Saturday, October 24, 2009
A Trip To Mahabaleshwar...
This time I had two wonderful occasions to celebrate... First was Diwali and then my husband’s birthday… and the Best part My children had Diwali vacation. What we wanted was a a nice, relaxing weekend & wanted to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life. So we made a two days trip to mahabaleshwar. Mahabaleshwar is a serene hill station located at an altitude of 1500 Meters (4500 Ft.) above the sea level – and offers some great views of valleys and rivers flowing. We enjoyed some scenic beauty, a quiet environment ,fresh air, good breeze and lovely sight-seeing. Panchgani is situated 20 kms East of Mahabaleshwar and spreads out over five hills. The name actually means 'five lands' and in this very popular hill station, We visited both place.
This picturesque hill station, also known as the Queen of Maharashtra's hill stations, is located in the Western Ghats, cradled in the Sahyadri ranges. An altitude of 1,372 m gives it the distinction of being the highest hill station in Western India. Mahabaleshwar, is named after Lord Shiva also called Lord Mahabali, enshrined at the Gokarna temple in the form of a self-originated lingam, shaped like a rudraksha, and considered to be the most sacred amongst the other twelve jyothirlingams.
The history of Mahabaleshwar takes us to the year 1215 when it was visited by King Singhan of Deogori. Around 1350, a Brahmin dynasty took over power and gave the area harmony and prosperity. Mahabaleshwar later on was annexed by the Maratha family of Chandarao More in the middle of the 16th century which built the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj defeated Jaoli and Mahabaleshwar and constructed the famous Pratapgad Fort in the year 1656. After the end of his rule, the Peshwas ruled this place until the 19th century. In the year 1819, Mahabaleshwar was included in the territory of the Raja of Satara and it was from 1828 what we do know is that the British developed this place as a health resort was regularly visited in succession beginning with Sir John Malcolm and then by Arthur, Carnac, Frere and many others after whom the famous points in Mahabaleshwar are named.
Mahabaleshwar is known for its many points which offer panoramic views. There are as many as 30 viewpoints, named after notable Britishers within close range. Accessibility of these points is largely by foot or vehicles. Some of the most popular points we visit are:
Located at an altitude of 1,240 m, it is named after General Lodwick, who is said to have been the first to set foot on this point in 1824. A monument has been erected there in his memory by his son.
Named after a Governor of Mumbai, Sir Elphinstone, it was discovered by Dr. Murray in the early 18th century. A great spot for picnicking, it bears a resemblance to an elephant's head and trunk, if seen from the Lodwick Point.
Arthur's Seat, another famous point, and considered to be one of the best, is located at an altitude of 1,348 m and captures a beautiful view of the Jor Valley. It has been named after Arthur Malet and one can catch the two territories of Mahabaleshwar very distinctly set apart Kokan and Desh.It is fascinating to see the barren deep valley Savitri on the left & shallow green valley on the right. It is more fascinating to know that Arthur's seat is the only place showing geographical distinction of kokan & Desh (Deccan), two territories of Mahabaleshwar, so clear & so near.
Wilson's Point, is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar, thus offering you the best view, at an altitude of 1,435 m. With three observation towers erected here, it is the best place to catch the sunrise, and hence has also been called the Sunrise Point.There are other points also that you will come across such as the points of Marjorie, Savitri and the Castle Rock Point, all rising from the Valleys of Konkan, and on your way to Arthur's Seat.
A kilometer away from here is a small spring called Tiger's Spring, said to be the source of the River Savitri, which leads you, by way of steps, to a small ledge right beneath Arthur's Point, called The Window and offering an absolutely enthralling view.Another great point is Kate's Point, located at an altitude of 1,290 m and overlooking the Krishna Valley. Near this point is the Echo Point, where you can hear your voice echo
Tapola which is only 25 Kms for Mahabaleshwar. Tapola is popularly known as ' The Mini Kashmir ' because of the beautiful view of the dam, the rivers. Koyana and Solshi, the beauty of the hill ranges of Sahyadri and the deep forest. Tapola is to the other side of Mahabaleshwar than Pune - the Popular side. The journey of 1- 1/12 hr is pretty one as one goes between the high hill ranges and the dark woods. The view of Koyana river on one side and Solshi river on the other is beautiful. Both these rivers meet at Tapola. The dam is the biggest in Maharashtra - Known as 'Shivsagar'. It has a big lake with small islands and there tourists can take a boat and visit the various islands.
It is a great destination to beat the heat of typical Indian summer and indulge in some wonderful delicacies made out of corn, strawberries and mulberries. Wind, water and scenic views detoxified me and offered great relaxation. We were not interested in shopping so didnt cover much. The experience was very wonderful. The atmosphere at Mahableshwar is pleasant and full of greenery; definitely it is heaven. We loved Mahabaleshwar for its wonderful scenic surroundings. Overall, it is definitely unforgettable experience to hang out with loved one in such a beautiful heaven.
To Know more about Mahabaleshwar go through touristplacesinindia.com, which offers valuable travel information on Mahabaleshwar
Posted by Jaishree Iyer at 2:59 PM