The highest hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra , Mahabaleshwar is situated at 1372 meters around Lake Venna, It was summer capital of Governor of the old Bombay Presidency.Covering 10 sq km. There are 30 valley viewpoints with panoramic vistas scattered around the hill station and their access roads make for shady, pleasant walks and treks. The area has strong historical connections with Shivaji, the heroic Maratha warrior king.
The Britishers built various mansions, cottages and bungalows around the town, lending it a charming, sophistication. The place is popular with tourists, especially from Mumbai and Pune, wanting to take a break from the rush of rat race. the hill-station is very crowded during vacations like christmas & Diwali and in summers.
Places to see around:
Mount Malcolm: It used to be the most famous building in the olden days. it was built in 1829 with magnificient architectural skills. Unfortunately, it has lost a lot of its old charm now.
Catholic Church:A visit to the old Raman Catholic Holy cross church is worth a detour. although the church is practically falling apart, its stained-glass windows are still a sight to behold. this deserted church is now looked after by a Hindu family.
Mahabaleshwar Club: The club was built in 1881 and is still flourishing and well-maintained. Only members of the club can stay here. It is very popular for its well-tended roses and lovely jogging track. Christmas is grandly celebrated by loyal members every year. Fortunately, one facility is open to visitors; who can use the golf course whenever they feel like it.
Morarji Castle:Also worth a look is this old structure. Mahatma Gandhi once lived here in 1945.
PanchganiÂ Tucked away in Satara district, just 19 kms east of Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani is also amongst the most frequented hill resorts. The name is derived from the fact that it is located at the centre of five hills (“Panch” = five, “Gani” = hills). The place is well known for trekking and other adventure activities. Climb atop ‘Table Land’, a famous flat-mountain top, from where you can have a look at the vast plain below. The berry farms here are another tourist attraction.
Pune is the nearest airport both for Mahabaleshwar (120 km and Panchgani (98 km). For Mahabaleshwar, the nearest railhead is Wathar but Pune is the convenient railhead. From Mumbai via Pune, Mahabaleshwar is 290 km and via Mahad it is 247 km. Both Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani have reasonable priced bungalows. MTDC run holiday resorts and hotels.