Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mahabaleshwar Weekend Trip: Land of strawberry

                  After some costal line trips, we planned to visit a hill station. Mahabaleshwar is a perfect place in the lap of the majestic ranges of the Western Ghats. You can visit Mahabaleshwar in a day or over a weekend.

About Mahabaleshwar:
                      Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the Governor of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency during the colonial era. It is easily accessible from Pune (120km) and from Mumbai (285km). It is one of the most popular weekend destinations.  It is also important religious site as it is base of five rivers (Krishna, Koyana, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri River) and famous Mahabaleshwar temple.
                      Tourist gets attracted towards Mahabaleshwar because of breathtaking valley view, nature, adventurous sports etc. This place is also known for its honey and strawberries production.  Another popular hill station, Pachgani, is just 20km before Mahabaleshwar. Mostly, the tourists visit both places together.
                      Pune to Mahabaleshwar is a 2 to 3 hours’ drive. Best way to reach Mahabaleshwar is Pune – National highway 4 – After 75 km journey on NH4 Take right at Surul – Wai – Pachgani – Mahabaleshwar. There are many signboards which guide you to Mahabaleshwar and at all tourist points.
                     We (Me and my wife Renuka) planned our visit for 2 days i.e. on 31st March and 1st April 2012.

 Day 1 (31st March 2012): Pune -> NH-4 -> Menavali Ghat, Wai -> few points/spots -> Mahabaleshwar.
                      Our journey began early morning at 6.30. We took a pit stop for fuel on NH-4 and then moved ahead for Wai. Highway is in a good condition – it’s smooth and wide. That helped us to touch 100km/hr. speed easily. Driving on highway in early morning was a good start of our trip. We decided to have a look of Menavali Ghat and the temple which is famous by many films like Swades, Dabang, Gangajal and many more. This place is not clean and is not maintained by local people.

Swades's Ramcharan mandir (Manavali ghat,Wai)
    

                 It was 8.30 am and we were too hungry so we took our 2nd pit stop at Mapro garden. It is very popular halt for tourist for breakfast/brunch and some Mapro product shopping. It is located just 6 km ahead of Pachgani. Ambiance of Mapro garden is very beautiful and you get yummy food. Classic grilled sandwich and Fresh Strawberry Cream with Ice cream are my favorite dish for breakfast. You can also visit chocolate factory or buy Mapro products.

Classic grilled sandwich


Fresh Strawberry Cream with Ice cream

Parsi Point, Pachgani
  • Car petrol for trip: INR 1000/- (approx. 14.5 Liters)
  • Toll at NH-4: INR 65/-(single way)
  • Mapro’s classic grilled sandwich: INR 129/-
  • Mapro’s Fresh Strawberry Cream with Ice cream: INR 150/-
                    
                      While Proceeding to Mahabaleshwar, we took right turn to visit Kate’s point and Needle-hole point. It offers you a view of Krishna valley and dam. I like the view of needle hole which is natural hole in the mountain. After spending some time with nature we went in Panchaganga temple in old Mahabaleshwar. There are plenty signboards which will guide you perfectly. As per the Hindu mythology,  five holy rivers Krishna, Venna, Koyana, Savitri & Gayatri show their token appearance here (Panchaganga temple) in five springs flowing closely. It was little bit difficult for me to believe on such a god gifted place. There are other temples like Shiv mandir and a very old stone temple named Krishna Devi mandir. Arthur point is hardly 6km from here but we skipped and plan to visit it tomorrow morning.

Road to Needle-Hole point


Needle-Hole Point



                    It was 1.30 pm and weather is a bit hot so we proceed towards main Mahabaleshwar. Road condition from old Mahabaleshwar to main Mahabaleshwar is very bad. Somehow we manage to reach there in an hour. After some hotel survey we booked a room in sunrise hotel which is located in the market. Hotel was newly built and on our bargaining power he gave us a room at low price. This is our low budget trip so we opt for Non A/C room.


