The term 'Lonavala' has been originated from the Sanskrit term 'lonavli', which suggests numerous caves. Perhaps the nearby caves like Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa serve as the answer to resort's name. City description : Lonavala is located in the western part of the state of Maharashtra. Situated on the main train line from Mumbai to Pune, Lonavla was once a sleepy hill station famous for its chikki, a type of caramelized sweet. It has now become an extremely popular weekend getaway for city dwellers from nearby Mumbai. Sperad around the bustling main street, lined with souvenir shops, the town offers pleasant walks and is a convenient base for exploring the surrounding hills.
Lonavala Quick facts
Lonavala Geography and Climate
Climate : The weather in Lonavala is pleasant. Summers (April-June) are mild, while winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September. Geography : Khandala and Lonavala are almost five kms away from each other. They are located on the west sides of the Sahyadris, spanning up to the Mumbai-Pune highway with a height of approximately 625 meters.
Best time to visit Lonavala
One can enjoy the beauty of these places through out the year, the best time to visit Lonavala and Khandala is from October to May.
Lonavala and Khandala are two charming little hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5-km apart, that straddle the Mumbai - Pune highway at an altitude of 625m, quite popular as health resorts. In 1871, these hill stations were discovered by Sir Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency during those times. Lonavala and Khandala offer breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls during the monsoon, and the surrounding mountains of the plains spread out to the horizon. A trip to these holiday resorts can be combined with that on the Karla, Bhaja, and Bedsa caves, which are very near from Lonavala. Lonavala also known as the "Jewel of The Sahyadri", is a place where nature is present in its entire splendor. It has become famous because of nature's gift of beautiful valleys, hills, milky waterfalls, lush greenery, and pleasant cool winds. Khandala being the smaller of the two is relatively calmer and is the 'pride' of the Sahyadri Mountains.
Lonavala Near Getaways
Khandala - (near gateway) Khandala is one of the important hill stations in the state of Maharashtra and is the pride of the Sahyadri Mountains. Khandala is endowed with abundant natural beauty and like Lonavala, it is also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune.
Lonavla is a hill station in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is about 64 km away from the city of Pune and 96 km away from the city Mumbai. Both Lonavla and Khandala are beautiful twin hill stations, at an altitude of 625 meters above sea level.
How to reach Lonavala by Road
Lonavala situated on the Mumbai Pune Highway. It is 104-km from Mumbai and 64-km from Pune. The bus service between Lonavala and Pune is good. Buses shuttle between Lonavala and Khandala.
How to reach Lonavala by Rail
Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune. All express trains plying between the two cities stop here. There is also an hourly shuttle service for Pune.
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How to reach Lonavala by Air
Nearest airport is situated in Pune at 64-km.
Lonavala Festivals and culture
Almost all the festivals celebrated by different religions are enjoyed here also. People enjoy all the festivals without caste, creed and religion differences. Pune Festival: The Pune Festival usually held around late Aug-early September during Ganesh Chaturthi, is the biggest festival in the city of Pune. Beginning on the day of the installation of idols of Elephant headed Lord Ganesha, one of the most loved deities of the Hindus, it goes on till the immersion of the Lord's idols on the tenth day.
Maharashtra is the centre of many religious and cultural traditions. In Maharashtrian villages, life revolves around fairs and festivals. Yoga : Yoga is one of the most important facets of the Indian culture. It has a living tradition of more than five thousand years. As a philosophy no doubt, Yoga offers a transcendental vision of Reality. Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute was founded by Swami Kuvalayananda on the Vijayadashami Day in 1924 at Lonavala in Pune District of Maharashtra. The institute aims at reorganizing the society on spiritual values, through the revival of ancient yogic discipline. It offers yoga classes and workshops, and yogic therapy for different ailments.
Lonavala Religious Places
Ekvira Temple: This temple is a few kilometers away from Lonavala. For reaching this place, one has to climb around 300 steps. One gets a beautiful view from the temple. As you climb ahead of Ekvira Temple, you reach the Karla Caves. These ancient Buddhist caves date back to 160 BC. They are somewhat similar to Kanheri Caves of Mumbai. But though, this place is worth visiting. Bhaja and Karla Caves : (Rock-cut cave temples) Bhaja and Karla are rock-cut cave temples that are located at a distance of 11km from Lonavala. The history of the caves date back to the 2nd century. These rock-cut temples are amongst the finest examples of Buddhist architecture in India. Elephanta Caves; (Lord Shiva Temple) : The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva.
