My friends Vivan, Jayesh and Aarav had urged me to join them for a trip to Mahabaleshwar. I had taken a detailed note of this trip right from the very beginning. We are truly thankful to Google for showing us through multiple websites on Mahabaleshwar tourism. We had gone through a few of them in order to acquire more information on the distances and major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar.
All 4 of us have been considering the possibility of a small trip for quite some time. We thought of visiting Mahabaleshwar due to the nearness of this place. We halted for the night on Saturday and returned to Pune on Sunday at 9 o’ clock in the evening.
The start of our journey
We decided to start our journey during the early hours of a winter morning as we had spacious car to accommodate all 4 of us.
Although we had plans to leave Pune early in the morning, we succeeded in beginning our journey at 8:30 am. We met near the flyover at Sunhagad and then proceeded towards Mahabaleshwar. We felt fresh as we had tea before boarding the car. We went through the Katraj tunnel at great speed and near the new flyover we moved right towards Mahabaleshwar.
It took us to drive a few more kilometers to reach Wai. From there we moved towards Panchgani. We had to maintain the speed limit as we came across several ghats between the two places. All of us felt hungry upon reaching Panchgani. We had snacks at a nearby restaurant; while 2 of us had Dosa, the other two had Sandwiches. A cup of warm coffee was there to make us feel re-energized.
Again we began moving to Mahabaleshwar City, which caused us to pay a tax worth 30 INR for our car and 15 INR per person at the entry. From the tax collection center, we move a small distance to reach the Venna Lake. We chose to go for boating as this lake is known for two distinct types of boating. We reached our hotel at around 4:30 pm.
The following morning, we checked out at 8:00 am. We bought a few hot vada-paos and had them inside the car. You might actually need to pay a little more than the rates you see at their charts. The tea was also very good.
Visiting the Temples
We visited 3 temples namely, Ati Mahabaleshwar temple, Panchaganga temple, and the Mahabaleshwar temple. The Panchaganga temple provides for quality drinking water as it’s the meeting point of 5 different rivers. Again, the Mahabaleshwar temple is famous for reducing our sins. All of these temples are within a single campus.
Arthur’s Seat was our next destination. We reached this spot after following a series of breaks. Over here, you’ll need to go down by a few steps to reach Arthur’s Seat. This is the best point in Mahabaleshwar and you’ll find it suitable for taking a number of shots with your camera. We all were smiling while taking snaps. Then we decided to move towards the Pratapgarh Fort.
Pratapgarh Fort is a notable fort built by Maharaj Shivaji. Upon reaching Arthur’s Seat, we had to drive back towards the city for reaching Pratapgarh fort. This fort has some 450 steps and the Bhavani Mata mandir, which was visited by Maharaj Shivaji during wars. We found quality handicrafts at the hastkala center near the temple.
Once we were back to Mahabaleshwar, we had little time to drive our way back to Pune. We decided to have our lunch at around 3 pm in a roadside dhaba after we drove past the Mahabaleshwar entry point. From there, we started driving towards Panchgani. On our way back, we came across several sales stalls of mala and mapro, which served us with fresh fruit juices at discounted rates. We opt for a couple of them.
Visiting Balaji Temple on our way back
We moved towards the Satara-Pune junction in order to reach the highway leading to Pune. We came across the beautiful Balaji temple some 40 kilometers before reaching Pune. Our trip to Mahabaleshwar proved to be a real good one and we thanked God upon reaching Balaji temple at around 6 pm in the evening. We were back to Pune well within 8 pm. It was a trip that all of us had enjoyed till the end.