The Gateway of India houses many beauties in its lap – from metro cities to small towns and hill towns. The hill stations in Maharashtra are alluring, with the gems being Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. From being featured in and talked about in many Bollywood flicks to being in the news for their strawberry farms and natural beauty, both these places have contributed their fair share to Maharashtra tourism. In this blog, we at The India Explorer will explore the sheer charm of these graceful hill towns in India so you can explore them, too! Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar: The Best Hill Stations in Maharashtra In the centre of Maharashtra, India, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani create a tapestry of unmatched natural beauty between the emerald peaks of the Western Ghats. Mahabaleshwar enthrals the soul with every expansive view of its undulating hills, mist-filled valleys, and tumbling waterfalls. The peace of Venna Lake and the enigma of Lingmala Waterfall rival the attraction of its vantage spots, such as Arthur's Seat and Wilson Point. Panchgani, which is not far away, reveals its allure with the vast Table Land, which presents a captivating vista of a verdant plateau encircled by undulating hills. The cool air is filled with the aroma of the strawberry farms that dot the surrounding area. When combined, these hill stations in Maharashtra offer a symphony of breathtaking natural features that beckon visitors to lose themselves in the refreshing embrace of their alluring settings. Panchgani: The Mecca of Hill Stations in Maharashtra The name Panchgani comes from ‘Panch’ (five) and ‘Gani’ (mountains) because five hills of the Sahyadri range surround the town. Panchgani is exquisitely defined by its lakes, valleys, waterfalls, and abundant natural resources. When combining it with beautiful weather year-round, you can never go wrong with this tourist attraction. Panchgani, a breathtaking hill station about 19 kilometres from Mahabaleshwar, exudes a certain appeal and air that makes people desire to escape their everyday lives. It's one of the most sought-after destinations that satisfies the thirst and offers physical and psychological respite to all stripes, including thrill-seekers, wanderers, explorers, and leisure travellers. The main draw is its abundance of red, luscious strawberries, tranquil surroundings, and lush green valleys. The town, appropriately dubbed the "Strawberry Garden of India," provides breathtaking vistas of juicy berries, particularly in February and March. Finding the Perfect Tourist Place in Panchgani 1. Tableland – Witness the Beauty of the Hill Stations in Maharashtra Tableland is Asia's second-largest mountain plateau and a great tourist place in Panchgani. It is a great place for nature lovers to take in the breathtaking vistas of the deep valleys and towering hills at their best. Along with a broad perspective of the entire town, you can also get a clear sight of the Rajpuri Caves and Krishna Valley from here. Featured in Bollywood movies like Mangal Pandey, you can also see the alleged footprints of the Pandavas of Mahabharata here! 2. Mapro Garden – Best Tourist Place in Panchgani image source: mtdc Anyone interested in experiencing the entire process of making syrups and jams should visit the Mapro Garden. It is a top tourist place in Panchgani. See the inside of the Chocolate Factory by taking a stroll around it. The Mapro Garden also has a small nursery, a kid's play area, and a café that serves delicious food that is lovingly prepared. There's also a retail store where you can browse various items to buy for your loved ones back home. 3. Bhilar Falls – Seasonal Falls for the Perfect Monsoon and Winter Visit image source: fabhotels The only water source for Bhilar Waterfalls, a seasonal cascade in Panchgani, Maharashtra, is the monsoon season through the winter. The waterfalls, 248 km from Mumbai, are a visual feast and the epitome of peace, quiet, and tranquillity. It is a great tourist place in Panchgani for those exploring these hill stations in Maharashtra. 4. Kate’s Point – Breathtaking Vistas Amidst Peace image source: holiday Kate's Point is another tourist place in Panchgani that merits your visit. Kate's Point, so named in honour of Sir John Malcolm's daughter, is open to anybody seeking quiet, relaxation, and mental clarity. It's a great place for couples to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it is also a great place for families looking for a great place to have a picnic. 