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Yet another unplanned weekend Trip ( 1- jun-2013 to 3-jun-2013)

Beach or Hill station..Where to go!!! We chose Hill Station- and the destination was Mahabaleshwar.

Let me brief about Mahabaleshwar- the City of Strawberries.

About Mahabaleshwar:

It is a hill station located in the Western Ghats range. With one of the few evergreen forests of India, it served as the summer capital of Bombay province during the period of dominion. Located about 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Pune and 285 km (177 mi) from Mumbai. Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150 km2 (58 sq mi), bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1,438 m (4,718 ft) at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise Point.

It is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. An interesting thing to notice is that 4 other rivers come out from the cow’s mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna. These rivers are the Koyana, Venna (Veni), Savitri, and Gayatri.

Day 1 : (1-jun-2013)1.Reach Pune.2.Decide the weekend Destination.3.Hotel.

We started our journey to Pune from Navi Mumbai at around 0800 hours in the morning; it took around 2 hours 30 minutes to reach station. We quickly wrapped up all our preplanned work and decided to go to Mahabaleshwar. Once decided we rushed to Swargate Bus depo to catch a ST Bus. But to our surprise we got a good deal A/C shared taxi Rs.500 each. It was too hot outside, without wasting time we headed to start our journey. We started at 1430 hours,a comfortable trip  as we were only four people in the taxi.It was Mahindra Maximo..

It took around 2 hours 45 minutes to reach Panchgani. The other two passengers had to get down there.Mahabaleshwar was still 22 kms to go but we have already left behind the heat a long way.It was a beautiful scenic drive, with steep valley on one side along with  the beautiful sunset..We reached the main market of Mahabaleshwar, it was a overcrowded place..Our next target was to find a budget hotel for us. As it was the peak season, it getting difficult to find a hotel.

We went to check out 5 to six hotels,but most of them were full, other charged us not less than Rs.2500.Finally, we got one, finally at Rs.1800 per day after hell lot of arguments. We checked in..to our surprise, there came one more family and they checked in for rs.2500.Well, me and my husband walked out to enjoy the evening in the market area but, we were really annoyed, as people over here were taking advantage of the tourists. There was no fixed rate of the hotels. Anyways, We kept on wandering here and there until we stopped at the taxi stand where there was a big hording displaying the RTO Fixed rate tour packages. My hubby said, finally we can have a good trip tomorrow. Suddenly we were interrupted by a voice, you want taxi !!!! Yes, Indeed, we replied. So, we discussed our tour plan with the taxi driver, and fixed him for our next day. We booked him for Rs.1350.He gave his number to my hubby so that we can give him call the next day once we are ready to start the tour.It was 1930 hours ,  we kept on wandering in the market having fun ,tea, pani puri, and finally non veg for dinner, to our surprise the dinner was not that expensive. Exhausted by the full day journey we decided to get back to our hotel room and sleep early so that we get up fresh the next day.

Day 2: (2-jun-2013) 1.Breakfast.2.Start the tour on time.3.Book ticket for pune for the next day..

As on our agenda, we had our breakfast on time and bought some strawberries and headed towards the taxi stand. We, started our tour well on time. Here are few of the main points we covered :

Wilson Point: Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923–26, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 mts. Known as Sindola Hill during the colonial rule, Wilson point is the only location in Mahabaleshwar where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. It offers a spectacular glance of Mahabaleshwar in all directions.

Kings Point and Pluto Point and Ganesh Temple. : There is a flat top on the hill where there is a split rock on one side.It was really fun.We had to jump through a gap to get on the split rock.

Lingmala Waterfall:

Strawberry Garden:

Echo Point: In the name of her beautiful daughter called ‘Kate’, Sir john malcom (a Britisher) named this point of Mahabaleshwar. Possibly she liked to come at this height of 1280 meter and Echo her voice back. Kates point is lively attracting every tourist and also called ‘Echo Point’ and a must place to see.

Needle Point : Needle hole point is located near Kate’s Point. One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle-hole. The point is also famous for the view of Deccan traps, which look like an elephant’s trunk.

Here to our surprise we saw some whirlpool of dust. Just happened to capture it.Picture 030

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Old Mahabaleshwar Temple : The shiv mandir (lord shiva temple) is the oldest of all temples that can be seen from its carving and cave looking dark zone inside. This spiritual temple is to bee seen when you are out for sightseeing. This temple is famous for its MAHALINGA which is rudrakha shaped and is said to be ‘self-bodied’, called ‘Swayambhoo’ in Sanskrit language.

Arthur Point : Arthur’s seat is a point at an elevation of 1340 mts. The point was named after Sir Arthur Mallet, who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap. The point is a very scenic location to visit.

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Elephant and Lordwick Point.

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We reached our hotel at around 1830 hours. It was a very good and cool experience. We enjoyed this trip.We again went to the market to do some shopping and book our tickets.

Points to note: Do carry cash with you, as you will find long queues in front of the ATMs and most of the time they run out of cash.Try and Book MTDC Hotels, atleast you will not be surprised even at peak season and in weekends.

Day 3 : (3-jun-2013) :Way back to pune.We already at booked our tickets.So, having our fresh Strawberries and wada pav we started our way back…

Overall it was a good Experience.