Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani hill stations near Pune are beautiful. A getaway during British era, it is scattered with points and spots named after the officers of those days.
Warning: This post will make you pack your bags and take an immediate holiday to Mahabaleshwar. It is an image heavy post.
Ever since we have moved to Pune over 7 years ago, a trip to Mahabaleshwar has become like an annual pilgrimage and we never ever feel bored.
There is always the Mall Road to stroll on, horses to ride and see galloping about, boats to paddle.
And then there is the beauty of fresh strawberries, mulberries, cape gooseberries, and much much more.
I have visited the place in April, October, November and December and each time it presents me something new to explore, new to enjoy and new to take back with me.
For the last 3 years we have been staying in a vintage hotel, Savoy Village which is ideally situated near Mall Road and Bus Station making it a perfect place to camp and enjoy the neighboring area on foot.
I am not good with words but I do believe I am better with images, so I am going to share my travel story of Mahabaleshwar with photos.
This travel story will be in series of posts as I find there is so much beauty I captured and I have to share all of it with you.
My posts will not be a lesson in history or facts or even a travel guide but they will try to present a Mahabaleshwar I see and enjoy with a family, the things which I and my family love doing there and the places which we visit and re-visit year after year.
And I hope by the end of the series you will love it as much as we do.
In this post, I will share images of fun activities we indulge in, the randomness of Mall Road and the place which has taken our heart when it comes to lodging.
My 6-year-old son loved the shooting balloon games and enjoyed those rounds with his dad and I took great pleasure in catching the balloon board before and after the slaughter. ;)
The man filling in the very small lead pellet (dal in Hindi) with precision was worth watching in action.
The Mall Road for us starts at the Bus Station, Taxi Stand, a central petrol pump and a Dominos, a Coffee Cafe Day housed in a heritage Wadia Building (ADURJEE 1896) right next door.
The road is full of small vendors and shops like any tourist place with most common being toy shops, fresh fruits hawkers selling their produce on road, wooden items, bags, rugs and shoes.
I did not manage to capture a shoe shop but believe you me when I tell you that it is a BIG cottage industry for local people.
I bought 4 pairs this trip. Last year I bought 2 I think. Hoarding I know!! The quality of leather footwear is good and very competitively priced.
The Mall Road for us ends with a customary visit to Imperial Store which is run by a very old Irani family for generations, it is a one stop place for many tourists as it gives you food, wine, music to buy, imported goods to splurge on and feel at home in an otherwise laid back tourist destination.
Next door to it is a beautiful vintage house cum bakery selling those everlasting buttercream frosted pastries to the whipped cream ones available almost everywhere now.
A daily walk on the Mall Road is a ritual for us with window shopping, bargaining or simply enjoying.
For last 3 years we have been staying at a budget, but centrally located Savoy Village, cottage hotel.
The place is simple but is so lovely and enchanting that we do not miss the luxuries like AC or heater.
An old (now covered) well within the compound add to its old world charm.
The food is great and ambiance just makes up for everything. Proximity to Mall Road and most of Mahabaleshwar is a big plus for us.
If you haven’t fallen in love with Mahabaleshwar by now then stay tuned for the next in series for some more magic and if you have already fallen in love then stay to soak more of local beauty.