OT Travel Itinerary: Your 2-Day Guide To Offbeat Mahabaleshwar

Located at an altitude of about 1,353 meters above sea level, this captivating hill station is a favoured escape for travellers longing for a break from the urban chaos. And it has much to offer apart from strawberry farms
Mahabaleshwar
The view from Arthur's Seat point in MahabaleshwarRahul D'silva/Shutterstock

Nestled in the lush Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is a captivating hill station celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, verdant landscapes, and delightful climate. This idyllic destination provides a perfect sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of urban life and entices visitors with its stunning panoramas, historic landmarks, and a plethora of outdoor pursuits. Perched at an altitude of about 1,353 meters above sea level, this captivating destination is a favoured escape for travellers longing for a break from the urban chaos. It has much to offer apart from strawberry farms. Check out our guide to uncovering offbeat things to do in Mahabaleshwar.

DAY 1

Morning

Vintage Miles
Find Lunas to Lambrettas at the museum dedicated to vintage two-wheelersVintage Miles

Start your day with exploring Vintage Miles, a unique museum that celebrates vintage two-wheeled wonders. Housing an extensive collection of over 500 mopeds, motorbikes, and scooters, the museum is the brainchild of Vinit Kenjale, a passionate collector from Pune. The exhibits range from the charmingly petite Luna to the rugged 1930s military green Matchless, showcasing the rich history and diversity of iconic two-wheelers. Vinit's love for vintage two-wheelers has even landed him a feature on The History Channel. The collection is thoughtfully organised into three sheds, each dedicated to mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles respectively. These vehicles were once an integral part of Indian households, with models like the Luna and Bajaj scooty holding significant cultural importance. Read more about it here.

Afternoon

Drive down to Bhilar, a peaceful village located in Maharashtra's Satara district, around 45 minutes from Mahabaleshwar. Bhilar is India's first book village, which was chosen for restoration in 2016. It has been transformed into a book village similar to Hay-on-Wye in the United Kingdom. The village has various designated reading spots, each focused on categories such as poetry, history, literature, and more. Several artists commissioned by the Maharashtra government have painted these reading spots. Officially named "Pustakanche Gao," or 'the village of books,' it was opened to the public in May 2017. Approximately 25 families in the village have turned parts of their homes into reading hubs. Read more about it here.

Bhilar
The walls in Bhilar are painted with colourful book characters@harshal.ijare/Instagram

Evening

Discover the unusual Hanuman Temple, home to a rare statue. Unlike traditional representations, the statue depicts Hanuman with his right hand raised in a striking gesture, and notably, without his characteristic mace or the mountain of Dronagiri in either hand. This temple is said to have been established by the revered Ramdas Swami. Despite its modest size, the Hanuman Temple exudes an inner beauty that beckons devotees seeking moments of meditation.

Timings: 24/7

Address: Venna Lake, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

DAY 2

Morning

Immerse yourself in a day of adventure on a fort trail in the area. Behold the guardians of the ghats, the ancient fortresses around the holiday hill town of Mahabaleshwar, standing tall and proud. Delve into the rich history of Maharashtra as you explore these mighty citadels, the magnificent crowns of the land-locked interiors of the state. Check out our list here.

Pratapgarh Fort
Pratapgarh Fort, MahabaleshwarShutterstock

Afternoon

Sign up for some outdoors and adventure fun while you are here. Explore the adventure-filled trekking trails of Mahabaleshwar, offering breathtaking views from popular spots like Arthur's Seat and Elephant's Head Point. Take a tranquil boat ride on Venna Lake, surrounded by scenic hillsides, and experience the beauty of nature while horseback riding. Delight in the family-friendly activity of picking fresh strawberries during the season, creating cherished memories amidst the picturesque farms of Mahabaleshwar.

Evening

Don't forget to pick up some unique art souvenirs while you're in Mahabaleshwar. Make a visit to the Devrai Art Village, which is about 18 km away from the city center. This art village was founded by Mandakini Mathur as a non-profit initiative. The artisans create stunning pieces using dhokra techniques, an ancient form of metal casting. Their rock dhokra items are a fusion of metal with stone, creating remarkable art pieces with a blend of materials. Additionally, their organic dhokra incorporates natural materials such as leaves, bark, and fruit that are cast directly into the metal, resulting in truly one-of-a-kind artworks. More details here.

Where To Stay

Mahabaleshwar
Strawberries abound in MahabaleshwarKaustav Bhattacharya/Flickr Commons

Mahabaleshwar offers a range of accommodation options catering to various preferences. From the luxurious setting and breathtaking views of Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, to the cosy rooms and convenience of Evershine Keys Prima Resort, and the value and comfort of Regenta MPG Club, to the charm of Citrus Chambers Mahabaleshwar, there's something for everyone in this beautiful destination. Check here for a list of hotels you can book into.

Eating Out

Don't miss the chance to explore the diverse culinary delights of Mahabaleshwar. Most hotel restaurants are open to everyone and offer a wide range of cuisines. Make sure to indulge in the mouthwatering pizzas and burgers at the Imperial Stores. For tantalising kebabs, head over to Aman Restaurant. And if you're craving authentic Maharashtrian cuisine, Sahyadari and Hirkani are a must-visit. Experience the flavours of Parsi and Thai cuisine at Grapevine, and satisfy your sweet tooth with Mahabaleshwar's delightful ice cream offerings.

Getting There

Venna Lake
Venna Lake in MahabaleshwarShutterstock

The closest railway station to Mahabaleshwar is Satara, located at a distance of 45 kilometres. and well connected with other cities of Maharashtra and major Indian cities. You can also book a flight to Pune airport, which is located 120 kilometres away from Mahabaleshwar, and then book a vehicle to Mahabaleshwar.

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