Well known for its juicy strawberries, lush evergreen forests, breezy weather, and picturesque vistas, Mahabaleshwar is the most popular hill station in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges. Flocked by locals and tourists alike, it is just 285 kilometers from Mumbai and 120 kilometers from Pune. Bound by valleys, this verdant picnic spot is a nature lover’s paradise located in the Western Ghats, in the Satara district of Maharashtra.
The villages of Malcolm Peth, Old ‘Kshetra’, and a part of Shindola come together to form the stunning Mahabaleshwar. The hill station is also a revered Hindu pilgrimage as it is the originating point of the holy Krishna River. The beautiful vantage points, lakes, and waterfalls around the city make it the perfect place for a romantic getaway. The natural grandeur of this hill station can be explored at Arthur’s Seat, Elephant's Head Point, Babington Point, Lodwick Point, and Wilson Point.
Besides natural abundance, the city has some beautiful British-inspired architectural spots as it once was their summer capital. The majestic Pratapgarh Fort and ancient temples also lure tourists from across the globe. The pleasant weather and relaxing vibe of the city make it the most sought after holiday spot in the state.
Top Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar
1. Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar temple is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva, located around 6 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar in the Satara district of Maharashtra. The revered Hindu temple is a landmark of the opulent Maratha heritage. Set up in hilly terrain, the temple was constructed during the rule of the Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century.
Built in the South Indian Hemadanta style of architecture, Mahabaleshwar temple is among the most sacred Shiva temples in the country and also referred to as Dakshina Kashi. The sanctum sanctorum houses the 1500 years old self-built 6 feet high Atma Lingam and the Para Lingam.
You can also witness other belongings of Lord Shiva like his Damru, Trishul, Rudraksha, and the statue of Nandi (the sacred bull) at the premises. Locals also describe a raised platform in the temple to be the place where the Maratha King Shivaji weighed his mother Jijabai in gold which was donated for charity.
2. Mapro Garden
The famous strawberry plantations of Mahabaleshwar owned by Mapro are situated at Gureghar on the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani road. Established by Mr. Kishore Vora in 1959, Mapro is a prominent food processing brand with an annual capacity of around 30 thousand.
MT. Mapro Garden is an idyllic orchard popular for the cultivation of delicious strawberries. The Park’s chocolate factory is a major tourist attraction in addition to the fresh and yummy strawberry shakes, icecreams, and salads served by them.
The lush green garden has a nursery, a restaurant, and a children's play area making it a perfect place to spend your day enjoying with family and kids. You can buy fresh strawberries and strawberry products such as jams, marmalades, syrups, and crushes too. During March and April, an annual Strawberry festival is hosted by Mapro to promote strawberry cultivation in the region. Folk dance and music performances during the annual festival are an additional attraction.
3. Arthur’s Seat
Located 1470 meters above sea level is Mahableshwar’s most famous viewpoint, Arthur’s Seat, also popular as the “Queen of Points”. Originally referred to as Madhi Mahal, the point offers enchanting views of the Savitri River on the left and the dense forests of “Bramha Aranya” on the right.
As per legend, the viewpoint is named after Arthur Malet, who used to stare at the Savitri river for hours and mourn the loss of his beloved wife and daughter. They had drowned in the river and hence the point is also addressed as Suicide Point. You can reach the point post a 30-minute trek from the parking point and will cover Tiger Sprint Point, Hunter Point, Echo Point, Window Point, and Malcolm Point on your way up.
You can soak up the beauty of the panoramic views of the splendid valleys on either side of the point and also marvel at the anti-gravitational phenomenon of the seat. The high air pressure keeps light objects thrown into the valley afloat and even sends them back upwards defying the norms of gravity.
4. Elephant’s Head Point
Elephant’s Head Point is named after the natural rock formation of the extended ridge at the far end of the Sahyadri mountain range. It’s shape resembles an elephant head and trunk and is the best vantage point in Mahabaleshwar offering panoramic views of the serene valley and mountains around it.
From a distance the gap formed by the elephant’s trunk appears like a needle hole, hence it is also called The Needle Point. You can leisurely enjoy the most romantic sunrise or sunset at this stunning viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar. The place experiences extreme weather conditions from nothingness during summers to lush greenery during monsoon. Besides being a popular picnic spot it is a nature lovers paradise.
5. Lingmala Waterfall
Located around 6 kilometers from the main city on the Mahabaleshwar-Pune Road, near the forest Bungalow of Lingmala is the awe-inspiring Lingmala Waterfall. There are two astounding waterfalls at the spot. The main waterfall is around 600 feet high and a mini waterfall which is just a 30 minutes walk from it.
