Mahabaleshwar is a charming hill station nestled amidst the Western Ghats famous for its scenic beauty and imposing woods. Mahabaleshwar is most famous for its dense canopy of evergreen forests that attract tourists from all across the country. This hill station, like many other hill stations was discovered by the British, who then went on to make drastic changes in this once sleepy town and even made this their summer capital of Bombay province. This picturesque hill town brims with remnants of British architectural structures of a bygone era. The British influence can be seen in the huge colonial bungalows and other palatial structures that line the broad streets of Mahabaleshwar.
The Mahabaleshwar Temple dedicated to Hindu god Lord Shiva is one of the region’s most prominent attractions. It is believed by many devotees that the river Krishna that originates in Mahabaleshwar actually comes out of the mouth of a statue of a holy cow inside this temple complex. A ‘Lingam’ made of black stone is the main idol here, which is regarded to be the materialization of the divine. The Mahabaleshwar hills were named after this temple’s idol Shiva who is also referred to as Lord Mahabali meaning great strength. The Rajpuri Caves in Panchgani with a Lord Karthikeya Temple that was constructed out of the sand taken from these caves is the main attraction here. Panchgani near Mahabaleshwar is a renowned picnic spot offering breathtaking views of the Dhom Dam backwaters and the luxuriant Krishna valley.
With the wide array of experiences it offers, Mahabaleshwar offers one a tranquil holiday spot combined with the devoutness of a religious centre as well as an adventure destination.
Situated at a distance of 266 km from Mumbai, the town of Mahabaleshwar is set at an elevation of 1,353 metres above sea level. Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar is well connected by road, which is the most popular way to travel. A journey of 5 and a half hours, this route covers the following towns: Khopoli, Tathawade, Wai and finally Mahabaleshwar. This route is dotted with several ATMs and hospitals which can be quite useful in times of emergency. The many restaurants and dhabas along the route also provide for excellent stopovers where one can stretch tired limbs and refuel our appetites too. Many tourists hire cabs or drive down in their own vehicle or rented car which takes an approximate 5 and a half hours to reach the destination. Driving down from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar is ideal for group travel, especially those which involve seniors or children who would find the flexibility very comfortable. An average cab ride would incur a charge of around INR 15 to INR 30 per km depending upon the vehicle chosen.
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