Pune to Mahabaleshwar Taxi
A vibrant landscape in a myriad of shades of earthy browns, lovely lush greens and blissful blues, Mahabeshwar is a quaint hill station nestled in the Western Ghats.
Mahabaleshwar is technically a plateau situated in the Sahyadri range running through Maharashtra. The lush green hills with evergreen forests surrounding,
a beautiful expanse of clear blue Lake Vienna, make up the largest hill station in the state, at an approximate altitude of 1372 metres. The scenic beauty
and the refreshing atmosphere attract travellers, trekkers, lovers and filmmakers to this picturesque destination.
How to reach Mahabaleshwar from Pune
Mahabaleshwar is around 120 km. away from Pune and can be reached within a short 3 hour journey when travelling in a cab or a private four-wheeler.
The nearest major railway junction is at Pune. Although Wathar (62 km. away) is technically the closest railhead, Pune is a more convenient choice.
National Highway 4 connects Kudale Baug in Pune to Wai-Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar Road which leads up to the hill station.
There are ample dhabas (roadside eateries), ATMs and petrol pumps along the route for mini-breaks.
Another route from Pune to Mahabaleshwar involves travelling along Saswad-Bopdev-Pune Road which eventually merges with NH4 before leading to the hill station.
This route is longer than the earlier route mentioned (136 km. approx.) and involves a journey time of about 4 hours.
Stopovers to eat on the way to Mahabaleshwar from Pune -
There are food plazas along the Pune Expressway which serve good food. There are some decent hotels like Soul Curry and Sadanand which fall enroute and are good stop overs.
The most popular choice for a stopover is Mapro, which comes shortly after crossing Panchgani on the Pune-Wai-Panchgani route. Strawberry shakes and sandwiches are a
must have at Mapro.
Places to visit in Mahabaleshwar
- Pratapgarh Fort: Those who travel to Mahabaleshwar mostly include a visit to this historic site where the famous battle of Pratapgadh was fought
between Afzal Khan and Shivaji. A local bus or a rented car from Mahabaleshwar can take you to the base within 45 minutes to one hour from where
it is a good 30 minutes hike up to the top. The walk is worth it as the expansive view from up there is gorgeous.
It is advisable to carry drinking water and wear comfortable shoes.
- Timings: 10.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
- Open On: All days
- Entry fee: Free entry
- Venna Lake: One of the most popular tourist sites in Mahabaleshwar is this sparkling lake which offers boat rides and fishing options.
If you are interested in neither, you can relax by the lake and take in the beautiful landscape with tall trees encircling the water
body while munching on snacks from local food stalls. Fresh strawberries are also available at stalls near the lake.
Horse riding is another activity you can enjoy at this spot.
- Timings: 07.00 a.m. to 07.00 p.m.
- Open On: All days
- Entry Fee: Free
- Boating Charge: Varies. Approximately between 250 and 350 Rs.
- Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple: It is an important centre of pilgrimage for Hindus, especially for devotees of Lord Shiva. The inner sanctum of the
temple houses the Shiva Lingam (the stone incarnate of Lord Shiva). Shiva's damru, his bed and his trishul, all of which date back to 300 years,
are preserved within the temple. The hill town borrows its name from this place of worship and spirituality.
- Timings: 05.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and 04.00 p.m. to 09.00 p.m.
- Open On: All Days
- Entry Fee: Free Entry
- Waterfalls: The Western Ghats are filled with sudden bursts of water cascading down into gorges or feeding into lakes. Approximately 6 km away
from Mahabaleshwar, there are three beautiful waterfalls close to each other. Namely, Lingmala Falls, Dhobi Falls and Cinnamon Falls,
each of these three are beautiful in their own way and right. The walk to Lingmala Falls (which lies on the Mahabaleshwar-Pune Road) is
enjoyable as the way leads through a scenic landscape. If visited right after the monsoon season, Lingmala Falls is seen at its largest,
falling mightily and gracefully from an approximate height of 600 feet into the Venna Lake. Close by, Cinnamon Falls make for a lovely picnic spot.
- Timings: N/A; Advisable to visit before sunset.
