Starting Point – Magarpatta City, Pune
Start of trip – 9 am
Trip end – 9 pm
Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill town around 120 kms from Pune and hence a perfect getaway for a weekend. September is a good month to visit as the weather is quite pleasant and the scattered showers could just make your day.
Since we did not want to stay overnight, we had limited but just enough time to enjoy the place.
If visiting from Pune, you will cross two toll booths. In addition to that, there is an entrance charge both for Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. Anyways, after paying all the price, you would finally reach your destination in about 3 hours.
We had started in the morning after a light breakfast and did not stop anywhere on the way. Our first stop was the famous Mapro gardens.
It was relatively peaceful than the other peak times and in no time we had our order ready.
We ordered Classic Sandwiches, a must try if you are there. Speciality is that the bread is fresh and home baked at Mapro. Even the cheese comes from their own factory. All in all, I loved the sandwiches even when I am not a big sandwich fan.
Freshly baked pizza right out of a wood fired oven is a must try. It tasted great and was quite filling.
We also tried the Strawberry shake and the Chocolate Cream. While the strawberry shake was quite good, chocolate cream was disappointing (doesnt look like it right ;))
Around half an hour drive from Mapro, this temple is situated in Old Mahabaleshwar.
There is ample parking and a few flat steps take you to the Shiva Temple. You would get to worship the Rudraksh Shivling and the temple is small enough to be visited in a few minutes.
A flight of steps after exiting Mahabaleshwar Temple takes you to the Panchganga temple.
Temple is said to be 4500 years old and is the birthplace of five rivers.
Krishnabai Temple of Lord Shiva
After visiting the Panchganga temple, on returning to the parking area there is a way through forests to this beautiful yet less known temple.
There are sign boards everywhere and in 5-10 minutes of walk stands the quiet and calm temple.
We were so pleasantly surprised by the views from this temple and were happy to have chanced upon this place. As the dense trees make way for the open clear skies and the scenic lake, one cannot escape the feeling so fresh and divine.
The temple is completely dark inside. There was a humble local villager who helped us in and we could see the temple in torch light. What we experienced thereafter was nothing less than divine. The chants of “Om Namah Shivay” echoed in the small temple and its effect I cannot describe in words.
I think it’s a must visit when in Old Mahabaleshwar to just sit down and appreciate divinity and nature all at once.
Few minutes drive from Mahabaleshwar temple is where all the viewpoints start. We had already witnessed scenic lake views and did not want to cover all the points.
We stopped at the Elphinstone point and took some pictures. Arthur’s Seat is another popular point but we skipped visiting it due to the series of steps that lead to it.
We had already been to the table land couple of times but we cannot leave for Pune without taking a stroll everytime and having the famous Panchgani sweet corn.
If visiting for the first time, one must take a horse ride and pass by the Pandava footsteps and the caves.
Fact – Table land is the second largest plateau in Asia !
We spent over an hour there before returning to Pune.
We took another 3 hours to reach home with happy faces and not feeling tired at all. Highly recommended if you are looking for a short weekend getaway from Pune.
Do you have stories about a day trip to Mahabaleshwar/ Panchgani ? Do share with me 🌴🌷🌴