When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna

Tripoto
2nd Jul 2019
Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

" Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home" - J.K. Rowling

And home these days has been "wanderlust."

Almost an year back, we left our footprints on a seashore

Quite opposite to that, we headed to the hills.

The trip started with our all time favorite mode of transport: Trains!

Hyderabad to Pune:

Monsoons brings beauty and life, to hill stations, and waterfalls.

But you see "water - falls" flooding the low lying areas.

Our train had to be halted. But nothing could stop a bunch of travel junkies. And to reach that the top spot, we jumped trains.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna 1/2 by Harika Palaparthi
Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna 2/2 by Harika Palaparthi

After an hour of hogging in a unreserved compartment, we landed in Pune.

Day 1

Best known for it's good food, Pune had a lot to offer.

Our hunger pangs led the way.

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Harika Palaparthi
Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Harika Palaparthi

Local delicacies: Misaal Paav and Mattha. Mattha Nasha tha. ❤

Fast forward to pack up, pick up (car) and drive to Mahabaleshwar..

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi
Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

Day 1: Mahabaleshwar to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary

Early morning, misty weather, friends, and drive. Sounds dreamy, right? It indeed was. ❤

Drive through the hills, maratha breakfast on the highway, makkabutta on a hilltop, a small museum about the Koyna Dam and gushing water falls, the day went by without we realizing it was time to head home.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

A moment of sunshine, a moment of rain, as unpredictable as a woman's "may."

Day 2: Pratap Gadh, Elephant View Point and Lingamala Water Falls

Day 2

Another beautiful morning.

Wasn't exaggerating, see for yourself ????

Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Harika Palaparthi

Pratapgadh was a long way, we started early in the morning by 7:00 AM.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

It was a misty yesterday, we were that mist now.

After 2 hours of driving, we reached Pratapgarh Fort.

Built after the glorious victory against the Adilshahi forces, the fort represents the inception of the maratha empire.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi
Day 3

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Photo of Pratapgad, Maharashtra, India by Harika Palaparthi

Unlike popular reviews, we took our sweet time to explore the fort.

Followed by breakfast, it gave an eerie feeling, knowing that wars were fought and men were beheaded, at the very foothills of this fort where we sat and dined.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

En route, blessed with rains, we encountered pretty waterfalls.

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

Next stop: Elephant's view point

It was a drive back to the place we started from.

Unfortunately, clouds did their magic.

The only thing we realized was, where there are clouds there's 4G. Sir Aurthur's seat: it was their (clouds') day.

Pro Tip: DO NOT completely rely on google maps and be ready to pay tolls/taxes.

Last point for the day: Lingmala water falls

It was almost closing by the time we reached. We reached out to the management and after considering our pleas and puppy faces, they let us in for 20 mins. The race began to reach:

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

That..

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

Leading to this..

Happy that we could take a peek at it, it was go home time.

Back in the city, we paid a visit to Mapro Gardens, known for varieties of strawberry produce.

Followed by a drive back to Pune, paired with south Indian breakfast to revive those taste buds, ( aakhir hyderabadi toh hi hai na!?) cheers to the best time I had in Maharashtra!

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

Post Script: After a systematic review by one of our readers, adding in the below information on how the trip was planned:

Photo of When the hills called back: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Koyna by Harika Palaparthi

Middle ground: Mapro Gardens/Parsi Point

To the:

South - Koyna WildLife Sanctuary

Koyna is a long way of hills, water falls and picturesque landscapes. 

While heading to that place, make sure to carry all weather protection gear as the weather tends to be unpredictable. 

Our choice of stay was: Hotel Shahee Pearl near Old Mahabaleshwar 

Decent rooms, Decent Prices and beautiful morning views!

West - Pratapgadh Fort, Elephant's view point. Sir Arthur's seat, Lingmala Water Falls and Venna Lake

Get the explorer out while heading out to Pratapgadh Fort and Lingmala Water Falls, involves trekking through the ups and downs and taking gigantic stairs!

Choice of Stay: As above

East - Wai and Dhom Dam

This is the time where you descend the hills and hit the ground.Our choice of stay - Zostel Panchgani

Hope this helps! 

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