Travel Guide to Mahabaleshwar
The most charming hill station Mahabaleshwar is located in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. It is the largest hill station of Sahyadri range of Maharashtra State. Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency in the colonial times. In the modern era besides the Mahabaleshwar has retained its charm. So this vacation if you want to enjoy peace, a life free from the hustle, the bustle of city life then you can have a charming option of vacation at Mahabaleshwar. You might be confused regarding the choices of the hotel, where to stay, how to reach and what are the prime attractions of Mahabaleshwar. So this travel guide is my helpful attempt for you to guide a tension free vacation at Mahabaleshwar. Being dotted with lakes, viewpoints, treks and temples, Mahabaleshwar is an escape to paradise. Mahabaleshwar is known for the beauty it encompasses and it is very popular among the bag packers and local tourists who want to enjoy weekends.
Climatic Conditions of Mahabaleshwar
Being located at higher altitude the climate of Mahabaleshwar is pleasant round the year like other hill stations in India. The maximum temperature in months of summer (March-Mid June) is recorded as 35.C and the temperature ranges between 12.C to 15.C in the months of December to February. The monsoon season is most beautiful as Mahableshwar witness heavy rainfall due to the presence of Evergreen Forest. The temperature does not touch extremes and it’s delightful round the year.
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Best Time to Visit Mahabaleshwar
September to May is the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar. The cheerful weather and the warmth of the Sun are loved by the visitors during these months. The trees of evergreen forest give an enchanting experience to the visitors with its fresh green lush view. The winter view of Mahabaleshwar is breathtaking. The magnificent foliage makes the hill station more beautiful. One can visit Mahabaleshwar during monsoons too as hill towns give a mesmerizing view of colorful hues of nature.
How to Reach Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible from two major cities of Maharashtra i.e Mumbai and Pune. There are many ways to reach Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai and Pune.
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 INR 1500. An ordinary AC bus will cost INR 200. The Volvo bus from Pune is operated by private companies (Neeta and Konduskar), and they charge approx INR 400 each way. The Govt. Express bus from Swargate starting 5:45 AM and every hour with a price of INR 120 per individual. Private cab tours to Mahabaleshwar from Pune and Mumbai are operated by Vasa Cabs.
By car, Mahabaleshwar is about 120 Kms from Pune and from Mumbai it is 247 km. From Mumbai, the trip takes about 5 to 6 hours if traveling via Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur.
A better way is to take the Mumbai-Pune expressway and the highway onwards from Pune to Satara; this route is 40 km longer but only takes 5 hours, and has a. straight road and easy driving. Travelers have to get off this highway at a place called Sirur and then travel via Wai and Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar.
On arriving by car, the Municipal council charges a fee of INR 50 per head, which is collected on entry points to the town with its validity for seven days. The Panchgani Municipal council also charges an entrance of INR 50 per vehicle if you are just passing through on your way to Mahabaleshwar. Car rental services are available 24 hours from Pune and Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar.
The nearest station to Mahabaleshwar is Satara. Travelers can reach Satara by train from Mumbai or Bangalore. Mahabaleshwar is 47 km from Satara and takes little more than one hour from there.
The travelers can reach Mumbai and Pune from airways too. The airports of Mumbai and Pune is accessible and connected to all major cities of India. Then they can travel by bus, or rent a car to Mahabaleshwar. Nearest Airport -Pune (120 km), Kolhapur (186 km), Mumbai (260 km).
The time should be constrained to arrival in the morning. Morning time is preferred as the hotels have checked in time of 9:00 AM. So late arrival may be troublesome for the guests.
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Accommodation in Mahabaleshwar
The travelers can have several options to stay in Mahabaleshwar. The options for accommodation range from resorts to budget hotels and hotels for economic class too. Few suggestions for a comfortable stay are discussed. The Budget hotels are mainly located around the main town market of Mahabaleshwar whereas the resorts occupy the lands that offer the best view of Mahabaleshwar.
Citrus Hotels and Resorts– Citrus hotels are designed to have a magical experience in Mahabaleshwar. It is located in the main market of Mahabaleshwar. It can be loved by travelers who love to make memories while traveling.
Location- L.C. Dsouza Road, near Aaram chowk, Mahabaleshwar,
Price-INR 3420 per person/ per Night
Dina Hotel– this is another option for comfortable stay at Mahabaleshwar. The antique interiors and modern amenities are a perfect blend for vacationing. Rooms services are excellent. A.C and Non-A.C accommodations are available.
Location- Lake Road, Mahabaleshwar, Satara, Maharashtra.
Price-INR 1800 per Person (Adult)
For children (2-10 years)-INR 900 per person.
Temple view Hotel– it is a super friendly hotel run by a family from the last 20 years in Mahabaleshwar. They offer various types of accommodation including. Dormitory for large groups, Single or Double Standard rooms, Double super Deluxe rooms, Suites. It is situated opposite the temple in old Mahabaleshwar. The restaurant of the hotel is opened 24 hours a day.
Location- Temple View Road, Old Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
Price-INR 1400 Per person
Durvankur Cottage Mahabaleshwar-The most affordable, clean accommodation. It is cheap and comfortable too.
Location- Dutta Krupa Society Road, Datta Krupa Housing Society, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
Price-INR-500-1500 Per Person
The cheapest hotel in Mahabaleshwar starts from INR 799 per person. An extravagant traveler can expense INR 10,900 Per person for their royalty at Mahabaleshwar.
