MAHABALESHWAR AND PANCHGANI TOURIST PLACES
Introduction to Mahabaleshwar Points and Panchgani tourist places
In this blog, I will explain the best Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tourist places in details that will be a perfect travel guide in the western ghats. India is a country with one of the most diverse geographical features. An important part of which is the Western Ghats with a history of existence that precedes the mighty Himalayas. The Western Ghats formed when the Indian plate drifted from Gondwana. So the surface of this natural phenomenon provides some unique landforms that attract numerous tourists and researchers all around the world. When the monsoon arrives on the western ghats of India, it is the perfect time to visit Panchgani. This is due to the drizzles and clouds changing with the patterns of sunlight and rainfall. The road trip on the highway along the Western Ghats provides numerous viewpoints with stunning views of the western valley.
Mumbai to Panchgani:-
After about 5 hours of drive through the Western Ghats, we took the diversion from the national highway. It was towards the Mahabaleshwar points and panchgani tourist places state highway and crossed the town of Wai. Wai is a beautiful gateway from Navi Mumbai located in the Krishna river valley. From here it is easy to reach the Dhoom dam, which is one of the best Panchgani tourist places.
Before the entrance to Panchgani is a parachute gliding point called Harrison’s folly. It lies beside the highway which is not only a relevant viewpoint but also a great spot for adventure lovers. Harrison’s folly may be considered as the first point to visit among one of the best Panchgani tourist places.
Due to the clouds loaded with moisture, it provides a unique experience that is suitable enough to capture a mystic moment with nature. Monsoon no doubt brings the best possible features of this unique geographical landmass. That is why a tourist must include this road trip to explore the best of Western Ghats of India.
SYDNEY POINT AND PARSI POINT IN MAHABALESHWAR POINTS AND PANCHGANI TOUR
The first significant viewpoint of the Western Ghats valleys in the highway of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar is the Sydney point. Sydney point is one of the best Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tour places.
The beautiful village of Wai and the Dhoom reservoir built on the Krishna river can thus be seen from this majestic Sydney point. Visiting Sydney’s point in monsoon can be a disadvantage as the clear distant views of the Krishna valley will be obstructed by the clouds.
Mists and the clouds that cover the monsoon will, however, create a different experience in the natural ambiance of this tourist spot. The grass starts to grow in plenty and the valley looks green. It provides a more soothing image rather than the dry brown grasses in the summer and winter.
The uniqueness in visiting the serene hill stations of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra is the combination of sun rays and the moisture-laden clouds. They play hide and seek throughout the days in the months from June till the end of August.
When I arrived at the Sydney point the moisture-laden clouds started to pour the raindrops in the form of drizzle. The whole area became invisible due to the dense fog. But unlike Sydney’s point in Parsi point, the sky got cleared from the dark clouds. Rays of sunlight created beautiful reflections of the valley.
From Parsi point, we get a view of the town of Wai, the reservoir of the Dhoom dam, and the Krishna river. Parsi point is one of the best among the many Panchgani tourist places to visit. From the viewpoints, we get to see the Sahyadri range and its valley created on the banks of the Krishna river.
Local guides have set up telescopes at the Parsi point from which the geographic details of the different points in the valley could be gotten. The Parsi point was the favorite spot for the Parsis in ancient times and that is how its name was derived.
Sydney’s point on its own part was named after Sir Sydney Beckwarth who was the governor of Mumbai in 1830. These two viewpoints form the major tourist spots to visit in the Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar road. The best time to get the perfect views is during the sunset.
TABLE LAND-THE HIGHEST POINT IN MAHABALESHWAR POINT AND PANCHGANI TOUR
One of the most important and scenic destinations in Panchgani tourist places is the Tableland. It is Asia’s second-longest mountain plateau which is at a height of 4500 feet. The spot is the highest point in Panchgani and home to several interesting viewpoints. Tableland, according to me, ranks first in the list of best Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tourist places. There are horse carts available with which tourists can take a complete tour of this volcanic plateau in 1.5 hours for just RS 500. Among the best Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tour places in
Tableland is the shooting point; the Pandava caves and the footprints of Pandava are the prime spots. Mythical stories had it that the legendary Pandavas lived there during exile. In the cave, there was the kitchen from which they used to cook their food. From the two opposite sides of the tableland; the new Panchgani and old Panchgani towns are visible. The plateau which shows the five flat mountains of the Sahyadri range meeting at a point. Therefore the name Panchgani. “Panch” means five and “gani” means settlement.
From the shooting point, the Table lake is visible. This has been the shooting point and a prime location for numerous Bollywood films over the years.
RAJA PURI CAVES-HISTORY REVISITED IN MAHABALESHWAR POINTS AND PANCHGANI TOUR
Rajapuri caves was another historical and mystical place that I discovered on a signboard while going towards the Table lake. Finding the route to this cave is a bit tricky. The road leading to the spot goes mainly through the rural villages of Panchgani and there are no clear signboards.
With a little help and direction from the locals, I finally reached the entrance to the cave marked by an architecturally designed gate. I reached down a cliff and to my surprise, I saw structures and idols that resemble an age-long civilization. The mystery of which is still unknown to many and hidden away in a jungle.
I went inside the cave to see the rock-cut structures of the idols of Hindu gods. In one of the cave, water comes out from the nose of a bull that falls in a sacred well below. The water is perennial throughout the year.
No one knows the source of the water but the locals believe it comes from Ganga, a sacred place for the Hindus. I would say that this place is one of the best Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tourist places, especially for religious tourists.
