The Ultimate Travel Guide to Mahabaleshwar: Top Attractions and Hidden Gems in 2024


Mahabaleshwar is a hill station situated in the Western Ghats, in Satara district of Maharashtra. Apart from its strawberries, Mahabaleshwar is also well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades and majestic peaks. It is among the most sought after weekend getaways from Pune & Mumbai, located about 120km south-west of Pune and 285km from Mumbai.

Mahabaleshwar is also a sacred pilgrimage place for Hindus as the Krishna river originates from here. Once a summer capital of the British, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar comprises of ancient temples, boarding schools, manicured and lush green dense forest, waterfalls, hills, valleys. It is often used as a base to visit the magnificent Pratapgad Fort, located an hour away.

Top Places to visit in Mahabaleshwar

1.Mahabaleshwar Temple

Mahabaleshwar temple is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva, located around 6 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar in the Satara district of Maharashtra. The revered Hindu temple is a landmark of the Maratha heritage. Set up in hilly terrain, the temple was constructed during the rule of the Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century.

Built in the South Indian Hemadanta style of architecture, Mahabaleshwar temple is among the most sacred Shiva temples in the country and also referred to as Dakshina Kashi. The sanctum sanctorum houses the 1500 years old self-built 6 feet high Atma Lingam and the Para Lingam. You can also witness other belongings of Lord Shiva like his Damru, Trishul, Rudraksha, and the statue of Nandi (the sacred bull) at the premises.

2. Arthur’s Seat

Located 1470 meters above sea level is Mahableshwar’s most famous viewpoint, Arthur’s Seat, also popular as the “Queen of Points”. Originally referred to as Madhi Mahal, the point offers enchanting views of the Savitri River on the left and the dense forests of “Bramha Aranya” on the right.

You can reach the point post a 30-minute trek from the parking point and will cover Tiger Sprint Point, Hunter Point, Echo Point, Window Point, and Malcolm Point on your way up.

3. Elephant’s Head Point

Elephant’s Head Point is named after the natural rock formation of the extended ridge at the far end of the Sahyadri mountain range. It’s shape resembles an elephant head and trunk and is the best vantage point in Mahabaleshwar offering panoramic views of the serene valley and mountains around it.

You can leisurely enjoy the most romantic sunrise or sunset at this stunning viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar.

4. Mapro Garden

The famous strawberry plantations of Mahabaleshwar owned by Mapro are situated at Gureghar on the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani road. Established by Mr. Kishore Vora in 1959, Mapro is a prominent food processing brand with an annual capacity of around 30 thousand.

Mapro Garden is an idyllic orchard popular for the cultivation of delicious strawberries. The Park’s chocolate factory is a major tourist attraction in addition to the fresh and yummy strawberry shakes, icecreams, and salads served by them.

5.Lingmala Waterfall

Located around 6 kilometers from the main city on the Mahabaleshwar-Pune Road, near the forest Bungalow of Lingmala is the awe-inspiring Lingmala Waterfall. There are two astounding waterfalls at the spot. The main waterfall is around 600 feet high and a mini waterfall which is just a 30 minutes walk from it.

6.Panch Ganga Temple

Built in the 13th century by a Yadava King named Singhandeo, Panch Ganga Temple is an ancient religious shrine near the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. This beautiful black stone monument is located at the confluence of five holy rivers – River Krishna, Koyna, Gayatri, Savitri, and Veena. The astounding structure has stood the test of time and has been revered by Hindu devotees over ages.

There are two tanks (kund) in the temple, one of which collects water from all the rivers from a spout located in the mouth of a stone cow statue known as Gaumukhi. Hindu pilgrims consider the water holy and use it for all auspicious events. The water from the kund is even consumed by the devotees as ‘Parshad’ (sacrament).

7.Pratapgarh Fort

Situated on a hilltop in the Satara district of Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgarh Fort is a prominent historical tourist spot in Maharashtra. The fortress is strategically built about 3500 feet from the ground. Commissioned by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1650 its construction was completed in 1656. The Fort houses four lakes, a watchtower, a cultural library, and a Bhawani temple at its top.

Pratapgarh Fort played an important role and helped the Maratha Empire flourish in India and its name literally translates to “Valor Fort”. In 1957 a 17 feet tall statue of Shivaji Maharaj was installed at the fort to honor the Maratha warrior king. The citadel draws a lot of tourists throughout the year. You can explore the rich cultural heritage of the Marathas and imagine the colors of life amidst the numerous battles fought by the brave Marathas.

8.Elphinstone Point

Discovered in 1830 by Dr. Murray, Elphinstone Point is among the highest viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar. It is nearly 3.21 kilometers away from Arthur’s Seat and offers an unobstructed view of Pratapgad Fort, Koyna Valley on the left, and the lush green surroundings.

9.Lodwick Point

Located around 5 km west of Mahabaleshwar, Lodwick Point is another vantage point on the list of numerous viewing points of the city. Offering unparalleled views of the cityscape and surroundings, this point is famous among tourists. It was known as Sydney Point until the British officer General Lodwick climbed to it. The point was renamed to honor his achievement and a 25 feet memorial pole was erected at the point.

The head of General Lodwick sculptured in marble is positioned at the base of the pillar. You can enjoy impressive views of the Pratapgarh Fort and Elphinstone Point from here. Wrapped in lush greenery it is the perfect spot to unwind.

10. Rajpuri Caves

Rajpuri Caves are located near Panchgani in the Satara district. These four caves have immense religious importance for Hindus. As per legend the son of Lord Shiva, Lord Karthikeya has performed various religious rituals and served penance in these caves.

Pandavas had also sought shelter in these caves during their exile.The ancient inscriptions on the walls of the cave and the statue of Nandi are the main attractions at this place. The caves are surrounded by many holy kunds (ponds), the water from which is used by devotees to cure themselves of diseases.

11. Panchgani

Panchgani is a scenic hill station near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. The hill station is also known as Paanchgani as five hills surround it. It offers picturesque and landscape views of sunrise and sunset over the beautiful Sahyadri range.

The breathtaking and scenic views of the valley on one side and the lush coastal plain on the other allure tourists throughout the year.Located 1334 meters above sea level, it has been a colonial summer retreat. You can witness relics of numerous monuments from the British era in the area. It is also popularly known as the ‘Strawberry Garden of India’

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1.Why is Mahabaleshwar so famous?

The 5 holy rivers Krishna, Venna, Koyana, Savitri and Gayatri starts from here called as “Panchganga Temple”. Mahabaleshwar is famous for its Strawberry. Also Mahabaleshwar, essentials include farm fresh strawberries and raspberries that the town is known for. Also you can take home jellies, honey, jams and more.

2. What is the best time to visit Mahabaleshwar?

Winter is from December to February and it is the best season to visit Mahabaleshwar.

3. Which is better Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar?

The rains and even the wind in Panchgani are less in intensity than Mahabaleshwar as it is protected by Tableland.

4.What are the 5 points of Mahabaleshwar?

Elephants head point, Kate’s point and Echo point.Lingmala Waterfalls.Arthur Seat Point.Mapro Garden.Venna Dam.Pratapgarh Fort.Mahabaleshwar Temple.Krishnabai Devi Temple

5.How to travel Mahabaleshwar?

Though there is no airport or railway station at Mahabaleshwar, the place is well served by the Pune airport (131 km away) and Wathar railway station (60 km away). From the airport and railway station, you can gt cabs and buses quite easily that will take you this quaint little hill station.

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