Each of the waterfalls offers breathtakingly beautiful amidst the verdant surroundings. The mini waterfall is a great place to splash, swim, and spend time with family in the lap of nature. The natural splendor of the main waterfall is enthralling though it is not safe for swimming. Adventure lovers can trek up to the main waterfall for an instant adrenaline rush.
6. Venna Lake
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mahabaleshwar, Venna Lake is a man-made lake just 2 kilometers from the heart of the city. It was built in 1842 by the ruler of Satara Shri Appasaheb Maharaj - a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, to ensure a regular supply of water to the nearby town. Constructed over a sprawling 28 acres, the lake has a periphery of 7 to 8 km. The immaculate natural beauty of the lake has helped it rank among the most popular picnic spots in Mahabaleshwar.
You can enjoy a boat ride on the Venna Lake as you bask in the scenic beauty of the place with your family. The lake is surrounded by tall trees which add an element of serenity to the otherwise bustling waterfront. You can also indulge in activities like horse riding and binge on local street food from the eateries around the lake.
7. Panch Ganga Temple
Built in the 13th century by a Yadava King named Singhandeo, Panch Ganga Temple is an ancient religious shrine near the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. This beautiful black stone monument is located at the confluence of five holy rivers - River Krishna, Koyna, Gayatri, Savitri, and Veena. The astounding structure has stood the test of time and has been revered by Hindu devotees over ages.
There are two tanks (kund) in the temple, one of which collects water from all the rivers from a spout located in the mouth of a stone cow statue known as Gaumukhi. Hindu pilgrims consider the water holy and use it for all auspicious events. The water from the kund is even consumed by the devotees as ‘Parshad’ (sacrament).
The beautiful architecture of the temple adds to its serenity. The hall through which the mighty River Krishna flows also houses an idol of Lord Vishnu. The temple is thronged by tourists and pilgrims throughout the year but it is most crowded during monsoon.
8. Krishnabai Temple
The Krishnabai Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in 1888. The 1000 years old temple is located above the Panch Ganga temple and overlooks the spectacular Krishna Valley. The temple houses a grand Shiva Lingam, which is revered by the locals.
The temple has a stone carved cow and water from its mouth (Gomukh) is considered to be the originating point of the mighty River Krishna, hence the name of the temple. The water is collected into a tank (kund) before it flows into the main river and is considered auspicious by the pilgrims. An enchanting statue of Lord Krishna adds to the charm and serenity of the temple.
The temple showcases the Hemadpanthi architectural style through its stone-carved columns and intricately sculpted ceilings. You can spend time enjoying the captivating picturesque view of Mahabaleshwar from the temple and click astounding pictures of the surroundings.
9. Pratapgarh Fort
Situated on a hilltop in the Satara district of Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgarh Fort is a prominent historical tourist spot in Maharashtra. The fortress is strategically built about 3500 feet from the ground. Commissioned by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1650 its construction was completed in 1656. The Fort houses four lakes, a watchtower, a cultural library, and a Bhawani temple at its top.
Pratapgarh Fort played an important role and helped the Maratha Empire flourish in India and its name literally translates to “Valor Fort”. In 1957 a 17 feet tall statue of Shivaji Maharaj was installed at the fort to honor the Maratha warrior king. The citadel draws a lot of tourists throughout the year. You can explore the rich cultural heritage of the Marathas and imagine the colors of life amidst the numerous battles fought by the brave Marathas.
10. Elphinstone Point
Discovered in 1830 by Dr. Murray, Elphinstone Point is among the highest viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar. It is nearly 3.21 kilometers away from Arthur’s Seat and offers an unobstructed view of Pratapgad Fort, Koyna Valley on the left, and the lush green surroundings.
This stunning vantage point is around 2500 feet above the Koyna Valley and is also the origin point of the Savitri River. It is named after Mountstuart Elphinstone who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency in its year of discovery. An old mansion was also discovered near the spot but it wasn’t in a condition to be restored. You can enjoy the astounding panoramic views over the cliff and spend your day admiring the ethereal natural beauty of Mahabaleshwar.
11. Wilson Point
Situated at 1439 meters above sea level, Wilson Point is among the highest viewing points in Mahabaleshwar. The hilltop was originally known as Sindola Hill but it was renamed Wilson Point as a dedication to Sir Leslie Wilson, who was the governor of Bombay from 1923 to 1926.
Wilson Point is the only viewing point in Mahabaleshwar from where you can watch both sunrise and sunset, but it is popularly known as “Sunrise Point”. It has three watch towers with observation decks to offer spectacular views of the city in all directions. You can drive directly to the viewpoint or hike up to it through the forest. There are several picnic spots at the top where you can enjoy some family time while enjoying splendid 360-degree views of the entire city.
