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Tourist Places To Visit In Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is an enchanting holiday retreat that’s a well earned breakaway from the monotony of life in the cities. The misty peaks of the Western Ghats has ancient temples, dense untamed forests, forts, some amazing viewpoints, fertile fruit farms and some of the most spectacular peaks with wild streams and waterfalls.
We will give you a list of some of the most beautiful places you can explore in Mahabaleshwar.
Mahabaleshwar, Panchganga and Krishnabai temples are located close to each other in Kshetra Mahabaleshwar or Old Mahabaleshwar, which is about 6 km from Mahabaleshwar. Mahabaleshwar temple for Shiva, said to have been built in the 16th century has a 500 year old Shiva linga, believed to be a suyambhu linga. The Shiva linga which is in the shape of a rudraksha, is worshipped as Mahalinga. The temple has a raised area, where it’s said the Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji weighed his mother in gold and donated the proceeds to charity.
Pratapgad Fort was built around the year 1657, on the orders of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on a steep hill that’s about 3543 ft above msl. The upper bastion stands on an outcrop over the road that leads to the villages of Kinesvar and Par, while the lower fort is located on the southeastern side of the hill. The fort is historically significant as it was the battle ground for the battle of Pratapgad between the Marathas and Afzal Khan in the year 1659. You can find the tomb of Afzal Khan and a temple for Goddess Tulja Bhavani. Vehicles can drive up to the base of the fort and you will have to walk up a little while to reach the fort.
The Fort is about 21 km from Mahabaleshwar, on the Mahad route.
A UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, Kas Pleateau is a virtual feast to the eyes. Spread as far as the eyes can see, with a carpet of flowers, Kas Plateau’s regular visitors are apart from tourists, a variety of birds, bees and butterflies. The best season to visit the Valley Of Flowers is during the monsoon, when the flowering cycle changes its hues.
Tourists are allowed to visit in time slots between 7.00 am to 6.00 pm. Kas Plateau is about 37 km from Mahabaleshwar.
Morarji Castle is one of Mahabaleshwar’s colonial constructions. Built around 1829 by the British, the castle with its antiquity and charm is a must visit. It is said that Mahatma Gandhi stayed in the castle on his visit to Mahabaleshwar. Morarji Castle is an impressive perspective from where you can get a sweeping vision of the Konkan region and the seven hills of the Sahyadri mountains.
The Panchganga Mandir said to have been built in the 13th century by the Yadava king Raja Singandeo and with later modifications by the Marathas, has the statue of a cow out of whose mouth flows out water that is the confluence of the five rivers of Gayathri, Koyna, Savitri, Krishna and Venna that are formed out of the pristine tiny mountain streams. The temple has two tanks that are filled with water from the gomukh and pilgrims are allowed to use the water from the second tank.
Panchganga temple is about 6 km from Mahabaleshwar bus stand.
Table Land Viewpoint
After the Tibetan Plateau, the table land at Panchgani in Mahabaleshwar is Asia’s second prime volcanic mountain plateau and one of the most attractive tourist places of Mahabaleshwar. At about 4.550 ft above msl, the table land that’s spread about 6 km wide and surrounded by vast stretches of mountainous regions, is a great place to visit on a holiday.
Table Land Point has a fair share of mythological stories, like when the Pandavas stayed over at the table lands during their exile and left their footprints behind and used the Devil’s Kitchen at the southern side of the table land, as their kitchen.
One of the hidden gems of Mahabaleshwar, Krishnabai Temple is a must visit. The temple is said to have been built by 1888, by the kings of Ratnagiri. The temple sits on a hilltop over the Krishna valley and offers a beautiful view of the valley and the surrounding peaks.
The temple has a Shiva Linga and a holy tank with a gomukh or spout from which gushes forth the waters of the Krishna River, which is said to originate here before it flows over the valley. With its lichen coated walls and low lying arches and pillars, the ancient temple is such a beauty to behold, especially during the monsoons!
The temple is about 6 km from the Mahabaleshwar bus stand. A pathway from the Panchganga temple leads towards the Krishnabai temple.
Arthur’s Seat is one of the picturesque view points from where one can get an enchanting sight of the Konkan regions on one side and the Deccan on the other. There are six places in the area like Echo Point that returns echoes, Hunter Point that was used as a colonial hunting ground, Malcom Point, Tiger Spring Point with a cool mountain stream and Window Point that’s a naturally shaped window like mountain in front of Arthur’s Seat.
The altitudes around Arthur’s Seat that was named after Arthur Malet who spent long hours at this point mourning the death of his wife and young daughter, has an air pressure that returns light objects like caps and twigs that are thrown in the air.
Rajpuri or Karthik Caves about 8 km from the hill station of Panchgani is steeped in mythology. The low roofed caves are said to have been used by Lord Karthikeya to do his penance and also by the Pandavas to hide during their exile. The caves have idols of Shiva, Ganesh and Karthikeya and daily prayers are offered to the deities. The tanks or kunds that surrounded the cave are said to contain water from the Ganges that cures one off diseases. Women are not allowed to go on an exploration of the caves.
Rajpuri Caves are about 23 km from Mahabaleshwar.
Belanja, Kattalgad or the more popularly known Kamalgad Fort is a square fortress, located on a hill about 4511 ft above msl. Not much is known about the origin of the fort, though it’s said that the citadel was under the control of the Marathas and was later occupied by the British. Steep rocks surround the fort which surprisingly does not have a gateway nor walls, probably under the assumption that the steep rocks and the altitude would deter any enemy attacks. The tunnel at the base of the fort had been used as a passageway once upon a time, but it was later barricaded with a fallen rock and the only means of reaching the fort is by a trek uphill. Check out the Kamalgad Cave and the deep well that still stores some water.
Kamalgad Fort is near the town of Wai and is about 60 km from Mahabaleshwar.