untain ranges all around, peaks adorning the skies and valleys to take your breath away. Mahabaleshwar really is aptly named after the “God of Great Power.” The lush flora combined with the cool and crisp mountain air is one of the most popular hill station destinations and the best place to get away to when the summer heat is getting you down.
Exploring Mahabaleshwar in it’s completeness takes at least a couple of days. The many things to see and explore will be overshadowed by your need you just stay in bed and gaze from your window at the vast expanse that surrounds you. Mahabaleshwar is the perfect place for couples to cozy up and make the most of a romantic vacation. It has the perfect mixture of old world charm combined with natural beauty and the wonder of the modern world.
- Currency: Indian Rupees
- Climate: Tropical Climate
- Neighboring Cities: The closest town to Mahabaleshwar is Wai at a distance of 32kms. It’s around 285kms from Maharashtra’s capital city, Mumbai and 120kms from Pune, another major metropolitan city.
Climate conditions and the best time to plan your trip.
Mahabaleshwar is a great hill station to visit any time of the year, expect for the months of monsoon. During the months of June to September, the heavy rains shutdown the hill station, so it’s best not to travel at this time.
Top Spots to Visit
There are a lot places to see and corners to explore in the quaint little town of Mahabaleshwar. There are numerous sightseeing points, each giving an exclusive view of the surrounding hill range. Aside from the main city of Mahabaleshwar you could also visit old Mahabaleshwar or the famous Panchaganga Mandir.
- Arthur’s Seat – This particular sightseeing spot is the most spectacular and rightfully earned its name of being the queen of all points. Some people even go so far as to compare the rocks on the southern side of the sight to the world famous rocks of the Grand Canyon. It’s truly a sight of wonder to see the barren deep valley of Savitri to your left and a shallow green valley to your right. The contrast between the two sides, Kokan and Desh, can only be seen from this point. On the steps leading up to Arthur’s Seat you cross by a spring called Tiger’s Spring which supposedly the source of the river Savitri. Right below Arthur’s Seat is window point, which offers a breathtaking view of both valleys.
- Waterfalls – There are a lot of waterfalls in the Mahabaleshwar region, the most significant of these being the Chinamans, Lingmala and Dobhi waterfalls. They flow quite heavily during the monsoon but dry up by the time summer comes around. The Dhobi Waterfall is the most popular of all, only 3kms from the main town area. There’s a famous picnic spot near the waterfall and on the way, you cross Lodwick Point or Elphinstone Point, depending on your direction. Both sides of the falls are filled with rocks and due to heavy leafage, the rocks appear to be green. It’s a great way to spend a afternoon with a loved one, just pack up a picnic basket and walk on up.
- Venna Lake – 28 acres of cool, fresh water, Venna Lake is surrounded by flowers and greenery. The lake is fed by numerous springs, keeping the water clean at all times. You can go boating or even play games at the many stalls on the shore. If you want, you can even grab a bite to eat. The area stays bustling till late in the night is probably the only sort of “nightlife” in the area. Kids like to ride the mini train while the adults can go fishing.
The specialties of Mahabaleshwar include mulberries, carrots and most importantly, strawberries. You can even get some locally grown corn, it’s best to try it in it’s roasted form but some people prefer it when it’s boiled, though every one loves it in the form of a pattice.
The food in the area is made using local produce and has a unique taste of its own. Cherry tomatoes are another specialty of the region that can rarely be found elsewhere in India.
The signature drink of Mahabaleshwar is strawberries with cream. It’s available at almost every restaurant and absolutely mouthwatering. This delicious delicacy is a combination of strawberry shake, topped with fresh strawberry ice cream and covered in chucks of the actual fruit with whipped cream for garnished. If you think it sounds wonderful, wait till you’ve had a taste!
Why Mahabaleshwar is Amazing!
It’s perfect spot for honeymooners and couples in general. The romantic aura that surround Mahabaleshwar is sure to ignite a fresh wave of romance and make you want to fall in love all over again. The sparkling streams, gushing waterfalls and the natural beauty that surround Mahabaleshwar on all sides is a rare treat for any that ventures into this little piece of paradise.
Mahabaleshwar is located on a higher altitude so if you’re prone to mountain sickness, you might want to carry the medicine required. Also, since it’s hilly, try returning to your rooms before it gets dark. It’s not that crime is an issue, but the town isn’t very populated and street lights are scarce, hence, it’s very easy to get lost.
The weather in Mahabaleshwar is pleasant all year round but being prone to rains, it’s recommended that you always carry some sort of rain gear with you, like an umbrella or a raincoat. Also, it can get a little chilly once the wind picks up, so pack your clothes accordingly. There’s a lot of walking involved in the town, so your shoes are your best friends! Make sure you wear something comfortable and durable.
Being in the middle of lush forests, there are bound to animals that will cross your path at one or another. Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you, this means that shouldn’t try to get friendly with them just as much as your shouldn’t scare them.
If you’re planning on going trekking through the hills, the trails are fairly easy to follow but tend to be isolated. It’s best if you hike in groups for the sake of safety.
Planning your Budget
The shopping experience in Mahabaleshwar is incomplete without a little bit of haggling. Everything can be negotiated to almost half the price that’s originally quoted. This isn’t just about buying trinkets, but applies to the local transport as well.
If don’t want to resort to local transport, you can always rent a bike. It’s one of the most reasonable and eco friendly ways to get around town. Be sure you carry a map or get directions from your hotel desk prior to any trips.
Visiting most of the spots in Mahabaleshwar is light on your pocket as they’re free, leave aside a few exceptions, even there the prices won’t be exceeding Rs.50.
There are plenty of options of where to stay in Mahabaleshwar, form luxurious hotels to budget motels. Either way, make your reservations in advance but on the spot rooms are not only expensive, but also harder to get.
No where you stay and what you do, as long you’re with the one that you love you’ll have a great time visiting the many wonders in Mahabaleshwar. It’s like God’s gift of love.