If you are looking for a quaint getaway in a mountain destination then look no further than Tapola in Maharashtra that boasts of beautiful lakeside, lush greenery and seasonal waterfalls. The rustic hamlet is located about 25 km from Mahabaleshwar. Also known as 'Mini Kashmir', Tapola offers mesmerizing views of the Sahyadri Hills. The pleasant weather and calm surroundings are indeed therapeutic and calming to your soul.
The main attraction of the town is the Shiv Sagar Lake that is about 90 km long and serves as a reservoir for the Koyana dam, which is one of the biggest dams in the state. The lake offers various activities like kayaking, scooter rides, boating and swimming. Nestled amidst nature, it is nirvana for nature lovers.
During monsoon, the peaks around Tapola is covered in a blanket of lush greenery dotted with pretty wildflowers that give this hill town a surreal appeal. The seasonal waterfalls that you get to witness during monsoon further enhance the rustic charm of Tapola.
Tapola is a perfect place for those with an appetite for adventure and nature lovers who can enjoy the picturesque landscapes around. Tapola is also known for its Gerbera farms and strawberries. You can visit the farms to relish on some fresh strawberries and savour the sights of beautiful Gerbera flowers in the farm. Tapola is the base for an exhilarating jungle trekking trail. The Vasota trek is one of the sought-after treks in Maharashtra.
How To Reach Tapola
By air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Lohegaon Airport, Pune about 120 km away. The nearest international airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai which is 115 km away from Mahabaleshwar.
By train: The nearest railway station to Mahabaleshwar is Wathar station (60 km). However, the most convenient and accessible station would be Pune, which is well-connected and has plenty of trains from Mumbai and other major cities in India. From Mahabaleshwar, you can take a bus or taxi to Tapola.
By road: Tapola is about 245 km from Mumbai and 145 km from Pune. Volvo buses are available to Mahabaleshwar from major cities. From Mahabaleshwar, you can take public transport buses to Tapola. Shared jeeps also ply between Mahabaleshwar and Tapola.
Places Of Attractions In Tapola
Nestled amidst lush greenery, Thoseghar waterfalls is a series of cascades that range in height from 49 ft to 1,640 ft. It is located close by to Thoseghar village in Satara. It is about 100 km from Tapola. The falls is spectacular during monsoon from July to October. The calm and serene natural surroundings is a wonderful spot to enjoy nature at its best.
Kas Pathar or also known as Kaas Plateau is at a distance of 37 km from Mahabaleshwar and 50 km from Tapola. It is popularly called valley of flowers and is the most beautiful attractions in Maharashtra. It is situated at a height of 1200 m and spread over an area of 1,000 hectares.
The plateau receives high rainfall and hence the flora and fauna are unique in the region which makes it the hotspot of biodiversity. It is breathtaking during the monsoon season. Hiking in the midst of the expansive bed of wildflowers with a slight drizzle along the way is one of the surreal experiences you can enjoy here. The best time to visit is from August to October.
Elephant’s head point
A popular vantage point situated about 7 km from Mahabaleshwar is the most captivating viewpoints in the region. This is nearby Kate's point. The place got its name because of an overhanging cliff that looks similar to the elephant's head and its trunk. This natural rock formation has a hole in between and therefore, the spot is also known as needle hole point.
Chhatrapati Shivaji built this mountain fort and is at a distance of 24 km from Mahabaleshwar. It offers mesmerizing views of the Konkan region. The fort is built on a rolling hill scape and is an amalgamation of history, adventure and nature. The hill fort standing tall amidst greenery is a beautiful pick for a day's trip.
Panchgani and Wai
Located about 20 km from Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani is a popular hill destination known for several beautiful attractions like Sydney point, Rajpuri caves, devil's kitchen, Mapro gardens, Dhom dam etc. Panchgani was discovered by the British and is dotted with beautiful British style Bungalows.