Summers have become very hot here now, though. Till you are in the foothills of Panchgani- in a small called Wai- the heat is unbearable. It's as bad- or maybe even worse- than Mumbai. Only when you start climbing the ghats of Panchgani- the last of a total of four ghats on the way from Mumbai to Panchgani (Khandala, Poona, Khambatki and Wai ghats)- do you feel relief. But then, there are power cuts. On an average, we faced power cuts of about three to five hours daily. This is a shame. These are the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra, yet in this day and age, we face such stringent power cuts. Hotels have generators and inverters; they take pains to keep their guests happy and so the guests are taken care of. But what about the locals. Not everyone can afford generators or inverters. The entire central market place gets plunged into darkness after sunset sometimes, even during peak tourist season. Add to that an acute water shortage and you feel sorry for the locals who are left at the mercy of the crumbled infrastructure.
Still, all woes are forgotten because the place itself is so beautiful, that you somehow don't seem to mind all this. It's a charming little hill station and a must for those who love walking, cycling or even just relaxing. If you sit on the verandah and watch the scenery, mountains or valley, hours will pass by and you won't know. Panchgani and Mahableshwar are two places that I will continue to visit for years and years to come.