The twin hill stations of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar redefine beauty. These scenic spots have an undying allure that continues to drive tourists, domestic and otherwise, in droves annually.
Panchgani was discovered by the Britishers during their rule in India. History has it that a superintendent who went by the name John Chesson was in charge of looking after this popular summer spot. The name Panchgani literally translates to 'Five Hills' and is situated at an altitude of close to 1,350 m above sea level.
Historically famous to be a favourite summer retreat for Britishers, till date the pleasant, cool weather continues to draw tourists from the hot and scorched plateau below. The monsoons introduce themselves as a gratifying addition to the surreal mystique of these hill stations – the mountains are cloaked in majestic waterfalls and narrow, small winding streams.
Panchgani - A Destination For Anyone And Everyone!
Whether you’re a first-time traveller or the quintessential backpacker, the quaint hills of Panchgani have a great deal to offer for everyone. Witnessing the dreamlike sunset beyond distant hills, enjoying a fun strawberry picking session, having a leisurely boat ride or if you’re up to something a little more adventurous – paragliding.
You will never run out of options here! Panchgani is easily one of the finest paragliding locations found in Western India. Situated at an elevation of 4500 ft, the breathtaking valleys, refreshing breeze and mesmerising scenery will help you experience an exquisite visual treat.
If you’re a novice at paragliding, you can opt for tandem flights with experienced pilots.
A Delight For Nature Lovers - Tourist Places In Panchgani
If you wish to take in the serene greenery around you, head over to Dhom Dam, a prominent boating spot near the Wai village, with the idyllic Krishna river passing through it. Overlooking the lush, bountiful Krishna Valley, you find the famous Parsi Point and Sydney Point, which are ideal for picnics, outdoor activities and to just laze around.
Let your eyes devour on the Bhilar Waterfalls, best viewed during the monsoons. Perhaps the most iconic, the Tableland is a vast expanse of flat plateau formation fit for adrenaline junkies to indulge in exciting activities like horse riding and parasailing.
If you’re a nature lover, Sherbaug is the place to be. A naturally well-designed landscape, it has a wonderful children’s park and is home to a host of birds, rabbits, turkeys and swans. Check out the historic caves and wide array of temples, but don’t miss out on places excitingly named as Bhim Chaula (Devil’s Kitchen) and Harrison’s valley.
A Quaint, Entiching Hill Station
Panchgani is dotted with several quaint cottages from the colonial era. These are available for rent, and tourists looking to have some quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, can spend their weekend here. This place boasts of many buildings and monuments that have their architecture inspired from the British age.
A lesser known fact is that Panchgani boasts of a highly pure atmosphere, with a very low level of pollution. The climate this region provides is beneficial for people recovering from ailments such as allergies and asthma. It not only heals the body but also rejuvinates the mind. People especially infected with tuberculosis should come down here for a pleasurable recovery.
How To Reach Panchgani
The drive to Panchgani is, needless to say, awe-inspiring beauty. If you are travelling from Mumbai, the 285 km journey can be covered using the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, that will land you first at Panchgani.
Else, if you are driving from Mumbai along the Goa road, then after turning left at Polhatpur and driving uphill you will first come to Mahabaleshwar. Panchgani will be on the downhill road leading to Satara.
If you’re travelling in a large group it is sensible to hire one of the bungalows situated opposite Anjuman-e-Islam school on the Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road.
Best Time To Visit Panchgani
The best time to visit this place is from September through May, when the monsoons have subsided. Winters at Panchgani touch a cool 12°C and the summers are relatively cool as well. Panchgani is essentially a year-round destination – hence even during the monsoons, families and tourists alike frequent this place, losing themselves in the smell of wet earth and the etheral beauty of lush greenery.