We have been planning a few places to visit for the New Year and finally zeroed in onto Mahabaleshwar/Panchagni. We hired out a van for our group of eight people and started out around 2 AM from Pune. Our initial break was a few kilometers before Mahabaleswar for a quick morning breakfast. We reached Mahabaleswar around 10 AM. A few of the places we had sighted before lunch were the viewpoint, temples and strawberry orchards. After lunch towards evening we had a little boating in Venna Lake and started back to Pune to reach the city around 11 PM.
We did have an interesting experience en route with a traffic cop asking bribe in a unique fashion — ‘Police Tax’. The picture of the cop and the name board near him showing the various tariffs are indicated here. A report also has been sent to the state administration.