One of the most famous hill stations around Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani derives its name from the five hills that surround it and is popular for many sunset and sunrise points and scenic views of the valley.
Popularly known for its scenic beauty, the hill station of Panchgani is located at 1.334 meters altitude in Maharashtra. Its name is offered by the five hills belonging to the Sahyadri range. The hills provide for a scenic backdrop and the coastal area adds to the mesmerizing view of the surroundings. During the colonization period, Britishers treated this hill station as a go-to place for summer retreats, which is why you will find many establishments from that period here. The city that is like a twin to this city is Mahabaleshwar.
More on Panchgani
The bewildering vistas of the picturesque hill town
The perfect getaway location for people from the city of Mumbai and Pune, people often come here to find peace and comfort in the lap of nature because of its convenient location. John Chesson, the British superintendent found this hill station in the 1860s, and since then the British influence can be seen in its architecture and designs of the markets. It is also often called the land of nature’s amaze and wonder.
One of the most astonishing wonders of Panchgani is the table hill. The second-largest mountain plateau in the Asian continent, it is spread across 95 acres of area. The top hill that offers the greatest view of the hill station of Panchgani, is also an amazing wonder in itself. Sydney point, Parsi point, and Kate point are among the other viewpoints of the hill station of Panchgani. When you find yourself in this beautiful little hill station, do not miss the adventurous and thrilling experience of paragliding that it has to offer. The rich hills of Western Ghats provide for an amazing view during paragliding, making it a must-do activity here.
History of Panchgani
Known as the summer capital of Britishers, Panchgani was discovered at the time of the British rule. The grooming and advancement of the hill station around the 1860s can be accredited to the British superintendent by the name of John Chesson. In order to make the place more beautiful, he introduced many western plant species like poinsettia and the silver oak and planted them here. Originally the summer capital used by Britishers was Mahabaleshwar. But it was not possible to retreat to Mahabaleshwar during the monsoons. This is why they shifted to Panchgani for their summer capital, owing to its pleasant weather all year round. As per the historical records, it is said that the responsibility of finding the perfect spot for a summer retreat for British vacation was assigned to John Chesson. When he finally decided and selected this picturesque area located in the middle of the five villages of Taighat, Khingar, Amral, Dhandeghar, and Godavli, he was assigned to be superintendent of the place when it was named Panchgani. Starting then, he focussed on the development of this hill station as a town by creating the requisite infrastructure and appointing people to inhabit the hill station and work as dhobis, butchers, tailors, etc. In addition to the lush green surroundings of the valley and the peaceful ambience, the juicy red and sweetest strawberries are also something to look forward to, when you visit the hills of Panchgani. The farms here are filled with mesmerizing views of the juicy berries, mostly in the months of February and March, and have rightly been called the ‘strawberry gardens of India’. This is something we can entirely be thankful for, to the Britishers, who were responsible for getting these pretty plantations of strawberry from Australia.
Restaurants and Local Food in Panchgani
The Panchgani hill station may not have its own unique cuisine that has been locally developed but is very popular for its bright red and juicy strawberries. If you happen to visit the place, make sure you try the fruit and maybe bring some of it home with you. Apart from that, true to the nature of its location, the area is home to a variety of cuisines that are locally available. The tourists can enjoy the dishes from the Parsi, Gujarati, Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, Continental, Moghlai, and of course, Maharashtrian menus and limitless dessert ideas that the place offers. There is also a delight for people interested in non-vegetarian delicacies like a deliciously rich Biryani and a variety of preparations for mutton and chicken.
Day 1- After arrival at Pune airport or railway station, travel to Panchgani by road in a cab. Check-in and overnight stay at the hotel in Panchgani.
Day 2- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Visit the second-largest plateau of the mountain in the whole of the Asian continent, the Tableland. This huge plain right on top of a hill is spread over the area of almost 95 acres of land. Later, enjoy the astonishing view of the hills and the Krishna valley from the Sydney point. You can definitely not miss a breathtaking sunset from the Kate point or the Parsi point.
Day 3- After breakfast at your hotel, head to the historic place that is the Rajpuri caves, that is believed to have acted as a shelter for the Pandavas during exile. After that, you can visit the Devrai art village nearby, and have a look at the beautiful art objects and preserved artefacts. Do not miss paragliding over the Panchgani hills in the evening.
Day 4- After enjoying a breakfast with a view at the hotel, you can visit various tourist hotspots near Panchgani, in the town of Mahabaleshwar, like the Elephant’s head point, Venna Lake, or the Mapro gardens.