Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Maharashtra     Satara    


Place : Satara District, Maharashtra
Altitude : 1,372 meters above sea level
Temperature : Maximum: 29oC (Summers)
Minimum: 13oC (Winters)
Significance : Famous for its strawberries
Best Season : October to June
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Mahabaleshwar, means ‘God of Great Power’ in Sanskrit is Maharashtra’s most popular hill station. Mahabaleshwar is situated 1,372 meters above sea level in the Western Ghats, in Satara District. Previously, it was a part of the territory under King Raja Pratap Singh of Satara. Later, its status changed after Governor Malcolm of Bombay exchanged a village for Mahabaleshwar in 1828. After this, it became the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency during the British Raj.

Famous for its waterfalls, temples and view points, Mahabaleshwar is rewarding the visitor with a mix of exotic natural beauty and pleasant cool climate. It is situated at an altitude of 1372 m above seal level and due to this high altutude makes the climate very pleasant during the dry season in Mahabaleshwar. The hill station offers many pleasant walks to visit. The hill-station has around about 30 points offering great views of flat-topped ghats, dense forests and lush green valleys. Named after former British residents most of them are situated in a 10-km radius from the main bazaar.

Tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar

Mount Malcolm
It was built in 1829. Named after John Malcom, this was one of the famous buildings of its time. It is said that, the general of the British trops was very much attracted by the scenic beauty of Mahabaleshwar. It is a fine example of colonial architecture.

Holy Cross Church
Although not very well-maintained, the stained glass windows of this old Roman Catholic Church still retain their beauty. Contact : 02168 - 261226.

Mahabaleshwar Club
Built in 1881, the Mahabaleshwar Club stands as one of the last surviving bastions of Mahabaleshwar’s heritage and history. Built with red stone, the club is popular for its well maintained garden and lovely jogging track edged with beautiful rose bushes. Spread over 66 acres, the club has 28 residential rooms also. It offers its visitors a peaceful atmosphere and many recreational facilities including a mini gulf course, badminton, billiards, chess, table tennis, carom etc. Apart from the golf-course, the rest of the other facilities are only open to members. It also offers a clear view of Venna Lake below. And every year, Christmas is grandly celebrated by the members of the club.

:The Club Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar 412806,Dist Satara, Maharashtra
Ph : 95 2168 260221, 95 2168 260222

Pratapgad Fort

It is 24 km. away from Mahabaleshwar. Built in 1656, by the minister Tirmal Pingale on the command of Shivaji Maharaj to control the rebellious satraps of the surrounding Javali Basin. Stands 1,080 metres above sea level, the fort is built on a spur which overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar. From here one can get a panoramic view down the forested hill side. Comprises a double wall with corner bastions, a road leads to the foot of the hill, then 500 steps run up to the top. It was here that Shivaji Maharaj killed Afjal Khan, commander of Bijapur and retained the fort. One can see spectacular view of Konkan region from Pratapgad. One can also visit Bhavani Temple and Afzal Khan Tomb which are near the fort. According to legend, Shivaji was blessed with a shining sword at the Bhavani temple. Inside the Bhavani temple has two lantern towers. Their exteriors are covered with regularly placed projections like giant coat hooks. 

Venna Lake
It is the prime attraction in Mahabaleshwar, situated a walking distance from Mahabaleshwar town. Built by Raja Pratap Singh of Satara in 1842, the lake is spread over 28 Acres. Visitors can enjoy a customary boat-ride or a horse-ride to explore the beauty of Mahabaleshwar. Colourful paddle boats and row boats are available from the lakeside.  The lake is surrounded with many food and game stalls also. 

Morarji Castle
Also worth a look, this is an old structure in Mahabaleshwar. Mahatma Gandhi once lived here in 1945.

Waterfalls : There are several waterfalls situated at a very short distance from Mahabaleshwar. 
1. Chinaman’s fall 
Situated 2.5 km away from Mahabaleshwar, is the Chinaman’s Waterfall. Named after some Chinese convicts who were employed there for cultivation and gardening, it is a panoramic sight to see the waterfalls, falls from a huge height. Situated at the top of Venna Valley, it can be reached on the route to Carviali Road. It is at its best during the monsoon season. 
2. Dhobi Waterfalls
Situated 3 km away from Mahabaleshwar town on a way joining Petit Road and old Mahabaleshwar. The water cascades down in the valley and merges into Koyna Rver in Mahabaleshwar.
3. Lingamala Waterfalls
It is a beautiful waterfall situated at the top of Venna Valley, 6 km from Mahabaleshwar. Falls from a height of 600 ft from the cliff, it is also at its best during the monsoon season. 

