Discovered and developed by the British back in 1886, scenic Panchgani is pleasant throughout the year. Panchgani is a beautiful hill resort, 244.3 kilometers from Mumbai. It is just 4 and a half hour by road. At 101.4 kilometers, Pune is even closer. From Mumbai to Panchgani you can either take the NH 17 or take the route via Pune. It will be slightly longer, however the road condition is better, thus ensuring a shorter driving time. Your ride will be more pleasant too.
Panchgani has over the years, emerged as a favorite weekend getaway for city dwellers from Mumbai and Pune. You can visit Panchgani anytime, especially the summer and even during the winter, as it never gets too cold here. The monsoon is particularly beautiful here, up in the hills of the Western Ghats.
The British developed it as a summer resort to get away from the sweltering heat and humidity of the plains. The British also wanted to create a place where their officers could retire to and lead a peaceful life. John Chesson, a superintendant, planted many trees, including poinsettia, and the silver oak to give Panchgani its green cover. These trees from the western world has since then flourished here. Chesson named the place after 5 villages in the area – Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. “Panch” meaning “five”. Gani represents a settlement or an area.
This all-season hill station with an elevation of 1305 meters is located 18 kilometers east of Mahabaleswar on the Mhabaleswar-Wahi road in Satara district of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Tourist Attractions in Panchgani
Sydney Point, situated on a hillock at a distance of 2 kilometer from the Panchgani Bus station. It faces the Krishna valley and offers panoramic views of the nearby regions, especially the rippling waters of the Dhom Dam.
Table Land is an enormous expanse of laterite rock. It is considered as the second largest mountain plateau in Asia. Some of the caves that are known as the Devil’s Kitchen can be viewed from here.
Devil’s Kitchen consists of several caves that are situated at the southern part of the Table Land where the Pandavas (Mahabharata epic characters) are believed to have lived for sometime.
Parsi Point is a scenic spot on way to Mahabaleswar. It also commands a grand view of the nearby region.
Mapro Garden, famous for Mapro Food Products and located on way to Mahabaleswar from Pancgani is a ‘must see’ site for tourists. You can buy factory fresh jams, jellies, syrups and other confectionery items here.
Adventure Sports in Panchgani
Panchgani is also an adventure sports destination. You can do parasailing here throughout the year, except for a small break during the monsoon. Hiking is another option. There are many trekking and hiking routes you can choose from, including one that leads to an old abandoned fort where the legendary Maratha warrior Shivaji once had his garrisons.
There are many hotels, resorts, guesthouses and B/Bs at Panchgani that offer boarding and lodging at competitive price.