Of the twin hill stations in the Indian state of Maharashtra, Khandala is one of them. This place is extremely popular and a favourite getaway spot for the people living in Pune and Mumbai. Khandala is gifted generously with natural and scenic beauty. It is surrounded by enchanting valleys, beautiful lakes and grassy hills. Khandala is a perfect destination to get a break from the monotonous and cumbersome city life.
Location : State/District
Khandala is a beautiful town in the state of Maharashtra in India. It is located in the Western Ghats, primarily at the end of the main Bhor Ghat. The latitude of Khandala is 18.7580⁰ N and the longitude is 73.3720⁰ E.
Khandala is one of most picaresque hill stations of the western region of the country. It is also popular for activities like rock climbing and hiking.
Khandala is a perfect destination for holiday with families. The strategic location of the place from Mumbai and Pune makes it an ideal getaway. The city is full of various attractions to keep you occupied besides basking in the natural beauty of the place. Khandala is also a hot-spot for newly-weds to get few moments of pleasure and peace.
The weather of Khandala remains pleasant all round the year. During the summer months from April-June the weather is mild whereas during the winter months from November - February the weather is moderately cold. The best time to visit Khandala is from the months of October to May. During this time you will only require light cotton clothes. You must avoid travelling to Khandala during the monsoons that is from June to September.
There are no formal travelling requirements for visiting Khandala for the people of India. However foreign tourists need a visa from the Indian government. Also they must keep their travel documents including passport updated.
Places to Visit
The picturesque city of Khandala has lots to offer to its tourists. Mark your sightseeing tour with these must-visit places in Khandala.
The Duke’s Nose is a very popular spot in Khandala. It is actually a cliff named after the Duke of Wellington. It was believed that the shapes of the cliff resembled his nose and therefore derived its name. Duke’s Nose is a popular point to witness the scenic beauty around Khandala. It is also a rock climbing site for adventure lovers.
Khandala is also known for its majestic forts. The Rajmachi Fort is one of the most impressive forts of the area. It is surrounded by the deep valleys on three sides while the fourth side is covered by thick forests. Some of the other famous forts are the Shrivardhan Fort, Manoranjan Fort, Tunga Fort, Lohagad Fort and Visapur Fort with guardhouses and arsenals.
Other popular attractions of Khandala are the Ancient caves. The Karla Caves is one of the oldest caves built around 1600 BC during the times of Satavahanas. This cave was used as prayer halls by the Buddhist monks. The Karla caves are famous for its excellent architecture with interiors depicting the forms of huge elephants, dancing couples and carved representations of Lord Buddha. The two other popular caves in Khandala are the Bhaja Caves and Bedsa Caves.
The hilly terrain of Khandala makes it ideal for adventure activities. Large number of tourists flocks here for trekking and hiking. The popular sites for these outdoor activities are the Kalri Hills and Duke’s Nose.
Khandala is also famous for its ‘chikki’, that is a sweet preparation made from sesame seeds, peanut and jaggery. The other popular food items of this area are wafers, sev, chidva and canned jams. Hence before packing your suitcases make sure to visit the local markets to get plenty of these mouth-licking specialities.
There are beautiful places to see around Khandala.
The Lonavala Hills is a beautiful spot located at just 5 kms from Khandala. The hills offer the most panoramic view of the stunning Sahyadri Mountains. The Lonavala Hills are also rightly referred as the ‘Jewels of Sahyadri’.
Kamshet is another very popular destination located close to Khandala at a distance of merely 16 kms. It is also a picturesque hill station that offers scenic beauty. Kamshet is a famous spot for paragliding and therefore a must visit destination for avid adventure lovers.
Food and Accommodation
Khandala provides its tourists with the best of food right from the lip-smacking fast-food varieties to the exquisite cuisines. The two must restaurants in Khandala are the Duchess Restaurant and Panorama Restaurant. These eating joints serve you the most delectable cuisine amidst the perfect beauty of Khandala. The Duchess Restaurant also has a bar called as the Highpoint Bar where you can enjoy beverages like coffee and cocktails.
Khandala also has a range of accommodation options to provide both luxury and comfort to its travellers. Here you can easily find both luxurious hotels as well as budgeted hotels with affordable prices. The Dukes Retreat and Velvett Country are two plush hotels with room tariffs ranging from INR 8000-10000 per night. Some of the budget-friendly hotels are Hotel Girija, Hotel La Revival and Hotel Vallerina. Their room charges vary from INR 2000-4000 per night.
Safety and Security
Khandala is famous for its hiking and trekking. These activities are quite tough and you must ensure physical fitness before trying any of these. Also it is advisable to give an early start to your trekking adventure as it gets dark early in such areas.