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.
We found this cat in the temple premises; there are plenty of photos of this cutie cat. We all followed her for quite sometime before proceeding towards some of the other famous points.
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
The time of solar eclipse was considered bad, and people used to distribute money, food and such things in order to “rescue the sun”. That’s why the “suvarntula” was done. The tula was also done of his old “mantri”, Trimbakji Dabir.
“Baale Killa” is a fortified place within a fort (killa) situated on a hill or such elevation so that it is higher than surrounding fort. Apart from housing the court and palace of “killedar”, it was also used as a last place of defence after the enemy breached the fort walls. Significant other forts with baale killa include Rajgad, Raigad and Purandar amongst others.
Here ends today’s lesson on Maharashtra’s history and geography 😉
Oh Fleiger, some more please. 🙂
You know so much about these forts that I should have taken your inputs before publishing it.
Thanks for sharing the info.
P.S. – I think I should ask you before making a trip to these places. What say ? BTW, just been to Kolad. 😀
Yohooo ! I am exploring Maharashtra.
Naah… don’t need ask me before publishing. It will keep me from showing off my knowledge publicly 😉
My photos: go to photos.google.com/[My Main Google Id]/Mahabaleshwar
OK Fleiger already said what I wanted to write about ‘bale killa’. There is also a phrase in Marathi something like ‘It’s Cuckoo’s baaley killa’ that means ‘strongest or dearest point’ (depends on usage). So now you know why Shivaji Maharaj’s statue was installed in the baaley killa inside Pratapgad.
Hmmm.. Arrey I would have given you due credit for that !
Heyy, I checked the link. The photos are awesome. What is ‘ooos’ & ‘waat’ ? Now don’t say ‘waat’ = “vaat” of this.
Now, where does ‘Cuckoo’ come from in this whole thing ? You guys are always dragging poor Cuckoo in the middle. 🙂
BTW, thanks for the info.
Priyank was using the term “someone’s baale killa” in a sentence…
Waat/Vaat (real meaning) = road
Ooos, Ooos = Our usual class cry in school during monsoon (I think you know what paus means)
Cuckoo, Good post. The place is quite interesting, specially the natural beauty. I have been to a place called meteora recently, enjoyed the hilly beauty.
Yes, I know what paus is. 🙂
I haven’t been to this part of India. Would love to visit Mahabaleshwar, and the snaps are neat 🙂 If I have to look for a guide, I know whom to ask!!!
I am coming to Mumbai this Diwali…I was planning on going to Kandala, but now i have few thoughts after seeing these pics……:-)
nice post and Thanks for sharing the info.
have a nice day
Lovely place, very nice post and incredible information arising from the comments. I’m taking some holidays finally (not yet to India, regrettably), but I leave you in Bali at Blogtrotter…
Interesting – your narration as well as pics !!
Hmmmm- and here goes another addition in my “To do list” 🙂
Once I get my fill of Himalaya’s….!
So is this your last part or there is more….so when do we see stuff on Kolad.. !!
One more history lesson…
The idol of Bhavani was carved from the stone from Gandaki river in Nepal, and carried back to Pratapgad.
A lightning struck the stables near the temple some days after Shivaji’s coronation, and was taken as a bad omen (along with the death of his mother). That led him to have another coronation in different style.
Hey what have u been upto… Sorry I have been really busy to follow my fav blogs of late 🙁
🙂 That was quite a pampering comment !! Thank you very much.
I am also exploring this part of India.
Ha Ha.. Maharashtra has many hill stations to go. If you can manage rains throughout the day, there is nothing like these places full of greenery and waterfalls. My last three posts tell the same. 🙂
I have been to this place in summers as well but it was totally different from what it looks now.
Thank you very much.
Thank you. I am waiting for the day when you arrive here. 🙂
Thank you very much.
Oh yeah, you will never get that fill and this part is going to remain on your list. 🙂
There is one more part to go. After that Kolad, Elephanta caves and what not. Phew !! I am lagging behind. 🙁
Oh, Fleiger, I am going to make you my official guide. 😛
Welcome after a long hiatus !!
Oh Oh.. that’s a valid but lame excuse ! 😛
I have heard quite a lot about Mahabaleshwar, and I would definitely like to visit it someday!
There are stories and myths aplenty in our culture, and they are indeed wonderful.
Cute kitty. 🙂
Almost all the hill stations I have been to, have certain “points” like these, which the taxi-wallahs propose to take you to, with great aplomb. And almost certainly, there would be amongst them a “sunrise/sunset point” and a “suicide point” 😉 Though more often than not, I find most of these “points” a let down, I am glad it didnt happen in your case.
was wondering, if you missed out an important thing in this trip (or trip ki kahani)
went to mahabaleshwar this week end.. and had buckets full of strawberries..
everywhere you go you find it – be it jam, ice cream or the raw ones..
but it looks very different in monsoons… it’s so green in your fotos. I had carried that picture and it was starkly different there!!! will publish my experiences soon 🙂