With the summer in Mumbai getting unbearable I can’t help but consider taking a short trip to a cooler climate destination. However with the prior commitments all I am able to do is dream about the perfect place until time permits us to travel :).
Considering all the long weekends everyone’s enjoying this summer I couldn’t help but reminisce about my trip to Mahabaleshwar with friends during the month of November last year. Mahabaleshwar, also known as the “strawberry hills” is a famous holiday destination in India and a favourite among Maharashtrians.
Mahabaleshwar is a small hill station with tourists visiting all around the year mainly to enjoy the pleasant weather. I was looking forward to spend some quality time far away from the busy life of Mumbai and Mahabaleshwar, which is nestled midst the North Western Ghat Region, was the ideal location for me. It is about five-hour drive from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar and when we reached our destination we could clearly feel the changes in the weather as winter had just begun.
We had booked the Saj Resort, a lovely hotel located on the outskirts of the old Mahabaleshwar offering perfect stay for all its visitors in terms of hospitality and service. We had opted for All Meal Plan during our stay (Hotel provides pure vegetarian food) and it was a just a simple case of chomping down everything that was on the menu as the food was so delicious.
Loved by the English during British Raj in India, Mahabaleshwar was made the summer capital and has its fair share of tourist spots named after the Ex-British Officers. Of the many vantage points in Mahabaleshwar, we first visited the Wilson Point, which is the highest point (1439 m) in Mahabaleshwar. It is perfect spot to watch both sunrise and sunsets with the panoramic view of the Mahabaleshwar. Although it was mid-morning when we reached there and slightly sunny, the view that greeted was breath taking with mountain plateaus ranging to several miles.
After a short detour around different viewpoints around Wilson point, we moved on to another famous spot, the Lodwick Point. Named after the first British officer General Lodwick to climb the mountain, Lodwick Point is another perfect spot to put your feet down and bask in the beauty of the nature. Also few minutes walk from here is the Elephant Head (also known as the Needle Hole Point), where you can have the 360 Degree views of the Sahyadri range along with the famous Deccan Traps. In order to reach both these points you will have to hike for a short distance midst the lush forest. Although it may seem a bit tiresome and by the time you reach the Lodwick Point you might even be gasping for breath, but the beautiful view of the mountains that awaits you is just worth it.
Apart from these viewing spots, one can also visit the Venna Lake to enjoy boat ride, take a stroll around the old market which houses number of eateries and local craft shops. Since the visit was coincided with the start of strawberry season, I was able to relish on the famous Strawberry Cream and trust me this is something one cannot miss while they here.