Mahabaleshwar, well-know yet pristine, is one of the most awe-inspiring hill stations near Pune. Well placed in the verdant and sturdy Sahyadri mountain ranges, Mahabaleshwar has carved a niche for itself all across the world. Blessed with serene lush green landscapes, the hill station offers you with a wide range of tourist attractions including never ending valleys, sturdy mountain cliffs, age old temples, historic forts, shopping markets, resorts and rejuvenating destinations.
History of Mahabaleshwar
The historic notification of Mahabaleshwar dates back to around 1215 AD when King Singhan of Deogiri used to rule this region. Considering the source of River Krishna auspicious, the king had built a small temple and water tank here. It’s recorded that King Singhan used to visit this place more than often as he believed it to be his source of inspiration. Then around 1350, the region is noted to be under the rule of a Brahmin dynasty. However, no proper written documents have been incurred to understand the duration they ruled here.
The only further note of this region is obtained from during the period of Chandrarao More, a Maratha King. This ruler had acquired the area of Mahabaleshwar and Javli until Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won it after the fierce battle of Javli. It was 17th century when Shivaji Maharaj acquired this region and re-constructed the Old Mahabaleshwar temple and the Pratapgad fort. Later on, after the intrusion of British, the region became one of the favorite destinations for officers under British Rule. Today, several points here have been named after these officers who even had their bungalows located here.
Tourist Places in Mahabaleshwar
Every sq.km of this hill station offers you breathtaking views and experiences of Mother Nature. Loaded with a plethora of tourist attractions, it at least takes 3-4 days to cover up this entire region. Following are some of the worth visiting tourist places in Mahabaleshwar:
Venna Lake: This lake welcomes you to the mesmerizing hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Built around 1841 by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj, the then King of Satara, is spanned over 28 acres. Blessed with dense woods on all of its sides, Venna Lake is a perfect welcoming destination to start your tour with. You can enjoy boating and horse riding here. Also, many small eateries and fruit stalls near this lake ensure to give you the first taste of Mahabaleshwar.
Morarji Castle: A perfect example of colonial architecture, Morarji Castle is one of the worth visiting tourist places in Mahabaleshwar. The rustic architecture blended with the perfect backdrop of hilly terrain gives this castle an unparalleled look. Part of several historic moments, Morarji Castle was also used by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi during his visit to Mahabaleshwar in the year 1945.
Mount Malcolm: Impressed by the scenic charm of this hill station, John Malcolm, an illustrious general was set on a mission to develop the most fabulous mansion of the colonial era. An excellent example of craftsmanship and architectural splendor, Mr. Malcolm delivered a stunning edifice of the colonial era. Constructed in the year 1829 and named after Mr. Malcolm, the construction still stands intact.
Arthur’s Seat: Believed to be the queen of all points, Arthur’s seat rises approximately 1400 meters above the sea level. Named after Arthur Mallet, an officer during the British rule who built the first house here, this tourist attraction is well known for the arrangement of rocks present here. Often compared with the rock arrangements found at The Great Canyon, this region also offers mesmerizing panoramic view of nearby region.
Kate’s Point: Located in the East of Mahabaleshwar, Kate’s Point is named after the daughter of Sir James Malcom’s daughter who had developed a thorough liking for this place. Offering you mesmerizing views of the Krishna Valley, Needle Hole, Kamalgad Fort, Pandugad Fort and Mhanderdev, Kate’s Point is a perfect destination to experience the glory of Deccan. Moreover, the back waters of Dhom Dam further create the landscape more captivating.
Apart from the above mentioned attractions, the Mahabaleshwar Hill station also has some other attractions including the Bombay Point, Wilson Point, Hunter’s Point, Monkey Point, Mapro Garden and many more.
How to Reach
Mahabaleshwar Hill Station is around 120 kilometers from Pune and is connected with the Pune-Satara Highway or the National Highway 4.
- Reach Katraj and take the NH-4 towards Satara
- You will come across villages like Jambulwadi, Shindewadi, Shivapur, Nasrapur, etc.
- Once you pass Shirval and reach the Khandala-Loni Road, take a right turn towards Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar
- This road then straightaway takes you to Mahabaleshwar
Within Mahabaleshwar you can take a guide with you or the direction boards here help you to visit all the points with much ease. However, ensure you understand one-ways and no entries to avoid any clashes with the traffic cops.
The Mahabaleshwar Hill Station is a perfect recreational destination that helps you rejuvenate to the core. The verdant surroundings and soothing climate here takes away all the stress and boasts your energy levels. Hence, tourists from Pune and Mumbai are often seen visiting this hill station on weekends. Hope the above information helps you in exploring one of the most beautiful hill stations – Mahabaleshwar.