Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Panchgani Hill Station | Panchgani

Panchgani Hill Station | Panchgani

Panchgani is a town and municipal council in Sātārā district in Mahārāshtra, India. Snuggled in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, Panchgani is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Maharashtra. It makes a nice excursion from the jostling city of Mumbai. This 6-hour journey will never let you get bored, especially when Krishna River will accompany you throughout the way. Formerly the British used to come here in an attempt to breathe fresh air and gulp water rich in iron. Panchgani is a startling hill resort of India, which still retains the signs of the British influence over the region.

How to Reach at Panchgani:

By Air:

The closest airport is at Pune, 98 kms from Panchgani. Pune is well connected to Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore through many well known airlines. After getting off at the Pune airport you can hire a taxi to Panchgani which will cost you about Rs 2000. Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport is also closely located to Panchgani.

By Rail:

The nearest railhead is at Wathar, located at distance of 45 km. The Pune railhead is well connected with major cities and is about about 100 km away from Panchgani. Get off at either of the above mentioned railway stations and hire a taxi to Panchagani, which will cost you Rs 2000.

By Road:

Panchgani is well connected by road to Mumbai, Pune and all other cities in Mahrashtra. Regular buses ply from Pune, Satara, Mahabaleshwar and and Mahad to Panchgani through State Road Transport System.

If you wish to drive down to Panchgani from the nearby cities of Maharashtra then just hire a car and hit the road because the drive is scenic. The travelling distance Pune and Panchgani is 98 kms, Mumbai and Panchgani via Pune is 270 kms, and Mumbai and Panchgani via Mahad is 260 kms.

Getting Around:

Panchgani has private taxis and public transportation. For the fun loving who want to discover Panchgani differently, there are bicycles to rent, horses to ride and plenty of trekking and walking.

Fast Fact of Panchgani:

17°55′N 73°49′E
1,293 metres (4,242 ft)
Best Time to Visit Panchgani:
October to May
Table land, Parsi point, Sydney point
265 kms from Mumbai, Near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra

Weather Forecast Panchgani:

Geography and climate of Panchgani:

Panchgani is nestled at middle of five hills in the Sahyādri mountain ranges,also there are five villages around the Pachgani are Dandeghar,Khingar,Godwali, Amral & Taighat .The Krishnā River flows nearby which made the lake of Dhom dam on the Krishna 9 K.M. from Wai. BOUNDARIES:- Panchgani is situated about 285 km, 100 km 18 km,45 km & 10 respectively, from Mumbai, Pune Mahābāleshwar Satara & Wai. The east of the Pachgani is Wai, Bavdhan & Nagewadi dam, at west there is Gureghar,at south is Khingar & Rajpuri,& on north is Dhom Dam.

The temperature in Panchgani is around 12C during the winter, and sometimes reaches 34C during the summer; however the humidity level is very low. The Monsoon rains hit here hardest and the rainy season spans between June and February, allowing the region three months of relatively dry and sunny spring.

The five hills surrounding Panchgani are topped by a volcanic plateau, which is the second highest in Asia after the Tibetan plateau. These plateaus, alternatively known as "table land", are a part of the Deccan Plateau and they were raised by pressure between the earth plates. The area has high seismic activity, with an epicenter near Koynānagar where the Koynanagar Dam and a hydroelectric power plant have been built.

Demographics of Panchgani:

According to 2001 census in India, Panchgani then had a population of 13,280. Males constituted 57% of the population, and females, 43%. Literacy in Panchgani was 82%, (which is higher than the national average of 65%), male and female literacy being 87% and 75%, respectively. As of 2001, 9% of the population was under 6 years of age.

Panchgani Tourism:

Sydney Point:

This point is situated on a hillock facing the Krishna Valley. One can see from here the glittering waters of the Dhom Dam, and Pāndavgad and Mandhārdeo. Sydney point is about 2 Km from Panchgani Bus stand.

Table Land:

This flat large expanse of laterite rock is the second longest mountain plateau in Asia. Some spacious caves including the “Devil's Kitchen” are visible from here.

Parsi Point:

This scenic point is situated on the way to Mahabaleshwar, and overlooks the Krishna valley and the blue shiny waters of the Dhom Dam.

