popular hill resort, in the state of Maharashtra, was once
the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency, during the days
of the British. Situated at an altitude of 1372 metres, Mahabaleshwar
has splendid panoramic views of the scenic valley, and of
the sea, which is quite visible on clear days. Like other
hill stations, Mahabaleshwar closes during the monsoon season.
During this period, from mid-June to mid-September, the local
buildings are covered with kulum grass to prevent any damage
from the torrential rains. During this period, the region
receives about 6 metres of rain!
What to See
Elphinstone Point, Babington Point,
Kate's Point, Bombay Point are some of the famous lookout
points. There are also some beautiful waterfalls, a short
distance away, that are worth a visit, like Chinaman's
(2.5 km), Dhobi(3 km),and Lingamala
(6 km). Arthur's Seat, 12 km
from Mahabaleshwar, looks out over a tremendous drop of 600
metres, to the coastal strip of Konkan.
Also a site to be visited, is the historic Pratapgad
Fort (24 km), built in 1656, by Shivaji to control
the rebellious Satraps of the surrounding Javali Basin. Legend
has it that Shivaji was blessed with a shining sword at the
temple of Goddess Bhawani here. It was the site of the famous
battle between the Maratha chieftain Chhatrapati Shivaji and
Afzal Khan, the commander of the Bijapur Sultanate. A major
attraction in Mahabaleshwar is the Venna
Lake, which has good fishing and boating facilities.
How to Get There
Pune is the normal departure point for Mahabaleshwar,although
Satara Road is the closest railway station. There is also
an MTDC luxury bus daily, that plies in either direction between
Bombay and Mahabaleshwar. Pune is the nearest airport, 120
kms away. State Transport buses run from Pune and Bombay.