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Mahabaleshwar is located in Maharashtra
Mahabaleshwar is located in India
Coordinates: 17°55′51″N 73°38′52″E / 17.9307°N 73.6477°E / 17.9307; 73.6477
Country India
DistrictSatara District
 • Total137.15 km2 (52.95 sq mi)
1,353 m (4,439 ft)
 • Total12,737
 • Density93/km2 (240/sq mi)
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Sex ratio90 females/ 100 males /
Literacy Rate78%

Mahabaleshwar (About this soundpronunciation ) is a small town and a municipal council in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.It is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus because the Krishna river has its origins here.[1] The British colonial rulers developed the town as a hill station, and served as the summer capital of Bombay Presidency during the British Raj.


Mahabaleshwar is located on the mountainous Sahyadri range of the Western ghats that run North to south along western coast of India. The coordinates of the town are 17°55′25″N 73°39′31″E / 17.9237°N 73.6586°E / 17.9237; 73.6586.[2] Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150 km2 (58 sq mi), bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1,439 m (4,721 ft) at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise Point The town is about 122 km (76 mi) southwest of Pune and 285 km (177 mi) from Mumbai, .

Mahabaleshwar comprises three villages: Malcolm Peth, Old "Kshetra" Mahabaleshwar and part of the Shindola village.

Mahabaleshwar region is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. Legend has it that Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the trimurti by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyna are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. 3 other rivers come out from the cow's mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna which flows East towards the Bay of Bengal.[3] These rivers are the Koyna, Venna (Veni) and Gayatri. The Savitri river flows Westward via Mahad to the Arabian Sea.

Climate of the area is suitable for cultivation of strawberries, Mahabaleshwar strawberry contributes to about 85 percent of the total strawberry production in the country.[4][5][6][7] It also received the geographical indication (GI) tag in 2010.[8]


Mahabaleshwar has a borderline tropical monsoon/humid subtropical climate (Köppen Am/Cwa). Very heavy rainfall is a normal occurrence during monsoons. During July, 10-12 days of continuous rains with 100 to 200 millimetres or 4 to 8 inches each day occur each year. There were reports of ice and ground frost formation around Venna Lake in 2018 [9][10] On August 7th 2019 Mahabaleshwar recorded 330 millimetres or 12.99 inches of rain in 24 hours causing landslides [11] Mahabaleshwar is described as the "New Candidate for the wettest place in the world" the titile currently held by Cherrapunji.[12]

Climate data for Mahabaleshwar (1981–2010, extremes 1932–2011)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.4
Average high °C (°F) 26.3
Average low °C (°F) 13.4
Record low °C (°F) 5.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.0
Average rainy days 0.1 0.1 0.4 1.3 3.7 20.5 29.6 29.2 19.5 7.2 2.2 0.4 114.3
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 49 39 41 51 67 92 98 98 94 76 64 56 69
Source 1: India Meteorological Department[13][14]
Source 2: Government of Maharashtra[15]


On the outskirts of Mahabaleshwar, towards Panchgani.
On the outskirts of Mahabaleshwar, towards Panchgani.

Legend says that a Yadava ruler from 13th century built a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna.[16]The area around Mahabaleshwar called the Vale of Jawali was ruled by the More clan who were vassals of the Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. In 1656, the founder of Maratha empire, Chatrapati Shivaji on account of political circumstances, killed the then ruler of vale of Javali, Chandrarao More, and seized that area.[17][18] Around that time Shivaji also built a fort near Mahabaleshwar called Pratapgad. The fort remains in the hands of Shivaji's descendants to this day.[citation needed]

British colonial era

Map of the region (1881)
Map of the region (1881)

