Near by, i'll present a list of Hotels retrieved from website and as per my knowledge..

Mahabaleshwar On Line: Instant Booking for Hotels in Mahabaleshwar | Resorts in Mahabaleshwar | Bungalows in Mahabaleshwar | Hotel in Mahabaleshwar | Resort in Mahabaleshwar | Packages Mahabaleshwar | Package Tours to Mahabaleshwar

Brights-land is the Most famous resort as Locals say!!!
Also, for budget travelers, there are Plenty of small hotels and guest houses... Guest houses, 300-500Rs Per Room, In general, which comes to 100/150rs P.P, quite economical...

Staying options have extended from Mahabaleshwar to Bhilar (Towards Panchgani), and i would suggest to stay away from the epicenter of the City, coz it gets chaotic sometimes..

Do's and Don'ts:

Do's: Lots Of shopping, Especially Jams, Jellies, Crush etc from MAPRO garden (On way between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani)

Honey: Although Honey is available with Mapro's it is Processed,
Processed honey (Commercial): Density 1.35
Original Honey : Density is 1.47

If you get a chance, ask local villagers for honey, coz they hold a lot of pure honey collected during and after Summer... or else, Mapro can work good!

Cactus
: Get a glimpse of WORLDS LARGEST CACTUS, on Mahabaleshwar Panchagani road!! There is a BIG board which says so!!!

Buy CHANA:
Yes, Black Chana's are Very famous, indeed is very tasty!!
Check out Shops near Panchgani Bus stand, ask for the Famous Chanewala shop and enjoy it!!
Also take back some for ur relatives

Paragliding Courses:
8 day Beginners courses available in Panchgani
JOY RIDERS available, 1500 Bucks for 15 mins!!! Although not cheap but Full paisa wasool!!!

Horse-riding: At Table Land, enjoy some beautiful horses and riding on them!!

Boating: At Venna lake, if you have done it in ur city, then you have an option to do or not to do, not recommended by me though..

Walk: A Evening walk around venna lake and panchgani is highly recommended, which will makes worries go wush!!!

Don'ts:

DO NOT LITTER..
DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE
(A brotherly request and a ORDER too!!!)

If your going during Monsoons, then carry along with you, Tobacco or Salt, coz leeches may pose problems, even you not noticing it and your Milli's of blood will be lost!!!

Tips: Although Peak Season is During DIWALI, CHRISTMAS, and SUMMER VACATION, i would recommend to visit during DEC-JAN, in winters!!

Mahabaleshwar gets Chaotic during Peak season...

If going in Monsoon, heavy rains SHUT OFF Mahabaleshwar, with Travel services like Locals and Intercity buses running Indefinitely late of or canceled...

Also the Points are Closed due to reduced visibility, only Old Mahabaleshwar is accessible along with Venna lake..
But above that, the marvelous atmosphere makes u forget all odds..
Last edited by OceanTragic; Feb 4th, 2012 at 14:17.. Reason: sorted out SMS before sticking this thread
#2 Jun 15th, 2010, 11:44
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#2
Thanks for posting these details Vic86. You have put in a lot of effort.
Travelpod / Flickr


-----------------------------------------------------
#3 Jun 15th, 2010, 13:01
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#3
Hi vic86m,

You have done a good job. I had a trip to Mahabaleshwar last February and thought about writing something on it many a times. But somehow it didn't happen.

The information you provided here will really be helpful for future travellers to this beautiful place.

Biman.
#4 Jun 15th, 2010, 18:41
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#4
Thanx Guys!!!
I hope this post to be transferred to Travel guide or Article section!!
#5 Jun 17th, 2010, 16:13
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#5
If you like trekking or if you are interested in history then there are some forts in neighbouring valleys of Konkan and mountains of Sahyadri near Mahabaleshwar. Giving links to information of some of these forts,
Kille Vasota- Go there from Tapola via Koyna backwaters
http://glimpsesofkonkan.blogspot.com...le-vasota.html
Kille Makarandgad- via Chaturbet village near M'shwar
http://glimpsesofkonkan.blogspot.com...karandgad.html
Kille Chandragad
ARduous trek from Arthur Seat point or simple way from Poladpur
http://glimpsesofkonkan.blogspot.com...handragad.html
#6 Jun 17th, 2010, 21:54
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#6
Thanx Sachin for that INFO..
#7 Aug 19th, 2010, 20:07
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#7
Dear vic86 and others,
am planning (couple with 1 yr kid) to go to panchgini and mahabaleshwer 25th (wed) august to 28th (sat). need your help in follwoing.

a. how will be weather? will excursion possible?
b. need a good hotel to book for these 3 nights and 3 days. Budget is Rs. 7000/- which will be best.
c. want to cover most site seeing place and therefore is there a possibility to avail personal taxi for 3 days @ rs. 800 per day. Any taxi no, pl pass on
d. best volvo starting at 6: in the morning from puna? what will be its cost?
e. what will be cost if i higher exclusive taxi in place of volvo and do excursion for Khandala and Lonavala still night at panchgani / mahabaleshwer.

