Tourist Places in Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is one of the most picturesque hill stations nestled in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The captivating landscape of this magnificent tourist spot was also favored by the British during their colonial rule of the Bombay Presidency. This heavenly hill station is an idyllic retreat for spending some peaceful moments away from the humdrum of the city life. Mahabaleshwar is also a renowned pilgrim spot and is visited by lots of pilgrims each year. The tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar include scenic spots, vantage points offering stunning views of sunrise and sunsets, serene lakes, and beautiful temples.
Some of the most tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar deserving a visit by the tourists on their tour to Mahabaleshwar are :
Venna Lake, which is located 2 km away from the ST bus stand, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar. This lake was constructed in 1842 by Shri Appa Saheb Maharaja, who was the ruler of Satara. Covering an area of 113311.98 sq. m, this lake is an ideal spot for enjoying activities like fishing, boating and horse riding.
Connaught Peak Mahabaleshwar is perched at an elevation of 1400 m above the sea level, which makes this the second highest peak in the hill station. Formerly known as Mount Olympia, this peak was renamed as Connaught Peak after Duke of Connaught.
Situated 7 km from the chief market, this peak offers beautiful view of Lake Venna and Krishna Valley. This peak is also a vantage point for observing the Kamalgadh, Rajgarh and Torana in the north and Ajinkyatara in the south. Tourists can see Panchgani and Pasarani Ghat in the east, while Pratapgad can be seen in the west.
Dhobi Waterfall is located 3 km away from Mahabaleshwar, on the path, which connects Petit road with Old Mahabaleshwar road. Water from the fall drops into a deep valley and finally merges with Koyna River. Owing to the location amidst beautiful valley, this waterfall is a popular picnic.
Arthur’s Seat is a popular tourist destination, which is located 12 km away from Mahabaleshwar. This place is named after Arthur Malet, who was the first man to build a house at this point. The point is perched at the height of 1470 m above the sea level and 600 m above Konkan coastal strip. Arthur’s Seat is the only place from where tourists can see the geographical distinction between the Konkan and the Deccan territories.
On the left of Arthur’s Seat lies the barren Savitri valley, while on the right lays a shallow green valley. Approaching the destination on foot, tourist can come across Tiger’s spring, which is the source of Savitri River. Window Point is the first point, situated below the Arthur’s Seat.
Lodwick Point is a vantage point, which is situated about 5 km west of Mahabaleshwar. Originally known as Sydney Point, this point was rechristened in the honour of General Lodwick, who was the first British officer to climb the hill. To honour his achievement, his son erected a memorial pole of about 25 ft. At the base of this monument, the head of the General is sculptured in marble.
Pratapgarh Fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja in 1656, around 24 km west of Mahabaleshwar. The fort comprises two ancient forts, one is the upper fort built on the top of the hill, while the other is the lower fort on the South and the East. Within the complex of the fort, tourists can see the Bhavani Temple and the tomb of Afzal Khan.
The upper fort comprises several buildings, including a Mahadev temple. On the other hand, the lower fort houses Bhavani temple on the eastern side. The entire lower fort is defended by 10 to 12 m high towers and bastions. The fort overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar.
Basically, the fort was built in 1656 on the orders of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja. The fort was constructed to protect the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers, and the Par pass from governor Javali Basin. The fort stands as the witness of historic Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan on 10th November, 1659.
Bombay Point is also known as Sunset point, as tourists visit this place to see the varied shades of the setting sun. The place has a large open space, which incorporates a bandstand. This point is an ideal picnic spot and is one of the oldest vantage points in Mahabaleshwar. To the left Bombay Point, lies the lover’s point of Mahabaleshwar.
Elphinstone Point is situated 3.21 km ahead of Arthur’s Seat and 11 km ahead of Frere Hall. At this point the cliffs are higher and rise from the Konkan, which is around 2500 ft below the level of the Koyna valley. Built during the British rule, this point is named after the Governor of Bombay, Sir Elphinstone.
Tourists can enjoy the view of Koyna valley, plains and the ravine, which lies between the Elphinstone point and Arthur point. The view of River Savitri, which originates from this point is also beautiful. Discovered by Dr. Murray in 1830.
Wilson Point, located at the highest point in the city of Mahabaleshwar, is a vast plateau, which also goes by the name Sunrise Point.
