Khandala, one of the frequented hill stations in the state of Maharashtra witnesses a large influx of visitors from all over the countries. Besides its enchanting environs, the location is evenly eminent for all adventure junkies. Destinations like Karla Hills and Duke’s Nose peak are two key tourist pullers in Khandala that are known for spectacular rock climbing opportunity to the adventure lovers.
The magnificent hill station Khanadala has no dearth of attractions and activities to offer. In its long lasting existence, the terra firma of Khanadala has witnessed the rise and fall of several Peshwa and Maratha realms. Till today, the natural splendour of this hill station allures plenty of visitors from all over the country.
Therefore, while planning your weekend excursion to Khanadala from its nearby destinations, make sure to count on the following:
1. Bedsa Caves
Located adjacent to Kamshet on Mumbai Pune road, Bhedsa caves are believed to be the oldest caves of Maharashtra. The giant caves are known for their eye-catching carvings and 25 feet high pillars. The key attraction here is the ‘Chaitya’, which is the main cave in this site. Perched with lion shaped pillars, Bhedsa caves are as big as Karla Caves. Since these caves are situated aloof the main road, you won’t see much tourist traffic here. The overall serenity around the caves offers you an amazing ambience to experience.
2. Lonavala Lake
Nestled nearly 2-2.5Kms away from Khandala, the seasonal Lonavala Lake is a worth visiting site during monsoon. During winter on the other hand, the lake water gets dried up. The breathtaking lake is surrounded by scenic beauty and rich variety of floral species. The lake is linked up by a very old dam of Indrayaani River. Apart from the seasonal lake and its surrounding beauty, this is also a popular picnic spot amongst visitors.
3. Kune Falls
If you are looking for some amazing picnic spot surrounded by delimited by lush bush and free-flowing water from the knolls, Kune Falls is one such destination to hang around. The most appropriate time to reveal its enthralled grandeur is monsoon. Intense rainfall turns the environs here sheer green. On the other hand, the lively waterfalls appear milky white atop the hills. Thus, it can be said that heavy rains during monsoon add an absolute grandeur to this breathtaking Kune Falls. You can also spend some wonderful moments here by swimming and bathing in the fresh water. In Khandala, this is a must visit tourist spot for visitors.
4. Rajmachi Fort
Midway between Lonavala and Khandala, Rajmachi Fort is perched on the hills of Shayadri. This is one of the major tourist pullers in Khandala hosting two fortified structures namely; Manranjan fort and Shrivardhan fort. It is said that these majestic forts were conquered here during 17th century by Great Shivaji. For adventure freaks, the site offers an exciting trekking trail towards the fort from Lonavala. Reaching atop the fort allows you an aerial panorama of adjoining lakes, river, caves and Duke’s Nose. For a true nature lover, Rajmachi Fort is a worth visiting destination in Khandala.
5. Duke’s Nose
Are you an adventure freak? Do you like to scale the peak? Then Duke’s Nose is certainly going to be the most suitable destination for you. For trekkers and climbers, this is an absolute paradise. It is always said that for a true adventure lover, leaving a hill station without trekking and hiking is like leaving an island without exploring any coastline. The shape of the location resemblances to the pointed nose of Wellington, an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman, and considering this likeness the site was further named as Duke’s Nose. Besides offering some nerve-pumping trekking and mount climbing opportunities, Duke’s Nose is evenly popular for family picnic in the midst of scenic splendour.
The steep and rocky outcrops offer you an overwhelming 800 ft. trekking opportunity from Khandala Railway Station. It takes around 2 hours time to complete the trekking. In addition, the elevated knolls and thick forest also offers you an absolute delight for valley-crossing activity. Besides, the site also has 300 ft. rappelling length catering an absolute paradise for adventure freaks. While climbing the abrupt hills, don’t forget to explore the Mahadeva temple at the pinnacle. This will certainly take your trip to a new height of excitement.
These are the five most popular and commonly explored destinations in Khandala. If you wish to excurse some other sites around the hill station, you may also explore the places like Reversing Station, Bhaja Caves, Lion’s Point, Amrutanjan Point, Shrivardhan Fort, Karla and Bhaja Caves, Tungarli Lake and Tiger’s Leap.
Owing to its easy accessibility, Khandala has become one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra. Let’s take a look on some of the important modes of commutation to reach there conveniently:
By Air: Khandala doesn’t have an individual airport. Hence, the two nearby airports are Pune and Mumbai, which are located around 66Kms and 110Kms from Khandala respectively. From any of these airports, you can hire a cab or take a bus to reach Khandala.
By Train: For railway travellers, the nearest railhead is Lonavala, which is located nearly 5 Kms from the hill station. Lonavala Rilway Station carries a convenient connectivity from Mumbai and Pune. Some of the major trains to this route are Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express, Mumbai-Pune Sihangad Express, Mumbai-Pune Indryani Express, Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen and Mumbai-Pune Pragati Express. Once you reach the railway station, get into a local mode of transport to travel further. From Lonavala Rilway Station, it consumes nearly 15 minutes time to reach Khandala.
By Road: If you are planning a weekend trip to Khandala from Mumbai or Pune, nothing could be as charming as delightful road journey through Mumbai-Pune Expressway or via NH4. The picturesque environs and well-maintained roadways will make your journey absolutely stunning like never before. There are several regular buses for Khandala that run from Mumbai and Pune. From Mumbai, the travel time to reach Khandala by road is nearly 4 hours. On the other hand, from Pune it takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes time to get there.
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