  • Mahabaleshwar pollution tax: INR 30/- (For Car)
  • Mahabaleshwar Entry tax: INR 20/- per person (valid for 7 days)
  • Hotel Non A/C room: INR 800/- per night
  • Car parking: INR 10 to 20/- (You have to pay everywhere)
                     After taking rest for a while, we planned to visit Venna Lake in the evening. I didn’t like this place as it is too much crowded by tourists, road side food stalls and horse riders. Boating in the lake is main attraction but I feel it’s too costly as it costs you around INR 340/- to INR 440/- for 1 hour. There are too many fun fair game stalls where we enjoyed a lot and won few goodies. After sun set weather turned cold. Now we get a feel that we are on a hill station. After visiting lake we came back to the hotel for a while. Mahabaleshwar main market was waiting for us so we entered there. Market becomes lively in the night. There are too many shops and fun fair game stalls where you can enjoy a lot. You can buy Cane hats, chappal, Candles made by blind people, Madhusagar honey, fresh strawberry and Jam or syrups product. I like MALVIS product and their shop in main market. It is very innovative idea to display their product in the shop.

Veena Lake




 

                   After spending 2 to 2.30 hours in market we took dinner in Ruchi vegetarian hotel. Food was delicious and at the end we had amazing cream ice cream with strawberry at Bagicha corner at ice cream parlor.

cream ice cream with strawberry at Bagicha corner

  • Venna lake car parking: INR 20/-
  • Different Jam or syrups: Range INR 100 to 200/-
  • Dinner at Ruchi restaurant: INR 210/- for 2 person (Masala papad, Punjabi  veg. & Roti etc)
  • Strawberry ice cream with strawberry: INR 90/-
 Day 2 (1st April 2012): Mahabaleshwar -> Arthur seat pt. -> Pachgani -> Pune.
                     After yesterday’s action packed day, we decided to relax on Sunday and just roam around and explore nearby area. We had breakfast in the hotel and checked out from room by 9.30 am. In Mahabaleshwar check in timing is 11 am whereas check out timing is between 9 am to 10 am. Weather was very cool so we went on Venna Lake again. Environment at Lake was completely different than yesterday evening. No crowd, no chaos , so we had small walk around the lake which made us feel fresh.
                   As we missed Arthur seat point yesterday so we went to see Arthur seat point. It is queen of all points and just 12km from main market. Arthur's Point, named after Arthur Malet who was the first to come here and build a house for him. Some compare the stratification of rocks on southern side to the world famous stratification of rocks of the Grand Canyon of Colorado, USA. It offers you a breathtaking view of Konkan and Deccan territories. To see the beauty of this place, you have to visit this post monsoon. On the way to Arthur point, there are around 8 to 10 different points. Each point has its own history but it gives you same valley view with little bit different angle.

Arthur Seat Point

  
                        Elphiston point is just few km from Arthur seat point which gives you a view of Koyana valley on left and Savitri on the right. You can see Pratapgad fort from this point. 

Elphiston Point

                       After Mahabaleshwar sightseeing, we started our return journey. While driving to Pachgani, we saw many strawberry farms and it was very difficult to move ahead without entering in them. With the permission, we went in a farm which is 1.5km away from main road in small village. Farm owner Yashwant explained us about strawberry farming in details. We were so engrossed in enjoying the strawberries that we forgot to take photos. We purchased 3.5kgs of strawberry from him. He invited us for lunch at his home but we promised to be back after monsoon for camping in his small village.




 Again we took lunch break in Mapro garden and had some mini sandwiches. We were not feeling hungry because of the lots of strawberries we had in the farm. An advice for everyone is - do not purchase strawberries from stall which are outside Mapro garden. They charge you anything. Your status or sometime car type also plays important role for the costs. It costs around INR 90 to 100/- per kg on weekends and INR 65 to 75/- on weekdays. We purchased at INR 55/- per kg from farmer.

  • Venna Lake parking: INR 20/-
  • Mapro mini Sandwich: INR 69/-
  • Mapro hot coffee: INR 20/-
  • Strawberry: INR 192/- (3.5 kg)
  • Pachgani pollution tax: INR 50/- (For Car)
  • Pachgani Entry tax: INR 20/- per person (valid for 7 days)
  • Table land car parking: INR 10/-
  • Toll on NH-4: INR 70/- (single way)

                       After Mapro, our last destination before proceeding home was Table Land point at Pachgani. It is 2nd longest mountain plateau in Asia. Horse riding is the main attraction here but due to an accident (1 girl was killed as horse carriage falls off from table land) in May 2012, horse carts and riding is banned by government. By 5.30 pm we were about to leave for Pune when dramatically weather turned cloudy. It was a perfect evening to end our weekend trip so we waited till Sunset.

