Mahabaleshwar: Mumbai Neighborhood in Monsoon
The heat and humidity of the worst bit of summer have started getting to us, making all of us here eagerly await the onset of monsoon. Even a little downpour would alleviate the scorching days and nights. In another 3 or 4 weeks, the hills of the Western Ghats would get its annual ablution and followed by a new clothing of green.
Then will emerge my favorite hill station near my home, Mahabaleshwar, in all its forest green glory. Visiting Mahabaleshwar in the monsoon is always a great treat. The clouds hang low on the horizon, many times just rolling on to the hills, folding you in its arms in a cool, soft embrace. When I am not eating or shopping in its narrow streets, my favorite past time in Mahabaleshwar is lounging in the balcony with a cup of hot chai and ‘pakoras’, watching the rain and the clouds.
The ample viewpoints in Mahabaleshwar provide fish-eye views of the verdant green Sahyadris and its various forts. I often skip these touristy delights because of my closeness with the hamlet, but for first timers, these places are must-visits!
I remember the time when I took my first boat ride on the beautiful Venna Lake. The boatman telling us interesting stories about the place and pointing to many honeymooning couples giggling and enjoying themselves. Apparently Mahabaleshwar is a popular destination for them. If time and weather permits, I suggest a boat ride here should definitely find a place on your itinerary and so should be the 200M Lingmala Falls, which refreshed by the monsoons, is a sight to behold. Venna Lake is a great attraction to everybody with its dazzling sight, boating, and fishing besides the dam and stalls for games and eatables. It is within walking distance from town Mahabaleshwar.
You might miss plucking strawberries from the farms but no one can stop you from visiting the jam factories! See yourself at leisure how jams and squashes are made. One big advantage of visiting the hill station during rainy season is that there is absolutely no tourist traffic.
Finding accommodation in Mahabaleshwar is never a problem. Hotels and resorts to suit every pocket are available right in the main market street or around and are in plenty, but booking before you reach is advisable to avoid the hassle of going from hotel to hotel in the torrential Western Ghat rains.
There are also a few famous temples to visit. Panchaganga mandir and Shri Shankar Mandir are prominent with loads of mythological stories attached to them.
All in all, Mahabalehwar is a good hill station for any season.
Will I be going to Mahabaleshwar this year? Well, let’s see.
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