Mahabaleshwar is a charming hill station located in Satara district of Maharashtra.
At an altitude of 1,353 m in the Western Ghats range, Mahabaleshwar is known for its fascinating beauty, ancient temples, gorgeous waterfalls, misty hills, and valleys.
This pristine hill station is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Mahabaleshwar is one of the top monsoon destinations in India and also one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune.
There are several viewpoints that are strategically located to capture the panoramic views. Arthur’s Seat, Wilson Point, Kate’s Point & Elephant head Point, Connaught Peak and Bombay Point are popular viewpoints.
6 popular tourist places to visit in Mahabaleshwar
Elephant’s Head Point & Kate’s Point
Elephant's Head Point or Needle Point is one of the most popular vantage points in Mahabaleshwar. It is named after Kate, daughter of Sir John Malcom, founder of Mahabaleshwar. The overhanging cliffs of this point are similar to the head of an elephant and its trunk. Thus, the point named as Elephant's Head Point and is among the best tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar. This vantage point is the extreme end of the mountain range and lies beyond the Lodwick Point.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is an ancient temple situated in Old Mahabaleshwar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is one of the most popular Mahabaleshwar tourist places. The temple was built in South Indian Hemadant style. The temple is enclosed by a 5 foot wall and is divided into two areas, the sanctum sanctorum and the central hall. The main sanctum has Shiva linga made of black stone, which is 500 years old swayambhu lingam. This self-originated lingam is in the shape of Rudraksha and is called Mahalingam. It is considered to be superior to the twelve Jyothir Lingams. The trishul of Lord Shiva along with his Damru, Rudraksha and one bed has been preserved in this temple and these are around 300 years old.
Popularly known as Queen of the Points, Arthur Seat Point is the most popular viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar and among the top places to experience Mahabaleshwar Tourism. This place is named after Arthur Mallet, the first man to build a house at this point. Situated at an altitude of 1340 m, Arthur Point is surrounded by the deep Savitri gorge on one side and a lush green plateau on the other side.
The gravitational force of the earth at this point is minimum and lighter objects thrown into the valley are said to fly up due to this reverse force. One can also see Tiger's spring, the source of Savitri River. Arthur's Seat is the largest of the three parts of the Arthur's Seat Volcano site of special scientific interest which is designated to protect its important geology grassland habitats and uncommon plant and animal species.
Pratapgad, also known as Pratapgarh, is a huge hill fort located in Satara district of Maharashtra. At an altitude of 1080 m, Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj had constructed the fort in 16th century to defend the banks of Nira River, Koyna River and Par pass. Pratapgarh Fort is among the best forts in Maharashtra and among the top place to visit in Mahabaleshwar and one of the best historical forts near Pune. Pratapgad consists of two parts. The upper fort houses several buildings, including a Mahadev Temple and the lower fort houses Bhavani Temple on the eastern side.
Krishnabai / Krishna Devi Temple
Krishnabai Temple is an old temple situated in Old Mahabaleshwar near Panch Ganga temple. The temple was built in 1888 by a ruler of Ratnagiri on a hilltop overlooking the Krishna valley. The Temple has a Shiva lingam and a statue of Lord Shiva. The temple is considered to be the source of Krishna River. A small stream of water from a cow-face (gomukh) flows into a water tank and further joins other water sources to form a full-fledged river. The temple is also known for its stone carvings and architecturally acclaimed ceiling. It also offers enchanting views of the Krishna valley and surrounding countryside.
Venna Lake & Dam
Venna Lake is a manmade lake constructed in 1842 by Sri Appa Saheb Maharaja. Venna Lake has an area of about 28 acres having periphery around 7-8 km and is fed by repeated springs. Surrounded by lush greenery, Venna Lake is a very popular spot among honeymooners as well as families and also one of the top places to visit in Mahabaleshwar town. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride in the lake or a horse ride next to the lake. Row and Pedal boats are available for the tourists.