Day 2 : 17th March 2013
We started the day with a wonderful Marathi breakfast at the hotel consisting of batata vada, pav bhaaji, pohe etc. Hey but these are not our typical breakfast at home except the pohe. These are evening snacks we love and don't mind them as breakfast when I am not the one making it!
Our taxi arrived exactly at 9 am and we set out for the trek and "point" scoring that's exploring the viewing points in the hills of Mahabaleshwar.
We headed to old part of the city first for the Darshan of the presiding deity of the town, the Mahabaleshwar temple and the Panchaganga temple. As the name suggests the Mahabaleshwar temple is an old Swayambhu Shiva temple. The Panchaganga temple is the origin of the five rivers Krishna, Koyna,Venna, Savitri and Gayatri. These temples are considered important base of civilization they were built somewhere in 12 century.
We then visited the following points:
1. Arthur's point : This is a place from where Sir Arthur Mallet would look down at the river Savitri as he held memories of his wife and children who were lost in accident in the waters.
2. Elphistone point : Reveals the magnificence of the Shahyadri range, layered mountains and deep ravines covered in greens of all shades and tones. There was a guy with a telescope stationed there and for 10 bucks we got a clear view of the Shivaji Maharaj's statue at Pratapgad. The fort can be viewed in the far with the naked eye in all clarity and grandeur.
3.Window point : One has to climb down 200 ft to a ledge for a panoramic view of the valley.
4. Tiger spring : This is a spring on the edge of the mountain where the Tiger visits for a drink.
5. Malcolm point :
6. Echo point : You can shout your lungs out and enjoy the thrill of listening to you own voice while you are not talking but the hills are reverberating with it.
7. Hunting point :
8. Castle Rock point : This is a rock atop which I refused to climb up at first so my Dad had a go first and tempted me to climb up with help of the driver. The views are absolutely breathtaking.
9. Savitri point : for the view of the Savitri river and valley
10. Monkey point : Leaves you wondering how Gandhiji's three monkeys found such a cozy place to perch themselves up there on the edge of the hills.
11. Marjori point : Panoramic views.
12. Kate's point : Allows one to look down at the manmade water reservoirs of Balakwadi and Dhom.
13. Needlehole point : This point from top and side appears as an elephant head and from the side a view of the hole cut out naturally in the rock.
14. Lodwick point : My favorite the view is awesome from the vantage point and almost 360 degree. There is a memorial pillar that marks this point and the trail is lovely to walk up to the end.
These points give you an awesome view of the scenic topography of Mahabaleshwar and the rugged terrain of Sahyadri.
On another day we visited the Mapro garden and feasted on yummy stuff and then sat at the waterfront of the Venna lake.