Panchgani also called Paachgani is a famous hill station and municipal council in Satara district in Maharashtra, India. It is renowned for the many premier residential educational institutions.Scenic Panchgani was discovered by the British during the British Raj as a summer resort, and a superintendent named John Chesson was placed in charge of the hill station in the 1860s. He is credited with planting many plant species from the western world in Panchgani, including silver oak and poinsettia, which have flourished since then in Panchgani. Mahabaleshwar was the summer resort of choice for the British, but it was uninhabitable during the monsoons. Panchgani was developed as a retirement place for the British because it remained pleasant throughout the year. John Chesson was deputed to find a suitable place. He surveyed the hills in this region in the company of Mr Rustomji Dubash, and finally decided on this nameless area in the vicinity of the five villages:Dhandeghar, Godavli, Amral, Khingar, and Taighat. The place was aptly named Panchgani, and Chesson was made Superintendent.
To develop the infrastructure, Chesson encouraged various professionals - tailors, dhobis, butchers,vegetable vendors, building contractors etc. to also settle in Panchgani. The area below the bazaar was allotted to them, and is known as the gaothan. Chesson is buried in the graveyard of St. Peter's Church. In 1971 or '72, his death centenary was observed in a big way when for the first time, the town folk and the schools participated together in a ceremony to remember the founder of Panchgani.
Panchgani was originally settled by retired Britishers, but since it was pleasant throughout the year, others also settled there. A number of attempts to start schools were made in the 19th century. In the 1890s The Kimmins School was started for European boys and girls. In 1902, the boys section separated to become The European Boys High School, now known as Saint Peter's high school, and Kimmins became an exclusively girls school. Also in the 1890s, one or two years after Kimmins was started, the Roman Catholic Order of nuns known as Daughters of The Cross started The St. Joseph's Convent Girls High School. All three boarding schools were modeled on the English Public Schools of that time, and were affiliated to Cambridge University. The Board exams would be held in December, the question papers being sent from England by sea. The answer papers sent back by sea to England, and the results declared some time in June.
Following are the Places to visit panchgani :
» Sydney Point
» Table Land
» Parsi Point
» Devil's Kitchen
» Mapro Garden