States of India
At 1,372 metres above sea level, Mahabaleshwar is one if the most spectacular and the largest of Maharashtra's hilI-stations. Mahabaleshpur has pleasant walks and Panoramic lookouts and area has strong historical connections with Shivaji.Mahabaleshwar is Sanskrit for God of Great Power. The first Briton to set foot here was Sir Charles Malet in 1791. Under General Peter Lodwick and Sir John Malcolm, the Governor of Bombay, a sanatorium was built in 1828. Mahabaleshwar was then considered a British territory and was named 'Malcolm Peth' for some years. The bazaar is stilI named so.
John Malcolm was completely taken in by the hilI-station. Under Britis roads were built, folIowing which several resorts quickly sprang up. Bungalows, churches and the Mahabaleshwar Club were built. A polo ground and race course were opened. In the 19th century, as soon as the sanatorium was founded, an open jail reformatory centre was established. Convicts from China and Malaysia were stationed here. They were involved in constructing roads, grinding cornflour, maintaining potato cultivations and other vegetable gardens in the English resorts. Now, the Public Works Department bungalow stands on the site of the prison. Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the Governor of the old Bombay Presidency. The Britishers built various mansions, cottages and bungalows around the town, lending it a charming, sophistication. The place is popular with tourists, especially from Mumbai and Pune, wanting to take a break from the rush of the rat race. The hilI-station is very crowded during vacations like Christmas & Diwali and in summers.
Places To See :
It used to be the most famous building in the olden days. it was built in 1829 with magnificient architectural skills. Unfortunately, it has lost a lot of its old charm now.
A visit to the old Raman Catholic Holy cross church is worth a detour. although the church is practically falling apart, its stained-glass windows are still a sight to behold. this deserted church is now looked after by a Hindu family.
The club was built in 1881 and is still flourishing and well-maintained. Only members of the club can stay here. It is very popular for its well-tended roses and lovely jogging track. Christmas is grandly celebrated by loyal members every year. Fortunately, one facility is open to visitors; who can use the golf course whenever they feel like it.
Also worth a look is this old structure. Mahatma Gandhi once lived here in 1945.
This is 24 Kms, away fromMahabaleshwar. The fort was built in 166 by Moropant trimbak Pingle under the command of the Maratha rular Shivaji. It was here that the mighty General of Bijapur, Afjal Khan, was killed by Shivaji. The fort has a great view.
Tucked away in Satara district, just 19 kms east of Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani is also amongst the most frequented hill resorts. The name is derived from the fact that it is located at the centre of five hills ("Panch" = five, "Gani" = hills). The place is well known for trekking and other adventure activities. Climb atop 'Table Land', a famous flat-mountain top, from where you can have a look at the vast plain below. The berry farms here are another tourist attraction.
Travel Information :
By Air : Nearest airport is Pune, 120 Kms.
By Rail : Nearest railhead is wather, but Pune, 120 kms is the convient rail head.
By Road : Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar via Pune: 290 Kms.
Panchgani - Mahabaleshwar -19 Kms.
Pune-Mahabaleshwar - 120 Kms.