A small hilly town based in the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is famous
for its many rivers, lofty mountain peaks and spectacular waterfalls in
addition to the juicy strawberries.
It is a small hill town in the Satara district, amidst the Western
Ghats of Maharashtra. Popular for its enticing beauty and the exquisite farms
of strawberry, the town is full of boarding schools, ancient temples, cascades,
well-maintained lush green forests and the valleys and hills. It is one of the
most looked-forward-to destinations for a weekend getaway from Mumbai.
Mesmerizing views, charming valleys, peaceful lakes and a captivating treat for
your taste buds are probably the best way to describe this gift of nature.
More on Mahabaleshwar
A Perfect Weekend Getaway
Mahabaleshwar is situated right in the embrace of the Sahyadri
mountain range. It is also home to the rare unique evergreen forest. The three
regions that together makeup Mahabaleshwar are the Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar
region, the Malcolm Peth region and a part of the Shindola Village region. The
place is at a distance of about 100km from Pune and almost 285 km from Mumbai
and is surrounded by valleys in every direction. It is the most popular for the
cultivation and growth of strawberry farms. Mapro Gardens, known for the
delightful and delicious food offerings, is only 12 km away.
Strawberry Farming in Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is popular as the central hub for the farming of
strawberries in India. In fact, it accounts for almost 85% of the total
strawberry cultivation in the country. On the road from Panchgani to
Mahabaleshwar, one can witness multiple strawberry farms in addition to other
berries like blueberry, raspberry and mulberry. With permission from the
owners, many tourists drop by, take a walk and taste some of these fresh juicy
and mouth-watering berries. Also, if its your lucky day, you may walk out of
the farm carrying a delicious jar of strawberry jam, homemade with the goodness
and freshness of the farms and much love. Mapro holds a special strawberry
festival every year in the months of March and April. The best time for you to
visit the place is in January as the sale of strawberries starts in December.
History of Mahabaleshwar
To its credit, Mahabaleshwar has been a witness to the rich history of
multiple dynasties that have held their bases and capitals here to wage wars
and defeat their enemies. It all began when King Singhan built a water tank and
a small temple here and the story is taken forward by the Brahmin Dynasty that
ruled Mahabaleshwar until facing defeat at the hands of Chandarao More of the
Maratha family. The town was then reclaimed by Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th
century and the renowned Pratapgarh fort was then built here. The oncoming of
the 19th century witnessed many British lords and officials and their
successors occupying the land, buying and planting strawberry plants here in
Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani from Australia. Now, the same strawberries are
exported to many other countries.
Restaurants and Local Food in Mahabaleshwar
The natural treasures of Mahableshwar like corn, cherry-sized
tomatoes, carrots, mulberries and strawberries are used to create delicious
indulges. The speciality of the place is strawberry, used in making jellies,
jams, toffees, syrups, fudge, whipped cream, or ice creams and corn used in
making Corn Pattice. You can enjoy these delights and carry some of it back
with you as well. After strawberries, Vada pao is the next most famous delight
of Maharashtra, in addition to the other street food delicacies. In addition to
the variety of cuisines offered by restaurants, you can also enjoy biting into
the very famous Chikki which is sweet in taste.
Even a short trip to Mahabaleshwar over a weekend is incomplete until
you visit the popular Bagicha Corner restaurant, known for its extremely
popular for its corn pattice, strawberry cream, mulberry cream, Corn Frankies,
zunka bhakari, ice cream and syrups. If you are more inclined towards North
Indian savouries, you can also try the Makki ki roti and sarso ka saag available
there. Mapro Garden has its own restaurant famous for serving lip-smacking
chocolate brownies and delightful Italian pizzas for a delicious lunch followed
by garden carrots and colourful chuskis complementing the ice-cold weather from
the local street vendors.
Day 1: Start your visit to Mahabaleshwar by going to Arthur’s seat
first. Then after lunch, go to Venna Lake and Elphinstone Point. End the day by
going on a shopping spree at the Mahabaleshwar market for the popular Kolhapuri
jootis. You can enjoy the sunset at the Elephant’s head point and go for horse
riding around the Venna lake.
Day 2: Start your day by visiting Connaught Peak and the Wilson point.
For adventure lovers, they can also take part in a local snake rescue
expedition or you can spend some time bird-watching or walk in the forest.
After this, you can visit the Lingmala waterfall. While leaving or in the
evening, do not miss out on visiting the Mapro Gardens.