They (friends) called one evening and said, " Look ! we are planning for a weekend trip during Holi vacation. Pack your bags, hop on a plane and get here." We asked" Where are we heading?".
They said, " To a little-known paradise"! Thrilled us , we booked tickets to fly from Bangalore to Pune and was excited for an impromptu road trip from Pune and little did we knew that we were going to this off beaten paradise to embark our journey.
We been to Mahalabeshwar before as well, but this trip was special one with buddies. Let us take you through our journey to this queens of hill stations.
At 123km from Pune and 243 Kms from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is a well-known hill station in Maharashtra. Snuggled in the picturesque Western Ghats, tourist places in Mahabaleshwar will enthrall your imagination with their natural glory. This pretty hill station is often referred as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra.
It offers panoramic view of the plains with the imposing sloppy peaks and surrounding woods. Apart from being well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades and majestic peaks, Mahabaleshwar is also renowned for its strawberry farms.
Mahabaleshwar attracts hordes of tourists for its lovely views, beautiful landscapes and pleasant temperatures. There are many tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar like forts, temples, lakes, and many more.
The city is among the most desirable weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune. Amiable views, alluring valleys, tranquil lakes and a refreshing delight for your taste buds - the best way to summarize this natures gift.
Fun Facts :
Ideal Trip Duration: 2 Full Days
Nearest City to Mahabaleshwar: Pune (123 Kms), Mumbai (243 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Mahabaleshwar: June to October
State: Maharashtra | District: Satara
How to reach Mahabaleshwar:
Mahabaleshwar is conveniently connected, no matter where you are coming from. The travel distances by road are as given below:
Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar via Mahad is 220 kms, just a few hours' drive. Pune to Mahabaleshwar is just about 120 kms. Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar is barely 20 kms
Private cars as well as state transport buses make it very easy to get here once you get yourself to Pune or Mumbai via a flight or a train. The best mode however is to drive down in your own car, for nothing beats the views and the picturesque scenes that the road offers.
Hire a cab or rent a car to drive down to Mahabaleshwar, which takes about 5 hours 20 minutes. This mode is ideal for group travel or for families with senior citizens and kids. Approximate cost of cab per kilometer is about INR 10 to 35 depending upon the type of car hired.
Where to Stay in Mahabaleshwar:
Being a popular tourist destination in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is replete with all kinds of accommodation options, from luxury to eco-friendly resorts, moderate to budget hotels and even guest houses and lodges, the hill station has everything to provide you with a pleasant stay.
However, the " Little known paradise" that we were talking about it our stay cation at Shelar Agro tourism holiday home. This stay is perfect if you are travelling with friends and family. Also, if you keen for a relaxing holiday and looking for offbeat stay near Mahabaleshwar to avoid crowd, we highly recommend staying at Shelar Agro tourism holiday homes.
Shelar Agro holiday homes is about 29mins drive from Mahabaleshwar city via Tapola route. Relax in the lap of Mother Nature near Mahabaleshwar, a gorgeous hill station located at about 120km from Pune. As soon as you step in here , you will be at peace with its calm and serene surroundings.
This place has 4 rooms in a row which is ideal for a big group family or friends. We were 13 of us including kids. They have a common kitchen where a chef will cook food as per your choice and it is damn yummy ! seriously !! This stay cation is not so heavy to the pocket.
Budget: INR 2500/ room + food charges.
For booking: https://www.facebook.com/shelaragro/
What to do in Mahabaleswar:
Mahabaleshwar has several attractions that can make any traveler fall in love with it instantly. The scenic beauty is something one cannot ignore in this hill destination in Maharashtra.
Watch Sunrise at Arthur's seat: One thing you cannot really miss in Mahabaleshwar is watching sunrise at Arthur's seat. Wake up early and head to this view point to witness one of the mesmerizing sunrise.
Arthur Seat Point is the most popular viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar and among the top places to visit in Mahabaleshwar. The Savitri valley and the Jor valley offer a significant view from this point.
From the parking visitors need to do 30 min walk to reach the view point. The trek is an easy one with stone steps for most of the way. There are lot of vendors throughout the route. The view of Western Ghat from these points was quite beautiful. The greenery and the birdsong add more charm to the place
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM
Boating at Venna Lake: Venna lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar. Venna lake is manmade lake and a popular tourist destination in Mahabaleshwar.
