Hi friends … after a short hiatus I am back as kids exams and the new session was going on. Nowadays we have to study more than kids during exams to teach our kids ha ha…along-with some refurbishing, De-cluttering of my home as we accumulate so many things which are sometimes useless and maintaining them takes our precious time. These worldly things you have to look after. Many people say, though your blog seems wonderful, but have you ever visited these places, so my answer is yes all the places either I have lived or visited that I write about. Since travelling is one of my hobbies. Expressing your experience through words is equally enjoyable. So here I am with my new blog. You must be wondering why this title so let me tell you this place has most beautiful strawberry fields accounting for 85% of total strawberry production in the country.This title is an ode to famous Beatles song you can listen by clicking this link. so without wasting much time, let’s get into the joy ride of Mahabaleshwar.
This was interesting as we started from Hyderabad by bus as at that time hubby was having his training along with field desertion in remote sensing. It was a long arduous ride with Deccan plateau covering the nearby areas, as I remember reaching Satara late at night.At that time also, many nearby hotels and dhabas were open. We settled for Sai hotel since it was clean.So we checked the menu and ordered dum aloo(Potato preparation) with naan. This dum aloo was the spiciest I had ever eaten. nearby, songs from the radio Mirchi(chilli) station was played out uff….after dinner we started out with droopy eyes and heavy bags.
Welcome to Mahabaleshwar:
Screech… sudden brake with the whisper in the bus broke my sleep. As I heard that we have reached Mahabaleshwar. We took our bags and came down from bus it was 2’o clock midnight.
As I landed a very cold wind ruffled, it was pitch dark outside. Slowly we went inside our guest house Zzz….Next morning I was awake with the chirping of birds slowly I removed the curtains. Then something magical happened. Wow… what a splendid view of the mountains(Sahyadri range) with its layers spreading its wings all over, with greenish hue and valley of flowers which reminded me of the poem Daffodil by William Wordsworth.
“I wondered lonely as a crowd that floats on high o`er vales and hills
a host of golden daffodils; besides the lake, beneath the trees,
fluttering and dancing in the breeze”.
What’s so special:
It was a moment of the sunrise with rays falling like golden hue on the vast Deccan plateau giving the most spectacular view I have ever seen. After a while, we all went to the cafeteria to have our breakfast which was simple yet fresh, bread butter with coffee.Then my hubby and his friends and colleagues went for their practical session. Now I was alone till the afternoon so I chalked out my plan and went out for a long walk to watch the place its culture and cuisine along with clicking some candid pics.
Sometimes you just want to be yourself, not to be haunted by tourist guides, trolled by the shopkeepers to buy that thing which you really don’t want , or that hundred family and group photographs which you are tired of posing, clicking, but you just have to…thankfully I got my me time at that moment.
I started my long walk towards the woods, where many sprawling resorts along with some renowned peoples farmhouse were located. Since it was gated premise, outside which was the main town.It was the most serene walk, I ever had with tall Deodar, Himalayan cypress, Silver oak trees making way for the beautiful road leading to a point where you have a bird’s eye view of the forest.It reminded me of the famous lines by Robert frost:
” the woods are lovely dark and deep and I have promise to keep
and miles to go before I sleep”…
food and cuisine
It was lunch time, nearby along the road there was a beautiful cottage run by a family instead of going to the cafeteria, I went to the cottage to have my lunch. It was simple yet fresh Maharashtrian cuisine like KothimBir vadi, pithale, kokum kadi, potato sabzi sprinkled with chana Dal with rice.The food was homemade so it was not spicy and oily.
There are many famous restaurants which serve a variety of lip smacking food and local cuisines which are:
Lake view restaurant:
Must buy: strawberries, shakes, mulberry.Ice cream with strawberry cream, syrups, kokum sorbet, corn Pattie, vada pav .These are sure shot items to be savoured. You can take away for your loved ones, once you are at Mahabaleshwar.So I bought some strawberry syrup and chocolate but have it myself as it was so tasty while forgetting to give ..thankfully I had another to share.These reminded me of the homemade chocolates of my friend. You can have them too.