Panchaganga Temple 

Also known as Krishnabai it is said to have five streams Krishna, Venna, Koyna, Savitri and Gayatri. The 13th century King Singhan built a small tank at the Krishna's source. The self formed linga in the temple resembles a piece of volcanic lava.

Mahabaleshwar Temple  
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is encircled with a 5 feet high stone wall. The temple is carved into two - the inner room known as the God chamber and the outer room called as the Central hall. One of the land mark of Mahabaleshwar, the temple Shivalingam is made of black stone.

Connaught Peak
Located about 7 km from the main market, Connaught peak is the second highest peak in Mahabaleshwar. Formerly known as Mount Olympia it is situated at an altitude of 1400 m. Named after the Duke of Connaught, it offers its visitors a stunning view of Vena Lake and Krishna Valley. One can also view the Kamalgadh, Rajgadh and Torana in the North, Panchgani and Pasarani Ghat at east, Ajinkyatara at south, Pratapgad at west and Elphinston Point and Old Mahabaleshwar at north-west. The sunset and sunrise here is exhilarating.

Mahabaleshwar Points
: Mahabaleshwar has almost 30 designated sightseeing points.

Wilson Point (Sunrise Point) 
Wilson Point or Sunrise Point is a vast plateau and there are three masonry round platforms. The second platform, which is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar is about 1 km away from the market area of Mahabaleshwar. Located at 4735 feet above sea level, it offers a beautiful view of the sunrise. Three observation towers provide splendid views of the valleys around. From here one can also view the Kshetra Mahabaleshwar,  Kate's Point, Connaught Pick Point, Arthur's Point and Elphinston Point. 

Arthur’s Point
Arthur’s Point an enchanting picnic spot is 12 kms away from main market. Here one can enjoy spectacular views of the deep forested valley. Named after Englishman Arthur Mallet who was the first to come here and build a house for himself. This is the only place that shows the geographical distinction between the Konkan and the Deccan territories of Mahabaleshwar. One can see the densely forested Jaoli valley from here. Below this point is Window Point, which is very dangerous and risky to approach. On the way to Arthur Point, one can see beautiful Marjorie, Elphinston and Savitri Points, Castle Rock and a little stream called Tiger Spring. 

Elphistone Point
It is very near to Arthur’s Point. The peak is named after the Governor of Bombay, Sir Elphinston, and was originally discovered by Dr. Murray in 1830. A popular spot with tourists, one can enjoy the beauty of the Koyna valley on the left and the River Savitri on the right. It is also the best place to view the Pratapgarh and Konkan areas. 

Kate's Point
It is located along the Duchess road, 4 km from Venna lake. Perched at a height of 1,290 ft, the point is named after the daughter of Sir John Malcom. From the Kate's point one can enjoy the beauty of Konkan areas, Kamalgad, Panduagad and Mandhardev, Krishna Valley, Balkwadi and Dhom Valleys. The best time to visit this point is winter months because these months the views are clear. Right of this point one can find a bird's eye view of Echo point. One can also reach Needle’s hole, where a huge rock spreads like a hole in the needle.

Lordwick Point
 It is situated 5 km from Mahabaleshwar. Known as Sydney Point formerly, it was renamed Lodwick Point in honour of General Lodwick the first British General who found this place. There is a memorial pole installed by R.W.Lordwick the son of General Lodwick. Lordwick point also offers a panoramic of the valley below. 

Rosamund Rock and Makhria Point

Situated 6 km from Mahabaleshwar Bus Stand is Rosamund and Birthday Rock. An excellent view of the Krishna river can be enjoyed from here. In a close proximity to the Rosamund Rock is the Makahriya point. Besides these points, there are many locations offering pleasant views of the plains below. Some of them are Savitri Point, Marjori Point , Hunter Point etc. 

Strawberry Farms 
Mahabaleshwar is the largest producer of strawberry in India. Mahabaleshwar is India’s sole strawberry estate with 2,000 acres of land. One can find rows of strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar. Some of the famous strawberry spots are Archies Farm, Hirkani Garden, Shilpa Farm, Garden’s Green House, Mapro Garden and Deepak Baug.  May to June is the best to visit Strawberry farms. One can purchase jams, crushes, jellies at the farm house.