MAPRO GARDEN- ENTERTAINMENT IN MAHABALESHWAR POINTS AND PANCHGANI TOUR
Panchgani tour is not only about the panoramic viewpoints of the Krishna river valley. It is also about delightful strawberry farms that are world-famous for its organic products. Managed by MAPRO (Maharashtra Agro Products), the Mapro Garden and its outlets are one of the most frequently visited tourist spots in these hill stations. This is due to the unique local organic products made by the local farmers.
The products range from syrups, beverages, sauce, chocolates, jams, etc which are unique in their variety and taste. Restaurants managed by MAPRO offer numerous options for breakfast and supper. The food is made from locally made cheese, fruit shakes, and spices. Visiting the Mapro Garden and collecting the juice jam bottles is a must-do activity to keep the memories of this enchanting hill station.
HOLLYWOOD WAX MUSEUM
The newly constructed Hollywood wax museum is a delight for tourists of all ages. It provides a different experience of entertainment for the tourists visiting here for vacation. Undoubtedly this is a must-visit place for tourists among the many best Panchgani tourist places.
By paying Rs 300 per head a tourist can see the numerous statues of famous celebrities and also a 9 D movie. The statues are quite similar with the actual faces and characters of our television and social personalities. So it attracts numerous tourists for capturing a different experience other than the mountains.
This 9D movie is really exhilarating, providing a perfect virtual experience unless the person watching is not faint-hearted. A 20 minute of thrilling experience is a must-do activity in Panchgani. These statues are mostly of actors belonging to Hollywood movies and that is why perhaps this wax museum is known as Hollywood museum.
Mahabaleshwar points are all about plenty of stunning viewpoints that mostly lies in the old Mahabaleshwar road. While driving from Panchgani towards Mahabaleshwar we took the road towards old Mahabaleshwar and followed the road which ends at Arthur’s seat. The road travels through the dense forests of Mahabaleshwar providing immense greenery as the trees formed a canopy over the roads.
Elphinstone’s point which is also known as Elephant’s head point as the shape of one of the mountain at this point looks like the head of an elephant. This viewpoint offers stunning views of the Koyna river valley and is one of the highest points of Mahabaleshwar.
The Savitri point is also known as suicide point offering breathtaking views of Savitri river forming gorges along the Western Ghats. All these viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar offer stunning moments for photography. This is due to the backdrop of the mountains amidst dense fauna. In the monsoons, the viewpoints become active with numerous waterfalls that create some out of this world experience.
Monsoon is the best time to visit these Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tour places. But due to such beautiful panoramic views of the river valleys, these viewpoints are worth visiting all throughout the year. The Western Ghats offer a worthy picturesque scene.
ARTHUR’S SEAT POINT
Arthur’s seat point is undoubtedly the queen of all Mahabaleshwar points to capture the panoramic views of the Sahyadri mountains. This is the last point along the Western Ghats when we took the diversion from old Mahabaleshwar road towards Elphinstone. So, I had to walk for nearly 20 minutes to reach Arthur’s seat point which is at a height of 1470 meters above sea level.
As I reached the extreme point it started to rain heavily so I was not able to capture the panoramic views of the canyon. But surprisingly I was fortunate enough to see the magical phenomena of the changing colors of the sky. The moisture-laden clouds slowly moved from one side of the canyon towards the other end and the raindrops started floating towards the viewpoint.
In all the three previous viewpoints the weather was damp with frequent downpours. But when I arrived at Kate’s point the sky was clear with bright sunlight. It was offering staggering reflections of the green mountains as the sunlight pierced the dark clouds. The dark clouds and the bright sunlight painted Sahyadri mountains with multiple colors. That helped me to capture a distant vision of the Krishna river valley. Although this same valley is visible from the Parsi point what makes Kate’s point stand unique is its altitude.
Due to its height and the terrace-like structure, the view of the Krishna river valley is most clear and best from this majestic viewpoint of Mahabaleshwar. The viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar has three points in total which are the Echo point, Kate’s Point, and Needle hole viewpoint. Kate’s viewpoint got its name from the daughter of the British governor Sir John Malcolm. Indeed like all the viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar, given are due credits to the British governors of those eras for exploring Mahabaleshwar.
VIENNA LAKE-Unique spot in Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tour
Vienna lake is one of them which is an ideal entertaining spot for travelers coming here for vacation. This artificial lake is a major tourist spot in the heart of the Mahabaleshwar town. Here tourists can enjoy boating around the lake surrounded by the Western ghat mountains.
In the monsoons, the water of the lake looks even fresher. Surrounding grasslands of the mountains are filled with greenery that makes it an ideal scenic spot to capture the beautiful landscape. But during the monsoons, the government doesn’t allow boating facilities for the tourists in the lake. This is to avoid accidents due to landslides from the mountains bordering the edges of the lake.
Vienna lake is a man-made lake built by the Raja of Satara in the year 1942. So despite not being a natural lake, the serenity and the cool breeze in the vicinity of the lake is undoubtedly refreshing like any other natural freshwater lake in India. Vienna lake is undoubtedly a unique spot in Mahabaleshwar points and the Panchgani tour.
BOMBAY POINT- Conclusion of Mahabaleshwar points and Panchgani tour
Without a memorable sunset or sunrise, a trip to a hill station is never complete. As I had only a day to explore Mahabaleshwar so I decided to conclude my day trip to this hill station with a sunset. The most famous point in Mahabaleshwar for watching the best sunset is Bombay point. Numerous tourists visit this place, especially after 5 o clock in the evening. That is why there is a large open space that has been built to help the tourists to have a wide view of the sunset.
When I visited this place it was already drizzling and unfortunately, the drizzle converted into a heavy downpour. But surprisingly after the downpour, the clouds covered the entire place,and the distant hills showed up with different shades of the sun rays. I was lucky enough to watch such magical phenomena of nature. As I was standing in between the clouds while the Western Ghats were reflecting the multi colors of sun rays after the rain.