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Mahabaleshwar – Come Here If You Want to Visit the Paris of India

“Wait, I had no idea that there was a place which is to India what Paris is to France!  Please tell me more about this place. Paris is a city of beauty and romance. I want to know more about its Indian counterpart!” 

For your information, the Indian city which can be compared to Paris, France is Mahabaleshwar.  It’s a hill station which is located in the Sahyadri mountains in Maharashtra state.  The station rests approximately 115 miles away from the great Maharashtrian metro Pune.  Mahabaleshwar is 1372 meters above sea level. More on this peaceful and beautiful city which was a getaway for British soldiers during British rule is mentioned below.

About Mahabaleshwar

“It’s nice to know that Mahabaleshwar is an elevated hill town, but what can I expect in terms of climate once I get there, and what are the best ways to reach there?” 

This beautiful hill station/town has a forest that is home to an old temple honoring Lord Shiva and the Krishna River.  Mahabaleshwar’s many lookout areas make for great viewing of the nearby hills and valleys which are full of natural beauty!

How to reach Mahabaleshwar

“Wow, Mahabaleshwar sounds like an interesting place to visit, but I would love to know the best and easiest ways to reach there?” 

There are many options available to you in terms of arriving there.  One such option includes taking a tourist bus (commonly referred to as a ‘Volvo’) from Mumbai.  The six-hour-long ride will set you back INR 500. If you travel in an air-conditioned bus, the journey will be longer, but the fare will be cheaper (INR 200.)  There is always the option of taking a Government Express Bus which starts from Swargate. The fee is INR 120. 

“I hate taking the bus anywhere.  Buses tend to be very uncomfortable and crowded.  Are there other options available for me?”

There definitely are.  If you are a driving enthusiast, you can take a 4-5 hour drive.  You will travel along Panvel and pass by Mahad and Poladpur. The option of traveling along the major highway which begins in Mumbai and ends in Pune always exists.  If you do choose to drive along this highway, keep in mind that you will have to leave at a place called Surur. From there, you drive to this iconic hill station by driving through the towns of Wai and Panchgani.

Also Read: Best Waterfalls in India

“I like the option of driving, but what I really love to do is take the train wherever I go!  Is there any option of taking the train to get to Mahabaleshwar”

There certainly is!  You can travel to a place called Satara by taking a train from either Mumbai or Bangalore.  From there, you can hire a taxi or take the bus to get to Mahabaleshwar. Satara is about 47 kilometers away from Mahabaleshwar. 

“I am an adventurous person so I was wondering if I could take a Lyft or Uber there”

A Lyft or Uber may not be able to travel the long distance, but if you have deep pockets, you can certainly ride a taxi to get to Mahabaleshwar.  The taxi company CarKaro offers services from Mumbai and New Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar.

What are some good things to do in Mahabaleshwar?

“I like the fact that Mahabaleshwar has some significance in India.  I would love to go there, but I have a question, what are some good things to do in Mahabaleshwar?”

It’s good that you asked that question.  The answers are mentioned below:

Pratapgad

One of the good things to do in Mahabaleshwar is to visit this fort which hails back from the time of the great Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.  It is a significant historic place because it was the place in which Shivaji made important decisions after defeating the fearless and great Afzal Khan who was the leader of the Bijapur Adilshahi forces.  You can get wonderful views of the many mountains and valleys which characterize Mahabaleshwar and surrounding areas.

Once you reach Pratapgad, you will find many other good things to do in Mahabaleshwar which include visiting the Bhavani Mata temple which Shivaji had built-in 1661.  Bhavani Mata temple is constructed out of wooden pillars that have the length: width: height dimensions of 50:30:12 respectively.  You can enter the temple via Nagada hall. This hall has important significance because it was the place where many festivals were hosted and drummers played music.  

If you tour the temple grounds, you’ll see the artillery and cannons which Maratha soldiers used when they fought their wars.  Enter the temple and you will be greeted by an eight-handed statue of Goddess Bhavani. This statue is referred to as an ashtabhuja.  You’ll also find the sword belonging to Kanhoji Jehde (Shivaji’s main captain) who was successful in many battles.

Pratapgad is also one of the best places to visit in Mahabaleshwar partly because of its strategic history and partly because of the amazing view you will get of surrounding areas.  

Parsi Point

Parsi Point one of the best places to visit near Mahabaleshwar.  It is a lookout point and you will be able to see the great Krishna Valley and the Dhom Dam from here.   You’ll love to hike among this mountain’s beautiful forests which are full of green flora of all types.  Doing so will allow you to see the real beauty and diversity of wildlife which calls India’s wilderness home.  Its gentle winds simply massage your face and give you a breath of fresh air.  

The Parsi community was important to the history of pre-modern and modern India.  This is the reason why the point is called Parsi Point. You can see the most amazing sunrises and sunsets here.  It has the perfect landscape for the background for a great selfie and great pictures. You don’t even have to worry about bringing food – the grounds are full of vendors offering snacks and dishes of all kinds.

“All of that is great, but I love to do weird and memorable things in the places which I visit and vacation.” 

If this is your sentiment, you are in luck because Parsi Point has many unique things to see and do.  For example, you can get a panoramic view of the beautiful area by looking through the many fixed binoculars at the place.  Camel rides are available as well – they will give you a new perspective of Parsi Point and ensure that you have a joyous and unforgettable vacation. 

Mapro Garden

This beautiful garden park is one of the most popular places to visit near Mahabaleshwar.  It is in close proximity to the hill station town.  Tourists love to visit this place, partly because of the excellent local, regional, and international dishes that restaurants situated in this park offers.  Mapro garden is known for its strawberries and is owned by the Indian food giant 

Now I can have the vacation of a lifetime!

“Wow!  I never knew that a tiny, sleepy, and peaceful town in the interior of Maharashtra could have such a deep and interesting history and great places of interest with historic significance.  I think I will plan a trip to Mahabaleshwar. Thanks!

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