At a distance of 123 km from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is a popular tourist places in India and a town in Satara district of Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 1,353 m in the Western Ghats range of India. This pretty hill station is often referred as the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra. It offers panoramic view of the plains with the imposing sloppy peaks and surrounding woods.
The nearest domestic airport to Mahabaleshwar is Lohegaon Airport, Pune. Passengers can board flights till Pune from any Indian city and then hire a local vehicle to reach Mahabaleshwar.
The best way to reach Mahabaleshwar is by road. State buses, private buses, taxis as well as tour operators have regular and frequent services to Mahabaleshwar. Mumbai Pune Expressway or old Mumbai Pune road NH4 are used to reach Mahabaleshwar.
Satara is the nearest rail head, which is about 60 km from Mahabaleshwar
We travelled to Mahabaleshwar from Pune on one of the wettest day during our 4 days stay in Pune. It was raining cats and dog when we left but that didn’t damp our spirits.
First stop: Mapro Factory Tour
Our first stop was at the Marpro Factory, near Panchgani. Owing its name to the five hills that surround the town, Panchgani is less than half an hour way from Mahabaleshwar.
The Mapro Factory tour is a delightful session comprising of video montage of the origin story of the Mapro brand and the walk-through of the various divisions of the Mapro factory. They let each of us taste an item from soups, ice-creams and mocktails. My friends went for Strawberry ice-creams while I choose a Strawberry Mohito.
Second stop: Arthur’s Seat Viewpoint
Arthur’s Seat is also known as the Queen of all points. It offers the most mesmerizing and fascinating view of the dense valleys of Brahma-Arayana and the Savitri river. Arthur’s Seat Point area has 6 points in total, Arthur’s Seat Point, Echo Point, Hunter Point, Tiger Spring Point, Window Point and Malcom Point. The unfertile deep Savitri valley on the left and lush green Jor valley on the right covers a mesmeric view to the seat. Moving step by step deep down, one finds the Window point right below the seat and the Tiger Spring which is the source of Savitri River.
We were completed drenched from head to toe by the time we reached Hunter Point and had to turn back to the car. At that point of time, we wished that we had brought a change of clothes.
I must say, we craved for some hot tea and onion fritters (Kanda Bhajji) in such a weather. We went ahead and got some sweet corns also.
Third stop: Lingmala Waterfall
Situated at an altitude of 1278 m, Lingmala Waterfall is formed by Venna River. There are two waterfalls, one mini waterfall and the main waterfall which falls from a height of 500 feet. The mini waterfall is safe & suitable for swimming and playing in the water. One has to walk for 30 minutes to reach the viewpoint of main waterfall from the mini falls. There is no way to get into the water at main falls but visitor can get magnificent views of waterfall from the view point. The guard to the waterfall denied us entry and warned us about the deteriorating weather.
While turning back, we saw a small stream flowing through the middle of the road. We couldn’t resist ourselves and posed a few times before other people came to join us. Good photography spots attracts today’s youth.
After a sumptuous lunch, we came back to check the Mapro Gardens. They have places cute little strawberry shaped objects for people to pose with. Apart from the garden, they were providing free tasting of their products and we couldn’t resist ourselves from purchasing few Mazana chocolates.
Even though we couldn’t visit many of the places because of heavy rain, we thoroughly enjoyed our long drive to Mahabaleshwar and would like to come back again in winters to enjoy the fresh yield of strawberry. Read all about my Pune darshan here.
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