Venna Lake is a also most loved attraction for photography, especially for families and honeymoon couples. Tourists can also enjoy on the row and peddle boats here with observe some serene views around.
Row boats costs around Rs.250 for 0.5 hour or Rs. 500 for 1 hour. At the most seven people can have a ride together on one row boat. For peddle boats, around Rs. 440 for 1 hour and at the most 6 people can enjoy the ride together.
Apart from boating, you can also enjoy horse riding, fun fair games like merry-go-round, toy train - these entertainers are loved by kids!
Reaching Venna Lake is easy; it's just 2 KM from Mahabaleshwar market and you can take a cab that would charge around Rs. 80-100 for one-way trip.
Treat your taste buds to Strawberries Cream at the Mapro Garden:
One of our "most favorite" things to do in Mahabaleshwar is to visit Mapro Garden and indulge in having strawberry cream . If you're wondering what to do in Mahabaleshwar other than enjoying view points and engaging in adventurous activities, then you should head to any of the strawberry farms here, or better yet, the Mapro Garden itself!
The major highlight of Mapro Garden is the chocolate factory within the premises. Visitors can also see a small nursery full of beautiful flowers and plants. There are various counters selling different Mapro products. Tourists can buy variety of Mapro products like syrups, sauces, jelly, chocolates, mock tail mixtures and much more.
.You can take home buckets of these luscious fruits or the delicious products that Mapro Garden makes out of these - jams, jellies, syrups, marmalades, sauces, chocolates, mock tail mixtures, and much more.
Don't forget to try their tantalizing preparation of Strawberries with Cream!Timings: 8 AM to 9.30pm
Watch fascinating sunset at Bombay Point:
Sunset Point is one of the most popular viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar and is popularly known as Mumbai Point or Bombay Point.
This is the place from where people can view the magnificent sunset over the valleys below at Mahabaleshwar. Ideal for afternoon picnic spot, people flock here in groups or as couples to spend some relaxed and enjoyable time, fascinated by all that"s around.
Visit " Mini-Kashmir" aka Tapola:
Tapola Lake is a set at 27 kms from Mahabaleshwar and is popular with tourists for a visit. Here Canoeing / Kayaking / Wind surfing is conducted by Nature trails camp set here.
Tapola is a satellite village of Mahabaleshwar about 25 Kms down the valley. A rustic hamlet famed as the 'Mini Kashmir' Tapola is an ideal destination for a back to nature experience. The primary attraction in Tapola is the Shivsagar Lake - a 90 km long water body in fact the reservoir of the Koyna dam!!
Mahabaleshwar holds many attractions which you can explore if you wish to include i.e. Elephant's head point, Kate point, Lingmala waterfall, pratapgarh fort and Mahabaleshwar temple.
Where to eat in Mahabaleshwar:
While Mahabaleshwar is well known for its strawberries, chick and carrots, over the past few years, Indian and global cuisines have become popular in this hill station. Many restaurants and street food vendors are serving all sorts of cuisines in Mahabaleshwar, to the delight of happy foodies.
Mapro garden is an ideal and our one of the most sought-after place to eat food in Mahabaleshwar. They serve delicious sandwiches/Pizza's and lip smacking desserts.
You must also try Maharashtrian thali at Fasal Farm and Annapurna Gard Restaurant. You can also enjoy some delicious Italian cuisine at Little Italy .
Sometimes, it gets windy and wet in Mahabaleshwar, so you should be armed with the proper clothing and an umbrella/raincoat.
A pair of walking shoes will act as your best friends during a visit to Mahabaleshwar, as hilly areas often entail a lot of walking.
Beware of Monkeys !! you will see tons of monkeys jumping from one place to another specially at the different viewpoints.
Nearby places to visit from Mahabaleshwar :
Mahabaleshwar is a magical place to be in. With lush green mountains, romantic and secretive avenues, forested areas, winding roads, rivers and misty and wet weather, this place has an abundance of natural beauty. If you are stunned by the beauty of this place, then plan a trip to Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and head out to explore the history and beauty of this charming town on the Western Ghats.
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