8 of the Most Exciting Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

This hill station, belonging to the Western Ghats range, nurtures an evergreen forest giving birth to a lush green surrounding. With a number of viewpoints for a heavenly sightseeing experience, this place is a jewel of Maharashtra. Being a hilly area, it is best to visit during the dry summer (March to June) and winter seasons (November to February), as monsoon (July to October) makes it difficult to take part in adventure sport and other activities.

Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

Trekking to Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

At an elevation of 1,470m from the sea level, this spot (earlier known as Madhi Mahaal) gives you an incredible view of the desolate valley of the Savitri River on its right, and a green plateau on the left. The majestic Mahabaleshwar range, along with Chandragad,  Koleshwar, Raireshwar, and Pratapgad are also visible. There are five more points – the Tiger Spring Point, Echo Point, Window Point, Hunter Point, and Malcolm Point, with different views of the same site. You may also enjoy a night trekking through the greenery and rocky patches, and witness a mesmerizing sunrise.

Difficulty Level: Advanced (for experienced trekkers)

Getting Here:

Take state transport buses from Pune or Mumbai to reach Poladpur. From there, take another bus (or other shared transportation) to Dhawale. The one day trek starts from the village of Dhawale or Shelarwadi (15-20 minutes’ walk distance from the former) and crossing the stopover point “Bhairichi Ghumati”, it ends at the final point i.e. Arthur’s Seat Point. The route is quite baffling so having a guide is necessary.

Relevant Details:

Carrying your own bottle and food is required because there is only one freshwater source. The school in the Dhawale offers accommodation to trekkers, or you may request the villagers of the Shelarwadi for a night stay. The place is accessible for tourists from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm so plan accordingly. At the site, there are some snacks vendors selling corns and Kanda Bhaji. Be careful of monkeys in the whole area.

Best time to visit:

The summer months are recommended as during this time, you could throw some light object in the valley and they will come up because of the vacuum created by hot air. Worth a try!

Boating at Venna Lake

Venna Lake Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

This manmade lake covering around 28 acres offers a lovely opportunity for paddle and row boating amidst tall trees. The lake was originally carved in 1942, by the then ruler of Satara, Shri Appasaheb Maharaj, to distribute water to the people of Mahabaleshwar. Merry-go-rounds, toy trains and horse riding are there for tourist’s enjoyment.


Getting Here:

Take a bus or a cab from Mahabaleshwar market and travel the 2 km distance to reach here.

Relevant Details:

Open all days from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm (no entry fee); Paddle boating costs 444 (for an hour, accommodating 6); Row boating charges 250 per head (for half an hour, accommodating 7)

Besides fresh fruits like strawberries, carrots, mulberries, snacks like bhel and corns are available by vendors and food stalls nearby. Hirkani Garden and Bagicha Corner are two of the famous eateries. 


Best time to visit:

March to May for summer trips. However, newlyweds may come during the monsoon for their honeymoon, as boating in the rain is quite an offbeat, romantic experience. Regardless of the season, the evenings are the most enjoyable time.


Picnicking at Elephant’s Head Point

Elephant’s Head Point Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

The rock formation resembling the head and trunk of an elephant is a viewpoint to admire the Sahyadri range and the Pratapgad Fort amidst Kova Valley and Savitri Valley. Its alternative name, the Needle Hole Point, owes to the gap visible behind the ‘trunk’. It is the extreme edge of the range it is located in, so the view is quite unique. While walking, you can enjoy the blend of the sandy surface with the greenery beneath your feet. After picnicking with your family, stay for the sunset.


Getting Here:

From Mahabaleshwar bus stand, take a bus or an auto rickshaw to travel the 7 km to reach the parking lot, which is useful in case you come by a private car. From there, either walk 1 km or avail pony rides to reach to the main point.

Relevant Details:


The place is accessible to tourists every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Nearby attractions include the observation points Table Land,  Kate’s Point, Sydney Point, Menwali Ghat, and Parsi Point, as well as the Dhom Dam, all within 10 km.