Sunset at Table Land, Pachgani

Sunset at Table Land, Pachgani



                       With memorable evening moments, we left Pachgani and reached home safely by via same NH-4 route by 9 pm.

Regards,
Pritesh Kulkarni

63 comments:

  1. Really nice ! after reading your blog, feeling like "I just Visited Mahabaleshwar !!"

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  2. Excellent. A very good sense and professionalism of writing blog. Keep on visiting various places. -Girish Ghospurkar

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  3. Nice blog with every thing in Deatail, one place you missed out is Sydney Point. Which is next to Ravine Hotel.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks..
      We miss few points due to lack of time. Next time surely will try to see Sydney point.

      Delete
    2. How is mahabaleshwar if I go this weekend. Will it be over crowded ? NY inputs please

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    3. How is mahabaleshwar if I go this weekend. Will it be over crowded ? NY inputs please

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    4. How is mahabaleshwar if I go this weekend. Will it be over crowded ? NY inputs please

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    5. Mahabaleshwar is always crowded on weekends and for this weekend, rain shower is expected in that area so it will be crowded for sure. for guide,you can refer my both travel blogs

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  4. informative post with lovely pictures!

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  5. Much needed info as we have planned a trip in 2 weeks. Thanks!

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  6. Dear Pritesh,
    Really Nice blog.
    need your advise. I am planning to start 17th Early Morning 5 am from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar & leave on 18th afternoon to Kolhapur.
    There are too may points to see in Mahabaleshwar. I have booked a room in Mapro Gardens. need your advise on Points I can cover.
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards,
    Srinvias

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. U will reach at Mapro by 11. Its summer so better to take rest and enjoy Mapro garden for 2-3 hrs.
      Considering time span
      visit Needle hole point:- duration on point 30 min
      Temples in old Mahabaleshwar:- 1 hr.
      Visit Arthur seat point in evening OR Venna lake for Sun set. Enjoy Mahabaleshwar market & reach to Mapro by 10 pm.
      Next day U can visit Parsi point and table land at Pachgani.
      While going to Kolhapur, U can visit Manavali ghat at Wai.
      Happy journey

      Delete
  7. Thanks a lot Pritesh.

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  8. Hey Pritesh, looks your weekend at Mahabaleshwar was a complete strawberry fiesta. Your travelogue is an equally interesting piece. Thanks a lot for sharing. Brilliant pictures as well. Keep traveling and do blog about it as well.
    Cheers !! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Weekend getaways from Mumbai.
      Will keep posting my blogs.
      Happy traveling...!!!

      Delete
  9. We have a travel website which is a Maharashtra travel Guide in which we have a page for Mahabaleshwar with lot of information regarding the place including Mahabaleshwar Hotels. We also have a page for blogs on Mahabaleshwar. Please do let us know if you would like to feature your blog in the Mahabaleshwar Blogs page. Please write to puneritraveller@gmail.com

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  10. Nice blog, its great article informative post, thanks for sharing it. Thanks for the information!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot...Keep traveling!!!

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  11. Thanks for providing a detailed explanation of your trip.. very informative..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot...Keep traveling!!!

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  12. Hi Nice blog man ....

    We are planning to go on 2nd Oct for 3days from Mumbai.

    As we don't have own vehicle, so is there any facility form sightseeing ? and how much they charge ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for comment on blog
      For Sight-seen, you can hire taxi for day or for half day. There are n number of Cabs available.
      Chargers are between 800/- to 1400/- for day for day trip depending upon locations. You can bargain the amount
      Happy traveling!!!

      Delete
  13. Good post. There are many hill stations in Maharashtra that attracts the tourist. Mahabaleshwar is also famous hill station in Maharashtra. It is also known as land of strawberry. Matheran is also one of the beautiful hill stations in Maharashtra.
    How to reach matheran

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  14. Really this post is nicely described and curated. Really worth to see this post were Images also commendable.

