Nestled away from city’s hustle-bustle and encircled with lush bush, Lonavala is a must visit in Pune district of state Maharashtra. Being a part of the Sahyadri hills, the picturesque hill top of Lonavala is eminent for its lively waterfalls, erected knoll and grandeur lochs. Starting from a true nature lover to an adventure freak, this gorgeous green valley exerts a pull on visitors from all round the sphere. If you reside in Mumbai or any adjoining cities, Lonavala is an absolute threshold for a soulful weekend. The best part of visiting Lonavala is Rajmachi and Khandala, the two more gifted regions of nature on the way.
This beautiful mountain valley was founded decade back in 1871 by the British Governor Lord Elphinstone. The place has no dearth of caves and this is the reason the name of this hill station was derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lonavali’, which signifies collection or group of caves. Today with diverse range of its natural exquisiteness, the place became an idyllic holiday abode for honeymooners, trekkers, hikers, nature lovers and many film makers who usually visit here for shooting purposes.
|Lonavala at a glance|
|Elevation||Around 621 metres above sea level|
|Best Season||Monsoon and Winter|
|Languages||Hindi, Marathi and English|
|Popular as||Hill Station|
|Key Festivals||Ganesha Chaturthi and Diwali|
Being a mountainous region, the climate of Lonavala is restful. In summer, the temperature of this place lies somewhere between 22°C and 34°C. Summer enters the region in April and it lasts till June. During summer, the temperature here is mild and at night the temperature drops down up to 16°C. After summer, Lonavala witnesses the monsoon from the month of July to September. According to travellers, this is the time when Lonavala can be revealed the best. From September till November the climate here is quite moderate. Moving ahead with season climate, the breezy winter envelops the mountain in the month of December and it lasts till March. During winter, the temperature drops down to 11°C or less making the place an absolute delight for tourists.
Best time to Visit:
Having depicted the seasonal climatic of Lonavala, it can be said that the best time to explore this beautiful hill station is during monsoon and winter. For a person who loves the blend of drizzle and group of caves, this is the place to be during monsoons.
Places to Visit:
Located between two important cities of Maharashtra (Pune and Mumbai), Lonavala offers a tempting natural experience to Mumbaikars as well as the Puneites. Being one of the most preferred holiday gateways, Lonavala has many eye-catching sites that one must visit during his/her voyage. Let’s explore the rousing attractions in and around Lonavala.
Situated on the Indrayani River and few kilometres away from the destination, this is a stonework dam. Travellers from Mumbai and Pune often flock here for weekend hangout. If you happen to be here during monsoon, Bhushi Dam offers you a picturesque vista of the surrounding lush green region. When heavy rainfall leads to spill over the series of steps and flow over some pebbly terrain, visitors rush here on weekends to witness the same. You will find various shops in the small area situated adjacent to the dam. Your visit during monsoon will become more refreshing once you have a sip of warm Tea with corn and pakodas next to you. You can also relax on the series of steps near the dam and order some luscious snacks from the nearby shops.
# Imagica Adlabs
Situated with an expanse of around 300 acre areas, Imagica Adlabs is a popular theme park located on Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Inaugurated in 2013, this park is a perfect delight for family and kids. One can enjoy lots of adventurous activities like roller coaster, river adventure and Scream Machine. In addition, Imagica Adlabs also amuses its visitors offering interactive comedy show, Motion Box Theatre, Water Park, Snow Park, shopping options, food courts etc. In short, you can define this place as one-stop recreation centre for all.
Having depicted the significance of the name Lonavala, one can explore here a diverse range of caves built by the Buddhist nuns. There are 22 groups of Caves in Bhaja wherein, various ancient sculptures are exceptionally carved out of the mountains. Positioned in the Karli hills, Bhaja caves were structured ages back nearly in 200BC by cutting the big rocks around. The group of Bhaja Caves magnificently portrays the original structural design of India. One more attraction near the group of these 22 caves is a spectacular waterfall. Many travellers flock these caves and trek till the waterfall where they take a refreshing dip in the energetic water.