Thank you for your help.
#8 Aug 20th, 2010, 13:23
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#8
a. how will be weather? will excursion possible?
You can expect Heavy Downpours, But Excursion is still Possible.
You have 3 dayz in Hand, So you will manage it quite comfortably..

b. need a good hotel to book for these 3 nights and 3 days. Budget is Rs. 7000/- which will be best.

I have posted the Link to various hotels,
2*, 3*, Budget hotels and Guest houses are also available..
More details here,
http://www.indiahotelreview.com/dest...abaleshwar.htm

c. want to cover most site seeing place and therefore is there a possibility to avail personal taxi for 3 days @ rs. 800 per day. Any taxi no, pl pass on
Hired taxis (Yellow Black) are available, I had the SNAP of the Fare Chart, but got it misplaced.
You can avail full day taxi, either from Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar Taxi Union.
No Advance Reservation Required, You can get it on the Spot.
There is a Huge fleet Vehicles there, Right from Ambassadors to Logan.

d. best volvo starting at 6: in the morning from puna? what will be its cost?

Neeta travels, Swami Travels are some Reputed Volvo carriers,
Pune to Mahabaleshwar is 250Rs as quoted by Neeta.
Get your Fare and time related queries searched here;
http://www.neetabus.in/index.php


e. what will be cost if i higher exclusive taxi in place of volvo and do excursion for Khandala and Lonavala still night at panchgani / mahabaleshwer.
In that case, you can Hire a PVT CAB or SUV directly from Pune itself.
It would be available on PER DAY BASIS, (Coz the Distance will be Less than 250Kms)
Check local listings there..

Happy Journey
#9 Sep 3rd, 2010, 18:30
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#9

Question Thank you, few questions

Thx vic86m,

Nice and detailed review also you are helping thx.

We are planning to go mahabaleshwar in first week of october for 3 days. Have a kid (1 year old) with us.

1)How will be the weather ? rainy? too cold ?
2)Where should i stay ? Mahabaleshwar / panchgani?
3)Should i book hotel in advance?
4)Can you suggest best possible hotel with spacious room, good views & best food? budget 5000 a day.

Thank you
Shri.
#10 Sep 3rd, 2010, 18:47
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#10
If you are vegetarian would suggest Hotel Surya in Panchangani. All the rooms face the pool and the stream from Lingamala waterfalls.
#11 Sep 4th, 2010, 13:03
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#11

Hotel idea , mahabaleshwar

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post If you are vegetarian would suggest Hotel Surya in Panchangani. All the rooms face the pool and the stream from Lingamala waterfalls.
Thank you for the quick advice. First week of Oct is a good time to visit ? is it peak time?
Last edited by inquisitive; Sep 4th, 2010 at 13:07.. Reason: spell mistake
#12 Sep 4th, 2010, 21:13
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It will not be off season, just start of a new season.
#13 Sep 7th, 2010, 19:03
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#13
1)How will be the weather ? rainy? too cold ?
Can be rainy, (Be in touch with weather update websites), we guess the rains here in terms of "Nakshatra's", and there are still 3 Remaining.. So you can expect rains in Oct starting weeks.
Weather is already Cool now, but winds can make it feel cold


2)Where should i stay ? Mahabaleshwar / Panchgani?
That has to be your call..
Both panchgani and Mahabaleshwar are comfortable, need not to worry


3)Should i book hotel in advance?
Hotels will be available, 4* and 5 * hotels will probably require advance, but accommodation is plenty, so no worries there too

4)Can you suggest best possible hotel with spacious room, good views & best food? budget 5000 a day.
Browse through the IHR Link above and prefer hotels away from Main MArket (on road to anyone of the points)
#14 Sep 7th, 2010, 21:33
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#14
Anyone stayed at the MTDC hotel in Mahabaleshwar?
#15 Sep 8th, 2010, 10:25
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post Anyone stayed at the MTDC hotel in Mahabaleshwar?
I haven't stayed, but it has a Big name and good reputation in Mahabaleshwar..
Check out those Reviews, that will help..

http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Revi...harashtra.html

http://www.mouthshut.com/product-rev...925064960.html
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