Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mahabaleshwar - The Queen of Hills

I was just looking at the list of posts in this blog and I started wondering why I couldn't find a blog title with Mahabaleshwar, i sure did find a few tags with Mahabaleshwar however none of us really bothered to write a blog on Mahabaleshwar..

Maybe the regular destinations never featured high on our list as we were always looking for that destination which people rarely visited and more importantly was less crowded but the fact remains that the popular destinations are popular for a reason! 

Mahabaleshwar also has a tagline like most destinations in Maharashtra but the more interesting part is that many other destinations have Mahabaleshwar in ther taglines.
  • Dapoli - Mahabaleshwar of Konkan
  • Jawhar - Mahabaleshwar of Thane
  • Tapola - Mini Mahabaleshwar
thats the magnitude of the popularity of this destination..

Mahabaleshwar is amongst the most popular honeymoon destination in central India and as far as Maharashtra is concerned certainly ranks as number 1 honeymoon destination in Maharashtra!

As far as the place is concerned there is two parts of Mahabaleshwar - Old Mahabaleshwar and new Mahabaleshwar. Both these places are replete with awesome view points and in fact old and new Mahabaleshwar together have more than three dozen view points!

But if we had to choose between the two we would choose old Mahabaleshwar simply because of the Mahabaleshwar temple and the trekking options available in old Mahabaleshwar. If you are wondering whether we are going to list out the trekking routes, we are not because we ourselves dont know the names! Its better always to figure out a route for yourselves and its seldom a destination but the journey itself that makes your time worthwhile..!! 
If you are short on time and are not the exploring kinds then a few points that you shouldnt miss in Mahabaleshwar are
  • Elphinstone Point
  • Arthur's Seat
  • Kate's Point
There is lots to sea around Mahabaleshwar too. 20 Kms down the hill is another quaint hill station - Panchgani. The table land is an unique place to visit in Panchgani which is a vast plateau, which has been the location for numerous hindi movies especially in the 80s. On the other side of Mahabaleshwar is Tapola which is famous for the Shivsagar boat club. Tapola is also the base for Vasota Jungle trek. An offshoot on the way towards Poladpur from Mahabaleshwar is Pratapgad fort which is also worth a visit if you are on a long holiday to Mahabaleshwar. MTDC runs a 'Pratapgad darshan' bus service from Mahabaleshwar.

The best time to visit this hill station is just after the monsoons when all the hills around will be glistening green. Though monsoons are off seasons i personally love Mahabaleshwar during the rains when the whole place would be foggy and wet. If you are visiting Mahabaleshwar for its view points avoid monsoons.

Whenever Onaiza and I go to Mahabaleshwar she never misses out on scanning the numerous footwear stores here. Not really sure whats it with women and footwear or whether its just her who is obsessed with shoes! According to her you can get some good cheap sandals if you really scan through 'EVERYTHING' that is on display, be ready to bargain though.

As far as travelling to Mahabaleshwar is concerned there are luxury buses that ply between Pune to Mahabaleshwar and Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar

For hotels in Mahabaleshwar you may visit the Mahabaleshwar hotels section of and if you want us to recommend one try Shree Enclave which is great if you are looking for a non intrusive alone time in this beautiful hill station in Maharashtra

Friday, May 11, 2012

Harihareshwar - Dakshin Kashi..

I have to be thankful to for me having visited so many beautiful locations across Maharashtra which i am not sure i would have unless puneritraveller had happened!

If i have to elucidate what i mean, if i had visited lets say Diveagar, i probably would have visited Harihareshwar just to explore along with it however i wouldnt have gone to the same region to see Harihareshar exclusively. 

Anyways..we visited Harihareshwar again recently on account of work to get listings of a few more hotels in Harihareshwar for puneritraveller and we sure did add couple of more accommodation options in Harihareshwar in the Harihareshwar hotels section of

Harihareshwar is the southern most amongst the Raigad beaches and is quite a beautiful location, however Harihareshwar is known more as a pilgrim destination than for its natural splendor thanks to the ancient temple complex and the famed 'pradakshina'. The ride to Harihareshwar is quite the hug the clouds kiss the sands experience! With hills all around one would go through a lot of twisty turny narrow roads climbing up and down the hills to reach this beautiful beach. 

Harihareshwar is not a big town so when you reach Harihareshwar you wouldnt find much of activity, there is not even a big bus stand to give you the feeling that you have reached your destination! anyways..there is no two questions about the major landmarks in Harihareshwar well if you have to it is the Harihareshwar temple and the Harihareshwar beach.

From the Harihareshwar bus stand a right turn and a short walk leads you to the Harihareshwar temple.Harihareshwar temple complex with deities of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma along with the temples of Kalbhairav and Yogeshwari is an important pilgrim centre and is chiefly responsible for exhalting Harihareshwar as a tourist destination! beleived to be blessed by Vishnu according to legends Harihareshwar is proclaimed as 'devghar', and is of foremost importance religiously. 

At the far end of the temple the 'pradakshina' starts. Its in fact a hill arond wich probably due to natural gradation a walking path has formed and the walk even if not for religious reasons is a must do however be careful with the potholes! At the end of the 'pradakshina' is the famous stairs up back to the temple complex. There is a stretch of beach where the 'pradakshina' starts however with the temple around playing in the waves here is not a lot of fun.

Once you reach the bus stand a drive straight ahead leads to a beautiful stretch of beach on your right hand side. This stretch is quite a nice secluded stretch. MTDC has a few huts here and there is water sports options also available here.

The drive ahead from here gets you to Bagmandala, the ferry point across the creek which will get you to Ratnagiri district! You can visit the Bankot fort, Mahalaxmi temle in Kelshi and probably the Kadyavarcha Ganpati temple in Anjarle if you wish to even in a short vacation to Harihareshwar!