Panchgani: “The land of the
second-longest mountain plateau”
Panchgani is a beautiful hill town situated at
an elevation of 1334 meters in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra which is popular
for its picturesque view of the surroundings. The town derives its name from
the five hills that surround the region. Nestled amidst the green valleys of
Sahyadri Hills, the place is known for its astounding sunset and sunrise views.
You will be mesmerized by a splendid view of
hills on one side and the pleasant coastal plains on the other. The region also
has a historical significance as it was used as a summer retreat by the British
officials during the colonial era. As you walk past the town, you will come
across various establishments constructed by the British.
More on Panchgani
A perfect weekend
escapade for residents of Pune and Mumbai
The town of Panchgani is situated very close
to Pune and Mumbai and hence, it serves as a perfect weekend getaway for the
residents of these cities. The soothing ambience in the hills, the scenic views
and the fresh air attracts a huge number of tourists throughout the year. If
you are a nature lover and a photography enthusiast then this is a must-visit
The best place to escape the noises and hectic
life of the city, this town is spread over an area of about 95 acres. There is
also a plateau situated adjacent to the Panchgani Hills which is the second
largest mountain plateau in the Asian Continent. The hill town was discovered
in 1860 by a British official named John Chesson. In addition to the five
hills, there are other interesting nearby places to visit such as Kate Point,
Sydney Point and Parsi Point. The region
is known to host various exciting activities such as Paragliding and camping.
History of Panchgani
The credit for the discovery of Panchgani hill
town goes to the British official named John Chesson. It was during the decade
of the 1860’s, the town was recognized as the summer retreat for the Britishers
and simultaneously, various construction activities took place in order to
equip the town with luxurious amenities. John Chesson was assigned the
responsibility to find a suitable place for summer retreat and hence, played a
major role in grooming the town. From improving the infrastructures and
planning to planting the trees including poinsettia and silver oak, he was
dedicated to recreating a town similar to the ones in the western world.
Given the scenic beauty of the region, he
chose the spot surrounded by five hamlets namely, Godavli, Taighat, Amral,
Dhandeghar and Khingar. John Chesson was eventually made the superintendent of
the region and the town was named as Panchgani.
He also focused on improving the day to day
facilities in the town such as appointing butchers, tailors, washermen, etc.
All the necessities of the residents of the town were efficiently taken care
of. Moreover, the strawberry plantation also started in Panchgani under his
supervision. The farms in the town are packed with juicy strawberries during
the month of February and March and the view of the same is enchanting.
Restaurants and Local Food in Panchgani
The restaurants around the town offer various
delicacies made out of strawberries. There is no specific popular local
cuisine, however, you must try the shakes and other cuisines made from various
types of berries. Moreover, the eateries
here serve the mainstream Maharashtrian, South Indian, Gujarati, Punjabi,
Parsi, Mughlai, Chinese and Continental dishes. One of the exquisite delicacies
in the region is the mutton and chicken biryani.
Schedule your journey in such a manner that
you reach Pune airport or railway station by afternoon. From here you will have
to hire a cab to reach Panchgani. Check-in at your hotel and rest for the
Day 1- After
breakfast, you should head to the Tableland which is the second largest
mountain plateau in Asia. The plateau is spread over an area of about 95 acres
and you will be intrigued by the vastness of the same. You can then head to
Sydney Point overlooking the Krishna Valley, where you will be fascinated by
the picturesque view of the surrounding hills.
Later in the evening, you can visit Parsi Point and Kate Point to
witness the mesmerizing sunset.
Day 2- Post
Breakfast at the hotel, you can head to Rajpuri Caves. This cave was used by
the Pandavas to shelter themselves during their exile. Afterwards, you can head
to Davrai Art Village where you can have a look at exquisite artefacts and
handmade crafts of the ancient period. Free yourself up during the evening for
an enthralling experience of paragliding above the Panchgani Hills.
Day 3- On the
third day, you can visit the nearby twin city of Mahabaleshwar. Here, you can
explore many interesting places such as Mapro Gardens, Venna Lake and
Elephant’s Head Point.