April 27, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.75: Wilson Point (Sunrise Point), Mahabaleshwar.

“Highest Point in Mahabaleshwar.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 16 April 2015
This is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar, at an altitude of 1435 metres. It is about 2 km from the Market as you go along the Satara Road. After about 1 km from the market you have to take a left turn when you see the sign board of ‘Hotel Gautam’. The road leading up to the point is very steep and narrow and you have to be very careful while driving up. This road goes all the way up and around the point and emerges back on Satara Road a little further up. It is supposed to be a one way street, but you may still encounter some cars coming the wrong way.

Wilson Point is a large rocky plateau, with three viewing platforms where many tourists come to view the sunrise. The perimeter of this plateau is more than a kilometre and is an excellent place for a morning or evening walk, if you are staying nearby.

From the viewing platforms you get excellent 180 degree views of the bungalows and tree covered hills all around. The platforms are always crowded early in the morning, even if it is a cloudy day. The beautiful sunrise viewed from here on a clear day is indeed spectacular to watch.

Being the closest point to the market, one can even drive up to the point around sunset and view the twinkling lights of Mahabaleshwar town and Panchgani in the distance.
Visited February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

April 16, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.74: Panch Ganga Temple, Mahabaleshwar.

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 16 April 2015 NEW
The Panch Ganga Temple is the most popular temple located in the Temple Complex at Old Mahabaleshwar. Here you can see the 5 (panch) rivers (ganga) meet at one place and then flow out as a single stream through the mouth of a sculpted stone cow, or 'Gaumukh'. These 5 rivers are the Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri. The water flow is perennial, and this is the miraculous secret of this temple.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has a beautiful idol of him. Next to him there is a small idol of Lord Ganesh. After paying their respects to the deities all the devotees take a sip of the holy water flowing from the Gaumukh.

The water flowing out of the Gaumukh is one of the best I have ever tasted. It is pure, clean, cold and refreshing. Don't forget to bring an empty bottle or two to carry home this holy water for your near and dear ones.
Visited February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

My TripAdvisor Review No.73: Mahabaleshwar, Krishnabai Temple.

“The Lost Temple.”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 14 April 2015 NEW
Very few people knew about this temple a few years back. It is located very near the Old Mahabaleshwar temples (Panchganga and Shiva temples).
There is a small bridle path leading down to this Krishnabai Temple. You get a fantastic view of the valley and the Balkawadi dam from this temple.
This is a very ancient temple, but off the beaten track for most visitors to Mahabaleshwar. Do pay a visit just to get to see the mind boggling view of the valley below. It is specially beautiful in the rainy season when water starts trickling down into the valley with this temple as the starting point.
Visited February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

My TripAdvisor Review No.72: Club Mahindra Mahabaleshwar Sherwood.

“A Fairyland in the Deep Woods.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW
Club Mahindra’s Mahabaleshwar Resort is located about 3 km from the Mahabaleshwar market, down the Medha-Satara Road. It was earlier known as the ‘Sherwood’ Resort. As you drive down from the market you will see a board on the right at a T junction pointing you towards the resort, about 500 metres down a narrow road. Visitors from Mumbai or Pune generally prefer to bring their own vehicles so that they can move more freely around the beautiful hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani.

The resort is situated amidst 8 acres of lush forest. The rooms are well spread out over the property and some of the rooms are nestled in the middle of a grove of leafy trees, while other rooms are at a height and have a fantastic view of the forested valley. Some of the rooms are in the main block, which houses the reception, lounge and offices. Many of these rooms overlook a beautifully landscaped swimming pool, and the sunset viewing platform, which becomes almost as crowded as the famous ‘Bombay Point’ in the evenings.

The air conditioned rooms are well furnished and have satellite TV, tea maker and mini fridge. All rooms have a sit-out where you can enjoy your morning cup of tea with the cool unpolluted air. However, the rooms do not have a kitchenette.

The day we arrived it started raining (end February), and it became so chilly that we did not need to use the ac. We were welcomed with a refreshing cup of hot strawberry tea. Since it was raining we were allowed to offload our luggage outside our ground floor room, but later had to park the car in the parking area, a little distance away.

We had an ala carte dinner at the ‘Saddle Back’ Restaurant. Service was courteous, but we had to be patient to be served. Since we are light eaters we found the buffet dining too expensive for our tastes. However most of the other guests were enjoying the buffet, where you are served a variety of starters, salads, veg and non-veg dishes, breads and rice. There are at least 4 different sweet dishes to end your feast. They have an alternative called the ‘Gourmet Express’ where you can have a limited choice of dishes from the ala carte menu delivered to your room.

There is a ‘Fun Zone’ with all the indoor games like carom, table tennis, chess, cards, pool table and a small library. Bicycles are available on chargeable basis. They also arrange treks and other outdoor activities. One can relax in the hammocks just outside the Fun Zone. Aqua zorbing facility is available at the swimming pool. The resort campus is an excellent place for walks in the forest. We saw many langur monkeys in the treetops on the campus. They even have a small strawberry farm and a flower nursery next to the pool. Spa treatments can be availed of at their ‘Svaastha Spa’ on the campus.

Wi-Fi was not working when we arrived, and internet facility was available on chargeable basis. Airtel mobile signal was very weak on the campus and we had to go to the ‘Sunset Platform’ if we wanted to use our cell phone. However that may not be a problem if you are using Vodafone or BSNL.

Room cleaning service was good and the room boy was friendly and gave us useful tips about places to visit and things to do. The usual viewing points and the Venna Lake are some distance away and you may need to hire a cab if you don’t have your own car. Wilson Point, where everyone goes to witness sunrise, is 3 km away, and a steep uphill climb, but worth the long trek. Just 2 km outside the resort, down a bridle path called ‘Lamington Ride’ we found a large strawberry farm from where we bought some of the fruit straight out of the plants. On another walk we found an isolated peaceful temple, just 2 km away, known as the ‘Jannimata Mandir’ devoted to a local deity, and spent some time meditating there.

All in all we had a very nice vacation away from the noise and bustle of the city and came away refreshed from our ‘Fairyland in the Deep Woods’.
Room Tip: Rooms at a higher level have the best views, but not suitable for the unfit. Pool facing rooms have...
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  • Stayed February 2015, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC