I have visited Mahabaleswar on several occasions and on different season. Everytime it is a unique & different experience. It used to be the Summer Capital of Maharastra. Raj Bhavan, the Summer residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, is also located here.
Looking back in to the history of this location, the first historical mention of Mahabaleswar dates back to year 1215 when the King Singhan of Deogiri visited Old Mahabaleswar. He built a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna. Around 1350, a Brahmin dynasty ruled this area. In the middle of the 16th century the Maratha family of Chandarao More defeated the Brahmin dynasty and became rulers of Javli and Mahabaleswar, during which period the temple of Old Mahabaleswar was rebuilt.
Mahabaleswar is located about 32 km from Wai. It is around 260 km from Mumbai, the state capital. The nearest major city is Satara, around 45 km away, and is 120 km from Pune. Mahabaleswar is connected by the National Highway 4. Bus services by state-run MSRTC and private organizations connect it by buses from Pune, Mumbai, Sangli and Satara. While driving from Pune , one has to take a right turn from Wai.
The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, serving the city of Pune, about 120 km from Mahabaleswar. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai is 270 km away.
Some of the place worth to be visited:
Old Mahabaleswar is 7 km from Mahabaleswar and there are many tourist points i.e named after the British officers visited & discovered the points at different point of time and 5 temples to see. The 4500-year old Panchaganga temple is built at the origin of 7 rivers – Krishna, Koyana, Gayatri, Savitri, Venna, Saraswati and Bhagirathi. Out of them, springs of the first 5 flow continuously whereas the spring corresponding to Saraswati comes alive after every 60 years and the one corresponding to Bhagirathi comes alive every 12 years.
Arthur seat point:
Named after the Officer Sir Arthur Malet (1806–1888) ,who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap
The point is around 1280 mts high and is located to the east of Mahabaleswar and is famous for its view of two reservoirs, Balakwadi and Dhom.
Needle Hole Point / Elephant Point:
Needle hole point is located near Kate’s Point. Must visit place if you are in Mahabaleswar. Provides breath taking views of the place with pleasant climate. If you are here early morning and are lucky you might even have your date with Fog. One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle-hole. The point is also famous for the view of Deccan traps, which look like an elephant’s trunk.
Elphinstone Point :
Located close to Arthur Seat point – offers great views of the mountain range. The mountain range of Sahyadri is also visible from this point.
Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923 to 1926, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleswar at 1439 m. Known as Sindola Hill during the colonial rule, Wilson point is the only location in Mahabaleswar where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. It offers a spectacular glance of Mahabaleswar in all directions.
The Venna lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleswar. Now a days with increase in tourist to Mahabaleswar this place is highly commercialised and may not be that attractive to some people. In case anyone interested in boating, they can enjoy the boating amidst the green trees
For Strawberry lovers, this is a must visit place situated on the way to mahabaleswar from panchgani. To a extent Mapro has elevated the status of Mahabaleswar among the tourists. They provide a good hangout place , good food, strawberry dishes etc
Also known as the Sunset point is highly commercialised and branded for tourist. Due to this reason it is always highly crowded. Truly speaking I never enjoyed the sun set from here. There are many other points worth for sunset view than this sunset point. Visiting this point is a mere waste of time.
Pratapgad Fort :
Situated approx. 24 km from Mahabaleswar, this fort this worth to be visited with a One day trip plan. The details can be seen by following the link : https://trekmyindia.com/2017/02/25/pratapgard-fort/
Don’t forget to try the “Bhel” the common indian snacks at “Amrut Bhel” situated at Singhgarh i.e on the Highway between Pune & Mahabaleswar