Trip to Mahabaleshwar – A Relaxing Weekend Getaway

Mahabaleshwar is the largest hill station in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra state. It is situated at an altitude of 1372 m above sea level in Satara district, about 115 km southwest of Pune. Due to its high altitude, the town has a cool climate and offers many pleasant walks. There are several lookout points which offer spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is an old Shiva temple in the forest, which is the source of five rivers, including the Krishna River which is the second longest river of peninsular India. It’s very good place to visit.
Mahabaleshwar is visited by many thousands of tourists every year. It is well connected by bus with the important towns of the region. There are numerous hotels for every budget. The peak season is March-May; it rains very heavily from June.
History of Mahabaleshwar:
The history of Mahabaleshwar takes us to the year 1215 when it was visited by King Singhan of Deogori. Around 1350, a Brahmin dynasty took over power and gave the area harmony and prosperity. Mahabaleshwar later on was annexed by the Maratha family of Chandarao More in the middle of the 16th century which built the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj defeated Jaoli and Mahabaleshwar and constructed the famous Pratapgad Fort in the year 1656. After the end of his rule, the Peshwas ruled this place until the 19th century. In the year 1819, Mahabaleshwar was included in the territory of the Raja of Satara and it was from 1828 what we do know is that the British developed this place as a health resort was regularly visited in succession beginning with Sir John Malcolm and then by Arthur, Carnac, Frere and many others after whom the famous points in Mahabaleshwar are named.
Places to see:
Mahabaleshwar is known for its many points which offer panoramic views. There are as many as 30 viewpoints, named after notable Britishers within close range. Accessibility of these points is largely by foot or vehicles. Some of the most popular points we visit are:
Lodwick Point: Located at an altitude of 1,240 m, it is named after General Lodwick, who is said to have been the first to set foot on this point in 1824. A monument has been erected there in his memory by his son.
Elphinstone Point: Named after a Governor of Mumbai, Sir Elphinstone, it was discovered by Dr. Murray in the early 18th century. A great spot for picnicking, it bears a resemblance to an elephant’s head and trunk, if seen from the Lodwick Point.
Arthur’s Seat, another famous point, and considered to be one of the best, is located at an altitude of 1,348 m and captures a beautiful view of the Jor Valley. It has been named after Arthur Malet and one can catch the two territories of Mahabaleshwar very distinctly set apart Kokan and Desh. It is fascinating to see the barren deep valley Savitri on the left & shallow green valley on the right. It is more fascinating to know that Arthur’s seat is the only place showing geographical distinction of kokan & Desh (Deccan), two territories of Mahabaleshwar, so clear & so near.
Wilson’s Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar, thus offering you the best view, at an altitude of 1,435 m. With three observation towers erected here, it is the best place to catch the sunrise, and hence has also been called the Sunrise Point. There are other points also that you will come across such as the points of Marjorie, Savitri and the Castle Rock Point, all rising from the Valleys of Konkan, and on your way to Arthur’s Seat.
Tapola which is only 25 Kms for Mahabaleshwar. Tapola is popularly known as ‘ The Mini Kashmir ‘ because of the beautiful view of the dam, the rivers. Koyana and Solshi, the beauty of the hill ranges of Sahyadri and the deep forest. Tapola is to the other side of Mahabaleshwar than Pune – the popular side. The journey of 1- 1/12 hr is pretty one as one goes between the high hill ranges and the dark woods. The view of Koyana River on one side and Solshi river on the other is beautiful. Both these rivers meet at Tapola. The dam is the biggest in Maharashtra – Known as ‘Shivsagar’. It has a big lake with small islands and there tourists can take a boat and visit the various islands.
Travel to Mahabaleshwar by Bus:
You can take a tourist bus (Volvo) from Mumbai, departing from Dadar East, Sion or Vashi. The ride will take you 6 hours and will cost around Rs 500. An ordinary AC bus will cost Rs 200. The Govt. Express bus from swargate starting 5.45AM and every hour with a moderate price of 120/- per individual.
After the opening up of the Mumbai -Pune expressway and the highway onwards from Pune to Satara, this is the much better and preferred option to drive down from Mumbai. The distance via this route about 40 kms more but you reach much faster. You have to get off this highway at a place called Sirur and then travel via Wai and Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar. The road is less winding than the other one via Poladpur but easier as far as driving is concerned.
Bus booking is fairly easy nowadays online. You can check bus tickets, available bus list, bus operators on website. Online bus booking is hassle free and secure for a pleasant weekend getaway.

Posted on June 22, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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