- Open On: All Days
- Elphinstone Point: One of the highest and best view points in Mahabaleshwar, the Elphinstone Point offers excellent views of the Pratapgarh Fort,
the surrounding ranges of the Western Ghats and the lush greenery which cover the hill town.
- Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
- Open On: All days
Places to eat in Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar has a fairly developed tourism industry and as a result, there are many hotels and restaurants offering good food and other services.
Local specialities like roasted or boiled corn and fresh strawberries should not be missed.
There are hotels which offer food and boarding services. Some of them are Hotel Panorama and Hotel Sreyash. However, the food costs generally are high.
- Hotel Rajesh: Serves good quality Gujarati Thali and is not expensive.
- Hotel Grihivihar: This place serves good quality Maharashtrian Food.
- Mapro Garden: Situated very close to Mahabaleshwar, Mapro Garden is a chocolate and jam factory with a strawberry farm.
The restaurant is very popular both amongst locals and travellers to the hill town. Sandwiches, soups and a variety of other wares are available this joint.
Mapro Garden falls enroute while entering or leaving Mahabaleshwar, so is an ideal break stop.
- Hotel TempleView: For those who are looking for vegetarian food, Hotel Temple View offers good quality Rajasthani food and other vegetarian platters.
The parathas are very popular. It is located in old Mahabaleshwar.
- Hotel Centre Point: This restaurant is very conveniently located right within the main market area of the town. The menu offers a large number
of choices and although the price is slightly on the upper side, food served is good and worth the cost.
Places to stay in Mahabaleshwar
Old Mahabaleshwar has a fewer number of hotels than new Mahabaleshwar. Most 3 star and 5 star hotels are situated in the newer part of the town.
Accommodation in Mahabaleshwar can cost anywhere between INR 300 and INR 6000 depending on the hotel/ guesthouse and the season.
- MTDC Mahabaleshwar: One of the most affordable places to stay in Mahabaleshwar. Dormitories and simple clean rooms are available for families,
groups and solo travellers.
- Durwankur Cottage: Economic cottage priced between INR 500 and INR 1500.
- Ramsukh: A 3 star hotel located in the peaceful environment of old Mahabaleshwar.
- Hotel Rajesh: A large number of AC and Non AC rooms are available along with amenities like children's play park, gym, swimming pool, parking and a
Activities to do in Mahabaleshwar
- Boating: You can boat in the calm waters of the Venna Lake and spend a relaxed hour watching the scenic surroundings. Alternatively, you can visit Tapola,
located 50 km. away from Mahabaleshwar and enjoy boating in the relatively uncrowded place.
- Horse Riding: Horses are available for riding near Venna Lake.
- Visit Strawberry Farms: Mahabaleshwar supplies about 80% of the strawberries in Maharashtra. If you have some time in hand and there during strawberry season,
visit local strawberry farms and handpick a few of those succulent berries for yourself.
- Trekking: Panchgani, a few kilometres away from Mahabaleshwar, offers excellent trekking and hiking opportunities to adventure enthusiasts.
Mahabaleshwar also has a few good trails.
- Sunset and Sunrise: Catch lovely sunrise and sunset moments from viewpoints. Kate's Point and Wilson's Point are popular sunrise spots whereas Bombay Point
and Elphinstone Point are the spots to be at during sunsets.
Weather at Mahabaleshwar
- Summers (March-June) are mild and pleasant (16-29 șC)
- Monsoons (Mid-June-September) are old and damp with annual average rainfall being about 660 cm.
- Winters (November-Mid March) are pleasant during day time and cold at night (5-25 șC)
- The best time to visit is from October to May
- Carry good shoes if you are travelling during the rainy season along with raincoats/ umbrellas.
- Beer is available at Imperial Stores, located at the far end of the Bazaar.
- If you want to go sightseeing on horseback, the option is available. Enquire at Venna Lake.
- If you are a solo traveller, you may have some trouble booking a taxi or find a room at a lodge. Visit the police station if you are having difficulties.
The police will grant you permission only after confirming that you are not visiting on a suicide mission.
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