|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
|Nickname(s): "Land of Strawberries"|
|• Total||150 km2 (60 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,438 m (4,718 ft)|
|• Density||85/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|• Official||Marathi, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||00 91|
|Vehicle registration||MH-11 XX XXXX|
Mahabaleshwar (महावळेश्वर) ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a city and a municipal council in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station located in the Western Ghats range. With one of the few evergreen forests of India, it served as the summer capital of Bombay province during the British Raj.
Geography and climate
Mahabaleshwar is located at  It has an average elevation of 1,353 metres (4,439 ft)..
Located about 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Pune and 285 km (177 mi) from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150 km2 (58 sq mi), bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1,439 m (4,721 ft) at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise Point.
Mahabaleshwar comprises three villages: Malcolm Peth, Old "Kshetra" Mahabaleshwar and part of the Shindola village.
Mahabaleshwar is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. Legend has it that Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the trimurtis by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyana are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. An interesting thing to notice is that 4 other rivers come out from the cow's mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna. These rivers are the Koyna, Venna (Veni), Savitri, and Gayatri.
|Climate data for Mahabaleshwar|
|Average high °C (°F)||23.6
|Average low °C (°F)||10.10
|Precipitation mm (inches)||4.6
|Source: Government of Maharashtra|
Today, Mahabaleshwar is a popular holiday resort and honeymoon spot, and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is the site of Mahabaleshwar Temple. Many tourists visit nearby Panchgani. After the construction of a new highway, it is only a five-hour drive from Mumbai. Mahabaleshwar is also known for the honey and strawberries produced here. One can visit strawberry farms to enjoy the real flavour of the fruit. It is said that the climate of Mahabaleshwar is ideal for Strawberries and Mulberries. One can also get a taste of "Strawberries with Cream" and "Mulberries with Cream" (season: April–May)and also "Corn Pattice" at "CREAM CORNER".
The Venna lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides. A late winter evening boat ride through the slight fog is well appreciated. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride over the lake or a horse ride next to the lake. A number of small eateries line the banks of the lake. The Mahabaleshwar city market and the S.T. bus stand is about 2KM from the lake and makes for a nice walk during the day. Most tour operators include the Venna lake in their tours. Most buses, private vehicles will stop at the Venna lake on their way to Mahabaleshwar on request.
With another popular and scenic hill resort Panchgani in close vicinity (about 20KM), most tourists often visit both places together. The 'Table-Land' phenomenon of nature at Panchgani is breath-taking.
Mahabaleshwar is known for its "points", from which a person can stand and enjoy the entire scenery. There are more than 14 points in total, which provide unique view to the tourists.
Arthur's seat is a point at an elevation of 1340 mts. The point was named after Sir Arthur Mallet, who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap. The point is a very scenic location to visit. Many tourist cabs have this point in their tourist plans.
Kate's point is located to the east of Mahabaleshwar and is famous for its view of two reservoirs, Balakwadi and Dhom. The point is around 1280 mts high. The point got its name from Sir James Malcom's daughter Kate, who developed a liking for the place.
Needle Hole Point
Needle hole point is located near Kate's Point. One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle-hole. The point is also famous for the view of Deccan traps, which look like an elephant's trunk.
Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923–26, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 mts. Known as Sindola Hill during the colonial rule, Wilson point is the only location in Mahabaleshwar where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. It offers a spectacular glance of Mahabaleshwar in all directions.
3 Monkey Point
Named because of the natural sculpture of the stones which looks like three monkeys sitting beside each other and portraying 3 monkeys of Gandhiji.
The first historical mention of Mahabaleshwar dates back to year 1215 when the King Singhan of Deogiri visited Old Mahabaleshwar. He built a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna. Around 1350, a Brahmin dynasty ruled this area. In the middle of the 16th century the Maratha family of Chandarao More defeated the Brahmin dynasty and became rulers of Javli and Mahabaleshwar, during which period the temple of Old Mahabaleshwar was rebuilt.
In 1819, the British included the hills in the territory of the Raja of Satara. Col. Lodwick (Late General Sir ) stationed at Satara, in April 1824 with a contingent of soldiers and Indian guides climbed up the mountain face reaching what is now known as the Lodwick Point.
Starting with Sir John Malcolm in 1828, a succession of them from Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone, Arthur Malet (for whom the seat at "Point Arthur" is named), Carnac, Frere and many others became regular visitors.
Present day Mahabaleshwar came into existence in the year 1829-30. In old records it is mentioned as Malcolm Peth, but in practise today it is known as Mahabaleshwar.
Added to the scores of magnificent scenic "points", the perennial springs, streams, and waterfalls of Mahabaleshwar plateau, with its year round superb climate, drew the English and others to Mahabaleshwar. By the end of the 19th century it had become an attractive popular hill station of world renown.
"Babington House", a magnificent colonial-style bungalow built in the shape of a cross with a deep varanda, elaborate metal work railing and extensive outhouses is considered Mahableshwar's most beautiful country house.
It was formerly one of the principal country seats of the Dubash family, a Parsi ship chandler dynasty from Bombay who sold it to the Rahejas in the early 1970s. It contains a central dining room with a 24-seater table and a lovely library pavilion with 1st edition books collected by the Dubash family, notably Jamsetjee "Jimmy" Kavasjee Dubash, a great bibliophil and art collector.
As of 2011[update] India census, Mahabaleshwar had a population of 12,737. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Mahabaleshwar has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 71%. In Mahabaleshwar, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Mahabaleshwar is located about 32km from Wai. It is around 285km from Mumbai, the state capital. The nearest major city is Satara, around 55km away, and is 120km from Pune. Mahabaleshwar is connected by the National Highway 4. Bus services by state-run MSRTC and private organizations connect it by buses from Pune, Mumbai, Sangli and Satara.
Nearest railroad is Satara, around 58km. Nearest major railway junctions include Pune (120km), Miraj (170&km) and Sangli (165km). Private cars and cabs, as well as state-run bus services are available in these locations to Mahabaleshwar.
- "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Mahabaleshwar".
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mahabaleshwar.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mahabaleshwar.|