Surrounded by several splashing rivers, evergreen forests, alluring hills and mountains is Mahabaleshwar. Located in Satara district in the state of Maharashtra, the hill station takes you closer to the gorgeous beauty of nature. Mahabaleshwar boasts of being one of the very few evergreen hill stations in the country.
Mahabaleshwar was known as Malcolm Peth and was under the safe custody of the British authority before it grew into one of the most visited hill stations in the country today. The glorious past of the place can be seen in its well-maintained colonial mansions and other buildings which throw light on the grandeur of a bygone era and transforms them into places of interest amidst the vast foliage of Mahabaleshwar.
1. Wilson Point
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Standing tall at the height of 4710 ft above sea level and engulfs you with a charm as one would watch the rising sun from Wilson Point/ Sun rise point.
There are three stone platforms here which are built for tourists to sit on and admire the beauty of not only the rising sun but also the pristine nature.
Wilson Point is the the highest point in Mahabaleshwar and is named after Sir Leslie Wilson who was the governor of Bombay during the British rule. The place has three watch towers from where visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the hilly retreat.
2. Arthur's Seat
One of the most popular places to visit in Mahabaleshwar is Arthur's Seat which is also known as Madhi Mahaal or the Queen of Points. Situated at a height of 1470 m, the place is surrounded by the deep Savitri gorge on one side and the lush green plateau on the other.
Arthur's Seat is the only place where one can clearly distinguish the geological contrast between the Konkan and Deccan regions. The place is well known for the floating of light objects; if you throw light objects, say bottle caps, into the valley they would come up again due to the air pressure.
3. Mahabaleshwar Temple
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Located 6 km away from the city, the Mahabaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shrine is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in the state of Maharashtra. The temple was built sometime during the 16th century in the Dravidian style of architecture by the rulers of the Chanda Rao More dynasty.
In the sanctum, one would have the darshan of the 500-year-old, self-originated lingam which takes the shape of a rudraksha and is known as Mahalingam.
The shrine also houses a trishul, a damru and Shiva's bed which are believed to at least be 3 centuries old. Apart from this, one would come across a raised platform in a square shape which is believed to have been donated by Shivaji and is equal to the body weight of his mother Jijabai.
4. Kamalgad Fort
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Located at a distance of 16 km, one would come across the Kamalgad Fort. The fort is surrounded by a steep rocky area which truly is challenging task. The structure is built in a very unconventional way without any protective walls around it, simply because the perilous sharp rocks double up as a protective wall.
5. Elephant's Head Point
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Also known as Needle Hole Point, the place is a very popular vantage point which is located close to Kate's Point. The overhanging cliffs here hold a very striking similarity to the head of an elephant and its trunk; hence, the place is called the Elephant's Head Point.
Apart from this one can also notice a rock formation with a hole in-between it giving the structure the name Needle Hole. From here one can get a captivating view of the Sahyadri mountain ranges.
6. Venna Lake
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One amongst the best places to visit in the hilly retreat of Mahabaleshwar is the Venna Lake. The lake happens to be a man-made marvel which was constructed in the 1842 by Sri Appa Saheb Maharaja, who was the ruler of Satara. Spread across 28 acres of land along with a periphery of about 8 km and surrounded by lush greenery, the lake is fed by the large number of springs of the region. Boat rides are offered to tourists who wish to enjoy its waters and capture the essence of the hill station.