Panchgani – A Hill Station Amidst Five Hills
Panchgani is a tourist destination and an all-time resting place for the weary of close cities such as Mumbai and Pune. Located at the height of 1334 m, it is surrounded by five hills of the Sahyadri ranges and is accompanied by the holy Krishna River in Maharashtra, India. The hill resort in the West India has received its name from the very existence of these five hills peaked by a volcanic plateau, the second highest plateau in Asia. This means that Panchgani means five (panch) lands or plateaus (gani).
Having the Raj stamp all over it, you will be thrilled to view the thick lush trees and vegetation, rocky cliffs, murmuring birds, coastal plains on one side, and the River Krishna on the other. The hill resort is an exemplary British developed refreshing place that is depicted in its grand bungalows, British style boarding schools, and Parsi houses. In addition, the tasty strawberries and raspberries, the table land – a flat summit of fun, and the snaky Krishna River crawling through the hamlets, frames, and the valley simply add to the beauty of the picturesque Panchgani. The blend of all this has made Panchgani an ideal place of movie shoots and has been featured in many Indian movies.
Since the British rule, the town is also known for rich air with high oxygen levels and water with traces of hemoglobin increasing the iron levels.
The hill resort was founded by the British during their rule over India and was regarded as a summer resort. In 1860s, John Chesson, a superintendent was in charge of town. It was this superintendent who planted many different types of plants belonging to the western world such as silver oak and poinsettia.
- Sydney Point
This is the point famous for viewing the impressive waters of the Dhom Dam, Pandavgad, and Mandhardeo. It is located on a hill rock that is in the direction of the Krishna Valley.
- Table Land
This is the flat volcanic plateau located at 60 feet high and is made up of laterite rock. This is a piece of the Deccan Plateau, which were elevated due to the pressure amid the earth plates. Due to this, the land is prone to earthquakes with its epicenter near Koynanagar famous for the Koyna Dam and hydroelectric power plant. On the land, you can enjoy horse rides, hot American corn, small ride of the Giant Wheel and much more to this. However, for this, you need to explore the largest plateau for more entertainment. You can a scenic view of many caves from here, one of them being the Devil’s kitchen.
- Parsi Point
This is a splendid point famous for the Krishna valley and the blue glittering waters of the Dhom Dam. It comes on the way to the famous hill station, Mahabaleshwar that is only 18 km away from Panchgani.
- Devil’s Kitchen
This another worth seeing site is located at the south of the table land. A popular belief or myth holds that the Pandavas of the Mahabharata resided at this site for sometime and cooked food. It was these historic men who also are said to build the Pandavgad caves (near Wai).
- Ganesha Temple
This is the famous temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha (God of wisdom and prosperity) in Wai that is near to Panchgani .
- Rajpuri Caves and Kamalgad Fort
This is a must see place where there is a temple of Swami Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is located at a distance of 10 km and is famous for the local fair during the harvest season. Near this area, there is also a beautiful temple of the native Goddess, Ghatjal Devi.
- Pratapgad Fort
This is only 6 km from Panchgani and is must for a part of your visit; otherwise, your visit is incomplete. Built in 1656 by Shivaji, it is the spectator of the Maratha rebel and Afzal Khan. Other attractions include the temple of Goddess Bhavani (a form of divine Shakti) and the dargah of Afzal Khan.
This is the market that you can reach by walking downwards the hill and is famous for reasonable footwear (shoes and slippers) and preserves and squashes of strawberries and raspberries.
- Pony Riding
This is fun while you see the town by riding.
- Dhom Dam
This is a splendid boating spot situated 21 km away from Panchgani. You can have fun through speed and scooter boats. Another amazing scenic experience is sporting in the Krishna rivulet.
- Tuberculosis Sanitorium
This is famous medical site for treating TB patients. It is proved that patients recover at a fast rate due to the water and atmosphere of Panchgani. It was built in Dr. Rustomji Bomanji Billimoria in 1940s.
Days of Attraction
September to May is the preferable time to visit Panchgani.
By air, Pune is the nearest airport situated at a distance of 98 km.
By rail, Wathar is the nearest railhead.
By road, Panchgani is approximately 285 km, 100 km and 18 km from Mumbai, Pune, and Mahabaleshwar respectively.