Tucked away in the lush green Sahyadri mountains, Lonavala-Khandala are just another twin hill stations in Maharashtra to keep your summers cool.
Best time to visit: (June -Septemper) Lonavala experiences a heavy rainfall but this place has an amazing glimpse to catch during monsoons. One can also visit this place from October to May to enjoy the beauty of its lush greenery, pleasing weather and chikkis of course.
How to reach:
- Lonavala-Khandala are well connected by road and rail. All express trains plying between Mumbai and Pune stop here. Train fare would be somewhere around 150-200 rupees.
- It is a 2 hour drive from Mumbai and 1 ½ hour from Pune. A bus journey would be around 250-300rupees. The journey itself has beautiful sights to capture.
- If you don’t own a private vehicle there are ST buses for local transport. Also autos can be hired but since they do not run on meter, do not forget to negotiate.
- The most convenient option would be booking a taxi for the day for sightseeing. You can book it online from Clear Car Rental, Savaari, eCabs, etc.
- Tiger’s leap : Also known as Tiger point this is the most popular point in Lonavala. It has a scenic view from over 650 m. The most fascinating point at this place is the echo point.
- Bushi dam : Pack your picnic baskets and head to this sight for a relaxing view. You can enjoy in the cool waters here. Best to visit in monsoons.
- Pavana lake : It is an artificial lake brought into existence due to the Pavana dam. It is the most popular spot for night camping as one can set up tents, barbecue and a lovely bonfire and gaze at the stars in the pitch black night.
- Lion point : Yet another picturesque landscape in Lonavala which has a view of the Sahyadri ranges and deep valleys. This place is extremely windy but worth a visit.
- Karla and Bhaja caves : The architectural brilliance of man can be seen at the Karla caves which are intricately carved. One needs to climb 300 steps to reach to the top but it’s worth the climb. Bhaja caves were built 2200 years ago and are an ancient Buddhist center. The best view of this caves can be captured after 4 pm when the sun sets beaming its light on the cave.
- Sunil’s celebrity wax museum : It was founded by a 38 year wax artist from Kerela, Sunil Kandaloor. It has wax statues of Rajiv Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Michael Jackson, Kapil Dev, Adolf Hitler, AR Rahman and many others. The photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji is the main attraction.
- Della adventures : It is a theme park, few kilometres from Lonavala. You can enjoy adventurous activities here like flying fox, water zorbing and many more. You can book your tickets here.
Other sights near Lonavala are the famous forts of Rajmachi, Tunga, Dukes Nose. Lonavala lake, kune waterfalls are also other tourist attractions.
- Lonavala is incomplete without some masala tea and hot bhajjis and vadas. You can find these at short intervals throughout the town.
- On the main Bazar road near the Celebrity wax museum are many restaurants to choose from. Hotel Rama Krishna is famous for south Indian cuisine. (200 for 2 approx.)
- On the way to Lonavala is the Kinara Dhaba which will offer a scrumptious Punjabi meal.
- Lonavala trip isn’t complete without chikki and fudge.
Cooper’s which is opposite to the railway station has got the best fudge in town.
- Opening hours : 11 am to 1 pm and 3 pm till stock lasts, closed on Wednesdays.
Maganlal & sons is famous for its chikki and many other sweet. It is on MG road opposite the station.
- Opening hours : 8.30 am to 9 pm, closed on Wednesdays
This place will definitely leave you in awe!