Mahabaleshwar is a hillstation located at the western ghats in Maharashtra state of India. Mahabaleshwar consists of newly formed city and Old Mahabaleshwar town where the famous Mahabaleshwar temple is located. The newly formed area of Mahabaleshwar is made mainly due to more and more visitors coming to this area because of many natural beauties (water falls, valleys, lakes etc...). Now, Mahabaleshwar is famous as a hillstation with nature beauty. Some of the sightseeing spots are discovered during British period and made convenient to visit. This place became popular and important tourist destination due to the increased visitor after the growth of IT-business in Pune and Mumbai.
Staying in Mahabaleshwar now is much comfortable and a pleasure.
Tourist Places around Mahabaleshwar
There are number of visiting places surrounding Mahabaleshwar.
Panchagani - valley view and 5 rivers (Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri) meeting (origin) point.
Balkavadi and Dhom Dam, Kates point, River Krishna valley view, Needle hole point - all these can be seen at one place, also called Sir Arthur seat.
Venna lake - Just after Mahabaleshwar, boating point and Horse riding
Mahabaleshwar temple - located at Old - Mahabaleshwar place, 6Kms from present Mahabaleshwar place, Very famous Eshwar temple
Krishnabai temple - Very near to Mahabaleshwar temple, origin of Krishna river
Pratapgad - 20Kms away, constructed by Shivaji Maharaj, very important Historical place
Tour plan: By road from Pune
Pune is the nearest main town with good rail, road and air connectivity with rest of the country. ( From Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is 230 KM )
Mahabaleshwar is 130Kms from Pune railway station. Proceed on Pune - Bengaluru highway till Surur which is approximately 80 Kms from Pune railway station. Take left turn at Surur and proceed towards Wai which is only 10 Kms from Surur. On the way tourists will see many haldi plantation. Adrak cultivation is also very famous at this point. The valley starts just after Wai. Panchgani is 13 kms from Wai. You can enjoy valley view and water point here. But, need not spend much time as same view point can be seen from a better place later. After Panchgani, 12 - 13 kms, there is a restaurant called Food Studio.
Air Arthur Seat ( Kates Point )
From the Food Studio take right turn to proceed towards Sir Arthur Seat (kates point) which is just 4 kms. Be sure to visit this place before 12 noon as it looks better. You can spend much time here and enjoy the nature view. Horse riding is available here. Take care of your belongings as there are monkeys here.
After Kates point, proceed towards Old-Mahabaleshwar (temple) which is 11Kms from Kates point. Strawberry fruit is very famous and is available at a much cheaper price. The price is very cheaper during season (March to June). Throuhout the year Strawberry fruit is available here.
Mahabaleshwar temple timings is
Krishnabai temple is just a walkable distance away where origin of river Krishna can be seen. Water point along with valley can be viewed in front of the temple. Half an hour is sufficient to visit all the places. After Mahabaleshwar temple, proceed towards Pratapgad fort. Tourists will be passing through Mahabaleshwar city.
Pratapgad fort is 20Kms from Mahabaleshwar. There will be 15Kms ascend and 5 Kms descend in the ghat area to reach the fort. People can stay more than one hour here. Good handicrafts are available here. Pratapgad is the last point and tourists have to return to Mahabaleshwar.
While returning from Pratapgad fort, proceed directly towards Venna lake. Try to be available before 3.00pm at this point. You can enjoy boating and horse riding here. INR 440 is to paid for one hour. Boats are peddle type. Horse riding is INR 750 per round. Fresh Carrot and Strawberry fruit is available here. After Venna lake, people can travel towards Panchgani, Wai, Surur and then towards Pune.
On the way, there are many good restaurants and Dhabas. You can take a break for food here.
Including Pratapgad, total distance from Pune to Pune is 300Kms, approximately.
Visitors have to pay entry fee at two different places. First at Panchagani (Hill station, Panchagani Municipal council) INR 100. Keep the receipt with you as it is valid for 7 days. Visitors have to produce the receipt while returning also. There will be three receipt for INR 100, be sure to collect all. Second entry fee is at Mahabaleshwar. INR 120 which includes Pollution tax, Road tax for Municipal council, INR 30 for Sanitary cess. Don't forget to collect 5 different receipts for these as these are to be produced at various places at Mahabaleshwar. There are no other fee, not even parking fee anywhere in this region.
Best time to Visit Mahabaleshwar
Best season to visit Mahabaleshwar is June to September. But there will be huge crowd and lodging cost is very high. Lodges are available from INR 2000. Surrounding places looks very beautiful during this season. The weather is very cold throughout the year.