Mahabaleshwar is listed as one of the most popular weekend getaways and prime monsoon destinations around Mumbai and Pune and I was fortunate to visit this place a few years ago. All the adjectives people usually use to describe this place (breath-taking, green, juicy, lush, pristine, fresh) are absolutely accurate, and it was an unforgettable experience – it was my first monsoon trip and I wasn’t prepared to see these sort of splendor of nature:
.However, if you ask whether I would like to make a similar trip during rains, I would think twice. And I guess I would eventually say “no”, in spite of all the above temptations. I just found the journey too risky, and taking extra precautions is something I’ve learned after becoming a mom. Curvy mountain roads, slippery asphalt, pouring rain, milky white mist and sudden trucks from around the corner left me a bit jumpy and weary, and for a good reason. So, if you feel this would have a similar effect on you, I would suggest going to Mahabaleshwar just after monsoon, when the greenery is still lush, but it’s much safer to travel.
From my notes of that time:
Anyway, all these little considerations fade in my memory compared to the glory of the emerald greenery along the way – greenery that is so precious in India! I was trying to absorb this sensation of freshness with every pore of my skin and preserve it for many months ahead, so it can be always revived in my memory when heat and dust take over my city. We often stopped the car to get out and enjoy the views, puzzling the driver of the car we rented – he obviously was thinking that the goal of any trip is to reach the destination as soon as possible. Well, he was even more puzzled when we spent just a couple of hours in Mahabaleshwar and went back after having a look at the sceneries.
I have never seen so many waterfalls at one time! Now, of course, I know that it’s pretty common during monsoons, but at that time ti was a wonderful discovery.
On the way back we explored the Pala Caves – one of the many rock-cut caves in Maharashtra ( See the post Rock-cut caves of Maharashtra (Elephanta, Karla, Pala) )
After we came back home, the refreshing effect of my monsoon trip to Mahabaleshwar lasted for a long, long time!
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