Mahabaleshwar is also known as the Queen of all Hill Stations. This hill station is situated at
an altitude of 1,372m in the heart of Sahyadri Hills in Satara District. Its name is derived from
a Lord Mahadev temple and three Sanskrit words, Maha (great), Bal (power) and Ishwar (God).
Some people also relate the name with mythological past as the name 'Mahabaleshwar' means
mighty God. British developed this place as their pastime destination to beat the heat. Looking down
from Mahabaleshwar, one can see a panoramic view of the sea and the valley. Mahabaleshwar
is regarded to be the best holiday spot in Maharashtra in terms of climate, excursions, sports,
and other activities. Lingmala Waterfalls is one of the most enthralling sights in Mahabaleshwar. Dhobi waterfall point
is another attraction of the hill station. Wilson Point or Sunrise point is the highest point in
Mahabaleshwar. One can enjoy a beautiful view of the sunrise here. Bombay Point in the point where
one can see the best of sunset in Mahabaleshwar.
Pratapgarh fort was established by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is 24 kilometres away from the hill station and offers a vast, majestic view of the Konkan coast. This fort was built to celebrate the triumph of Shivaji Maharaj against Afzal Khan. This fort is walled on all sides and double line fortification is a special feature of this fort. A statue of Shivaji Maharaj is also now installed inside the fort which can be easily reached these days due to the construction of motor able roads.
Pratap Garden is a tribute to the courageous Maharana Pratap. It has a lovely play field and seating as well. The garden is well equipped with all the civic amenities. It is one of those rare gardens which are located in the gorgeous Peth area. It is the favourite place of kids as it carries a lot of entertainment options for the younger lot. This garden also boasts of some endangered yet exotic species of flowers. The garden is well adorned in all the colours by alluring flowers which bloom gleefully.
Afzal Khan tomb was erected right on top of the area where Afzal Khan’s head was buried. A dargah (a portal or threshold, in Persian) is also constructed in vicinity under the name of Afzal Khan and an annual fair is organized in January-February. This tomb was also built by Shivaji once the battle ended and Afzal Khan lay defeated. It is now a major landmark in the area.
Old Mahabaleshwar is 20 located kilometres away from the main hill station and is brimmed with picturesque scenes. It is the ultimate spot for adrenaline junkies as it offers trekking at an altitude of 1372 metres. It offers tranquillity year round. It is also home to the famous Shiva Mandir which is built at the source of five rivers that flow eternally without running dry in the region. It rains heavily from June to September but besides that, this location will surely serve you with pleasant strolling and sightseeing. This place is surrounded by hills and valleys, offering an irresistible experience in the forest.
Bhawani Mandir lies on the eastern side of the Pratapgarh fort. Bhawani is the family deity of Bhosales. It was also built by Shivaji Maharaj and is crafted magnificently. This temple is praised by one and all who visit it, irrespective of their religion, customs and beliefs. Besides all these, if you want to rest in nature then Kate point, Lodwick point etc. will surely mesmerize you. Babington point, elephant’s head point, mini Kashmir, Parsi Point and Lingamala falls are mind boggling as well. Strawberry gardens of this tiny hill station are tremendously popular and lip-smacking delicious. It is going to be a blessing in disguise from the cynical crowds of metropolitan cities, the cool and refreshing breezes and the gorgeous green meadows will surely cajole the holidaymakers just as it has been gratifying the filmmakers since times immemorial. It also has a gargantuan “Mahabali temple” for the pilgrims.