Devil's Kitchen:

Situated at the south of the table land, the Devil's Kitchen has a mythology associated with it: It is believed that the Pāndavas of the Mahābhārat epic had stayed here for a while. Pāndavgad Caves (near Wāi) are also said to be built by them then.

Mapro Garden:

Situated on the curvaceous roads between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, it is easily accessible by buses originating both from Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. A haven for tourists hungry for strawberry delicacies as well as factory fresh items like jams, syrups squashes and confectionery items by Mapro Foods Pvt Ltd.

General information about Panchgani:

Panchgani attracts many tourists throughout the year. A well-known Ganesh Temple is located close by in Wai.

Panchgani's famous 'table land' has been the location for many Indian Movies, recently the location for the acclaimed movie "Taare Zameen Par".(Agent Vinod which will come very soon)

One Dr. Rustomji Bomanji Billimoria set up a tuberculosis sanatorium in Panchgani in the 1940s. (The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan Award in 1961.) Panchgani has grown in popularity as a convalescence center.

In recent times, Panchgani has been facing ecological problems because of poorly controlled commercial activities, excessive traffic, and temperature inversion[citation needed] (because of humidity) from the new dams which have been built in the vicinity for water storage.

Panchgani was originally settled by retired Britishers, but since it was pleasant throughout the year, others also settled there. a number of attempts to start schools were made in the 19th century. In the 1890s The Kimmins School was started for European boys and girls. In 1902, the boys section separated to become The European Boys High School, now known as St. Peter's High School, And Kimmins became an exclusively girls school. Also in the 1890s, one or two years after Kimmins was started, the Roman Catholic Order of nuns known as Daughters of The Cross started The St. Joseph's Convent Girls High School. All three boarding schools were modelled on the English Public Schools of that time, and were affiliated to Cambridge University. The Board exams would be held in December, the question papers being sent from England by sea. The answer papers sent back by sea to England, and the results declared some time in June.

Shortly afterward, other communities started their own schools. These prepared students for the Matriculation examination of the Bombay Presidency. The Parsi School, the first of these schools, later became the Billimoria School. The Muslim School became the Union High School, and is now known as Anjuman School. Both these schools were modelled on the English Public Schools. In between was started the Hindu High School, now known as the Sanjeevan Vidhyalaya. This was modelled on Rabindranath Tagore's Santiniketan. A retired teacher from the Parsi High School, Mr. S. M. Batha started his own Batha School, which is still running well. In the 1950s the newly settled Bahai community started their own little Bahai School, which was renamed the New Era School. It remained insignificant among the other schools till about thirty years, when it began expanding. Now, New Era School is probably the biggest school in Panchgani.

The high standards maintained by these schools encouraged others to set up schools as commercial ventures. As a result the number of schools in Panchgani is almost forty. Some are very good. Some not so good. but all appear to be thriving.

The fresh air and invigorating climate of Panchgani made it a good place for convalescence, especially for those suffering from tuberculosis. Thus Panchgani became famous as a health resort. A well known TB specialist from Bombay, Dr. Rustom Billimoria set up the Bel Air Sanatorium, also known as Dalkieth as a centre for the treatment of Tuberculosis, with the help of his son, Dr. Bomy Billimoria, an eminent surgeon. Till the advent of antibiotics, Dalkieth was the premier place for the treatment of tuberculosis in the whole of the Bombay Presidency.

Till the 1980s, Panchgani was almost entirely an educational centre and a health resort, with only the overflow of tourists from Mahabaleshwar coming. Now the whole picture has changed, and Panchgani is booming for better or for worse. Along with the prosperity for its people has come ecological degradation.

Boarding Schools in Panchgani:

Panchgani is known for its many boarding schools established since the late 19th century. They attract students from the nearby cities of Mumbai and Pune, and also from abroad. There are now more than thirty boarding schools in Panchgani:

