Are you a first-time traveller or are you the quintessential backpacker? Are you a nature lover or are you an adventure freak? Or maybe you just want a quiet getaway from it all? All are welcome. Welcome to Panchgani.
Like many other hill stations in India, Panchgani in Maharashtra, is a colonial gift and captures the essence of the raj even today. Situated at an height of 4500 feet, Panchgani is nestled in the middle of five hills in the Sahyādri mountain ranges.
The twin hills of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar have a variety of experiences to offer to all kinds of travellers. If you are a nature lover witness the sun melt into the facade of the hills in the evening, dig into juicy strawberries as you go strawberry picking in the hills or literally get a bird's eye view as you go paragliding.
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For the love of nature
Head to the Wai village near the Dhoom Dam and settle down for a leisurely fishing outing on the idyllic Krishna river. When you had your heart's fill, go on to the famous Parsi and Sydney points and feel like the lord of this natural bounty as your eyes take in the sight of entire Panchgani - perfect places for picnic, outdoor activities or to simply laze around. Feast on the Bhilar waterfalls in monsoon and satisfy your adrenaline rushes on the 'table land', a vast expanse of flat plateau perfect for parasailing and horse riding.
For those with a family, Sherbaug is the place to be. Home to a host of birds, rabbits, turkeys and swans this place also has a wonderful children's park. Do not miss out the not-so- prettily named Devil's Kitchen and Harrison's valley.
Pic Credit: Wiki Commons
Quaint old Panchgani
Yes, this is another side of Panchgani. Cottages stand testimonial here for to the days of the colonial raj. Tourists in search of a good time away from the cities can spend their time here in quiet and peace. The architecture is reminiscent of the colonial times and Parsi houses. Due to the pleasant climate of the place, people who are ill often head to this place and this is a good place to recover.
Pic Credit : Wiki Commons
How to Reach
If you are travelling from Mumbai, the 285km journey can be covered using the Mumbai-Pune Expressway which is no less a scenic drive. 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. Here are the best places to stay in Panchgani.
Best time to visit
September to May is the best season to visit Panchgani, as after this, the monsoons will be in full force. However, having said that, Panchgani is a year round destination which never ceases to get visitors.
Of course, if you are visiting Panchagani, your trip can't be complete without visiting Mahabaleshwar.