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India >> West >> Maharashtra >> Lonavala
Lonavala Maharashtra, West
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Lonavla is an ideal hill resort a mere 3 hrs drive from Mumbai, in Pune district of Maharashtra. This beautiful landscaped weekend getaway is famous throughout India for its innumerable varieties of hard candy sweet known as chikki. Lonavla comes to life during the monsoons as the countryside turns brilliant green punctuated by streams, waterfalls and numerous ponds of varying sizes.

 

Lonavla and Khandala are twin hill stations 622 m. above sea level, in the Sahyadri ranges that demarcate the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan coast. Both these hill towns were discovered in 1871 by Sir Elphinstone, the Governor of the Bombay Presidency. The hill stations sprawl over an approximate area of 38km˛ and are popular holiday destinations during the monsoons. Lonavla is easily accessible by road and also a major stop on the railway route connecting Mumbai and Pune making it a hotspot for weekend revellers.

 

There are a large number of rock cut caves around Lonavla whose original name, Lenauli, means the places of many caves (lena meaning cave). The most famous of these are the Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa.

 

Trekking is a perfect way to get around, hiring a vehicle, even a bicycle is the next good option, as some places of interest are quite a distance from the town.

 

 Orientation

The monsoon adds it own magical charm with a dash of adventure, mystery and romance.  Lonavla apart from being an ideal honeymooner’s paradise is also a perfect spot for the adventurous with a quest for the past. There are some great places to explore within a radius of a few kilometres from the town like the ancient rock-cut Buddhist caves, splendid forts and rugged hills.

 

Bushy dam, an increasingly popular picnic spot nestled in the woods, is 6 km away from Lonavla. Although small, but a favourite place with scenic surroundings that attracts people in large numbers all year around but more so, during the rains. The monsoons adds its own charisma, the dam overflows creating seasonal waterfalls. A not to miss opportunity, to go picnicking on a weekend. It's simply superb! One needs to be careful while wading through the running water or enjoying its gushing flow sitting on the steps, as there are chances of sudden surge in the force and level of water to knock-you-off your balance.

 

Lohagarh, as the name suggests is an iron fort, one of the oldest preserved forts soaked in history. A ‘visitor’s paradise’ in Maharashtra, is 7 km south of Malavi station on the Pune-Mumbai railway line. The bastion with four gigantic gates intricately arranged, stands aggressively amidst the Sahyadris near Lonavala, dividing the basins of Indrayani and Pavana rivers. In the monsoon the fort is shrouded in mist, luxuriant green foliage lines the trail and the rolling verdant hills are interspersed by numerous waterfalls; trekking to the fort especially at this time is a wonderful experience.

 

The Cave Temples: In India religion and art are closely interlinked and the best works of art are very apparent in the places of worship - a harmonious blend of aesthetics and spiritualism. This is so evident in rock-cut caves temples at Karla and Bhaja near Lonavala, which are ranked amongst the oldest finest examples of Early Buddhist temple art in India. Actually the greatness of these cave temples arises from the fact that they are fully manmade, with the whole mountainsides dug into and then skilfully carved out of solid rock.

 

The Karla caves, the largest Early Buddhist temple in India, dates back to 2nd century BC. This impressive structure includes a representation of the Buddha, has huge magnificent pillars framing the entrance, the valued roof has wooden supports and the aisle is made up of 37 beautifully carved columns. The great Chaitya (prayer hall) is considered as one of the greatest monuments in the world of art.

 

Just outside the Karla caves is a temple to Goddess Ekveera, which is a place of local pilgrims even today.

 

The 18 Bhaja caves with 14 stupas are nestled in a lush green mystical setting and dates back somewhere around 200 B.C. Ten of these caves are Viharas and the remaining 12 are Chaityas.

 

 Getting there

Location and Distance

Lonavala is 96 km southeast of Mumbai.

 Fast Facts
Name Lonavala Best Time To Visit June to February; Best in monsoon
Location Maharashtra   West   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Hill Station
Temperature Summar   36-40°C      Winter   12-15°C      Rainy   28-34°C
 Map
 
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