Mahabaleshwar is the largest hill station in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra state. It is situated at an altitude of 1372 m above seal level in Satara district, about 115 km southwest of Pune.
Due to its high altitude, the town has a cool climate and offers many pleasant walks. There are several lookout points which offer spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is an old Shiva temple in the forest, which is the source of five rivers, including the Krishna river which is the second longest river of peninsular India.Its very good place to visit.
Mahabaleshwar is visited by many thousands of tourists every year. It is well connected by bus with the important towns of the region. There are numerous hotels for every budget. The peak season is March-May; it rains very heavily from June to September.
Way to Arthur's Seat, Hunter Point, Echo Point & Tiger Falls
The Shiva Temple in old Mahabaleshwar is near the source of 5 rivers, and the water keeps flowing throughout the year.
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 Rs 500. An ordinary AC bus will cost Rs 200. The Volvo bus from Pune is currently operated by two private companies (Neeta and Konduskar), and they charge approx Rs 250 each way. The Govt. Express bus from swargate starting 5.45AM and every hour with a moderate price of 120/- per individual.
Mahabaleshwar is also accessible by road from Mumbai, about 247 km. It takes about 4 to 5 hours by car if taking a route via Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur.
After the opening up of the Mumbai -Pune expressway and the highway onwards from Pune to Satara, this is the much better and preferred option to drive down from Mumbai.The distance via this route about 40 kms more but you reach much faster. You have to get off this highway at a place called Sirur and then travel via Wai and Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar.The road is less winding than the other one via Poladpur but more easy as far as driving is concerned.
You can also reach Satara by train from Mumbai/Banglore. Mahabaleshwar is 47 km from Satara and takes little more than one hour from there.
Try to arrive here in the morning because most of the hotels have a check-in time of 9AM. If you arrive later you may have to wait until another room becomes vacant.
A must see is a water well in the heart of market in the compound of the Library which is almost 150 years old. It still provides water to locals and is some 100 feet deep.
You can get latest timetable for buses for Mahabaleshwar [here]
Mahabaleshwar is built on a plateau and getting around is quite easy. Taxis(Cabs) and buses leave from the center of town near Irani's petrol pump opposite the Club. Taxi/Cab drivers charge only 50 INR for ferrying at local places within or around New Mahabaleshwar.Taxi/Cab service for sight seeing or local ferrying is centrally regulated with the office opposite the gate to the Govt Bus Stand. The rates are all fixed per the Taxi Drivers association and as of Jan 2013, it is is Rs.450 for local sightseeing (Tours 1,2 and 3) and Rs.750 for Pratapgad and back.
The main destinations are the "points", named after prominent British administrators who found these splendid locations with unbeatable views. The points are located at various edges of the plateau in different directions. Rental cars and taxis can get there quickly. For the more adventurous, horses are available in town and there are lovely shady bridle paths for delightful rides. The best way to get around is by bus which is provided by Govt. You can book ticket prior day only.Cost is around 80/- to 85/- per individual. Govt. Bus has two tour one is Pratapgad darshan in morning 9.15AM and Mahabaleshwar darshan in noon 2.15PM (4 hours covering 11 Points Arthur,Kate.., Strawberry farm and finally ending with Sunset , a Semi luxury bus 37 Seats , The driver speaks only in Marathi with some Hindi. During Offseason there is Only one Bus but during season 3 buses ply on this Darshan. Beware of Monkeys.) They are best.
Understand that the taxi association has a rule against providing services for a single person. So, if you are a single traveler, you would have to go the police station and present a form of identification, provide contact details and answer questions as to the purpose of your visit. If they are convinced that you are not a miscreant or one who intends to commit suicide, they will give you permission to hire the taxi to go on the package tours.
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:
- Lodwick Point
- Arthur's Seat
- Babington Point
- Wilson Point
- Kate's Point
- Bombay Point (Sunset Point)
- Elephant's head Point
- Lingamala Falls (best viewed from behind Surya Resort)
Typically five Sightseeing tours are conducted from Mahabaleshwar each of 2-3 Hr duration and costing between INR 350-550 (January 2010).
- Mahabaleshwar 1
- Mahabaleshwar 2
- Table Land
- Mapro garden
- Parsi Point
- Sidney Point
- Mini Kashmir (Tapola)
- Panchgani, Old Mahabaleshwar. This is supposed to be the site of origin of the river Krishna (one of the longest rivers of central-southern India), Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri.
Trekking in Mahabaleshwar
Trekking in Mahabaleshwar
There are many things to do in Mahableshwar. In your leisure time you can roam about the bazaar and do lots of shopping. You can also try your luck at the poker machines
- Tapola. About 50 KMs from Mahabaleshwar. Tourists can enjoy boating. There are many scenic view points and strawberry farms on the way.
- boating. Visit lake Venna for a ride on paddle/ or rowing boat. You may ride boat on your own or, alternatively, you can hire one. It is a beautiful and scenic lake.
- Horse Riding. Horse riding options are available at Venna lake. Usually, the horse trainer would walk along, and you can enjoy the easy paced ride. If you request the trainer, he can get you a ride at fast pace, with the horse running the circuit.
- Trekking. There are many many trekking trails around the hills of Mahabaleshwar. Ask your hotel for the nearest trekking trail
- Watch Sunrise and Sunsets. Go to Wilson Point or Kate's Point to watch beautiful sunrises, and to Bombay Point or Elphinstone Point to see glowing sunsets.
The Bazaar is in the center of town and consists of a pedestrian-only street with shops selling everything from fancy locally-made walking sticks to snacks and the specialty of the region - roasted chickpea nuts. At the far end of the bazaar stands a Mahabaleshwar institution, Imperial Stores, owned and run by generations of the Irani family. Here you can get anything from videos to provisions to ice cream to beer.
- Honey. There are a variety of local brands of honey available in the bazaar.
Strawberries, Mulberries and carrots are the speciality of Mahabaleshwar. One should not forget to try the Corn grown locally available in both roasted and boiled form. Corn pattice made from it is delicious. The food prepared with local vegetables has a unique taste and one should also try the small tomatoes which look like cherries! Dont forget to have the staple food of Maharashtara the Vada Pav which is deliciously prepared by the local vendor next to the Hanuman Temple in the main market.
Almost all the hotels have their own restaurants. Hotel DreamLand, Hotel Panaroma & Hotel Shreyas have a nice restaurant and good food, and all three are close to the State Bus stand. Many hotels, like Hotel Regal, Bharat Hotel and Hotel Rajesh serve a buffet meal in a platter, also known as the 'Gujarati thali'.
However, eating at the hotels you stay is excessively costly.It is advisable to take meals at other restaurants as an outsider.Hotel Panorama,which is just behind the Govt 07:12, 17 October 2011 (EDT)18.104.22.168Bus Stand,offers good quality veg food at reasonable cost.
- Hotel Templeview - Vegetarian restaurant at old Mahabaleshwar for excellent parathas Rajasthani favorites. Hotel Woodland is another good option.
- Mapro Garden. Mapro garden restaurant offers a decent menu. Most of the tourist vehicles stop here, on their way to Mahabaleshwar.
- Strawberries. Buy the 'Red Lady' & 'Sweet Charlie' variety of strawberries from the main Mahabaleshwar Market. Alternatively, you can also venture out into interior parts to handpick your berries from the strawberry farms.
- Hotel Center Point. Located in main market. Though prices are on slightly higher end, provides food with good taste.
- Strawberry with cream. The most popular drink, available at most restaurants, is strawberry with cream.It is delicious mouthwatering avalanche of strawberry shake topped with superchilled strawberry icecream dazzled with chunks of strawberry fruit in its natural form & crowned with a splash of whipped cream garnished with strawberry piecces to make it a eyecatchy, irrestible combo of strawberry desert in it's best form.
- Beer. Generally restaurants here do not serve liquor, except beer, but a few places close to the State Bus Stand, like Hotel Shreyas have it on menu. You can buy all the liquor you want from Imperial Stores.
Never go to the old mahabaleshwar for accommodation. It's better to stay near the bus stand for convenience. However, to enjoy the nature or the calmness of the forest then it is advisable to prefer old city.
Also note that most lodges are reluctant to give accommodation to single males, due to some trouble that occurred previously.
- The Dina Hotel, Lake Road (Overlooking Lake), ☎ (02168) 260246 / 261246 website:, . A family-run heritage hotel with excellent and well furnished rooms with en-suite bathrooms & TV. Enjoy views of the lake on the balcony as you sip your tea. Veg & non-veg dining Rs 2300 ().
- Hotel Rajesh, e mail: email@example.com, . Centrally located pure vegetarian hotel with 70 centrally air conditioned rooms and 20 non airconditioned rooms. Parking, pool with waterfall, gym, childrens' play park with mini train.
