When you are bitten by that crazy bug called wanderlust, your heart always wants to run away from the usual stress of everyday life at any given chance. And, if you get to wander every weekend, nothing like it
It was a usual weekending and nothing was planned till Friday afternoon, suddenly called up few friends and thought of visiting queen of hill stations Mahabaleshwar and few friends agreed to my plan.
We planned our trip and marked places to visit in Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani.
On Saturday we started our trip from Mumbai at 4.30 am in the morning it was a blissful morning as we were excited for our sudden trip.
We took halt at our near by Idli wada corner by 5.00 am had our super early breakfast and resumed our trip. Our only friend who know driving was concentrated on drive rather that enjoying the beauty of nature (lol😜) but yes thanks to him for making this trip a success
At 9.30 quater to 10 we took a halt at roadside corner for eating the local delicacy , Kanda poha and tapri ke chai was super yummy then we took some pictures and headed our trip further.
Somehow with halts ans waits we reached Panchgani, we took rest for sometime freshened up in silver inn hotel.
Now before we head to all the points which we had figured out let me give some facts about Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station in India's forested Western Ghats range, south of Mumbai. It features several elevated viewing points, such as Arthur’s Seat. West of here is centuries-old Pratapgad Fort, perched atop a mountain spur. East, Lingmala Waterfall tumbles off a sheer cliff. Colorful boats dot Venna Lake, while 5 rivers meet at Panch Ganga Temple to the north.
Scenic Panchgani was discovered by the British during the British Raj as a summer resort, and a superintendent named John Chesson was placed in charge of the hill station in the 1860s. He is credited with planting many plant species from the western world in Panchgani, including silver oak and poinsettia, which have flourished since then in Panchgani. Mahabaleshwar was the summer resort of choice for the British, but it was uninhabitable during the monsoons. Panchgani was developed as a retirement place for the British because it remained pleasant throughout the year. John Chesson was deputed to find a suitable place. He surveyed the hills in this region in the company of Rustomji Dubash, and finally decided on this nameless area in the vicinity of the five villages: Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. The place was aptly named Panchgani, and Chesson was made Superintendent.
Places we visited in Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar:
Parsi Point offer spectacular views of the mountains, Krishna valley and the backwaters of Dhom dam. This popular picnic spot has derived its name from the fact that in earlier days, it was a favourite spot of the Parsi Community. There is small entry free at the entrance of the view the point.
Table Land, at 4,550 ft above sea level, is the highest point in Panchgani. This volcanic platue is Asia’s second longest mountain plateau after tibetan platue. It is a vast expanse (around 6 km) of flat laterite rock surrounded by hills. This place offers an aerial view of the entire Panchgani and the valleys located nearby.
Apart from the various viewpoints, the main attraction is the MaproGarden, it has it all, from a good restaurant selling good big pizzas, sandwiches, and milkshakes; to selling counters and tasting booths, it even has a chocolate factory.
Mapro sells a lot of fruit juices and squashes and the best part is you can taste them all here on the multiple tasting booths here. Just tell them which flavor you want to try and if you want milk or water and they will mix it up in a shot glass for you to taste (Just make sure not to try too many from the same booth, alternate between the booths to make the best out of this tasting opportunity).If you do like some of the flavors, you can directly purchase it from the selling counters a subsidized rates. There is a strawberry farm in the vicinity and the horticulture has been done in an impressive manner.
4.Lodwick Point and Elephant head point
At a distance of 4 km from Mahabaleshwar Bus Stand, Lodwick Point is previously known as Sydney Point. This point lies at an elevation of 4087 feet above sea level.
Lodwick Point area has 2 points; Lodwick Point and Elephant's Head Point. The Lodwick point was rechristened in the honor of General Lodwick, who was the first British officer to climb the hill in April 1824. To honor General Lodwick's achievement, his son erected a memorial pole of about 25 ft. At the base of this monument, the head of the General is sculptured in marble. This point offers unmatched views of the Pratapgad Fort and Elphinstone Point at a distance.
Elephant's Head Point is the extreme end of the mountain range and lies beyond the Lodwick Point. The extended front part of hill looks like Elephant Head. Hence, this point is known as Elephant's Head Point. The point renders breathtaking views of the surroundings. One needs to walk almost 1.5 km from car parking place or taking a pony ride from the parking area.
Venna Lake is one of the major tourist attractions
The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride over the lake or a horse ride next to the lake. A number of small eateries line the banks of the lake. The Mahabaleshwar city market and the S.T. bus stand is about 2 km from the lake and makes for a nice walk during the day. Most tour operators include the Venna lake in their tours. Most buses, private vehicles will stop at the Venna lake on their way to Mahabaleshwar on request.