The hill-station is the twin of Mahabaleshwar which is a few kilometres away. Both Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Panchgani is around 245 kms away which is around five hours drive from Mumbai and 100 kms away from Pune that is a two hours drive.
The best way to get to Panchgani is by road as there is no direct air or rail connection. Pune airport is the closest. Taking a bus is the most economical way from either Mumbai or Pune. There are many buses that ply. For internal travel hiring a vehicle is the best.
Panchgani is well known for its boarding schools and tuberculosis hospital. A summer resort for the British, this hill station has silver oak and poinsettia that flourish all over. Unlike Mahabaleshwar which is not so pleasant in the monsoon, Panchgani is a place where one can visit all year round.
The place gets its name from the five villages that surround it – Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. It is surrounded also by five hills of the Sahyadri range. Panchgani was founded by John Chesson who was the hill-station’s first superintendent and worked to develop it as a retirement home for British officials.
The River Krishna flows nearby which adds to the charm of the hill-station. There is a volcanic plateau which is Asia’s second-largest after the Tibet plateau. It is called Tableland which is part of the Deccan Plateau. There are caves below it known as Devil’s Kitchen which is said to be a place where the Pandavas stayed during their time away from their kingdom.
There are a number of scenic points all around Panchgani like Sydney Point which faces the Krishna Valley from where the Dhom Dam can be seen. The hill-station is home to Mala Fruit Products which makes jams. Mapro Garden is also located between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. There are a number of strawberry farms around where people can see and handpick the fruit. Mulberries are also grown around. A special strawberry festival is held during summers.
A number of camps, homestays and hotels are available for people to stay. The food available is Maharashtrian with vada pav, misal pav. Spicy non-vegetarian food is also very tasty in Panchgani. There are many food options available.
The temperature in Panchgani is around 10 degrees Celsius in winters and reaches around 35 degrees Celsius in summers. The humidity is low. There are rains from June to September. The hill station is good for a visit all year round and is a perfect retreat for those seeing solace from the stress of city life.
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