Located at an altitude of 1,372 meters in the Satara district of Maharashtra state in India, Mahabaleshwar is a picturesque hill station. It’s proximity to Pune (120 kms) and Mumbai (285 kms) makes Mahabaleshwar a much sought after vacationing destination of both locals and global tourists. The region’s blessed with abounding natural beauty – shimmering lakes, waterfalls, valleys and dreamy undulating terrains. The ‘Queen of Hills Stations’, Mahabaleshwar also houses a number of ancient edifices alongside the contemporary ones.
Image: By Shalini31786 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Due to its versatility, Mahabaleshwar provides visitors ample activity options to engage themselves into. You can feel free to explore the local tourist hot spots, go trekking in the mountains, fish, go boating and dabble in numerous adventure activities when in Mahabaleshwar. Instead you could also just prefer to lounge grandly in your spacious hotel balcony sipping champagne / coffee while relishing the view around.
Places of Interest In and Around Mahabaleshwar
Wilson Point or Sunrise Point
At 4,710 feet above the sea level, the Wilson Point or the Sunrise Point is the highest point in the whole of Mahabaleshwar hill station. It’s actually a plateau and a very popular tourist spot. From here, you can get a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset every day.
This is the second highest point at Mahabaleshwar. Connaught Peak is also frequented by tourists for the same reason as the Wilson Point - its panoramic view of sun rise and sunset. Surrounded by peaceful, lush greens on all sides and with clouds flirtingly kissing the grounds, you are bound to feel transported to a different world here.
If you are in Mahabaleshwar, you just cannot miss visiting the Veena Lake. Cocooned within hills from three sides, its calm waters will goad you to hire a boat and go navigating. You can also engage in fishing here.
Only a short distance away from Mahabaleshwar, there are a number of mesmerizing waterfalls. For instance, there are Chinaman that about 2.5 Kms away, Dhobi (3 Kms) and Lingamala (6 Kms). Arthur's Seat 12 Kms away is another beautiful waterfall here.
A popular picnic spot, the Elphinston Point is named after the Governor of Bombay, Sir Elphinston. Located about 10 kms from Mahabaleshwar, this point was discovered by Dr Murray in 1830.
From this particular point, you get a very scenic sight of the back waters of Koyna dam on the left side and of the Solshi River in front. The view of the village on the lower slope looks very fascinating from here.
Kates point provides a lovely view of the Krishna valley and deep waters of the Dhom dam. A lot of tourists flock here too.
Excursions from Mahabaleshwar
Arthur's Seat is situated at a distance of 12 Kms from Mahabaleshwar and is regarded as the Queen of all points here. You catch spectacular views of deep deserted Savitri River in the Konkan valley on the left and the dense forests of 'Brahma-aranya' of Deccan to the right.
Found at a distance of 24 Kms from the hill resort, the Pratapgadh Fort has ample historic significance. It was constructed way back in 1656 by Shivaji (founder of Maratha empire in India) to restrain the defiant Satraps in the neighboring Javali Basin area. This fort also houses a statue of Shivaji named Bale Killa.
Where to Stay in Mahabaleshwar
Being a popular hill station, Mahabaleshwar has varied accommodation facilities for all kinds of tourists. You can get lavish to budget hotel in Mahabaleshwar. Hotel Vimal Gardens,Sunny International, Temple View are some of the luxury hotels in Mahabaleshwar whereas Brightland Holiday Village, Anand Van Bhuvan and Dreamland offer budget accommodation. However, it should be noted that a lot of Mahabaleshwar hotels remain shut during the monsoons.
Best Time to Visit Mahabaleshwar
One can visit Mahabaleshwar hill station any time in the year, but the best time to visit is between October and June. If you have not booked a hotel room beforehand, then better avoid the monsoon season visit as most of the hotels at Mahabaleshwar are closed during this time.
How to Reach Mahabaleshwar
Please note that Mahabaleshwar does not have its own railway station or airport.
You can land at Pune airport first, which is about 120 Kms from Mahabaleshwar. Once here, you can board a bus or taxi till Mahabaleshwar.
The closest rail head is again at Pune (120 Kms).
Fine motorable roads link Mahabaleshwar with both Pune and Mumbai. A number of bus and taxis run to and fro between these points (places).