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Tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
Meandering through enormous valleys take you to this God’s heavenly abode Mahabaleshwar. Grape yards, strawberry farms and honey produce all greet you on the way and the chain of green hills scattered everywhere enlighten you with its mesmeric vista. Being the legendary source of origin of five rivers Krishna, Koyana, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri, Mahabaleshwar really is the ‘Kailasa’, home of Lord Shiva. These five rivers together are said to originate from the mouth of a stone carved cow in a temple ‘Panchganga’ of Lord Mahadev in a village of old Mahabaleshwar.
Circumscribed by valleys all around, Mahabaleshwar is a city and a municipal council in Satara District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This hill station located in the Western Ghats range is a vast plateau located at about 120km from Pune at an average elevation of 1300m. For having one of the few evergreen forests of India, Mahabaleshwar was chosen as the summer capital of Bombayprovince during the British Raj. Another scenic spot ‘Panchgani’ famous for its table-land lies in the vicinity of this hill station. This spot is more explored by the tourists because of the monsoon-free climate experienced throughout the year.
The panoramic view of the hills in Mahabaleshwar includes some cliff points from where nature can be viewed at its best. These stunning points present the tourist traveler with the real beauty of God’s weave of rivers and green-forests in this divine land.
1. Wilson's or Sunrise Point
This is the highest peak of Mahabaleshwar hills. Wilson’s point is a vast barren rock area well-known for viewing sunrise in the cascading hills. The three platforms built keeping some distance provides an exemplary view of sunlight falling into the green hills. During this time the sky keeps the spectators spellbound keeping the orange clouds hanging like balloons. Watching the sun rising up along-with a hot masala tea in the cool breeze can be a cherishing moment for those nature lovers.
2. Kate’s point
This point gives a delightful view of Balakwadi and Dhom reservoirs in Mahabaleshwar. Blue waters surrounded by green valleys set up a natural picturesque location at high depths for the sightseers at Kate’s point.
3. Arthur’s seat
This point is yet another peak attraction of Mahabaleshwar. One can overlook the rocky hills and geographical differences of rocks can be seen best from this point. The calm Savitri river flowing on one side and the deep green valleys on the other side also create a photogenic location for the photographers.
Near to Kate’s point, this one has got two names Needle-hole and Elephant’s head. Because of the hole seen in between the rocks, this point resembles the names. Deccan traps, the largest igneous province in the Deccan plateau can be sighted from this point.
5. Sunset point or Bombay point
This point is ideal for a lazy afternoon. The changing hues of the sunrays create a splendid horizon during sunset. Yellow rays slowly transform into dark rays giving out a cool visual treat.
6. Connaught peak point
This is the second highest point in Mahabaleshwar hill station. Besides offering stupendous view of Venna Lake and Krishna valley, Connaught peak point is a vantage point for enjoying the breathtaking scenery of entire Mahabaleshwar.
7. Elphinstone point
Cliffs are higher and have their rising point from Konkan at this point. Koyana valley, plains and ravine can be viewed from Elphinstone point.
8. Baghdad point
This point is yet another splendor of this hill station. The beautiful landscape of the backwoods of Koyana Dam on the left, green hills of Mahabaleshwar towards the right and River Solshi facing towards this Baghdad point together build a solitary retreat for the weary traveler.
This lake is a natural ornamentation to the divine Mahabaleshwar. Surrounded by trees, Venna lake provides boating facilities for water crazy visitors. Horse riding is also allowed next to the lake. The lake was constructed by Shri Appasaheb Maharaj, who was the Raja of Satara in the year 1842. A number of small eateries line the banks of the lake. The Mahabaleshwar city market and the S.T. bus stand is just about 2km from the lake.
Waterfalls in Mahabaleshwar
Smaller streams of waterfalls are visible while climbing up the hills of Mahabaleshwar. But the volume of water will be noticeable only during monsoon season. They would look like a thin silver line formed on the hills during other seasons.
1. Lingmala waterfalls
This is located on the top of Venna Lake overlooking the hill valleys. This steep waterfalls plunge from a height of about 600ft, forming white foamy waters gloriously. Sunlight falling on this falls creates magical rainbows during monsoon.
2. Dhobi waterfalls
This is another steep waterfall into the deep Koyana valley. It got its name ‘Dhobi’ because the place was once used by washer men most frequently
3. Chinaman waterfall
This is an exotic waterfall in Mahabaleshwar. In the past, the landscape close to the fall was cultivated by the Chinese. Thus the falls got its name as Chinaman’s Waterfall.
The article would be incomplete without mentioning about the strawberries produced here. One can visit strawberry farms to enjoy the real flavor of the fruit. It is said that the climate of Mahabaleshwar is ideal for strawberries and mulberries. One can also get the lingering taste of "Strawberries with Cream" during the season Jan –Feb. With nearly 2,300 acres under its cultivation, the varieties that reign supreme here are the Californian ones.
Valley View Resort
In our trip to Mahabaleshwar in November 2009, we had the fortune to stay in this idyllic resort situated atop the hills of Mahabaleshwar. This magnificent resort showers the guests with enamoring beauty of the green hill valleys along-with cordial hospitality. The fog covered mountains in the early morning arranged a panoramic view of heaven for me from my room front.
Valley View Resort is the rendezvous of pleasure, peace & pampering offering a comfort stay. Situated in the heart of Mahabaleshwar, Valley View Resort has very pleasant room services, great food with friendly staff. Indoor swimming pool and games also entertained us during the stay. The picturesque design of this resort is inexplicable and our visit to Mahabaleshwar was illustrious with the lights put on by Valley View Resort.
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