If you are searching for one of the best cold places in Maharashtra to visit this summer, then Mahabaleshwar always comes to the top of everyone’s holiday destination places. As I have visited this place for a week, in this blog, I am sharing everything about Mahabaleshwar that you must be known before making this place final for your next journey.
I hope this blog may help you to answer most of your questions about this beautiful cold place in the mountains.
For those who have heard about Mahabaleshwar so many times but never visited this place, I would definitely say the things that you have heard, Mahabaleshwar is much more than that.
In terms of its secluded location on mountains, cool breeze all the time and its unique aura that attracts tourists to visit this place again and again.
Story of Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is a small and scenic hill station located on the mountains of Sahyadri range, nestled in the picturesque Western Ghats that run North to south along the western coast of India.
Mahabaleshwar is a stretch of the vast plateau at its highest peak of 1,439 m (4,721 ft) above sea level, known as Wilson and Sunrise Point. Basically, it is a small town and a municipal council in Satara district of Maharashtra.
Mahabaleshwar is full of numerous rivers, fantastic viewpoints, magnificent cascades, placid lakes, age-old temples, majestic peaks and cascading waterfalls which offers a complete package of leisure for a week to stay away from daily life.
Mahabaleshwar weather also facilitates and perfect for the cultivation of various soft fruits and berries, which adds to its variegated vegetation. On every small distance you will find various beautiful farms of Strawberries and the eye catching aura of it.
Mahabaleshwar is divided or we can say made up of three small places that are Malcolm Peth, Old “Kshetra” Mahabaleshwar and a part of the Shindola village. Due to the holy Krishna river has its origins here, this has become a pilgrim place for Hindus.
There is an ancient temple of God Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar where the legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a cow’s statue.
Weather in Mahabaleshwar
Due to being a hill station, Mahabaleshwar weather is so pleasant throughout the year, even during the summers you will feel a cool and pleasing climate that is ideal for your weekend trip. So you can imagine how cold it will be during the winter months.
Summer Season in Mahabaleshwar
The summer season starts here in the month of March and lasts till June. This season is considered the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar for sightseeing as you will get a very pleasant temperature during this time when the minimum temperature goes up to 15 degrees Celsius and the maximum reaches up to 35 degrees Celsius.
Winter Season in Mahabaleshwar
December to February is the winter season. During this time the minimum temperature goes up to 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is 25 degrees Celsius. This is also the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar for those people who like cold weather as you can enjoy the cool breeze throughout the day while your sightseeing.
Monsoon Season in Mahabaleshwar
June to September is the monsoon season. Monsoon means always beautiful greenery and you can imagine how picturesque view you can get during those monsoon days on this hill station inside the fog and clouds.
Despite very heavy rainfall on some days, the hill station becomes extremely beautiful in this season and it gives the actual feel of the aura of this hill plateau region.
6 Best Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is the perfect tourist destination to relax and rejuvenate in leisure. Some of the famous and most heard tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar include Panchgani, Tapola River and Pratapgad Fort. Kshetra Mahabaleshwar temple is another famous devotee’s attraction that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
1. Mapro Garden of Panchgani
Your trip is incomplete if you came to Mahabaleshwar and miss this beautiful place known as Mapro Garden. Basically, it’s a brand that sells detectable fruit-based products most famous for Strawberry.
As its name, it is a Garden park with a lot of beautiful colorful flowers and greenery everywhere and different artificial themes of fruits. It is established by Mahabaleshwar Products known as Mapro.
The major attraction of this park is a chocolate factory where all types of delicious chocolates you can enjoy. They have a live outlet of Mapro products where you can taste different samples of fruit juices and syrups in small glasses.
Also, it has a proper and clean restaurant, a play area for kids, and a small nursery where you can see eye-catching colorful flowers of different species.
Mapro Garden’s Theme Park is amazing with different colorful themes to make your photo session better.
