A hill town in Western Ghats, apart from its strawberries, Mahabaleshwar is also well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades and majestic peaks.
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Western Ghats, in Satara district of Maharashtra. Known for its captivating beauty and the beautiful strawberry farms, the city comprises of ancient temples, boarding schools, manicured and lush green dense forest, waterfalls, hills, valleys. The city is definitely among the most sought after weekend getaways from Mumbai. Charming views, enticing valleys, serene lakes and a refreshing delight for your taste buds - the best way to summarize this natures gift.
An immensely beautiful destination. The weather is pleasant almost all year round.
Recieves heavy rainfall. Risk of causing landslides high. May get over crowded during summers.
Mahabaleshwar is ideal for those who love the cold weather and want to get away from the summer heat. A perfect weekend getaway for the people of Maharashtra, espcially from Mumbai and Pune. It is also perfect for a short outing with family and friends.
Mahabaleshwar is based on the arms of the ranges of the Sahyadri mountains. Mahabaleshwar has one of the rarely found evergreen forests in India. Malcolm Peth, Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar and a region of the Shindola village are the three villages of halves that make up Mahabaleshwar. It is based at the distance of about one hundred and kilometres south-west to Pune and the distance of two hundred and eighty-five kilometres from Mumbai. Valleys surround it in every direction. Mahabaleshwar is ver well renowned for its strawberry cultivation. Mapro Gardens, located at the distance of twelve kilometres from Mahabaleshwar, is also well recognised for its variety of delicious food.
Mahabaleshwar is known to be the hub of berry farming in India, so much so that it is said to account for 85% of all the strawberry production in the country! There are a number of strawberry farms right on the Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar Road with plantations that of other berries too like raspberries, mulberries and blueberries. Tourists can drop by in any one of these farms, and walk around the fields with the permission of the owners who may also make one try out these mouth-watering and farm fresh berries. However, if you?re amongst the lucky ones, you may even get to take home with you a big jar of special homemade strawberry jam, made with farm goodness and lots of love! The Mapro Strawberry festival starts in March-April every year. However fresh strawberries sale starts from December and best time to visit is January.
Mahabaleshwar, to its acclaim has a rich history of many-a-dynasty setting their base and capital here and waging wars against others in order to defeat the region. Starting from King Singhan who was the first to build a small temple and water tank here, the story then goes on to a Brahmin Dynasty who became the rulers of Mahabaleshwar, before they were defeated by the Maratha family of Chandarao More. In the 17th Century, Shivaji Maharaj reclaimed Mahabaleshwar and built the famous Pratapgarh Fort here. The onset of the 19th Century, saw this land pass on through a succession of British lords and officials, who brought strawberry plants from Australia and planted them in Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. Today, these strawberries are exported to various countries.
Day 1: Start your day with a visit to Arthur's Seat. Post lunch, visit the Elphinstone Point and the Venna Lake. End your day by paying a visit to the Mahabaleshwar Market to chance upon some gorgeous kolhapuri jootis, followed by a horse riding session around Venna Lake or by watching the sunset from the Elephant's Head Point.
Day 2: Begin your day with a visit to the Wilson Point and the Connaught Peak. If you're a thrill seeker and not faint-hearted, join any local expedition groups to their nearest green snake rescue missions or just a day of forest floor walking or bird watching. Next, go to the Lingmala waterfall. Visit the Mapro Gardens during the evening or when you are leaving Mahabaleshwar.
Strawberries, Mulberries, Carrots, Corn, Cherry size tomatoes are the natural treasures of Mahabaleshwar's cuisine. Delicious indulges made from strawberries are a specialty of the the town such as toffees, syrups, fudge, ice creams, whipped creams, jellies as well as the Corn Pattice made from the corn. Enjoy these refreshing items and take some home too.
The next most popular item, like in almost all of Maharashtra is the Vada Paav along with a popular range of other street food items. One can also bite into the popular sweet Chikki . Other than these, the restaurants offer quite a satisfactory range of cuisines.
Going to Mahabaleshwar on a short weekend trip is incomplete without paying a visit to the renowned restaurant - Bagicha Corner, which is extremely famous for its strawberry cream, mulberry cream, ice creams and syrups, corn pattice, zunka bhakari and corn frankies. If your taste buds lie more on the savoury side - try out their makke ki roti and sarso ka saag.
Mapro Garden Restaurant serves lip smacking Italian delight pizzas and chocolate brownies for a delectable lunch, which can be followed by a round of colourful ice cold chuskis and garden carrots from local vendors.
The Strawberry Harvest Season in Mahabaleshwar is from December to February. When you're here, you can enjoy the treats like strawberry jams and shakes from the vendors around the farms. Mapro Factory is also a nice place to go to. Raspberries, Mulberries and Blueberries are also grown in the fruit town and you can buy canned preserves, honey or jellies. There are also view points, waterfalls and lakes that you can enjoy.