Satara

Satara is a district of Maharashtra in the western part of India. The district of Pune bounds it to the north, Raigad bounds it to the North-West, Solapur the east, Sangli to the south, and Ratnagiri to the west. The city gets the name from Seven-forts(Sat-Tara) which are close to the city. The Sahyadri range, or main range of the Western Ghats, runs north and south along the western edge of the district, separating it from Ratnagiri District. The Mahadeo range starts about 10 m. north of Mahabaleshwar and stretches east and south-east across the whole of the district. The Mahadeo hills are bold, presenting bare scraps of black rock like fortresses. Satara district is part of two main watersheds. The Bhima River watershed, which is a tributary of the Krishna, includes the north and northeast of the district, north of the Mahadeo hills. The rest of the district is drained by the upper Krishna and its tributaries. The hill forests have a large store of timber and firewood. Satara district falls within the Deccan Traps area; the hills consist of trap intersected by strata of basalt and topped with laterite, while, of the different soils on the plains, the commonest is the black loamy clay containing carbonate of lime. This soil, when well watered, is capable of yielding heavy crops. Agriculture is the main source of the economy here. The climate ranges from 20-30° C. Marathi is the native and most widely spoken language, although English, Kannada and Gujarati are also spoken.

History: Historical inscriptions as old as 200 BCE indicate the oldest known place in Satara district in Maharashtra is Karad (mentioned as Karhakada). It is also believed that the Pandavas stayed in Wai, then known as ‘Viratnagari’, in the 13th year of exile. Satara District can be proud of the oldest Rashtrakuta history. The empire of Chandragupta II, known as Mahendraditya Kumargupta I, extended as far as Satara district in Deccan when he ruled between 451 AD to 455 AD. The Mauryan empire in the Deccan was followed by the rule of the “Satvahanas” for about two centuries between 550 A.D. to 750 AD. The first Muslim invasion of the Deccan took place in 1296. In 1636 the Nizam Shahi dynasty came to an end. In 1663 Shivaji conquered Parali and won Satara fort. After the death of Shivaji, Aurangjeb conquered Satara fort, later won by Parshuram Pratinidhi in 1706. In 1708 Chattrapati Shahu was crowned within the Satara fort. The direct descendents of Shivaji continue to live in Satara. After their victory in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, the British Empire annexed most of the Maratha territory to Bombay Presidency, but restored the titular Raja Pratap Singh, and assigned to him the principality of Satara, an area much larger than the present district. As a result of political intrigues, Pratap Singh was deposed in 1839, and his brother Shahji Raja was placed on the throne. When this prince died without a male heir in 1848, Satara was annexed by the British government and added to Bombay Presidency. *(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: The nearest airport to Satara is the Pune International Airport (approximately 180 km) which is well connected to major cities across India.

Rail: Satara railway station lies on the Pune-Miraj line of the Central Railways and is administered by the Pune Railway Division. The railway station is located a small distance east of the city and is served by several express trains.

Road: National Highway 4 running between Mumbai and Chennai passes through Satara. A bypass was constructed in the 1990s to avoid traffic congestion. State Highway 58 connects Satara with Mahabaleshwar and Solapur. State transport and other private travels run buses from Satara to other major cities.

Local: Auto rickshaws and taxis are available for transportation within the city. There are several travel agents and tour operators providing vehicles for sight seeing.

Tourist interest:

Kaas Plateau and Lake: Kaas plateau is a plateau located near Satara. It is situated high hill plateaus and grasslands turns into a ‘valley of flowers’ during monsoon season, in the month of August. Kaas Plateau has more than 150 or more types of flowers, shrubs and grasses. The orchids bloom here for a period of 3–4 weeks during this season. It has been declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). Kaas lake is an artificial lake built to preserve rain water.

Thosegarh Waterfalls: This is a scenic spot located near the small village of Thoseghar, 20 km from Satara city, at the edge of the Konkan region, in Western India. There are a series of waterfalls, some of them 15 to 20 metres and one of 500 metres in height.

Chalkewadi Windmill Farms: Thousands of windmills spread across a vast area is a beautiful place to visit during the monsoons.

Panchgani: This is a famous hill station in this district. Panchgani is nestled at middle of five hills in the Sahyadri 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 km from Wai.

Mahabaleshwar: This is another famous hill station near Panchgani. Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau bound by valleys on all sides. Mahabaleshwar is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. Legend has it that Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the Trimurtis by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyna are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. An interesting thing to notice is that 4 other rivers come out from the cow’s mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna. These rivers are the Koyna, Venna (Veni), Savitri, and Gayatri.

Sajjangarh Fort: Sajjangad meaning Fort of Good People, is located near the city of Satara, India. It is the final resting place of Sant Ramdas in 17th century India (born 1608). His teachings and works written in books such as Dasbodh are read and followed by many people even today in the state of Maharashtra and Sajjangad is a popular place of pilgrimage.

Ajinkyatara Fort: Ajinkyatara meaning the Impregnable Star, is a fort on one of the seven mountains surrounding the city of Satara in the Sahayadri Mountains of Maharashtra, India. It is a 16th Century fort and now also holds the television tower for the city of Satara. This fort has been the place where several pivotal moments in Maratha history took place.

Koynanagar: This is another favourite tourist destination. It is situated on the Chiplun-Sangli state highway on the banks of Koyna River. The town is small but famous for Koyna Dam and the Koyna Hydroelectric Project which is the largest completed hydroelectric project of India.

The other places of interest are Shivsagar Lake, Mankeshwar Temple, Mandher Devi Temple.

Tour Planner:

This tour planner is made on the basis of the location of the destinations. One can make changes as per their interest, convenience and accessibility and duration of the trip. One can also plan a trip to Satara making Pune as the travel base.

Day 1: The Kaas, Thosegarh and Chalkewadi farms can be covered in a day trip.

Day 2 to 4: Two days are required to cover all the main attraction in Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, making night halt at any of the desired location.

Day 5: Koynanagar

Day 6: The other places in Satara

Hotels: Online booking is preferable for discounts in tariff. Hotels in Panchgani are Panchgani Guest House, Royalle Villas, Valley View Residency, Girija Resort, Hotel Aishwariya, Hotel Millenium Park and many other. Hotels in Mahabaleshwar are Hotel J’s Excellency, Hotel King Garden, Bella Vista Resort, Laxmi Residency, Hotel PuskarajHotel King Garden and many other. Hotels in Satara are Hotel Sai Raja, Hotel Shreeman, Nivant Hill Resort, Hotel Mahendra Executive and many other.

Read My Journey to Satara.

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