A Perfect Weekend Trip to Mahabaleshwar
Mabaleshwar is located in the Satara district, Maharashtra. It is one of the few popular tourist destination and the largest hill station in the Sayadri range- about 180 Km from Pune and over 220 Km from Mumbai. The hill station is situated above 1,372 M higher than sea level. Mahableshwar is the highest hill station in Western India famous for pleasnt weather, unique natural beauty and historical importance.
According to popular epic- Mahabaleshwar is named after Lord Shiva, also named as Mahabali- enshrined at the Gokarna temple in the form of Shivlingam, which is known to the most sacred Joytirlingam among the exisiting twelve of them. The primary construction was build by King Singham of Deogiri, as per the historic records. Later on- British worked on this place and developed it as a Health Resort in 1928-29 for its pleasant weather and natural beauty. From the year 1834 – 1864 the British set up a jail here, of which the prisoners use do do farming and gardening in this place, and eventually became inhabitant of Mahabelshwar after they were released.
Veena Lake is spread over an area of 28 acres and the depth is around 10 feet. The area surrounding the lake is beautiful with different types of flowers and eye pleasing greenery. The Veena Lake was constructed by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj- who was Raja of Satara in the year 1842. The lake is very famous among the tourists as it has boating facilities and stalls for games. It area of the lake also has snacks stalls. The tourist spot is busy till late night. Children’s are specially attracted to this place due to mini train, fishing and other fun activities.
Tapola is about 28 km away from Mahabaleshwar. The place is hot spot among frequent visitors as it is ideal for picnic and boating. The surrounding environment is beautiful with Koyna Dam’s back water. Tapola is also famously known as mini Kashmir. The view here is beyond words- the rivers,beautiful Sayadri range and the deep forest has a stunning effect, no wonder it is termed as mini Kashmir. The Koyna river on one side and Solshi on the other creates a breathtaking sight. The dam built here is biggest in the state of Maharashtra and is known as ‘Shivsagar’.
Wilson point is also refereed as Sunrise point and is a vast plateau. One can view the sunrise from the three masonry round platforms. The second point is the ideal place to view the sunrise, located about 1 km away from the market area. It is perfectly located at 4735 feet above sea level and is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar. The point is very popular among tourists for its beautiful view point of the sunrise.
Arhtur’s seat is known as the queen of all points. It is about 1470 meters high.The name Arthur’s point is named after Arthur Mallet- the first man to come here and build a house. The arrangements of rocks here are compared with the world notable stratification of rocks of the Grand Canyon of Colorado USA. The stunning Savitri valley on the left and eye pleasing greenery on the right is a captivating sight. The Arhur’s seat is the only point from where one can differentiate between Konkan and Deccan.
Panchaganga Mandir is one of the holy places in Mahabaleshwar. Water from five different rivers- Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri join in this place. This famous temple was built by Raja Singhandeo in the 13th century and was later improved by the Maratha Emperor Shivaji. The confluence of five rivers has given the name Panchganga where Panch means five and ganga means river. All the rivers come out of a cow’s mouth which is carved out of stone. Thus the place being called Panchganga Mandir.
Shri Shankar Mandir
The age old temple is situated in old Mahabaleshwar. The Mahalinga of lord Shiva is in the form of Rudraksha and believed to be ’self-bodied’ (swayambhoo). It is called Trigunatmaka, meaning Brahma-Visnhu-Mahesh are on it forever. On the head of the Mahalinga, you see the marks of the five holy rivers (Panchaganga). Shivaji weighed his mother Jeejabai against gold in this temple and then distributed the gold in charity. No photography at the temple.
There are many more important places and viewpoints in Majabaleshwar like- Connaught peak, Elphiston point, Marjorie Point, Castle Rock, Baghdad Point, Babington Point, Northcote Point, Falkland Point, Carnac Point, Fitzgerald Point, Bombay Point, Gaolani Point, Panchgani Point, Helen’s Point etc.which will provide you with a memorable and pleasant experience. There is also Table Land and three famous water falls named Chinamans, Lingmala & Dhobi, polo ground, bee keeping centre, the list is quite big.
Mahabaleshwar is a popular destination for honeymoon or just to travel alongside. Other than beautiful nature, boating, horse riding and trekking is also done in the surrounding hills of Mahabaleshwar. There are many sacred and beautiful temples, churches etc for religious travelers. People in Mahabaleshwar are known for their hospitality and co-cooperativeness as the main business here is tourism. Mahabaleshwar is surrounded with jungles which helps in making the weather very pleasant for tourists, neither too hot nor too cold- a gentle breeze flows all day.
There are many resorts and hotels available in Mahabaleshwar. The general checking in time is 9 am, here is information on few of them:
- MTDC Resort: Situated in New Mahabaleshwar, Big & Old hotel, Tariff Starts from Rs. 700/- for Economy Class. Contact Number : (091) 02168-260318
- Hotel Dina : Nice landscape oriented hotel, Tariff starts from Rs. 1110/- in Off Season & Rs. 1800/- in On Season, Contact Number : (091) 2168 26024
- Hotel Templeview : Well Furnished Hotel in Old Mahabaleshwar, Tariff starts from Rs. 850/- for Dorm, Contact Number : (091) 02168 – 260025
- Hotel Rajesh : Five Star Pure Vegetarian Hotel, Double Bed Deluxe Rom Tariff starts from Rs. 2400/-, Contact Number : (091) 02168 – 26000.