  • Anjuman-E-Islam (Phone: 240315)
  • Anjuman-E-Islam (S.S.C) (Phone: 240249)
  • Arham Jain Vidyalaya (Phone: 240492)
  • Bharatiya Vidyapeeth God's Valley International School (Phone: 240582, 240583)
  • Billimoria High School (Phone: 240314, 240910)
  • Cambridge High School (Phone: 240519)
  • Codesh High School (Phone: 240668)
  • Dawn Academy (Phone: 240390, 240412)
  • Fidai Academy
  • Godevli Education Society (Phone: 240224)
  • Happy Hours High School (Phone: 240386/240086)
  • Hill Range High School (Phone: 240532)
  • Kimmins High School (Phone: 240324)
  • Mahatma Phule Vidya Mandir (Phone: 240377)
  • Mahatma Phule Vidya Junior College (Phone: 240677)
  • Marathwada Gurukul Hostel (Phone: 240010)
  • New Era High School (Phone: 243221, 243200)
  • Oaks High School (Phone: 240395)
  • Panchgani International School (Phone: 240973, 240551, 241449)
  • Pinewoods International High School (Phone: 240900, 240901, 240902, 240290, 240570, 240590, 240903, 240904, 240905)
  • SM Batha High School (Phone: 240205)
  • Sanjeewan Vidyalaya (Phone: 240287, 240307)
  • Scholars Foundation High School (Phone: 240399)
  • Shalom International High School (Phone: 240201)
  • Silverdale High School (Phone: 240638, 241850)
  • Sweet Memories High School and Junior College (Phone: 2403996, 240496, 240596)
  • St. Joseph's Convent (Phone: 240323)
  • St. Peter's School (Phone: 241584, 240313)
  • St. Paul's Hostel (Phone: 240454)
  • St. Xavier's High School (Phone: 240955)
  • Tender Care (Phone: 240095, 240096)
  • Vidya Niketan High School (Phone: 240591)

History of Panchgani:

Scenic Panchgani was discovered by the British during the British Raj as a summer resort, and a superintendent named John Chesson was placed in charge of the hill station in the 1860s. He is credited with planting many plant species from the western world in Panchgani, including silver oak and poinsettia, which have flourished since then in Panchgani. Correction to the above. Mahabaleshwar was the summer resort of choice for the British, but it was uninhabitable during the monsoons. Panchgani was developed as a retirement place for the British because it remained pleasant throughout the year. John Chesson was deputed to find a suitable place. He surveyed the hills in this region in the company of one Mr Rustomji Dubash, Father of Sohrab, Gool, Meher, Adi & Pesi Dubash (Grandfather of Kashmira, Afriz, Xerxes, Farhad and Rustom P.Dubash {Children of Pesi & Thrity Dubash) & Rustom S. Dubash {son of Sohrab & Piloo Dubash} also Grandfather to Jimmy & Rustam Mehta {Sons of Gool and Jehangir Mehta, Grandfather to Yasmin {daughter of Sohrab Dubash}, Darius and Navroze Contractor{sons of Russi and Meher Contractor} ) and finally decided on this nameless area in the vicinity of the five villages:Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. The place was aptly named Panchgani, and Chesson was made Superintendent. To develop the infrastructure, Chesson encouraged various professionals - tailors, dhobis, butchers,vegetable vendors, building contractors etc. to also settle in Panchgani. The area below the bazaar was allotted to them, and is known as the gaothan. Chesson is buried in the St. Peter's Church graveyard. In 1971 or '72, his death centenary was observed in a big way when for the first time, the town folk and the schools participated together in a ceremony to remember the founder of Panchgani.

Panchgani Hotels and Resorts:

Panchgani being one of the important travel destinations and also a centre for paragliding there are many hotels and resorts offering accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury.

Panchgani Hotels:

  • Lords' Panchgani
  • Hotel Mount Castle
  • Blue Country Resort
  • Comfort Inn Dhanhills
  • Hotel Millennium Park
  • Hotel Ravine
  • Mount View Hotel
  • IL Palazzo Hotel
  • Hotel Prospect
  • White House

Resorts in Panchgani:

  • Sai Palace Resort
  • Wonder Woods Resort
  • Ridhi Bungalow Panchgani
  • Animish Bungalow Panchgani
  • Umbrella inn Panchgani
  • Belscot Panchgani
  • Adventure Resort in Panchgani

Map of Panchgani:

Panchgani Pictures:

Panchgani Hill Station | Panchgani |How to Reach at Panchgani | Best Time to Visit Panchgani | Weather Forecast Panchgani | Geography and climate of Panchgani | Panchgani Tourism | Sydney Point | Table Land | Parsi Point | Devil's Kitchen | Mapro Garden | General information about Panchgani | Boarding Schools in Panchgani | Panchgani Hotels and Resorts | Panchgani Hotels | Resorts in Panchgani | Map of Panchgani | Panchgani Pictures