After lunch, I went back to my room for a short nap after a long walk. After a while, all of them came back had a lunch and made a plan for the evening. Again we hopped the bus and went sight seeing which was quite a few along the way.
Places to visit:
Wilson point: it is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar with a stunning sunrise view in the morning overlooking the mountains and river Krishna origin place.Great place for morning photography art enthusiast.
Elephant head point: this point is interesting if you visit early morning with the little crowd can see an elephant like mountainous structure but beware of monkeys.
Arthur seat: named after a British governor this place(originally Madhi mahal as people say) this point offers a breathtaking view of the valley.
Veena lake: it was evening, the water looked golden from far away. No, we were not playing the veena we took a short ride in a motorboat. I could feel the chill of the place.there were many boats which tourists were availing on this man-made lake.
Mahabaleshwar temple: it is an ancient temple of lord Shiva which gives a good view of Sahyadri range.
Dhom Balak wadi Dam: it’s an earth fill and gravity dam below Balak wadi on Krishna river.
Babington house: this is one of the most beautiful colonial bungalows which you would love to see for its sheer elaborate work.
Panchganga temple: from here the 5 rivers originate as they say mentioned below.Behind the temple leads to a small trail to Krishnabai temple though quiet for the most part of the year.
Where to stay:
- Le meridian: upscale hotel
- Evershine keys prime resort:
- Hotel dreamland:
- Fountain village:
- Hotel lake view: modest hotel with the free meal and a pool.
Mahabaleshwar is a small hilly town coming under western ghats of Sahyadri range.It comes under Satara district.It has 3 divisions Malcolm pet, Shindola village(part), old Mahabaleshwar. It was summer capital during British raj.Its picturesque beauty with cool weather adds its charm and tops among the tourist destinations.It is easily accessible by rail, road, air(nearest airport Pune, Mumbai)
Its history dates back to 1215 when king Singhan built a small temple with a tank at the source of Krishna.After many dynastical rules, Shivaji Maharaj came in the 17th century to rule and made Pratapgad fort.
Saying is that 5 rivers originate from Krishnaganga temple like Krishna, koyna, veena, Savitri, gayatri.2 others corresponding Saraswati, Bhagirathi come alive after every 30 and 12 years.You can go to this with your family and friends.
Strawberry farming: now famous strawberries along with potatoes was once started by the Malay and Chinese convicts during 1800 century as a jail was located in the vicinity during British raj as old people say. They started the strawberry, red radish farming along with bamboo strewing.It is still unknown why they were convicted or were they bonded labourers.
Pratapgad fort: this beautiful fort was built by Shivaji maharaja near Mahabaleshwar where Bijapur commander Afzal khan was defeated.
Forest: dense evergreen forests with rich flora and fauna along with species like deer, bison, rare birds and bees could be found here.
Honey making: pure honey could be found in nearby stalls as the local people extract honey from the hives.
Bridal attire: many people doesn’t know about shops where you can get all kinds of bridal sarees like Banaras, Kanjivaram etc in subsidised rates as weavers from many parts of the country are hired by apparel making shops.
Medicinal plants: somehow my humble knowledge of medicinal plants while doing my doctorate came handy about knowing the therapeutic plants like turmeric, found in the evergreen forests of Mahabaleshwar.
Pure air: I can say that it’s one of the places where you can feel the purity of air. If you are tired, sick, come under the soothing air of this serene place.You can feel the calming effect it had on you.
Places nearby: these are the places you may visit which are nearby Mahabaleshwar.
Mumbai and Pune are nearby cities
After all the sight seeing it was twilight and cold wind was blowing with its full charm so we decided to go back it was quite dark.After dinner, everybody sat for a while and had a chat.Since on morning, we were about to return to our place, so we packed our bags and retreated for our next arduous journey next morning, waving goodbye to the most picturesque hill station ever.
Hope you like the blog and will respond to the comment box below (Pasand aye to like Karo).Get ready for my upcoming blog which may be quite interesting till then experience the world through your eyes…bye take care.Enjoy this video tour of Mahabaleshwar strawberry farming.
Courtesy youtube, Some pics courtesy cc.
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