Visiting Panchgani, the land that has been featured in Bollywood movies, has always been on your bucket list. Now that you have a 3-day holiday, you can finally see that plan coming to life, but under a budget! Named after the five hills that surround it, this hill station is considered to be an ideal spot for a weekend getaway in Maharashtra. So, let's get to planning a three-day trip to Panchgani under INR 8,000.
Although Panchgani can be reached via both Pune and Mumbai, Pune is much closer to the hill station. The best way to travel to Panchgani is via Pune. Once you reach Pune, you can easily get to the hill station by road.
The distance from Pune by road is just about 100 km and it can be covered in about 2 hours by bus or car. Since you’re on a budget, taking a bus might be your best option. We suggest you opt for the state-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses to save money. The bus fare from Pune to Panchgani starts from as low as INR 230.
Hiring a cab or taxi is another option, but in order to stay within the budget, it’s best to skip this.
When it comes to accommodation, finding a place to crash within your budget in Panchgani can be tricky. The cheapest and most reliable options here can go up to INR 2,000. However, the prices keep changing depending on the dates. So, if you plan your trip smartly enough, you could avail of offers and snag an accommodation for as low as INR 1,000.
Zostel Plus Panchgani: This is a good option for accommodation among the affordable ones here. Made of repurposed shipping containers, this hostel guarantees amenities like free WiFi and parking. It’s located just 7 minutes away from the main town, which makes the hostel easily accessible as well.
Kalasita Farm Residency: This is another great option for affordable accommodation. This place offers free private parking and a garden. Moreover, they’re known to have neat and clean rooms. This hotel is also located about 7 minutes away from the main town.
Mount View Executive, The Valley Resort: Located just 5 minutes away from the main town, this resort has affordable rooms available. They also have laundry facilities, a children’s pool, and a garden. Breakfast is also available at a surcharge.
Pan Hill Hotel: This hotel is a great affordable option located just opposite the Panchgani bus stand. Along with clean rooms, they also offer free breakfast. If you don’t want to look for places to eat, the hotel also has a restaurant/coffee shop. They’ll provide travel assistance if you need it.
Also Read: Best Places To Visit In Panchgani
From cave exploration to trekking, Panchgani offers a lot of activities for its visitors.
Trek up to Tableland
Being the 2nd largest mountain plateau in Asia, Table land is the highest point of Panchgani. Your trip can start with a trek to this plateau to get a 360-degree view of the surrounding areas from One Tree Hill Point. A major attraction of this place is the Pandava's footsteps. It is believed that the footsteps of the Pandavas here have remained intact even after all these years.
Exploring this place will take about approximately 1-2 hours. So, if you plan accordingly, you can trek up in time for the sunrise. While there’s no entry fee to visit Tableland, if you want to experience cart rides or have snacks up here, separate charges will apply.
Relish fresh fruit juice with a view at Parsi Point
Named after the Parsi community, this is yet another place where you don’t need to pay any entry fee. From the Parsi point, you’ll get to experience one of the most beautiful views of the lush green mountains surrounding it. You’ll get to see the Krishna Valley as well as the Dhom Dham Lake from this point. Apart from enjoying the fresh air, don’t miss out on the fresh juices sold by the local vendors to gain a full experience of the place.
Explore the Rajpuri Caves
Believed to have provided shelter to the Pandavas during their exile, Rajpuri Caves are religiously significant. These four caves are surrounded by several ponds. It’s also believed that these ponds were used by Lord Karthikeya to perform holy rituals.
There’s also a temple here dedicated to Lord Karthikeya, which was made up of sand taken from the caves. If you’re planning the trip during the months of January to February, you can also take part in the Thaipooyam festivities here.
Get refreshed at Lingmala Waterfalls
Surrounded by rocky green mountains, Lingmala waterfalls are worth exploring if you’re a nature enthusiast. The waterfall is divided into two parts. The lower part has the mini waterfall and from there it’ll take you about 30 minutes to trek to the main waterfall, which is as high as 500 ft. It's best to go here with trekking shoes on, since the climb can be steep. The entry fee is INR 20 and if you’re carrying a camera, you’ll need to pay an extra INR 10.
Enjoy the beauty of the Kaas Plateau
Made from volcanic rocks, Kaas Plateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit place on your trip to Panchgani. It is known for housing several species of flowering plants and lakes that contribute to its natural beauty. It’s also a safe haven for several species of insects including butterflies.
Be mindful of the fact that the government has laid a limit of 3000 visitors per day in order to minimize the damage by tourists to the place. You can check the visitors count on the main website before heading to the plateau. You’ll also be charged INR 100 to visit the plateau, so plan your trip accordingly to make sure that your budget is not affected.
When in Panchgani, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot on food. It has a lot of places that people swear by that are affordable and also happen to offer tasty food. Depending on what you are craving at the time, be it café food, or authentic Maharashtrian food, Panchgani has it all.
For meals, we recommend you visit places like Hotel Samrat, where you can have multiple cuisines according to your preference. If that doesn’t sound interesting, you can go to Oregano - The Organic Pizza, where you’ll also find vegetarian and vegan options. For fast food items, you can go to the Chaurasiya Best Vada Pav which is famous for its vadas and bhajiyas.
Rustom’s Strawberry Inn is another place you cannot miss. This place serves authentic Parsi cuisine and is also famous for its strawberry with cream. Although Parsi food is mostly non-vegetarian, this place has great vegetarian options as well.
Now that we have provided you with the best guide to planning a three-day trip to Panchgani under a budget, it's time for you to take action. Leave all your worries at the plains and get packing, because hill stations call for a light load!
How Many Days Are Required To Cover Panchgani?
2 days are enough to cover all the major attractions of Panchgani. You can easily plan a weekend trip to the hill station if you live in Maharashtra.
How Far Is Mahabaleshwar From Panchgani?
By road, Mahabaleshwar is at a distance of 19 km (41 minutes). So, anyone visiting Panchgani can easily make their way to Mahabaleshwar as well, and vice versa.
Is Paragliding Open In Panchgani?
Yes, you can go paragliding in Panchgani. The price will depend on the type of paragliding and the operator you choose. Generally, the price range could be anywhere near INR 2,700. So, if you’re on a budget-friendly trip, it's best to save paragliding for another time.
Which Month Is Best For Panchgani?
Winter season is considered to be the best time to visit Panchgani. So, you can plan your trip during the months of September to February. March to May is also considered to be ideal for a Panchgani trip.
What Is The Cheapest Cab From Pune To Panchgani?
The cheapest cab ride starts from around INR 586 onwards. Make sure the cab services are reliable and check online for the best options before you book one.
Which Station Is Near Panchgani?
The nearest railhead to Panchgani is Satara. However, Pune station acts as the major point of contact for Panchgani since it's very well connected as compared to Satara.
How To Visit Panchgani?
The easiest way to travel to Panchgani is to get down at Pune station. From there you can easily avail cabs or buses to Panchgani according to your preference, since it is well connected to Pune by road.