Situated next to the Lonavala market, Ryewood Park is an ultimate spot for family and kids. Earlier this park was a Botanical garden with an array of colourful flora. However, over the periods of time, Ryewood is now eminent as a park offering lush precincts and fresh lawns. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls of kids, the children park area also boast some old species of trees. People visit this park for picnic purpose as well.
Being the popular hill station in Maharashtra, you must explore the set of fascinating hills in Lonavala. Offering an eye-catching panorama from its peak, Sausage Hills is an absolute delight for trekkers. The presence of lush bush amidst murky sky and vigorous lakes gives you a wonderful view of Lonavala. Besides, some endangered species of birds and their tuneful sounds adds a new thrill to your excursion in the knolls of Lonavala.
#Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats of Sahyadris, Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary is an amazing tourist puller in Lonavala. Being the abode of various endangered flora and fauna, Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary is dotted with dense bush and hilly terrain making it a perfect site for nature walks, birding and trekking. This site is also popular for mammoth Indian squirrel. If you are a nature lover and want to experience the thrill amidst thick woods, Rajmachi is the place you should travel by.
Situated nearly 25Kms away from the hill station, this is the only citadel atop a knoll in the town, which was built by Shivaji Maharaj. There is a Ganesh Temple and a group of various small caves in the fort. Over times, a major part of the fort has been decayed. If you climb up the fort, you will come across two lakes on the top. Koregad Fort has entryways for visitors. From the top you can have breath-taking environs.
# Karla cave
Lonavala has galore of lakes and caves that one can explore to the fullest during their visit to this place. What allure number of visitors here the most is 2000 years old caves depicting some eye-catching monasteries. There is also a shrine made of pillars from the Buddhist epoch. If you look at the sculptures that are craved here by cutting the mountains, you will come across the detail of these statuettes depicting various prehistoric tales of Buddhists. These groups of caves are located on the Pune-Mumbai highway.
Well, your voyage to Lonavala doesn’t limit here. On the contrary, there are many other exciting sites that you can also visit and explore further. Some of these attractions include Tungarli Lake, Duke’s Nose, Visapur Fort, Lohagad Fort, Tungarli Dam, Amrutanjan Point etc.
Having explored the key attractions in Lonavala, it’s time now to emerge your daring persona amidst rocky hills. Lonavala has the following rousing outdoor activities to offer:
#Duke’s Trek and Adventure
For a true adventure freak, leaving a hill station without experiencing a single trekking and climbing activity is like leaving an island without exploring any beach. Known for its astounding name, Duke’s Nose is an absolute paradise for trekkers and climbers. Surrounded by green valley and afforest, this place was named after Wellington’s pointed nose because of its resemblance. He was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman, also renowned as Arthur Wellesley.
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. Duke’s Nose also caters 300 ft. rappelling length 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.
This is unquestionably a super thrilling exposure for adventure lovers. There are few prominent camping sites in Lonavala out of which, Aundoli is quite popular. Ranging from family camping to corporate camping, Lonavala offers you a fascinating camping opportunity amidst green scenery embraced by vivacious wildlife and soaring mountains. Besides, undergoing some stirring activities like nature trails, sightseeing, flying fox and mountain rappelling add more thrill to your camping experience.
If you have explored the knoll of Lonaval and its beautiful environs, let’s try some delectable foodstuff in this stunning hill station.
In order to fill up your gastronomic needs, Lonavala is laid out with a numerous eateries offering you various luscious options. In Lonavala, you will find number of Dhabas, restaurants and food corners offering diverse eatables ranging from Punjabi, Guajarati and various continental cuisines. Some of the commonly visited and popular restaurants here include Smokin Joe’s, Dukes Retreat, Picnic Package, The Upper Deck Restaurant, Fiesta Restaurant, Fusion and Homely.
