Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar
Among the hill resorts of the state, Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar are
the most frequented because several tourist agencies, as well as the
government tourist department, offer package tours to these places.
Tucked away in the Satara district, they are best approached from
Pune. Panchgani, at a lower height derives its name from the five
hills that surround it. This is an ideal base for some good
trekking. You can explore several mule tracks that lead through the
now thinning forests. Climb atop the Table Land', a flat mountain
top from where you can look down on to the coastal plains below.
Mahabaleshwar was the erstwhile summer capital of the old Bombay
Presidency, which despite the increasing crowds that come there,
still retains its quintessential charm. Numerous majestic mansions
built during the days of the British, still stand as monuments of
It is a fairly big town with several good hotels and lodges for
tourists. For variety of activity you can paddle around the Venna
lake or explore the various viewpoints. The bazaar here is also
fairly popular, with leather goods and tribal trinkets for sale.
There are several small-scale home industries that make rather good
jams and jellies.
At both Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra Tourism has
accommodation that caters to the needs of all categories of
Further down the coast, Amboli, on the southern ranges of the
Western Ghats, is a quiet but pleasant hill resort. The Sea View
point offers you a panoramic view of a good part of the Konkan
coast. Facilities are scarce here, but you can enjoy a restful
holiday away from the crowds that you find at other resorts.
Some other stations
in the Vidharba region of the state is another relatively unknown
resort called Chikhaldara. The place abounds in wildlife with the
famous Melghat Tiger Sanctuary in its vicinity. From here you can
make adventurous forays into the nearby forests, explore ruined
forts and find your way to several panoramic viewpoints. In southern
Maharashtra, a hill resort teeming with history is Panhala. This was
once a Maratha fort, but has now been converted into a comfortable
In Thane district, yet another virgin unspoilt resort is Jawahar. It
is renowned for the rich and vibrant paintings by the Warii tribals.
As varied as the different parts of the state, the hill resorts in
Maharashtra, offer you a secluded sanctuary away from the hustle and
bustle of the city, allowing you to explore their natural scenic
beauty. They are ideal spots for an invigorating holiday.