5. Kaas Plateau – One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India The Kaas Plateau, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India, is renowned for its natural beauty and flora. It is a mystical location with scenery replete with lakes, flowers, and butterflies. It is a must-visit tourist place in Panchgani. Hotels in Panchgani for an Amazing Stay Staying at the hill stations in Maharashtra is a dream come true. There are so many resorts and hotels in Panchgani for your stay here – from affordable hostels to luxurious villas; this beautiful town has it all! Zostel Panchgani image source: tripadvisor Zostel is a chain of dorm hostels providing luxurious stays for backpackers. They also provide private rooms at a minimal rate. The room tariffs start from INR 900 per night and go up to INR 3000. The quirky interior and beautiful exterior will take your breath away! Hotel Mount View Surrounded by lush vegetation on every side, Hotel Mount View offers spectacular views of gorgeous mountains from nearly every room. With convenient accessibility from the Panchgani Bus Depot, it is one of the greatest hotels in Panchgani, boasting Colonial-style architecture, gorgeous terrain, and captivating views of the Krishna river valley. IL Palazzo IL Palazzo is one of those luxurious hotels in Panchgani where you’ll feel like you’ve entered a Hollywood movie. By making reservations at the IL Palazzo Hotel, one of Panchgani's oldest establishments, you may take a trip back in time to the British era. This historic resort offers the ultimate luxury and comfort, complete with a fitness facility, fine dining restaurant, and rooms decorated in the Colonial style. Ravine Hotel imagesource: makemytrip The Ravine Hotel in Panchgani, also known as the Palace of Winds, has breathtaking surroundings that will compel you to reserve a room at this magnificent establishment. One of the greatest hotels in Panchgani, it has first-rate features, including an excellent restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a tranquil spa, and a well-equipped fitness facility. Hotel Prospect The Prospect Hotel, which has Victorian-style architecture, is in a stunning area with captivating views of the Table Land and the tranquil valley. It is well-known for its fine Parsi restaurant and cottage-style lodging. Panchgani is a beautiful land of wonders and the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra. It is an ideal weekend location for you to visit! Mahabaleshwar Hill Station: Land of Strawberries Mahabaleshwar is one of the most pristine hill stations in Maharashtra in the Sahyadri range, perched at 1,372 metres above sea level amid the Western Ghats. It is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking peace & quiet because of its temperate temperature, abundant vegetation, and stunning scenery. Numerous sites with expansive views of the surrounding hills and valleys are scattered throughout the area. Wilson Point and Arthur's Seat are a few must-see locations; each provides a different viewpoint on the breathtaking scenery. The charming Venna Lake offers boat excursions against a backdrop of lush hills and adds to the allure. A popular thing about Mahabaleshwar hill station is its strawberry farming. The climate and rich soil make it the perfect place for strawberry plantations. Discover the delight of picking fresh strawberries, savouring their delicious flavour, and buying the assortment of strawberry-related things offered at nearby marketplaces. Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar Hill Station 1. Elephant’s Head Point – Romantic Vistas As the name implies, Elephant's Head Point is a section of a mountain that strangely resembles the head of an elephant. It is one of the most romantic locations in Mahabaleshwar and is also known as the Needle Point. With lots of sunshine and picturesque surroundings around the hilltop, it's the perfect place for an open-air picnic. It's a serene, chilly spot with breathtaking views from the summit. It provides the best experience of the hill stations in Maharashtra and is the most sought-after place in Mahabaleshwar hill station. 2. Arthur’s Seat – Unique Places to Visit in Mahabaleshwar image source:trawell Arthur's Seat, one of Mahabaleshwar's most popular tourist destinations, is at a height of 1470 metres. This location, also known as Madhi Mahaal, has a special and intriguing quality. Any lightweight object thrown from this location down the valley will rise due to air pressure. Arthur's Seat is appropriately called the "Queen of the Points" due to the unobstructed, expansive vistas over the Konkan and Deccan on each side. You will be mesmerised by the sight of the Savitri River and the verdant valleys of Brahma-Arayana. It is the most unique place in all hill stations in Maharashtra. 3. Venna Lake – Enjoy the Toy Train with a View Mahabaleshwar hill station's Venna Lake is a picturesque artificial lake. The lake is frequently packed since it provides rowboats and paddleboats for people to use. Children may enjoy rides like the toy train, merry-go-round, and horseback riding. Many restaurants along the lake are well-known for their fresh fruit selection, including carrots, strawberries and mulberries, and street fare like bhelpuri and maise. 