Essentially a vast bare rock with three observation towers erected at different spots, Wilson Point offers the most spectacular view of the sunrise. One can view the sunrise from any of the three masonry round platforms. The second platform, which is about 1 km away from the market area of Mahabaleshwar, is the ideal place to view the sun rise. This particular platform is perfectly located at 4,735 feet above sea level and is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar.
Like several other sunrise or sunset points across the country, Wilson Point is also tremendously popular with tourists and even the locals from nearby. Known for its splendid view of the sunrise, it?s not until a visit to this place that one realizes the sheer magnificence of the sigh.
Kate’s Point is a huge rock, which stands around 50 m high. This point is named after the daughter of Sir John Malcom, who was the founder of Mahabaleshwar. The point offers a beautiful view of Krishna Valley and deep waters of Dhom Dam. Located along the Duchess Road, Kate’s Point is 1,290 m above the sea level.
Going downwards from the Kate’s Point Jor Valley, intersection points of Vedganga and Krishna River as well as Balkawadi and Dhom Valleys are crossed. Furthermore, tourists can also get a view of peaks like Kamalgadh, Pandavgadh and Mandardeo.
Elephant’s Head Point
Elephant’s Head Point is one of the most popular vantage points in Mahabaleshwar. The overhanging cliffs of this point are similar to the head of an elephant and its trunk. From this point, tourist can also get a view of the Sahyadri mountain range. Tourists can reach this point by taking a pony ride from the parking area. This vantage point is the extreme end of the mountain range and lies beyond the Lodwick Point.
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church was built in the 18th century for the British citizens whosettled or visited the region. The church was used by the British to conduct Sunday adorations and holy masses. The stain glass windows are still intact and these were painted by the British artist.
Yet another spectacle reflecting British style of architecture is Morarji Castle. This impressive hilly terrain also flashes the historical appeal – Gandhiji had opted to rest in Morarji Castle during his visit to Mahabaleshwar. The drive surrounding the Castle is yet another feature it is marked with colonial structures adding more elegance to the natural set up of Morarji Castle.
Mahabaleshwar is picturesque attracting well – known people towards it. One to name is John Malcolm. The earliest edifice of Mahabaleshwar Mount Malcolm built in 1829 is named in remembrance of his visit. Mount Malcolm is a remarkable monument of colonial era and carries the same charm even today. This monument is a touch stone to the exceptional craftsmanship and architectural splendor.
Visit to Mahabaleshwar is not complete without a view of astounding cascade of Chinaman’s falls. The falls is an exotic place and tailor – made for holidaying. The falls is called Chinaman’s as Chinese cultivated the gardens close to the falls. The falls is located in the south of Koyana Valley and is at a distance of 2.5 km from Mahabaleshwar.
Lingmala Falls are located at a distance of 6 km from Mahabaleshwar. This waterfall is formed by River Venna, which flows from the height of 500 ft. This waterfall can only be seen during rainy season.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the important pilgrimage sites for the Hindus. The temple is situated in the Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar, which is about 6 km north of the main city. Built in the 16th century by the Chanda Rao More dynasty, this temple is a quintessential of the Hemadant architectural style of South India.
Enclosed by a 5 ft high stone wall, this temple is divided into two areas, the sanctum sanctorum and the central hall. Swayambhu, which is the 500 years old self – originated lingam, is enshrined within the sanctum sanctorum. This self – originated lingam is in the shape of Rudraksha and is called Mahalingam, which is considered to be superior to the twelve Jyothir Lingams.
Lord Shiva’s trishul, Rudraksha, damru and a bed which are around 300 years old, are kept inside this temple. Moreover, the temple also comprises a square shaped raised platform. According to the legend, the Maratha ruler, Shivaji weighed his mother Jijabai in gold at this platform and then gave away the gold in charity.
Another place of religious importance is Panchanganga Mandir, where five rivers Krishna, Venna, Savithri, Koyna, and Gayatri meet. Hence the name Panchanganga is significant. The temple was built by Raja Singhandeo and Shivaji had played role in renovating and improving the temple.
Popularly called as Blue Valley, Helen’s Point is a delight of nature. The point is popular to various everlasting sceneries, green fields, flowing waters and many such natural wonders. Most amazing will be to witness river Krishna flow through small fields. North Coat Point, Gavalani Point, Robbers Caves are some of the other must see places next to Helen’s Point.
It is well assured that scenic beauty of Carnic Point holds breath. Named after Sir James Rivett Carnac a British Governor, the Carnic Point offers wonderful views of peaks and precipices of Babington Point. The point reflects the beauty of nature to its fullest.
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