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  15. Hi Nice and informative blog.
    We are two visiting mahabaleshwar in december for 4 days. We dont have our own vehicle. Can you suggest me the plan for sight-seeing so as to cover local sites, Panchgani and Pratapgadh Killa. It will be helpful if you also mention approx. cost also.

    prashant from mumbai

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    Replies
    1. you can spend 2 days in Mahabaleshwar, 1 day in Pachgani and 1 day in Pratapgad fort n nearby area. For more details share your email ID and will send a detailed mail

      Pritesh
      Happy traveling...!!!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply. I have booked hotel for 4 days at mahabaleshwar. Pl send details on my email id prashantbhosle1@yahoo.in

      Thanks and regards
      Prashant, Mumbai.

      Delete
  16. Hi Pritesh, Your blog is very informative. I am planning to visit with my kids for 4 days. I havent made any arrangements for stay yet and wanted to check a reasonably decent accommodation. Would you be able to suggest some places to stay.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Check for MTDC hotel for stay.. Little bit away from main city area but very beautiful.

      Pritesh
      Happy traveling...!!!

      Delete
  17. Hi Pritesh,

    Your blog is really nice and informative. Loved those pics of yummy red strawberries. Could you please tell me which month is the best to see ripe strawberries in the farms of Mahabaleswar or Panchgani?

    Thanks,
    Ava

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ava,
      Prefer Mahabaleshwar visit in the months of March-April and first 2 week of May. You can have yummy red strawberries. weather is quite hot but you can enjoy fruits and evening weather.

      Regards,
      Pritesh K

      Delete
  18. Hi need help, we (Me & my husband) are visiting Mahableshwar on 20th Feb'15 to 22nd Feb, but we are going by bus.So we will be leaving mumbai on 20th Morning and hoping to reach by evening and planning to return on 22nd afternoon, so can you suggest some place which we can cover in this timespan and also if you how much the local taxi cost to cover those points, it will be great help!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Once you in Mahabaleshwar, you can hire a cab for 4 days. Rates are from 1200 to 300/- (Depends on whether you want it for day or for few points) You have to bargain with them for rate
      As you Don’t have own vehicle, below can be plan for you

      Day 1:- Travel to Mahabaleshwar. you will be reach by lunch time, take rest in noon and then visit local market + Vena Lake. For this no need to hire a cab.
      Day 2: Hire a cab and visit Author seat point n other points on same route (there are 12 points) + Old Mahabaleshwar temple + Needle hole point etc. For evening, either go for Pachgani 's Table land or Bombay point for sunset. Come back to city after for dinner
      Day 3: Check which points U have missed in first 2 days and visit that or just spend some time for shopping. Post lunch catch a bus.

      Pritesh Kulkarni

      Delete
  19. Amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing. Apart from a popular holiday destination and a sought-after honeymoon spot, Mahabaleshwar is also an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Check out all 202 top hotels in Mahabaleshwar also.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for comment... Happy travelling

      Delete
  20. Hi prit
    I am from ahmedabad. We 3 friends are planning to visit mahabaleshwar on 20th june and 21st june till afternoon.
    We are thinking to hire a car from pune.
    Please guide me how should we start with our trip.
    We will be reaching pune in morning at 7 on 20th june.
    Need your guidance for trip.

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  21. Hi prits
    I am from ahmedabad.
    We 3 friends are planning for trip to mahabaleshwar on 20th june.
    We will reach pune at 7 am on 20th june and we have 1.5 day to spend for our trip as we have return ticket on 21st night.
    We will hire a car from pune for our trip.
    Kindly guide us how shall we start our trip.
    Need your guidance badly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Check my day trip blog on Mahabaleshwar: http://pritskulkarni.blogspot.in/2013/05/day-trip-to-mahabaleshwar.html
      Spend 1 day in Mahabaleshwar and second half day in Panchgani.
      Share your email address so I can help you for detail planning...!!!

      Regards,
      Pritesh Kulkarni

      Delete
    2. My email address is n.jaikishan91@gmail.com
      We are having budget of 4k per person.

      Delete
    3. Thanks a lot....Check your mailbox for my e-mail.
      Happy Traveling...!!

