Mahabaleshwar is an alias for Lord Shiva ( He has over 1008  mindbogling   names) . Lord Shiva not only lends his name to this town but blesses it with unparalleled Natural beauty.

There is always an interesting story behind name of towns in India, Mahabaleshwar is no different. To know the story,  do read at a later date, as  this post is about the magnificence of Nature.

Amazing Mahabaleshwar is nestled in the Western Ghats at a height of about 4500 ft (1450 m).

Western Ghats are  HOT SPOTS  and home to a vast  and diverse array of species  like the Shekru or the Giant Indian Squirrel ( Ratufa indica) and the beautiful Canonball trees.

A  beautiful  expressway  links Mumbai ( 250 kms)  and Pune ( 120 kms  to this wonderful town on the Western Ghats.

The approach  to Mahabaleshwar is literally through these enormous and magnificent FICUS  trees . The aerial roots form an arch resembling a doorway  over the road near the township of WAI ( 30 kms short of Mahabaleshwar)

An avenue of aerial roots
A canopy  of aerial roots

The hills of Mahabaleshwar are home to one of the few moist  EVERGREEN forests of India.

Blessed with more than a fair share of the monsoons, it is indeed a wonderful  place to visit round the year.

The mountains turn lush green and the Krsna River ( do read BIRTH OF A RIVER) charged afresh by  the Monsoons  gushes down  to the parched lands of the Deccan Plateau.

the river and the green mountains
the river and the green mountains

The hills of Mahabaleshwar are home to a diverse range of Flora  ( close to 6000 species) . The monsoons are a wonderful time to visit the region as numerous wildflowers ( do  read post titled THE BLUSHING DAMSEL) carpet the area with their blossoms.

The Kaas Plateau ( about 40 km away) is also called the Valley of the Flowers of this region.

Fortunately the rains keep away hordes of tourists leaving you to soak in  the glory ( pun intended)  of Nature in solitude.

lush green mountains
lush green mountains

Coming from Delhi where the temperatures cross a dizzy 42 C with ease, we experienced with glee the glory of bountiful Monsoons in this  wonderful town.

Behold the wonder of the Western ghats at Mahabaleshwar.

rolling hills
rolling hills

Wonderful Waterfalls burst forth from the mountains adding  to the scenic beauty of the region.

This tiny town is the catchment area  for  no less than 5 Rivers.


The clouds descend to kiss the earth over  Lake Veena, Mahabaleshwar.

A vast lake it extends upto the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary.

the peshwa built lake
Lake Veena named after the musical instrument played by Lord Shiva

The weather changes miraculously as the mist and the clouds  play hide and seek .

This photograph was taken within seconds of the one above. The clouds and mist had gone in a flash.

the peshwa lake minus the mist and clouds
The Lake created by the Peshwas

The high levels of moisture in the air are perfect for EPIPHYTES which covert  rooftops  into Gardens.

grass on roofs
grass on roofs

The Le Meridien Spa & Resort Hotel is a Botanists delight as it is located within a forest of Jamun trees , all of which are covered with orchids and moss ( Epiphytes) .

The sprawling estate of the Hotel is  home like much of the region to numerous medicinal plants  and the reclusive Shekru as well.

Jamun trees, epiphytes and Mist.

The Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas thus the genetic lineage of the plants  goes  back to a time now forgotten.They were the original Inhabitants of the land we today called India, then called JAMBUDVIPA.( the island of Jamuns) 

Many sacred forests still survive in the Western Ghats ,  protecting a genetic pool created before the TIME OF MEN on this planet.

I  will be coming back to meet Shekru  whom I dearly missed and unveil some of these original greybeards of JAMBUDVIPA.

Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.


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