The view from the top

weekend getaway
Last Updated 09 June 2012, 12:29 IST

Panchgani promises tourists a short and pleasant holiday. It is a beautiful hill station in Maharashtra that can be explored any time of the year.

The moment one reaches Panchgani, one realises how different it is from the other hill towns on the northern Himalayan belt. The atmosphere is calm here and the most fascinating part lies in its engrossing picnic spots.

It is a region of five mountains situated at an altitude of 1,234 m. The most popular picnic spot that captured our attention was the Table Land — Asia’s second largest igneous rock plateau.

From here, one can view the natural beauties of mysterious valleys, cultivated fields and sweeping rivers. An enjoyable drive through the wooded forest trail was another exciting part of our holiday in Panchgani.

From here, we headed towards Devil’s Cave, which is also popularly known as Ghulavi Cave. It is a remarkable place as it is believed that the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame cooked food here during their exile. It is said that there are footprints of Pandavas on this plateau.

Parsi Point, Rajpuri Caves and Sydney Point are some other interesting locales here, which one should not skip while visiting Panchgani. Parsi Point offers spectacular views deep beyond the ravine whereas the Rajpuri Caves are popular for three kunds that together form Prayag Triveni.

Monsoon is the season to visit Panchgani. This is the time when the town is at its quietest — not too many tourists, only gentle rains and mist.

And when the sky is clear, one gets to witness a breathtaking sunset. Sydney Point is a perfect location to the catch a beautiful sunset. It is indeed a splendid sight!

This is not all. Panchgani has more to offer. Even when travelling by road, the magic of the hills captivates you. A common sight beside the roads is that of wild birds, providing you with pretty pictures.

An excursion from Panchgani leads to Tapola Valley — a place of adventure and spell-binding sights. Tapola is also considered by its inhabitants as mini Kashmir of sorts because of the rivers, Koyna and Solshi, flowing in this beautiful region.

One can also indulge in a variety of water sports here. Panchgani is undoubtedly a majestic locale embedded with adventure, captivating views and green locales.

(Published 09 June 2012, 12:29 IST)

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