Panchgani: The town in India where ‘Queen’ lead singer Freddie Mercury was schooled

We have a million reasons as to why you need a break but this post will have you hit the highway right away! This blog post is for all you fans of Freddie Mercury, ‘Bohemian

We have a million reasons as to why you need a break but this post will have you hit the highway right away!

This blog post is for all you fans of Freddie Mercury, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody ‘ just hit the screens and that’s when we decided that why not write down a little about this beautiful town that Freddie Mercury grew up in! Yes! He was schooled in India in a beautiful hilly town tucked in Maharashtra, Panchgani.

Here are some travel tips if you do plan on visiting this beautiful place and paying a tribute to the ‘Queen’ lead singer Freddie Mercury!

We were nearing the end of May when we decided that it was time to take a break and that’s when we started to frantically look for ‘Places to visit near Mumbai’ on Google. As expected we saw a litany of places that were being mass replicated and put up on every website! And that is when Gavin had the most brilliant idea! He suggested we visit Panchgani, a town he practically grew up in and hadn’t been to in over 12 years!

We were in luck as we landed a great deal on our accommodation on Goibibo and in no time we were on a bus heading to the town that will remind you of every Ruskin Bond book you’ve ever read!

5 reasons why you MUST visit Panchgani

  1. The Balmy Weather and Clean Streets


Panchgani was a British favorite before it became ours. The perfect blend of hot and cold had British officers running to the hills during summers, a lot of them even stayed back and married locals, thus giving this little town the little English style cottages and sprawling lawns. Oh! You can spend an entire day just walking by these cottages, taking in all that’s left of the colonial era! The weather is incredible and it will definitely be ‘A Walk to Remember’.

Tip: If your relationship has been on a burner lately we suggest you and your so head out to Panchgani to get a dose of fresh air. Let the winds and some chilled Strawberry cream do the magic. Trust me it does wonders and you will thank us later!

 

  1.  Table Land

Don’t worry, I am not going to start listing points here. But I must say that this mass of flat land is breathtaking….We promise you’ll hum softly to the tune of  ‘On Top of the World’ when you get there, only if your glutes aren’t screaming in pain! Gavin and I walked up almost every morning just to enjoy the sun rising over this sleepy little town.

Evenings on the tableland are very busy and crowded, you’ll see horses, monkeys, and humans everywhere you look! There are people selling knick-knacks and snacks and you can just sit back and enjoy the calm that the wind brings you amidst all this chaos.

Tip: If you wish to skip the crowd, embark on an early morning hike to the Table Top, there is not a single human in sight. But hey! you’ll have the company of kind mountain dogs!

3. The Food

A typical breakfast of bun-maska, chai and a double cheese omlet at Panchgani’s oldest café Lucky’s will cost you around Rs.100 ($1.42)

Another breakfast place we’d recommend is a cute little café by the name ‘Chai Bun Maska’, this place is run by a local family and has the perfect Pinterest vibe to it! They serve a full English breakfast for as little as Rs.175 ($2.6)

 

Akbar Ali serves some buttery and loaded parathas for Rs.100 ($1.42) a plate! They were super scrumptious and filling. Oh! they serve piping hot pav bhaji too!!

 

There are a number of lunch homes in the town that are very easy on the pocket. A typical meal for 2 would consist of a non-veg curry, rice/roti, and some veggies and would cost you anything between Rs.350-Rs.450 ($5-$6)

 

Evenings are great with a cup of piping hot chai at a street stall and some fried onion and potato crisps to go with it for Rs.70 ($1). You could also try some grilled corn or buttery corn on one of the street carts.

Tip: Food in Panchgani is super inexpensive so we suggest you skip room service and take a stroll down and eat at one of these places!

 

  1. Evening Walks and Hot Chocolate

This quiet town is tucked in the sleepy hills and doesn’t experience a lot of activity, just the hustle, and bustle of locals running errands during the day. After 7 pm the town is dim and the breeze just sweeps away the chaos. These long walks in the evening had us glowing. We suggest you take a romantic walk under the stars too!

Every eatery in Panchgani serves hot chocolate but the best we had was and on one of our late-night strolls when we came across ‘The Local Café’. When people think of hot chocolate they think of Christmas, but when we think of Hot Chocolate we think Panchgani!

Tip: Don’t wander off too far from the town in the night as it’s not always well lit.

  1. The Boarders Paradise

The little of what we know about Panchgani is that it has the ‘Taare Zameen Par’ school but there are a number of beautiful British era boarding school that will make you wish you went back to school! Gav happens to be an ex-student of one of the prestigious schools Saint Peter’s Boarding School.  One of its most famous students was Farrokh Bulsara who we all know as Freddie Mercury. This trip was like a capsule back in time for Gavin and one couldn’t miss the joy he felt due to that sparkle in his eye!

Tip: Visit these school campuses and take some cool back to school shots here!

Panchgani happens to be one of our most memorable trips. It was a walk down memory lane for Gavin and a new-found place of peace for me. We think that this place is great. Like us, if you need to revitalize your relationships you must head to the ‘Manali of Maharashtra’. We are so used to the work and holiday grind that we forget that these moments during your vacation are for us to connect with ourselves and just let nature embrace us in its arms.

Thank you for reading our first blog and we hope to see you around a lot more!

14 thoughts on “Panchgani: The town in India where ‘Queen’ lead singer Freddie Mercury was schooled

  1. This is really amazing – the place looks awesome and colorful but also it looks like a simple place you’d really just love to roam around and take in.

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