Lonavala - Most popular hill station in Maharashtra
Lonavala is one of the two very popular twin hill stations of the state of Maharashtra. It is an ideal weekend getaway for the crowd in Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala is gifted with beautiful landscapes, lush greenery, wonderful waterfalls and cool mountain winds. The natural splendour and peaceful surrounding has made it the most visited holiday destination in India.
Location : State/District
Lonavala is a beautiful destination in Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. It is located at a distance of 64 kms from Pune and about 96 kms from Mumbai.
Lonavala is a wonderful hill station bestowed with pristine beauty of nature in abundance. It is also a relaxing holiday destination wherein the tourists unwind from the stress of the city’s life. The beauty of the place will rejuvenate your soul and make you forget all the tension of life.
Family holiday and honeymoon destination
Lonavala is a suitable holiday destination with your family. However the breathtaking views of the place can also rekindle romance, making at an ideal destination for honeymooners and newlyweds.
Lonavala is located amidst the forests and mountains; hence the weather remains pleasant all throughout the year. The best months to visit Lonavala is from the September to March. The monsoons are the most enjoyable time as the view becomes spectacular with cascading waterfalls and green meadows. During the peak summers the place becomes unbearable hot and you must avoid visiting the place during this time.
The citizens of India can visit Lonavala as per their convenience. Foreigners wanting to visit Lonavala need a prior visa from the government of India. They must also keep their passports and other travel documents updated to avoid any inconvenience.
Places to Visit
Lonavala holds plenty of places that are a must-visit during your stay in this beautiful hill station.
The Bushi Dam is a favourite picnic spot for tourists. The dam looks stunning during the monsoons when excess water gushes out and flows into the smaller waterfalls. It also offers tourist breathtaking view with cold winds imparting a freshness to your face.
Ryewood Park is a wonderful place to hang out located in the heart of the city, near the Lonavala market. The park is covered with lush lawns and different varieties of trees that are centuries old. There is ample playing ground for children. It was earlier a botanical garden that is now converted into a beautiful park. It is a perfect place to spend your evenings with your family members.
The Lonavala Lake is the highpoint for those visiting this picturesque hill station. It is called as Monsoon Lake as it is filled with water only during the monsoons and dries up in the winter season. The location is flanked with scenic surroundings. You can also spot rare varieties of birds around this Lake. Another popular lake in Lonavala is the Pawna Lake. It is an artificial lake built around the Pawna Dam and lures tourists with its cool climate and natural ambience.
Lonavala is well-known for its caves. The Buddhist nuns had built several caves in this area and used them as ‘prayer halls’. The caves are beautifully carved from the mountains and look astonishing. Some of the popular caves that you must definitely visit are the Bhaja Caves and Karla Caves.
Apart from sight-seeing do not forget to shop for the world-famous ‘chikki’ of Lonavala. Chikki is a sweet delicacy made from jaggery and groundnuts. Besides you must also shop for fresh jams, fudge, chevda and jellies from here. Also visit the Lonavala Bazaar to check out the range of cane products, food items, trinkets, carved wooden figures and remarkable souvenirs.
Lonavala is also a preferred destination for adventure lovers. The place is ideal for outdoor activities like camping and trekking. The beautiful lakes around Lonavala are a wonderful site for camping. The Kalra Hills and Duke’s Nose are famous hills in Lonavala chosen for trekking.
Rajmachi Point is a famous tourist spot around Lonavala. It is located at 6.5 kms from Lonavala and gives the most stunning view of the Shivaji’s Fort and the surrounding valleys. The renowned Vaghjai Dari is also situated here. From here you must also visit the Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhairavnath Temple in Rajmachi. The sanctuary offers a peek into the wildlife’s beauty and you can catch a glimpse of plentiful animals and birds here. The Indian mammoth squirrel is a rare animal sighted here and also very famous. The Bhairavnath Temple is dedicated to a form of Lord Shiva called as Bhairav. This temple is very sacred for Hindus and located in picturesque surroundings.
Kamchet is a popular adventure site located at 11 kms from the hill station of Lonavala. The place is extremely beautiful and very famous for paragliding. If you are adventure enthusiasts, do visit this place once. Khandala is another popular destination from Lonavala that is merely 5 kms away. These two twin hill stations are the most sought-after destination for the people in Mumbai and Pune.
Food & Accommodation
Lonavala offers you the best of authentic Marathi cuisine. Besides here you can also satiate your taste buds with International cuisine that offers a mix of Chinese, European, Indian and Continental flavours. Some of the eating joints that you must try here are Fiesta, Zest and Lions Den Restaurant. The local dhabas like the Bhajan Singh ka Dhaba and Sunny’s Dhaba are also very popular here.
Lonavala has a range of boutique hotels to suit the need of luxurious travellers. Country Club, The Machan, Upper Deck Resort, Citrus Lonavala and Hotel Hari International are some high-end hotels with tariffs ranging from INR 6000-12000 per room/night. Apart from these deluxe hotels, you can also easily find 3-star budgeted hotels in Lonavala. Some of the common ones in this category are Cloud 9 Hill Resort, Basilica Holiday Home, Hotel Chandralok, Hotel Sapphire and Hotel Dreamland.
Safety and Security
Lonavala is a safe place for tourists. There are just few safety guidelines you need to follow when performing the adventure activities. As the place gets dark early, start your trek early to finish right on time.