Especially if you are traveling with your family and kids this place is worth visiting. Strawberry-based ice creams are must-try to taste here and from the retail outlet, you can also buy jams, syrups, juices, and such processed items.
2. Popular Viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar
As Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located at a high altitude, due to which it is blessed with many amazing vantage points from where you can actually witness the beauty of this god-gifted nature and enjoy the scenic vistas.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras to take some postcard-worthy pictures of scenic landscapes or catch the sunset with your loved ones.
My suggestions for the Best Points to view in Mahabaleshwar includes
Wilson Point is very famous for its beautiful Sunrise View.
Mumbai Point or Bombay Point is the perfect place for your evenings. If you are a sunset lover, this is the place from where people can view the magnificent sunset over the valleys below at Mahabaleshwar.
During the evening golden hour, this point is the most crowded point as the best sunset can be seen from this point only. And also this point has many activities like Horse riding, Choupati games which becomes the tourist attraction during evening hours.
There is a lover’s point to the left of the Mumbai point.
Arthur’s Seat is located at a height of 1340 meters. It is surrounded by the deep Savitri gorge on one side and on the other side, you will see a beautiful lush green plateau. Due to which it is called The Queen of the Points.
Elephant’s Head Point or Kate’s Point area has 3 popular points in total they are Kate’s Point, Echo Point and Elephant’s Head Point also known as Needle Hole Point.
This point has overhanging cliffs that are similar to the head of an elephant and its trunk if you see it from a distance. Thus the point got its name as the Elephant’s Head Point.
One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle Hole. Kate’s Point and Needle Hole Point are near Lodwick Point where you will get the best echo voice experience of your sound when you shout loudly towards the valley.
Also, you will find a lot of Monkeys here enjoying and having food with their families. From this point, tourists can also get a view of the Sahyadri mountain range.
Helen’s Point or Lodwick Point offers unmatched views of the great Pratapgad Fort and Elphinstone Point at a distance. The point renders breathtaking views of the surroundings.
You need to walk almost 1.5 km from car parking place or take a pony ride from the parking area. But you must try to visit this point as the trails of this point are eye-catching.
Babington Point located at a height of 1294 m, the scenically blessed Babington Point offers amazing views of Chinaman Waterfalls.
Surrounded by lush green forested hills, this Point is the owner of stunning landscapes overlooking the beautiful Koyna and Solshi valleys.
Most of these points you will get in the same area of the hill, just at a walkable distance from one point to another. Keep in mind you have to do a lot of walking here which is also good for health to witness these points.
Start your sightseeing post-lunch to sunset which is the best time for exploring the Mahabaleshwar hill region.
3. Go Boating on Venna Lake
This manmade lake, which was built by the Raja of Satara Shri Appasaheb Maharaj in 1842, is located close to the city market. At Venna lake you can spend a quality and peaceful time enjoying the fun-filled moments with your loved ones.
A boating session on Venna Lake will be a great option that I would recommend. Surrounded by eye-catching green trees on all sides and heart soothing sound of water makes this site mesmerizing. Besides enjoying a session of row or paddle boating, you can also go for horse riding around the lake.
- Timings: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
- Boating Charges:
Rowboat – ₹ 250 for 30 mins and ₹ 500 for 1 hour (Max 7 persons)
Paddle Boat – ₹ 440 for 1 hour (Max 6 persons)
4. Explore the Historical Pratapgad Fort
One of the Greatest fort historical forts of Maharashtra is Pratapgad built by the great ruler of the Maratha Empire Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century.
Pratapgad is a ‘Valour Fort’ which is basically a large mountain fort located in Satara district of Maharashtra.
Once you start climbing the fort it gives vibes of bravery and courage of Maratha Empire, also the historical significance of fort due to the Battle of Pratapgad fought in 1659, attracts the tourist to visit the fort in their Mahabaleshwar trip.
