Once known as the summer capital of India in the British Raj, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar has a lot more to offer than you can imagine. Mahabaleshwar is not just a summer destination, it’s more than its great weather in the summers. Located about 120 kilometers from Pune and 280 kilometers from Mumbai, it’s a go-to destination year-round.
The strawberry farms are, indeed, a true paradise when you visit Mahabaleshwar. Many locals have opened their strawberry farms to tourists. Some allow you to pluck the fruits (if the right time and season) and also have farm-fresh strawberry desserts to treat your cravings. Fresh carrots are also a popular eat here. It’s an absolute must do.
The local Maharashtrian food in Mahabaleshwar is quite a delicacy. It has a range of flavors and spices, especially the hotter spices. If you’re a non-vegetarian, you’ll love the gravies. Even vegetarians will relish the flavorful food at the Khanavals (local dhaba). Also, try out the street food as there are recipes that are different from what you’d expect. The food here is similar to the cuisine in the Pune-Kolhapur areas, a spicy treat indeed.
Set in green pastures, Mapro Foods has set their factory amidst this resourceful location near Mahabaleshwar. Mapro manufactures jams and jellies, fruit squashes, honey and sweets made with real fruit. Visitors get to see the Mapro factory and also have a chance to try their various products at the testing counter before purchasing. The garden has been tastefully done up, keeping alive the natural beauty with its true elements facing the valley. The sandwiches, pizzas, and waffle cones are the favorites and extremely popular with the kids from the nearby boarding schools. There are also facilities with some outdoor toys for kids to enjoy. It’s a treat for all your senses.
This is another hillside experience in Mahabaleshwar. Apart from the tiny market that can be explored, Mahabaleshwar is quite a treat to walk around, especially down the valleys. There are not only many waterfalls but also popular points for picturesque sightings, and all in this small town.
Venna Lake in Mahabaleshwar is a popular spot among tourists for the variety of food and experiences on offer. Taking a boat ride at Venna Lake is one such experience, complete with a picturesque view. However, this can only be availed between October and June. The lake is usually closed during the monsoons.
Mahabaleshwar is a popular spot for trekking as it provides enough terrain to go out on an adventure. The place is full of surprises, especially during the monsoons and a little after that. The endless waterfalls, views of the Krishna River, valleys and dams and the neighboring small villages make the campaign quite an experience. The Pratapgadh Fort nearby is also quite a property to explore.
The towns of Panchgani and Wai are less than an hour’s distance from Mahabaleshwar. Wai’s Ganpati Temple and bridge are glorified spots in the movies, but just as beautiful in person. Panchgani has its own set of restaurants and some wonderful places like Table Land, Parsi Point, and some nearby villages that offer exciting adventures.
Sherbaug in Panchgani is a site with heaps of rare species of animals and birds for watching. Panchgani also provides recreational activities such as paragliding and stargazing.
Mahabaleshwar is your best bet for a summer holiday. It’ll keep you disconnected from the traditional city life and the blistering temperatures. In return, it will bring you a soothing experience. In fact, Mahabaleshwar is also a great getaway during the monsoons and the winters. Monsoons here are surreal with all the rainfall, and winters are pleasantly chilled. Get packing to make your way to this lovely little place in Maharashtra.