4. Wilson Point – Watch the Sunrise Wilson Point, at 1439 metres above sea level, is Mahabaleshwar hill station's highest location. It is a well-known tourist destination for seeing breathtaking sunrises and is also known as Sunrise Point. Wilson Point is a large plateau with three watchtowers that provide an amazing 360-degree view. 5. Pratapgarh Fort – A Peek into Maratha History Pratapgarh Fort is just a few kilometres from these hill stations in Maharashtra. The fort is a well-liked tourist site and has most of its defences still in place. Within the fort are four lakes, several of which flood during the monsoon season. A watchtower is at the end of the motorable road, next to the Mahadarwaza, or main entrance. About sixty years ago, a statue depicting Shivaji Maharaj in full splendour was erected. At the summit of the fort is a Bhawani temple and a cultural library highlighting the fort's history. Many visitors visit a handicrafts centre from the base village to Pratapgarh. Hotels in Mahabaleshwar Hill Station for the Perfect Stay There are many resorts and hotels in Mahabaleshwar to choose from for a perfectly curated holiday in the hill stations of Maharashtra. Le Meridien Resort and Spa image source: kayak Situated in the picturesque village of Mahabaleshwar, the Hotel Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa provides a luxurious stay amidst expansive verdant forests and expansive vistas. The hotel features large rooms with balconies, contemporary conveniences, and helpful, kind personnel. Indulge in delectable meals at the resort's restaurants and take advantage of various activities, including live entertainment, pottery classes, hikes through the jungle and natural areas, and a temperature-controlled swimming pool. With so many kid-friendly activities, the hotel comes highly recommended for families with kids. The ideal option for a restful and unforgettable vacation is Hotel Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, with its tranquil settings and first-rate service. The Oakwood image source: makemytrip The stunning Oak Wood in Mahabaleshwar has a tranquil, forest-like atmosphere thanks to its lush, green surroundings. The apartments are large and well-decorated, and their balconies provide lovely garden views. The property's 2-bedroom option makes it suitable for big parties as well. The service even fulfils unique requests; the cuisine is cosy and wonderful. The resort includes free WiFi, a restaurant, parking, and barbeque pits. The Oak Wood offers guests a tranquil and delightful stay that they may share with their loved ones. La Serene Resort and Spa La Serene Resort and Spa, a highly recommended 4-star resort in Mahabaleshwar, has a restaurant, parking, a garden, laundry facilities, and family rooms, among other features. The staff is amiable and goes above and beyond to meet the demands of the visitors. The market, temples, and well-known sites are nearby, making the location handy. The resort's accommodations are spotless and well-maintained, as shown in the internet images. Different breakfast selections are available as well. The staff is helpful and cordial, and the resort location is lovely. All in all, it offers excellent hospitality and a fantastic experience. It is one of the best hotels in Mahabaleshwar. Advait Resort The serene Advait Resort is tucked away in the verdant surroundings of the Western Ghats. The rustic charm and cosy vibe of the resort give a warm welcome. The amenities include a pool, indoor games, and outdoor pursuits like hiking and bird viewing. Jijau Residency This laid-back mountain resort is housed among brick-red colonial-style bungalows and provides cosy family rooms and friendly service. The picturesque hotel's rooms, which have huge windows that let in plenty of natural light to permeate the quaint wooden interiors, include double beds, sitting areas, modern conveniences like coffeemakers, and views of the surrounding mountains and floral gardens. At their restaurant, they provide a wide variety of Indian cuisine. Mahabaleshwar is one of those hill stations in Maharashtra that provides a serene escape from the daily grind with its tranquil surroundings and fresh strawberries. Conclusion Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar are those hill stations in Maharashtra that one must tick off their bucket list immediately. Try the delicious strawberries straight from the farms while you’re here! With the oncoming monsoon, put these two hill stations in Maharashtra on top of your list to enjoy the scenic vistas of the Gateway of India!