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Mahabaleshwar Tourist Guide to Mahabaleshwar
Distances: Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar via Mahad is 220 kms Mumbai to Pune is 180 kms & further Pune to Mahabaleshwar is 120 kms. Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar is 20 kms.
Area: Vast green plateau of about 150 sq. kms.
Height: 4500 feet above sea level.
Climate: Never too hot because of the heights. Never too cold because of the nearness to the Arabian sea. Duration of higher temperature is short.
Seasons: October, Diwali & X’mas holidays & summer. Hotels are open round the year even during the rainy seasons.
The jungle of Mahabaleshwar is thick & produces many commercial as well as medicinal trees & plants. The wild life is limited to foxes, jackals, & wild boars. Deer’s & bison’s are found in the Brahma aranya area. Panthers are rare. The famous bird in the Urdu poetry, Bulbul is found everywhere in the plateau. The weather of Mahabaleshwar & healthy & contains an ideal of 20% oxygen which is often augmented in foggy weather of late summers & early monsoon, when the plateau is covered by thick mist. The water contains a meager percentage of iron which helps to increase hemoglobin in the blood.SOME FACINATING INFORMATION:
Mahabaleshwar was established as a health resort in 1829 AD.
It was a jail for Chinese & Malay convicts from 1834 to 1864. The capacity of the jail was 120 prisoners. These prisoners introduced cultivation of red potatoes, strawberries & weaving of cane & bamboo baskets. Many of the prisoners stayed at Mahabaleshwar after they were released.
Maharaja Pratapsinha of Satara (1818 to 1839) engineered a scheme to develop M’war as a health resort. sir John Malcolm, the first governor to visit Mahabaleshwar in 1828, established M’war in 1829. Sir Charles Malet, the first resident in Pune darbar of the Peshwas in 1791 happens to be the first European to step on this plateau.
Novelties of Mahabaleshwar
An evergreen vast plateau with long beautiful roads, horse rides & foot paths along forest. Honey & chikki, channas, walking sticks. Fruits like strawberries, raspberries , goose berries & mulberries. Vegetables like red potatoes, French beans, beets, salad, carrots, radishes. Boating in Venna lake.
Sir B. D. Petit library. Hindu Gymkhana. The Mahabaleshwar Club. Parsi Gymkhana. Horse Riding. Photography. Walking. Boating in Venna lake. Bird watching. Study of Botany.
SIGHTSEEING OF VARIOUS POINTS AS UNDER
Also called as Sunrise point. The highest point. 4710 ft above sea level. It is a vast plateau. There are three asonry round platforms to see the sunrise. You are advised to see sunrise from platform no:2. You can see sunset also from this point.
Connaught peak – Trekking point from HoneyWood, approx. 20 min.
The second highest point. Presents panoramic view of a green carpet. You can see sunrise as well as sunset from this point.
Elphistone point- Kate’s Point.
The first point of M’war/ Overlooking two valleys, Konya on the left & savitri on the right.
Shoes several ranges of the Sahyadri range.
On the way to the Arthur’s seat shows savitri valley.
Queen of all points. Some compare the stratification of rocks on southern side to the world famous stratification of rocks of the Grand Canyon of Colorado. USA. It is fascinating to see the barren deep valley Savitri on the left & shallow green valley on the right. It is more fascinating to know that Arthur’s seat is the only place showing geographical distinction of kokan & Desh (Deccan), two territories of Mahabaleshwar, so clear & so near. If you go by the steps you come across a spring known as Tiger’s spring which is supposed to be the source of the river Savitri. Immediately below the seat is window point. You have to go deep by steps to reach the window point.Kates Point: Offers breathtaking view of Krishna valley & deep waters of the dhom dam. From southern side it looks like an elephants head. There is also an echo point.
A very beautiful point. It goes past village Moleshware on the way. You see a superb scenic view of the back waters of Konya dam on your left, river solshi in front of you with tiny villages as if squatting on river banks & vast green slopes of M’war plateau on your right.
Presents a view of saddle back & Konya valley.
Presents koyan valley view & saddle back.
Below it the Artists Point also called as lovers point by some nature lover, presents beautiful koyan & valley below you.
On the same way of falkland point.
Same view of Bombay point.
Very popular sunset point. Shows the Sahyadri range Koyna valley & Prathap garb.
At a distance of about 7 kms from ST bus station, by Tapola road you will meet the junction of road which will lead you to village Maharola From Maharola with little inquiry or following the map it should not be difficult to find this point. after reaching the point you will find yourself standing over a pass known as Zolachi Khind & enjoy the scenery of two valleys on the two sides. If you walk by gaolani ride you will enjoy the scenery of Koyna valley on your right hand at many spots.
Lodwick Point & Boars Head
Protruding towards Prataphgadh from M’war plateau you will see the surrounding scenery with awe.
The Lamington Plateau
You can go to by a foot path from ganapati mandir. If you follow the map correctly you will reach
the plateau safely.
Shows the tableland of Panchgani on the eastern side.
River solshi starts from this point with a small fall near her origin. Poetic blue valley will be in front of you.
The grandeur of its celestial beauty surpasses all the limits of descriptions.
Chinamans, Lingmala & Dhobi waterfalls, flow in abundance only during the rainy season.
Often been used as a helipad, also used for learning car driving.
Bee keeping centre
Educational displays on the manufacture of honey by bees.
Famous Places in the vicinity of Mahabaleshwar
At a distance of 25 kms from Mahabaleshwar stands the majestic Pratapgadh housing the tomb of Afzalkhan at the toe of the fort. There is a temple of bhavani mata, the idol of worship of King Shivajiraje Bhosle. There is a statue of Shivaji Maharaj inside the fort called Bale killa.
Largest in Asia. A small plane can land here.
Short Note on Old or Kshetra Mahabaleshwar
As per the hindu mythology five holy rivers krishna, venna, koyna, Savitri & gayatri show their token appearance here in five springs flowing closely. They are seen flowing in five stone conduits & joining in one horizontal half channel leading to the Goumukhi cowface spout. Though the Gaomukh it falls in the cistern below. On the northen side there is a similar conduit through which the holy ‘ganga’ appears every twelve years. From the conduit on the southern side flows the holy saraswati when the following astrological times come together, namely, Bhadrapad month, shasthi (6th day) ,Tuesday sun in hasta nakshatra, Rohini nakshatra in predominance & Vyatipat. This
miraculous yoga (coincidence) is known as the “Kapila Shasthi Yoga”, which is believed to be very auspicious occasion as per the Hindu faith.
Shri Shankar Mandir
The Mahalinga of the lord Shiva is of Rudraksha shape & believed to be ‘selfbodied’ (swayambhoo) It is called Trigunatmaka meaning Brahma-Visnhu-Mahesh are on it for ever. On the head of the mahalinga you see the marks of the five holy rivers (Panchaganga) & their waters never lose their level. Mother Jeejabai was weighed by gold by Raje Shivaji in this temple& then the gold was distributed in charity. This Mahalinga is considered to be superior to the twelve jyotirlingas.