Mahabaleshwar is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Maharashtra. It is located on the Sahyadri mountain range in the district of Satara of Maharashtra and has some of the most beautiful hills, plateaus and lakes in the state.
The historical and cultural significance of Mahabaleshwar dates back to the early centuries. The city got its name after its famous deity, Lord Shiva, who is believed to have resided in the city. There are many 13th and 16-century architectural sites that you would find here along with some beautiful younger architectures.
Mahabaleshwar is known for its amazing natural beauty which is owed to its mystical forests, mountain trails, plateaus, rivers and much more. If you are planning on visiting Mahabaleshwar then finding or booking a good Mahabaleshwar hotel before time would be a good idea.
It is a perfect destination for a weekend trip or as one of the destinations in comprehensive trips along the lines of Pune and nearby cities.
Here are some of the charming places to visit in Mahabaleshwar:
Temples of Mahabaleshwar
There are many important temples in Mahabaleshwar that you should really visit if you are in the city. Mahabaleshwar is the origin of the river Krishna and it is known as one of the holy places in the Hindu religion. Some of the prominent temples in Mahabaleshwar would be the Panch Ganga Temple, Krishnabai temple and the Mahabaleshwar temple.
The Panchganga temple, as the name suggests, is on the joining point of the five rivers which include river Krishna, Koyna, Savitri, Gayatri and Venna. The Panchganga Temple worships the idol of Lord Krishna and is a beautiful temple that depicts ancient heritage and religious significance.
Then comes the Krishnabai temple which is famous for its amazing view of the Krishna valley. It is said that Lord Krishna had fallen off a cliff to this particular point where the temple is currently located. Naturally, the temple worships Lord Krishna. And finally, we have the Mahabaleshwar temple which is the house of Lord Shiva.
According to the local folklore, it is believed that the Swayambhu Linga, which is located within the temple premises, has a damru, trishul and a bed that belonged to Lord Shiva himself.
It is said that every day the Lord himself comes to the temple to rest in his bed and the sheets would be crumpled as if they were actually used the night before.
Pratapgarh fort of Mahabaleshwar
The Pratapgarh fort was built by Shivaji to protect his Kingdom around the river Koyna. It is at this place that various epic battles of history were fought. The tyrant Afzal Khan of Bijapur is said to be beheaded at this place and his head is buried under the watchtower of the Pratapgarh fort.
The majestic fort still has its magnifications and large wall and bastions that emit the feeling of power and significance. The most prominent parts of the Pratapgarh fort are the temple of Bhavani Devi and the temple of Mahadev. Inside the temple of Bhavani Devi, one can spot the diamond studded sword of the great Maratha general Hambirrao Mohite.
The diamond studded sword is the representation of his bravery and skills that he showed in various battles. It is believed that he killed over 600 soldiers in a single war and was awarded this sword for the recognition of the same.
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Magnificent viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar
As mentioned earlier, Mahabaleshwar is a key hill station in Maharashtra. There is an amazing collection of viewpoints here. Most of which are named after British officials and personalities. due to the fact that Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of Bombay and because of this there were many Britishers that got settled in the area.
The Arthur’s seat is amongst the most famous Mahabaleshwar points and a must see place that everyone should definitely visit. It is known for its amazing view of sunrise and has a great view of the Deccan plateau. The view from this particular point is sometimes even compared to that of the Grand Canyon.
Then, there is the Wilson point which is one of the best points to get a 360 view of Mahabaleshwar. One can see the sunrise as well as the sunset from here. It is also the highest point in Mahabaleshwar. Named after its British governor, Sir Wilson, this point has three towers that give the visitor the best views of Mahabaleshwar.
The east tower gives a beautiful view of the Polo grounds while the second tower faces towards Panchgani and the third tower will give you an amazing gaze of the epic temples located in the old Mahabaleshwar.
A fun fact to know about Mahabaleshwar is that almost 85% of the strawberry supply in India comes from this city and its surrounding areas’ farms. During the month of March, there is a strawberry festival organised here and one can visit the different farms around the place and enjoy some of the most delicious strawberries.
With strawberry picking and the beautiful Mapro farms, one can enjoy strawberry sundaes, strawberry sandwiches and various other remarkable dishes that would tingle the foodie inside of you.
If you are intending to visit Mahabaleshwar then you can certainly visit the amazing places mentioned above. The city is 120 kilometres away from Pune and 240 kilometres away from Mumbai. You can reach Mahabaleshwar by road whereas the nearest railway station would be Pune.
The neighbourhood areas of Mahabaleshwar such as Panchgani and Wai are also known for their beautiful weather and natural beauty. If you have time then it is highly advised that you visit all the areas and enjoy the beauty of the hill stations to the best.