Prime Attractions of Mahabaleshwar
Although there are close to 25 ‘Points’ in Mahabaleshwar, lots of these points would give you the same view (of mountains/valley) from a slightly different angle. The following are a must.
Arthur Seat:- The point was named after British officer Sir Arthur Malet who used to sit at this point and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap. This is the popular tourist destination to enjoy the view of the surrounding green valley.
Bombay Point (Sunset Point).
Elephant’s head Point-The Elephant’s Point is one of the most visited sites in Mahabaleshwar. Near the point, there is an old mansion that now lies in ruins.
Entry is free
Timing-Sunrise to Sunset
Kate’s Point-This point is the most prime location for the shooting of Bollywood films. This point offers stunning views of the hills, the Krishna river and the Dhom Dam from afar.
Entry is free
Timing-Sunrise to Sunset
Lingamala Falls. Best viewed from behind Surya Resort.
Lodwick Point– This point offers the tourist with two incredible experience. One of a long walk and second of a mesmerizing hill view. Nature lovers will treat it as a heaven.
Entry is free
Timing-Sunrise to Sunset
Wilson Point-this is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar. It was named after Sir Leslie Wilson, then the Governor of Bombay. From this viewpoint, travelers can enjoy 360 views of Mahabaleshwar. Both Sunrise and Sunset views are incredible from this viewpoint. Nature lovers will enjoy the lush green surroundings and can even spot a few birds.
Timing-6:00 AM-7:00 PM
Vienna Lake– Venna Lake is the prime attraction of Mahabaleshwar. It is surrounded by an exotic greenery view. The lake was built in 1842 by Raja Pratap Singh of Satara over 28 acres of land. Tourists can enjoy a boat rides over the lake by Vienna Lake Boat Club (8.00 am to 8.00 pm) or a horse ride near the lake. The Mahabaleshwar local city market and ST bus stand is about 2 km from the lake and makes for a nice walk during the day. Many local food stalls are found in these areas.
Entry Fee: Free, but boating cost Rs.500 for one hour on a rowboat
Timing: 9 am to 7 pm
Wax Museum– This is more than a museum and perfect milestone by Bhavesh Bhatia. He is the founder. Wax museum of Mahabaleshwar displays the items, statues and other showpieces made of wax. The uniqueness of the museum is that it displays many types of candles made by visually impaired people. There is a special 5D show held that is a must-visit for kids and adults. This museum is located in the heart of Mahabaleshwar and showcases favorite celebrities and icons.
Entry Fee: Rs. 200 per head
Timing: 11 am to 8.30 pm
Mapro Garden– The best of strawberries are found at Mapro Garden in Mahabaleshwar. There are many stalls and a big cafeteria serving delicious varieties of juices, ice creams, milkshakes and more. Tourists can also try their mocktails, they have a few good concoctions. There are a few selfie points where you can click pictures. Food options are plenty, and pizzas and French fries are the favorites with most diners.
Entry Fee: Free
Timing: 8 am to 8 pm
Most of the attractions in Mahabaleshwar are natural sightseeing places. So, if you love exploring a tourist destination, you will surely enjoy soaking in all the sites in Mahabaleshwar.
Panchgani Gateway from Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani (20 km) are twin destinations known for its heritage bungalows, getaway resorts, strawberry cultivation and a number of viewpoints and recreation activities. Mahabaleshwar is very- crowded during weekends and holiday periods such as Christmas, Diwali, and Summer Holidays. Panchgani is known for its strawberry and raspberry farms. Table Land, which is one of the favorites and popular getaways from Panchgani, offers a panoramic view of Panchgani. It is a favorite playground of school children and also the place for horsewallahs to give their customers a ride. Most of the Bollywood films are having shooting here.
Food Delicacies in Mahabaleshwar
Carrots, strawberries, and mulberries are the specialties of Mahabaleshwar. But while you are vacationing in Mahabaleshwar don’t forget to try local corns. The food prepared with local vegetables has a unique taste and one should also try the small tomatoes which look like cherries! Don’t forget to have the staple food of Maharashtra, the Vada Pav, which is deliciously prepared by the local vendor next to the Hanuman Temple in the main market. All the hotels are having their restaurants but it may swipe your budget as they are costly. So it is advisable to eat local foods at local stalls. In Mahabaleshwar, you can get the mouth-watering vegetarian food at affordable cost.
If you are liquor lover then make an arrangement on own as generally, restaurants here do not serve liquor, except beer. If you are madly in love then must try will be a strawberry milkshake.
Shopping in Mahabaleshwar
The Bazaar is in the center of town and consists of a pedestrian-only street with shops selling everything from fancy locally. While shopping you can enjoy the authentic Maharashtrian snacks. The snack specialty will include roasted chickpeas. Tourists can buy honey as the market will offer local and pure honey. If you are a fan of Kolhapuri slippers, shoes and sandals then you can get in this market. The products made of natural fruits and herbs are available at Mapro Garden.
So this vacation if you are heading to Mahabaleshwar, then this travel guide will surely act as a guide and will give you an unparallel experience of the holiday at Mahabaleshwar. But don’t forget to try the strawberry shake, whenever you will peep into your memory diaries the taste will again let you plan for another vacation at Mahabaleshwar. So must go and enjoy the most beautiful hill station in Maharashtra. The place is rich with plantations of strawberries, raspberries gooseberries, red potatoes, french beans, beets, salad, carrots etc.
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