Tapola ( A Mini Kashmir )

Mahabaleshwar is one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra. But only a few people know about Tapola which is only 25 Kms from Mahabaleshwar. Tapola is popularly known as ‘ The Mini Kashmir ‘ because of the hilarious view of the dam, the rivers. Koyana and Solshi, the beauty of the hill ranges of Sahyadri and the deep forest. Tapola is to the other side of Mahabaleshwar than Pune – the Popular side. The journey of 1- 1/12 hr is pretty one as one goes between the high hill ranges and the dark woods. The view of Koyana river on one side and Solshi river on the other are beautiful. Both these rivers meet at Tapola. The dam is the biggest in Maharashtra – Known as ‘Shivsagar’.

Shivsagar dam is very popular for motor boats. One can enjoy boating here with nominal charges. Motorboats, Speedboats and scooter riders are the popular boating means here. There are many unknown forts and deep forest around the lake. ‘Vasota’ is one of the famous forest/ forts here. The other is ‘Jaygad’. Though one cannot reach the forts easily through motorboats, still the view of these forts and forest nearby is very pretty. One can find various animals in the dark forests such as tigers, bears and wild fox.

Tapola is truly a different place to visit. It is totally different from our daily routine in cities and pleases the mind by its nature. The view of Lake, jungle, and forts nearby is magnificent. Worth to say ‘ The mini Kashmir

Pratapgadh ( History created by Shivaji Maharaj )

It is one of the rare forts in Maharashtra, as it was built by Shivaji Maharaj itself. Pratapgadh is a strong fort and one of the best in Swaraj. The height of the fort is almost 3500 feet.
The fort is easily seen from Mahabaleshwar and especially from Elphinston Point. A deep forest between Pratapgadh and Mahabaleshwar is known as Javali Forest.

Pratapgadh was built by Shri. Moropant Pingle – a famous administrator in Swaraj – in 1958. The fort came into focus when Maharaj killed Afzalkhan here in 1659. After this period, Maharaj went on winning the Adilshah region. The temple of ‘Bhavani Devi’ is a famous spot in Pratapgadh. The idol of Devi was situated by Maharaj. The view of Mahabaleshwar, Bale Killa, and the statue of Shivaji Maharaj etc.

Pratapgadh is truly a place to visit and remember the heroic deeds of Shivaji Maharaj. As Pratapgadh is very close to Mahabaleshwar, it is always crowded.

Panchgini

Getting there: 98 km from Pune, 266 km from Mumbai via Mahad 20 km from Mahabaleshwar
Nearest Airport: Pune
Climate: 16 degrees in winter, 30 degrees in summer
Best Time to visit: September to May

Panchgani derives its name from the five hills around it. At an altitude of 1334 m, it is just 38 m below Mahabaleshwar. These 38 m translate themselves into a breathtaking 20 km approach from Mahabaleshwar, that swoops around bends with abandon, offering heart-stopping views of the river Krishna on one side & the coastal plains on the other. Panchgani is the quintessential hill station, with the Raj, stamped indelibly all over it. It can be seen in the old architecture of the old British buildings, the Parsi houses, & the boarding schools that have been for a century or more.

Amble along the walkways, thickly canopied by lush trees & vegetation & delights in the secrets you come upon. The Krishna, snaking through tiny hamlets, farms & ravines, hundreds of meters below. Visit table land, a flat mountain peak & feast your eyes on the coastal plains, looking like miniature watercolors. Select a horse from one of the numerous stables & canter along uncharted routes through hidden lovers’ lanes, to the caves & kamalgad fort. Or while away at the bazaar. Panchgani is one of the rare places that doesn’t crowd anyone, yet in its own unhurried way deeply touches every visitor.

SIGHTSEEING OF VARIOUS POINTS IN PANCHGANI AS UNDER

Sydney Point
This point is situated on a small hillock facing the Krishna Valley.From here one can see the glittering waters of the Dhom Dam and Pandavgad and Mandhardeo are also easily seen.

Table Land
Situated around 60 mts high, this flat large expanse of laterite rock is the second longest mountain plateau in Asia. There are some spacious caves that can be seen from here and one of them is Devil’s Kitchen.

Parsi Point
This windy road situated on the way to Mahabaleshwar overlooks the Krishna valley and the blue mirror-like waters of the Dhom Dam.

Dhom Dam
Dhom Dam water sports is one more amazing attraction for tourists which is 21 km away from Panchgani. A beautiful boating spot.

Here one can enjoy with Scooter boats and Speedboats. Sporting in Krishna river stream with the beautiful natural surrounding is a wonderful experience in itself.

The LingmalaFalls
The LingmalaFalls in Mahabaleshwar can be reached by road. It lies on the Mahabaleshwar-Poona road. The stream here precipitates over the face of the steep cliff, unbroken when the torrent is swollen by rain but ordinarily divided by projecting rocks about one-third of the way down into thin silver streaks and sprays often circled by rainbows. The forest bungalow of lingmala is also close by.