Mahabaleshwar – II
The first points we saw were Panchaganga Mandir and Shri Shankar Mandir.
As per the Hindu mythology five holy rivers Krishna, Venna, Koyna, Savitri & Gayatri show their token appearance here in five springs flowing closely. They are seen flowing in five stone conduits & joining in one horizontal half channel leading to the Goumukhi (cow face) spout. Through the Goumukhi it falls in the cistern below.
Shri Shankar Mandir
The Mahalinga of the lord Shiva is of Rudraksha shape & believed to be ‘self-bodied’ (swayambhoo). This Mahalinga is considered to be superior to the twelve jyotirlingas. It is called Trigunatmaka for the presence of Brahma-Visnhu-Mahesh. According to the locals, Shivaji had weighed his mother Jeejabai by gold in this temple & then the gold was distributed in charity.
Wilson Point: This is the highest point at 4710 ft above sea level. Also called Sunrise point. It is a vast plateau. There are three masonry round platforms to see the sunrise.
Kate’s Point: It is said that some king’s daughter named Kate had committed suicide from this point. Needless to say, another name for this point is Suicide point. It offers breathtaking view of Krishna valley & deep waters of the Dhom dam.
Elephant Point: From southern side it looks like an elephants head. And in between elephant’s trunk and face there is a hole which is called Needle Hole point.
The whole place was so muddy, slippery and full of moss that once looking at the mesmerizing beauty of nature, I lost my balance and slipped around 2 meters along the scary cliff. But still I did not leave my camera. Luckily my sister was there to hold me.
This photo on right is from the same cliff.
Echo point: Near Elephant point, there is also an echo point. Yes, whatever you say, it’ll come back to you after echoing through the mountains.
On way to Pratap Gadh fort, we stopped to have our lunch at a dhaba serving good maharashtrian food and that was the best food we had in Mahabaleshwar overruling all restaurants and hotels.
Pratap Gadh Fort
The majestic Pratapgadh is 25 kms from Mahabaleshwar. It houses the tomb of Afzalkhan at its toe. The fort was built and belonged to King Shivajiraje Bhosle. Yes, that is the full name of Shivaji. The entry gate of the fort was made after a good thought process. It is not seen unless one comes very near to the fort. So, to find out where is the entry, the enemies had to come in the vicinity of the fort and thus risk their lives. There is also a temple of Bhavani mata, the idol of worship of King Shivaji. There is a statue called Bale killa of Shivaji Maharaj inside the fort. The total no. of steps are around 450.
By seven in we started going back to hotel. Throughout the journey to PratapGadh fort it was raining very heavily. So, very little pictures of this place. I’ll paste some from my previous visit to this place.
Had dinner at the hotel itself. Next day we were to go to Panchgani and Venna Lake.
Glossary – Mandir = Temple
Dhaba = Kiosk