- Hotel Templeview. Surrounded by the jungle, gives a true feeling of wilderness. Rooms are just about okay. Food is fine. Some parts of resort building are about 125 years old. The cottages have three large sized rooms and a large bathroom & dressing area with respect to the price paid. The food and service are good. M54yost of all the location of the resort is the best value addition (2,4)
- Ramsukh, Old Mahabaleshwar, 7 KM away. Nice 3 star place
- Hotel Girivihar, (Near market), ☎ 02168-260288. checkin: 9; checkout: 8. Serves good Maharashtrian food. Clean and comfortable place to stay. Friendly staff. 2400. (5000,)
- Durwankur Cottage, Ganesh Housing Society, Off Mahabaleshwar Market, - 412 806. Tel: 9422038437, . checkin: 12; checkout: 11. Most economic cottage in Mahabaleshwar. Clean and comfortable stay 500-1500. (4000,)
- Citrus Chambers Mahabaleshwar hotel, (Two minutes distance from the Main market), . Nice views
- Brijanchal Estates (Brijanchal), Bhose Village, ☎ 94226 03703, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 01:00. Provides separate fully furnished 2-3 BHK flats including kitchen. You can stay here, cook. This campus contains a Krishna Temple and garden also. 6000.
- Frederick Hotel. Peace and serenity - Wonderful valley view, with spacious rooms and good food
- Saj Resort, Mahableashwar _Panchangi Road,Metgutad,, ☎ 02226202299, . The resort is spread over 5 acres of land with spectacular views. It houses 78 fully furnished rooms consisting of Deluxe Rooms, Luxury Rooms & Cottages that are spacious, lavish and comfortable, with all modern in-room amenities that will make your stay filled with fun and comfort. We have a Coffee shop and a restaurant to satiate your hunger and delight your taste buds that serve various Vegetarian Cuisines ranging from an authentic Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental and also still serving the famous Gujarati Thali which made Saj Resort famous for its food & hospitality. We do hope that you will take time to consider us in the event that you plan to have a seminar, residential conference; workshop, board meeting or even a corporate launch, inauguration or exhibition, the conference hall can accommodate 250 people with all modern conferencing facilities.
- Saj Resort, ☎ 02226202299, . La Tim’s Saj Resort has always been one of the most preferred & popular resorts in Mahabaleshwar, it’s a beautiful retreat for leisure & business travelers. We are always on an endeavour to provide our Guest with immense luxury and the utmost comfort. Provides your key, away from city with beautifully landscaped and breathtaking scenery to keep you company. It is located 3km from lake and 6 km from the hustle & bustle of the main market. The resort is spread over 5 acres of land with spectacular views. It houses 78 fully furnished rooms consisting of Deluxe Rooms, Luxury Rooms & Cottages that are spacious, lavish and comfortable, with all modern in-room amenities that will make your stay filled with fun and comfort. We have a Coffee shop and a restaurant to satiate your hunger and delight your taste buds that serve various Vegetarian Cuisines ranging from an authentic Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental and also still serving the famous Gujarati Thali which made Saj Resort famous for its food & hospitality. The Anupam Spa offers guests an unparalleled experience in an environment of luxury and pampering. At the Spa, you can look forward to discovering holistic natural therapy, a combination of Ayurvedic, Oriental and Western Traditional Spa Treatments. Sessions at the Spa offer relaxation and rejuvenation to create a balance between the body and mind. The Resort also provides a recreation room consists of a pool table, carom, and many other activities to unwind. We do hope that you will take time to consider us in the event that you plan to have a seminar, residential conference; workshop, board meeting or even a corporate launch, inauguration or exhibition, the conference hall can accommodate 250 people with all modern conferencing facilities.
- Ravine Hotel:.  The only 3 star Hotel in Panchgani.
- Hotel Gautam. India's first ecotel hotel.www.hotelgautam.com
- Valley View: includes gym ,indoor swimming pool , garden with view of valley and good 3 star service.
- Surya Retreat : rooms pointing to valley, great view , open swimming pool.
- Sherwood Hotel, Blue Valley Ride, Off Satara Road, - 412 806. Tel: 02168 - 270070 / 77 / 99, ☎ 8879490299. checkin: 12; checkout: 11. Excellent hotel - superb location and parsi food right in the middle of the jungle - best views in the hill station, but high end tariff. 3000. (4000,)
These hotels can cut a few more bucks from your wallet and these cost in range of Rs 3,000-5,000 per night, depending on season.
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