Mahabaleshwar Travel Guide

 

 

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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.

 

places to see


Today, Mahabaleshwar is a popular holiday resort and honeymoon spot, and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is the site of Mahabaleshwar Temple. Many tourists visit nearby Panchgani. After the construction of a new highway, it is only a five-hour drive from Mumbai. Mahabaleshwar is also known for the honey and strawberries produced here. One can visit strawberry farms to enjoy the real flavour of the fruit. It is said that the climate of Mahabaleshwar is ideal for strawberries and mulberries. One can also get a taste of "Strawberries with Cream" (season:Jan -Feb) or "Mulberries with Cream" (season: April-May).

The Venna lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides. A late winter evening boat ride through the slight fog is well appreciated. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride over the lake or a horse ride next to the lake. A number of small eateries line the banks of the lake. The Mahabaleshwar city market and the S.T. bus stand is about 2KM from the lake and makes for a nice walk during the day. Most tour operators include the Venna lake in their tours. Most buses, private vehicles will stop at the Venna lake on their way to Mahabaleshwar on request.

With another popular and scenic hill resort Panchgani in close vicinity (about 20KM), most tourists often visit both places together. The 'Table-Land' phenomenon of nature at Panchgani is breath-taking.

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

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


Mahabaleshwar is a city and a municipal council in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station located in the Western Ghats range. With one of the few evergreen forests of the world, it served as the summer capital of Bombay province during the British Raj



History
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The first historical mention of Mahabaleshwar dates back to year 1215 when the King Singhan of Deogiri visited Old Mahabaleshwar. He built a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna. Around 1350, a Brahmin dynasty invaded this area. In the middle of the 16th century the Maratha family of Chandarao More defeated the brahmin dynasty and became rulers of Jaoli and Mahabaleshwar, during which period the temple of Old Mahabaleshwar was rebuilt.



In 1819, the British included the hills in the territory of the Raja of Satara. Col. Lodwick (Late General Sir Peter Lodwick) stationed at Satara, in April 1824 with a contingent of soldiers and Indian guides climbed up the mountain face reaching what is now known as the Lodwick Point.

Starting with Sir John Malcolm in 1828, a succession of them from Elphinston, Arthur Malet (for whom the seat at "Point Arthur" is named), Carnac, Frere and many others became regular visitors.

Present day Mahabaleshwar came into existence in the year 1829-30. In old records it is mentioned as Malcolm Peth, but in practise today it is known as Mahabaleshwar.


get there and around

by road

* Mumbai - 290 km via Pune and 247 km via Panvel-Pen-Mahad-Poladpur (approx 6 hours)
* Pune - 120 km (3 hours)
* Sangli - 165 km (3.5 hours)
* Satara - 55 km (1.5 hours)
* Bangalore - 782 km (12 hours)

You can reach Mahabaleshwar by taking MSRTC or Private Luxury Buses from Mumbai, Pune, Sangli and Satara. National Highway NH4 is the nearest National Highway to reach Mahabaleshwar.

by rail

* Satara - 55 km
* Veer (Konkan Railway) - 70 Km
* Pune - 120 km
* Miraj railway junction - 169 km
* Sangli - 165 km

You can reach Mahabaleshwar by taking cabs or private cars from the above railway stations.

by air

* Pune - 120 km
* Mumbai - 290 km