Mahabaleshwar, popularly known as the Queen of Maharashtra's hill stations, is not only a favorite honeymoon spot, a popular weekend getaway but also an essential religious pilgrimage site for the Hindus. This scenic hill station derived its name from Lord Shiva also known as Lord Mahabali, which means God of great power. Mahabaleshwar comprising three villages Malcolm Peth, Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar and part of the Shindola village is snuggled in the Western Ghats, and is one of the highest hill stations in the Western India. One of the few of the evergreen forests in the world, it enjoyed the distinction of being the summer capital of the Bombay province during the British Raj. It is famous for its year round lovely weather, scenic locales, soaring peaks, lush valleys and abundant flora.
Mahabaleshwar is well known for its produce of luscious strawberries, lovely mulberries and pure honey.>
For the shopoholics, the main point of interest would be the town bazaar or Malcolm Peth as it is called after the then British Governor of Bombay, Sir John Malcolm. It lies at the heart of the hill station. Mahabaleshwar is famous for its produce of strawberries and mulberries. Here you can shop for fresh fruits or innovative fruit products like crushes (nullwith big juicy chunks of fruits) and jams. Other hot selling items at the bazaar are pure mountain honey and chikki (nulla traditional Indian sweet made with jaggery and assortment of nuts like peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc.). A lot of customers also shop handcrafted leather footwear.
Chinese - Temple View Restaurant Section III (nullOld Mahabaleshwar), Shanghai Caf� and Sagar restaurant (nullDr. Sabane Road).
European/Continental - Temple View Restaurant Section II (nullOld Mahabaleshwar
Regional Speciality - Rajesh (nullNear ST Stand) best place for authentic Gujarati thali, Temple View Restaurant (nullOld Mahabaleshwar) known for Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine. In addition to these restaurants there are a lot of small eateries around the Venna Lake serving Mahabaleshwar speciality strawberries with cream and mulberries with cream.
Another monument whose origins can be traced back to the British rule is the Holy Cross Church. Built by Catholic residents of the region, it is a small church that is worth a visit for its serene location and historic structure. Though the church is now in a dilapidated condition, people still flock here to see the beautiful and intricate stained glass windows.
Mahabaleshwar is cozily nestled at 1,372 meters above sea level in the Sahyadri Range (nullthe Western Ghats) in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It is a massive plateau measuring 150 km2 and bound by emerald green valleys on all sides. Its highest point Wilson/Sunrise point is 1438 meters above sea level. Mahabaleshwar is the source of river Krishna that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. An interesting thing worth noting here is that four other major tributaries of the Krishna also originate here Koyana, Venna (nullVeni), Savitri, and Gayatri. The weather in Mahabaleshwar is pleasant all year round but the best time to visit is October and June. A trip to Mahabaleshwar during the monsoon should be at best avoided as Maharashtra is known to be extremely wet and humid
during this season. During the late-June to mid-September period, torrential rains virtually shutdown this hill station as getting there proves to be a daunting task. The journey to the hills can not only prove to be cumbersome with the massive traffic jams enroute but also fatal at times with the resultant landslides. Temperatures vary from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius in the summer and can dip till 50 degrees Celsius in the winter. Mahabaleshwar climate is ideal for strawberry and mulberry farming.
Surface - Surface or roads are the most popular most of travel for visitors to Mahabaleshwar. A lot of travelers take the road oft traveled to this holiday destination. A road trip is not only a wonderful idea to reach Mahabaleshwar but also a good opportunity to enjoy the little treasures you will encounter enroute. From Mumbai, you can choose from two routes. One is Mumbai � Vashi � Mahad � Mahabaleshwar. On good days, you should take no more than 4-5 hours to cover this distance. This route is dotted with various garden restaurants and dhabas. It is a good idea to stop over at Mahad for a bite. The second route is Mumbai Pune Expressway � Wai � Panchgani � Mahabaleshwar. This route is longish and takes around 5-6 hours. A lot of people prefer to stop over at Panchgani and
then proceed to Mahabaleshwar. You can either drive down in your own vehicle or by opting for MSRTC or Private Luxury Buses from Mumbai, Pune, Sangli and Satara. A ticket of Volvo bus from Mumbai costs around Rs 350 one way while an ordinary AC bus will charge Rs 200. National Highway NH4 is the most convenient National Highway to reach Mahabaleshwar.
Train - The nearest railway station is Wathar, some 62 kilometers from the town. Most tourists traveling into Mahabaleshwar by train choose to get off at Wathar. However, in terms of train connectivity from major towns and cities across India, Pune station located about 120 kilometers from here is preferred.
Air - Mahabaleshwar does not have an airport. The nearest flight connection would be from Pune, about 120 kilometers away. There are regular flights operating between Pune and other Indian metros.
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