By Rohit Sharma
Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar is the renowned twin hill stations of Mumbai in Satara district, Maharashtra. Both are not only famous as a hill station but it is also famous for the strawberry farms. Panchgani holds Strawberry Festival every year in summer and meanwhile Mahabaleshwar strawberry contributes to about 85 per cent of the total strawberry production in the country. Both hill stations are favourite tourist spot as well as for Mumbaikar with strong connectivity and infrastructure. Every year International paragliding festival is also held in Panchgani.
Panchgani is a Municipal Council city in Satara. The Panchgani city is divided into 17 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. Mahabaleshwar is governed by Mahabaleshwar Municipal Council. As per the 2011 census, the population of Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar was around 18,000.
A brief history of Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar:
Around the late 1860s, during the British Raj, Panchgani was discovered and it was developing a retirement place for the British because it remained pleasant throughout the year. To develop the infrastructure, various professional was asked to settle in Panchgani.
Panchgani is in the middle of five hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges. There are five villages around Panchgani named Dandeghar, Khingar, Godwali, Amral & Taighat.
In the middle of the 16th century, the Maratha family of Chandarao More became rulers of Javli and Mahabaleshwar, during which period the temple of Old Mahabaleshwar was rebuilt.
In the 17th century, Shivaji Maharaj took over Javli and Mahabaleshwar and constructed the Pratapgad fort in 1656.
Mahabaleshwar came into existence in the year 1829-30. In the 19th century, it had become a popular hill station.
The public transportation is good in Panchgani- Mahabaleshwar city. One can commute to Pune, Mumbai, Wai, Satara, as well as within in Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar.
BOUNDARIES:-Panchgani from major cities are Mumbai – 285 km, Pune – 100 km From Mahabaleshwar – 18 km, Satara – 45 km & Wai – 10 km.
BOUNDARIES:- Mahabaleshwar from major cities are 32 km from Wai, 260 km from Mumbai, 45km from Satara and 120 km from Pune.
Living in Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar:
Many film actors directors like Aamir Khan, Jackie Shroff, Urmila Matondkar, Asha Bhosle, late Dev Anand’s favourite destination for second home. International superstar Music Freddie Mercury did his schooling here.
Panchgani is known for its many boarding schools. They have attracted students from the nearby cities of Mumbai and Pune, and also from abroad. Some of the most famous school is Saint Peter’s boarding school and St. Joseph’s Convent School.
As per 2011 census, the literacy rate is Panchagani is 92.5% and Mahableshwar 90%.
There are several hospitals in Mahabaleshwar including Rural Hospital, Maurya Hospital, Nangal Cancer Hospital and many more. Various shopping location like Mapro Garden, Laxmi Farms, Imperial Store, Indo Kashmir Collection, Amit Supermarket, etc.
Development in Twin Hills:
The government of Maharashtra is actively supporting the tourism industry developing here. A Botanical Garden spread in 150 acres is coming soon ( 60% work is complete) which will become a very distinctive picnic point here.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is situated within a dense, green forest in the Satara district of Maharashtra. The protected forest area was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1985 by the government of India. It is spread over 200-300 km and handled by the Forest Department.
Maharashtra Govt has declared to start water aeroplanes on the backwater of Dhom Dam.
Real Estate in Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar:
This Region is very rapidly progressing keeping intact it’s the natural environment. The government with well-placed laws has put restrictions on illegal construction & mining. Hence, a real estate developer in this area takes care not to break the rules and regulations rightly put by the Government.
The farmland in main Mahabaleshwar is as costlier as 1 crore and as we go further from it the price get reduce. The average price of farmland outskirts of Mahabaleshwar is Rs 20-25 lakh per acre. Both the hill stations are also famous for second homes/holiday homes.
There are many unexplored but exotic spots, where land parcels available at fair rates where investors can invest in hospitality, adventure parks, schools, film studio etc.
Property is available at a wide range with an upward trend in prices. The price range from Rs 16 lakh to Rs 3.5 crore with an average price of 90 lakh. The floor price varies from 525 sq. ft to 87120 sq. ft (including plots).
Wai, Tapola, Bhilar, Satara road, Ruighar, etc are said to be the best location for property investment.
Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani is a good location to stay and invest. It is away from Mumbai and yet it is well-connected to the city. If one wants to stay connected to Mumbai, yet want a more affordable place, Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani is the best choice.