12. Bombay Point
Popularly known as the Sunset Point, Bombay Point is situated on the old road to Mumbai. It is among the most visited viewpoints of Mahabaleshwar offering surreal views of the city. Loved by nature lovers, this idyllic spot offers a beautiful backdrop for clicking pictures. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the sun setting upon the city from this vantage point.
Ideal for a day excursion, it is a popular picnic spot among the locals. You can also indulge in recreational activities such as horse riding and enjoy local snacks such as Bhel, Vada Pav, and Bhutta (corn on the cob). Another famous viewpoint called the Lover’s Point is close to the spot and is an ideal place for newlyweds and couples to enjoy watching the sunset over the magnificent Sahyadri range.
13. Chinaman’s Falls
One of the most visited places in Mahabaleshwar, Chinaman’s Falls is a 500 feet high waterfall located towards the south of Koyna Valley. The scenic beauty of this cascading waterfall allures nature lovers, photographers, and adventure seekers from across the globe.
Originating from two streams, the water flows down together into the valley as an enthralling waterfall. Chinese looked after the grounds nearby in the past so the waterfall was named Chinaman’s Falls. It is an ideal holiday spot for hikers and a paradise for photographers as the verdant surroundings add to the beauty of the waterfall. You can rejuvenate amidst the lush greenery of the area and spend some time watching birds.
14. Dhobi Waterfall
Located 3 kilometers away from the city, Dhobi waterfall is a prized jewel of Mahabaleshwar. Dhobi Falls is situated along the Petit road and Old Mahabaleshwar road. It connects the stunning vantage points such as Lodwick and Elphinstone's point. The waterfall is enchantingly set amidst greenery and rocks to offer a surreal experience to the viewers.
It is a tropical paradise for nature lovers with a mesmerizing waterfall flowing into the Koyna river amidst a spectacular backdrop. You can hike up to the waterfall and rejuvenate witnessing its splendid scenery polished with mist and rainbow. The fall is visited by photographers, wanderers, adventure seekers, and nature lovers. It is a great place for a relaxing picnic for families and also the perfect spot for self-indulgence.
15. Connaught Peak
Mount Olympia was the second highest peak of Mahabaleshwar. It is popularly known as Connaught Peak since the Duke of Connaught visited it. Situated around 1400 meters above the sea level on the old Mahabaleshwar road, the spot offers astounding views of the surroundings including Pratapgarh Fort, Pasarani, Venna Lake, and the Krishna Valley.
The awe-inspiring views from the peak allure nature lovers and tourists from all across the country. The spot is popular among trekkers and adventure junkies. The climb up to the viewpoint is worth all the effort as you can witness a glorious sunrise or a magnificent sunset against the backdrop of the Sahyadri range.
16. Lodwick Point
Located around 5 km west of Mahabaleshwar, Lodwick Point is another vantage point on the list of numerous viewing points of the city. Offering unparalleled views of the cityscape and surroundings, this point is popular among tourists. It was known as Sydney Point until the British officer General Lodwick climbed to it. The point was renamed to honor his achievement and a 25 feet memorial pole was erected at the point.
The head of General Lodwick sculptured in marble is positioned at the base of the pillar. You can enjoy impressive views of the Pratapgarh Fort and Elphinstone Point from here. Wrapped in lush greenery it is the perfect spot to unwind.
17. Rajpuri Caves
Rajpuri Caves are located near Panchgani in the Satara district. These four caves have immense religious importance for Hindus. As per legend the son of Lord Shiva, Lord Karthikeya has performed various religious rituals and served penance in these caves. Pandavas had also sought shelter in these caves during their exile.
The ancient inscriptions on the walls of the cave and the statue of Nandi are the main attractions at this place. The caves are surrounded by many holy kunds (ponds), the water from which is used by devotees to cure themselves of diseases. A great attraction for history buffs and archaeological experts, these caves are visited regularly by tourists. You can look forward to visiting the revered Karthikeya temple, built using sand from the caves.
18. Babington Point
Located 1200 meters above sea level, Babington Point is a favorite viewpoint offering astounding views of the Koyna and Solshi Valleys. The amazing Chinaman waterfalls and forested landscapes can be clearly viewed from the vantage point. You can enjoy trekking to reach Babington point.
On the way up through the winding pathways, you may come across a wide variety of species of flora and fauna local to the region. The point is also home to few exotic species of birds luring bird watchers and nature lovers. Upon reaching the top you will be treated to magnificent views of the natural abundance of Mahabaleshwar. A tranquil breezy setting with resting benches and floating clouds are perfect for unwinding away from the bustle of the city.
The highest point of Panchgani, Tableland is a volcanic plateau at a height of 4500 feet above sea level. Famous for being the second-highest mountain plateau in Asia, it is a popular tourist attraction. The idyllic setup of flat laterite rock blanketed with pretty bluebonnet offers breathtaking views of nearby hills and valleys.