In 1819, after the demise of the Maratha empire, the victorious British ceded the hills around Mahabaleshwar to the vassal state of Satara. Colonel Lodwick (Later General Sir Lodwick) after climbing the mountains near Mahabaleshwar, recommended the place as a sanatorium for the British forces to governor Sir John Malcolm of Bombay presidency. The Raja of Satara was granted other villages in exchange for the British getting Mahabaleshwar in 1828.[19] In old records Mahabaleshwar was even called as Malcolm Peth after the governor.[20] Mahabaleshwar started gaining prominence when British officials of Bombay presidency such as in 1828, and later Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone, Arthur Malet (for whom the seat at "Point Arthur" is named), Carnac, and many others became regular visitors. A lake called Venna lake was constructed in 1842 to collect water from perennial springs. The Venna river flows from this lake.[21] Bartley Frere, the commissioner of Satara in 1850s built the road from Satara to Mahabaleshwar.[22] In mid 1800s, Mahabaleshwar was made into summer capital of Bombay presidency.[23] Government spending led to rapid development of the area. Colonial officials spent part of their year in the area. Their wives spent longer period to be with their children in local boarding schools in Mahabaleshwar and nearby Panchgani.[24][25] The British rulers wanted to recreate the English landscape in the hill stations and to that end, European flora such as strawberries[26] were introduced in Mahabaleshwar, and amenities such as libraries, theatres, boating lakes, and sports grounds constructed. [27]

Added to the scores of magnificent scenic "points", the perennial springs, streams, and waterfalls of Mahabaleshwar plateau, with its year round superb climate, drew the English and others to Mahabaleshwar. By the end of the 19th century it had become an attractive popular hill station of world renown. Raj Bhavan, the Summer residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, is also located here. An older building named "The Terraces" was purchased in 1884 and rechristened as Giri Darshan in 1886.[28]

"Babington House", is a colonial-style bungalow built in the shape of a cross with a deep veranda, elaborate metal work railing and extensive outhouses. It was formerly one of the country seats of the Dubash family, a Parsi ship chandler dynasty from Bombay who sold it to the Rahejas in the early 1970s. It contains a central dining room with a 24-seater table and a library pavilion with 1st edition books collected by the Dubash family, notably Jamsetjee "Jimmy" Kavasjee Dubash, a bibliophile and art collector.[citation needed]

Places of interest

Old Mahabaleshwar

Panchaganga temple in Old Mahabaleshwar, 1850s
Panchaganga temple in Old Mahabaleshwar, 1850s

In old Mahabaleshwar, 7 km from Mahabaleshwar, there are many tourist points and 5 temples to see, with examples of old Indian architecture. There are also natural view points, some of them named by the 19th-century British colonial rulers.

Krishnabai temple

Behind Panchganga temple, there is a small trail that leads to Krishnabai temple believed to be the source of the river. It is built on the hilltop overlooking the Krishna valley and was built in 1888.The temple has a Shiva lingam and a statue of Krishna. A small stream of the flowing from a sculpture shaped as a mouth of a cow(gomukh) falls on in a 'Kunda' or water tank. Stone carved columns and ceilings are the special characteristics of this temple. This old temple has gathered moss and is in ruins.Given its isolated spot, the temple is visited by only a few tourists, however, it provides a most exquisite view of the river Krishna.

Arthur point

A view from Arthur seat point
A view from Arthur seat point

This geographical point is named after Officer Sir Arthur Malet (1806–1888) (not to be confused with British born actor of same name), who frequented the spot to gaze at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap.[citation needed]

Venna Lake

The Venna lake
The Venna lake

Mahabaleshwar is a holiday resort, honeymoon spot, and a pilgrimage site for People.

Boats on the Venna lake in Mahabaleshwar.
Boats on the Venna lake in Mahabaleshwar.

The Venna lake is one of the tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. The lake is surrounded by trees.

There are hotels from budget hotels to 3 Stars hotels. There are hotels with the Lake's View or in the market.

3 Monkey Point

Named because of the natural sculpture of the stones which looks like three monkeys sitting beside each other and portraying 3 monkeys of Gandhiji. Nestled deep in the valleys one can figure out from the outline of a big stone a natural cut out it give an effect of 3 monkey sitting next to each other portraying the Three Wise Monkeys. This point is on route to Arthur's Seat.

Kate's Point

Balakwadi dam viewed from Kate's Point
Balakwadi dam viewed from Kate's Point

Kate's point is located to the east of Mahabaleshwar and is famous for its view of two reservoirs, Balakwadi and Dhom. The point is around 1,280 m high.

Needle Hole Point / Elephant Point

Needle hole rock, viewed from the point
Needle hole rock, viewed from the point

Needle hole point is located near Kate's Point. One can see a natural rock formation with a hole in between, thus giving the name Needle-hole. The point is also famous for the view of Deccan traps, which look like an elephant's trunk.

