Would like to see India off the beaten track? Go to Mahabaleshwar! It’s totally unknown town for foreign tourists located in Western Ghats. You will fall in love with it!
We were going to Mahabeleshwar with concerns about not finding ATM accepting our bank cards.
Straight after drop off from the bus we were walking around the town to find it. First ATM – transaction declined. Second one again, the same. Chev cool as always but Ania had a picture in her head that we would sleep without roof over our heads and we would be stuck in Maha with no money. When we were walking on the Main Street, suddenly we saw sign saying: “We accept all cards”. We walked inside with a big hope. It was the hotel with restaurant, so we had where to sleep and eat, haha! 🙂 Guy from reception told us where to find State Bank of India. Cards were accepted, we had the money! All sorted. Time to go and explore the place.
Anna’s brother works with the guy who moved from India to UK and it happened that he has a friend Bipin who works in Mahabaleshwar. It was great opportunity for us to have local person as a new friend – who knows area better than native? We were told where to find his office, Directorate of Bee Keeping. It wasn’t far from bus station. We went to search for that place, asked local people where to find it, but no one knew about that place so we didn’t find it at all. We didn’t want to waste nice weather because it was raining sometimes in the evening so we went for a walk on the mountain trials. We were going to stay in Maha for a while so there was enough time to see with Bipin. Map of Mahabaleshwar below:
We went to see Lodwick Point and Elephant’s Head Point, so about 4 miles away from our hotel. There is unbeliveable view on Ghats and Ambenali Ghats and neighbour town Pratapgad:
On the way back Charlie suggested different path, near a jungle. So we went into the jungle to see something new for us and when we thought we were lost, big sign with directions to Directorate of Bee Keeping grew in front of us. We found the place that we were looking for before going for a walk up the mountains. We got warm reception there and we were taken for a walk through how the honey is made. Bipin who is a director of that place was looking after us all the time. We had very good time there and for goodbye we were given a honey and invitation for the future. We are very thankful to Bipin, Sanjay and other people from Bee Keeping place. Here are some pictures from there:
Another day we took a bus to Old Mahabaleshwar, which was 3 miles away. One way ticket costs 6 rupiees, so about 8p! After we were dropped at the bus stop in Old Maha all tourists went to see Temples in the town centre, but we noticed small worn out sign that seen better days. It was leading us to Krishna Temple, so we went to have a look. To get to a hidden place we had to take a narrow and curvy path – nothing special that would make you think that you about to see something very rare – amazing massive temple made of chiseled stones, and in the background outstanding view to Balkawadi Lake. What’s more, without hords of noisy tourists. It was only us in that place and, as it turned later out, one more guy who was looking after that place. He showed us every small detail of the temple that was dated to be about 5000 years old. Temple is the place of Krishna River source. Really fantastic place and so unknown, but maybe it’s better so we could enjoy every piece of it. Anna even had an uninterrupted nap in there! 🙂
Check out our second post about Mahabaleshwar: Mahabaleshwar: India off the beaten track, part 2
And our post about costs of travelling in India (for 2 months): India – daily budget
Spread the word! ↓ 😉