      Delete
  22. Hello Prits,
    A lovely blog entry with pictures and personal recommendations. Keep up the good work. Also might I suggest you check MTDC resort there as well. Beautiful, serene and comfortable. I would await a review from your side on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for comment.. I have seen MTDC resort from Mahabaleshwar and stayed there for 1 night..It was really nice resort and beautiful property.
      Regards,
      Prits Kulkarni

      Delete
  23. Hi Prits,

    i am planning to go with my mother, please helps us to find low cost hotel. and please help us to visit strawberry farm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Search hotels near market and you will find some budget stay... Also strawberry season is in summer so I don't think so you can enjoy time in such farms

      Delete
  24. "Arthur's Point, named after Arthur Malet who was the first to come here and build a house for him" ...Come on ..check hundreds of blogs and articles as to why this place is named as Arthurs`s Seat Point..though even that is some kind of ridiculous naming ...the name used to be called as "MadiMahal" during "Chatrapati Shivaji Era".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for comment...!!!
      Happy traveling :-)

      Delete
  25. What a beautiful post.. loved reading it.. thanks for such a detailed write-up..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for comment...!!!
      Happy traveling :-)

      Delete
  26. Thanks a lot for the information....am planning to travel with my family....but am not sure where to stay and the points to visit....your blog gave me a pretty good idea and gave a lot of info on the place.... i will be traveling from mumbai to malleshwaram by bus and will be staying at malleshwaram for two nights....i already have a good idea of places to visit(thanks to you)... could you pls suggest some hotels(budget) to stay...

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    Replies
    1. Hotels close to market are budget hotels..MTDC hotel is also good n in budget. Taxi is easily available in Mahabaleshwar area.

      Delete
  27. Hi,
    The information provided is very helpful.... i am sure it will help me a lot as i am travelling to the place for the first time with my family on jan 26... i want to know afew things though....do i need to book a hotel in advance...which is the best place to stay and do i have to hire a taxi to see places around and the cost if required....i intend to stay at mahabaleshwar for two nights and would like to visit as many places as possible...kindly suggest....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hotels close to market are budget hotels..MTDC hotel is also good n in budget. Taxi is easily available in Mahabaleshwar area.

      Delete
  28. Hi,

    Your blog is very informative. Lovely pictures. Keep the good work. How is Mahabaleshwar as honeymoon destination? Please guide me on decent hotels and places of interest to be covered. Will 1 week be too long in Mahabaleshwar and its approximate cost. My mail ID is amaresh.nabar.1016@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 week will be too long for mahabaleshwar. Try to spend 4 days in mahabaleshwar and 2/3 days in Konkan area. Karde-Dapoli is 3-3.5 hr drive away from Mahabaleshar
      Cost of 7 days may change as per you selected hotel/car etc

      Delete
  29. hello..
    We are a group of friends and are planning for Mahabaleshwar this weekend i.e 5,March.We will be leaving by 6 from Pune and will be returning on Sunday and will be travelling by bus...So please suggest some points and stay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for delay as I'm out of india for work.

      Day 1:- Travel to Mahabaleshwar. you will be reach by lunch time, take rest in noon and then visit local market + Vena Lake. For this no need to hire a cab.
      Day 2: Hire a cab and visit Author seat point n other points on same route (there are 12 points) + Old Mahabaleshwar temple + Needle hole point etc. For evening, either go for Pachgani 's Table land or Bombay point for sunset. Come back to city after for dinner

      Check my day trip blog on Mahabaleshwar: http://pritskulkarni.blogspot.in/2013/05/day-trip-to-mahabaleshwar.html

      Delete
  30. Hi Pritish forgot to mention in my previous post that we will be staying in our company's holiday home at Clifton House Madhukosh Bungalow,Brighton Park,
    Mahableshwar.
    Not sure where this location is. Could not locate on Google Maps

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  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment... Please avoid ads/website link in the comment... such post will be deleted

      Delete
  32. Hey, I loved your blogs.
    I visited Mahabaleshwar after going through your blog.
    I write travel blogs too.
    You can check desolate-expression.blogspot.in
    I will soon write baout Mahabaleshwar as well.
    Keep writing.

    ReplyDelete