Lohagad Fort : This fort belongs to Shivaji's period and is 10 kms from Lonavala. It was used for keeping prisoners in the year 1564. Shivaji Maharaj won this fort in 1670 in the year 1751, Gaikwad and Dabhade family were incarcerated in this fort. First Delhi gate - the entrance of the Lohagad fort is a spectacular sight. There are three gates one after the other. The third gate especially is very exquisite. On entering this third gate one reaches the guard's post. There is provision to position guns here. This gate is constructed in such a way that the gunfire from gates above would reach the enemy at the first gate. There is a huge cave outside the fort. This cave would be used for storing grains during the rainy season. There is a tomb here as well as a Shivlinga. Next to that there is a tank of water with sweet taste. It is said that Shivaji Maharaj had kept the treasures he looted from Surat in this fort for some period of time. Elephanta Caves : The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. These caves are located at a distance of 11-km from Mumbai and are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Karla Caves; (Buddhist Stupa) : Counted amongst the excursions of Lonavala, Karla Caves have been found to be of Buddhist origin. These caves are believed to have been built as far back as 200 BC. A huge Buddhist stupa, said to be more than 2200 years old, is one of the major draws of the caves.
Lonavala Entertainment and Night Life
Khandala Dari is a nice place to go for trekking and hiking. One can trek through Monkey Hill to reach Gambhirnath Caves, an additional site to visit. Korigad : Korigad is near peth-shahpur village which is 35 Kms from Lonavala and around 25 kms from Bhushi Dam. Lifts and local jeeps are the preferred way to reach this fort. Korigad is a very simple fort trek with some beautiful views of surrounding areas including some nice views of the exotic Amby valley developed by Sahara. Korigad is the best way to introduce people to hiking and treks as it has hardly 100 odd steps and is a 45 minutes trek. Duke's Nose : Duke's Nose stands 12 km from Lonavla, clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai. This landmark in Khandala is popular with hikers. The cliff owes its name to the Duke of Wellington, whose ample nose it resembles.
One can enjoy rocking nightlife in Mumbai city only with lots of pubs and clubs which opens till midnight.
Kidding around Lonavala
Tungarli Lake : (Picnic spot) Tungarli Lake makes a very popular picnic spot for the residents of Lonavala, Khandala and the neighboring cities. Children especially love to come to the lake and play around, oblivious to the tensions surrounding their world. Apart from being a splendid creation of nature, this lake is also a very important source of water for the people of the hill station.
Lonavala is very famous for Chikkis and there are Chikki Shops all over the resort. One can also buy fudge and jams which can be found everywhere in Lonavala. A1 Chikki is the most famous Chikki shop in Lonavala. The other famous shops are: Maganlal Chikki, Super Chikki, Santosh Chikki, Rupam Chikki. Try the Chocolate Chikki of A1 and Rupam.
Famous To Eat at Lonavala
Tourists can savor traditional Indian, Marathi and western food in the hotels and restaurants across this small town. Lonavala is known for chikki, which is a local sweet.
Lonavala Museum and Hill Stations
Khandala - Hill Station : Khandala is one of the important hill stations in the state of Maharashtra and is the pride of the Sahyadri Mountains. Khandala is endowed with abundant natural beauty and like Lonavala, it is also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune. Monkey Hill : Every train that comes down from Khandala halt at Monkey hill for brake testing. Monkey Hill is exactly above Khopoli town and is a favorite picnic spot.
Gardens and Parks at Lonavala
Ryewood Park, Lonavala : Located in the heart of the city just half a kilometer from Lonavala Railway station comprising about 25 acres of Parks full of natural vegetation,grooves of evergreen deciduous trees, creepers and climbers. A very good outdoor picnic spot for Mumbai-Pune public.
Lake at Lonavala
Lonavala Lake : This lake is owned by central railway and it is on the way to INS Shivaji. It was constructed in 1876. It is a very beautiful spot. River Indryani is supposed to have originated here. Bushi Lake: The road to Lonavala lake further takes one to Bushi lake. On one side there is a lush green hill and on other side there are small waterfalls. During monsoon tourists throng this place just to get drenched. It is full of people desirous of getting wet. People do not want to miss out the fun here especially during monsoon. Tungarli Lake : Apart from being a splendid creation of nature, Tungarli lake is also a very important source of water for the people of the hill station.
Lonavala Travel Tips
Travelers can hire bicycles on hourly basis to explore Lonavala or to go to Khandala. The travelers interested in trekking and hiking trips around Lonavala can contact the Maharashtra Tourism Development Council (Ph: 82230). Kaivalyadhama Yoga Hospital is 2 km from Lonavala on the road to Karla and Bhaja caves. This center attracts both local and foreign tourists seeking yogic healing.
Lonavala Tourist Offices
Maharashtra Tourism Development Council (Ph: 82230). Maharashtra State Tourism Development Corporation's (MTDC) C.D.O. Hutments, Opp. L.I.C. Building, Madame Cama Road, Mumbai-400 020. Ph: +91 222202 6713 / 7762 / 4627
Must do at Lonavala
A visit to this place is a must: Elephanta Caves are located at a distance of 11-km from Mumbai and are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Not to do at Lonavala
If you are not a good swimmer, then better avoid swimming in lakes and rivers. Even if you are a good swimmer consult a tourist guide before swimming in lakes and rivers.