Fort is located at a short distance from the town, 15 kilometers from Poladpur and 23 kilometers west of Mahabaleshwar. The fort is divided into the lower fort and upper fort. On top of the fort, there is a temple of the god Mahadev as the Shivaji Maharaj was a devotee of the God Shankara.
The topside of the fort offers a mesmerizing view of the entire fort and surrounding jungle area. Some of the key attractions here include the Afzal Tower where the Afzal Khan’s body is said to be buried under the tower. And two shrines built by Shivaji Maharaj dedicated to Goddess Tulja Bhavani and Lord Mahadev, also a statue of Shivaji Maharaj.
There is a Shivkalin Traditional Village which is actually a Centre for handmade beautiful things for sale. You will see amazing handicrafts, some toys or showpieces made from wastage material by reusing it. From here you can also bring back beautiful souvenirs for your loved ones or for yourself as the memory of this worthy place.
On the fort, near Bhavani Mata Temple you will see all the fighting equipment of Shivaji Maharaj and the army which is really very heavy that one cannot easily lift it. It amazes me how the people from that era used to carry this in the war.
There is a Huge Cannon near the entrance of the Pratapgad fort which was being used to protect the fort from the attacking enemies at door.
I would recommend you to try the food or have your lunch on fort only. As the amazingly delicious food made in a cultural style along with the mattha(made of curd) or buttermilk is the perfect treat here for your Pratapgad visit.
- Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
- Distance from Mahabaleshwar: 20 km (approx.)
5. Shop Berries at Town Bazaar
Along with the cool breeze a picture of Berries that too Strawberry always comes to mind when someone says Mahabaleshwar. Yes, the Mahabaleshwar trip is incomplete without a taste of original and organic strawberries. You will find a large number of farms everywhere in the hilly Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani belt as the atmosphere is perfect there for the growth of strawberries.
The Mahabaleshwar strawberry is a seasonal fruit which mostly found in the season lasting between October to November and April to May.
Almost about 85 percent of the total strawberry production in India comes from the Mahabaleshwar. People from the different parts of India import a huge amount of strawberries from Mahabaleshwar.
Shopping is a mandatory part of every travel experience and one of the best places for shopping in Mahabaleshwar is Town Bazaar. So if you are coming to Mahabaleshwar, definitely go for shopping Strawberries or tasty Blueberries in Town Bazar.
You can also shop for berry-based products here, such as Sweet Jams, Syrups, Juices, Barfis and much more, that too at reasonable prices.
- Open: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
6. Go Camping and Boating at Tapola
If you are a trekker or loves to do camping, then Make your way to the Tapola which is also known as the “Mini Kashmir” of West located on 28 km distance from Mahabaleshwar. Well-known for its rustic charm and fascinating views of Koyna and Solshi rivers, and a home to the majestic Shivasagar Lake and is a popular spot for jungle trekkers.
This pretty helmet offers many amazing pictureseque landscapes and attractions of nature that make your journey pleasant and worth-visiting. Equally popular are the camping options available here. This Tapola camping gives you a chance to experience a stunning Lakeview by placing your tents at Lakesite with all the luxurious facilities.
During such camps, you can stay in lakeside tents, enjoy BBQ sessions along with witnessing the glorious Morning Sunrise and mesmerizing Sunset view from the campsite and night campfires by indulging in a range of indoor and outdoor games.
There are many organizers that offer camping at Tapola, so you can choose one that best fits your budget.
- Distance from Mahabaleshwar: 28 km (approx.)
- How to Reach: From Mahabaleshwar, you can take public transport buses or taxis to Tapola.
- Cost: Starts at ₹ 1200 (approx.) for overnight camping
- Organizers: Palvi Agro, Raptor Holidays
How to Reach Mahabaleshwar?
It is important to know all the possible means of transport if you are planning a trip to Mahabaleshwar, to make your journey hustle-free. Travelers can reach Mahabaleshwar from different parts of Maharashtra or even the states of India as it is well connected by roads. Let’s take a deep look at the below options.
Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar
Wathar is the nearest railway station to Mahabaleshwar hill station. By train, the distance between these two cities is 60 km. This is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to make your journey from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar. There are no direct trains from Mumbai and therefore you have to change the train from one station point. However, several trains run from Pune and Mumbai to Wathar.
Also, the most accessible and convenient one would be at Pune. There are many trains going to Pune from Mumbai as well as other major cities across India with a good frequency and you can take a bus or a taxi from Pune to Mahabaleshwar. Check all the available trains to Mahabaleshwar. For your comfortable journey book your train tickets in advance.
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) provides regular bus services from nearby cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Kolhapur, Satara and Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar.
There are several buses running on a regular basis between Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar, which is a distance of about 247 kilometers. You can go for either state transport or private buses from Mumbai to Pune as both options are available.
If you are going from Mumbai, you can catch the bus from major parts such as Dadar East, Sion or Vashi. The ride will take you roughly Seven to Eight hours depending upon traffic. Try to catch a bus in the early morning to avoid the afternoon hot climate.
Also, Thane to Mahabaleshwar buses are available if you are coming from the Thane side area.
One can also hire cabs or taxis from Mumbai and Pune to reach this beautiful hill station.
Personal Vehicle by Road
Those driving from Mumbai have two options in terms of routes – one is to go from Panvel through Mahad and Poladpur and the other option is to take the Mumbai -Pune expressway and and NH 4 route to reach Mahabaleshwar. It will take you about 5 to 6 hours depending on the traffic.
While the distance from the highway would be about 45 kilometres more. But personal vehicle is always preferable as your ride will be much better. You would actually reach faster as the road conditions are very well.
There is no airport in Mahabaleshwar on its own and if you still wish to come by air then you need to take flight tickets to Pune. As the airport of Pune is only 120 km from the city which is the closest one as compared to Mumbai Airport. You can take a taxi or a bus from Pune Airport to Mahabaleshwar.
Other states to Mahabaleshwar
If you are coming by train you can directly come to Pune railway station as there are plenty of trains going to Pune from major cities across India and you can take a bus or a taxi from Pune to Mahabaleshwar.
A number of carriers including Air India, GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo operate regular flights for Pune from Indian cities like Jaipur, Delhi, Bengaluru and Nagpur, among others. After reaching the airport, one can avail of bus or taxi services to reach Mahabaleshwar.
My Suggestions before visiting Mahabaleshwar
1. Road Conditions? The road towards Mahabaleshwar is quite good. But once you reach near the base village of Mahabaleshwar, after that ghat road will be started which are not in good shape. Therefore, you must be careful when driving through them and should not cross the speed limit.
2. How many days required for Mahabaleshwar Trip? If you truly want to explore each and every location of Mahabaleshwar nicely without any rush, 5 to 7 days are must. A complete week trip is perfect, which can be divided as 1 day for popular viewpoints, 2 days for Old Mahabaleshwar and visiting Pratapgad, 1 day for shopping and visiting farms, and 1 or 2 days for Panchgani and other activities such as boating, camping or trekking.
3. During your Pratapgad visit Drive very slowly as the roads are very narrow and dangerous. But with proper care and awareness, it is not that difficult to reach and explore this beautiful fort.
4. Best time to visit popular viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar? I would recommend starting your day by Venna lake boating in the morning which will energize your morning. Then post lunch you can start visiting viewpoints which takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. Try to reach Bombay point before 5.30 pm for ending your day with a perfect sunset.
5. Personal vehicle is always recommended to explore Mahabaleshwar properly without any rush.
6. Panchagani and Mapro Garden trip should be planned on the very last day as this place is around 60 km away from Mahabaleshwar which you can easily visit while your return trip, as it is on the way while returning to home.
7. Keep your valuable things safe, as there are a lot of Monkeys everywhere as it is a hill place.