Locals and tourists gather to catch glimpses of the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset at the spot. You can enjoy recreational activities like horse riding, trekking, and toy train rides. Another must-explore tourist attraction in the region is the site with footprints of the Pandavas.
20. Parsi Point
Overlooking the Krishna Valley and the Dhom Dam, Parsi Point offers stunning views of the lush green mountains and valley. This breezy viewpoint is situated on the route towards Mahabaleshwar and offers a treat for all your senses. It was a popular place for gatherings of the Parsi community and has been named after them.
Sunset and sunrise views from the spot are mesmerizing and the landscape is perfect for photography. The place offers adventure sports such as paragliding, skydiving, camel rides, and other fun activities for kids to keep all types of visitors engrossed. You can rent a telescope to explore the scenic beauty of the surroundings from different angles. The place is perfect for a family picnic or for simply taking a break in the lap of nature.
21. Velocity Entertainmentz
Velocity Entertainmentz is an amusement park in Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar. Situated 1200 meters above sea level atop the Sahyadri range in Panchgani, it is the only Go-kart track in India built on a mountain. The park is ideal for an adventurous and fun filled outing with family and friends.
It offers numerous adrenaline-pumping outdoor games and several indoor games to suit every age group. You can pick your sport from dashing cars, gyroscope, go-karting, bungee trampoline, basketball, rifle shooting, air hockey, zorbing, hanging merry go round, and many more.
Their in-house restaurant named ‘Temptation’ offers delectable Indian and Italian food accompanied by a ‘Special Sundae Ice-cream’ treat. The handicraft shop and chikki counter are great to buy local products and snacks. The amazing weather of Panchgani and the stunning views of the mountains add to the thrill of the hearting thumping sports.
22. On Wheelz
To add some thrill to your trip visit the On Wheelz amusement park in Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar. The park has a variety of themed rides, a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, mono train, striking cars, indoor games, and swings suitable for kids.
You can look forward to a fun filled day with family and friends at On Wheelz with a dedicated garden play area to keep your little ones occupied. Add some more excitement to your day with adrenaline thumping activities like Bungee jumping, Freefall, and Zyclone rides. You can have heart-pounding encounters with scary creatures if you dare to enter the haunted house.
Indulge in mouth-watering dishes at their in-house restaurant and spend the night at the lavish ‘Hotel Millenium Park’ maintained by them.
23. Kate’s Point
Located around 15 kilometers from Panchgani, Kate’s Point is a rocky viewing point on the way to Mahabaleshwar. Overlooking the majestic Krishna valley it offers exhilarating views of the Dhom Dam and Balakwadi.
Located at 1290 meters above sea level, Nake Khind was one of the favorite spots of British Governor Sir Malcolm's daughter so it was later renamed after her. Kate's Point offers picturesque views of the peaks of Kamalgadh, Pandavgarh, and Mandardeo. You can visit the point while exploring the nearby Elephant's Head Point and Echo Point.
Tapola is a famous satellite village in Mahabaleshwar, referred to as the 'Mini Kashmir of Maharashtra'. Popular among nature lovers and thrill-seekers, Tapola has a soothing vibe. The tranquil landscape and natural abundance of the village charm tourists and locals alike.
It is a popular weekend getaway for locals striving for a back to nature experience. The dense forests and pristine lake are home to Vasota and Jaigarh forts too. You can satiate your hunger for adventure by participating in Jungle treks and exploring unnamed islands. The trek to Vasota Fort is a popular thrilling activity. A boat ride in the Shivsagar Lake lets you explore the fascinating destination closely.
Panchgani is a scenic hill station near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. The hill station is also known as Paanchgani as five hills surround it. It offers picturesque views of sunrise and sunset over the beautiful Sahyadri range. The breathtaking views of the valley on one side and the lush coastal plain on the other allure tourists throughout the year.
Located 1334 meters above sea level, it has been a colonial summer retreat. You can witness relics of numerous monuments from the British era in the area. It is also popularly known as the ‘Strawberry Garden of India’. The verdant valleys and orchards of Panchgani produce luscious red strawberries during February and March. These yummy berries add an oomph of color and flavor to the green and fresh vibe of this little hill station.
26. Helen’s Point
Located near the main market, Helen's Point is an ethereal viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar. It offers astounding views of the pristine beauty of the city and is also fondly referred to as the ‘Blue Valley’. You can witness the deep verdant valleys and brilliant waterfalls cascading down the Sahyadri range from the spot.
The blissful vista of river Krishna flowing through green fields decorated with little huts gives you a birds-eye view of the rustic villages of Mahabaleshwar. Other popular attractions near Helen’s Point are Robbers cave, Gavalani Point, and Northcote Point.