Mahabaleshwar (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) is a city and a municipal council in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. 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 British Raj.
Geography and climate:
Mahabaleshwar has an average elevation of 1,353 metres (4,439 ft) and . 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 1,439 m (4,721 ft) at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise Point. Mahabaleshwar comprises three villages: Malcolm Peth, Old "Kshetra" Mahabaleshwar and part of the Shindola village.
Mahabaleshwar is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana 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. Legend has it that Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the trimurtis by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyana are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. 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 Koyna, Venna (Veni), Savitri, and Gayatri.
Today, Mahabaleshwar is a popular holiday resort and honeymoon spot, and an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. The Venna Lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides.
In Mahabaleshwar you can get hotels for all budgets from budget hotels to 3 Stars hotels. You can get hotel from where you can enjoy the Lake's View or in midist of the mahabaleshwar's famous market.
Arthur's seat is a point at an elevation of 1340 mts. The point was named after British officer Sir Arthur Malet (1806-1888)(Not to be confused with British born actor of same name), who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap.
Kate's point is located to the east of Mahabaleshwar and is famous for its view of two reservoirs, Balakwadi and Dhom. The point is around 1280 mts high.
Needle Hole Point / Elephant 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.
Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923–26, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 m. 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.
3 Monkey Point:
Named because of the natural sculpture of the stones which looks like three monkeys sitting beside each other and portraying 3 monkeys of Gandhiji.. nestled deep in the valleys you can figure out from the outline of a big stone a natural cut out it give an effect of 3 monkey sitting next to each other portraying SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL. This point is on route to ARTHUR SEAT Point.
Behind Panchganga temple, there is a small trail that leads to Krishnabai temple. River Krishna is being worshipped here that is built on the hilltop overlooking Krishna valley. The temple has a Shiva lingam and a beautiful statue of Goddess Krishna. A small stream of the river flowing from a cow-face (gomukh) falls on a ‘Kunda’ or water tank. Stone carved columns and ceilings are the special characteristics of this temple. This years old temple has gathered moss and is in ruins. Also it is not much visited by tourists and so it is isolated. But the most exquisite view of river Krishna flowing down is obtained from here.
Pratapgad is a fort near Mahabaleshwar. The fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is popular for in History of India as Commander of Bijapur Afzalkhan was defeated and killed by Shivaji Maharaj at Pratapgad.