A getaway to the beautiful Indian hotspot of Mahabaleshwar can be a wonderful and cultural experience for beach-lovers and nature-enthusiasts alike. This beautiful hill station is home to rolling hills, ancient forts, and some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
If you’re traveling with your family, then a little research will help you to get the most out of your trip. Read on to find out more about this ancient city, and the best family-fun things to do so you can all enjoy a magical and memorable holiday of a lifetime.
How to Get to Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is located roughly 115 miles from Pune and 161 miles from Mumbai. If you’re traveling to Mahabaleshwar from another country, then you will most likely be flying into Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Depending on your budget, you can choose to hire a private driver to collect you from the airport and take you directly to your hotel. This is by far the most convenient option if you are traveling with young, tired children. Depending on your bargaining skills, this 5-hour trip will cost your around 4,000rs ($60). The cheaper option is to take the air-conditioned Volvo tourist bus which leaves from Dadar Eat or Sion, and costs just 500rs ($7) per person, but departure times are often delayed, and the journey can take up to 6 hours.
Getting Around the City
Traveling around this city is both easy and affordable. Plenty of taxis and rickshaws line the streets, and you can easily flag one down and jump straight in. There is also a range of public buses, although these are cheaper, they are also slower and can get pretty hot. One of the more adventurous ways to get around is by horse and cart.
Timing it Right: When to Go
Mahabaleshwar enjoys a pleasant, cool climate year-round, partly because of its high altitude. The high seasons runs from March to May, and it’s during this time that crowds are thicker and temperatures higher. Between June and September it often rains heavily (it’s the monsoon season), and on a daily basis, so it’s best avoiding visiting during this time if you are traveling with your family.
Mahabaleshwar Accommodation: Where to Stay
There is a range of hotels in Mahabaleshwar that cater to all tastes and budgets. It’s a wise idea to stay close to the bus station, as it makes it particularly convenient to get around. One of the best high-end options for all the family is the Saj Resort. This 5-acre mega complex is home to a huge range of facilities, as well as luxury cottages that are big enough to accommodate all the family.
The Saj Resort is most famous for its vegetarian cuisine and exclusive spa which offers a large selection of pampering ayurvedic treatments.
What to See and Do
This pretty city has a huge array of family-friendly activities that are sure to keep all ages entertained. One of the most popular things to do is to visit lake Venna. It’s here you can hire your own paddle or rowing boat and head out into the lake’s shimmering waters. If that sounds like too much hard work, then you can always hire a guide to row the boat for you.
Sunrises and sunsets here are spectacular. The best place to watch the sky light up as the sun sets over the horizon is at Bombay Point and Elephant Point. If you can get the kids up early enough, then head to Wilson Point of Kate’s Point to watch the sunrise.
Arthur’s Seat is perhaps the most iconic viewpoint in the city, and one of the most visited too. It is located 12km away from the heart of the city, so you will need to jump in a cab to get there. Visitors can walk out onto a ledge which has views of the Deccan and Konkan territories. This hotspot is often nicknamed the Indian Grand Canyon, and you only have to see the spectacular panoramas to see why.
Dining Options: Where and What to Eat
Like many places in India, one of the best things is the local food. The city is famous for growing strawberries, so many local vendors will sell them fresh or make them into a delicious strawberry cream dessert, which is the perfect treat after a long day of sightseeing. Street stalls provide a cheap way to refuel. If you’re looking for good restaurant food, then head to the eateries located in Hotel Temple View, Hotel DreamLand, and the Hotel Regal.
How long to spend in Mahabaleshwar depends on your travel style. A good starting point is to go there for three days, as this will give you enough time to view the top sites without feeling too rushed. A week holiday will give you plenty of time to explore. Follow the above tips, and you will be sure to enjoy all that Mahabaleshwar has to offer. Happy travels!