Zigzagging roads upon rolling ghats lead the way up to the hilly abode of Mahabaleshwar. Located on a plateau in the Sahayadri Mountains, 285 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune, it offers a stark contrast to these concrete jungles with clean, cool wind and lush greenery.The existence of Mahabaleshwar dates back to the 1200s when it used to belong to the kings of Deogiri. With the advent of the British, it became a popular hill station due to its scenic views, perennial streams, waterfalls and its year-round temperate climate.
Today, not much has changed about Mahabaleshwar; it still attracts thousands of tourists every year for the same reasons it attracted the British earlier – the picturesque “points,” the terraced strawberry gardens, beautiful waterfalls during the monsoon and gurgling streams. It is a place of respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Did You Know: Mahabaleshwar was used as a jail for Chinese and Malay convicts the in the mid-19th century.
Mahabaleshwar is surrounded by valleys on both sides. The dozens of tourist “points“ allow you to get exhilarating views of the valley floor below as well as the majestic Western Ghats.
At these points, tourists can also feed monkeys and get fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset over the hills.
Ancient Temples and Fort
The temples of Panchganga and Krishna Bai are great examples of old Indian architecture. These temples are the sources for the springs of seven rivers which originate in Mahabaleshwar namely the Krishna, and its tributaries.
The Pratapgad fort built by Shivaji Maharaj is a testament to Indian medieval fort architecture. It is the place of historical significance as Shivaji defeated Afzal Khan, of the Bijapur Sultanate, here in the Battle of Pratapgad.
Mahabaleshwar is famous for its strawberries. Some strawberry farms such as Mapro and Cream Corner, offer visitors a unique experience ofpicking strawberries. Visitors here can also indulge in the local delicacy of strawberries and cream. Strawberries and cream is also synonymous with Wimbledon.
Mahabaleshwar is also home to Venna Lake. It is a large lake surrounded bygreenery, where tourists can go paddle boating or rowing. On the shores of the lake, vacationers can ride horses or visit the market for local knick-knacks and delicious street food.
During the Monsoons, Mahabaleshwar is adorned by several majestic waterfalls, which provide scenic views for tourists raising cool water mists into green surroundings, lending a natural charm to the place.
Lingmala falls is one of the famous waterfalls which cascade into the Venna Lake. The sights and sounds of these waterfalls untouched by man add an earthy charm to the environs of Mahabaleshwar.
All these attractions lend Mahabaleshwar this old-world charm which has attracted tourists here since the time of British colonial rule. The sights of pristine nature still remain vibrant and beautiful making it a popular getaway through the centuries.
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