During your trip to Lonavala, foods that you can’t miss here include spicy curried chickpeas, crunchy Chikki, Bhajiyas, Vada Pav, fudges and refreshing Masala Chai. In addition, you can also taste some popular South India platters and ice cream. The restaurants here also serve various scrumptious foods for no vegetarians.
How to Reach:
Situated around 65Kms away from Pune and 95Kms from Mumbai, Lonavala connects the travellers from these two prime cities through good railway and road connectivity. However, travelers outside Maharashtra are also connected conveniently to this hill station by air. Let’s have a look into the modes of transport to reach Lonavala from various parts of the country:
By Air: Lohegaon and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are two airports for air travellers. However, the nearest one is Lohegaon Airport, Pune. Located merely 62Kms away from the town, this airport is well-connected to many other cities of India. From airport, one can hire a cab or take a bus to reach Lonavala. Similarly, if you fly till Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, take a bus or hire a cab/taxi to reach Lonavala. From Pune Airport, it will take around 40-45 minutes time to reach Lonavala. From Mumbai Airport on the other hand, it may take nearly 2 hours time to reach Lonavala.
By Train: The railway connectivity to reach Lonavala is quite frequent. You can board into any Mumbai-Pune bound train that will reach you there conveniently. Some of the popular trains that travel through Lonavala railway station are Deccan Express, Koyna Express, Indrayani Express, Hyderabad Express, Bangalore Udyan Express, Pune Ahimsa Express etc. In addition, there are various other passenger trains as well that will take you to this hill station. Some of them include Mumbai – Pandharpur Passenger, Mumbai – Shirdi Passenger, Pune – Karjat Passenger etc. From Mumbai and Pune, it will take around 3 hours and 1 hour time respectively to reach Lonavala by train.
By Road: Presence of Mumbai Express Highway and NH4 makes the road connectivity pretty comfy. There are various regular buses from Pune and Mumbai to reach Lonavala. The scenic environs both side of the road makes the trip more exciting for travellers. In addition, buses are also available for Lonavala from the places like Goa, Vadodara and Ahmedabad.
After reaching the mountain valley, you can hire an auto-rickshaw, taxi and bicycles to commute within the city. If you are commuting by auto/taxi, don’t forget to bargain the fare. Buses are also there you can commute through.
Places to Stay:
Abundance of natural splendour has already made this beautiful hill station one of the preferred holiday thresholds for visitors. Thus, plenty of tourists visit this place from all over the globe. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls of visitors, various luxury and budget hotels are established here in and around Lonavala. Depending on the class of resort/hotel and the amenities you avail, the charges may range from INR 1000 to INR 6000 or more.
In order to cater you a relaxing stay in Lonavala, some of the comfy accommodations are listed here:
#Gautam Hotel Lonavala
Behind Telephone Exchange, Near Railway Station,
Lonavala, Maharashtra 410401
Bajrang Baug Garden, Old Mumbai-Pune Highway,
Tungarli, Lonavala Lonavala India 410401
#Basilica Holiday Home
Plot No. 13 /14, Thomrewadi Raiwood Park,
Lonavala East Lonavala India 410401
Sr. No. 64, Tungarli, Near Lagoona Hotel,
Lonavala Lonavala India 410401
No. 30, Gold Valley, Sector E, New Tungarli,
Lonavala India 410403
C Ward, Plot No. 15, Near S.T Stand,
Lonavala India 410401
Near Wetnjoy Water Park, Next to Kamshet Railway Station,
Kamshet, Lonavala India 410405
Scorching summer is almost on, and with times it’s going to scale even higher. So, take a break from your tiring schedule and plan your next weekend amidst charming region of Sahyadri hills. The soothing knoll of Lonavala is all set to welcome your invigorating expedition.
After exploring the splendid knoll of Lonavala, if exploring other adjoining sites is also in your travel plan then don’t miss some of the alluring nearby places like Khandala, Matheran, Kamshet, Bhimashankar, and Alibaug.