Mahabaleshwar

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Mahabaleshwar
महाबळेश्वर
Hill Station
View of Mahabaleshwar Hills
View of Mahabaleshwar Hills
Nickname(s): "Land of Strawberries"
Mahabaleshwar is located in Maharashtra
Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar
Coordinates: 17°55′18″N 73°39′20″E / 17.92172°N 73.6556°E / 17.92172; 73.6556Coordinates: 17°55′18″N 73°39′20″E / 17.92172°N 73.6556°E / 17.92172; 73.6556
Country India
State Maharashtra
District Satara
Government
 • Mayor kishor
Area
 • Total 150 km2 (60 sq mi)
Elevation 1,438 m (4,718 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 12,780
 • Density 85/km2 (220/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Marathi, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 412 806
Telephone code 00 91
Vehicle registration MH-11 XX XXXX

Mahabaleshwar (महावळेश्वर) (About this sound pronunciation ) 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[edit]

Mahabaleshwar is located at 17°55′N 73°40′E / 17.92°N 73.67°E / 17.92; 73.67.[1] 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.

Panoramic view of Mahabaleshwar
Panoramic view from Savitri Point, Mahabaleshwar
Climate data for Mahabaleshwar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
25.6
(78.1)
28.6
(83.5)
29.9
(85.8)
28.8
(83.8)
21.6
(70.9)
18.7
(65.7)
18.8
(65.8)
19.9
(67.8)
24.0
(75.2)
23.8
(74.8)
23.1
(73.6)
23.87
(74.96)
Average low °C (°F) 8.9
(48)
12.6
(54.7)
17.4
(63.3)
18.9
(66)
18.2
(64.8)
17.0
(62.6)
16.8
(62.2)
16.4
(61.5)
15.8
(60.4)
16.3
(61.3)
14.1
(57.4)
11.8
(53.2)
15.35
(59.62)
Precipitation mm (inches) 4.6
(0.181)
2.8
(0.11)
4.6
(0.181)
25.1
(0.988)
47.0
(1.85)
939.8
(37)
2,546.1
(100.24)
1,764.3
(69.461)
685.8
(27)
154.4
(6.079)
46.5
(1.831)
5.3
(0.209)
6,226.3
(245.13)
Source: Government of Maharashtra

Tourism[edit]

The Venna lake

Today, Mahabaleshwar is a popular holiday resort and honeymoon spot, and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus.

Boats on the Venna lake in Mahabaleshwar.

The Venna lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides.

In Mahabaleshwar you can get hotels for all budgets from budget hotels to 3 Stars hotels. You can get hotel from where you can enjoy the Lake's View or in midist of the mahabaleshwar's famous market.[2]

Arthur's Seat[edit]

View from Arthur's Seat

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.

Kate's Point[edit]

Balakwadi dam viewed from Kate's Point

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.

Needle Hole Point / Elephant Point[edit]

Needle hole rock, viewed from the 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.

Wilson Point[edit]

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[edit]

Named because of the natural sculpture of the stones which looks like three monkeys sitting beside each other and portraying 3 monkeys of Gandhiji..

History[edit]

On the outskirts of Mahabaleshwar, towards Panchgani.

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 the 17th century Shivaji Maharaj took over Javli and Mahabaleshwar and constructed the Pratapgad fort in 1656.

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. Raj Bhavan, the Summer residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, is also located here.

"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.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 India census,[3] 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.

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

Mahabaleshwar is located about 32km from Wai. It is around 285km from Mumbai, the state capital. The nearest major city is Satara, around 45km 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.

Rail[edit]

Nearest railroad is Satara, around 42km. 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.

Air[edit]

The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, serving the city of Pune, about 120 km from Mahabaleshwar. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai is 270 km away.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Mahabaleshwar". 
  2. ^ "Airsky Mahabaleshwar". Airsky. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]