Only eighteen kms from Mahabaleshwar, the hill station of Panchgani now is no lesser known to tourists. It is a frequented hill resort and is an ideal base for some good trekking. Situated at an altitude of 1334m in Satara district, it gets its name from the five plateaus around it.
Though it is only 38 m below Mahabaleshwar, it takes eighteen kms of breathtaking spectacular view offering of the river Krishna that wanders through the farms and hamlets on one side & the coastal plains on the other. I found Panchgani a very romantic place and it has a special charming effect.
One of the first things you notice as you drive into Panchgani are the number of famous elite boarding Schools that are hiding inside the curves and turns of the hill station. In fact, the guide at Table top told us that Panchgani has 23 such schools. In Panchgani there are many old British buildings and Parsi houses though the most famous are these educational institutes.
One of the schools, clicked from the moving vehicle.
Once again like Mahabaleshwar, there are many points to be seen. Bhim Chula and Harrison’s valley, which is one of the most breath taking sights of all are the best. Sidney point is another favourite tourist haunt. The first & third photos of this post are taken from Parsi point overlooking the Krishna Valley and near blue waters of the Dhom dam.
The Table land or Table top is a hot spot which one can not and should not miss. It is one of the largest Table Lands in the continent and famous for Film shootings and said to be shaped by flattened volcanic rock. The guide gave us numerous examples of film shootings happened here. There is also one mythological story associated with it. There is one spot where one can see the footsteps of all the five brothers Pandavs.
We also tried our hands on parasailing. There is a long queue for this and if by the time your turn comes, the winds become mischievous, you are just plain unfortunate. In the evenings the Table Top turns into a makeshift fair with Ferris wheels, pony rides and a variety of food stalls. Panchgani is often referred to as the ‘Mecca of Maharashtra’.
If you really want to explore the natural beauty of Panchgani and have some time on hand, horses (which are available at the numerous stables) are the best mode of traveling, which will gently race you through the thick lush green trees, to unmarked routes and will surely enchant you.
The air here is oxygen riched and the water is said to contain traces of hemoglobin boosting iron. The British had established numerous tuberculosis sanatoriums in Panchgani due to the presence of silver oak trees, which were considered therapeutic. Patients are known to get better faster at Panchgani owing to the pure environs offered at Panchgani.
Please browse through my last three posts to get more glimpse of the place.
All in all, it was a good rejuvenating trip. Yet to visit the Kamalgad fort though it was my second visit. Maybe next time. I am slowly learning from Mridula to have a genuine reason to go back to the place. 🙂