Best time to visit:

January to June


Trekking to Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad Fort Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

The citadel, constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji, has been a witness to many historical events, one of them being the battle between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. The hill fort has four lakes and a temple of the deity Bhawani within it. Next to the main entrance or the Mahadarwaza, you will get to see a watchtower. Trekking here can be an exciting experience, as the road is sure to challenge your craving for adventure.


Difficulty Level: Medium

Getting Here:

Take a cab from Mahabaleshwar to reach the village Ambenalli, from where your trek will start. You may need to engage a local guide.

Relevant Details:

The entire trek will take around 5 hours. Carrying food and water is always recommended. The local people from the nearby village Wada provide homemade food to trekkers.

Best time to visit:

September to March.


Strolling at Connaught Peak

Connaught Peak Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

The Connaught peak is situated at an elevation of 1,400m and is the second highest peak of the Mahabaleshwar range. The picturesque point overlooking the Pratapgad Fort, Krishna Valley, and Venna Lake is a nice strolling spot. To its north, there are the forts Kamalagad, Rajgarh, and Torana while you can see the Ajinkyatara fort to its south. The peak was originally named Mt. Olympia, but was renamed after the Duke of Connaught visited the place.


Getting Here:

Take a cab or an auto rickshaw from Mahabaleshwar bus station, which is just 5 km away.

Relevant Details:

Open every day; for tourists 08:00 am to 7:00 pm; for trekkers 09:00 am to 06:00 pm. The entrance is free.

Best time to visit:

For tourists June to September as the rain in here is intensely romantic. However, the period between October and February is more favorable for trekking as it is drier.


Attending the Strawberry Festival at Mapro Garden

Mapro Garden Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

Located at Panchgani and close to Mahabaleshwar, this garden park organizes an annual strawberry festival during March and April. Since the area has the highest production of strawberry in India, this garden showcases a number of strawberry products which tourists can taste and browse through. Grooving at the folk music and dance of Lezim and Shivkalin Dhol is another thing to enjoy.


Getting Here:

Take a cab From Mahabaleshwar to reach the garden.

Relevant Details:

Open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The Mapro Garden Restaurant, situated amidst the greenery, offers a wide range of snacks, ice creams, and strawberry products.

Best time to visit:

March to April.


Watching the Sunrise and Sunset from Wilson Point

Wilson Point Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

This plateau, at an elevation of 1,439m, is the highest point of Mahabaleshwar, allowing you to watch both the sunrise and sunset quite clearly which is not possible from any other place here. There are three points within Wilson Point to enjoy the entire view of the city. It was originally known as the Sindola Hills but later the name was changed in honor of the Bombay governor Sir Leslie Wilson.


Getting Here:

Avail a bus or a cab from Mahabaleshwar bus station to reach Wilson Point, located at a distance of 2km.

Relevant Details:

Open every day from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year


Night Camping at Tapola

Tapola Things to do in Mahabaleshwar

The “Mini Kashmir” is actually a well-planned satellite village offering you a unique opportunity to camp beside the famous lake of the same name. Get a firsthand experience of typical Indian village life with the local people by milking their cows, picking up strawberries, and offering a little education to the students of the local school. Kayaking, swimming, or riding water scooters are some of the activities in the Koyna River, while in the lake you can go for paragliding, boating or kayaking.


Getting Here:

From Mahabaleshwar, take a cab, shared jeep or a bus to travel the 25km to reach here.

Relevant Details:

There are various options for camping, with the Nisarga Agro Tourism, Mahabaleshwar Agro Village, and Manorama Resort offering comfortable camping facilities, charging 2000-4500/ per night.

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year

The high altitude is a hotspot for tourists who flock to experience this nature’s creation and get engrossed into various activities besides just sightseeing. The inviting beauty evokes romanticism in all.

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