Wilson Point

Named after Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Bombay from 1923 to 1926, Wilson Point is the highest point in Mahabaleshwar at 1439 m. Known as Sindola Hill during the colonial rule, Wilson point is the only location in Mahabaleshwar where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. It offers a spectacular glance of Mahabaleshwar in all directions. It located at behind Mahabaleshwar-Medha road at 1.5 km from Mahabaleshwar city.


Pratapgad is a fort near Mahabaleshwar built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is the site of the encounter between Chhatrapati Shivaji and Bijapur general, Afzalkhan, where the latter was defeated and killed by Shivaji.

Lingmala Waterfalls

Panoramic view of Lingamala waterfalls
Panoramic view of Lingamala waterfalls

This waterfalls is located near Mahabaleshwar. The water here falls from a height of approximately 600 feet. The water of Lingamala waterfalls cascades into the Venna Lake. The waterfalls are divided by outward projecting rocks into multiple tiers.[non sequitur]


As of 2011 India census,[29] Mahabaleshwar had a population of 12,737. Males constituted 55% of the population and females 45%. Mahabaleshwar had an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy was 84%, and female literacy was 71%. In Mahabaleshwar, 11% of the population was at that time under 6 years of age.90% of population speaks Marathi language.



Mahabaleshwar is 32 km from Wai. It is 260 km from Mumbai, the state capital. The nearest major city is Satara, 45 km and it is 120 km from Pune and 263 km from Mumbai thane Mahabaleshwar is connected by the National Highway 4. Bus services by state-run MSRTC and private organizations connect it to Pune, Mumbai, Sangli and Satara.


Nearest railroad is Satara, 60 km. Nearby major railway junctions include Pune (120 km), and Miraj (170 km) . State-run bus services are available in these locations to Mahabaleshwar. Rail station Diwan Khavati on Kokan Railway near Khed gives a route of 60 km via Poladpur to Mahabaleshwar.


The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, serving the city of Pune, 120 km from Mahabaleshwar. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport of Mumbai is 270 km.


Panoramic view of Mahabaleshwar
Panoramic view of Mahabaleshwar
Panoramic view from Savitri Point, Mahabaleshwar
Panoramic view from Savitri Point, Mahabaleshwar


  1. ^ Ian Talbot (2016). A History of Modern South Asia: Politics, States, Diasporas. Yale University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-300-19694-8.
  2. ^ "Falling Rain Genomics, Mahabaleshwar".
  3. ^ Balasubramanian, Lalitha (30 August 2017). Temples in Maharashtra: A Travel Guide. Notion Press. ISBN 978-1-947697-88-1.
  4. ^ Kasabe, Nanda (18 February 2012). "Growing demand for strawberries in domestic market". The Financial Express. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  5. ^ Kshirsagar, Alka (16 January 2012). "Mahabaleshwar set for good strawberry season". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  6. ^ Mahableshwar-where strawberries grow:
  7. ^ Strawberry fields forever:
  8. ^ Joshi, Hrishikesh (14 May 2010). "Mahabaleshwar strawberry gets GI status". Business Standard. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Cold wave grips parts of India: Delhi continues to freeze; Nagpur gets colder than Shimla; Pune records coldest morning in 18 years - India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  10. ^ "In-pics: Maharashtra's Mahabaleshwar witnesses frozen dew drops". Hindustan Times. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  11. ^ S; Dighe, ip; Aug 7, Satyajit Joshi / TNN / Updated; 2019; Ist, 10:34. "Stay off roads to Mahabaleshwar, heavy rain floods Satara, Sangli districts too | Kolhapur News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 April 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Mahabaleshwar: New Candidate for Wettest Place on Earth | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel |". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Station: Mahabaleshwar Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 457–458. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M145. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
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  17. ^ Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India 2011, p. 317.
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  20. ^ Dane Keith Kennedy (1 January 1996). The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. University of California Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-520-20188-0.
  21. ^ Puri, G.S. and Mahajan, S.D., 1960. The study of the evergreen vegetation of Mahabaleshwar area. Nelumbo, 2(1-2), pp.109-137.[2]
  22. ^ Rekha Ranade (1990). Sir Bartle Frere and His Times: A Study of His Bombay Years, 1862-1867. Mittal Publications. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-81-7099-222-6.
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