Mahabaleshwar – A Hill Station for Scenic Beauty and Strawberry Farms
Mahabaleshwar is the land of strawberries and greenery. It is located in the Satara district, Maharashtra on the range of Sahyadri Mountains at high altitude of 1,372 m above sea level. It is also known as Queen of Sahyadri. It is surrounded by valleys on all the sides. It is very well known for its strawberry cultivation. About 85% of strawberry cultivation in India is from Mahabaleshwar.
If you are a nature lover, trekker, or an adventurer, then a vacation to this place is must.
According to records, this place was well existed in early 1200. King Singhan of Deogiri found the source of Krishna River and built a small temple around it. Later it was ruled by many kings. When it came to the hands of king Shivaji in 17th century, he constructed the fort called Pratapgad Fort. Thereafter, it was ruled by British. They found this place pretty cool and named as “Summer Capital of Bombay”. Even now, you can witness many places in Mahabaleshwar which are named after British officers.
How to Reach
Roadway is the best to reach Mahabaleshwar. If you are heading from Pune, then it is 120 km. From Mumbai, it is 240 km. When flying from air, nearest airport is Pune. When travelling from train, nearest railway station is Satara, which is just 68 km away.
Best Time to Visit
As this is the hill station, monsoon will be unfavorable due to heavy rainfall. Except monsoon, all other seasons are best to visit this place.
Things to do in Mahabaleshwar
- Panchagani, the Table Land
On the way to Mahabaleshwar, you can find this place. It is the Asia’s 2nd largest plateau. As the name suggests, it is completely flat and you cannot find the end. According to mythology, Pandavas stayed here during their exile period. You can see the caves known as Devil’s kitchen and you can find their footprints as well. This is the must visit place during your travel.
- Mapro Garden for Delicious Strawberries
This is the must see place in Mahabaleshwar. If you are a foodie and fruit lover, then this place is for you. You can indulge yourself in picking up some strawberries from the farm and can have the taste of strawberry sandwiches, sundaes, chocolates and mind blowing strawberry with fresh cream.
Inside the huge garden, they have factory, farm, restaurant and you can shop different kind of product from them.
Mapro Garden Products
Some of the Mapro Garden Products are Crushes, Toppings, Sharbat, Jam, Squash and fruit flavored candies.
You can get it from here
- Pratapgad Fort for Heritage Lovers
This fort was well built by King Shivaji in 1657 which is surrounded by river koyna. As per history, Shivaji assassinated Afzal Khan and buried him under the erected watch tower. This fort is ruined now but, still you can witness huge bastions on the lower fort and temples of lord Mahadev and goddess Durga on the upper fort. You can find Maratha General, Hambirao Mohite’s sword within the temple premises. This sword has 6 diamonds which represents assassination of 600 soldiers in the war.
This place is well loved by hikers also for rock climbing facilities.
- Mesmerizing Sunrise at Arthur’s Seat
This place is named after British officer, Sir Arthur Malet and is called as Queen of Mahabaleshwar. The view of unique and fascinating rock formations is a delight to the ones eye. This rock formations separate two different valleys and is compared to Grand Canyon. It is a great trekking place as well.
- Capture the Stunning Dusk at Wilson Point
This place is named after British Governor, Sir Wilson. It has 3 towers to view Mahabaleshwar at 3 distinct angles. Sunrise is also extremely beautiful here. So get the fresh breeze and experience both dawning and dusking hours of the day.
- Mahabaleshwar Temple
This is the oldest temple which was present early 16th century. It is located in old Mahabaleshwar. This has the sacred atmosphere where lord shivalinga was swayambhu (self-appeared). You will definitely get a spiritual vibes once you visit this sacred place.
- Panchaganga Temple
Panchaganga means 5 gangas. This place is the origin of 5 rivers namely, Krishna, Savitri, Venna, Gayatri and Koyna. These 5 streams flow through 5 different grooves and finally tumble from the mouth of Nandi (Stone Cow). This temple is well known for its remarkable architecture and the surrounded water.
- Colonial Style Babington House
This house is near Arthur’s Seat. It has the royal 24 seater dining room and an old library which has 1st edition books. This place is best loved by tourists for its colonial architecture.
- Get Adrenaline Rush at Velocity Entertainmentz
It is the amusement park with outdoor karting track and indoor arcade. It also has a restaurant within. They have thrilling rides and adventurous activities.
- Relax at Tapola, Venna Lake and Polo Ground
If you want to just relax with the fresh breeze, then Tapola Lake is for you. You can just watch the calm lake or even ride a boat and enjoy the beautiful nature.
If you want to experience horse ride, then visit Venna Lake. You can get the royal feeling of riding a horse beside the lake.
Polo Ground is a place having many horses. You can ride a horse and enjoy the beautiful view of the city. This is located at Bombay Point which is also a stunning sunset point.
- Wax Museum
This museum has statues of famous personalities. It is located on the highway between Panchagani and Mahabaleshwar. The entry fee is INR 200 which is worth paying. You can take snaps with wax models. There is even 9d cinema, Go-karting in the same premises.
- Shopping at Town Bazaar
This is the local market at Mahabaleshwar which gives nostalgic experience. Walk around the market and fill your bag with fresh fruits, jams, sweets, leather items and everything you need.
- Other Scenic Spots
Elephant’s Head Point: As the name suggests, the rock formations appears like elephant’s head and trunk.
3 Monkeys Point: the rock formations here are similar to 3 monkeys sitting next to each other.
Must Carry Gadgets
- As this is the hill station, it will be cold especially during morning and night. Therefore, warm clothes and sweaters are preferred. But during day time it is sunny and hot, so better to have it handy.
- During rainy season, umbrellas and raincoats are recommended.
- Shoes, torches and other trekking equipment are necessary for those who trek.
- Avoid visiting this place during weekends and government holidays as this will be heavily crowded.
Hotels in Mahabaleshwar
Mapro Garden is one of the popular tourist attraction and kids will love to spend time there. If you are looking to have Hotels near Mapro Garden then you can try Oakwood which has almost all the facilities and is also a pet friendly hotel.
One of the Pet Friendly Resort in Mahabaleshwar is C.P Cottage. This property is covered in the greenery of the forest and is close to all the points.
On our visit to Mahabaleshwar we stayed at Shalini Excellency, located at a scenic beautiful location. It has a small kid play area and welcoming garden with beautiful flowers.
Plan your next family trip to Mahabaleshwar and share your experience. Mahabaleshwar – A Hill Station for Scenic Beauty and Strawberry Farms, will mesmerize you with its breathtaking view from the mountain top. Its valleys with rivers are picturesque and feast for photographers but try to avoid traveling to Mahabaleshwar during Peak season.