Arthurs Seat a famous viewpoint in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Maharashtra. The viewpoint offers a stunning view of the Savitri Valley and the surrounding hills. The viewpoint is also known as the Queen of all the points, as it is the only place where one can observe the geological contrast between the Deccan and Konkan regions. The viewpoint is named after Sir Arthur Malet, who used to sit here and mourn the loss of his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. Visit during Mahabaleshwar one day tour by cab
Arthurs Seat Location/ Timing and Entry Fees
The viewpoint is located about 13 km from the Mahabaleshwar bus stand and market. It is easily accessible by road from Pune (120 km) and Mumbai (260 km). The nearest railway station is Satara (60 km) and the nearest airport is Pune (120 km).
The viewpoint is open for visitors from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the viewpoint. However, visitors have to pay for parking and other facilities at the viewpoint.
How to Reach Arthurs Seat
There are various modes of transport available to reach Arthurs Seat from different parts of Maharashtra and India. Some of the options are:
- By Bus: There are regular state-run and private buses that connect Mahabaleshwar with Pune, Mumbai and other nearby cities. The bus fare ranges from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 depending on the type of bus and the distance.
- By Car: One can also drive to Mahabaleshwar by car via NH 48 or NH 66. The road journey takes about 3 to 4 hours from Pune and about 5 to 6 hours from Mumbai. The toll charges are around Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 for a round trip.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Mahabaleshwar is Satara, which is well-connected with major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. From Satara, one can take a bus or a taxi to Mahabaleshwar, which takes about an hour and costs around Rs. 100 to Rs. 200.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Pune, which has domestic flights from various cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. From Pune airport, one can take a bus or a taxi to Mahabaleshwar, which takes about 2 to 3 hours and costs around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000.
Things to Do/Must See Arthurs Seat
Arthurs Seat is not only a place of scenic beauty but also a place of historical and cultural significance. There are many things to do and see in and around the viewpoint complex, such as:
- Witnessing the breathtaking view of the Savitri Valley and the surrounding hills from the viewpoint. The viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the valley that changes its colors according to the seasons and the time of the day.
- Observing the geological contrast between the Deccan and Konkan regions from the viewpoint. The viewpoint is situated at an elevation of 1470 meters above sea level and is the only place where one can see the difference between the two regions. The Deccan region has reddish soil while the Konkan region has greenish soil.
- Learning about the history and legend behind the viewpoint. The viewpoint is named after Sir Arthur Malet, who was a British officer in India in the 19th century. He lost his wife and daughter in a ferry accident in the Savitri River. He used to sit at this place every day and mourn their death. Hence, the place came to be known as Arthur’s Seat.
- Exploring other attractions near the viewpoint, such as:
- Tiger Spring: A natural spring that provides fresh water to visitors.
- Monkey Point: A point where one can see monkeys playing around
- Echo Point: A point where one can hear their own voice echoing back
Significance of Arthurs Seat
Arthurs Seat is one of the most significant and iconic landmarks of Edinburgh, as it offers a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. The viewpoint is also a place of historical and cultural interest, as it has various legends and stories associated with it. Some of the significance of Arthurs Seat are:
- It is believed to be the site of Camelot, the legendary castle of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. The name Arthur’s Seat may have derived from this association or from the Gaelic expression Àrd-na-Said, meaning “Height of Arrows”.
- It is an ancient volcano that was formed about 350 million years ago and is part of the Arthurs Seat Volcano site of special scientific interest, which protects its important geology, grassland habitats and uncommon plant and animal species .
- It is a place of spiritual significance for various groups and religions. For example, it is where the nation of Scotland was dedicated in 1840 “for the preaching of the gospel” by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is also where young women wash their face in the dew on May Day to gain eternal beauty according to an old tradition.
- It is a place of inspiration and creativity for many writers and artists. For example, Robert Louis Stevenson described it as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design” in his essay Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes. J.K. Rowling also used it as a reference for her Harry Potter series.
Q: How far is Arthurs Seat from Edinburgh city centre?
A: Arthurs Seat is about 3 km from Edinburgh city centre. It takes about 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus to reach the viewpoint.
Q: What are the timings of Arthurs Seat?
A: Arthurs Seat is open for visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, it is advisable to visit during daylight hours for safety reasons.
Q: Is there any entry fee for Arthur’s Seat?
A: There is no entry fee for visiting Arthur’s Seat. However, visitors have to pay for parking and other facilities at the viewpoint.
Q: What are the things to do at Arthur’s Seat?
A: There are many things to do at Arthur’s Seat, such as:
Hiking: Enjoy hiking on the various trails that lead to the summit and admire the scenic views along the way. The trails vary in difficulty and length, so choose according to your preference and ability.
Photography: Capture some stunning photos of the cityscape and the landscape from the viewpoint. You can also take selfies with the iconic hill as your backdrop.
Learning: Learn about the history and legend behind the viewpoint from the information boards and plaques that are installed at various points. You can also join guided tours and walks that are organized by local groups and organizations.
Exploring: Explore other attractions near the viewpoint, such as: Salisbury Crags: A series of cliffs that offer rock climbing opportunities and views of Edinburgh Castle.
Holyrood Park: A royal park that covers 650 acres of land and has various features like lochs, hills, ruins and monuments.
Duddingston Loch: A natural loch that is home to various birds and wildlife.
Q: What is the best time to visit Arthur’s Seat?
A: The best time to visit Arthur’s Seat is during spring or autumn when the weather is pleasant and the surroundings are colorful. However, one can visit Arthur’s Seat throughout the year as it has a different charm in each season.
Arthur’s Seat is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and charm of Edinburgh from a different perspective. The viewpoint is a perfect place for nature lovers, history buffs, adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts who will find something to enjoy at this magnificent hill. Whether you are looking for a relaxing stroll, a challenging hike or a memorable photo opportunity, you will find it at Arthur’s Seat.