Mahabaleshwar, a land of strawberries, is one of the classic destinations for weekend relaxation near Pune, Mumbai Maharashtra. The captivating hills nestled in the majestic Sahyadri ranges, Mahabaleshwar is one of the most stunning retreats near Pune courteousness of its myriad lakes, waterfalls, valleys, and rivers. A staggeringly beautiful scenery of lush green mountain ranges kissing the blue skyline adds to the mesmerizing beauty of the region.
The spectacular hill station is famously known as “Queen of Hill Stations” or “Kashmir of Maharashtra”. Get close to the enchanting beauty of Western Ghats, witness enticing sunrise and sunsets amidst the lush green hilltops. The place also has historical significance and is worth visiting.
Must Visit Attractions
Arthur Seat Point
Arthur seat is the most popular attraction in Mahabaleshwar. Locals and tourists also refer it as Madhi Mala or Queen of All Points. So, you may think what’s so special about Arthur’s Point. The site is magical, at a height of 1470m, it offers a panoramic view of pristine nature. One can admire the Konkan and Deccan connect just 13 km from towns bus depot.
There are 6 points in total nearby Arthur’s Seat, Echo Point, Hunter Point, Tiger Spring Point, Window Point, and Malcolm Point.
This is the most ancient temple situated 6 km north of the main city. Lord Shiva temple was built in the 16th century. It is also known as Mahabali temple and is one of the significant pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra. The devotees visit the divine shrine throughout the year for spirituality and tranquillity.
The temple setup on the hilly terrain offers a picturesque view. Temple is guarded by a 5 feet wall and consists of two sections, inner part is sanctum sanctorum, which consists of Lord Shiva Idol and the outer part is the central hall.
There are several belongings of Lord Shiva in the temple, like his bed, Damru, Trishul, Nandi, and Kalbhairav (his bodyguard). However, the main attraction in the temple is the 6 feet long. There are two more temples in the region, namely- Atibaleshwar temple and the Panchganga temple.
Built in the year 1656 by the great Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the fort holds huge historical importance. Located at a distance of 24 km from Mahabaleshwar, the Pratapgad is the pride of Maratha Empire. The fort is a witness to the great battle between Chhatrapati Shivaji and the commander of Bijapur Sultanate Afzal Khan. You can also visit Bhavani Temple and tomb of Afzal Khan.
The fort is a maze of pond, chambers and long dark walkways. Some walkways are traps that lead to 100m falls. Surely, a must visit place for history lovers, explorers, trekkers and photographers for its scenic beauty.
Babington is a place for a little me time. It is a standpoint that offers magnificent views of the Solshi, Koyna Valleys and Chinaman Waterfalls. Admire nature in the calm, serene, and tranquil surrounding. Located at an altitude of 1294m, this point showcases enticing green landscapes. The route towards Babington point is an awesome trekking trail loved by trekkers. You can also enjoy a pony ride uphill.
Elephant Head Point
Elephant’s head point attracts numerous tourists each year. The place gets its name due to the rock formation exactly resemble elephant trunk and head. Plus, one can enjoy a panoramic view of Pratapgarh surrounded by Kova and Savitri Valley.
While visiting Mahabaleshwar make sure you surely visit Morarji Castle. Splendid architecture of colonial time is the hallmark of this place. One can trek to reach this place. Road trip to this place is also very alluring due to its splendid natural surroundings.
Built in the year 1942 by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj. Veena Lake is a manmade lake and the highly flocked place in Mahabaleshwar. The 8 Km stretch is a pilgrimage place and has the Pratapsinh Garden on its banks.
Indulge in fun activities. Enjoy sailing in the Row and Peddle boats here with your friends and family. Also let your children experience activities like horse riding, fun fair games and merry go round. Stroll around the lake while munching on sweet strawberries and corns.
The waterfall fall is located at the distance of 6 km from Mahabaleshwar. The perfect time to visit Lingmala falls is from July to December. During the monsoon season, the water from the waterfall fuses with the Veena Lake. It is near the majestic Dhobi Waterfall and Chinaman’s waterfall. Undoubtedly a perfect spot for admirers of nature and photographers.
Mapro Garden, located approximately 11 km from Mahabaleshwar, isn’t an ordinary garden. It comprises enticing attractions for all age groups, like a Chocolate factory, a small nursery and a play area for kids. There is a restaurant serving mouth-watering refreshments like sandwiches, fruit salads, strawberry shakes and ice creams.
Around March/April, a Strawberry Festival is conducted by Mapro. Where they present variety of strawberry based delicacies like strawberry pizza, chocolate dipped strawberries and strawberry sandwiches.
The Wilson point, which is more popularly referred as the Sunrise point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar. Standing tall at 4,710 feet above the sea level, this is the highest point of the hill station. The Wilson point has three stone platforms from where tourists can enjoy breath-taking scenic beauty during sunrise. The best point to rejuvenate before beginning your journey to other majestic points in the ranges.
The Mumbai Point is a major tourist attraction. It is an ideal foil to the rigours of urban life. After exploring different points of the region standing on the hill and watching the sun slowly vanish in the valley is a scene worth watching. As the sun sets it paints the sky with vibrant shades of pink and orange, an absolutely spell-binding view from the hilltop.
Dhobi Waterfall is located just 3 km from Mahabaleshwar. A well-known picnic spot populated by the travellers from every nook and corner of the world.
Mahabaleshwar is one of the most ancient cities in the Maharashtra and dated back to 1215 when King Singhan of Deogiri discovered the Old Mahabaleshwar. He then built a little temple at the base of the River Krishna. The region was ruled by both Hindu Kings and Mughal Emperors.
In 1350, the area was ruled by a Brahmins but was defeated by the Maratha King Chandarao More in the 16th century.
Later, in the 17th century, Shivaji Maharaj took over the region and constructed the Pratapgad fort to protect the city from the Mughals and Britishers. After his sad demise, Mahabaleshwar came under the rule of the Peshwas.
British took over the region from Peshwas and made it their summer capital. Many of the peaks are names of the British generals who discovered them.
The region in British Rule was also recognized as a health resort in the year 1829AD. Jail in Mahabaleshwar was used to hold Chinese and Malay convicts from 1834 to 1864.
How to reach Mahabaleshwar
Airport: Pune is the nearest airport for Mahabaleshwar (120 km)
Railway: For Mahabaleshwar, the nearest railway station is at Wathar (62 km) but Pune railway station is more convenient (120 km).
Roadway: From Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is 290 km and via Mahad, it is 247 km.