No one would deny the fact that Maharashtra is the home of many breathtaking cities; one such uplifting city is Mahabaleshwar. My family and I have visited this city each year, and we have come back with a boatload of goodies and memories every time.
Although everyone in my family knows how to drive, we prefer to book a reliable Pune to Mahabaleshwar cab for the sheer convenience of a local driver so we can enjoy the scenic route. It takes us a little more than 3 hours to travel from Pune to Mahabaleshwar via NH48, but this 120 km is worth it.
The beginning of a tradition
Before the Strawberry Festival was introduced four years back, we usually visited sightseeing locations like Kate’s Point, Chinaman’s Falls, and Arthur’s Seat. However, we couldn’t turn back once we started going to the Strawberry Festival. Whether we visit other places in Mahabaleshwar or not, we make sure to visit the Strawberry Festival and suggest our mutuals to do the same.
If you love strawberries and their delicacies, take some time between December to April and plan a trip to Mahabaleshwar. Each year, we travel on the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani Road and the Mahabaleshwar-Tapola Road to buy juicy and fresh strawberries. The rich flavor of the strawberries plucked directly from the farms is exquisite.
A late cab and a tasty memory
I remember attending the first Strawberry Festival with my family four years back. We would not even have attended it if our cab was not late. The roads were full of savory scents of ripe strawberries, but there weren’t a lot of people to enjoy it.
Now, thousands of people from all across the nation attend this festival. We can eat as many strawberries as we like for free! Around 250 farmers participate in this festival to earn some money and open their farms for tourists to visit.
Too many dishes to explore
Not only strawberries, but also we devour many other strawberry-based dishes like strawberry pizzas, chocolate-dipped strawberries, strawberry bhel, and strawberry sandwiches. Moreover, I always have seasonal fruit salads and milkshakes and purchase strawberry jams and squashes to make the blissful feeling last all year.
More cultural explorations
We try our best to cover and enjoy as many events and places as we can while strolling in the festival. Once our stomachs get full after eating all these delectable dishes, we sit back and enjoy the foot-tapping traditional folk performances of Pratapgarh dancers using dhol and lezim. The cultural beauty of Mahabaleshwar is at its peak during the Strawberry Festival, and missing it would be a huge loss.
As a tattoo enthusiast, I surely visit the Mehendi and watercolor stalls to get unique and eye-catching designs on my hands and arms. Who would not want a temporary tattoo in a culture-driven place free of cost?
Once we are satisfied with the Strawberry Festival visit, we march to the next spots to get a break from stuffing our tummies with strawberries.
Our other sweet spots
The next go-to spot we visit is Venna Lake, a surprisingly-beautiful artificial lake. It is the best place for kids as it has fun activities like:
- Paddle boats
- Fair games, like merry-go-rounds
For the best view, we visit Kate’s Point. Fun-seekers like my family take their pictures there, where you look like you’re posing above an elephant’s head.
After visiting 2 or 3 more places, we book a ride using our trusted cab booking app and take a 3-hour nap as we reach our home back in Pune.